Swan Maidens are shape-shifting supernatural beings that have the ability to transform into swans.
Appearance: In human form Swan Maidens appear as graceful and attractive women, though there are a few cases of male swan people.
Lore: Swan Maidens achieve their transformation via a magical swan skin or robe/cloak of swan feathers. According to lore, if a man can steal such skin/robe/cloak then he can force the swan maiden to marry him. Swan Maidens can breed with humans though the offspring are almost always mortal. The Swan Maiden wife will stay with the man as long as she is prevented from regaining her magic skin/robe/cloak. If the Swan Maiden should find the skin/robe/cloak then she will immediately put it on, transform into a swan, and make her escape. The former husband and any children will be abandoned.
A small number of Swan Maidens, or Swan People, are believed to be the victims of a curse, such as with the children of Lir, who were cursed by their evil Stepmother.
Powers: Swan Maidens can transform into swans via a magic feathered skin/robe/cloak. Swan Maidens possess a supernatural beauty.
Defense Against Swan Maidens: Swan Maidens pose little-to-no threat to humans.
Trivia: Perhaps the most famous Swan Maiden is the character of Odette from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.