Kellan Oakes



Kellan Oakes is the main character in a series of ongoing short stories appearing in various magazines and anthologies. In the proud literary tradition of occult detectives from Carnacki the Ghost Finder to Harry Dresden, Kellan straddles two worlds: the modern, mundane city streets and the shadowy corners of supernatural realms.


Kellan Oakes is the only child of a powerful, long-lived druid priestess, Foltchain of the Oak. For the first ten to twelve years of his life, Kellan was raised in relative isolation, dwelling with his mother in the woods in a small cabin with no electricity. While Foltchain did occasionally venture out of the home and interact with others, Kellan was homeschooled, with his education primarily focused on druid traditions and lore and the vast majority of his time spent far from modern civilization.

Eventually, at the suggestion of a friend of his mother’s, Kellan was sent to public school, where he gradually adapted to the mainstream culture. He graduated high school and attended Central Oregon College, but dropped out in his fourth year.

Despite being raised to follow in his mother’s footsteps as a seeker of balance in the natural and supernatural worlds, Kellan chose a different path, establishing himself as a private investigator. Originally intending to live his life entirely within the civilized boundaries of the modern, mundane world, Kellan found himself drawn into the intrigues of the woodland creatures and spirits of his childhood who either remembered him or knew his family by reputation. He has confronted primordial people of the mounds, encountered aspects of the Green Man, and been hired by a woman claiming to be an elfen emissary of Santa Claus.

Skills and Abilities

Despite an abiding awareness of and experience with the supernatural world, Kellan Oakes possesses no supernatural powers of his own. He relies instead on a wealth of knowledge ranging from ancient herbalism to the weaknesses and predilections of ethereal entities. He speaks multiple dialects of Arboreal language which allows him to communicate with animals. Coupled with this, he knows how to drive a car, shoot a gun, and navigate the human legal system.

Supporting Cast

Foltchain of the Oak
Foltchain of the Oak is a druid priestess of unknown age. Her only living relative is her son Kellan, who is younger than her by a span others may only guess at. Foltchain is deeply proficient in druidic lore, with stores of personal wisdom and practical knowledge which appear magical to the uninitiated but which Foltchain herself is quick to point out rely on nothing more than an abiding respect for and understanding of that natural world and the traditions of the ancients. Foltchain continues to live in relative isolation, often employing Kellan as her personal liaison with the modern world.

Phoebe is a hamadryad, a half-human/half-tree nymph whose dryad mother has long been acquainted with Foltchain of the Oak. When Phoebe expressed a desire to depart the wilderness and live among humans, her mother turned to Foltchain for guidance. Foltchain in turn prevailed upon Kellan to aid Phoebe, and Kellan somewhat reluctantly hired Phoebe as the receptionist for his private investigation business. Despite Foltchain’s insistence that the pair are kindred spirits bridging the old ways and the new, the fact that Kellan and Phoebe have known each other since childhood lends more of a sibling rivalry aspect to their working relationship than either is fully comfortable with.

First Appearance

Kellan Oakes’s first published appearance was in the story “The Tannenbaum Terror”, part of the PulpWork Christmas Special 2014, in which the magical properties of wooden toys come to play an outsize role in a sinister scheme on Christmas Eve.

Other Appearances

“Of Mice and Monsters” – PulpWork Christmas Special 2015 – Kellan and his mother’s holiday roadtrip falls afoul of ravenous harbingers of doom.
“The Half-hidden Face” – Cheapjack Pulp Issue 316 – Primitive stone art catches the attention of wealthy collectors and unleashes a dark secret of the deep woods.
“The Harvestmen” – PulpWork Halloween Special 2016 – Visions of Samhain devastation lead Kellan through a cemetery and into the underworld.
“Goblinfest ’04” – PulpWork Halloween Special 2017 – A tale from Kellan’s college years, recounting a campus Halloween party terrorized by unquiet spirits.
“Abduction in Ash” – Occult Detective Quarterly Issue 4 – A missing person case leads Kellan to a half-finished housing development carved out of the territory of a fearful beast.
“Green Growing Things” – Death’s Garden – A menacing figure from Kellan’s past resurfaces on a monster-hunting crusade, putting innocent bystanders in grave peril.
“Strike Down the Sun” – PulpWork Summer Special 2018 – As the summer solstice approaches, Kellan’s investigation of a strange stone circle on property in a legal dispute takes a turn into macabre darkness and madness.

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