Two Fairies by Brian Froud

Sylphs, also known as Windsingers, are elemental air spirits claiming both Greek and Egyptian ancestry. As a whole, this miniature race is very beautiful. They are long-lived, reaching hundreds of years in age, yet they never seem to become old. Like other elementals, they possess the ability to shapeshift and may assume human form. Typically residing on mountaintops, they possess a hierarchy system, with their leader Paralda occupying the highest mountain of Earth.

Kind of nature, they are most helpful with wishes involving air, though they will assist with any positive desire. In addition, they are associated with mental development and one of their functions is to inspire human creativity.


Trows by Brian Froud

Originating in Shetland and the Orkney Islands, and possibly the Upper Hebrides they are most likely derived from legends of trolls in Scandinavia. The trows (rhyming with row) possess many traits similar to those of their northern brethren. They fear sunlight, though they are only frozen in place until dawn rather than turned to stone as are trolls. Once the sun has set, they are free to return to their underground homes.

Among their other names are creepers and nightstealers, as trows have been known to kidnap human babies from cribs, leaving a changeling in the place of the child. Fiddlers have also been nabbed to play for the trowish revels. Some fiddle tunes are even accredited to Shetland's trows. (The name sea-trow, I should note, typically denotes a selkie, rather than the trows we discuss here.)

The legends of trows typically describe them as squat, round, and misshapen faeries lacking legs. Movement is achieved by bouncing about on their bottoms like rubber balls. They are not necessarily wicked in nature, but they are mischievous and delight in hiding things from people under the cover of darkness.

The Trows Steal a Child


Phooka by Brian Froud

An Irish Goblin, the Phooka probably had his roots in Scandinavia before being brought to Wales and Ireland. His Nordic name is Kornbock (which prefers a goat body) and Welsh call him Bookha or Bwca (which typically has a pig or horse body).

In Ireland the Phooka typically chooses a horse body, however he is a shape shifter and sometimes becomes a goat, a bull, a dog, or an eagle (among other beasts). His head is that of a human male. They are pranksters, like most goblins, and appear to weary travelers as docile ponies. Once their victim has climbed upon aboard, the phooka takes the hapless rider on a wild ride across the wettest and most loamy country before depositing him in ditch or tossing him headlong into the mire. His eagle form has also lended itself to a similar trick.

Phookas are pack animals and frequent fights occur among the vicious creatures. The Irish believe that should the sun shine though it be raining, the Phooka will be abroad that night. In Ireland, the Phooka never enters human houses, however in Wales the Booka sneak have taken their cue from Santa Claus and sneak in through the chimney. This poses particular dangers because the species adores human babies and are always looking for one to steal.

Aside from babysnatching, they wreck havoc by destroying crops, specifically claiming any crop not harvested by Samhain. A farmer who dares to cut any crops after that date is likely to receive retribution in the form of a dead herd animals (the Irish say mysteriously dead cows have been pooked, at term which likely grew from Phooka). In particular, the Phooka loves potatoes and swipes them from untended fields at night. Between Midsummer and Samhain humans are safe from the Phooka's tricks, as they are believed to go into hibernation for a time.

The Spirit Horse


Fachan by Brian Froud

The Fachan, or Peg-Leg-Jack as he is sometimes known because of his single leg, originated in Scotland. Matching his single leg, all of his features are singular. He possesses one head, one eye, one arm, one leg, one toe, one finger and so forth, which are all perfectly centered on a body covered in hair and feathers. Its coloring was pitch black, aside from a dark blue mane of feathers which ruffled as a prelude to an attack. So fearsome was its appearance, that the mere sight of the Fachan was credited with causing heart-attacks.

The armament of the Fachan (sometimes spelled Fachen or Fachin) was a single spiked club. He uses this club to chase away all livings things. Indeed, he is a particularly spiteful faery and is most jealous of the gift of flight he was denied despite his feathery crown. He can be found on the highest Scottish mountains, though why you would want to bother, I would rather not know.

 Unimplemented ISML Tag: TYPE= 

Home Links & Rings Art Credits Air Fae Water Fae Forest Fae Rock Fae Fire Fae