Supernatural Beings of Ireland

Heroic & Dark Fantasy and Science Fiction Character created by Kevin L. O'Brien

Eagle Rider, © by Chris Achilleos

Lost City, © by Frank Frazetta

The Supernatural Beings of Irelandhe supernatural is not unique to Ireland, but it can sometimes seem that way, thanks largely to Hallowe'en. A contraction of "Hallow Even", and derived from All Hallows Eve, the night before All Saint's Day, it is based on the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. This was the Celtic New Year and signaled the start of winter. It was the time when the livestock were rounded up and slaughtered. It was also the time when the barriers between the world of the living and the Otherworld — the abode of Faeries, monsters, and the dead — weakened and allowed the respective inhabitants to cross over. The Gaels of Ireland lit bonfires to keep supernatural creatures at bay, carved lanterns with scary faces out of turnips to frighten off goblins, and wore masks and costumes if they had to go about during the night to placate any beings they might encounter. These traditions were brought to America by Irish immigrants and became part of Hallowe'en, thereby infusing American culture with Irish supernatural traditions. Many of the folkloric creatures we now strongly associate with the supernatural, including ghosts, goblins, were-creatures, and the undead, have been strongly influenced by Irish folktales and legends.

Below is a list of Irish legendary creatures. Unless otherwise indicated, all the beings listed actually exist in Irish or Celtic traditions. In some cases, the spelling has been changed to conform to the Pronunciation Guide, and some details have been altered to conform with the background mythology of the Medb hErenn universe, but otherwise the information presented here is true to Irish and Celtic stories.

Where necessary, singular and plural forms of names are indicated by the following code: singular form / plural form. A key on how to pronounce the various word sounds is also provided for each name.

Click on a name below to open a hidden panel, then click on it again to close it. Click on an image to see a larger version of it.

Aes Sídh / Aes Sídhe

(aysh shee / aysh SHEE-ih)

© by UnknownThese are the Faeries of Ireland. They include all Faeries, from the greatest of the Heroic Faeries to the least of the rustic Faeries, and all the Solitary Faeries as well. It also includes the Seelie and Unseelie Courts, but does not include such supernatural creatures as giants, hags, ghosts, or demons.

Aillen Mac Midhna

(AWLL-lihn mahk MEE-nuh)

© by Marshall ArismanThe name of a solitary Faerie who, once a year, at the feast of Samhain, appeared outside the walls of Tara and played so beautifully that all the inhabitants fell asleep. He would then set the fortress on fire. He was finally killed by Finn, last and greatest leader of the Fianna, the warrior guard of Tara. He breathed the bitter fumes of a magical spear and was thus able to stay awake. This event occurred after Medb's "death", while she sojourned through other worlds.

Amadán Mór

(AW-muh-dawn mohr) "Great Fool"

© by UnknownThe most powerful of the Daoine Sídhe [q.v.] after Mab [q.v.], their high queen. He was Medb's guide, protector, confidant, tutor, and lover during the seven years she lived in Cnocc Midh, the home of Fin Bheara [q.v.] and Iúnadh [q.v.], king and queen of the Faeries of Connacht. However, he tried to rig the teind so that she would be selected to be given to Scáthach [q.v.]. After she managed to escape, he became her sworn enemy.

Alp-Luachra / Alp-Luachraí

(ahlp LOO-uhck-ruh / ahlp LOO-uhck-ree)

© by Brian FroudJoint-eater; a solitary Faerie that attaches itself to a human victim. It sits on his shoulder or his head as he eats, stealing the toradh from his food, so that he gains no benefit from it and eventually starves to death.

Badb / Badba

(bahv / BAHV-uh)

© by Rowena MorrillWitch or sorceress; named after one of the triple aspects of the Morrigán, the goddess of war and fertility, infamous for her cruel, rapacious nature but also for her prophetic powers.

Ban Nigimeach

(bahn NYIH-gyee-mihck) "Washer Woman"

© by John HoweAn avatar of Badbh, one of the triple aspects of the Morrigán; she appears as a ban sídh [q.v.], standing beside a stream or pool, washing the bloody clothes of warriors fated to die and wailing a mournful cry.

