The Barbegazi, are small hobgoblins from the French-Swiss folklore.
The name comes from the French barbe-glacée meaning “frozen beard” – probably in honor of their very long beards that are almost always frozen, as these little ones like to live in high mountains and stay outside in the winter enjoying the snow.
They travel around by using their feet, which are extremely long, as skis or snowshoes, depending of the conditions. They are said to have pointy ears and ice-blue eyes, and all their hair is covered with ice crystals that shimmer in the light.
During the warmer months, for which they have no tolerance, they return to deep tunnels within the mountains and sleep until the cold returns.
Contrary to many other members of the Fae, the Barbegazi are shy creatures that prefer to remain unseen and away from humans. Traditionally, they dress in white furs, camouflaging perfectly against the snow and ice, and both male and female have beards, the reason why is so hard to distinguish between them.
They are not malicious creatures, and there are accounts of people who had been rescued from desperate situations high in the mountains (e.g., trapped under an avalanche or lost) by the Barbegazi. However, they prefer to help animals, particularly those that get lost, like sheep wandering away from their herd, and they are always on the lookout for avalanches. If one is imminent, the barbegazi lets out a sharp whistle as warning.
-Maberry, Jonathan, and David F. Kramer. The Cryptopedia: A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange & Downright Bizarre. Citadel Press, 2007.