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The Folklore We'd Love to See in Fortnite Season 5

Gather 'round, all ye friends and neighbors and kinsmen, there's a creature who lives in the swamp.

Fortnite Season 5 starts in just a couple of days -- this Thursday, July 12 -- and all evidence thus far suggests a historical theme heavily inspired by various cultural traditions and folklore. The above teaser image, for instance, features an impressive axe with a demonstrably Nordic theme. Yesterday's teaser showed a mask very similar to those seen in Japanese theater and festival traditions. There's even an ol'-timey wagon and a pile of dinosaur bones on the Battle Royale island, so it's clear that whatever Epic is leading up to will encompass a broad swath of eras and peoples.

Writing yesterday's post about the kistune mask got us thinking: What other folklore would make for some great Fortnite gear? Join us as we travel to a world of pure imagination, and an empty v-buck balance.

Baba Yaga

Baba Yaga, from Vasilisa the Beautiful 5 -- Ivan Bilibin 1902 (Wikipedia, {{PD-US}}) Baba Yaga, from Vasilisa the Beautiful 5 -- Ivan Bilibin 1902 (Wikipedia, {{PD-US}})

Baba Yaga is an occasionally malevolent, traditionally very ugly sort of bog witch from Slavic myth. She travels around in a huge mortar and carries a matching pestle in her right hand, and in her left holds a silver broom that she uses to sweep away her tracks. She lives in a living cottage that stands on two chicken legs, and depending on the tale, there may be more than one of her. In various stories, Baba Yaga represents the power of wisdom; of the elements; of death; of karmic fate; or all of the above, and the heroes and heroines of these stories often found themselves seeking Baba Yaga's help, despite the risk. She is as capable of rendering vital aid as she is of devouring the living, and many a wandering traveller have ended up in her oven.

We think a Baba Yaga costume would be a creative and timeless alternative to western witch sensibilities, and can easily invision dropping onto the island with a mortar-and-pestlethemed glider, or some chicken-house back bling.

Sun Wukong

Sun Wukong (far left), depicted in a painting found in the Summer Palace in Beijing, China. Photograph by Rolf Müller,  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license Sun Wukong (far left), depicted in a painting found in the Summer Palace in Beijing, China. Photograph by Rolf Müller, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, is a primary character in Journey to the West, a Chinese epic originally published in 1592. Sun Wukong is a monkey demon birthed by the womb of a magical rock atop Mount Huaguo. (Did your parents give you the monkey demon-and-rock talk as a youth?) After establishing himself as king of all monkeys on the mountain, Sun Wukong embarked on a journey to acquire powerful and magical artifacts from the dragons of the four seas. His quest was successful, and he returned to his monkey kingdom with a staff that could change into any shape or size, as well as cloud-walking boots and other legendary treasures. His power grew until he lead a revolt against Heaven, acting on the indignation he felt when he was made stable keeper of the Jade Emperor's cloud horses, rather than being given a celestial role appropriate for someone of his power. Eventually, the Buddha sealed Sun Wukong beneath a mountain for 500 years.

If some of Sun Wukong's story sounds a bit familiar, it's because Journey to the West influenced innumerable works of fiction throughout history. In fact, everyone's favorite Saiyan, Son Goku, owes his inspiration to Sun Wukong, hence Goku's monkey tail, magical staff, and mystical flying cloud. We think Sun Wukong lends himself extremely well to costume work and item creation in Fortnite, and would be absolutely chuffed to see back bling based on his Ruyi Jingu Bang staff, a glider based on his cloudwalking abilities, or a costume featuring the magic circlet used to control him after his release from the mountain.

The Fouke Monster

Artist's rendition. Artist's rendition.

Put a sasquatch in Fortnite you cowards.