Wednesday, July 14, 2021
Welcome, all. Even though I engage in full-on whimsy, and often pantser (fly by the seat of my pants) through stories, everything I do is for a reason. Today I’m explaining what undoubtedly seems like a strange quirk on my part — the color green. That also relates to a character in “Dead of Winter.” I’ll get to some research for that character too, but first that reoccurring color.
I hadn’t given it any thought until during the serialized rewrite of The Delta Pearl, I realized a connection in character names. Of course those riverboat characters were named after gemstones. I chose the name for the protagonist, Émeraude Perlezenn, naturally I was aware of emeralds. I didn’t realize until later the connection of the heroine of Atonement, Tennessee, Ralda, short for Esmeralda, which also means emerald.
It’s fun to give characters little quirks. Letting Émeraude have a penchant for green seemed natural. However, I wasn’t thinking about the epic I wrote many years before and another character who always wore green — Dead of Winter’s Boabhan. However, everything about “The Woman in Green” comes from my research.
Don’t worry, there are no real spoilers here.
I wanted to have one supernatural character among my group of travelers in that fantasy world. My research of Celtic mythology brought me to the Boabhan Sith. (It’s often spelled Baobhan, but I liked the sound of the more obscure spelling when I read it aloud.) The Boabhan Sith is a combination of vampire, succubus, and fairy. They are female. (I depart from that in my story.) They attack their victims and drain their blood, but not in the same fang-way as vampires. Rather, when attacking they use their long and sharp finger nails making deep scratches in the victim. Then they drink the blood from the open scratch wounds.
Additionally, they can take the form of a raven. A few of the legends say that instead, they can change into a wolf.
Where I Make My Own Myth
I didn’t want an indestructible, hugely powerful person. So, I had my Boabhan’s “turning” interrupted, causing her endless suffering. She can do powerful things, but she also is often weak, almost fragile. The Boabhan Sith of mythology are often portrayed in groups. I didn’t want a bunch of vampire-like creatures teeming around my world. A few would suffice. Some of the myths give these creatures hooves rather than feet. I didn’t do that either.
Borrowing from the Myth
As for the physical appearance of The Woman in Green, as she is sometimes called, I took that from the Scottish mythology. Boabhan Sith usually appear as a beautiful young woman wearing a long green dress. (Some say green is the color of magic.) Any color illustration I’ve seen portrays them with long red hair, which feels right, considering the Scottish origin.
Boabhan’s origin story is in “Dead of Winter: Journey 6, “The Fluting Fell.”
Wishing you an easy coast down the other side of this midweek hump. I love to hear from you, so friendly comments are encouraged. Hugs on the wing!
Dead of Winter — All of the Journeys
Universal Purchase Links
Journey 7, Revenant Pass
Journey 6, The Fluting Fell
Journey 5, Llyn Pistyll Falls
Journey 4, The Old Road
Journey 3, the Fever Field
Journey 2, Penllyn
Journey 1, Forlorn Peak
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, locales, or events is entirely coincidental.
Copyright © 2010 and 2021 by Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene
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