Valkyrie Bestiary

Doing Our Best to Care for the Fae

Bodachs: Looking at the Being Behind the Curtain

(November 17, 2080)

As usual, the information I can find about bodachs is antiquated and fairly useless to dealing with these beings in the modern, post-war world. 

The origin of the term “bodach” may be derived from the old Irish word for peasant or from an old Norse term for cottage. In Gaelic, bodach is used as a familiar term of affection and simply means “old man.”

None of this tells us what a bodach actually is, however. And unlike other class two fae such as the brownie, the bodach features in very few tales. When he does, the bodach is often likened with a bugbear—a kind of boogie man that hides under children’s beds. Or he is portrayed as a trickster, a devil or some other malevolent but more-or-less benign creature. 

As I said, for our purposes, these tales are quite useless. What kind of magic can a bodach call upon? What is their lifespan? What do they eat? Anyone who is going to actually face a bodach will need to know these things. 

Recently, I was fortunate enough to help a bodach out of a tough spot and he blessed me with his company for a little while. I learned a few interesting tidbits about this unusual race. But I should qualify this post by saying that I have only met the one bodach, so this is by no means an exhaustive report on the topic. 

Here’s what I learned about bodachs (so far).

Bodachs are small class two fae. They stand only 2-3 inches high and look like tiny garden gnomes. 

Their magic is mostly bluster. Their main ability seems to be instilling fear in others. That may be where the bugbear myth comes from. Like a puffer fish, bodachs can puff up their magic so they seem much more powerful than they really are. It is pure defense. 

They mind-speak in a peculiar way. My bodach friend speaks in an incomprehensible jumble of sounds, but somehow, I always know what he means. This has nothing to do with my skills at reading body language. The bodach seems to be able to project his meaning right into my mind, without words. I just know what he’s saying. It was a very unsettling experience at first. Because he doesn’t use language in the normal way, he seems to be able to communicate with any sentient species.

Bodachs and electricity don’t mix. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that I often end up taking in stray creatures and lost fae. When I found a bodach who was down on his luck, I invited him to recuperate at my place. He settled into a little ceramic house beside my bonsai tree. However, when agitated, the bodach tends to blow all the fuses in my house. Sadly, as soon as spring comes, I will have to ask my bodach friend to move on.

If you’ve had a bodach encounter I’d love to hear your input in the comments. 

Comments (11)

Bless you for looking past the myth to the true being beyond it. You are a source of inspiration.

cchedgewitch (November 19, 2080)

I think there was one living in my garden when I was a kid. But it could have been a gnome. They sound like interesting creatures. 

DaddysGirl (November 19, 2080)

There was a bodach living in the barn on my family’s farm. Scared the spit out of me until I finally saw him. Hard to be scared of such a little critter. After that, his magic didn’t work on me anymore. 

Homesteader898 (November 20, 2080)

     Agreed. My bodach hasn’t tried his fear trick on me again. Maybe he knows it only works once.

     Valkyrie367 (November 21, 2080)

Skewer that critter! A little bbq sauce will fix him up good!

Oldtexdoneright (November 21, 2080)

I was blessed with a bodach friend for many years. I can attest that your experience with them is true. Also, did you know that they are great cultivators of mushrooms? Seems they can call them up from the earth.

poorpatty3 (November 23, 2080)

     Good to know. Thanks! 

     Valkyrie367 (November 23, 2080)

I don’t get it. Whos behind the curtin?

Sassfactor (November 23, 2080)

     It’s a reference to The Wizard of Oz, a movie from the 1930s.

     Valkyrie367 (November 23, 2080)

         Wow. Your really old.

         Sassfactor (November 23, 2080)

              *You’re* right ;)

              Valkyrie367 (November 23, 2080)