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If you’ve been reading my previous folklore posts this month, you might’ve picked up on the not-so-subtle tour I’m taking you on. If not, read every word 😉

creatures-folklore-words

I’ll try to be brief, but you know how it gets when you find something new. Each section will have info on the folklore creature from the source I originally found it (The Element Encyclopedia of Fairies by Lucy Cooper.)

and how it gets represented on the Origin of the Fae page on this blog.

 

Duergar

“Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable (1898) describes Duergar thus:

Dwarfs who dwell in rocks and hills; noted for their strength, magical powers and skill in metallurgy. They are the personification of the subterranean powers of nature. According to the Gotho-German myth, the Duergar were first maggots in Ymir’s flesh, but afterwards assumed the likeness of men. The first Duergar was Modsogner, the next Dyrin.

A tale of the malicious Duergar of the Simonside Hills of Northumberland is related in F. Grice’s Folk-tales of the North Country (1944).”

– More can be read in The Element Encyclopedia of Fairies by Lucy Cooper.

Duergar [Origin of Fae Page]

“Duergar” is interchangeable with “Dwarves” (not Dwarfs), depending who in the Faerie realm you are talking to. For most, Duergar means that huge Dwarves have arrived, ready to conquer.

Though not part of either the Seelie or Unseelie Courts, they are feared nonetheless by most Fae.

Duergar are as tall as short humans. They have rough beards, big muscles, sturdy bodies, and hands that can crush skulls and create intricate metal designs in equal measure. Depending on from where they hail, Duergar have skin tones ranging from snowy white to ebony brown.

Most Duergar generally keep to themselves, playing with gems and metal yielded by the earth, though there are those who have excessive greed. It had led them to dig extremely deep into the earth, nearly to the dungeon Tartarus where evil immortal creatures are kept prisoner.

Some Duergar have gone to work for Dagda in the Underworld. Here they have unlimited access to the treasures the earth holds. They work as bodyguards and general servants to Dagda.

All Duergar are extremely gifted where it comes to working with gems and metal. The objects they create thereof is renowned. They’re also known for their strength and magical powers.

Those who prefer to conquer (give in to their greed), do not have qualms about augmenting their powers with dark objects. They are the worst of their race. Those who cross the Dark King through their greed (by, say almost opening Tartarus), become part of the Unseen Unseelie and lose all they had as Duergar (their culture, homes, personality. Etc.) – it’s a fate worse than death.

 

Domovoi

“A domestic spirit of Slavic folklore.

Traditionally, they made their home at the threshold points of the house, such as the hearth, the cellar, or the loft, and were guardians of the household and its property, including its animals. Members of the household left offerings of milk or bread to thank the Domovoi for completing household chores or to ensure their continued protection and guardianship.”

– More can be read in The Element Encyclopedia of Fairies by Lucy Cooper.

Domovoi [Origin of Fae Page]

The Domovoi are invisible servants. They do not clean or cook, but they do take care of the animals of whatever dwelling they’ve claimed as their home. They even live with humans. Most importantly, they protect the home from invaders – whether supernatural or human.

They act as a sort of oracle: if the Domovoi become visible, it foretells of catastrophe approaching. If they extinguish candles (lights) trouble is imminent.

If one sees the Domovoi, they have little horns, tails, and long, grey beards. They are waif-thin and wear grey suits (they act much like butlers; the suits matching the era they live in).

Domovoi are patient, with high tolerance for neglect.

They only consume bread and milk.

If they are not regularly fed and given the proper respect on occasion, they turn feral and attack: the inhabitants of the dwelling they protect, usually by pinching or worse; the animals on the property, mostly by scaring them and chasing them off; and even the land itself, making plants wither and die. You can tell that they’ve turned feral before they attack: they have nasty sneers and their eyes are red. The longer the problem is left untreated (feeding them and telling them how awesome they are), the more malicious they become until they need to be removed by other Fae.

 

Barguest

“A hellish black hound of the northern English moors, eyes afire, on the hunt for its next victim. Only those doomed to die can hear the howl of the barguest and their only escape is to cross running water, for the hound cannot follow.”

