Much of my time right now seems to be spent hopping from project to project. This morning I wrote 700 words on a new short story, last Friday I added a new 700 word scene to Dreamdrifter to help link some prophesy in with the characters’ current predicaments. Thursday I uploaded over 30 new photos to the “Fish”, “Birds”, “Mammals”, “Reptilian”, and “Cityscape” Photo Galleries of my photography website. Much of my work during the past three weeks has been used to write marketing materials of First Fruits: 31 Flashes of Perspective or to add in-depth information to the Metamorphosis Appendices.
I am doing a massive amount of world-building while I organize and flesh out more of the Metamorphosis Appendices. World-building can be exhausting, but it is also very rewarding. Of course, much of the information for this project has been rolling around in my head for a few years now, but finally organizing it on paper has helped kick-start my creativity every morning in a way few other things can. In any event, let us move on to today’s Creature Profile.
Creature Profile: Brolaghan/Grey Man
Real or imagined: Both
In mythology: According to A Field Guide to Irish Fairies by Bob Curran, the brolaghan (from the Irish meaning “formless or shapeless thing”) is also known as the Grey Man, far liath, or Old Boneless. He is believed to be the Irish fairy form of the Celtic storm or weather god an fir lea. Some describe him as little more than a ragged shadow with trailing mist in his wake, while others believe he is man-sized being wrapped in a grey cloak of fog, and still others see him as a cloud-robed giant. Because the brolaghan feeds on the smoke from chimneys, his cloaks often smells musty. The brolaghan is often treacherous, using his misty cloak to obscure rocks and cliffs from passing ships or cover the roads to confuse travelers and send them to their deaths. A crucifix or holy medal is said to fend him off just as the phrase “God bless you” can help drive him away, but not for long.
In literature and entertainment: Other than the above mentioned book, I have found little literary references to the brolaghan. In my own book of Skinshifter, the Brolaghan is nicknamed the “Grey male” or “wisp” and tries to cause considerable harm to my main character Katja when they first meet. Brolaghans have such an affinity to water that they must be near it at all times in order to survive. Most brolaghans live in or near the sea, although there are some that inhabit freshwater lakes and rivers. In the Metamorphosis Series, brolaghans’ nature are less-well defined than they are in the mythology I’ve seen thus far. Brolaghans can be evil or good in Katja’s world, but either way they are always mysterious.
“The Grey Man” is a short story published by the science fiction author H.G. Wells, which originally was a part of his novel The Time Machine. “D. Gray-man” is an anime show adapted from a Japanese Manga series. Neither of these seem related to the traditional Irish fairy.
In history: Brolaghan or O’Brolaghan is actually an Irish family surname. I have yet to find more than one website page describing the family’s crest, so I am not sure how the family developed or the nature of their contributions to human history. If someone has this information, please send it to me. I would to add more to this post in the future. Thanks!
Finally thegrayman.org is the website of a nonprofit Australian organization dedicated to eradicating the trafficking and exploitation of children.
In any event, you can read full details about some of the things I have discussed from the following:
-A Field Guide to Irish Fairies by Bob Curran (http://www.amazon.com/A-Field-Guide-Irish-Fairies/dp/0811822761)
-Stop Child Trafficking (http://www.thegreyman.org/)
-Anime series (http://myanimelist.net/anime/1482/D.Gray-man/)
-H.G. Wells story (http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Grey_Man)
Until we meet again, may your ink blots be liberal and your tea stains tiny.