Ban Sídh / Ban Sídhe

(bahn shee / bahn SHEE-ih) "Faerie Woman"

© by John CollierA spirit of a young woman, or a solitary Faerie impersonating such, that attaches itself to specific families or locales, and warns of impending disaster or death.

Baobhan Sídh / Baobhan Sídhe

(byuhn shee / byuhn SHEE-ih)

© by Luis RoyoA solitary Faerie woman often confused with the ban sídh [q.v.], but which acts like a succubus, luring men into a passionate embrace, only to suck the blood from their bodies.

Bloody Bones

(standard English)

Also known as Rawhead and Bloody Bones, Tommy Rawhead, or just Rawhead, this is a nursery bogie meant to frighten children into proper behavior or avoiding dangerous places. It is a shapeshifter and can assume any form, but usually it adopts a frightening appearance to scare kids away. Parents claim it will kill children by drowning or devouring them, but it has been known to reward or protect especially good children.

Boccánach / Boccánaigh

(BOK-kaw-nuhck / BOK-kaw-neye)

© by Brian FroudHobgoblin; these solitary Faeries are similar to the English brownie. They can be helpful, doing house- and farm-work, but they are extremely touchy and guard their privacy jealously. If they are offended in any way, they can turn mischievous, even dangerous, though seldom deadly. "Wild" members of this group particularly delight in playing tricks on travelers, such as leading them astray. Like all so-called solitary Faeries, though they prefer to live alone most of the time, they can get together for important gatherings, and they often host an occasional fair.

Bodach / Bodacha

(BO-duhck / BO-duh-ckuh)

© by Brian FroudBogie, goblin; these solitary Faeries are mischievous and delight in playing pranks on humans. However, unlike the Boccánaigh [q.v.], these tend to be more dangerous, even deadly. They can occasionally be forced to help humans, or may do so out of a sense of gratitude, but it can often be just as dangerous to befriend them. Four times a year, they hold a market.

Búar Sídh / Búar Sídhe

(BOO-uhr SHEE / BOO-uhr SHEE-ih) "Faerie Cattle"

© by UnknownIn appearance, Faerie cattle are virtually indistinguishable from human cattle. These often come out of the Faerie mounds or lakes to mingle with mortal herds. Faerie cows can sometimes try to lead a farmer's herd back to their domain, but Faerie bulls will mate with mortal cows to produce exceptional calves; these can be identified by their rounded ears. Faerie bulls are the mortal enemies of water-horses, and they or their offspring have been known to defend humans from the latter.

Cailleach Beara

(KAWLL-luhck BAH-ruh)

© by Matt MahurinA sgáid [q.v.] strongly associated with winter, wild animals, and neglected wells, she had a blue face, but sometimes changed herself into a beautiful young maiden to reward warriors who honored the old ways.

Capall Sídh / Capall Sídhe

(KAH-pawll SHEE / KAH-pawll SHEE-ih) "Faerie Horse"

© by Carolyn HundslevThis generally refers to the horses ridden by the Daoine Sídhe [q.v.] in their processions, but it can also mean the wild water-horses. The former are generally white, beautiful and strong, have the power of speech, and sometimes can be lent to deserving mortals. The latter are shapeshifters and can take any form they desire, though they tend to use that of an ordinary horse. They are dangerous, even deadly, but can be tamed if special precautions are taken.

Capaelliathlu / Capaelliathlunna

(KAH-payll-lee-uh-luh / KAH-payll-lee-uh-loon-nuh) "Horse-bat"

© by Tim Arney-O'NeilByakhee; the servitors of Hastur. These beings serve the Tuatha Dé Danann druid masters, whose knowledge of air-lore make it possible for them to summon and control them. The Fomóraigh used them as steeds and air support in their battles, but after their power was broken, these beings were encountered only rarely. Medb herself could summon and control them, but did so only once. In the Iron Age they would be considered one of the many different types of Fomóraigh. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Cároicean / Cároicein

(KAW-rih-kuhn / KAW-rih-kihn)

© by KhaverahKouricaun; relatives of the Lepreacain [q.v.] and the Cluracain [q.v.]. Similar to the Korred of Brittany and the Spriggans of Cornwall, these trooping Faeries live in and around the dolmens scattered across Ireland. Like their cousins, they guard treasure, but they are also able to foretell the future. Their main pastime is dancing, and they violently resent any human intrusion into their rituals. However, they will loan their Búar Sídhe [q.v.] or tools for a small payment, sharpen knives and spearheads left out on the dolmen stones, and help care for the pigs in return for some of the fat at slaughtering time. [This being has been borrowed from Celtic Breton folklore and will not be found in Irish folklore.]

