Tag Archives: murder

A Modern Bestiary – T is for Trowe

  T is for Trowes, and I don’t mean britches, though many Trowes wear them, and so they spare us the sight of that which no woman can find enticing. They are thought to be barrow wights by some, but are not ghostly. Merely invisible when they wish. Some consider them close kin to trolls because they too are creatures of the night. Others think them a form of the undead. But sunlight does not burn a Trowe, as it will a vampire. Nor will it turn one into solid rock.

  Now a rarity even in the Orkney Isles, and sometimes the Shetlands, the Trowes are dwarf-like in appearance, being short and somewhat misshapen, low-browed creatures.

They mainly go barefoot and cannot be shod by a cobbler working with any type of hide less resilient than that of a dragon. Their toe nails, you see, can drill right through boiled leather. Besides which, a Trowe with a howe to maintain soon grows annoyed by the need to remove his shoes or boots for the sake of digging in the dirt or tunneling into the dark red sandstone of the Orkneys, using his natural assets.

Some there are who live in sea caves, or atop rugged sea mounts, preferring those which offer them a solitude untroubled by the presence of humans.

  One such rocky pinnacle, the so-called Old Man of Hoy (Hoy being the island itself), was actually named for the Trowe who calls it home, although most modern men have long since forgotten about him.

Another group of Trowes guards the Yesnaby cliffs on the Isle of Hrossey. 

The most-feared of the Trowes is the Hogboon, which once haunted nearly every old mound to be found in the Orkneys. The word itself is a corruption of the Old Norse term haug-bui, or sometimes haug-buinn. It can be roughly translated as “mound-dweller” or “mound-farmer.”

An especially unpleasant Hogboon once inhabited the most famous mound of all, called Maeshowe by modern men and Orkahaugr by the Vikings.

 Maeshowe is a passage tomb, built nearly five thousand years ago. The Vikings never succeeded in evicting the so-called Hug Boy or Hog Boy of Maeshowe, who possessed amazing strength of both body and body odor. But tourists have now accomplished the feat using cameras and cell phones and loud, silly questions!

The Trowes and the Hogboons, however, should not be considered true Fae. They are instead hybrids of men and mound-dwellers! For long before ever the Vikings showed up, there were men here. Smallish, dark-haired, clever men.

And women too, of course. They were Pictish, and wild enough to give even the Roman legionnaires a real run for their money. Hence Hadrian’s Wall, built to keep the nasty buggers out!

 Much inclined to go naked in battle, especially during fair weather campaigns, it was the Picts’s custom to paint themselves bright blue with woad, which only made them more frightful to look upon. Worse, it did nothing to ease that personal aroma problem, also horrific to the bath-addicted Legionnaires.

The Romans never did succeed in conquering Pictland, let alone the Northern Isles. In 875 A.D., however, the Vikings invaded. They did take over the islands, and many a Pict went into hiding. Some moved into the mounds, where sharing close quarters with hogboons all through the long dark winters of the Northern Isles (and remember – the winter wind can scour them at 130 miles per hour, come January)… well, nature took its course.

One result? The Trowe has now acquired a taste for certain human forms of music and dance! For fiddlers, in particular.

Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy, for example, are the favorite musicians of many a modern hogboon!

And since the Fall, there are more than a few Trowes living here in the New World. You will find them in the Mother Lode, where old gold mines offer them shelter and privacy near enough to what they had at home in Faerie.

Some old mines offer much more than others, however.

The Black Bart Inn, in San Andreas, California, for example, has a dance floor in its basement that IS an old gold mine, wherein much music is made. And tales are told of a ‘ghost’ who pulls many a prank on customers and bartenders alike.

I cannot say whether this mischievous spirit is truly a ghost or a Trowe who has taken up residence in a congenial tunnel. No need to worry overmuch, as the haunting of the Black Bart Inn has never resulted in serious injury to a human, although on at least one occasion, it did lead to flying pie in the restaurant. A rude remark by a tourist led to the pie case being yanked open by unseen hands, and the contents being flung in all directions. Without whipped cream, so it could have been worse. Or maybe just a bit tastier.

If you should wander into an old mine up in the Mother Lode, however, and happen upon an odd ‘face’ in the rock…


You’ve certainly stepped into a Trowe’s howe!  Save yourself. If you can, run. If you can’t, bring a fiddle along, or least a bit of fiddle music you can play – Alison Krauss and Union Station, for example – and be polite! Because no one is likely to find your bones if you trespass upon a Trowe’s hide-out and don’t even bother to carry an I-pod!


