The Faire Folk

Once upon a time, there were various groups of travellers in Scotland — the Lowland travellers, who had their roots in the Romany gypsies; the Funfair travellers who travelled with carnivals; the indigenous travellers who made their lifestyles as tinkers, basketweavers, and hawkers. The travellers of 135 A.E. are the descendents of all of these groups, having merged long ago for survival. They are called the Ceàrdannan (Craftsmen) by the Scots, and every few years they come to Dornie in summer, for what has been come to be called The Faire.

These Summer Walkers set their fair up in the Vale near Dornie. Their wares and attractions will include:

  • Tinwork, lace, jewelry (especially pearls), goats
  • Fortune Telling (Tarot, Palmistry)
  • Storytelling and Illusions
  • Menagerie/Petting zoo of exotic creatures.
  • Games
  • Ferris Wheel (Pleasure Wheel) and Carousel: These will be very small, portable things (broken into several parts and carried by several wagons). The carousel is operated by magic rather than electric or steam power.

The Travellers

Deya calls her magic her "Sight," and says she cannot tell the future, only what may be based on the aura of what has made one who they are. A Drabarni, she reads tarots, palms, and tea leaves, and while she has the air of mystery about her, she also has a sharp tongue and a sweet tooth. Her familiar takes the form of a wren she calls Varedjili.
His fellow Travellers would deny that Merripen is "mundane" by any means; the man is the keeper of the Paramicha, the stories and tales so rich in their culture. He's surprisingly quiet and almost shy when interacting with the "Gadje" (non-Gypsies), but always good-natured and patient, unlike some of the others. He is Jibben's father.
The Carousel operator: Blythe's magic would probably be most like telekinesis, but the Travellers call it "Zor," or strength. The 25-year-old woman seems to live up to her name; she's a playful sort, sometimes a touch irresponsible. Her familiar usually takes the form of a falcon named Pitti. She is Deya's granddaughter and the twin of Simza.
Simza is the more responsible and introspective of the twins. Where Blythe's magic lies in the physical, Simza's gift is one of the mind; she is able to create illusions, making her integral to the success of the fair. Her familiar usually takes the form of a small black and white goat she calls Yocky Shuri.
This 14-year-old boy is the keeper of the menagerie and helps to take care of the other creatures (a small goat herd and horses) that have traveled with the fair. Son of Merripen, Jibben is much more social than his father and very interested in learning about "Gadje" life — sometimes to the disapproval of his people. He is also somewhat of an apprentice to his father, and prone to telling tall tales to gullible folk.


The Camp

Beyond the fairgrounds is the camp. Here, a myriad of temporary dwellings rest along the waterway. The most common are the "bow-tents," also called lochgellys, gellys, or benders, simple tents made of a flexible wood bent in a bow and covered in colorful fabrics. Straw mattresses are covered with blankets for a sleeping pallet. Many of the Travellers make camp in carts and covered wagons; Merripen and Jibben's home is an old VW bus missing its machinery and hooked up to two donkeys.

After the fair has closed for the evening around midnight, the camp is a merry place. A central campfire is usually lit and the Travellers gather around to tell their stories of the day and sharing in drink and food. During fair hours, the camp is quieter, but never empty; small children play while watched by their older siblings or the few adults who don't have their own work in the fairgrounds.

Traveller Glossary

These words are mixed in with English. Most of Dornie's citizens won't know all of the words, but they'll pick up a few just from having been in the Travellers' presence after a while.

  • pannie — water
  • shain — bad
  • gadgie/coull — man
  • chav — gypsy boy
  • Gavver/Gaffer — policeman/villager
  • Gadje/Gorja - non gypsy
  • mort or manishee — woman
  • kinchin — child
  • geddie — youth
  • dilly — girl
  • wattle — tent
  • winklers — eyes
  • haben — food
  • peeve — drink
  • peevy — drunk
  • drom — road
  • pluffan — tobacco
  • barrie — good
  • grib — take, hold, use
  • feck — take, give
  • deek — look
  • jan — know
  • bing — come, go
  • mag — speak
  • moolie — kill
  • wanner — buy, sell