The King refuses to help you. “Adventurers,” he says, “my men have seen no sign of these chimerical orcs of which you speak. Until you bring me one whit of evidence of this massing horde, I will not weaken the Darnascan border by redeploying my soldiers.”

Chimerical means imaginary, fanciful, fantastic, and sometimes visionary, like the monster from Greek mythology. Well, it was imaginary and fantastic, but not really visionary.

chimeraeAccording to myth, Chimaera was the offspring of Typhon and Echidna, the father and mother of all monsters. They also sired the Lernaen Hydra and Cerberus, just to name a couple. Typhon was quite the monster himself and worth reading about. The Greek word Chimaera means “she-goat” after the creature’s goat head.

Every DM knows about Chimaera, the three-headed, fire-breathing monstrosity. But how many DMs know the origin of the Chimaera myth? According to the scholar Ctesias of Cnidus in the 5th Century BCE, the legend of the Chimaera may have began with Mount Chimaera, a pass through the mountains along the road to Lycia. Found in modern Turkey, this area is famous because of the permanent gas vents that constantly spew flaming natural gas into the air. Yes, the mountain is belching fire continuously. The fires on the mountain were so bright that ancient sailors could sometimes see them from their ships. Today, the place is called Yanartaş, or “place of burning rock,” and it is open to tourists. 


Fun fact: the gas vents are NOT volcanic in origin. Scientists have analyzed the gasses coming out of them and concluded that it comes from a combination of geological processes and natural gas.

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