A Modern Bestiary – S is for Spriggan

Yes, S is for Spriggan – perhaps the most unsightly of the Fae.  Sometimes referred to as ‘goat-men’, they are grotesque in several ways, and dangerous despite their small size.

         Here, a spriggan is shown emerging from a wall in Crouch End, London. It’s a talent born of the creature’s make-up, which is closely related to stone.

A spriggan often looks like a wizened old man, but has a large child-like head that resembles a human child with progeria. That would be the rare genetic defect that causes a human child to age with such rapidity the youngster is already dying of old age by the time he or she approaches anything like adult size. Nearly all of them die before reaching the age of 14.

  Humans suffering from progeria tend to go bald at a very early age, but commonly wear headgear to conceal the fact. Because of this, one might mistake a human for a spriggan, which is not nearly as risky as its converse, mistaking a spriggan for a human.

These are traits common to progeria victims, to which I would add ‘manga eyes’ – the disproportionately large head often features eyes that look too large as well, as is often depicted in ‘manga’ style graphic novels.

   Some look less human than others.

   And some, like this little girl, resemble living mummies.

The spriggan, however, is actually kin to the trolls of Scandinavia.

  Note the large nose and sparse hair and fur on this young troll’s body.

  The adult troll, however, can grow to a considerable size, and is as well known for its brute strength as its body odor and its lack of intellect.

The spriggan can also grow to enormous size, and do so almost instantaneously!  This is why they are sometimes said to be the ghosts of giants.  Well, in the Nordic sense of the Jotun, this is partially true – the Norse have never clearly drawn a line separating the giants from the trolls in Jotunheim. The spriggan is distinct from the troll, however, in one important respect – a spriggan can withstand direct sunlight where a troll is apt to be turned to stone in a permanent fashion or burnt to a crisp.

This unfortunate fellow poked his head of his cave at the wrong time.

A Celtic spriggan of the traditional sort is mostly likely to be found in Cornwall these days. Wherever you find one, however, it is best to view the creature as anything but ethereal, whether or not it can pass through walls and emerge from stones.  In some ways, it is made of stones and sometimes looks like a stack of rocks come to sudden and rather horrifying life.

  Do NOT throw rocks at a spriggan!  They are apt to return the favor by throwing chunks of themselves at you in turn, and with deadly accuracy. What’s worse, they can recall the parts they’ve hurled at you, rather like Thor’s hammer, and then, of course, they can do it all over again.  As many times as they like.

For this reason, and because they are impervious to so many magical weapons and spells, the spriggans often serve as bodyguards to other fae.

Unlovely, yes, but effective in their own way.

Spriggans also serve as guards and watchmen. Formerly, they were often found at the sites of ancient ruins, stone cairns (which they can imitate to an amazing degree), and barrows, especially if the tombs contain any form of buried treasure.

Nowadays, and especially since the Fall, spriggans often work as security guards at banks and check-cashing offices.

If you should spot a security guard who sports a prominent nose, large eyes, and a bald head, like either of these two fellows, be polite and keep your distance.  Above all, if you should have grand larceny in mind, go pick another bank to rob!



A Modern Bestiary – R is for Rosmer

1126931186_imefairy32 The Rosmer is a peculiar creature, often described as having the head of either a horse, a whale, or a dog with its tongue hanging out.  Sailors have also reported seeing a mane of coarse hair on its pate and lots of whiskers on its face.  Supposedly, it has a human’s arms and torso, though those “hands” are heavily clawed, and its body ends with the tail of a fish.

rosmarine_27681_lg  This version sports four feet while others depict only two.  And that tusky head looks more like that of a boar than a dog or a whale.

Sometimes called a Ruszor by the Vikings, or a Rosmarine by the British, it normally prefers the icy waters of the north, and is far better known from the shores of Norway, or the Orkneys and the Shetlands, than it is from the rest of Great Britain.

The Rosmer, however, is not a Hippocampus or true sea-horse, like the one shown below.

seahorse-by-oz-best  Nor is it half as friendly as the Hippocampus tends to be.  The Rosmer will certainly not offer a ride and rescue to sailors who have been washed overboard.  Alas, the Rosmers are lascivious creatures and highly inclined to disport themselves with any hapless humans they run across in their domain.

