puxill (puxill) wrote in sluagh_aotrom,

Field Guide to the Races of Faerie - BROWNIES


Classification: HOB
Height: 18-20"
Intelligence : high
Alignment: lawful good
Magical Ability: varies
Nature: solitary, dusky
Speed: moderate
Frequency: Common
Habitat: dwellings of men

Brownies are solitary, reclusive fey. They are not inherently hostile to other races and will give assistance if asked politely and if said assistance does not interfer with their accustomed routine. They are more common that reported.

Indentification: About 18 to 20 inches tall; shaggy brown hair which may cover them from head to foot. Often naked or wearing tattered brown wool garments (N.B. - could this explain reports of shaggy fur?) They have flat noses, giving the appearance of no nose at all, and long feet.

Habitat: Originally from the Gaelic-speaking areas of the British Isles, brownies often immigrated with their human households and can now be found all over the world.

Brownies can be found in caves, hollow trees, rocks or riverbanks but they are far more likely to live in the dwellings of men, especially old buildings that have been in one family for generations. They feel a fierce attachment to the household, performing chores and protecting the estate and family from threats such as burgulars and goblins. They love playing pranks.

Brownies are less rare than reported; they do not like to be seen and will punish anyone caught spying on them unaware. All members have a minor gift of glamourie, which allows them to take the seeming of something else, hence the reports that brownies can appear and disappear at will. They also love to create secret passageways in their households and devise hidden rooms for themselves in the walls.

Known Brownies
Thimbletack - attached to the Spiderwick estate, known to Arthur Spiderwick and the Grace children
Tam Turtledove - encountered by AS
Dandersnuff - encountered by AS
Skifflewhim - encountered by AS, transformed into Boggart
Wag at the Wa' - Lowland Brownie, lives on the pothook, has a toothache
Cauld Lad of Hilton - exorcised from home
In common with most minor fey, brownies do not like to share their names because names can be used to summon and command them. I therefore doubt that these "names" are anything more than nicknames, given and used for convenience. AS

Most tales of brownies concern the "laying" or exorcising of them. A gift of new clothing will drive him out forever.
Other tales tell of tricks played on and by the brownie.

A brownie attached to a household expects a bowl of cream or a slice of bread and honey to be given freely. If this offering is not made, if it is referred to as "payment" or if any other gift is given, there is the danger that the brownie will transform into a BOGGART (see reference). Mistreatment will also effect this transformation.

Despite their small size and helpful demeanor, brownies MUST be treated with respect and courtesy.

Also see
BWCIOD (Welsh)
DUENDE (Hiberian)
KORN-/HAUS-BÖCKE (Northeastern Europe)
TOMTRÅ (Scandanavian)
Tags: definitions, sluagh_aotrom, unsub
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