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G is for Galno.

I actually had to look at old notebooks in order to write this post. I’d created the Galno almost a decade ago and a lot of what went into it had gotten lost in the fog of time. Also, I hadn’t really kept record of where I got the inspiration from, so I had to Google a lot of it… And search through my books on folklore.

It sounds like a lot of work, and it was, but I think I have a better appreciation of the race now that I went through all the research and planning again.

Influence of Celtic Folklore, Mythology, Language and History on the creation of the Galno

The Celts

“Can we live forever – or, is it over when it’s over?

This question is as old as humans, and one traditional and figurative example is the energetic circular forms, triskeles, and spirals from the Celts, showing, for example, unending labyrinths – standing for their belief in infinity of life and longevity. The earliest of such archaeological handcraft commonly accepted as Celtic, was the central European Hallstatt culture (about 800-450 BC), named for the rich grave finds of subjects (of which the energy and freedom decoration was an important element) in highly formalized styles in Hallstatt. The Celts were a diverse group of tribal societies in the Iron Age and Roman-era Europe. Most descriptions of Celtic societies portray them as being divided into three groups: a warrior aristocracy; an intellectual class including professions such as druid, poet and jurist – and everyone else. They were outstanding tillers, rancher, ferric smiths, and developed the iron mining.

The root of their name may be the Common Celtic ‘galno’, meaning power or strength (Galli and Galatae most probably go with Old Irish gal ‘boldness, ferocity’ and Welsh gallu ‘to be able, power’), as they were described by classical writers as fighting like ‘wild beasts’, and as hordes. Celts had a reputation as head hunters: ‘amongst the Celts the human head was venerated above all else since the head was to the Celt the soul, centre of the emotions as well as incessancy of life itself, a symbol of divinity, and of the powers of the other-world. Thus, the Celts were called by the Romans ‘Gauls’, meaning ‘fighting man’ – at the same time they were culturally highly advanced, as manifested, for example, in their artworks and longevity.”

Modern Biopharmaceuticals: Recent success stories by Jörg Knäblein.

Thus their name, Galno, is a Celtic word meaning “power” or “strength” which I think works great for them. Especially since that is the way other Fae see them.

From the Greek and Roman historians who first encountered the Celtic peoples we have developed our basic image of the fierce Celtic warrior, woad-painted and naked, howling like a banshee. We’ve also garnered images of ancient druids, congregating under the sacred oaks, harvesting mistletoe, and supervising human sacrifice.

By the time of Julius Caesar, it would appear that the power base of druid religion and culture derived from Britain. In other words, the druid religion may have spread outward from Britain to Europe rather than vice versa. Perhaps, as the Celts migrated into the British Isles, encountering the indigenous culture and its great stone circles, they developed a unique religion, druidism, which then migrated back to France and Germany.

In Iron Age Scotland, based on Celtic tribal society, warfare was common. First millenium BC Scots built hillforts, great duns (stone hill fortresses), crannogs (forts and houses built on stilts in lochs, and, unique to Scotland, brochs. Brochs are round stone towers, tapering inward as they rise from the ground. Hundreds may be found all over north and west Scotland and the Isles.

When the Romans arrived in ancient Britain, they found numerous fierce tribes which they grouped under some general headings: Britons in England, Scotti in Ireland, and Picts in Scotland. It is believed that all these groupings were fundamentally Celtic. The Gaelic language of the Britons survives in Wales, Scots Gaelic (derived from Irish Gaelic) in western Scotland.

http://www.heartoscotland.com/Categories/History2.htm

The Picts

From the accounts of Britain made by the classical authors, we know that by the fourth century AD, the predominant people in northern Scotland were referred to as “Picts”.

Throughout history, these Picts have been shadowy, enigmatic figures.

From the outset, they were regarded as savage warriors but by the time the Norsemen were compiling their sagas and histories, the memory of the Picts had degenerated into a semi-mythical race of fairies.

