Champion of the Faireland: Bisclavret, the Animal Spirit

This year’s Fairelands Hunt – the Lost Land – sends you on a search for the Ten Champions chosen by the Bard Queen to mentor, protect and instruct her daughter, the Princess Flora. Each day the Faire is running, we will be introducing you to a different Champion. They all have stories to tell … and some of these may give you clues to help you find them!

Bisclavret, the Animal Spirit
Bisclavret, the Animal Spirit

Bisclavret, the Animal Spirit

Bisclavret was found in the forests, a child of some twelve years. No-one knew who his parents were and it was believed, from his wild appearance, that he was one of those rare children raised by wolves.

Yet there was always a strangeness about him. Such children rarely master the power of speech, nor stand on two legs. But Bisclavret stood and walked like a human boy when he was found, and as they journeyed to bring this strange creature to their lord’s palace, the foresters who had found him noted that he was listening to their words carefully, as though drinking them in. When they reached the palace, he bowed with them before the King, a little awkwardly, and then answered all questions in fair speech.

Not that he was able to tell them much. It was as though he remembered nothing till he was found.

He was given a place at court–a humble place in the palace kennels. It quickly became seen that the dogs not only loved him, but that they seemed to take him as their pack leader. It was something that Bisclavret would not discuss.

But once a month, when the moon was full, he would slip away from the palace. Three or perhaps four days later he would return and take up his duties in the kennels, quiet and calm.

But there was something in his eyes that forbade men to challenge him, and it was said that if angered he could be ferocious and even cruel.

So he lived in the Palace until one day the summons came from the Bard Queen for Bisclavret to serve as one of the Champions of the Princess. The Lord, who had fathered several hopeful (and not unpromising) sons, was dismayed, but Bisclavret simply smiled, took a small bag over his shoulder and set off with his wooden stave and his wolf’s head charm around his neck.

You can also read this page as part of an online book here.

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