December 6th, 2008

supernatural creatures with wings

I'm writing a story that involves an "angel," but I'm don't want to attach this to any particular theology; so, I'm researching any winged non-human creatures and their mythology. I am having a hard time researching this on Google because googling angels and such tend to yield less than helpful results.

My question is if anyone is familiar with non-Christian mythology/religion about creatures we might consider angels (such a genies, for example)? My criteria is not that they're good or bad but that they're supernatural and have wings. Bonus points if they have to do with fire and/or air.

Thanks!

Missing persons... in the 1800s. Sort of. And other stuff.

I have a character who goes missing. She lives in a Victorian-era-based country, is sixteen or so at the time of the story. The setting is... well, I'm trying for something like Wuthering Heights, if that helps.

She goes riding with her brothers and gets separated from them. I'm trying to decide exactly what the response would be... I assume the men of the household would search for her until the light was gone on that day; possibly neighbors would be involved?

How long would they continue to search for her? A few days? A few weeks?

How would the return - or non-return - of the horse she's riding at the time affect their response? Would the assumption be that she was dead? (I'm trying to decide whether the horse is going to stay with her or not.)

There are no large carnivorous animals [say, bears or wolves] in this area. She's a fairly obedient daughter and isn't the type to be eloping or anything; and as far as anyone knows, has just gotten lost.

Later, there is a suspicion that she's been kidnapped and is being held by a group of people in the same forest where she'd gotten lost. Family members and neighbors ride out, attack them, and take her back home. The other people all escape.

When she comes back, what questions will be asked of her? Can she get away with pretending to fall into hysterics when they ask too much, or saying she doesn't remember?

When a doctor is called, what will the examination consist of, and is she likely to be drugged for a while to recuperate?

Given the era that I'm basing this on... will they be concerned about her virtue? If so, what exactly would that be phrased as, and who would be asking her about it? The doctor? Her parents? Or would it be too taboo to mention?

Please, give me too many details. It will only help me flesh this out!
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