Theories abound, although these days it is generally accepted that the Picts were not, as was once believed, a new race, but were simply the descendents of the indigenous Iron Age people of northern Scotland.

The word “Pict” means “painted people”, probably referring to the Pictish custom of either tattooing their bodies or embellishing themselves with “warpaint”.

However, their Irish term “Cruithni”, meaning “the people of the designs”, seems to parallel the Roman name, so it may be that “Picti” was an adaptation of the name they called themselves.

The toponymic elements “Pett” and “Pitt” are certainly a common feature of placenames in Pictish territories. The Norsemen, when they arrived in Orkney, certainly described the inhabitants at “Pettr”

Before the Romans arrived in Britain, these northern peoples were probably fragmented tribes who spent much of their time fighting among themselves.

The Roman threat from the south, however, appears to have forced them together in an embryonic Pictish state. This allowed the tribes to resist the continental invaders as well as take advantage of the opportunity for plunder.

http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/picts/

Where we know little about the Picts of what is now mainland Scotland, we know even less about the people of Orkney in the Pictish period. This is primarily due to the fact that the Romans, the major chroniclers of early British History, never made it this far north in any great numbers.

Their language is a mystery; the meaning of the symbols stones they left remains an enigma.

In Orkney, little more than a scattering of Pictish archaeological sites and a handful of placenames have survived.

Although once the overlords of Orkney, and a powerful political and military force in their own right, by the time of the Norsemen, Orkney’s Picts had already slipped from history into the shadowy realm of folklore.

As time went on, the line between historical fact and fable blurred further. As early as the twelfth century, the historical Picts were regarded as a semi-mythical race with distinctly mythical attributes. With each century that passed, the pre-Norse inhabitants of Orkney became thoroughly confused with elements of trow and fairy folklore.

The Norsemen began arriving in Orkney in the eighth century but, surprisingly, their historical records make little mention of Orkney’s indigenous inhabitants. The Orkneyinga Saga, for example, pays absolutely no attention to any pre-Norse population of the islands.

The Historia Norvegiae, however, describes them as beings that were small in stature who “performed miracles in the building of walled cities”.

Written around 1200AD, this Latin document states that Orkney’s inhabitants lost their strength and courage completely in the middle of the day. This, it claims, forced them to hide themselves away in little underground houses.

Aside from an obvious connection between Orkney’s Picts and the builders of the brochs, there is little of historical value in this account. But what it clearly shows is that, even by the twelfth century, Orkney’s Picts had become creatures of folklore.

http://www.orkneyjar.com/history/picts/slippinghistory.htm

 

Picts:

Since they left no written record of their history, what is known of them comes from later Roman and Scottish writers and from images the Picts themselves carved on stones. They are first mentioned as “Picts” by the Roman writer Eumenius in 297 CE, who referred to the tribes of Northern Britain as “Picti” (“the painted ones”), ostensibly because of their habit of painting their bodies with dye. This origin of their name has been contested by modern scholarship, however, and it is probable they referred to themselves as some form of “Pecht”, the word for “the ancestors”. They were referenced earlier by Tacitus who referred to them as “Caledonians” which was the name of only one tribe.

The Picts held their territory against the invading Romans in a number of engagements and, although they were defeated in battle, they won the war; Scotland holds the distinction of never falling to the invading armies of Rome, even though the Romans attempted conquest numerous times. The Picts exist in the written record from their first mention in 297 CE until c. 900 CE, when no further mention is made of them.

According to the Collins Encyclopedia of Scotland, “the Picts did not ‘arrive’ – in a sense they had always been there, for they were the descendants of the first people to inhabit what eventually became Scotland” (775). Historian Stuart McHardy supports this claim, writing that “the Picts were in fact the indigenous population of this part of the world” by the time the Romans arrived in Britain (32). They originally came from Scythia (Scandinavia), settled first in Orkney, and then migrated south.

They lived in tightly-knit communities and built their homes out of wood, although their skill in stone carving is evident from the many engraved standing stones still extant throughout Scotland and housed in museums.

