The Fachen is a creature better known to men as Peg Leg Jack, although he has no Peg. In fact, he’s something of a Halfling, since he has only one arm, one leg, and one eye. That does not make him a hobbit, however, regardless of his other name: Direach Ghlinn Eitidh, or the Dwarf of Glen Etive.
Nor does it make him the giant shown here! Fright was the mother of this exaggeration!
It’s also something of a misnomer to use the pronoun ‘he,’ for the Fachen is neither male nor female. It is hermaphroditic, and capable of self-gratification and self-fertilization if it cannot find a willing partner. Such arrangements do not lend themselves to a balanced and rational outlook on life. Hence its frightful reputation.
The creature is also surprisingly agile despite its lack of symmetry. It can hop along with all the speed of a galloping horse, but its single arm is an unsightly mess – muscular, yes, but mangled, and some say it’s withered in comparison to its leg. Worse yet, the arm juts out from the middle of its torso, rather than one side or the other. Its foot also emerges from the body at an awkward angle.
But both of these are well wide of the mark. The Fachen does not wear clothes, as such. Instead it sports a thick mane of black or blue feathers which may or may not form a tuft or a crest at the top of its head.
This crude image comes closer to the truth, especially where the attitude is concerned.
The Fachen, you see, is willing to eat anything. Anybody. And if it has time, and it isn’t too hungry, why, Peg Leg Jack likes to play with his food. That means torture and torment and frequently, slow dismemberment. Therefore you’d be well-advised to avoid the Fachen. Do not on any account attempt to go to its aid as you might a wounded veteran or a human handicapped in some other way.
It would be wise to take care at the zoo as well. Since the Fall, the Fachen stranded here have adopted the same kinds of mimicry as their lesser brethren, the Ellyll. They dare not spend much of their magic on that, though, and therefore seek out the company of creatures whom they can easily imitate.
No one thinks twice if they see a flamingo standing around on one leg!
If they conceal the one arm with their feathers, the glamour required is not all that taxing. The bright pink, even, can be achieved with a bit of food coloring, Peg Leg Jack being pretty much useless at filtering brine shrimp out of the water.
Flamingos do not seem to mind the additional company either. Perhaps it’s because of the birds’ propensity for group sex. They won’t breed until the flock is large enough to allow it, which is why zookeepers sometimes resort to placing mirrors in their cages, to make the flamingos think they’ve achieved a reproductive quorum. A few Fachen hiding out in the flock can make all the difference, and the Fachen are willing participants.
As for their origins…we do not speak of that. I will say only that they were made, not born of Nature, in the same fashion as the Fiji Mermaid once so beloved of P.T Barnum. Or Frankenstein’s monster. Their maker has been punished for this, and as far as I know did not survive the Fall. Or if she did, she is still trapped in Faerie, beyond our reach. I wish the Fachen were as well.