Cat Sídh / Cat Sídhe

(kaht SHEE / kaht SHEE-ih) "Faerie Cat"

The Celts considered cats to be Faeries in their own right, but these beings are large, wild, almost demonic. They guard the passages into the Otherworld, but also treasure and the barrows of the Fomóraigh.

Catúlthú Mór

(KAH-tool-hoo mohr) "Great Cthulhu"

© by Chaosium Inc.The Fomóraigh worship this being as one of their chief gods, but since they are themselves proto-Great Old Ones, they know it is not divine, but they also understand better than most why it should be propitiated. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Cenél Dorcha / Cenélí Dorcha

(KEH-nayl DOR-ckuh / KEH-nay-lee DOR-ckuh) "Dark Offspring"

© by Michael KomarckDark Young; the servitors of Shub-Niggurath. These beings serve the Heidhbernigh druid masters, whose knowledge of nature-lore make it possible for them to summon and control them. Medb knew how to summon them, but had never done so until she needed to use them to counter the use of the Cenél Rind [q.v.] by the Fomóraigh. In the Iron Age they would be considered one of the many different types of Fomóraigh. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Cenél Rind / Cenélí Rinde

(KEH-nayl rihnd / KEH-nay-lee rihnd) "Star Offspring"

© by D. SignoretStar-Spawn; the servitors of Great Cthulhu. These beings serve the Fomóraigh druid masters, whose knowledge of water-lore allow them to summon and control them. The Fomóraigh used them in their battle against the Tuatha Dé Danann, but Medb countered them by summoning the Cenél Dorche [q.v.] and the Talmanaigh [q.v.]. In the Iron Age they would be considered one of the many different types of Fomóraigh. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Cluracan / Cluracain

(KLUR-uh-kuhn / KLUR-uh-kuhn)

© by RalinaCluricaun; relatives of the Lepreacain [q.v.]. These solitary Faeries are generally benign and harmless, preferring to feast and drink from household stores, but they can play pranks, and they have been known to frighten thieving servants.

Cú Dorchadas / Cúnna Dorchadas

(koo DOR-ckuh-duhs / KOOWN-uh DOR-ckuh-duhs) "Dog of Darkness"

© by Mark LangeneckertThis specifically refers to the black dogs. They are solitary, ghost-like apparitions that haunt lonely places, ruins, and churches. They tend to be black, and are shapeshifters, though they usually look like some kind of hound. Their mere appearance can act as an omen of doom or disaster, but they have been known to attack the unwary. And yet, they can also be protective spirits, defending buildings, locations, and lonely travelers from other supernatural threats.

Cú Mhorrigán / Cúnna Mhorrigán

(koo WOH-rih-guhn / KOOWN-uh WOH-rih-guhn) "Hound of Morrigán"

© by Tom SullivanGhouls; a race of carrion-eaters derived from humans. The ancient Gaels revered dogs as, among other things, omens of death, because they ate carrion. The resemblance of Ghouls to dogs, and their own habit of eating corpses, convinced the Gaels that they were servitors of the war goddess Morrigán. Most warrens just wanted to be left alone, but some allied themselves with the Fomóraigh while others actively opposed them. Medb had little contact with them before her exile, but after her return, her association with Morrigán allowed her to maintain an amicable association with them, both in the Waking World and the Lands of Dream. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Cú Sídh / Cú Sídhe

(koo SHEE / koo SHEE-ih) "Faerie Dog"

© by Cwn AnnwnThis generally refers to the dogs kept by the Daoine Sídhe [q.v.]. The Faerie dogs are generally white with red ears and are kept as watch dogs and hunting dogs. However, the Faeries often let them run free.

Daoine Sídh / Daoine Sídhe

(DEE-nih SHEE / DEE-nih SHEE-ih) "People of the Faerie Mounds"

© by Kinuko Y. CraftThe most powerful of the Faerie races, the Heroic Faeries of Ireland, and the rulers of the light realm of the Otherworld. They are capricious and mercurial, bestowing fantastic rewards on humans for the most trivial of favors, and monstrous punishments for the most trivial of offenses. Yet, they are curiously vulnerable to iron and certain herbs, they require human strength to help defeat their enemies, and require human blood (i.e., genetic material) — from kidnapped children and young people — to revitalize their race.

