Goblins by Brian Froud

The word goblin is derived from the Greek "kobalos" meaning rogue. Appropriately, goblins are known as the thieves and villians of the fae realm. The term goblin can apply either to the ugliest members of the fae, or to certain sub-races.

Some reside in mines where they search for the earth's treasures (though not all goblins are adept at this pratice, Kobolds and Wichtlein mime the act by stricking pickaxes and hammers against the stones). Human miners take the resulting sounds as a sign of good luck, believing the present ore to be of high value. Other goblins choose human residences where their mischief includes the banging of pots and pans, rearranging furnitrue, removing the clothes from sleeping humans and knocking on doors and walls. Still others of the family prefer grottos, often residing in the same one for their entire life.

Those fae numbered among the goblin subraces, include: Scottish Trows, Scandinavian Trolls, English Spriggans, Welsh Knockers, Cornish Knockers, German Kobolds, the Irish Phooka and even Shakespeare's infamous Puck are all considered goblins.

The Maiden Fair and the Fountain Fairy


Spriggans by Brian Froud

Among the most ugly and wicked of the fae, Spriggans are typically only seen around old ruins, barrows, castles and other places where treasure might be buried. Their skill as guardians of buried riches unfortunately translates in the reverse, as they are accomplished and therefore notorious child snatchers. Parents unfortunate enough to be their victims would return to their child's crib only to discover a hideous Spriggan babe left in the place of their babe. Along with their baby-stealing, they are blamed for bringing bad weather to blight crops, causing whirlwinds amongst cut corn and other general mischief.

Their appearance is short and goblin-like, they develop long beards and have spindly limbs and large feet. A Spriggan costume is usually ornamented with bits of stone. It is believed the race devolved from a greater fae; a race of giants responsible for such wonders as England's stone circles. Some say that they retain a portion of this heritage, being able to swell to an enormous size. Their historic range is Cornwall in Southeast England.

The Old Woman Who Turned Her Shift


Thorin and Company by Alan Lee

The origin of these beings is typically traced to the legends of Nordic mythology. Later, the Gaelic and Norman peoples carried their traditions to the British Isles.

Mystical metal workers, dwarfs are at home amid their mountain forges. Their knowledge of metal's properties, both physical and magical, is legendary. Their work sells for astounding prices; their payment is almost always made in gold or other magical treasures. The dwarves' wealth is best left untouched by humans. Those foolhardy enough to steal it usually meet with great misfortune and are left with little in return for their troubles when the gold turns into dead leaves, cow dung or worthless stone.

Those who reside in mines are more foul of temper than their mountain brethren. Unless they receive offerings from their human counterparts, they are known to sabotage efforts to extract earth's valuable minerals. Their interference includes the breaking of tools and pulling down mine roofs.

The race is short of stature, yet they possess incredible strength. On the whole, dwarfs prefer residing in communities to solitary lives. Mountain dwarfs are typically organized in tribes or kingdoms, having chieftans or kings, as well as dwarven armies. They are typically called by the name Sidhe or Shee (Gaelic for "people of the hills"). One of their favorite indulgences in life is mead, of which they were master brewers.

Dwarfs are never seen during daytime (at least not as dwarves, though they may appear as toads). However, they often appear during the twilight hours. Those that appear during night tend to belong to the Unseelie Court.

J.R.R Tolkien's The Hobbit is the source of a good deal of current dwarfish lore. It is from the animated movie based on his book that the graphic seen here originates.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs


A troll by Rien Poortvliet A troll by Rien Poortvliet

One of the largest of faery kin is the Troll, who originated in Germany and Scandinavia (the Swedish use the name Trolds and the Dannish prefer Hill Men or Berg People). They are also found in Scotland and Italy.

As a whole, they are a vulgar race. They are bipedal (though in some cases, just barely), hairy, and typically grotesque in appearance. Most of all, they harbor hatred for all faeries and humankind as well. Luckily, this hatred has a happy byproduct in that Trolls never steal human mates or children for they find humankind to be worthless, ugly and smelly. The same factors keep them away from human dwellings. Of course, they're notoriously stupid, so their judgement isn't to be trusted.

Trolls are carnivous creatues who love mutton and goat best. (They'd very rarely deign to eat a smelly human.)

Legend places them as guardians of bridges and byways, despite their often lacking judgement. Their decisions resemble most closely, those of neighborhood bullies. And like bullies, they tend to run in packs. One of their favored acts is to throw stones at creatures unfortunate enough to have passed them.

An Old Mountain Troll

The Three Billie Goats Gruff

 Unimplemented ISML Tag: TYPE= 

Home Links & Rings Art Credits Air Fae Water Fae Forest Fae Mountain Fae Fire Fae