The word “fairy” can refer to many different types of mythical beings. Both the teeny winged fairies still popularly pictured and the wilder human-sized fae of YA and adult fantasy novels often reflect a patchwork of source material. Since it would take many posts to adequately cover all those sources, I’m going to focus on the aos sí of Ireland today. A fair amount of modern fairy lore hearkens back to these Good Neighbors, who, like most neighbors, were never really good or bad. They were simply their own people, with their own motivations and standards. Continue reading “Quarterly Bestiary: Aos Si: The Complicated Neighbors”
Many dangerous creatures haunt the mythical landscape of Scotland. Kelpies, horse-shaped water spirits, are among the better known, and they even have connections to one of Scotland’s most famous monsters. They are fairy horses, though if you’re thinking of innocent winged ponies, you’d best think again. Kelpies are fierce flesh-eaters. Yet like many fairy beings, kelpies are more than mere monsters up close. They are wild, it’s true, but they still have a complex intelligence hidden deep within their shifting appearance. So today, let’s take a breath and dare to swim with the kelpie.