McHardy credits the Picts with building the megalithic structures (such as the Ness of Brodgar), which can still be seen in Scotland in the present day (33). They established themselves in small communities made up of families belonging to a single clan which was presided over by a tribal chief. These clans were known as Caerini, Cornavii, Lugi, Smertae, Decantae, Carnonacae, Caledonii, Selgovae and Votadini (McHardy, 31). These clans (known as “kin”) acted in their own interests, often raiding each other for cattle, but banded together when threatened by a common enemy and elected a single chief to lead the coalition. The kin (which comes from the Gaelic word for “children”) would continue to follow and protect their chief, but that chief would obey the warrior all had agreed upon as group leader.

The males of the tribe were all warriors but, when not called upon to defend their clan or land, were farmers and fishermen and the females also farmed, fished, and raised the children. Aside from the occasional raids by one tribe against another for cattle, the Picts seem to have lived fairly peacefully until threatened by outside forces.

http://www.ancient.eu/picts/

The Kingdom of the Picts

Known as ‘Picti’ by the Romans, meaning ‘Painted Ones’ in Latin, these northern tribes constituted the largest kingdom in Dark Age Scotland. They repelled the conquests of both Romans and Angles, creating a true north-south divide on the British Isles, only to disappear from history by the end of the first millennium – swallowed whole by the history of another group, the Gaels. Together they created the Kingdom of Alba.

It is no coincidence that the Picts mysterious disappearance occurs at the same time as the creation of the kingdom of Alba. For many years Gaelic influence in Pictland had been on the rise. The Gaelic religion of Christianity had spread throughout Pictish lands and with it many Gaelic traditions. Furthermore, through a mixture of conquest and inter-marriage Gaelic or Gaelicised royalty had succeeded to the Pictish throne (a notable example of this being Kenneth MacAlpin).

http://www.bbc.co.uk/scotland/history/articles/kingdom_of_the_picts/

We see these depictions all the time, of naked blue people adorned with tattoos and maybe a severed head or two.

The overall blue tinting of the body is inspired by a remark made by Julius Caesar, who had spent a few weeks in the south-eastern corner of Britain in 55BC and 54BC: “All the Britons, without exception, stain themselves with woad, which produces a blueish tint; and this gives them a wild look in battle.”

From stone carvings we can tell they would have worn tunics and been very covered up, especially the women who are all depicted as wearing ankle length tunics. Men were a bit more daring and wore varied lengths.

http://www.scotclans.com/what-did-the-picts-really-wear/

Which leads me to believe that the Picts might’ve been a lot like the Woads in the King Arthur movie.

Folklore behind the creation of the Galno

Pech

“Pech (variations: Pecht, Peht).

In Scottish Lowland mythology the pech was a short gnome-like fairy being who, although small of stature was extremely strong. Described as having long arms, wide feet, and wild red hair, the pech were believed to have been the builders of the ancient stone megaliths of ancient Scotland. Pechs were strictly nocturnal fairies, as they could not stand the light of day.”

Encyclopedia of Fairies in World Folklore and Mythology by Theresa Bane.

“Our British Picts, the first British tribe known by name to history, are generally supposed to have derived their title because they depicted pictures on their bodies. In West Cornwall there are rude stone huts known locally as Picts’ Houses, but whether these are attributed to the Picts or the Pixies it is difficult to say. In Scotland the “Pechs” were obviously elves, for they are supposed to have been short, wee men with long arms, and such huge feet that on rainy days they stood upside down and used their feet as umbrellas. That the Picts’ Houses in Cornwall were attributed to the Pechs is probable from Scottish belief, ‘Oh, ay, they were great builders the Pechs; they built a’ the auld castles in the country. They stood a’ in a row from the quarry to the building stance, and elka ane handed forward the stanes to his neighbour till the hale was bigget.’”

