Because we here at Weiser Books are nothing if not fair-minded…
Although it’s fun to contemplate the horrors that await the unwary tourist in Otherworld, not all magical beings are bad – some will even go out of their way to aid a stranded traveller or warn (those with the wit to listen) of impending doom. Now how helpful is that?
So here are a few nice Fae-folk – sweet-tempered souls with only your comfort and safety in mind … or so they claim:
An Irish fairy housekeeper/godmother who cares for mothers, children and pets and will finish chores around the home. Like the banshee, she may be attached to a family for generations.
Irish male fairy, close kin to the leprechaun, who guards wine cellars especially those of inns. He protects bottles and kegs from being tampered with, leaking, or being stolen in return for helping himself to the contents of the cellar. He brings prosperity to inns and private homes with well-stocked cellars, but causes chaos if denied his tribute.
Welsh mine fairies. Like Cornish knockers, they protect and help miners unless angered.
A South American spirit of the rain forest and jungle who is guardian of wild creatures, especially tortoises, whom he protects from hunters.
Nature spirit of a high order who brings healing and counselling to those sensitive enough to hear. Often seen as golden auras around plants, devas endow plants with healing properties and aromas and oversee the natural world and its elemental forces.
Male Russian elves who, in modern times, often live in apartments. The females are called domovikha. Dolya is a tiny fairy lady who lives behind the stove and brings good fortune.
FollettiBenign female Italian fairies if the air, who shape-shift into butterflies and travel on the wind, sometimes causing dust clouds.
Norwegian water fairies whose forms disappear into mist where their feet should be. Guardians of waterfalls and fjords, they play exquisite harp music, have mesmeric voices which can enchant mortals and are able to change rapidly from male to female.
Icelandic familiar that each mortal born inside a caul (a membrane) is said to possess as a guardian throughout life, the fylgiar will share the mortal’s home and appear just before the person dies to helps him or her to the Otherworld. In Native American lore he/she is a totem spirit who guards each individual, taking an animal form and first seen at the time of initiation as an adolescent.
Mountain spirits of the Apache nation who are invoked in dance, song and night-time ritual for safe journeys and good weather, especially in mountainous regions.
A kindly Scottish guardian of grazing animals, leading them to water and guarding sheep and cattle from harm. Ugly and covered in hair, she is always cold and seeks shelter by crofters’ fires, rewarding those who do not turn her away.
Beautiful, golden-haired, female Welsh water fairies, living in palaces beneath lakes in the Black Mountains. They are kind to children, to those who have no money and to mothers.
Inuit water spirit who helps fishermen find the shoals and protects them. he can be unpredictable, reflecting the wildness of the Arctic seas, and so is offered the first fish of the season.
Antlered fairies, indigenous to the Algonquin tribe in eastern North America, whose drumming could be heard miles away. They are said to practice drum magic.
Perhaps the most historically fascinating of the Native North American indigenous fairies. Associated with the Cherokees, they are believed to have guided the nation to safety during the sorrowful time when they were being moved from their home-lands to the resettlement areas.
In Ancient Rome the Lares and Penates presided over dwellings and the affairs of the household. The Lares were deified ancestors or heroes and the lar familiaris was the spirit of the founder of the house, who never left it. The Penates were chiefly the gods of the storeroom and guardian s of the home, who protected all within from external danger. The statues had a corner of honour in each house and wine, incense, cakes and honey were offered at family festivities.
The elemental winged Air spirits, who live hundreds of years and can, it is said, attain an immortal soul through good deeds.
The name comes from Torngasak, the spirit who is called the Good Being by the Inuits. Torngasak himself is often depicted as a bear. Every natural form including the animals and the sea itself has an innua or spirit. Such forces sometimes assume the role of Torngak, becoming guardians of individual Inuits.
Silver-haired fairies from Senegal in West Africa who hold revels by moonlight. Their homes are exotic palaces beneath the hills.
from A Complete Guide to Faeiries & Magical Beings, by Cassandra Eason