Many of the stories you still see today are inspired directly and indirectly from various myths. For the 2015 A-Z Challenge, I'm going to share mythology from all over the world - myths that are familiar and obscure.
Yachihoko is from Japanese myth, and he's known as "the spirit of 8,000 spears." He is an interesting god, as he was always the victim of assassination attempts.
He had 80 brothers and sisters, and when all the brothers fell in love with Princess Yakami, the bickering came to blows.
When the princess picked Yachihoko as her husband, the brothers conspired against him. They tricked him into chasing after a red boar, which was actually a giant boulder that was super hot. Of course, Yachihoko caught it and died from burns.
His goddess mother petitioned the other gods to bring him back to life. So his brothers decided to kill him again. This time, they somehow got him to walk into a huge wooden log that was only held open by a wedge. When Yachihoko stepped inside, they removed the wedge, and the log slammed shut, killing him.
Mom saved his arse again, but this time she had him low in the Underworld. There, he fell in love with the storm god's daughter, Suseri-hime. Her father would have none of it, so he sent Yachihoko to sleep in a chamber full of poisonous snakes. He survived. Next, he made Yachihoko sleep in a room full of venomous insects. Once again, he survived.
The storm god fired an arrow and ordered Yachihoko to run across the field and retrieve it. When the poor sap started running, the storm god set fire to the field. Luckily, a mouse showed Yachihoko where to go, and he escaped with his life.
By this time, the storm god actually started to like Yachihoko and allowed them to marry. With his new wife's powerful and enchanted bow and arrow, they fought off his jealous brothers when he returned to the surface.
After his victory, Yachihoko deserved to become the ruler of Izumo Province.