Monster Month: Hadhayosh


So . . . The Hadhayosh is from ancient Persian mythology.  I thought it was really cool from the small bit I read.  Then, I realized there wasn’t as much out there as I had hoped.  Still, it looks interesting and I’m going to give it a shot.

The Hadhayosh is a land creature created by a god of the forge.  Supposedly, their bodies can grant eternal life and the divine right to rule.  These are giant ox made from brass and sporting manes of fire.  Each one is 52 feet tall and weigh 57 tons.  They have six horns with one pair curving to the sides and the other two to the front.  These horns are powerful enough to hurt even those who normally can’t be injured.  Hadhayosh can produce enough heat to hurt to burn anyone who touches it to ashes and gives off a foul stench.  Many freeze in place if it charges at them.

Behavior-wise, the Hadhayosh acts like a normal ox.  They wander around and eat peacefully until they are provoked.  Even with them being so huge, they don’t need a lot of food.  Just a little grass or leaves can keep them going for weeks.  The strangest habit is that they never visit the same place twice in the same year.  So, they will be in an area, leave, and then make sure to stay away until at least a year has passed.

One legend talks about how this is a primordial cow and it carried early humans across an ocean.  Combining the fat of the Hadhayosh with white haoma herbs of sacrifice are supposed to create a wave of immortality.  This may also resurrect all those who have only done good in their lives.  Note that this is all kind of vague and there aren’t a lot of details here.  It is assumed that the Hadhayosh is rare/extinct because it’s fat can be turned into an immortality elixir.

It is called the Sarsaok in Avesta and it’s commonly compared to the Behemoth from Biblical mythology.  The latter is land creature with bones that are tubes of bronze and limbs like iron.  Both tend to be described as oxen-like too.  Only other piece of info I could find is that the Hadhayosh raided Iran in the 14th century.

The information was really scattered and difficult to sift through.  A big reason is that the Hadhayosh is a popular creature to add into fantasy games.  Kept running into Final Fantasy and Pathfinder sites that talked about stats.  Even found a few versions that people made for their favorite systems.  So, there’s a lot of iffy data out there.  Just goes to show that not all mythological beasts are flushed out too.

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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18 Responses to Monster Month: Hadhayosh

  1. This would be one to avoid for sure. I think I would freeze if it ran at me.


  2. L. Marie says:

    Wow, never heard of this one! I guess I’m more familiar with bovines out of Greek and Roman mythology.


  3. I’m enjoying these deep dives into some monsters we never hear of.


  4. Oxen and cattle were really important to ancient farmers, so it’s not surprising they would be incorporated into the mythology. The metal and fire part is interesting!


  5. V.M.Sang says:

    I wonder if it was based on the aurochs? They were huge, although, of course, nowhere near the size of this creature, with large horns, although only the normal 2. If someone were chased by an aurochs, in the manner of many fishermen, they exaggerated it’s size and added the extra horns.


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