Interview With An Urisk by Kieron Baird

A lot of people have been asking me about urisks lately. Alarmingly, some even doubt their very existence. For this reason, I decided a Q&A was required. Immediately! If nothing else, to dispel the scepticism and answer the most common questions. If this piece also functions as an informal stepping stone for any budding future Fey researchers out there. Well, all the better!
This interview, if you will, was conducted by myself, Draken Pi Biro, and with me is the lovely Ishka, a female urisk I have the pleasure of knowing quite well. Of course, what better place to host this session than at Ishka’s beautiful home. Located somewhere in the Gateway to the Highlands, Scotland (sorry, I’m not telling you the exact location).
Draken: Hi Ishka, thank you so much for having me today. I must say, every time your home still takes my breath away!
Ishka: Welcome! It’s always great to see you again. Thank you, it’s so nice of you to say. My family have been living here for centuries now, it really is perfect for an urisk.
Draken: Maybe we should move a bit further down. The waterfall is pretty loud today after all that rainfall. I can feel the spray from here!
Ishka: [Laughs] You get used to it. Sure, let’s move down to the pool.
[Short Intermission]
Draken: That’s better. These carved stone seats are deceptively comfortable. Who carved these again? Never mind, tell me later, I’m already digressing. Let’s dive right in then. First question. Are urisks real?
Ishka: Yes. [Giggles]
Draken: Sorry, it’s the most common question I’m asked these days. [Laughs] That’s that out of the way then.
Ishka: It’s fine. We’re quite an elusive Fey to be fair. Not many tales seem to have survived in human records either.
Draken: It’s very unfortunate but hopefully we can rectify that a little today. Anyway, second question. Are fauns and urisks the same thing?
Ishka: No, we’re completely different species and geographically separated, well in your world anyway.
Draken: Would you care to elaborate on the key differences a little for our readers?
Ishka: Sure, no problem. Well in general, fauns are far more outgoing and as such became well known by your ancestors.
Draken: True. Fauns do have a bit of a ‘party animal’ reputation, let’s say.
Ishka: Additionally, as you know Draken, all urisks lack horns. Fauns on the other hand are well known for their headgear.
Draken: Yes, they feature prominently in existing artwork. Fauns themselves are very proud of their horns, I can attest. Just on a side note.
Ishka: Oh, we know!
Draken: Apologies, back to you.
Ishka: Probably the biggest difference though is our affinities. Fauns prefer glades, woodlands and forests, where as we urisks are drawn to waterfalls, lochs and natural freshwater pools. Also, fauns are not opposed to venturing into busy human settlements, where as we tend to prefer quiet rural living.
Draken: So quite a few differences then, to say the least.
Ishka: Oh yes. The confusion is probably because of the whole lower half similarities. Am I right?
Draken: Unfortunately, yes. From my experience anyway.
Ishka: Always with the legs! [Laughs]
Draken: [Laughs]
Ishka: And just before it inevitably pops up. No. We’re not brownies. We’re nothing like brownies appearance wise. Plus, you’re unlikely to ever find an urisk living in your house. Completely different kinds of Fey.
Draken: I quite agree. I don’t understand how urisks and brownies became mixed up in the first place! It annoys me how people use the two words interchangeably.
Ishka: Sorry, would you excuse me for just a second.
Draken: Of course. I’ll just wait here.
[Short Intermission]
Ishka: Sorry about that! Alright. You have my full attention again.
Draken: Is everything okay?
Ishka: Oh, just the usual. A salmon got stuck in one of the waterfall’s pools again.
Draken: Does that happen often?
Ishka: Quite often, yes. They have such a difficult journey though. Can’t grudge helping them out a little when I can.
Draken: That’s very kind of you.
Ishka: It’s just in my nature. I care deeply for all the creatures I share my home with.
Draken: If only more of my kind felt the same…
Ishka: Let’s not go down that road again, Draken. We’ll be here all day.
Draken: Of course, of course. I’ll try and stay on topic. Ahem. Third question. Are urisks solitary Fey?
Ishka: Well in general, we’re quite a shy race. However, it’s common for small family units to reside together, at say an ancestrally significant body of water. Not unlike mortals, we’re all looking for that special someone to spend our life with.
We also form close friendships with our neighbours. It’s not uncommon for small clans to naturally evolve over time between urisks living in close proximity. Companionship and love are both beautiful things to us.
Draken: Off script, just for one moment if you’ll indulge me. My own personal question here. Please don’t feel obliged to answer. I’ve heard about mass gatherings of urisks taking place at certain times of the year. Is there any truth to this?
Ishka: I cannot tell you where or when they happen, that’s a closely guarded urisk secret, but I can confirm that they do take place. The times of year remain consistent but the location, and indeed realm, are always changing.
Draken: Are these solemn events, say of a spiritual or political nature? Or a more casual affair, say like a festival? The few writings available on the subject don’t specify.
Ishka: Let’s just say… they’re unlike any other time of the year. [Ishka gives a knowing smile and a wink but says no more on the matter.]
Draken: Question four. Do urisks avoid human contact?
Ishka: Not deliberately, no. Just we like to live in remote places. Natural locations that have remained largely unaltered. I mean, in days gone by we did use to live in close proximity to hamlets and small farming communities. However, this is quite rare now. Your world has become a much busier place.
Draken: Was there anything in particular that triggered this decision?