– More can be read in The Element Encyclopedia of Fairies by Lucy Cooper.

Barguest [Origin of Fae Page]

The Barguest is a black dog who usually looks like an Alsatian with Reddish eyes. But a mirror can reveal its true nature and looks: a spectral creature with fire for eyes.

They live in the Underworld, keeping souls from escaping back to the world of the living. And if souls were to escape, they go on the hunt in the human realm and forcibly take them back to where they belong.

Barguests ensure that all deals made with creatures from the Underworld are upheld. Usually it entails keeping the foolish mortal safe.

They are great companions and loyal. They have a strong sense of duty.

 

Dagda

“King of the Tuatha de Danann, the immortal fairy people of Ireland.

Human invaders known as Milesians forced the Dananns to hide under “hollow hills” or mounds. However, they still controlled the natural growth of wheat and grass, essential for bread and milk, and so persuaded the Milesians to make a treaty with their king, Dagda.

Dagda had four great palaces underground and he gave two of these to his sons Lug and Ogme, keeping the other two for himself, the greater of these being Brugh na Boinne.”

– More can be read in The Element Encyclopedia of Fairies by Lucy Cooper.

 

The Dagda (modern spelling: Daghdha, likely from Proto-Celtic: Dagodeiwos, “the good god”) is an important god of Irish mythology. The Dagda is a father-figure and a protector of the tribe. In some texts his father is Elatha, in others his mother is Ethniu. Other texts say that his mother is Danu; while others yet place him as the father of Danu, perhaps due to her association with Brigit, daughter of the Dagda. The Dagda’s siblings include the gods Ogma and Ler.

He is also known by the epithets Eochaid Ollathair (“All-father“), Ruad Rofhessa (“lord of great knowledge”), Samildanach (“many-skilled”), Cera (possibly meaning “creator”), Fer Benn (“horned man” or “man of the peak”), Easal, Eogabal, Crom-Eocha (which seem to refer to yew) and Ebron (meaning a cauldron, or possibly iron).

Tales depict the Dagda as a figure of immense power, armed with a magic club and associated with a cauldron. The club was supposed to be able to kill nine men with one blow; but with the handle he could return the slain to life. The cauldron was known as the Undry and was said to be bottomless, from which no man left unsatisfied. Uaithne, also known as “the Four Angled Music”, was a richly ornamented magic harp made of oak which, when the Dagda played it, put the seasons in their correct order; other accounts tell of it being used to command the order of battle. He possessed two pigs, one of which was always growing whilst the other was always roasting, and ever-laden fruit trees.

The Dagda was a High King of the Tuatha Dé Danann after his predecessor Nuada was injured in battle. The Tuatha Dé Danann are the race of supernatural beings who conquered the Fomorians, who inhabited Ireland previously, prior to the coming of the Milesians.

The Middle Irish language Coir Anmann (The Fitness of Names) describes him thus: “He was a beautiful god of the heathens, for the Tuatha Dé Danann worshipped him: for he was an earth-god to them because of the greatness of his (magical) power.”

The name Dagda may ultimately be derived from the Proto-Indo-European *Dhagho-deiwos “shining divinity”, the first element being cognate with the English word “day“, and possibly a byword for a deification of a notion such as “splendour”. This etymology would tie in well with Dagda’s mythic association with the sun and the earth, with kingship and excellence in general. *Dhago-deiwos would have been inherited into Proto-Celtic as *Dago-deiwos, thereby punning with the Proto-Celtic word *dago-s “good”.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dagda

 

 

The Dagda

Name:  Eochaid Ollathair /’All Father’  /The Dagda (‘Good God’) 

Properties:  God of Magic, God of Time, Protector of Crops

Title:  Ruadh Rofhessa (The Mighty Red One of Great Knowledge)

Race:  Tuatha Dé Danann / Fomorian

Province:  Míde 

Associated Sites:  Uisnech (Tara), Brugh na Boinne (Newgrange)

