CALEDONIA CRYPTOPEDIA

Learn about the monsters and Scottish folklore in CALEDONIA.

 

Urisk

 

These waterfall guardians of the Scottish Highlands are said to be some of the ugliest creatures in the folklore of Scotland. Lonely and kind, their greatest wish is to befriend humans, who they adore and admire. However, long experience with Scotland's other monsters meant that humans generally ran away from urisks, so they are often depicted sitting sadly by their waterfall in the hopes that a human will walk by. Examples: Gregoire.

 

Gumiho

 

The Nine-Tailed Fox Woman of South Korean folklore is deadly. They seduce men and eat their livers. The legends vary, but claim that a gumiho can become human if she denies herself liver for an extended amount of time. In the Caledonia universe, a gumiho must abstain from eating liver for 1,500 years in order to become human again. Examples: Lee Yoo Min.

 

Phoenix

 

This creature from many Middle Eastern cultures is a bird that spontaneously combusts every 500 years, only to be reborn again. They are born of the Sun and therefore associated with light and fire, which can both burn and purify. Examples: Nour-El-Ain.

 

Nuckelavee

 

The Nuckelavee is a legend from the Scottish Highlands and Orkney. A malevolent creature that is the shape of a man attached to (rather than astride) the back of a horse, both of which have no skin. The teeth in the man's head and the horse's are long and pointed, and the man has arms that are much too long, with enormous long claws that drag on the ground. The Nuckelavee chased unwary travellers on lonely pathways, but could be escaped if fresh water was crossed. Example: Nuckelavee Guardian.

 

Guardians and Attendants

 

In Caledonia, there are six Guardians of Glasgow, served by Attendants of various races. These Guardians protect the city and the people within, while the Attendants are sentinels or foot soldiers. If a Guardian is weakened or killed in some way, another Guardian is called to take its place.

 

Selkie

 

Seals in the sea, men on land. They are universally dark haired with dark eyes and fair skin, beautiful to look at, refined, and well-groomed. They emerge from the sea to have affairs with humans, and then return to the water. If someone disappointed in love cries seven tears into the sea, a selkie becomes Taken – beholden to them forever. If an Untaken selkie's sealskin is captured, he will be bonded to them  – but as if he were a slave. Generally, the children of these pairings will discover a 'leather coat in the attic', which turns out to be the sealskin, and the selkie will return to the sea and break their lover's heart, for their duplicity. Other stories involve the selkie returning for the child of the one-night union, to train it in the skills of the seal-people.   Many selkie tales are romantic tragedies, but selkies can also fall in love on their own terms, a pairing that generally involves taking the human back to the sea and turning them into a seal.   Selkies are exclusively male, bisexual, and mate only with humans in Caledonia. Examples: Dorian Grey, Magnus Grey.

 

Giants

 

Solitary, gruff, and aggressive, the giants used to inhabit the Highlands and Ireland. Benandonner is probably the most famous Scottish giant – he built the Giant's Causeway to chase the Irish hero Finn MacCool, who had taunted him from across the water.  By the time Benandonner arrived in Ireland, Finn had lain in his son's cradle. When the giant saw how large and strong the baby was, he wondered how terrible the father might be.  Benandonner ran back to Scotland, destroying the Causeway behind him for fear that Finn MacCool would follow.

Examples: Chief Inspector Benandonner.

 

Baobhan Sith

 

The only true vampire in Highland folklore. These are Highland vampires. Unlike other vampires, they kill with their long nails rather than fangs. These vampires are uniformly female.

 

Examples: Desdemona, Robert Burns.

 

Ceasg

 

Much like the baobhan sith, there is only one true mer-creature in Scottish folklore - the ceasg.  A ceasg is a half-human with a salmon's tail.  Depending upon its mood, it can either grant three wishes, or eat souls.  Examples: Milo.

 

Fae/Fey/Faeries

 

The word 'Faerie' or 'Fae' tends to refer to all creatures of folklore, as they are primarily referred to under this umbrella term; the other term used to describe the entire faerie race in Caledonia is supernaturals.  The word Fey, with this spelling. is used to differentiate the trooping faeries (also called elves) from the other Faerie kind.

Examples: Aonghais, Dylan.

 

Kelpie

 

Often confused with the each uisge, or water horse, the kelpie inhabits rivers. On land, it is a beautiful horse; in the water, a vicious monster.  They are known to lure children into the depths.  Example: the Clyde Kelpie.