Illustration of a brownie sweeping with a handmade broom by Alice B. Woodward.

Ishka: Well, from our experiences, humans seem to find us frightening. Whenever we do decide to reveal ourselves, unfortunately people are more likely to run away or scream, than engage in conversation…
Draken: Well, let me make it clear Ishka. I’ve never found you scary and thoroughly enjoy our conversations and debates.
Ishka: That’s very kind of you to say.
Draken: It’s only the truth.
Ishka: The answer isn’t a simple one I suppose. I guess it all depends on the individual urisk’s personal experiences. Though habitat choice limits possible human interaction opportunities regardless. Personally, I would never shy away from a friendly conversation with anyone, mortal or otherwise.
Draken: Very true. Some things simply aren’t a straightforward yes or no. Life experiences shape us all.
Ishka: Without a doubt.
Draken: I’ll move onto question five. What magical abilities do urisks have?
Ishka: Well, as I hinted at earlier, we can turn invisible if we want to. We bless the land we inhabit, though that’s more an innate magic, than say a conscious ability or spell. It just sort of goes hand in hand with how we live our lives.
Draken: I have to say. I have always noted what a healthy and positively thriving ecosystem exists in and around your home. The water is always crystal clear too. Very refreshing on a hot day. [Chuckles]
Ishka: Yep. That’s partly thanks to the blessing. The rest is just general care-taking but mostly leaving nature to do what she does best.
Draken: Are there any other magical talents you’d care to share with us?
Ishka: I think I’ll leave it at that. I’ll just leave the rest to your readers’ imagination. What is life without some mystery after all. [Giggles]
Draken: Final question. Why do we only ever hear about sad, male urisks?
Ishka: Isn’t that just typical! Early researchers only ever concerned themselves with fey menfolk. I think only your people could answer that I’m afraid. At least now a female urisk has finally been given a platform.
Draken: There is a clear bias in early writings I won’t deny. We’re working on it though. Hopefully our society is changing for the better in that regard.
Ishka: As for why all your early interviewees were sad, I don’t. Although we live in admittedly ‘the lonely places’ of your world, we aren’t typically a sad bunch. If anything, I’d say we’re quite a happy and contented lot.
Draken: Maybe it has something to do with the comparison to fauns again? [Laughs]
Ishka: Well, that’s true. Everyone looks mild mannered and reserved compared to them. [Laughs] The simple pleasures, friendship, companionship and the natural world are what matter to us. Give us a quiet, deep loch or a remote, loud waterfall and we’re satisfied.
Draken: What a perfect way to end our session. With a valuable life lesson for anyone reading this. Respect the world around you, treasure your friendships and family and enjoy the simple things. These truly are the keys to happiness.
Ishka: That’s what matters to us urisks. With these elements in our lives, we live a truly blessed existence. Be it here on this plane or another.
Draken: Again, thank you Ishka for taking the time to answer my questions. Hopefully anyone reading this will now have a better understanding of urisks and what a unique fey they truly are.
Ishka: It’s been a pleasure as always. Please do come again.
[With that, Ishka disappeared in gentle puff of pink smoke (as she often does) and our session came to a pleasant cessation.]
In Conclusion:
Now with the transcribing finished and the results hopefully finding their way out into the wider world, there will be no more confusion between fauns (or brownies!) and urisks. This is by no means a scientific article but I feel it answers the common questions and addresses a few misconceptions about these fascinating and cordial fey.
There is still much that all of us can learn (myself included) about urisks. Yet for that knowledge to surface we need an environment of trust, honesty and respect. So, the next time an urisk decides to reveal themselves to you, don’t run away screaming. That’s just rude! Instead, try engaging in some polite conversation. Who knows? Maybe you’ll learn something and additionally (and arguably most importantly) make a good friend in the process.
Well, I hope this has been enlightening for you dear reader. Until next time, this is goodbye from Draken Pi Biro.

Kieron P. Baird is a published writer, on a personal journey of self-discovery and improved mental well-being.
Nature, mythology, fantasy and science fiction are all areas of interest, often appearing in Kieron’s writing.
He currently resides in Avonbridge, Scotland.