Mythical Monday: The Finfolk of the Orkney Islands by Mae Clair

Deep below the ocean in the area surrounding the Orkney Islands of Northern Scotland, lays a kingdom known as Finfolkaheem, the winter home of the Finfolk. A brooding race gifted with sorcerous magic, the Finfolk spend the cold months of the year dwelling in a massive underwater castle of soaring chambers and crystal hallways. During the summer, they inhabit Hildaland, a magical vanishing island.

Pretty blonde mermaid with green and blue fish scales peering through the seaweed in an underwater scene, 3d digitally rendered illustrationSkilled boatmen and shapeshifters who hold dominion over the sea and storms, Finfolk dislike marrying among themselves, prizing human captives for their spouses. To that end, they frequently venture onto land, altering their shape to ensnare an unsuspecting mortal. Finmen often appear as fisherman in a boat, while Finwives like to assume the guise of a young maiden with long flowing hair and ivory skin. There is nothing romantic in their overtures or quest, and they have no qualms about abducting their potential mate. The unsuspecting human will then find themselves forced into a life of servitude to their Fin partner.

Finwives especially despise marrying Finmen. To do so means they will lose their beauty and mystical gifts, aging seven years for every year a Finwife is married to a Finman. Eventually, as the Finwife’s bewitching beauty is corrupted over time, she will become a Finhag. With this outcome in mind, it’s no wonder Finfolk search for a spouse among humans.

The only trinket prized more highly than a human spouse is silver. Like many enchanted beings, Finfolk like shiny things, particularly silver jewelry or coins. A human’s best chance of escaping abduction is to toss the Finfolk a few silver coins and flee in the opposite direction.

Isn’t it amazing, the power of silver in myth?

15 thoughts on “Mythical Monday: The Finfolk of the Orkney Islands by Mae Clair

    • I love that it has such strong magical properties. Given it’s my favorite jewelry I guess I’ll be safe from Finfolk, werewolves and a few other denizens of the mythical realm, LOL! Thanks for commenting!


  1. I adore tales of otherworldly beings and their special gifts and quirks that make them so unique. Another fun post Mae…and… if I am ever so lucky as to visit the Orkney Islands, I’ll remember to bring a lot of shiny silver things to toss into the sea,,,


  2. Lovely myth. I am especially drawn to the image of the finhag. I love the idea of hags– some wise but many angry and scary. The idea of silver being a premium for the finfolk is interesting too. Silver often corresponds to the moon, and there is such a reciprocal energy between the moon and bodies of water. Another great post. Thanks for sharing the information!


    • I love the connection between the moon and silver (and bodies of water), probably why all three things have always fascinated me! I thought it was interesting that the Finwife became a Finhag because she married a Finman instead of a human. It makes you wonder what the Finmen must have been like. I wonder what happened to the poor human woman who found herself abducted and eloping with a Finman! Definitely more reason for silver, LOL!


  3. Great post Mae! A bit late to the party, but hey, it’s summer. Only 5 days until the solstice and in northern Michigan where I am it’s bright out until almost 10:30pm. I just keep a-goin’ I have a son we nicknamed Finnman. How funny! And you know what? He’s a water devil, absolutely loves it! Swim school for him this summer 🙂


    • Wow, you really do have long summer days. How cool! I can count on it being light until about 9PM, which is still nice. I love sitting out back as the day winds down to dusk and eventually night.

      Had to laugh about “Finman”….that is so cute! I just know he’s going to love swim school. And there’s nothing wrong with being late to the party. Stragglers are always welcome, LOL!


  4. Pingback: Introducing Mae Clair and the Mysterious #EclipseLake | theinnerwildkat

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