Bugul-Noz, the Shepherd of the Night Myth in Aedelwynn - The Land of the Free | World Anvil
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Bugul-Noz, the Shepherd of the Night (Ancient Tuana: [byɡylˈnoːs])

Or "Why Tuana should keep indoors after Dark."

The Tale of He-Who-Hides-In-Fog

"The Bugul-Noz, I am, shepherd of the night.
Not see me you must, for I give quite a fright.
In mists I am cowled, whistling I warn.
Do not answer my call, lest you be forlorn.
I seek but a lover, or companion and friend.
My face should you glimpse, your life it shall end.
Now scurry off, young shepherd, back to your mother.
Return to the dark I shall, in search of mine other."
- The Bugul-Noz's Rhyme.


An Tuana Clanna claim that when night falls, the faerie folk and horrors of the night run wild. Korrigans, gobs, hobs, prance in the darkness, and claim any they can see as their own. One of these creatures is the Bugul-Noz, or in old An Brenian Tuanai: shepherd of the night. It is said to be a lonely fellow, and the last of his kind.   He wears a large wide-brimmed hat that completely shadows his face even at night, which is said to be hideously difformed. Any who lay eyes upon his visage will be so struck with terror they might collapse and die, those who do not wake in the morning without any memories of the face, for the soul does not wish to recall it.   Despite being a shepherd, his presence terrifies nearby animals, who do not want to die either, and thus in order to tend for them, he produces a thick fog that comes rolling in with the dusking sun. Thusly cowled, he wanders the woodlands and fields of Aedelwynn singing his head off to warn away wanderers, who might get lost and behold his face.   However, it is often said, that should you hear a whistle in the fog, never whistle back, for you would then become the Bugul-Noz's target. Running towards his future beloved, the Bugul-Noz would take of his hat and slay the poor soul that returned his call. The shepherd then would mourn and run away in shame.   So, if you are ever coming from work late at night in the fields, and hear a mournful tune or a sorrowful whistle, keep silent and make your way back home as quickly as you can. Fear the Bugul-Noz's visage, lest you crave for an early death, for he searches what he can never obtain, and to take the lives of others is his greatest misery.

Historical Basis

This folk tale is told by many An Tuana Clanna to their children so that they don't go wandering off into the darkness and keep themselves safely at home. The Bugul-Noz's song is a common nursery rhyme amongst the children of An Brenian and An Dalachain where this tale originates from.
  In the earliest days of mankind, many monsters roamed the night and still do, as such the Bugul-Noz serves as a cautionary tale against the night and its accidental dangers. Some loremasters claim this is a variation on 'The Elder', one of An Glamhoth's four deities alongside the Crone, the Rime Mother, the Goddess of Winter, and the White Hand.   The Elder is a lonely figure, who dislikes being disturbed but also craves company, entering other people's homes and making them believe he is a part of the family. These latter will only realise they've been tricked when he leaves. That said, when asked about their gods, the Orcs tend to be most reclusive and despise anything to do with An Tuana to not answer further questions.

Variations & Mutation

Within the Kingdom of An Brenian the tale of the Bugul-Noz is told with a decent amount of fear mongering, for in some cases he hunts down wanderers of the night, and robs them blind. Worse yet, he often asks others to take off their hats to salute him, and then salutes in return, resulting in their deaths. The Bugul-Noz's wicked strains are endemic to An Brenian - as harsh a land as An Arwyn, constantly battered by storm and snow fall. In many cases, the Bugul-Noz leads the "Óstach Scáthanna", the wild dance of the sidhe, during which his songs and whistlings rhythm the wild whirls and twirls of this nightly procession. Any who are caught within are dragged into the afterlife, forever doomed to dance alongside revenants, undead, and unspeakable horrors.   Within the Kingdom of An Dalachain, however the Bugul-Noz is far more benevolent, using the mists and calling to all who are still in the fields and out of their homes. Loremaster Muirtagh An Dalachain writes that the Bugul-Noz: "fulfills a beneficial office, in warning human beings, by his coming, that night is not made for lingering in the fields or on the roads, but for shutting oneself in behind closed doors and going to sleep. This shepherd of the shades would then be, taken all together, a kind of good shepherd. It is to ensure our rest and safety, to withdraw us from excesses of toil and the snares of night, that he compels us, thoughtless sheep, to return quickly to the fold." Furthermore, there are some tales where the Bugul-Noz leaves a cloak of mist to young shepherds, so they can hide from wolves and evil beasts at night. The cloak fades as soon as they come back home.

"Fear his visage, for he'll give you quite a fright,
stay in your homes, don't leave at night!"

Legends of An Tuana

"They say he is the last of his kind, looking for a mate. Only another bugul-noz can survive the horror of his visage, though some claim the blind can be healed by his sight. I wouldn't want to test that theory."
- Loremaster Muirtagh An Dalachain

Date of First Recording
Likely before the Time of Reclamation.
Date of Setting
As old as man's first memories.
Related Ethnicities
Related Species
Related Locations

The Bugul-Noz as a lesser Power:
"The Bugul-Noz is an ancient figure, some might think he is the embodiment of nature's dangers and wilderness itself. Whichever is true, he does have a power over nature, and some claim he might be a local lesser deity."
  • Nature, Trickery;
  The Bugul-Noz as a warlock Patron:
"The Bugul-Noz is a tragic creature, who seeks to find more of his own and protect the animals of the woodlands despite his deadly visage. Leader of the "Óstach Scáthanna", there may be ways to gain power from his presence..."
Patron Pacts:
  • Archfey;
Credit goes to: Marvin Kopp

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Cover image: The Return by Eytan Zana


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