Dearg-due / Dearga-due

(DAH-ruhg DU-ih / DAH-ruh-guh DU-ih) "Red-blood Drinker"

© by Victoria FrancesVampire; not to be confused with the Baobhan Sídhe [q.v.]. These beings are actually reanimated corpses rather than Faeries. They also consume blood mixed with oatmeal or porridge.

Dobhar-chu

(DO-wuhr-ckuh) "Water Hound"

Also known as the King Otter, this creature resembles a cross between an otter and a dog, but is larger than both. It inhabits lakes and large rivers, and behaves much like a crocodile, lunging out of the water to seize prey and drag it under to down it. However, it feeds on the shore, so remains can usually be found. It is said to have Faerie powers, and its pelt magical abilities, but it may be based on a real creature, a cryptid that may now be extinct.

Doimhneach / Doimhnigh

(DAYW-nih-uhck / DAYW-nee) "Deep One"

© by Tom SullivanA race of people that resemble a cross between fish and frogs, they live in the extreme depths of the ocean, but also create colonies on the continental shelves. Though ostensibly allied with the Fomóraigh, with numerous treaties between them, in fact the two races pursued their own agendas and were often at odds. In the Iron Age they would be considered one of the many different types of Fomóraigh. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Dorchach

(DORCK-uhck) "Dark One"

© by Rob ThomasThe consort of Scáthach [q.v.], and with her co-ruler of the dark realm of the Otherworld. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Draconach / Draconaigh

(DRAH-kuh-nuhck / DRAH-kuh-neye) "Draconic One"

© by Roger GarlandLloigor; beings of pure intelligence contained within an energy matrix. They were normally invisible, but they can expend energy to clothe themselves in matter, and often took fantastic reptilian forms. Though normally indifferent to the Fomóraigh, the latter could summon and control them as needed. In the Iron Age they would be considered one of the many different types of Fomóraigh. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Dubhlachan / Dubhlachain

(DUW-luh-ckuhn / DUW-luh-ckuhn)

© by John CollierA type of ghost that is generally headless, often rides a horse or drives a coach, and is generally an ill-omen, often foretelling death. Some can also be demonic and actively pursue human prey.

Each Uisce / Eacha Uiscí

(ahck IHSH-kih / AH-ckuh IHSH-kee)

© by Fish GriwkowskyThe most dangerous of the water-horses. It is associated with the sea and unusually large lakes, and it attempts to capture humans with the intent to drown and devour them. Often it takes the form of a horse and tries to entice people to ride it, but it will also take human form to seduce its victim, and it will pursue anyone who realizes the danger and tries to flee.

Eoboirean

(OH-bih-ruhn)

by Sir Joseph Noël PatonConsort to Mab [q.v.], high queen of the Daoine Sídhe [q.v.], and the third most powerful member of that race, after the Amadán Mór [q.v.] and Mab herself.

Ethal Anbual

(AH-huhl AH-nuh-buhl)

© by Eden CelesteKing of the heroic Faeries of Ulaidh and the sworn enemy of Fin Bheara [q.v.]. His mound is one of the few that hosts both the dead and members of the Tuatha Dé Danann.

Fann Mac Cuil

(fawn mahk kwil)

© by Yvonne GilbertA giant and one of the great heroes of Irish legend, who defended the island from evil giants and other fell supernatural beings. He was said to be the only hero feared by Ysbaddaden [q.v.] and Scáthach [q.v.], aside from Medb.

Fathach / Fathaigh

(FAH-huhck / FAH-heye)

© by John HoweGiant; a huge anthropomorphic being. Some look like humans exactly, while others have more monstrous, even demonic, forms. However, not all are evil; one, Fann Mac Cuil [q.v.], was one of Ireland's greatest heroes.

Fear Dearg / Fir Dearga

(fahr DAH-ruhg / fihr DAH-ruh-guh) "Red Man"

© by HawkA solitary Faerie given to playing gruesome practical jokes, who invariably dresses in a red hat and coat. It tends to attach itself to houses and locales rather than families, and it demands cleanliness and orderliness. It can, however, help people trapped in Faerieland. It often asks to warm itself beside hearth and campfires, and dire misfortune will befall anyone who refuses.