Rampant by nature, they are apt to assault passersby with the relevant body parts and such encounters are commonly lethal.  That is because the typical Rosmer has an organ that is stiffened and reinforced with a sturdy os penis, or baculum, such that it resembles a battering ram and lacks only a forged iron ram’s head.

battering-ram  The Romans were highly dependent on symbolism, and considered rams to be admirable for their overt “masculinity” if not their aroma.  Literal-minded, the lot of them.

In times of old, the Rosmer was inclined to ignore humans, whether it encountered them in the water, aboard a boat, or ashore on either land or ice.  They could come ashore themselves and take off their “skins” in the same way as selkies, but seldom did so.  In any case, humans were fewer in number and boats were far smaller back then.  Humans who were inclined to slaughter living creatures purely for the sake of those ivory tusks were not armed with rifles, like those who kill elephants now, and so were more evenly matched with their prey.

walrus-ivory     For some reason, humans often feel compelled to carve pieces of ivory, as has been done here.

walrus-scrimshaw-2          In other cases, they seem to think that scrimshaw, somehow, is more needful and beautiful than the living creature itself.

Try to take a Rosmer’s tusks, however, and the outcome will be anything but artistic.  Instead of a walrus, which they greatly resemble, the ivory hunter may find himself confronting an irate fae creature massing as much as 22 times the weight of the man.  The Rosmer will not hesitate to express his opinion on the matter, using either his bulk, his tusks, or his penis which, as noted above, is even more impressive than that of the average walrus.


And the walrus is rather amazing.  Here, for example, is a link to video showing a walrus engaging in autoerotica.  Warning:  you may wish to view it in privacy.


The walrus’ baculum often reaches two feet in length, and is hefty enough that the Inuit, who call them oosiks, once used them as war clubs.

walrus-baculum1Imagine, then, the Rosmer whose baculum is displayed below:

rosmer-the-largest-ever-penis-bone-2    And  imagine what that bone might do to a disrespectful human!

Worse yet, the Rosmer feeds in much the same way as a walrus.  It uses vibrissae (whiskers) on its face to search the sediments on the sea bottom for shellfish.

walrus-vibrissae                  On sensing clams and the like, it will either root for its supper or use its tongue to shoot hydraulic jets at the muck.  Upon catching the clam, it will then use that tongue in reverse to suck its prey right out of its shell, a process which requires no more than six seconds regardless of the clam’s size (which may rival that baculum).

walrus-food    An irate Rosmer may do the same to those parts of a man that are cylindrical and therefore vaguely clam-shaped. Thus the hapless hunter may find himself catching it fore AND aft.

Since the Fall, Rosmers are finding life difficult in this world.  Like the walrus, they depend on pack ice overlaying the continental shelf where the seas are shallow.  There, they can most easily reach their own happy hunting grounds 150 feet below and then rest or reproduce in relative safety on the ice floes.


The north polar ice cap, however, is shrinking, and retreating from the continental shelves with astonishing speed as a result of global warming.  Here’s a look at what is happening in the Chukchi Sea:


This leaves the walrus and the Rosmer with fewer places to even exist, let alone prosper.  Should the Rosmer realize what is happening, I would expect them to act in self-defense, or perhaps to seek vengeance.  What form that might take, I cannot say, but must assume it will be proportionate to the crime, which is a form of genocide.

A Modern Bestiary – Q is for the Questing Beast

1126931186_imefairy32The Questing Beast is a curious creature.  Some say it’s compounded of several others .  It has the head of a snake, the body of a leopard, the backside of a lion and the hooves of a deer.

questing_beast_by_navarose-d6y907x  Which sounds something like this, does it not?  Or even this:

questingbeast-2  The latter version looks less like a Frankenstein’s monster, I think.  The color scheme is far more functional for a beast well known to spend most of its time in the woods.

The traditional view is taken from the legends of King Arthur.

questing-beast-and-arthur According to the highly unreliable Mallory, the Questing Beast confronted Arthur after his affair with Morgause, his half-sister.

Somehow Mallory overlooked the fact that Arthur waylaid both his half-sisters, and was not in the least confused about who they truly were.  Morgause, after all, was the wife of King Lot of the Orkneys, and therefore a personage in her own right.  As for Morgaine… ah, that is a long said tale for another day.

morgan_le_fay-sandys_frederick_  Morgaine le Fey was a good friend of mine, and of many other elves, which is why I named my only daughter in her honor.  I did not know Morgause well at all but you may rest assured that both sisters had good cause for the enmity they held toward their brother.  As did Mordred, the bastard son born to Morgause and Arthur who would later destroy his father’s kingdom.

