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Are you my sacrifice, sweet flesh? How pale and young you are. Tell me, are they resuming the sacrifices to the waters once more? ....No gods can save you. I shall take you, little beauty, and you shall be my bride before you are my supper.

–A kelpie to Nesta Archeron at the Bog of Oorid, A Court of Silver Flames

Kelpies, also called water-horses and nixies, are a species of male faerie that ate both mortals and faerie. They are creatures of hate and hunger. They are incorrectly believed to be extinct and at least one kelpie lived in the Bog of Oorid.


The kelpie that came across Nesta in the Bog of Oorid was humanoid in appearance, with the notable exception that he moved on all fours when on land. His skin was whiter than bone and limbs and chest thin and bony, masking his great strength. His arms ended in fingers as long as Nesta's forearms, four-jointed and tipped with dagger-sharp nails. His black eyes were enormous, without whites to be seen, cheekbones sharp and nose narrow, long obsidian-black hair straight but full of bog weeds. The mouth was too wide and long and filled with twin rows of rotted teeth, jagged as shards of glass. The tongue was long and black, similar to a worm. His breath smelled of foul meat. When he spoke, his voice was deep and hoarse, grating like rock on rock. The language he spoke was an ancient faerie dialect that had not been spoken in fifteen thousand years, indicating he was at least that old.

Powers and Abilities[]

  • Claws: Kelpies had claws that could slice through flesh. They used them with their long fingers to help pull themselves from the water onto shore.
  • Strength: Kelpie are a physically strong race. The one Nesta encountered had no problem dragging her from the shore underwater, his grip on her leg tight enough her bones groaned under it despite her being High Fae.
  • Enhanced Vision: Kelpies have very good vision, even when deeply enough underwater there was no light, similar to a deep-sea creature. The one that attacked Nesta had removed the weapons she was carrying on her one by one, not needing to fumble to find them, apparently able to see them.
  • Swimming: Kelpies are very good swimmers. The one who attacked Nesta dragged her underwater and then behind him through the Bog of Oorid, winding around previous bodies and tree roots without hitting them, not restrained by her dead weight.
  • Shapeshifting: Kelpie are renowned for their shapeshifting talents. They would transform into beautiful horses or pretty-faced young men to lure in their prey.
  • Water Breathing: Kelpies have the ability to breathe underwater. They could also breathe for their prey in a mouth to mouth fashion, exhaling life-giving air the person could inhale so they didn't suffocate under the water. This let them keep their prey alive and dependent on them for life for as long as they wished.


Kelpie were shape-shifters who dwelled in the lakes and rivers and lured unwitting people to them. After they captured them, they dragged them under the water and drowned them, then feasting on the body. Only the person's entrails would make it back to shore.

When they dragged their prey underwater, they would take them to the bottom of the body of water where they would drown, but kept them alive by kissing them and transferring air into their lungs. They would give one breath and wait until the person was running out of oxygen to give them another, which made their prey dependent on them to survive. Sometimes when they pulled away, the rows of their teeth would rip at their prey's mouth, drawing blood. They enjoyed making their prey, their prize, suffer, stroking their hair or laughing at their terror. They would make them beg and suffer, keeping them alive as long as they pleased.

They targeted women and children in particular and liked to rape their prey before drowning and eating them.

Kelpies rape and torment but they do not breed.


Kelpie were one of the first true monsters of faeries and were Made by a cruel god according to legend, deposited throughout the waters of the world. In ancient times, Fae and humans believed kelpies were river and lake gods and sacrificed live people to them. One theory suggests that the sacrifices were out of need to prevent the kelpies from hunting them instead of out of worship. If the kelpies were kept happy, they did not crawl out of the water to snatch children. The deaths could at least be controlled.

Later, they were hunted heavily. They vanished over five hundred years ago. Nowadays, they were considered a myth that was whispered around a fire and a warning for children not to play near the water. No one knows if there are survivors or where they are. In fact, at least one member of their race fled to the Middle, a place whose primal magic would protect them.[1]

A Court of Silver Flames[]

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