Friday, December 18, 2009

Cu Sìth

“I will summon a guardian for you while I investigate this matter further.” Bodicea had said. She put two of her long fingers to her mouth and let a whistle of the likes I scarcely believed she was capable of. At her side a large dog with white fur and one white ear and one red ear materialized. The dog, who was the size of a small horse, jumped around her as if he were a playful puppy. She nuzzled him and spoke to him in Gaelic.

She looked up to me and the dog focused all his attention on us, standing between us and his beloved mistress.

“This is Bogle. He was given to me by the Lady of the Spring. So loyal he followed into death. He will be loyal to you as well in my absence.” The ghostly queen said.

William cleared his throat, “Nice doggie, I see.”

“No.” Bodicea said back, “He is not.”
- From the Journal of Tamara Swift

The Celts were well known for their love of dogs. But the Cù Sìth or “Fairy Hound” has a special place in Celtic lore. Often described as a large hound that is either all green or all white with red ears. They have been alternately seen as bad omens, a horrible stealer of children or a fierce and loyal protector the Cù Sìth (“coo shee”) features in many tales.

One such tale deals with Queen Bodicea herself.

The Queen, when young and alive, went to a sacred well to mourn the death of her infant son. While there she discovered a bag and inside was a half-drowned puppy. She rescued the puppy, who was all white save for one red ear. She named him “Bogel” The dog grew to be as large as a small pony and became a fierce protector of her and her two daughters. When Bogel died at a ripe old age, she was given the gift a puppy from a local farmer. The puppy was one of the many offspring Bogel had fathered but was the exact image of his sire. This dog, also named Bogel, went on to serve his mistress such as the one before until Bodicea herself had died.
- Source: Marion Zimmer Bradley’s “Ravens of Avalon”

Other tales feature the Cu Sìth as a spectral hound, one that forebodes doom like the Barghest, though those hounds are more often black in color and their malevolence is more universal than that of the Cu Sìth. Also the Cu Sìth is more commonly associated with the Faerie and sometimes valiant, but tragic, warriors and the Barghest is more closely associated with witchcraft.

The Cu Sìth can be found most often near or around fairy mounds. A good sign that a mound is in fact a faerie mound is the proximity of a Cu Sìth to it.

Cu Sìth can also interbreed with other dogs which will typically produce one Cu Sìth per liter; sometimes more, sometimes less. Odd are the ways of the faerie folk.

Cu Sìth pups are rarely if ever tamed. If one wishes to remain with a non-faerie then it is of their own choosing.

Cù Sìth
Ghosts of Albion, Unisystem

Creature Type: Faerie Animal
Life Points: 30
Drama Points: 1

Str: 4
Dex: 4
Con: 3
Int: 2
Per: 4
Will: 3

Ability Scores
Muscle: 14, Combat: 14, Brains: 6
Special Abilities: +15 to Brains Score for smell and hearing sensing, Blink, Faerie, Hard to Kill, Lesser Sensing, Iron Vulnerability

Name Score Damage Notes
Bite +14 11 Slash/stab
Deflect +9 - Magic defence action; deflects spell 45˚

Cù Sìth
Savage Worlds (Rippers / Gaslight)

Attributes: Agility d8, Smarts d4, Spirit d6, Strength d8, Vigor d8
Skills: Fighting d8, Notice d8, Stealth d6, Survival d4, Tracking d10
Pace: 8; Parry: 5, Toughness: 9
Special Abilities:
• Fleet Footed: Cu Sìth have a d10 running die.
• Go for the Throat: If a Cu Sìth gets a raise on its attack roll, it strikes its opponent’s least armoured location.
• Weakness (Cold Iron): Faerie take +4 damage from cold iron weapons.

Cù Sìth
Victoriana 2nd Edition

Rank: 2 (Generalist)
Physical competence: 6
Mental competence: 9
Health: 5 (10)
Signature Skills: Athletics +3, Conceal +5, Hide & Sneak +4, Perception +5,

Traits: Faerie, Night Vision
Armour: 1 (thick fur)
Combat Abilities: Bite (2 dice)
Damage: Bite (3d)

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