Valkyrie Bestiary

Doing Our Best to Care for the Fae

Riddle Me a Brownie

November 10, 2080

If you came here looking for the “best chewy brownie recipe,” you’re in the wrong spot. Actually, I was amazed at the number of brownie recipes on the ley-web, especially considering my ward hasn’t had real chocolate in over a decade. But that’s a topic for a different blog. This is a discussion on the fae subspecies known as a brownie. 

But first a rant:

Brownies are considered a class two fae of the gnome subspecies, along with bodachs, bogarts, blue-caps and bocans, to name a few. I have issues with this accepted form of classification. 

Fae was originally a broad term for any of the otherworldly beings documented by European folklore. Today, we lump almost any being with a touch of magic into this designation. Hub sorts them into three orders. Class one encompasses the fae court, beings who, with little or no glamor can pass among the mundanes. Class two fae are also humanoid, though generally smaller or much larger than humans and speak with clear language. These are the gnomes, trolls, ogres, and so on. Beastkin make up the third class, the creatures that populated the forests of legend. 

Hub uses these designations when doling out punishments for crime. A swarm of termites can do as much damage to a house as an arsonist, but the termites won’t go to jail for it. Vampire slugs drink blood just like the monsters they’re named for, but the council would never prosecute a slug for openly feeding on humans. It is an imperfect system of justice that the fae have been lobbying for years to change. 

I agree with this need to change how we think of the fae. How should we rank a selkie, for instance? It is both beastkin and rational humanoid. And how can we measure the level of sentience in a will ‘o wisp? And where does that leave the other beings that can claim no fae heritage such as the gargoyles, shifters, vampires and godlings? All these creatures are part of our world now and here to stay. I think we do them an injustice by trying to box them into arbitrary classifications for our own purposes. 

End of rant. Back to the regularly scheduled program about brownies.

We all know the myths of brownies. They’re little helpers that come out at night to clean the house and do other good deeds. Don’t forget to leave milk or some other offering or your brownies will take affront and leave your house forever! 

Seems simplistic, even for a fairytale. 

They are not benevolent housekeepers. In fact, if you find one in your home, I suggest you check your silver. Brownies are pack rats and attracted to shiny things. 
In my ward, I come across them almost weekly, squatting in old buildings and making nests out of anything they can find. They can be very territorial too, especially if they think their hoard of treasures (for “treasures,” read “garbage”) is being threatened. Don’t bother bargaining with a brownie for goods or services in the normal way. They have no sense of monetary value. To a brownie, everything belongs to him as soon as he touches it. 

The only true way to get what you want from a brownie is a forfeit. This means a tribute of some sort (which is probably where the stories of leaving milk came from). A forfeit means you must give them something they perceive as valuable to you. As I mentioned, they like baubles, but they also adhere to the old-world forfeit rules. You can pay them with a song, a story or a riddle. 

Since I don’t sing (at least not in any tone you’d want to hear), and stories can take too long, I keep a stash of riddles on hand for bargaining with brownies when I come across them on a job. 

Help a critter wrangler out. Hit me with your brownie-stumping riddle. Bonus points if I can’t guess it.


Comments (11)

Without fists I strike, without fingers I point, without legs I run, what am I?

justme5869 (November 10, 2080)

A clock?

cchedgewitch (November 10, 2080)

If a man carried my burden, he would break his back. I am not rich, but leave silver in my track. What am I?

cchedgewitch (November 11, 2080)

     I got this. Snail.

     Valkyrie367 (November 11, 2080)


          cchedgewitch (November 11, 2080)

Turn me once, what is out will not get in. Turn me again, what is in will not get out. What am I? 

sqirtzburger (November 14, 2080)

     A key?

     Valkyrie367 (November 14, 2080)

I have no life, but I can die. What am I?

DaddysGirl (November 12, 2080)

     A vampire or a zombie?

     Valkyrie367 (November 12, 2080)

          I was going to say a battery, but those work too. Please tell me that zombies aren’t real?

          DaddysGirl (November 12, 2080)

               Not that I know of ;)

               Valkyrie367 (November 12, 2080)