Faeries and Folklore Podcast

The Faeries and Folklore Podcast by Ronel: Red Caps #podcast #faeries #folklore

Episode 98: Dark Fae: Red Caps

The folklore of the red cap in a nutshell, how I reimagined it for my writing, and this fae translated to Afrikaans.

Written and narrated by Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

Copyright 2024 Ronel Janse van Vuuren — All rights reserved.

Learn more about the red cap in folklore here.

Get the transcript here.

Music: Secrets by David Fesliyan (FesliyanStudios.com) and Dramatic Heartbeat by FesliyanStudios.com


You’re listening to the Faeries and Folklore podcast by Ronel.

I’m dark fantasy author Ronel Janse van Vuuren. With over a decade of digging around in dusty folklore books, researching creatures of imagination that ignited my curiosity, I’m here to share the folklore in a nutshell and how I reimagined it for my writing in an origin of the fae.

This is the Faeries and Folklore podcast.

Hi, I’m your host Ronel Janse van Vuuren. You can just call me Ronel. In today’s episode, we’re continuing our exploration of the fae realm.

This episode is brought to you by my Dark Court Sisters book series. Available in ebook, paperback and audiobook. Three sisters. Three destinies. Three ways to destroy the world. Go to ronelthemythmaker.com/darkcourtsistersseries for more.

You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion. Go to buymeacoffee.com/ronel to support me.

We’re continuing our exploration of Dark Fae.

Today’s Faery: Red Cap

Folklore in a Nutshell by Ronel

Red Caps come from the folklore of the Border between England and Scotland. They are malevolent faeries that inhabit ruins (usually of castles) and murder any who dare enter their homes. Red Caps are said to be sturdy old men with red eyes, talons for hands, large teeth and wearing a red cap (for which they are named). They dye their caps in the blood of their victims. It is said that if the blood that stains their caps dry out, they die – which means they need to kill regularly to stay alive. Red Caps are incredibly fast despite the iron-shod boots they wear and the heavy iron pikes they carry. It is said to be impossible to outrun a Red Cap.

The most infamous Red Cap is Robin Recap, known familiar to Lord William de Soulis of Hermitage Castle. Together they committed many evil deeds.

And now for my interpretation of the fae in an Origin of the Fae: Red Cap

Red Caps are creepy little buggers. Not only do they have talon-like claws, but they have eyes that glow in the dark. And that’s just the tip of the scary iceberg.

There are only male Red Caps due to a curse placed upon them when they breeched the Compact between Man and Fae.

Red Caps haunt the Borderlands between England and Scotland because their legend is strongest there, but any old castle will do. Once they pick a place to live, they protect it fiercely. Their favourite way to do this is to push boulders from up high onto their unsuspecting victims.

Due to poor nutrition, they look slightly emaciated. They have almost no hair and a scraggly beards which gives them the appearance of little old men.

Their appearance isn’t the only consequence of them breaking the Compact between Man and Fae. They are no longer able to use Fae Glamour. This lack of Fae magic they bypass by practicing black magic – which, of course, is forbidden. They are also forced to wear iron-tipped shoes as punishment for their many crimes.

The only way for them to maintain their immortality is to consume the flesh of humans and Fae alike. They prefer to only hunt humans for sport, but they’ll eat them if no Fae prey are around.

Red Caps get their name from the red caps they wear. These caps are dyed in human blood. They have to do this continuously to survive.

The only way to escape these cannibals is to outsmart them.

As a little bonus, let’s look at this faery translated to Afrikaans: Rooikappies

I hope that you’ve enjoyed this episode of the faeries and folklore podcast and that you’ve learned something new about faeries.

Remember that you can get a transcript of this episode in the description. If you’re new to the podcast, why not go and grab your free copy of Unseen, the second book in the Faery Tales series, on my website ronelthemythmaker.com? Loads of folklore, magic and danger await! Take care!

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You can now support my time in producing the podcast (researching, writing and everything else involved) by buying me a coffee. This can be a once-off thing, or you can buy me coffee again in the future at your discretion.

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image credit https://pixabay.com/illustrations/ai-generated-fairy-wings-magic-8121013/

No-one writes about the fae like Ronel Janse van Vuuren.

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