The Dagda was the father God of the Celts they called him the Good God because he protected their crops.  He was king of the Tuatha Dé Danann and ruled over Uisnech in Co. Meath.  He had a cauldron called the Undry which supplied unlimited food and was one of the magical items the Tuatha brought with them when they first landed on Ireland.  He also had a living oak harp called Uaithne which caused the seasons to change in their order and also played three types of music, the music of sorrow, the music of joy and the music of dreaming. 

http://www.shee-eire.com/magic&mythology/gods&goddess/celtic/gods/dagda/page1.htm

 

http://www.read-legends-and-myths.com/dagda.html

 

The Irish-Celtic god of the earth and treaties, and ruler over life and death. Dagda, or The Dagda, (“the good god”) is one of the most prominent gods and the leader of the Tuatha Dé Danann. He is a master of magic, a fearsome warrior and a skilled artisan. Dagda is a son of the goddess Danu, and father of the goddess Brigid and the god Aengus mac Oc. The Morrigan is his wife.

The Dagda is portrayed as possessing both super- human strength and appetite. His attributes are a cauldron with an inexhaustible supply of food, a magical harp with which he summons the seasons, and an enormous club, with one end of which he could kill nine men, but with the other restore them to life. He also possessed two marvelous swine—one always roasting, the other always growing—and ever-laden fruit trees.

http://www.pantheon.org/articles/d/dagda.html

 

Daghdha

The Daghdha, also referred to as “Great Father” and “Mighty One of Great Knowledge” is an Irish god of “abundance, fertility, wisdom and magic” (Tresidder, 2004:138). He is also the “supreme tribal deity” (Tresidder, 2004:138) of the Tuatha Dé Danann. (The Tuatha Dé Danann is said to be the fifth race to invade Ireland.)

Besides having a massive appetite, and having a “huge cauldron from which he dispensed never-ending sustenance” (Tresidder, 2004:138-139), he also “possessed a massive club with one end that was lethal and one that brought the dead back to life” (Tresidder, 2004:138).

https://maraiscarin.wordpress.com/2016/09/08/folklore-myth-thursday-d/

 

I mixed all this knowledge of the Dagda and turned him into a main character in Wishmaster who is in a lot of ways different from all this research while still being the same.

Dagda [Origin of Fae Page]

Dagda is king of the Underworld. He has four castles – all spectacular – in the four corners of the world. He is perfectly toned with tattoos all over.

He possesses powerful magic.

He controls the growth of wheat and grass topside. Even in droughts he can make it grow so people won’t starve.

He is able to grant wishes – that is why he’s known as the Wishmaster. Wishes don’t come cheap: something has to be bargained.

Dagda was once a powerful figure in Faerie, but he overstepped his bounds and the Dark King punished him by making him the king of the Underworld: a place where souls from the Mortal Realm and Faerie have to wait for judgement once Dullahans have delivered them there.

 

I used all of these creatures in a gothic fantasy story I entered into a #creaturefeature competition on Wattpad early August. Looking for new monsters was how I found them…

Alyssa

Summer Glau as Alyssa

Summer Glau as Alyssa

is the princess of a starving kingdom. She makes her way to the world beneath – the realm of Dagda, the Wishmaster – and everything changes.

Francois Hougaard as Dagda

Francois Hougaard as Dagda

 

 

“Bones strung together with amethysts and candles caught her eye as she walked into the castle belonging to the garden. She could see her reflection in the chandelier. Alyssa narrowed her eyes, trying to see if her hair had really straightened on her journey.

Quickly something else caught her attention.

A man sitting on a throne of crystal watched her with wonder. He had surprisingly tanned skin for someone who lives underground. He couldn’t be much older than her.

For some strange reason his shirt was extremely diaphanous – every tattoo could be clearly seen through the white fabric.”

Wishmaster, Ronel Janse van Vuuren

 

 

I hope you enjoy reading this tale. Comments can be left here or on Wattpad – I always appreciate feedback. I haven’t heard back yet about the competition I’d entered it into, but I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I did writing it. All the previous posts were originally part of this one, but that would have taken forever to read in one go, so I divided them and gave quick recaps here. Have you heard of any of the Faery-creatures I mentioned in this post? Do you like gothic fantasy?

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