The Questing Beast first appeared in the legendary tales of King Arthur, this dragon like creature is said to have the head and neck of a serpent, the upper body and forepaws of a leopard, the hindquarters of a lion and the hooves of a deer. The beast also reportedly emits a sound from its stomach that is said to sound like “thirty couple hounds questing.” According to ancient English accounts of the Questing Beast it is constantly seeking sources of fresh water in order to quench its unbearable thirst, however as soon as the Questing Beast partakes in a drink that source of water is forever soured by the animals poison maw.
Legend tells us that while King Arthur was on an extending hunting trip he paused to rest beside an isolated woodland spring, soon after falling asleep he was awoken when the monstrous beast
burst from the wilds on the edge of the pool. Another account states that the beast actually came to Arthur in a dream and that when he awoke from his slumber he discovered that the water of the woodland spring had become black and venomous, complete with an overwhelming stench of sulpher, which lingered long after the beast had moved on.
The wizard Merlin, from the tales of King Arthur reveals that the Questing Beast had been borne of a human mother, a princess to be exact. This princess lusted after her own brother, the princess slept with the devil who promised that in return he would make her brother love her. The devil, never one to be trusted, then manipulated the young princess into accusing her brother of rape, upon learning of this accusation their father had the boy torn apart by his hunting dogs as his sister was forced to watch the gruesome scene.
Before he died the young prince fore told that his sister would give birth to an abomination that would emanate the very same sounds that the pack of dogs that killed him made. The Questing Beast is often considered to be a metaphor for anarchy and incest for this very reason. This corresponds with the legend of King Arthur in which Arthur has an “accidental” affair with his half sister Morgause, at the time Arthur did not know that the two where related. This union led to the birth of their son Mordred who would later be the down fall of Arthur’s Kingdom, Camelot.
Looking deeper than the obvious mythological elements of the Questing Beast’s legend, one may find some interesting points based more so in the realm of cryptozoology. One could also make a strong argument that the Questing Beast is yet another in the British Isles long tradition of carnivorous, aquatic cryptids, such as Kelpie or the Dobhar-Chu.
No physical evidence of the questing beast exists.
No modern day sightings of The Questing Beast have been recorded or documented, we only know this creature through the King Arthur Legend.
The Stats – (Where applicable)
• Classification: Unknown
• Size: Unknown
• Weight: Unknown
• Diet: Unknown
• Location: England
• Movement: Walking
• Environment: Forested Areas of England