Do a Google search on what to call a “unicorn with wings” and you will most likely come across a variety of terms that are not only wrong but are pathetically unimaginative excuses for invention. Alicorn? Pegacorn? Unipeg?
The Misnaming of the Winged Unicorn
“Alicorn” at least has an interesting story that serves as a warning from just grabbing information off the internet. Fantasy author Piers Anthony popularized the term “alicorn” because he saw an advertisement for a statuette of a unicorn with wings that the artist titled “Alicorn” and figured that was what they must be called. He never checked but went ahead writing merrily as if just making it up makes it so.
(NOTE: When we make things up, we do it with much more care and attention to detail.)
Anthony and his books aside, the word apparently originated in reference to a unicorn’s horn when used for medicinal purposes. This means the Anthony term, while mistaken, is still in the realm of reasonableness for naming these amazing creatures.
The other two most common terms for a unicorn with wings are less interesting and should be discarded into the smelliest waste bin you can find. “Pegacorn” and “Unipeg” are mashups of the words “pegasus” and “unicorn.”
(NOTE: Pegasus with a capital P is the name of the horse with wings fathered by the god Poseidon in Greek mythology. As part of his father’s legacy, he could create a freshwater spring wherever he struck his hoof. There’s only one of him. But having been around for over 2000 years, there is plenty of his offspring.)
It’s one thing to combine the name of two breeds of dogs into abominations like Golden-doodle and Malti-poo. Dogs have lived with humans for over 10,000 years and are somewhat forgiving of our foibles.
But naming these noble creatures with the same sort of familiarity is offensive and disrespectful. It’s like throwing some eggs and cheese in a dish, blasting it with a flamethrower, and calling it soufflée.
So no. These won’t do.
A Unicorn With Wings is Called an Alaricorn
The unicorn with wings may have originated as a cross between a pegasus and a unicorn, but it is still considered a type of unicorn. Hence its Latin unicorn name is Alaricus, or flying unicorn. It is commonly called an Alaric Unicorn, shortened to Alaricorn.
Origin of the Alaricorn or Winged Unicorn
The Alaricorn is a cross between a pegasus and a unicorn. The big question is how and why this happens. While they are both denizens of virgin forest, unicorns prefer spending their days in the shade. while pegasus gambol in the clouds. You might well wonder how they meet, let alone mate.
They meet like many humans meet, namely by hanging out at a favorite watering hole. With unicorns, the expression “watering hole” is quite literal. But not just any watering hole. The springs and fountains where they gather were created by none other than Pegasus, the forefather of all Alaricorns.
Pegasus Doesn’t Mean “Flying Horse” in Greek.
The root of his name means “fountain” or “spring.” He was a spring-maker who looked like a horse and could fly. That’s why combining “pegasus” with “unicorn” to describe the hybrid is silly. Alaricorns cannot make springs appear in the earth. What they can do is fly using their wings. Their true name reflects this.)
Pegasus springs are only accessible to magical creatures with Greek origin. Think of it as the ultimate private club. If you could go there, you’d not only see Alaricorns, Unicorns, and Pegasi, but also Fauns and Cyclopes, Sphynxes and Gryphons.
(NOTE: You might occasionally see a Roman mythic creature at one of these watering holes if it shares a name or story with its Greek counterpart, but these interlopers are looked down on, get very bad tableside service, and often cause brawls to break out over what’s a real myth and what’s a knockoff.)
Alaricorns Powers and Abilities
Pegasus did endow his offspring with other qualities of his. He has an affinity for electrical energy. One of his jobs is to carry lighting bolts up to Zeus on Mount Olympus. Mount Olympus may no longer be active on this plane, but the talent to handle electromagnetic forces remains in the Pegasus line. In human form, pegasi and Alaricorns gravitate to warfare, electronics, and meteorology.
Pegasus was also very much war steed, famous in battle. That martial nature carried over to his offspring. Alaricorns are not fun-loving jokesters. The Alaricorn like nothing more than to swoop out of the sky, hooves and teeth flashing, to rescue a damsel or terrorize a troll.
(BEWARE: If you are in the trolling business for fun and profit on the internet, I’d advise a new pastime. Alaricorns in their human form are working on ways to demolish trolls on the internet. If they can’t find a way to do it electronically, internet troll farms may start mysteriously getting trampled to dust in the near future.)
Magical Properties Unique to the Alaricorn
I hesitate to talk about the most obvious Alaricorn-sourced magical item that humans can use because the most obvious one is the horn itself. Horns from any creature have a long history of being used in magical spells. Even if the horn in question comes from an ordinary mammal and has no magical properties whatsoever, humans will still hunt it to extinction in error.
What property is it that makes people willing to kill for it and pay any price to purchase it? Fertility. Specifically, male fertility and prowess.
People with very little imagination see a hard horn sticking up and make the ridiculous connection to the part of the human anatomy that is sometimes hard and sticking up.
