Hear the Howl of the Cú Sidhe

Ireland is full of tales of monsters, magic and fantastic beasts. Known to many of the early people as the edge of the world, the land of eternal winter, or the place were the Otherworld lies no more than a stray sod away, its not hard to believe how this small section of land may have developed its own ecosystem.

When our ancestors came into the island it was a deep and ancient forest. Many of our earliest recorded feats by the first settlers were clearing these trees to form the first plains. Still, for all of the tribes efforts, dark and wild places still existed and here it was that these creatures roamed free to hunt and haunt the minds of men.

As with all things, change is inevitable. Over time the tribes cleared more and more of the land to suit their growing needs and the arrival of agricultural knowledge. As such the wild places were pushed to the edges and eventually, like the Tuatha Dé Danann, these creatures moved into the Otherworld.

They became Sidhe, joining the creatures of that other life. Ireland has always been a place of thin boundaries. Even today in our world of technology and skepticism there are tales of Otherworldly happenings. Across the island the observant may note lone trees set amidst cultivated farm land. Or mounded hills that have never been leveled. Generations of Irish folk know better than to disturb the last of these wild places for many are the dooms that may fall upon them for the indiscretion.

One such doom is the Cú Sídhe with translates as 'Hound of the Hollow Hills'. These beasts are said to be amongst the most dangerous and tenacious of hunters. Bound to the will of the Aos Sidhe, these hounds are said to move swiftly between the worlds, implacable in the search for their assigned prey.

What makes these predators so successful you might wonder, and well it is that you should? The Cú Sídhe makes no sound whilst it hunts. They are the silent shadow, the quiet stalker, the doom which comes unheard. Only a fool would risk the ire of the Sidhe, for once their hounds are set upon their hunt, only the very fortunate escape.

Yet, as with all things of the Otherworld there are ways in which to protect yourself. Though they move with complete silence, the Cú Sídhe does make but one noise. As they close upon their prey the hounds will let out a blood curdling howl. The howl is said to freeze the heart of even the bravest warrior, even bringing death of fright upon some. Stories tell us of fishermen, out off the coast hearing such a howl, only to return home and find that doom has called for one of their kin. This howl is to announce that death has come.

In Ireland those who heard the howl would know to seek the protection of their safe spaces. As with the black coach and the Banshee, the Cú Sídhe is a harbinger of death, so pay attention when you hear the howl of the Cú Sídhe.

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