Supposedly, Arthur was taking a nap and woke from a dreadful dream about the lad and that catastrophe to come.  And that is when he saw the Questing Beast drinking from a nearby pool. 

questing-beast-w-arthur  Here is a far more accurate depiction of the Beast, which is closer kin to a giraffe than a leopard, snake, or lion.  One wonders if earlier artworks were based upon third or fourth-hand accounts of the African wonder, as is the camelopardis.

The man most famous for hunting the Questing Beast was King Pellinore, whose whole family was dedicated to the task.

sir-palomedes-2   It was Sir Palamedes, the Saracen Knight of the Round Table, though, who finally succeeded in killing the creature.

Pellinore claimed the Questing Beast had been born of a human woman, a princess who lusted after her brother, the prince (reverse the genders involved and it sounds familiar, doesn’t it? )  She proceeded to sleep with a demon who promised he would make the boy love her.  When she turned up pregnant as a result, the princess promptly accused her brother of rape.

Interesting how both of the brothers involved in Mallory’s incestuous situations with their sisters end up being “falsely accused” in one way or another.


artus2-by-durer  Here is the “heroic” King Arthur as Albrecht Dürer portrayed him.  Literally a knight in shining armor.

As for Pellinore’s “innocent” prince, his father had him torn apart by dogs as punishment for his crime. Before the prince died, however, he predicted his sister would give birth to an abomination, and that the monster would make the same sounds as the pack of dogs waiting to kill him.

This is supposed to be the origin of the sound the Questing Beast makes, which originates from its stomach and has been described as resembling that made by a pack of thirty or forty dogs on the hunt.  Because of this, the Questing Beast is also known at the Beast Glatisant, which means the Barking Beast.

dog-pack  Personally, I find a large pack of dogs in full cry to be quite disturbing.  Especially if they are hunting me and mine.

Tales of the Quest for the Holy Grail, however, describe the Beast in very different terms.  In one case, it  is pure white in color.  It is still a chimera, but smaller than a fox and quite beautiful.  The noise from its belly, however, is that made by its unborn offspring, who achieve birth by tearing their mother apart from within.

The truth is worse than this.  The youngsters consume their mother, and then set off as a group to pursue and pull down other prey.  In Faerie, they would have been schooled by older males even as older bull elephants train young rogues.

marauding-elephants  Here, a young bull elephant is about to learn a lesson in manners.

In this world, however, few adult males survived the Fall.  The Barking Beasts do not truly mature here.  They do not part ways with the pack either, and their savagery is remarkable.  Their handiwork is now commonly mistaken for the work of werewolves despite the striking differences in the wounds made by their fangs.

If you would defend yourself from even one of them, however, you would be well-advised to rely on cold iron rather than silver bullets.

werewolf-full-moon  And do not think you are only at risk when the moon is full.



A Modern Bestiary – N is for Nuckelavee

1126931186_imefairy32The Nuckelavee is horrid in pretty much every way, from its appearance to its manners to what I can only describe with any honesty as halitosis from Hell.

In general, the creature is a bit like a centaur in that a man’s torso is joined to a horse.  But the man is legless and the horse is rotting.  Neither have any skin to speak of, so white tendons, red muscles, and yellow blood vessels are all plainly visible.

nuckelavee___custom_action_figure_by_creaturesh-d567hbw  This version depicts the traditional form of the Nuckelavee, where the manlike half features a head with a single over-sized blood-red eye and elongated arms that can easily reach the ground and snatch up a hapless human.

Its overall red coloring is inaccurate, however, as the blood of the Nuckelavee is black, and the muscles therefore darker than what is shown here.  Nor does this image convey the pulsations of those blood vessels, which are sickening in their own right.  The nuckelavee is more a fae zombie than anything else.

The equine portion shown here is also poorly done as to musculature, though the fin-like extensions at the horse’s leg joints are fairly true to form.  There are some, in fact, who consider the creature a hybrid of the Scottish water-horse or kelpie and a demonic rider who may well hail from the Wild Hunt.


This more modern version, though, is clearly wrong, deriving more from ancient Greek mythology than the traditional lore of the Orkneys.

Known for its hatred of humankind, there are those to this day who will not even speak its name for fear of summoning one of them.  The nuckelavee is particularly offended by those who burn seaweed on the beach in order to produce mounds of what was called kelp in the 1700s.  It is actually soda ash, an alkaline material used to ‘sweeten’ acidic soil, and to manufacture soap and glass.


Here, a kelpwife tends a fiery kelp pit at the Ness o’ Brough in Sanday.

