The Kelpie of Corrievreckan ~ Warwick Goble
S’up everyone? Wanna know something I really enjoyed about writing this comic? The research. Mostly because it has something to do with a subject that I love.
Mermaids and history!
The stuff I’ve found out about has been pretty amazing too. The different stories, myths and legends, even finding the creation myths tying to the Merfolk are all interesting. Discovering the different kinds of mermaid and mermen from around the world make it all the better. Like the Irish legend of the Selkies.
I think a lot of people know what I’m talking about when I mention Selkies, but for those of you not in the know, Selkies are a mythological creature from Irish, Scottish and even Icelandic folklore. They can appear as regular seals, then appear as attractive young men and women when they shed their seal skin to look like normal people. Yes, shed, like a lizard, but these are more like a magic coat. They can also have the bottom half of a seal and the upper body of a person, making them look more like mermaids and mermen.
Selkies like to have humans as their lovers, but they can’t spend a great deal of time with them either. They can only be with a human once every seven years unless the human takes their seal skin and hide it or burn it. In some cases burning it means killing the Selkie, but that depends on the legend. Some of the more popular myths about Selkies involve Selkie maidens running away from their human husbands when they find their seal skin, usually in their children’s toy box or something.
Not a smart hiding place it would seem.
Sometimes they’d even take their children with them back into the ocean where they’d become Selkies too. Other legends have the Selkies take their human lovers to an island during midsummer where they remain, never returning to the mainland again.
Selkies will feature prominently in our story, especially during key plot points but that’s for another time. Later on expect us to post a synopsis about the story and more about other species of merfolk, like the inspiration behind Ursula of the Little Mermaid and how her species features in folklore.
Origin: Scottish folklore
Type: house hold spirits
Habitat: House or farm
Brownies resemble small humans, with wrinkled faces and short, brown curly hair. Usually dressed in brown clothing, they sometimes wear a hat or hood. Most are attached to a household or farm, where they may reside for centuries. They are helpful spirits, and are very protective of their homes, becoming angry when humans argue or treat their animals unfairly.
The Each Uisge, is a name for the Highland supernatural water horse, supposedly the most dangerous of the Scottish water dwelling creatures. The monster inhabited the sea, sea lochs and fresh water lochs and is sometimes mistaken in writing as the Kelpie, which is supposed to inhabit rivers and streams.
The Each Uisge had the ability to shape shift, and could disguise itself as a fine horse or pony. To lure people into the water it would stand by the waters edge in one of these forms, and wait for somebody to approach. If a man was to mount the horse, it would immediately set off into the deepest part of the loch, the rider being unable to free himself because of the adhesive qualities of the creature’s skin. Once in its element, the unfortunate victim would drown, and be devoured completely apart from the liver, which would float ashore, a sure sign that the water horse had claimed another victim.
Another disguise the Each Uisge could take was that of a handsome man, and because of the danger of these creatures, people were wary of lone animals and strangers standing by the waters edge, in places reputed to be haunted by the Each Uisge.
As well as human victims the Each Uisge also ate cattle and sheep, and could be lured from the water and killed with the smell of roasted meat. One such tale is recorded in ‘More West Highland Tales’ by McKay: A blacksmith from Raasay lost his daughter to the Each Uisge. In revenge the blacksmith and his son made a set of large hooks, in a forge they set up by the loch side. They then roasted a sheep and heated the hooks until they were red hot. At last a great mist appeared from the water and the Each Uisge rose from the depths and seized the sheep. The blacksmith and his son rammed the red-hot hooks into its flesh and after a short struggle dispatched it. In the morning there was nothing left of the creature apart from a jelly like substance.
It has been theorized that the folklore of the water horse stems in part from real encounters with water dwelling creatures in the deep lochs. These are paralleled today with sightings in places such as Loch Ness and Loch Morar.
The Bean Nighe, the Washer at the Fords, is the Scottish version of the Irish Bean Sidhe (Banshee). She wanders near deserted streams where she washes the blood from the grave-clothes of those who are about to die. It is said that Bean Nighe are the spirits of women who died giving birth and are doomed to do this work until the day their lives would have normally ended.
A Bean Nighe is thought to have one nostril, one big protruding tooth, webbed feet and long hanging breasts. A mortal who is bold enough to sneak up to her while she is washing and suck her breast can claim to be her foster-child. The mortal can then gain a wish from her.
The Washer of the Fords is sometimes known under the generic name of ban nighechain (little washerwoman) or nigheag na h-ath (little washer at the ford).
A Barrow Hound at rest.
Goddess of: the Dead and Battle
Name means: “Shadow”, “Shade”, “She who strikes fear”, “The Fierce Woman”
AKA: Scota, Scatha
Ruler of: Isle of Shadows
Representations: Swords, Cauldrons
Scathach lived on the Isle of Shadows/ Isle of Skye, where she trained young warriors not only in battle, but it was said she took them as bedfellows. She was known for being invincible in battle and by her great leaps and battle cries. Similar to the Lady of the Lake stories, it was said that she gave her best pupil a magical sword.
“Scathach did not train women because of a Celtic belief which stated that only women could teach men effective battle skills, and only men could teach them to women”
It was her job to look over the battlefield after a war for the souls of the dead to lead them on the Death Journey. Although she had a preference for warriors, she would also make sure to collect any wandering soul that had gotten lost on the path. As such, it was said that she is helpful when mourning for the death of a loved one, as she leads the dead through the dangers found on the path to the Land of Eternal Youth.
If she collected any wrong-doer on her journey, she would leave them on an island where they would pay for their crimes and learn their lessons.
Many people have tried to go on vision quests to see her, but it is said that most get lost, as she does not guide the living.
She was not only a warrior goddess, but was also an accomplished blacksmith, healer, and prophetess. She would use “The Light of Foresight” to see into the future.
“The Horned One” is a Celtic god of fertility, life, animals, wealth, and the underworld.