Selkies are partly mortal skinshifters—creatures that can transform themselves from seal to human form and back again by putting on or removing their skin. They are descended from Luidaeg and the Roane.
Selkie skins are treasured, and the permanent destruction or loss of one is a tragedy. There are a limited of number and they are passed down within clans. Skins become available when a Selkie decides to pass their skin on, dies, or is killed. Since there are so few, not every Selkie child receives a skin.
When a skin becomes available, a potential new Selkie must go through a form of the Changeling's Choice: either take the skin, knowing the true story of the Selkies, or die at the hands of the one offering it. Selkies must keep their skins on their body, where it will take whatever form is convenient: a belt, a bracelet, or otherwise. If it is removed from them, it returns to its natural pelt form.
Unskinned Selkie kin age normally and have little to no magic of their own, only being able to see illusions.  The age limit to receive a skin is 39-40 years old. Those that pass the limit or give up their skin usually move inland, far away from the sea. Selkie kin that are half-Roane may or may not need skins.
It is revealed that Selkies are basically human without their skin. Walther and May confirm that if a Selkie is elf-shot and their skin is removed, they die instantly, unless they are still touching the skin, as revealed with Gillian.
It is revealed that because of Toby's presence, the Luidaeg's bargain with the Selkies are coming to an end. Toby's role in that bargain was to permanently bind the Selkies to their skins, making them the new Roane. However, a handful of Selkies remain for at least another seven years, giving them time to either keep or pass on their skins until the final binding.
Selkie Lore[edit | edit source]
We know that we, among all the Fae, are temporary and hence flawed, although no one tells us why, no one breathes a whisper of it - not until the day they draw us aside and offer us our own cold version of the Changeling's Choice that is offered to the half-breed children of the so-called purebloods.
Selkie's Choice[edit | edit source]
"You are here to make your choice. Will you join the Selkies in the sea, or will you live human for the length and breadth of your days, however long or short those days may be? Before you choose, you must understand where we come from; why our skins are limited in number, why there are no other races like us in Faerie. To become a link in the chain which binds us, you must first be forged. Will you swim the deep waters? Will you be a sister to your people, and keep them ever in your heart?"
Characters[edit | edit source]
Ryan clan - Roan Rathad[edit | edit source]
- Adrianna (deceased)
- Margaret and her husband
- Tempe (deceased)
- Elizabeth Ryan and her parents
- Diva Ryan
- Colin and his parents
- Connor O'Dell (deceased)
- Gillian Marks
Chase clan - Belle Fleuve[edit | edit source]
- Isla Chase, head of clan (deceased)
Anthony clan - Sweet Water[edit | edit source]
- Claude Anthony, head of clan
O'Connell clan - Tremont[edit | edit source]
- Joan O'Connell, head of clan
Lefebvre clan - Beacon's Home[edit | edit source]
Unknown Clans[edit | edit source]
- Bradwr of Cambria, known as Dylan (deceased)
NOTE: A majority of the Selkies are now Roane as of The Unkindest Tide
References[edit | edit source]
External References[edit | edit source]
- The Seal People
- Selkies and kelpies: The fairytale degree - The Scotsman
- Seven Tears Into The Sea: The Male Roots of Selkie Legends
- Selkie - Folklore Wiki
- Windsor's Scottish Heritage - Culture - Folklore: Selkies, Finfolk, and Mermaids
- The Mysterious Selkie | Celtic Myth Podshow News
- Orkneyjar - The Origin of the Selkie Folk
- Orkneyjar - The Selkie Folk of Orkney Folklore
- Legends - Fairy Tales
- Selkies: Mermaids in Norse, Faroese and Scottish Folklore
- Investigating Sealskins, Selkies and Sea goddess folklore | JAPANESE MYTHOLOGY
- The Selkie - Folklore and Mythology
- Scottish myths, folklore and legends — The Official Gateway to Scotland
- Selkie - Mythical Creatures Guide