The pungent smoke smells nearly as bad as the nuckelavee‘s own toxic breath, and the creature is apt to respond by using its bad breath to set off epidemics and/or droughts, killing horses and cattle and crops in addition to humans.  One disease in particular is blamed on the angry fae – mortasheen, also known as glanders.  It kills horses by infecting the respiratory tract and causing ulcers that will not heal, and it can spread to men as well as other domesticated animals.


This depiction renders the horse half far too hound-like, in my opinion, but the attitude shown is true to life.

Once found only among the Orkney Islands, an archipelago off the northern tip of Scotland, the nuckelavee have been displaced by war, by industrial development, by the spread of cold iron and human machines, and now, by the Fall itself.  Having largely retreated from this world into Faerie, some of them were then flung back through the doors between the worlds and landed in places where they’ve never been seen before.  That would include the coast of California, which is now in it’s 5th year of drought and where a peculiar wasting disease is afflicting the starfish in coastal waters.

A coincidence?  I think not!

There is, however, a way to escape the nuckelavee, should it attack.  For reasons I’ve always assumed are related to its lack of skin, the creature is repulsed by fresh water.  If you can splash it with the contents of your water bottle, it will flee.  If you can skip across to the other side of a freshwater stream, or jump into a lake, it will not continue its pursuit.

nuckalavee-with-hellboy  I do not recommend using this approach unless you too have a Fist From Hell.  Nor does gunfire seem to have much effect on the beast, perhaps because the creature is already dead and therefore cannot be killed.

In the Orkneys, it was the Mither o’ the Sea who kept a leash on the nuckelavee, confining him during the summer months while she worked to undo the harm wrought by Teran, the Orcadian spirit of winter.  Likewise, during the coldest parts of the year, the beast is kept in check by rainfall, which it abhors in equal measure.


The Mither has much in common with the Greek deity Circe.  However, She has not been seen since the Fall, and may have been trapped in Faerie, or lost to us altogether.

One thing is certain.  Global warming is rapidly increasing the severity and frequency of droughts in many parts of the world.  Reduced freshwater flow is shutting down municipal wells along the California seashore in places like Monterey.  In the San Francisco Bay and Delta, it is resulting in ever more salt water intrusion upriver from the bay.  This is exactly opposite what is needed to keep the nuckelavee at bay.


A Modern Bestiary – M is for Macamore

1126931186_imefairy32Macamore means “man of the sea” but you might just as well call them “pigs of the sea” for they are an unlovely lot.

While the female merrow is comely indeed and a siren in both form and feature, the male of the species is characterized by green hair and teeth, as they’ve never felt the need for dental hygiene.  Withal, they have a predator’s  cold eyes, often described as pig-like.  The macamore‘s nose is bulbous and a perpetual red from  his fondness for rum, while his limbs are misshapen by fin-like extensions from every joint.


The female merrow is a kind of mermaid and fond of seducing lonely fishermen like this lad.  She is a more-than-willing companion, since her alternatives are less than attractive.


You’d expect a macamore to look like this, wouldn’t you?  But you’d be wrong.


At best he looks something like this.  And at worst…


What’s more, if you look very closely, you’ll notice the absence of certain equipment commonly found among men but not mermen, whose form is fishlike in certain departments.  The difference can be disappointing, to say the least, once a merrow has tried life ashore and the pleasures to be had there.


“I’ve had it with halibut!  Where’s the beef?!”

So long as the merrow takes care not to lose her cohuleen druith, a magical cap that allows her to breathe underwater, then she is free to emerge from the sea and take up with mortal men.  Should it be lost, however, she would be doomed to a life on land, a life of sorrow as her young man ages and finally dies.  Eventually, she does likewise.

What does this little cap look like?  Well, it’s said to resemble a Spanish bullfighter’s montera, but that is ridiculous.

montera  No woman of my acquaintance would ever wear this monstrosity, human or fae!

Macamores wear them too, but in their case, it’s made from a yarmulke (no, they are not Jewish!  They are not even remotely kosher.  Like the rest of the Fallen, they are making do with what they can find here, and yarmulkes are metal-free).

Naturally, the preference shown by the female form for human companionship doesn’t sit well with the macamores.  Add their sexual frustrations to the stresses and strains of being stranded in this cold world, where the oceans are awash with plastic detritus, the sea floor is littered with nets and steel fish hooks, and factory ships strip the world of its finned wealth with no regard for the future – well, it’s a wonder they don’t simply go on a rampage at every turn.