Let me put this myth to rest along with the impossible Sasquatch.
(NOTE: Not to be confused with the yeti, which are absolutely real. They live in the nearly airless heights of the Himalayas and are known for their joyful, ethereal songs.)
Horns — powdered, shaved, or poached — do nothing for sexual prowess.
Not only that, but all the magical powers of the unicorn horn can also be found in other, less essential body parts. It doesn’t matter if the ingredient comes from a unicorn with wings or a unicorn with flippers (Yes, I’m talking about the narwhal. But that’s a story for another time.)
How To Use Alaricorn’s Magical Essence In Potion Making
A unicorn’s poop, its pee, its hair, and, in the case of the unicorn with wings, its feathers, all have magical properties useful in spell casting and potion mixing. Two have properties unique to the Alaricorn.
The poop of this unicorn with wings is primarily blue. The blue color comes from the reaction of the ultraviolet light absorbed while flying above the clouds combined with the electrical charge created when flying through them.
There is almost a neon crackle in some Alaricorn poop that indicates it is highly explosive and quite dangerous. To work with it, you should sprinkle it with popping corn. This will of course cause it to pop. The resulting kernels will be coated with pale blue crystals and can now be handled safely.
(WARNING: Do not eat them. This candy corn will do more than crack the occasional tooth. It will crack your skull and cause the oatmeal-like substance called a brain to leak out on the kitchen floor.)
The crystallized poop is a major magical catalyst, allowing a very quick merging of ingredients that, like water and oil, do not normally blend well.
For instance, dragon blood and pixie dust can be used in the same spell without causing a blazing conflagration that could destroy the magician’s laboratory.
Similarly, a kernel or two added to a boiling pot of swamp water and angel’s tears will produce a cure-all potion rather than an immediate entry ticket to the nether of hell.
The most unique ingredient to be had from a unicorn with wings is its feathers. One Alaricorn feather is all it takes to power a small witch’s broom, no additional spell required.
A cape of feathers confers not only the power of flight to the wearer but gives the added protection of look-away magic. It is as good as invisibility for mortal eyes, though magical creatures can certainly see you. The electrical affinity of the Alaricorns makes them and a cloak-wearer undetectable by radar and other electromagnetic devices.
(You never wondered why, with alaricorns all over the sky, no one ever sees them?)
How to Catch and Tame an Alaricorn
Start with being a skilled fighter, a championship rider, and a worthy hero. If you are not all three, then forget it. Even if you somehow got ahold of the magic bridle needed to control one, DO. NOT. TRY. IT. The bridle theoretically lets you ride the Alaricorn, but only the way that holding a joystick theoretically lets you fly a helicopter.
If you are determined to have a unicorn with wings of your own to ride, the steps are quite straightforward.
- 10 years of daily fighter training. This can be hand-to-hand or with weapons. The key is putting in the hours training your muscles and your physical reactions.
- Master Rider. This is best started young. In Mongolia, children ride on their own by age 4, compete in races by age 6, and by age 10 can make their own tack. Be like Mongolia.
- Be a hero. you must start out by being exiled young. (May I suggest spending your exile in Mongolia learning to ride?)
- Then you must be given an impossible quest by a worthy master. Old-time kings were guardians of their people and warriors in their own right so they were great quest-givers. Today, unfortunately, the kings that remain are either feeble figureheads or bloodthirsty despots.
If no worthy quests are to be had, all is not lost. The virtual world will work just fine for the electronically-charmed Alaricorn. You need to rise to the level of World Champion competition in virtual heroic gaming and then score a victory that eludes all others.
Once you have met all four criteria, you still need a magical bridle. The original one was made of gold and given to Bellerephon by Athene. Once Bellerophon put the bridle on Pegasus, the pair slew monsters right and left. Bellerophon was hailed all over Ancient Greece as a great hero, even though the horse did most of the work.
You can be forgiven if you never heard of Bellerophon today because he tried to fly Pegasus to Mt. Olympus uninvited and Zeus caused him to fall to his death. Gone and mostly forgotten.
Zeus, being the self-centered god he was, never bothered to take off the bridle though he’s used Pegasus to bring him his lightning bolts whenever he needed for the last 2000 years or so.
This is fortunate for you. The rules of sympathetic magical cohesion mean that if you can put a golden bridle of any kind on an Alaricorn — it will work the same as Athene’s did on Pegasus.
(Unless of course some mythic animal rights activists take it upon themselves to relieve Pegasus of the cruel bit and toss the bridle away. If that happens, all bets are off for you, hero or no.)
There you have it. You are now the proud master of a unicorn with wings. Ride with joy.
But did I mention that Alaricorns like to fly upside down sometimes? Ride with joy, but tie yourself to the saddle.
I hope we answered your question what is a Unicorn with wings called and that you learned something new.
Let us know what little factoid did you learn about the famous winged unicorns called Alaricorns?
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Feature Photo credit by: moroka323