Just Jack [newtry]

Jack Shian

Jack is twelve when he moves to the Shian square to start his apprenticeship. He lives with his cousins Petros, who moved to the square a year earlier, and Petros’ sisters Rana and Lizzie.

Jack is apprenticed to Gilmore the tailor, who makes all sorts of magical cloths and clothes. Haemostat bandages that stem bleeding; Beetler hats that make the wearer shrink down in size; invisibility bonnets; Sintura belts that allow you to carry hundreds of items without being aware of them… You get the picture.

Rana and Lizzie

Jack’s cousins are twins, but they’re not hard to tell apart.
Both have a love of ‘finding’ objects left behind by forgetful humans – something their brother Petros reminds them of.

Rana and Lizzie
Grandpa Sandy is Seelie

Grandpa Sandy

Jack’s grandfather is a senior member of the Shian Congress (also known as the Seelie Court). He is a link between the old Shian ways, and the new world of the reawakened Shian.
The Congress has been reawakened because of the return of the Stone of Destiny to Scotland. The Stone gives renewed power to Shian charms and hexes.

Briannan and Fenrig

Briannan is the leader of the Brashat, the most uncompromising of the anti-human Shian. Haughty and imperious, a genuine smile would crack his face. But don’t laugh at him; and never under-estimate him!
Fenrig is his son, and desperately wants to be a chip off the old block. But is there a secret behind Fenrig’s parentage?

Briannan Fenrig
 Murkle the worst tutor in the world


As well as learning tailoring, Jack and the other apprentices must learn about Shian folklore.
Murkle’s frosty demeanour does not hide a heart of gold. He’s not actually evil, but he is impatient, intolerant, and incredibly dull, even when the subject matter should be interesting.
You could be forgiven for thinking that he’s about as bad-tempered as a teacher can get; the apprentices have named him ‘The worst tutor in the world’.


The Enchantress who lives in the woods of Keldy.
Not much is said to get past her. For one thing, she’s about a thousand years old. Her heart seems to be in the right place – but that doesn’t mean it was always there, or that she’s not very dangerous.

 Tamlina the enchantress
 Matthew the seer


He’s ancient too. In fact he makes Tamlina seem young. Jack and the others are pretty sure he’s one of the good guys, but they find it hard to work out exactly who he is, or why he’s involved with things like the annual game of Shian football between Cos-Howe and Claville.
He always seems to carry a leather-bound volume with strange writing on the front cover…


In Jack Shian and the Mapa Mundi, two more seers appear, and like Matthew both appear with a leather-bound volume. But...

Marco and Luka

are also different: while most of the time they appear as people, they seem to be shape-shifters too...

 Otherworld Creature LukaOtherworld creature Marco

 Celtic knot

 In addition to Shian people – and as you can see they look pretty much like humans – there’s all sorts of other kinds of Shian creatures. Tree spirits and ghillie-doos (and even a kelpie) are there to help point the way for Jack and his cousins as they go on their quest. Some of the following Shian creatures are better than others at blending in, or else they just stick to the Shian spaces most of the time. Be grateful for that: although some of them are pretty spectacular, you really want to avoid the dangerous ones.


Descended from hobgoblins, these ‘gnarled, grimy halflings’ are the hired thugs who do the Brashats’ dirty work for them.
Definitely Unseelie.

 Hobshee otherworld creature


These people appear at the start of Jack Shian and the Mapa Mundi.

They appear to be able to fly...

... and that's not all. From the outset Jack is convinced that they mean trouble. And he's right.

Otherworld creature Kildashie


There is debate about where the korrigans originally came from; possibly Cornwall.

As well-established figures in the Otherworld they are entitled to take part in the procession at the Shian Seventh festival.


(also known as ‘Red Caps’)
Famed for their hauntings of castles, these bloodthirsty creatures dip their caps in the blood of their victims.

Best avoided.


Icelandic Elves

Great tellers of sagas, the Icelandic Shian have quite close ties with the local humans.

Dunter [Red Cap] Icelandic elves

The Kelpie

At first sight a handsome horse, this fierce water horse is best known for dragging unwary souls into the depths.
Don’t climb on his back – you’ll never get off! 



Tomte and Nisse are the dwarf representatives on the Shian Congress. Fiercely brave, their diminutive stature is not a help when it comes to battles. 

The Phooka (‘pooka’)

These Irish creatures perform at the Shian Seventh celebration.
People are divided as to whether they are essentially good or essentially evil.
Read the stories, and make up your own mind.

Kelpie Dwarf Phooka [Pooka]

There’s others too, such as tree spirits and ghillie-doos who are there to help point the way for Jack and his cousins as they go on their quest. Grigs (like pisgies [pixies]) act as messengers for the Shian people.

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