Archaic England: An Essay in Deciphering Prehistory from Megalithic Monuments, Earthworks, Customs, Coins, Place-names and Faerie Superstitions by Harold Bayley.

THE PECHS Traditional Story

“LONG ago there were people in this country called the Pechs; short wee men they were, wi’ red hair, and long arms, and feet sae braid, that when it rained they could turn them up owre their heads, and then they served for umbrellas. The Pechs were great builders; they built a’ the auld castles in the kintry; and do ye ken the way they built them?—I’ll tell ye. They stood all in a row from the quarry to the place where they were building, and ilk ane handed forward the stanes to his neebor, till the hale was biggit. The Pechs were also a great people for ale, which they brewed frae heather; sae, ye ken, it bood (was bound) to be an extraornar cheap kind of drink; for heather, I’se warrant, was as plenty then as it’s now. This art o’ theirs was muckle sought after by the other folk that lived in the kintry; but they never would let out the secret, but handed it down frae father to son among themselves, wi’ strict injunctions frae ane to another never to let onybody ken about it.

At last the Pechs had great wars, and mony o’ them were killed, and indeed they soon came to be a mere handfu’ o’ people, and were like to perish aft’ the face o’ the earth. Still they held fast by their secret of the heather yill, determined that their enemies should never wring it frae them.”

The rest of the story can be read here. http://www.electricscotland.com/culture/features/scots/thepechs.htm

Pechs, or Pehts – The Scottish Lowland names for fairies and are confused in tradition with the Picts, the mysterious people of Scotland who built the Pictish brughs and possibly also the round stone towers. The Pechs were considered tremendous castle builders and were credited with the construction of many of the ancient castles. They could not bear the light of day and so only worked at night, when they took refuge in their brughs or “sitheans” at sunrise. It seems likely that some historic memory of an aboriginal race contributed one strand to the twisted cord of fairy tradition.

Picts – The original peoples who dwelled in the northeastern coast of Ireland. They were called the “Cruithne” and migrated down from Gaul or Galia (France). As the conquering waves of invaders arrived in Ireland, eventually the Picts retreated to the woods and lived in caves and underground forts. They were a small, dark people and became known as the classic Faery-people. See Pechs.

http://www.fairiesworld.com/myths-mythology/folklore-names.shtml

Pech (mythology)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

The pech were a type of gnome-like creatures in Scottish mythology. They were of short height but extremely strong. They brewed heather ale and battled against the Scots.[1][2]

The Pech were thought to be one of the aboriginal builders of the stone megaliths of ancient Scotland, along with giants. They might be related to the Picts and pixies.[3]

Gnome

Gnom mit Zeitung und Tabakspfeife (English: Gnome with newspaper and tobacco pipe) by Heinrich Schlitt (de)(1923)

gnome /ˈnoʊm/[1] is a diminutive spirit in Renaissance magic and alchemy, first introduced by Paracelsus in the 16th century and later adopted by more recent authors including those of modern fantasy literature. Its characteristics have been reinterpreted to suit the needs of various story tellers, but it is typically said to be a small humanoid that lives underground.[2]

The word comes from Renaissance Latin gnomus, which first appears in the works of 16th century Swiss alchemist Paracelsus, possibly deriving the term from Latin gēnomos (itself representing a Greek γη-νομος, literally “earth-dweller”).

Paracelsus uses Gnomi as a synonym of Pygmæi,[3] and classifies them as earth elementals. He describes them as two spans high, very reluctant to interact with humans, and able to move through solid earth as easily as humans move through air.[4][5]

The chthonic, or earth-dwelling, spirit has precedents in numerous ancient and medieval mythologies, often guarding mines and precious underground treasures, notably in the Germanic dwarves and the Greek ChalybesTelchines or Dactyls.[2]

Other uses of the term gnome remain obscure until the early 19th century, when it is taken up by authors of Romanticist collections of fairy tales and becomes mostly synonymous with the older word goblin.

