I had never heard of these creatures before, but thanks to another gorgeous drawing by artist Darrel Bevan (artwork right), I was intrigued. Let’s see what we can find out about them.
Lampades are first mentioned in Greek mythology and are part of the Kthonian (or Cthonian) underworld. They’re classified as nymphs.
We use the word nymphs often enough in fantasy and fiction, but what exactly is a nymph? According to the dictionary they are lesser deities in mythological tales who attend a greater god. They’re seen as beautiful young women who can live just about anywhere in nature.
Lampades live in the Underworld and attend to the whims of Hecate, the goddess of “magic, witchcraft, the night, moon, ghosts and necromancy.” Legend says Zeus gave Hecate the Lampades as a reward for her siding with him against the Titanomachy (the great rebellion of Zeus and his siblings against their much hated ruler, Cronos; Zeus’ family won.)
Greek mythology only names one Lampade and that is Gorgyra (Orphne), who was an attendant of Hecate and who became the mother of Ascalaphus.
Things That Go Bump
Legend says that Lampades carry torches during their nightly travels and the light from these fires have the power to drive one mad. They seem to be ghostly, now you see them – now you don’t, sort of creatures. According to author Karen Chance, “Lampades don’t shape-shift, but they are skilled at illusion. They can look like anybody they choose – or anybody you want.”
Have you ever seen anything like a Lampade? (Artwork right by fallennoangel on Deviant.)