We've Moved!

The authors of FaE have relocated to the Beyond the Veil castle keep. BtV is now your one-stop blog for Samhain Publishing's paranormal and fantasy romance authors!

Come on over! Just be careful when you cross the moat. The mermaids are still getting settled in with the Cracken. The drawbridge might be a little slippery.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Creature Feature: The Grugach

The name “Grugach” comes from an old Irish word which can mean hairy or long-haired, but it is also applied to goblins, enchanters, wizards and fairies. However, it is most often described as a helpful spirit similar in some ways to the brownie, both in the Highlands of Scotland and in Ulster, where it is known as the Grogan. Described as short, hairy, with broad shoulders and great strength, it is famed as a hard worker.

The Ulster Grogan generally appear as naked, hairy little men about 4 feet tall. In the Highlands, the Grugach may be well dressed and watch over cattle. Some Highland stories describe the Grugach as a fairy woman dressed in green with long golden air, who may appear as either beautiful or as worn and haggard. She would sometimes enter houses dripping wet and ask to dry herself by the fire. Male Highland Grugachs could be handsome youths, but for the most part they were described as naked and shaggy.

Elsewhere in Scottish tradition, the Grugach is a more fearsome and frightening creature, playing tricks on mortals and displaying magical powers. One Celtic legend tells of a piratical Grugach who talks a poor fisherman into giving up his son for a year and a day, promising to educate the lad and return him a wise man. The fisherman agrees, and a year later the boy is returned home. But the fisherman is tricked into letting the Grugach have the boy for another year and a day. Worse, this time he forgets to make the Grugach promise to actually return his son home. (Sound like a certain pirate we all know and love? Hmm?)

- Elemental Encyclopedia of Magical Creatures, by John and Caitlin Matthews
- SacredTexts.com

No comments: