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Little People of the British Isles (The)

56 57 red with fresh human blood. Has leathery skin, long grey hair, buck teeth, skinny arms and long clawlike talons. Wears heavy boot, carries a pikestaff and guards castle ruins and cairns, attacking intruders with a wooden scythe. Will disappear if you hold up a cross, leaving behind only a talon or tooth. REDSHANKS Somerset. Pipesmoking faeries, who are said to be the spirits of the Danes who were killed near Dolbury Camp, in Somerset. ROANE Ireland, Scotland. Race of faery seal people, from the Islands of Scotland and Ireland. Similar to the Selkies, but much more gentle and peaceful. ROBIN GOODFELLOw England. Male head, body of a goat, also known as Puck, Pan or Jack Robinson as in before you can say. Son of a faery father and a mortal mother. ROBIN HOOD England. Lives in the forest, dresses in green, steals from the rich, helps the poor. Sometimes thought to be based on a real person, usually assumed to be a nature spirit, synonymous with Robin Goodfellow and Puck. SALEERANDES Wales. Scaley Welsh faeries, look like twolegged lizards. Frightening to look at, but never harmful. Coldblooded, naked and always cold, they seek out the warmth from a humanmade fire. Probably related to the salamander, the elemental representing fire. SEA MITHER Orkney. Sea mother, or sea spirit, representing summer and life. Her enemy is Teran, the spirit of winter. Their battle begins each spring equinox, until he is defeated, so that she can bring warmth, life and growth to the sea and land around the Isles of Orkney. Teran comes back at autumn equinox to fight again, until she is defeated and banished, and has to listen to the cries of drowning fishermen, as she unleashes the cold, dangerous, stormy weather. SEA TROwS Trows who have been banished by the land Trows to live at the bottom of the sea. Look like deformed monkeys, with strangely sloping heads, flat round feet, webbed fingers and toes and hair like seaweed. They are stupid and mischievous and like to steal and play tricks on fishermen. Rarely come out of the water, as they can only move very slowly on dry land. SEcRET FOLK England. Euphemism for faeries. Also Secret People. SEELIE cOURT Scotland. Blessed troop of faeries who are heard but never seen. They are totally good, heroic and beautiful, riding the wind, searching for good deeds to be done, and acting as judges in disputes between faeries. Opposite to the bad faeries of the Unseelie Court. SELKIES Scotland, Orkney. Sea faeries, similar to merpeople but appear as seals. They can shed their sealskins and come ashore to dance as beautiful women or handsome men. Some come to live in the mortal world, but usually they lure humans to marry them in their world, though never against their will. Also known as Silkies, Selchi. SHELLEY cOATS Scotland. Small mischievous waterbogles or faeries, which haunt shallow, freshwater streams, pools and woodland lakes. They have fishylooking round bodies, covered in red or purple shelllike scales, and large mouths and eyes. They can fly and see well at night. Like to trick or confuse travellers who stop to drink and scare swimmers away. SHEOGUES Ireland. Also known as Sheoques, Shoges, Sigh Oges or . Live in raths ancient forts, surrounded by circular mounds or thorn bushes. Make beautiful enchanted music, which inspires musicians and poets or lures humans into bogs. Usually friendly, but have been known to kidnap children and leave behind a changeling who will only live for a year. SHOcKS England. Evil shapeshifting faeries or may be ghosts. They appear as a dog or cow with a shaggy mane and eyes like saucers, or a human with a donkeys head and a nasty bite. SHONEY Isle of Lewis. A type of kelpie, usually male, always ugly stupid and illtempered, with sharp teeth and pointy ears. The islanders would brew ale, then offer a cup to the Shoney, in return for abundant fishing and seaweed to fertilise the soil. Also Shony, Spony. SIDHE Irish and Scottish Gaelic name for faeries. Usually dressed in white with long hair and care for animals. When offended by a human they can cause illness or worse. They steal pretty girls to be their bridesmaids and kidnap babies, replacing them with changelings. They appreciate offerings of milk, food, tobacco and whiskey. Originally the name sidhe referred to gods, then became used for witches, spirits and anything supernatural. Another name for burial mound or barrow, where they are said to live. Also Shee, Si, Sith. SILKIES North of England. Small usually female house faeries or brownies. Dress in white or grey silk and enjoy housework, but if offended or feeling mischievous, may behave like a poltergeist or terrorise lazy