The Faery inhabit all areas of the world, over and under it. In almost all professions we mortals may participate in, it is inevitable that we will come into contact with one or more of our constant Fae companions.
In this article we will be speaking on the Tommyknockers, those mostly helpful, and sometimes harmful, spirits of the under dark where men go in search of precious minerals.
For as long as we have been digging in the earth, these fairies have been in attendance, sometimes warning us of impending cave-ins, sometimes causing them if we’ve given disrespect.
The Tommyknockers have a long and venerable history in our mythology, with different names the world over. These names may in fact be different castes of Fae, or they may simply be that different cultures came up with different identifiers, either is possible. Judging by how different cultures treated them, however, the former is likely.
The Kobolds of Germany, for instance, were often blamed for cave-ins, rock slides, and other failures of the structure of the mine. This makes sense since they believed that these creatures actually lived in the stone itself, rather than merely underground.
How would you behave if someone were carving holes in your home? One of their favorite pranks was to swap out valuable ore, for worthless ore, leaving the miners with nothing for their hard work.
The Tommyknockers of the United States, however, were mostly well thought of, especially by the ‘Cousin Jacks’ or Cornish Miners that came to California. These miners would often refuse to work if the mining company they worked for didn’t assure them that the Tommyknockers were already on duty.
These benign spirits warned them of impending cave-ins, kept their tools from breaking, and led them to good veins of ore.
The Tommyknockers bear a striking resemblance to the English Bluecap, these fine fellows were insistent on being paid. Their payment was often left in a back corner of the cave where they could find it. They would then spend the rest of their time in the mines leading them to fine veins of ore and porting around heavy wagons of coal and ore.
If you have a dark spot on your property, especially subterranean, and you hear strange noises down there, you may have one or more of these critters living around you. Leaving small gifts of whiskey, nuggets of meat, and a bit of bread will endear them to you, and help in keeping the area structurally sound and safe.
It’s unlikely that they’ll be found in a home environment, but a root cellar being constructed or similar underground construction may attract them temporarily.