Fear Gorta

(fahr GOR-tuh) "Man of Hunger"

© by Steve MendezA solitary Faerie that looks like an emaciated human, who appears as an omen of national calamity, such as famine. It travels from village to village, begging for alms, and anyone who gives it food or money receives good luck.

Feit / Feití

(fehch / FEH-chee) "Co-walker"

© by Rick McCollumA doppelganger, an apparition that is an exact double of a person about to die. It appears as a death-omen, either to the victim or his/her friends or relatives.

Fin Bheara

(fihn VAH-ruh)

© by RalléKing of the heroic Faeries of Connacht and ruler with his queen, Iúnadh [q.v.], of the mound of Cnocc Midh, which is one of the few that hosts both the spirits of the dead and members of the Tuatha Dé Danann. Though his wife is considered the most beautiful woman in our world or theirs, he is a womanizer and often kidnaps human women to be his mistresses, even other men's wives; he is also said to be married to several other Faerie women. He is a champion chess player; Medb was one the few humans to ever beat him. He is described as a grand, grave gentleman dressed all in black, but like all Daoine Sídhe [q.v.] he is a master of illusion. Medb helped him in a war against his sworn enemy, Ethal Anbual [q.v.], king of the Faeries of Ulaidh, but he tried to use her as his seven-year teind to Scáthach [q.v.], so she was forced to flee. Even so, she maintained cordial, if precarious, relations with him throughout her life.

Fir Bholg

(fyihr WO-luhg)

© by Wayne AndersonWhen the Fir Bholg were defeated by the Tuatha Dé Danann [q.v.], most retreated into western Ireland, in the region of what would later become the province of Connacht. Some, however, took refuge with the Gruagacha [q.v.] or the Cároicein [q.v.], and intermarried with them. The result was a race of trooping Faeries that took up residence in the many caves that dot the landscape. They are between the Daoine Sídhe [q.v.] and the Gruagacha in power — not as strong as the aristocrats but stronger than the peasants — and so form what would be the gentry in human society. As such, while not as dangerous as the Faerie nobility, they nonetheless should be treated with respect.

Fomórach / Fomóraigh

(FOH-moh-ruhck / FOH-moh-reye)

© by Rowena MorrillThe demons of Irish mythology and Medb's most implacable foes. These beings have come closer than any terrestrial race to becoming Great Old Ones, and may still make the final transformation, but for now they still think and act like humans.

Georoidh Iarla

(GOH-ray EE-uhr-luh)

© by John Jude PalencarEarl of Fitzgerald, and the Irish version of the Sleeping Warrior. He was the son of a Faerie woman and a master of Faerie magic. He and his warriors sleep under the Hill of Mullaghmast, waiting for the day when they would be needed to defend Ireland against invasion. Every seven years, they awaken long enough to ride seven times around the hill. Their horses are shod in silver horseshoes that were once a half-inch thick, and when they have been worn down as thin as a cat's ears, the sleeping spell will be broken and Iarla will rule as king of Ireland. Also every seven years, the door to the hill opens and humans can enter and speak to the Earl.

Gancanagh / Gancanaigh

(GAN-kuh-noy / GAN-kuh-neye)

© by Brian FroudLove Talker; the male counterpart of the Leanan Sídh [q.v.]. This Solitary Faerie haunts lonely glens, valleys, and woods, and tries to seduce human women. Any woman who succumbs and has sex with him will pine away and die a short time later. Though he uses illusion to create a pleasing appearance, he does not mesmerize the girl, but instead preys upon her loneliness and sadness and desire for affection and companionship. Girls who must spend many hours of the day alone, such as shepherdesses, are especially vulnerable. His signature is that he always carries a clay pipe, but never smokes it. They sometimes gather together, often with the Leanan Sídhe, to participate in secret revels.

Gruagach / Gruagacha

(GROO-uh-guhck / GROO-uh-guh-ckuh)

© by Winslow Pinney PelsThese rustic trooping Faeries are the quintessential "Little People" of Irish Faerie folklore. They are masters of illusion, and thus can appear as giants, powerful humans, or pixies, as they please. They can be helpful to humans who have gained their favor, and they love to play tricks on humans who have violated one of their taboos, but for the most part they prefer to keep to themselves. They are the plebeians of Faerie society, just as the Daoine Sídhe [q.v.] are the patricians.

