D is for Dragon

Dragons, and Gryphons, and Unicorns, oh my!

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about magical creatures! Just because you have mythological creatures in your story world doesn’t mean that they have to be magical. Additionally, we’ll discuss the concept of magical companion animals in a couple days.

Animals do not have to be capable of doing magic spells for them to be magical. Magical animals may have an innate sense of magic, and be able to influence it in certain ways. This may lead to a market for animal parts that are seen as a source of magic—like a unicorn’s horn.

If animals can work magic deliberately, you’ll need to decide how much they interact with your characters, peoples, and cultures in that regard. It would certainly add an interesting equation to certain magical events—what if an animal sends in their own bit of magic and throws a spell off completely?

Worldbuilding Exercises:

  • Are there animals/creatures in your world that are capable of using magic, or exist solely because of magic? If so, what are they?
  • Do these creatures have any symbiotic relationships with the peoples in your world?
  • What is the most sought-after magical animal product in your world?

View 2019 A-Z Participant list here.


  1. One of my favourite ‘magic’ pet is the Cat in Neil Gaiman’s Coraline. It is debateable is he’s magical, because he doesnt’ really do anything particlular… well, aside from beign able to cross into different world and speak when he’s on the other wolrd 😉

  2. These are very interesting points. I don’t really have many (any?) magical creatures in any of my settings, because I’m not writing high fantasy, so I try to keep the number of special creatures at bay.

    1. I honestly haven’t toyed with magical creatures a whole lot either, but I have one story world where they seem to pop out a lot. Someday I’ll have time to write in that universe a little more, instead of just disjointed bits and pieces!

      1. And you’ll fall down the rabbit hole of world building for good ;).
        I think one or two magic creatures might add up a lot of flavor to a book. Personally, I’m just not a fan of high-fantasy-esque books where there’s myriad of them – they stop being interesting or exotic.

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