In 19th century fiction, the chthonic gnome became a sort of antithesis to the more airy or luminous fairy. As a figure of 19th century fairy tales, the term gnome became largely synonymous with other terms for “little people” by the 20th century, such as goblinbrowniekoboldleprechaunHeinzelmännchen and other instances of the “domestic spirit” type, losing its strict association with earth or the underground world.

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

Gnomes are very widespread species, known to a number of human races. Germans name them Erdmanleins, except in the Alpine areas, where they are called Heinzemannchens. In Denmark and Norway they are Nisse; Nissen is a Swedish variation. In Brittany they are called Nains. Tontti to the Finns and Foddenskkmaend is their name in Iceland. The Polish call they by the familar Gnom. Bulgaria and Albania, however, use Dudje. In Hungary, Yugoslavia, and Czechoslovakia, Gnomes are called Mano. The Dutch use Kabouter and the Belgian, Skritek. Switzerland and Luxembourg use the same name, Kleinmanneken, which means “littlemen.” Domovoi Djedoes is used in western Russia. Race: Gnomes consist of a number of different types. The most common is the Forest Gnome who rarely comes into contact with man. The Garden Gnome lives in old gardens and enjoys telling melancholy tales. Dune Gnomes are slightly larger than their woodland brethren and choose remarkably drab clothing. House Gnomes have the most knowledge of man, often speaking his language. It is from this family that Gnome Kings are chosen. Farm Gnomes resemble their House brethren, but are more conservative in manner and dress. Siberian Gnomes have been more interbred than other Gnomes and associate freely with trolls. They are much larger than the other types and have an infinitely more nasty nature. It is best never to evoke the ire of such Gnomes for they delight in revenge.  Origin: Believed to be originating in Scandinavia, Gnomes later migrated to the lowlands some 1500 years ago.  Description: Gnomes are usually an average of 15 centimetres tall (but in some stories they are said to be around a foot (30 cm) in height).

http://www.mythicalcreaturesguide.com/page/Gnome

The depiction of gnomes has changed quite often over the years and remained different in different cultures. Originally many of them were conceived of as ugly, ground dwelling creatures that were less humanoid than the gnomes of today. In fact, they were more akin to small goblins and disfigured faeries, and acted more like animals than human beings. In contrast, modern sources often depict gnomes as diminutive, stout humanoids who wear tall, pointed conical caps and dress in solid colors such as blue, red, or green; in this depiction, the male gnome always has a long white beard.[2] They have the intelligence of a human (are sometimes thought to be wiser), and have human-like personalities.

While their appearances may differ, the older and newer traditions do share a similar belief in gnomes’ capabilities: They are said to move as easily through the earth as humans walk upon it, and the sun‘s rays turn them into stone. They are incredibly strong and fast, and said to possess almost supernatural abilities in the manipulation of natural material (although they also are said to fiercely guard against any unnecessary damage to the earth and wildlife).

Gnomes first appeared in the oral tradition of Northern European folklore, and so it is difficult to pinpoint their exact origins. Gnomes share many characteristics with the Norse dwarves, so much so that it is suggested that at a time in Scandinavian tradition, the two were actually interchangeable. At some point, however, a split between gnomes and dwarves occurred. It is not clear if this happened before or after dwarves were assimilated into Dutch and German tradition. What is known is that the modern day depiction of gnomes is more Dutch than Scandinavian. Thus, it is speculated that Dutch tradition created gnomes as they are known today out of Norse dwarves, and from there gnome belief spread to Germany and back into Scandinavia.

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Gnome

This depiction of gnomes reminds me of the TV series I watched as a little girl: Dawie die Kabouter. (David the Gnome).

The original depiction of gnomes reminds me of the ones in Harry Potter.