servants. SLEIGH BEGGY Isle of Man. Believed to be the original inhabitants of the island. Small and naked with feet like a crow. Live underground, on riverbanks or underwater. Steal racehorses. Can prevent them entering your house with silver, ashes, salt and yellow flowers except broom. Also Sleih Beggey, Yn Sleigh Veggy, Mooinjer Veggey. SLUAG Scotland Sluagh Ireland. Pronounced slooa. Evil faeries, the host or the souls of the damned, fly from the west in black clouds, forced to haunt the scenes of their sins forever. To keep them away from a sick room, any westfacing windows must be kept shut. Related to the Unseelie Court. It is possible they were originally the sky elementals. Sometimes spirits of stormy weather. SPRIGGANS Cornwall. Small, wizened, nocturnal faeries dressed in green with red caps. Said to be ghosts of humans or giants. Can inflate themselves until as big as giants and cause whirlwinds that blight crops. They steal from humans, kidnap babies and replace them with hideous spriggan changelings. They fiercely defend their treasure with arrows, spears and slings but are afraid of salt water. SPRITES from the Latin spiritus. Any spirit, soul or ghost. Also used as generic term for faeries, especially those who are invisible, or seem less earthy and more elusive. Sprites paint the changing colours of autumn leaves. SPUNKIES Scotland, England. Another name for Will O The Wisps, sometimes believed to be the souls of unchristened children, often seen coming to church to meet the recently dead on Midsummer Eve. Similar to the Scottish Tarans. TARANS Scotland. Like English Spunkies, they are unchristened children who cannot go to heaven so wander the earth forever. To meet one is potentially fatal but if you sprinkle them with holy water and speak the baptism rite, you may save its soul. TIGHE FAERIES Isle of Man. Relatives of the Scottish house brownie, they do household chores at night, taking good care of fireplaces and animals but will not live with cats. They dislike loud noises and expensive rewards, only accepting food and drink in return for their work. TOM THUMB A childless couple visited Merlin, who predicted the woman would bear a child who would grow no larger than a thumb. The boy grew into a man within four minutes. The Queen of the faeries was his mothers midwife and his faery godmother, and she gave him magic powers. He was eaten by a salmon, then served up at King Arthurs court, where he stayed. TOOTH FAERIE Leaves a silver coin, found the next morning, in exchange for a childs milk tooth when left under the pillow at night. TOM TIT TOT England. An alternative name for Hobgoblin. Name of a goblin in an English version of Rumpelstiltskin. TROwS Drows Shetland. Like the Scandinavian Troll. Also known as Nightcreepers or Nightstealers. There are Land Trows or Sea Trows see earlier reference. TUATHA D DANANN Ireland. Early inhabitants of Ireland, originally from Greece. Brought magical powers and artefacts with them. Defeated by the Milesians and banished to the faery burghs mounds or under lakes. They shrank in size and became invisible to humans. Enjoy chess and hurling. Credited with constructing stone circles. TwLwYTH TEG Wales. Fairhaired faeries dressed in white, who live under the ground or water in an enchanted garden, from which nothing can be taken without disappearing. Their rulers King Gwydion and Queen Gwenhidw live in the stars, coming out at night, sometimes leaving presents in welcoming houses with warm fires. Said to exchange money for faery coins, which disappear when you try to spend them. UILEBHEIST Shetland, Orkney. Guardians of the sea around the islands, they appear as many headed sea monsters or sea dragons. Also known as Draygans. UNSEELIE cOURT Scotland. Unblessed or uncanny evil faeries, said to be the souls of the damned, sometimes flying, kidnapping and enslaving mortals and making them throw elf bolts at others. They dwell in the underworld beneath Scottish mountains. All malevolent faeries belong to the Unseelie Court. URISKS Scotland. A wrinkly, scrawny, halfhuman, halfgoat, with duck feathers and patches of hair and is so deformed and ugly it can frighten you to death. They like humans and seek their company, rewarding them with assistance of any kind. They are highly intelligent and intuitive, even psychic and haunt desolate pools. wAG BY THE wAY Scotland. Faery guarding the roads for Scottish nobles. wAGATTHEwA Scotland. Sometimes guards the byways of the Lowlands. Ugly, little old man, with crooked legs and long tail, wearing a red coat, blue trousers, grey cloak. He has a nightcap tied round his face, as he suffers from toothache. Disapproves of strong alcoholic drinks.
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