Lately, things have been a bit strange.

For instance, it’s Dungeness crab season on the Pacific Coast.  Normally, this is a time of joyful abundance for San Francisco’s fishermen and sea food lovers too…


Not so much for the Dungeness crabs themselves…


And their escape attempts have suddenly become much more successful than usual because…


That’s right – they’re packing!

The word is, the macamores have begun taking sides in the perennial contest between fishermen and their catch.  In some cases, that means mere pranks, but you can’t hand out a howitzer to a humpback whale or even itty bitty derringers to Dungeness crabs without setting off larger conflicts.

If you should encounter a macamore, I’d advise you to reel in your line.  Hang it up for the day and head for home, and when you get there, count your blessings.





A Modern Bestiary – L is for Llallogan

1126931186_imefairy32 Poor Lallogan – he’s been known by so many names.  Llallogan is the diminutive of Llallawg, his original name, but he’s also been called Lailoken and, in later years, Myrddin Wyllt (meaning Myrddin the Wild).  Which you may recognize as the Welsh form of Merlin.

wilder_mann-by-paulus-vischer-ca-1521  Wilder Mann by Paulus Vischer, ca. 1521 A.D.  This is how the Wild Man of the Woods is usually portrayed, nearly or completely nude, and terribly hairy.  A madman, of course, because who else would live like this? 

Sometimes the Wild Man is shown as something of a giant.


The Fight in the Forest, a drawing by Hans Burgkmair, ca 1501 A.D.

The original, however, was the size of an ordinary man.  Perhaps a bit taller and more slender than most, Llallogan was a bard in the service of King Gwenddoleu in Strathclyde (yes, that’s in Scotland, not Wales).  In 573 A.D., Llallogan was present at the Battle of Arfderydd in which his king was killed.  In fact, as he told it to me very nearly a hundred years later, everybody was killed.  King Gwenddoleu’s rival was Rhydderch Hael of Strathclyde, who was not a forgiving soul.  He had every man jack of the defeated army slaughtered, leaving alive only Llallogan, so that the bard could tell the tale and terrify those who might want to oppose him.


Llallogan was not even particularly hairy, though he did wear furs and sometimes a mask with an animal’s face.

The whole thing was too much for Llallogan.  He developed what would be called, today, PTSD.  It drove him mad, and he took to the woods in hopes, I believe, of becoming an animal.  He no longer desired to be a man, having seen the darkest side of mankind.  And while he wandered, it is said that he also developed the gift of prophecy.

And then he met St. Kentigern.

I was not present at the time, so I cannot attest to the truth of the legend arising from that encounter, called Lailoken and St. Kentigern, but the saint apparently tried to help poor Llallogan find peace through prayer and simple comradeship.


Eventually, he succeeded in converting Lllallogan to Christianity, an event commemorated here in a stained glass window at Stobo Kirk.

merlins_altarstone_stobo_kirk  And this is the altar stone at Stobo Kirk where Llallogan (or Myrddin) was baptized by St. Kentigern.

Baptism did not resolve Llallogan’s madness, however.  What St. Kentigern did not know was that Llallogan was a changeling.  Born of Faerie and traded for a human child, he did not know it himself, save that he never fit into society and found solace only in music.  Being fae, he was horrified far more than most by unnatural death, and murder en masse overwhelmed him.

Thus what he needed was comfort, calm, and training in the use of magic, so that he could attain control of the memories that troubled him so.  That was not my doing.  I merely transported the creature, for he was one by then, back to Faerie and put him in Oberon’s care.

His fae nature, of course, is what gave birth to the prophecies.  One, alas, concerned the man who tried so hard to help him – St. Kentigern.  On the very day mad Llallogan came to the saint and asked for the Sacrament of Baptism, he foretold St. Kentigern’s martyrdom, calling it a triple death.  This must have set the priest back on his heels a bit, but he carried out the rite.  Then, later that same day, he was captured by King Meldred’s men, all pagans.  They beat him with clubs and then threw him into the river Tweed where his body was impaled on a stake.  This, of course, did nothing for Llallogan’s peace of mind.  He blamed himself for the saint’s brutal murder, along with all those committed by Rhydderch Hael.

merlin_history  Much later, when he had somewhat recovered himself, Llallogan returned and settled in Wales and became an archetype well known from Arthurian legends.  His like is found nowadays in all manner of foot-thick fantasies and video games and TV shows and movies.  He remained what he was at heart, a stranger in a strange land, never quite part of this world.