Iogsótot

(YUHG-soh-tuht) "Yog-Sothoth"

© by Dave CarsonThe Fomóraigh worship this being as one of their chief gods, because of the metaphysical knowledge it imparts to them. Its very nature makes it coterminous with all of time and space, giving it knowledge of the nature of the universe possessed by few beings. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Iúnadh

(OO-nah)

© by James C. ChristensenThe wife of Fin Bheara [q.v.], queen of the heroic Faeries of Connacht, and co-ruler of the mound of Cnocc Midh. She is said to be the most beautiful woman of our world or theirs, but this cannot be confirmed, as she always appears wearing a silver veil. She does have golden hair that sweeps the ground, and she is always robed in silver gossamer that glitters as if covered with diamonds. It is unknown whether she tolerates her husband's many infidelities, or like Hera she takes revenge against his paramours.

Laignech Fáelead

(LAG-nihck FAY-luhd)

© by © by WizKids, Inc.Lycanthrope; a werewolf. Shapeshifting is one of the pre-eminent magical powers in Irish folklore. Faeries and witches are masters at it, and even many of the heroes of old could do it. However, lycanthropy is recognized as a curse, in which the victim seldom has any control over his or her transformations. It was said to run in certain families, such that each generation one or more members were afflicted by it.

Leanan Sídh / Leanan Sídhe

(LAH-nuhn SHEE / LAH-nuhn SHEE-ih)

© by GenzoA solitary Faerie woman, often mistaken for either a ban sídh [q.v.] or a baobhan sídh [q.v.]. She entices men to become her lovers, then she devours the life from them, but she does so gradually, so that they waste away over time. However, during this time she also inspires them, so that they become master poets, musicians, and storytellers. Her victims die young, but their lives burn brilliantly while they last.

Lepreacan / Lepreacain

(LEHP-ruh-kuhn / LEHP-ruh-kuhn)

© by Brian FroudLeprechaun; a solitary Faerie often seen under a bush making shoes. They are misers and horde fantastic treasure. If a human can capture one, he or she can make it tell where it has hidden it, but they are clever, and they always find a way to escape or otherwise prevent the human from gaining its fortune.

Mab

(mahb)

© by Kim TurnerHigh Queen of the Daoine Sídhe [q.v.] and supreme ruler of the light realm of the Otherworld. She is the most powerful of her kind and therefore the most dangerous. Though she tends to conduct herself honorably, she is still capricious and mercurial, and is subject to fits of extreme jealousy. Her power is so great even the Amadán Mór fears her, but she rarely acts to restrain him.

Meidh Gó / Meidh Ga

(meye goh / meye gah) "Mi-go"

© by CocytusThis interstellar race, which resembles fungoid crustaceans, conducts a number of mining operations in the mountains and caves of Ireland. They have sufficient metaphysical and technological power to remain independent of the Fomóraigh, but they often cooperate with them when their interests coincide. In the Iron Age they would be considered one of the many different types of Fomóraigh. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Moruadh / Moruaidh

(MO-roo-uh / MO-roo-ay) "Merrow"

© by UnknownMerpeople; a race of beings who live under the sea in magical kingdoms. They are shape-shifters, able to take on the forms of humans, cats, seals, fish, or the classical half-human with the fish tail. Whatever form they take, however, they have webbed fingers. The females are said to be very beautiful, though in a matronly manner, and try to entice human men to be their lovers. Often they drown these men afterwards, but sometimes they let them go and give them gifts of prophecy or poetry. Some can also be captured or wooed to become wives to human men. Some Irish families are said to be descended from the unions of men and mermaids. The male Merrows are said to be very ugly, yet they still try to entice human women, and will kidnap them when they can.

Piast / Piasta

(PEE-uhst / PEE-uhs-tuh)

© by Boris VallejoMonster, water beast; any fell supernatural creature not associated with any established group, particularly the large, mysterious creatures that inhabit the lakes. Not to be confused with the Draconaigh [q.v.].

