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 (A Local Habitation). 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.  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. Elizabeth confirmed that Selkies that are half-Roane, like her daughter, won't 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. It is heavily implied that Toby may be the key in restoring the Roane to life or binding the sealskins to the Selkies so that they can become Roane, but it is unclear at this stage, though the Luidaeg offered seventeen more Selkie skins to Elizabeth's clan, making the latter a high possibility considering that Gillian is now one.
Selkie Lore Edit
We know that, while we may love the ocean, the ocean doesn't love us. The ocean is incapable of loving us, no matter how sweetly she loves the Merrow and the Cetae and the Roane.
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.
We know that we must never, never, upon pain of misery beyond measure, trust the sea witch, or take her bargains, or risk her anger.
Selkie's Choice Edit
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?
"In Sea-Salt Tears" Edit
- Ryan clan
- Adrianna: 300 years old when she gives up her skin.
- Tempe, Margaret's daughter: Received Margaret's skin in 1974 after having thoughts of leaving the sea, timid and foolish. Killed in 1980 by a fishing boat.
- Daisy, Adrianna's granddaughter: Born in 1947, given her grandmother's skin in 1972.
- Elizabeth's father and mother
- Elizabeth Ryan, Tempe's cousin: Born in 1956, Luidaeg's lover from 16-37, but left her to receive her mother's skin in 1993. Married a Roane man. Became head of clan after father's death in 2002.
- Diva, Elizabeth's daughter: Selkie/Roane changeling, born in 1995.
- Colin, Elizabeth's brother and ALH computing employee. Died, came back to life, most likely human due to the destruction of his skin.
- Chase clan
- Isla, head of clan
- Anthony clan
- Claude, head of clan
- O'Connell clan
- Joan, head of clan
- Canadian clan
- Mathias, born 1958
Forbid the Sea Edit
- Bradwr of Cambria, known as Dylan
In the Novels Edit
External References Edit
- 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