This is the Bestiary Project.
A bestiary is a compendium of creatures, most popular in Medieval times. All living things, and sometimes nonliving things, were supposed to be included, and therefore mundane creatures such as cattle and dogs appeared alongside the fantastic, such as unicorns and dragons. In modern times, bestiaries are most often a collection of mythical creatures. Sometimes they’re written for games as well, or for the creatures found in specific fantasy worlds, like Lord of the Rings.
Over time, a select few mythical animals have become favorites, and those favorites have been changed and warped into new creations. More often than not, it is the new version that gets put into modern bestiaries. Sometimes there will be mention of the past versions, but the concept of, say, a unicorn with huge elephant feet and a terribly aggressive temperament are so foreign to people that it’s usually set aside. The older versions of the creatures are sometimes far more fascinating than their modern day counterparts, and are in danger of being completely forgotten. The Society for the Preservation of Figments, Fantastics, and Literaries is a (rather small) group who are interested in preventing those creatures from being forgotten.
The Bestiary Project is a modern bestiary that tries to present lesser known and older versions of mythical, magical, and otherwise fantastic beasts. There is research done, often comparing notes between several different versions of a story to see what is consistent between them. There is also some guesswork, and to be honest some personal opinion is going to sneak in here, although I’ll do my best to keep that to a minimum. There will also be some artistic license used. A bestiary needs pictures, after all, and I’ll be taking on that challenge as well as trying to find older images for the sake of comparison.
I’m open to suggestions if you know of a beastie you think I should include, but I do reserve the right to completely disregard it. If it’s a modern-day bastardization, please don’t bring it up. There is no such thing as a “lupogriff,” nor is there a “pegacorn.” If you think I missed something important or you think you have some information on a creature that isn’t in its entry, feel free to tell me. Again, I reserve the right to ignore that, especially if it’s something like, “Werewolves look like (insert movie reference here).”