Valkyrie Bestiary

Doing Our Best to Care for the Fae

A Glory of Will O’Wisps

May 5, 2081

Will o’wisps have gone by many names over the centuries: ghost light, feu follet, jack o’lantern, hobby lantern, hinkypunk, and my favorite, Ignis fatuus (Latin for “foolish flame”).

People once believed these mysterious lights were lanterns held by hobgoblins or other fae creatures as they walked through woods or marshes, luring lost travelers to their doom (hence the name hobby lantern). Others believed the wisps were elemental spirits. A more modern view is that these eerie lights are a product of swamp gasses being released. This hypothesis has some merit, since wisp sightings often happen at night.

I won’t discount any of those theories entirely. It’s quite possible that a lost traveler was once led astray (and probably eaten) by a hobgoblin. And maybe there are elemental spirits as small as fireflies. And swamp gas? Sure. I’ll buy that.

But I can add to this discussion with my experience. 

I now have in my possession a bunch of feu follets. Will o’wisps. Would that be a flock? A swarm? I’m going to call it a glory of will o’wisps because when they fly around, filling the night with light, my heart feels full.

Their magic doesn’t taste elemental to me, though they are incorporeal, in that I can see right through them. But they are definitely a creature of some sort. They look like little floating, faceless pigs. My guess is that these creatures are not native to Terra but came through a crack in the veil during the wars. 

They seem friendly enough so far. They’re zippy and fun, but annoying when they swarm around your face. Like sprites without the teeth. So, I bring you another critter conundrum. What do will o’wisps eat? I am at a loss. They show no interest in any corporeal food, which makes sense. How would they digest it? I’ve had them for about a week now and haven’t seen them eat anything. I’m getting worried. All reasonable suggestions will be considered. 


Comments (6)

Could they eat swamp gas?
Cryptoman498 (May 5, 2081)

     Good answer! I’ll see if I can find some swamp gas. Maybe in the Laval Flood Plains. Thanks!
     Valkyrie367 (May 5, 2081)

I have an old grimoire here that calls for one cup of “will o’wisp light.” I don’t know how you’d even capture that, but there is a handwritten notation in the margin to find it in a cemetery. 
ThatAlchemyGuy (May 5, 2081)

If it is an elemental spirit, it would thrive in its element. Try fire, wind, water and earth. My guess would be fire.
cchedgewitch (May 6, 2081)

     Good thinking. I lit a candle for them, but they didn’t seem interested. The shower was a bust too. There’s earth in my apartment from all the plants, but they haven’t taken an interest in that either. Wind? I guess I’ll have to wait for a storm to try it.
     Valkyrie367 (May 6, 2081)

Stop filling the world with your lies. God is the only elemental spirit. 
Truckinalong (May 7, 2081)