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Basic Information

The sluagh1 are a host of spirits - or possibly faeries from Celtic myth, said to be composed of souls rejected from all available afterlives or restless for some other reason.

They were said to fly through the air at night, resembling a flock of birds and causing trouble wherever they went. One of their nastier habits was to abduct the souls of the sick, dead and dying to join their ranks and so they were a particular menace to those homes in which a member of the household lay ill. Fortunately the sluagh always approached from the West, and so they could be relatively easily repulsed by closing any West facing windows to keep them out.

If these are fey, rather than undead, they would seem natural subjects of the Unseelie Court … assuming, that is, that they owe fealty to any greater power. As a swarm of night flying hunters with a taste for human souls, they also bear at least a passing resemblance to The Wild Hunt.


1. full source reference

Game and Story Use

  • The PCs are travelling by night, when they see something like a flock of birds pass across the sky … appropriate knowledge skill rolls may be in order.
    • And an appropriate response may depend on where the sluaghs are - to the West they are a threat, passing overhead or seen to the East less so. Unless they notice the party and circle around…
  • Likewise, an assault on a building where a comrade lies gravely wounded or ill - the sickroom suddenly filling with fluttering, birdlike forms…
    • If the assault suceeds, there may be some epic challenge involved to save the stolen soul…
    • This is where the otherwise lame rituals included in some magic systems to call a living person to you might come in very handy.
  • Now imagine that hitting a field hospital instead…
  • A PC could be a survivor of a sluagh attack on a building as part of a backstory - and perhaps be left with phobias of birds (especially at night), darkness or the like - or an obsession with West facing windows.
  • The "thrown out of all afterlives" thing sounds a bit like Jack of the Lantern. Perhaps lanterns are an effective ward?
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