Leshy. Plural is leshiyre. Russian.
One of the characters in my upcoming release, It's In the Mix (Wit & Wizardry), is a leshy. His name is Dirv and he runs a little pub in the fictional town of Bearstown, Massachusetts, called The Irish Russian. He's a man of indeterminate age, all long limbs and long face. Now I'm very cautious about images I put up here, so instead of slipping in a photo for you to neatly see, I'll direct you to this link where I've pinned a couple of pictures of a leshy: https://www.pinterest.com/aylaruse/its-in-the-mix-wit-wizardry/.
In Russian mythology, the leshiyre are the fairy rulers and protectors of the forests. They were considered to be curious and mischievous. Sometimes even devious to mortals. And more often than not, heard rather than seen.
Even though my story is set in "contemporary" times, it is a paranormal. So how did a leshy find himself in charge of an Irish pub? Not only that, the pub is actually owned by a trio of leprechauns. Boggles the mind, doesn't it?
In my world, paranormals stick together. No, they all don't like and love one another, but they all know of each other. A fairy knows trolls exist. A leshy knows dwarves exist. But all humans do not know the truth about the paranormal.
Here's Dirv's story: Some years ago, the forest in a little province in Russia that Dirv protected was destroyed. He tried to move on, but with various forests being wiped out, the leshys were becoming very territorial. Dirv found himself wandering until he ended up in Ireland where he eventually met the Dunn brothers. The Dunn brothers own and run the Wit & Wizardry Brewery out of an old castle in Ireland. The brothers also quietly own several pubs and restaurants around the world. The four of them met and made a deal.
Dirv was tired of moving around. He wanted a forest to oversee once more. The brothers wanted to open a new pub in New England. If Dirv would agree to run the pub for the bothers, they would let him remain there indefinitely. It so happens that the town is nestled right in the middle of a vast woodland, and nearby the public land is a national forest. Dirv wasn't too thrilled about moving so far away from his homeland, but he was running out of choices and agreed.
These days, he enjoys running the pub and he's even learned to move around with and to get along with humans. Most of them like the forests almost as much as he does. Yes, it has its ups and downs and he does get bored here and there, but he always comes up with a way to liven things up.
Take the situation in my story. Aisling (a fairy) and Daniel (a human), had sparks flying between them from the moment they met. Dirv knew Aisling was going to head back to Ireland, but wouldn't it be thrilling to watch the pair get tangled up together? So he slips them each a recalled Wit & Wizardry brew. It's on recall because it contains a powerful love potion. Then he sits back, hopefully to see the sparks light up the pub. So what he's messing in the lives of others? He's bored right now. A lot can happen when a leshy gets bored.
If you want to see what happens yourself, pick up your copy of It's In the Mix this Friday, August 18, on sale at Changeling Press (and on pre-order everywhere else!).