Púca / Púcaí

(POO-kuh / POO-kuh-ee)

© by Brian FroudThe least dangerous of the water-horses. It is associated with small lakes and rivers, and it loves to play tricks on humans. Often it will appear as a horse and try to entice people to ride it. It may even allow the rider to control it at first, but eventually, especially once it smells water, it will become uncontrollable. After taking its victim on a wild ride through the countryside, it plunges into a large body of water to give him or her a good dunking. It can, however, help humans on occasion, and it can even allow itself to be tamed by great heroes.

Róine / Róiní

(ROH-nih / ROH-nee)

© by Don MaitzSeal-person; a being who takes the form of a seal. They live in enchanted lands under the sea, but often come to the surface to sun themselves and play in the surf. At certain times of the year their maidens come ashore and take off their seal skins to dance under the moon. If a man can steal a skin, he can force the maiden to remain with him as his wife, but if she ever finds it she will return to the sea without hesitation, deserting even her children. Sometimes, however, a maiden can fall in love with a human. In that case, she lives with him willingly, but if he violates any of her taboos she will leave him.

Scáthach

(SKAW-huhck) "Shadowy One"

© by UnknownShe rules the dark realm of the Otherworld, along with her consort, Dorchach [q.v.]. Though the creator of monsters, she is also a great warrior, and will train heroes she finds especially promising. However, all such warriors, no matter how pure, are forever tainted by their association with her.

Scíathdub / Scíathdubaí

(SHKEE-uh-duhb / SHKEE-uh-duh-bay) "Black Wing"

© by UnknownNightguant; beings allied with the Ghouls. They often protect their warrens from intruders and provide air support when the hounds must fight in the open. The Fomóraigh often used them as spies, scouts, saboteurs, and assassins, but never fully trusted them, since they were servitors of the Elder God Nodens. In the Iron Age they would be considered one of the many different types of Fomóraigh. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Seneach / Senigh

(SHEH-nuhck / SHEH-nee) "Old One"

© by Wayne BarloweThis is a nonhuman, non-terrestrial race that combines the attributes of plants and animals. They resemble crinoids, can live on land or in water, and can fly through space. Though they once ruled the world, in Medb's time they had retreated to a city under Antarctica and had cut themselves off from outside contact. However, they had an outpost in Ireland, where a number of them had been placed in suspended animation. Though not hostile to humanity, they are dispassionate and disinterested in the well being of Earth life, so they would not consider an alliance with any terrestrial race. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Seogot / Seogota

(SHOH-guht / SHOH-guh-tuh) "Shoggoth"

© by Tom SullivanThis is a race of protoplasmic beings created by the Senigh [q.v.]. They rebelled against their masters, and those who were not destroyed sought refuge with other races, including the Fomóraigh. The latter studied them, hoping to learn the secret of creating them, but also feared them, as they were too powerful to control. Hence, the Fomóraigh used them where they could, but otherwise keep them isolated. In the Iron Age they would be considered one of the many different types of Fomóraigh. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Sgáid / Sgáidí

(gawd / GAW-dee)

© by Brian FroudHag; a being that resembles an ugly old woman. Something of a cross between a giant and a witch, they represent the untamed forces of nature. They prey on humans and cause calamities, but they can on occasion aid great heroes.

Siabhar / Siabhra

(SHEE-uh-vuhr / SHEE-uhv-ruh)

© by David BolltDemonic Trooping Faeries who cause death and destruction, they are often called upon by other Faeries, witches, and druids to punish people who have insulted or harmed them. They are less deadly when they act on their own, but they are relentless.

Siob Niogurot

(shyuhb NIH-guh-ruht) "Shub-Niggurath"

© by UnknownThe Fomóraigh worship this being as one of their chief gods, though in fact many races and cultures have worshiped it as a fertility deity. It can take many different forms, but its two most common avatars are the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young (the female aspect) and the Black Ram with a Thousand Ewes (the male aspect). [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Siodadh Meil

(SHYUH-dah mehl) "Shudde-M'ell"

This being is the largest and most powerful Talmanaigh [q.v.] known; it may even be the father of the whole species. The Fomóraigh worship it as one of their chief gods, but it is one of their least important, for the geological nature of Ireland makes the island inhospitable to this being. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Sluagh Sídh / Sluagh Sídhe

(SLOO-uh shee / SLOO-uh SHEE-ih)

by P. N. ArboThe unsanctified dead, and in Ireland the primary constituents of the Unseelie Court. In life they were generally wicked and depraved; after death, they fly through the sky at night, kidnapping the unwary and forcing them to shoot béim sídhe at animals and people alike. They also try to steal the souls of the dying to force them to join their ranks. They may be the Irish version of the Wild Hunt.

