An excerpt from the companion book for the Thaumaturgy book series.
The Sluagh (sl-U-ah)
The Sluagh are one of the many peoples of the Elvenheim Plane. They are an interesting amalgamation of different forms and features, as varied as humanity. One might have claws and furred skin, whereas another may appear all but human. EachSluagh, their Itheadrom cousins aside, share one distinctive feature: their unearthly wings. Much like the flesh of a Lethifold, Sluagh wing sets give the impression of cloth that hangs down the back or from the sides of their arms. The “cloth” moves as if withindependent will. The wings move like they are caught in the tides beneath a body of water.
Unlike the Seelie, Unseelie and Trooping fae, this fourth Court are the single-most deplored and distrusted species in the Nine Planes. The reasons for this go back to their origins. The Sluagh were once slaves within the Courts, kept down in tunnels and out of sight because of their “misshapen”forms and more brutal natures. Even in the darker Winter Court, they were reviled. Eventually, under the leadership of a Sluagh named Varoujan, the hated slaves of every Court rose up all in a single night to slaughter their keepers and masters. The royalty of the Courts narrowly escaped the insurrection. The Sluagh fled into the mountainous region of Elvenheim, a place where neither Court would follow. Thereafter, the range became known as Fricadamon or “Mountain of Fear”. It was many centuries before the Courts ended the guerrilla warfare against one another and came, not to a peaceful alliance but more of a tense ceasefire at the order of the ruling Triune. Each Court made the agreement to stick to their ownterritories and thus an agreed upon segregation came about.
Throughout the infighting among the Courts after the Sluagh fled their cruel masters, other oppressed peoples of Elvenheim shortly joined the rebels in the mountains, most famously the Itheadrom. The newborn Host became a catch-all for those unwanted and mistreated.
During the Great Planar Wars, the Sluagh found a special sort of camaraderie with those Planes seeking a neutral party to provide transport or other tasks completed quietly. It was during this time that the Host gained a popular reputation for their skills when it came to espionage. After the Wars came to a close and the United Planar States were formed, they were rewarded handsomely with contracts to do so with the various individual Planar governments, their most lucrative contract being with Elvenheim’s staunchest enemy, UnderEarth.
The Sluagh themselves chose their own leaders through the victors of battle. Only the strongest are fit to lead, in their eyes, a custom that is considered uncivilized and barbaric among the rest of the elvenvolke. Traditionally, Host elvenkinden, or children, names are based on birds or flight. Examples are the original Sluagh King, Varoujan (Armenian for “bird of prey”), Keyx (Greek for “kingfisher”) or the current Host King, Avis (Latin for “bird”). This tradition dates back to the original rebellion, the “flight” from the cruel dictates of their Court masters, and their characteristic wings. The Itheadrom, however, were not part of their revolution and so only recently have begun assimilate their Sluagh counterpart’s traditions in the last few centuries.