 

Gnome, in European folklore, dwarfish, subterranean goblin or earth spirit who guards mines of precious treasures hidden in the earth. He is represented in medieval mythologies as a small, physically deformed (usually hunchbacked) creature resembling a dry, gnarled old man. Gob, the king of the gnome race, ruled with a magic sword and is said to have influenced the melancholic temperament of man.

https://global.britannica.com/art/gnome

Before gnomes were produced from plastic in manufacturing plants all over the world and carelessly sprinkled about cooky old ladies’ gardens, gnomes were a part of ancient and developing faerie folklore. Gnomes were not the garden variety type and were actually a type of faerie that many people from central, northern, and western Europe believed in wholeheartedly.

Gnomes were smaller faerie beings that were believed to have lived in rocks, deep in the earth, and also deep in the root systems of ancient trees. Many legends said that gnomes had to avoid sunlight, else they’d be turned to stone (this could possibly be where the idea of decorative garden gnomes originated). With large heads, small bodies, and pointed red hats, gnomes were a funny sight to behold…on the rare occasion that people actually saw the gnomes.

The belief in gnomes spanned many countries throughout Europe including but not limited to: Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Poland, Bulgaria, Albania, Hungary, Denmark and Germany. Each country and culture had a different name for the gnomes, but almost all of these people believed that the gnomes were earth spirits or earth faeries. Many people tend to get gnomes confused with dwarves, but that isn’t totally incorrect as gnomes are also thought to be dwarf faeries. Many say that the gnomes are mostly male and can live to be thousands of years old.

The principle purpose of the gnomes is to protect nature and wildlife, and so many people believe that gnomes aid animals in their times of need. Gnomes are thought to be benevolent and cheerful faeries and will sometimes help a human out in a time of great need, as well.

https://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/Faerie-Folklore-The-Gnomes

 

Gnomes

Earth-dwellers, variously known as dwarves or goblins in traditional tales, but originally described as earth elementals by the fifteenth-century alchemist and physician Paracelsus. He divided fairies into four groups: the gnomes of the earth, the sylphs of the air, the salamanders of fire, and the undines or nymphs of water. Each elemental represented the pure form of that elemental energy. Elementals were said to be creatures partway between humans and pure spirits. They were made of flesh and blood, and ate, drank, slept and procreated like human beings, but they were capable of superhuman speed and movement, lived longer than humans, and did not have immortal souls.”

The Element Encyclopedia of Fairies by Lucy Cooper.

All of this is awesome, though where did I get the idea of looking at the Pechs (and then the Celts, Picts and Gnomes) for inspiration for the Galno?

Modern Culture and the creation of the Galno

Most probably when I read through The Folklore of Discworld by Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson.

The Wee Free Men or the Nac Mac Feegle are loosely based on the Pechs, so a bit of history on the folklore (from our world) is included in the account of the folklore of the Wee Free Men.

“For many centuries, one of their favourite places was an area of the Earth called Scotland. They were already there in the time of the Ancient Romans, who spoke of them as picti, ‘painted men’; Julius Caesar himself records that the tribes of Northern Britain had ‘designs carved into their faces by iron’, a clear reference to tattooing. Needless to say, they refused to submit to the Empire, conducting such a persistent guerrilla war that the Romans gave up hope of conquering Scotland, and the Wee Free Men remained both wee and free.

Later generations of Scottish humans were well aware of their presence, and called them Pehts, Pechs, Pechts or Picts. They themselves like the last version best, and have adopted it for their own use, in the form of ‘pictsies’. Several Scotsmen have described the Pechs, who were somewhat taller than the Discworld clans, but in other respects very similar. They were ‘unco wee bodies, but terrible strang’, wrote a certain James Knox in 1831, and lived in underground chambers and burial mounds. Indeed, for generations the Scots took for granted that any odd stone structures found underground were ‘Picts’ houses’. Robert Chambers, in his Popular Rhymes of Scotland (1870), wrote: ‘Short wee men they were, wi’ red hair, and long arms, and feet sae braid that when it rained they could turn them up owre their heads, and then they served for umbrellas. The Pechs were great builders; they built a’ the auld castles in the kintry.’

