The Glarough refers to a legendary figure in Relancii history, said to personify the fog-winds of a gentle storm, which are likewise known as glaroughs.
Glarough means “a persistent, wet fog-breeze that occurs during a gentle storm,” having the sense of encompassing the storm as a whole and not just the breeze. Literally, its etymological root means “cloud-wind.”
It is an unresolved question as to whether the word “glarough” was first applied to the legendary figure or the meteorological phenomenon. The oldest known surviving usage of the word is in fact in reference to the legendary figure, and the legend itself tells that such breezes only came to be known as glaroughs as a consequence of the Glarough's fate.
Likewise, the Glarough's original name has been lost to time; “the Glarough” is an epithet supposedly given to him after he met his fate.
The Glarough was said to have once lived as one of the Kindred. From childhood he became notorious for his love of inclement weather. As a boy he would often abandon his work and disappear for hours or even days when storms passed through, to the unquenchable consternation of his parents and the stark disapproval of the community. They only continued to accept him because he was otherwise hardworking and inerrant, and so his love of the rain became acknowledged as an unseemly eccentricity, or, by a few people, as a sign of being touched by the Preterfolk or the Gods.
His eccentricity carried into his adulthood. In those days he could routinely be seen strolling about town in times of showers, wind, or fog—day or night. During the rainy season he would depart deep into the mountains for extended periods of time, stomping in the mud, smelling the trees, sitting and contemplating the questions of existence…sometimes not returning at all until spring was nearly at hand. He took these trips alone, for he could find none who wished to accompany him. Always, he would return from his trips with songs, sketches of what he had seen, and tales of his encounters with the Preterfolk. Yet in his whole life he only ever enticed two people to accompany him farther than the mears of home, and, on returning, neither of them understood his fixation any better.
So passionate was he, so enthralled by the feeling of the winds upon him, the smell of the wet air, and the misty caress of the clouds, that some of his neighbors whispered of heresy or even possession, while others began to see him as an oracle, and sought him out for blessing and advice. Occasionally some of these people would come with him on shorter excursions, but none of them ever shared in his rapture. His own wife was quite practical and never cared for his adventures either, in fact ruing them, nor did she let their children accompany their father.
As the years went on, the Glarough began to insist more and more fervently that the grayed landscapes he saw in his storms were not merely obscured by fog but were in fact the province of another world entirely, and that the storms created (or were created by) a thinness between the worlds. He believed he was glimpsing the land of the Preterfolk, which in turn was said to be the gateway to the Realm of the Gods. He began theorizing about the nature of the Preterfolk and the purpose of their existence in Relance, and became increasingly curious about and enticed by what their home might be like.
Though generally a pragmatic mate, one day, in his forty-ninth year, the Glarough left to walk among one of his beloved storms, and never again returned in his viutari guise. Instead, on that fine occasion, he embraced his curiosity, stepped through the veil, and passed out of the world.
The legends differ on what he found there: Some say he found what he was looking for. Some say he didn't. But they all agree that he eventually returned to Relance, not as a mate but as the very cloud-winds that had beckoned him his whole life. His former companions named him the Glarough, and from that time on he lived on in the storms, beckoning others to see what he had seen.
The legend of the Glarough is an old one, and quite loose. The era in which he lived is unknown, with variants of the legend ranging from mere decades ago to dozens of millennia. His livelihood and social status likewise vary, depending on where the legend is told, and by whom. His homeland varies too, though Toloeia—a mountainside nation famous for its glaroughs—is the most commonly mentioned site.
The historical accuracy of the legend has never been conclusively confirmed or debunked. It isn't uncommon for a dwend's existence to be exceedingly difficult to verify as such, and there are relatively few people in the world who would bother to try. It should also be mentioned that, even if there were a dwend in the glaroughs, it would not necessarily be the Glarough.