Is there anything more exciting than the thrill of hunting new and emerging demigods? Especially when you’re able to catch them by surprise?
9 out of 10 experts from the underworld agree that the most effective way to neutralize a demigod is to disguise your true form and lull them into a false sense of security. Unfortunately, this ancient strategy requires a great deal of patience, planning, and a high tolerance for boredom.
But the most challenging venture for any monster? Putting on a convincing performance as a true homo sapiens. Some are able to blend in perfectly. Others stick out like a sore manticore.
Whether you grew up in an isolated cave, the bottom of a river, or the deepest depths of Tartarus itself, have no fear. We’re here to shed some knowledge light on what the puny humans and their little demigod friends don’t want you to know about life on the other side of the Mist.
Go for the Tried-and-True Career Opportunities
Most mortals spend the majority of their lives laboring at strange, trivial endeavors commonly referred to as “jobs.” While all monsters understand that jobs are a significant waste of time and energy, human employment can often provide a convenient cover for proper infiltration. Safe career choices for monsters can often be found in the fields of entertainment, medicine (particularly dentistry), and most popular of all, academia.
Look to Alecto, for example. This fury had to study an arcane system of mortal augury known as pre-algebra and earn a teacher’s certificate all so she could slay a single son of Poseidon. In fact, lower educational institutions are a popular choice for many monsters seeking to develop a new identity in the world of mortals. Not only are these schools usually populated with demigods, but also the young students are too distracted by homework, technology, and their petty social dramas to notice when their instructor has a loose wing or stray tail peeking out from under their disguise.
Immerse Yourself in Human Culture
It takes more than a convincing physical human form (i.e. no visible scales, fur, or prehensile appendages) to properly conceal your true nature. You also need to talk the talk. Small talk, in particular.
Remember, human small talk is very different from monster small talk. Rather than share useful information, such as the most effective way to secure a large rock to a big stick, or the best way to cook hippalektryon eggs, people tend to discuss meaningless frivolities such as music, art, and sports. Your first exposure to their expression and entertainment will undoubtedly be a painful experience, but we guarantee that the more of their culture you consume, the more likely you’ll be able to survive the ruthless, unforgiving gauntlet known as “watercooler chat.”
While scary at first, the further you explore any form of human art or sport, the more likely you will discover commonalities between the worlds of mortals and monsters.
Push the right buttons, and you may be surprised and delighted by the fiery passion and hostility human beings demonstrate when discussing the things they love. Just be sure to stay away from any human city after their local sports team loses an annual tournament . . . or wins one. Not even Gaea can save you from that much raw chaos.
Keep an Eye on Your Surroundings
There are plenty of reasons why a monster would decide to embed themself in the mortal world. The most common, of course, is to track down nascent demigods. Unfortunately, however, this singular drive can lead to tunnel vision. Don’t get so focused on luring the demigod target that you fail to notice a sleeper agent from Camp Half-Blood hiding in your midst.
Or you might lose an opportunity because a satyr-in-disguise has already buddied up with the demigod in question. We know it’s not fair. In addition to having to pretend to be human, you also have to be able to recognize when another supernatural being is also pretending to be human. It’s enough to drive any monster to madness.
Or at least that’s the most common excuse monsters give when they return to their masters with their tails between their legs and explain how a 13-year-old with no combat experience somehow escaped their clutches. At this point, we’re beginning to worry that there’s something else going on that would explain all these embarrassing failures . . .
Above All, Don’t Get Attached
A true danger for monsters who have infiltrated the human world? If you disguise yourself as a mortal for long enough, you may discover true horrors that are impossible to predict or prepare for.
This is why we strongly, strongly encourage any monsters out there to avoid spending extended periods in the wild. And, most important, refrain from developing meaningful relationships with human beings.
We can’t stress this enough. If you find yourself discovering the joys of teaching and contributing to the well-being of the human community, repress those feelings immediately. You must ignore that twinkle of happiness in the eye of the child who just discovered a love of science or history. Or the swell of pride you feel when your student goes from a C to an A average within the course of a single marking period. Push those dreadful feelings down!
Remember: your job is to crush and smash, not nurture and engage.
We’ve already lost too many good soldiers of the Titan Army that way.
Do you have any tips on how to best blend in with human society without causing too much of a scene? Be sure to let us know!