This refers to brochs, a type of ancient round tower, which Scotsmen called ‘Picts’ castles’. Why they built them is a mystery, since they never lived in them; perhaps they had struck some bargain with the local human ruler, broch-building in exchange for hunting rights, or the like.”

The Folklore of Discworld by Terry Pratchett and Jacqueline Simpson.

There’s a lot more in the chapter about the Nac Mac Feegle, but this is what stood out the first time I read it.

The knights and Woads in the King Arthur movie always impress me when they go up against the Saxon army.

And though many dislike the movie for its creative liberties with history and folklore, as a writer I don’t mind that much. (Seeing as I rarely know the day of the week we’re at, why would historical inaccuracies in a movie bother me – it’s all Dark Age, so what does a century or two matter?)

The knights and Woads are wild, fearless and will fight to the death for what is theirs. And that is exactly why I like the movie. So I incorporated those traits in the Galno.

In a lot of my research, including that of the Nac Mac Feegle, the Picts and Pechs and so on are described as wild and fierce. And that they love to drink, eat good food and enjoy lots of fighting among themselves.

Much like the clans in Brave.

Watch the whole scene in the movie – it’s awesome!

My Galno stick to that tradition.

And, of course, the Galno are great warriors (like the Picts, the Celts, the Nac Mac Feegle and the Pechs).

Origins of the Galno in my writing

The Galno started out as your average medieval Fae living in a broch and basically mimicking the Picts and the Celts.

Then I got tired of their almost barbaric ways and I made them almost knightly with proper manners and gallantry, but keeping the fierce warrior background. I also retained their love of brawling – it makes them endearing.

I recently stepped away from the pure medieval way of life, a character or two who’d prefer to dress a little differently while still keeping to clan colours making themselves heard. (So a pair of high heels with clan colours won’t be as strange as at first thought…)

Like all characters, they’re continually evolving as a group.

Galno [Origin of Fae Page]

Short, warrior Fae who embody the Scottish medieval way of life. Though there are a few rebels who’ve kept up with modern technology and fashion.

Each clan has their own shade of purple to wear. This is mostly shown through the tartan claimed by each clan. Each clan has their own shade of blue eyes.

Most all Galno have black hair, but some who embody summer have golden hair.

All the clans live in Kregora on a heath covered with heather. Kregora is a broch built out of special glowing stone. Kregora is situated in a part of Faerie located in the Highlands of Scotland. Humans know enough to stay away from this different realm located in their own world.

The Galno were Seelie once upon a time, but are now Solitary Fae. This means that they have to pay a Tithe to live on Court Land (all of Faerie belong to the two Courts).

They believe in honour, bravery, courtesy and gallantry toward women.

The Clans are led by three of the strongest Lairds: the MacKeltar, the MacGregor and the MacKinnion.

All the research, planning, thought and time that went into these characters (though I’m only looking at them as a whole today) was well worth it. They feature in most of my work because they embody all that is good – unlike the Seelie Knights who’ve lost all balance (though, that’s a post for another time).

To read a story about the Galno, check out Rumour Has It from earlier this month.

“Jamie MacKinnion purposely walked through the thick foliage reminiscent of a tropical forest. He didn’t care much for Faerie’s new look. Where once everything had the distinct feel of cold Caledonian forests, moors, heaths and mountains, only the Faery Queen’s newest whim stood.

It was infuriating. And it fuelled the rumours making the rounds.

He finally made it to the last patch of heather. Most of the Galno were already waiting.

‘So, what did the Queen say?’ the laird of clan Douglas asked without greeting.

Everyone shifted so they could see him.

‘That Faerie is hers to do with as she pleases.’ She actually had a lot more to say on the matter, but the clans didn’t need to hear it. Especially the part where there’d been complaints of everything always looking exactly like the Galno – like he – wanted it to.”

I hope you’ve enjoyed this look into my writing: the research, the folklore, the influences and imagination that goes into creating a new race of beings. You can also check out the Pinterest board I created about them.  Any questions? What do you think of the Galno?

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