Súire / Súirí

(SOO-ih-rih / SOO-ih-ree)

by Herbert James DraperNymph, siren; a solitary water Faerie. They are similar to the Moruaidh [q.v.], but they have white skin and human legs, they resemble young maidens, and they inhabit fresh water, especially rivers, pools, springs, and streams. They are extremely seductive and delight in enticing humans to make love to them, during which they drain the human of strength, vitality, and sometimes even life. However, they can be wooed and married, and they sometimes render aid to deserving humans.

Taidbse / Taidbsí

(TAV-shih / TAV-shee)

© by James C. ChristensenGhost, spirit, apparition; a shade of a dead person. Though the Irish dead usually go to the twilight realm of the Otherworld or into a Faerie mound, some are so tied to their former lives, or are so disturbed by their deaths, that they remain in the realm of the living, haunting certain locales. Most are harmless, but some are dangerous, and all can be frightening.

Talmanach / Talmanaigh

(TAH-luh-muh-nuhck / TAH-luh-muh-neye) "Earthy One"

© by Dave CarsonCthonians; the servitors of Siodadh Meil [q.v.]. These beings serve the Fir Bholg druid masters, whose knowledge of earth-lore make it possible for them to summon and control them. Medb knew how to summon them, but had never done so until she needed to use them to counter the use of the Cenél Rind [q.v.] by the Fomóraigh. In the Iron Age they would be considered one of the many different types of Fomóraigh. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Teine Sídh / Teine Sídhe

(TEH-nih SHEE / TEH-nih SHEE-ih) "Faerie Fire"

© by Joe CalkinsThe Irish version of the will o' the wisp. Though often mistaken for a form of ghost, they are actually solitary Faeries. They are perceived to be ill-omens, even death omens, and even at their most benign they can hypnotize people and lead them astray, whether by accident, as a mischievous prank, or as a deliberate attack.

Tuath Dracon / Tuatha Dracoin

(TOO-uh DRAH-kuhn / TOO-uh-huh DRAH-kihn) "Tribe of the Dragon"

© by Mark J. FerrariSerpent People; also known as the Dragon Kings and the Ophidians. This was a race of intelligent serpents with limbs. Their civilization predated that of mankind's by millions of years, during which they had acquired a high degree of metaphysical and technological power, but by Medb's time the vast majority had degenerated both mentally and physically into monsters, the so-called Worms of the Earth. Their leaders consisted of those individuals that had achieved immortality or had used suspended animation to survive into the time of mankind. The Fomóraigh exploited the Worms and cooperated with the leaders, but did not trust them because they knew the Ophidians sought to regain their lost hegemony. In the Iron Age they would be considered one of the many different types of Fomóraigh. [This is a Cthulhu Mythos being, and will not be found in Irish or Celtic folklore.]

Tuatha Dé Danann

(TOO-uh-huh day DAH-nawn) "People of the Goddess Danu"

© by Arthur RackhamThe Danann tried to live peaceably with the Sons of Mileadh who had conquered them, but finally they revolted. When they were put down, their leader the Daghda led them into the Magh Mór. There they flourished, and became part of the Faerie nobility. Though often mistaken for the Daoine Sídhe [q.v.] (and vice versa), they remain a distinct race, though some intermarriage has occurred. Though exceedingly powerful in their own right, they are not as inimical towards the human race as the Sídhe, but that is beginning to change.

Uisbeadaden

(IHSH-buh-duh-dihn) "Ysbaddaden"

© by John Jude PalencarThe brother of Scáthach [q.v.] and ruler of the underworld. Its usual appearance is that of a monstrous giant, but it is capable of taking any form it desires. Uisbeadaden had at one time ruled the upper world until driven underground by the hero Partholón, at which point it pretty much disappeared from Irish myth and legend. In Medb's time, however, the Fomóraigh were in contact with it and used it in their fight against the Tuatha Dé Danann.

 

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