F Is For Fuath

Humans love to imagine alternative realities where bizarre creatures interact with society, but just because you have never seen the magical creatures in our world, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  Fuath literally means “hate” in Scottish Gaelic and Irish Gaelic.  Fuaths (pronounced FOO-ahs, or foo’ä ) are fey creatures and they are part of the race of gremlins that live in the waters of Scotland.  They are known for their mischievous natures, their nasty senses of humor, their destructive habits, and they have reputations for being cruel pranksters and sadistic saboteurs.  They delight in causing the drowning of creatures, and are known to pull any unsuspecting swimmers underwater to their deaths that they find lurking near their watery homes.

Fuaths are vulnerable to sunlight, so they are usually inactive till night.  Fuaths often sabotage ships and boats causing chaos by damaging ropes, jibs, and sails.  Mobs of fuaths will attach themselves to the underside of the ships and when they climb aboard the ships, they sever ropes, bore holes in barrels, soil provisions, and they will murder any hapless crew member that they catch.  Fuaths will eat all of the humanoid inhabitants on board, which they then use as bait for other ships to investigate.  They will cackle with wicked glee as their victims desperately try to escape their claws.  Fuaths are clever and difficult to get rid of, once they invade a ship.

Fuaths are more common in cooler waters, with the largest known fuath colony spotted in the waters of the Ironbound Archipelago (a network of islands in the Steaming Sea off the north-western coast of Avistan, which is a continent on the world of Golarion that is part of the Material Plane).  They serve sea hags (an emaciated crone draped in seaweed that haunts ships and harbors), sometimes taking on religious worship of the hag.  They have a surprising rapport with other sea creatures, and they make alliances with reefclaws (ferocious aquatic predators which resemble a lobster in the front and an eel in the back) and they have a natural ability to train aquatic animals to guard their lairs.

Fuaths live mostly underwater, though they stay near the coasts.  As amphibious beings, they come ashore to raid for “land meat”, which is what they prefer to eat.  Fuaths can create water at will, but perhaps more dangerously, they can create a patch of magically viscous water once per day that can entangle and drown the unsuspecting.  Fuaths mostly target children or older teens, who are unaware when they are quickly grabbed and pulled down to the depths below to their deaths.  They are full of malice and evil intent toward human beings, but are rarely seen because of the remote terrain that they normally inhabit on the edges of lochs, seashores, and remote rivers.  Cold steel will kill them instantly and they grow restless when they have to cross a stream.

Fuaths are described as being roughly humanoid in shape, and generally green in color probably so they can blend into the marshy waters that they live in.  They have an almost canine face with webbed ears, the mane and tail of a yellow horse, giving them features which are similar to the kelpie, a water spirit that inhabits the lochs and pools of Scotland.  Their appearance ranges from being covered from head to toe in shaggy, yellow fur to just having a yellow mane down their back, lobster claws for hands, webbed toes, tails with spikes and they do not have noses.  Their legs will usually protrude from a green robe, along with their long spiky yellow horse tail.  Most often, they present themselves as hideously deformed humanoid creatures and they are prone to wearing green, whether it be a dress, robe, or kirtle, as it is the color of fairies.

A Fuath can sometimes be seen, if it chooses to take on a physical appearance, but they can also change their shape, transforming themselves in many things even angels of light.  A fuath wears seaweed, sea shells and pieces of coral like other creatures wear armor, clothes, and jewelry.  Its body is protected by a hard, hunchbacked carapace, like that of a turtle shell.  They have very keen eyes, and stand less than 2 feet tall and weighs between 12 to 15 pounds.  They do not have bones beneath their claws and carapace, but they do have skulls and bones in their upper arms and legs, making them an odd mixture of both crustacean and mammal.

The following group of monstrous manifestations are considered to be Fuath subspecies, Beithir (A large snakelike creature that lives in caves and narrow circular valleys with high walls), Brollachan (An evil diminutive spirit who resembles a gelatinous blob), Caoineag (a Scottish Gaelic weeping fairy who wails beside a waterfall in the night to warn clans of impending catastrophe and disaster), Cuachag (a malicious and monstrous water fairy), Fachan (a one-legged, one-eyed cruel and malevolent fairy), Fideal (a female water demon that lures men to an underwater grave), Glaistig (a half-woman and half-goat fairy that haunts lonely pools), Peallaidh (a dangerous water spirit believed to haunt rivers, lakes, and the seashore), Shellycoat (a type of bogeyman that haunts rivers and streams) and Urisk (a brownie that likes to frequent sequestered places and waterfalls).

Like kelpies, fuaths are capable of shape shifting and having children with humans, which will often be born with webbed digits and a small mane.  Small groups of fuaths will make their lair in sea caves or rocky crevices.  Larger groups frequently lay claim to whole sections of ruined ships.  They will leave their lairs after dark, to raid the seashore and ships in order to satisfy their hunger.  Scotland is a land of many myths and legends and they even have a special day reserved for unicorns, which is their national animal.  The kelpies and the Loch Ness Monster can be scary, but selkies are gentle creatures.

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