Pictish symbols and Celtic interlace patterns on a sculptured stone at St Vigeans near Arbroath, Scotland. Probably carved in the 8th century AD. The other side of the stone has the lower part of a cross, decorated with interlace. Illustration from The Early Christian Monuments of Scotland (1903).
Name: Nuckelavee, Nuckalavee Area or Origin: Orkney Islands, Scotland
The Nuckelavee is a horse-like demon from Orcadian mythology that combines equine and human elements. It is considered the most horrible demon in all of Scotland and the name Nuckelavee may be derived from a nickname for Satan, ‘Old Nick’. The demon’s foul breath could kill crops and sicken livestock, and it was held responsible for droughts and epidemics on land, despite it being primarily from the sea. It is said to have had two forms, the one that dwells in the sea has no consistent description, but its form on land, while it varies, has more consistency. Based on a supposed first-hand confrontation with the demon, it was described as looking like a horse with a rider on top, though the rider’s torso was fused to the horse’s back and possessed no legs of its own. The “rider’s” arms were abnormally long and could reach the ground from where it sat. Its head could be as large as 3 feet wide, and due to its neck not being able to support its massive weight, would roll back and forth. Both the horse’s face and the rider’s had only one eye, said to burn like a red flame. A final and most gruesome detail was the fact that the Nuckelavee had no skin, and had yellow veins outside its muscle that would pump black blood throughout its body. The seemingly simple way to get rid of the Nuckelavee was to cross a freshwater stream, and it was kept in confinement during the summer months by The Mither o’ the Sea, an ancient Orcadian divine and the only one able to control it.
One of the most beautiful places I’ve had the fortune to visit. Sites like this are so much more special for their isolation and solitude….it was just us, the standing stones and the autumn light filtering through the trees.
I’ve ranted about this here once before, but Moonlighten’sDeva Victrix is still probably one of the best fanfics I have ever read - hell, probably one of the best stories. If it was published I would buy it in a heartbeat. The fic has been going since early 2014, and it’s been well worth the wait for every update from a fantastic writer - and as the second to last chapter was recently posted I figured a little more fan art was in order, especially since I’m not much for words when it comes to expressing how much I love something.
(Also a huge shoutout to @celtic-clay (aka Nekoian) the co-writer/ partner writer of the fic,and to @losthitsu who’s comments are always an adventure to read)