[Christine’s Halloween Monster and Faery List]

Kings: S

Searbhán Lochlannach, Sharvan (Bitter Herb, The Surly)
(pron. shar-VAN) One eyed cyclops Fomorii god with long teeth and thick iron collar wound around his body who guards the magic rowan: red alder tree at Dubhros Wood that cures sickness and disease. At Ui Fiachrath by the Muaidh, Dubhros Wood, a magical rowan berry fell and created a magic tree. Guarded by birds and bees, anyone who eats the berries will be free of sickness and feel the liveliness of wine and the satisfaction of mead in them. Any old person of a hundred years that eats the berries will become young, and any young girl that eats them will grow to be a flower of beauty. A deformed girl who eats three of the berries will become the most beautiful woman in the world. It is said that the tree grew from a berry that accidently dropped from a fairy bag. The Túatha de Danaan court summoned the guilty fairy since it is a grave error to share power that can lead to misuse. The fairy was banished from the Land of Promise to the Land of Giants far beyond the tall mountains. He was ordered to stay there until he could find a giant willing to guard the tree. Sharvan agreed to guard the tree after he tasted the berries sweeter than honey. The women of Lochlann lamented his leaving ‘for there was no harper could play half so sweetly on his harp as he could play on an ivy leaf.’ It was prophecied that he would never die until he struck himself 3 times with an iron club, since he was impervious to fire, water, or weapon. He was killed by Diarmuid Ua Duibhne when he would not let the goddess Gráinne: Midwinter Sun eat berries from his tree. The next guardian was Crom Dubh. (58, 183)
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