Friday, September 6, 2013

The Morrigan - Keeper of Undead

In appearance, the Morrigan’s form is quite memorable—her hair is a dark, earthy brown in color, her eyes a gleaming ice-blue. Her complexion is flawless, and her willowy form is considered quite beautiful, if somewhat ethereal. Her attitude did not change much between her guise as “Lady Macha” and assuming her mantle as the Morrigan. She is quick to anger, slow to forgive, and coldly intelligent. She is the complete mistress of all cauldron-born, and even the most willful of undead bow their heads to her commands. Only the Revenants have broken free from her dominance, and as a whole, they have sworn to oppose her with every ember of their being.

The Morrigan rarely leaves Blackroot Wode and her ongoing efforts there to recreate a foreign kingdom. At the height of midwinter, she randomly visits one of the major clan holds accompanied by several cauldron-born. This visit allows her to personally receive the tributes she demands from the people of Cairn Kainen. She always addresses the clan with the same demands for ongoing tribute and submission to her laws. She tolerates no dissent and has been known to visit unruly clan holds with an entourage of cauldron-born that were formerly of that clan’s most prominent families as a means of demonstrating her displeasure.

While the Morrigan has outlawed any trespass into the Blackroot Wode, there are many stories of travelers and adventurers making their way there. Few ever return, but there are legends that the Witch has chosen to ignore her own rules from time to time, particularly for the purpose of hearing a story or song she has not experienced before. It is said that there are a number of clan bards that she has kept frozen in ice within her court, releasing them once per turning of the moon for a contest of her favor. The winner is released and banished from the wode, whilst the others are returned to their frigid cages.


There are no guarantees when dealing with beings as mighty and cruel as the Witches. Their ambitions are baroque and completely alien to most scholars. Even learned men can often only make a guess as to what truly motivates a Witch’s withered heart. From what is known about the Morrigan, her motivations have much to do with both Cairn Kainen as a location and her own focus of necromantic witchcraft.

Initially, it seems clear that the Morrigan’s task for the Grand Coven involved building a large army of cauldron-born, for the purpose of wiping out the Alliance’s forces and provoking the final conflict at the borders of Valkenholm. It did not take long after her arrival in Cairn Kainen for the Morrigan to begin her work, and many believe that her mission of building an army is long since complete. There is still a trickle of new cauldron-born emerging from Blackroot Wode but nothing like the vast numbers that shambled over the highlands nearly fifty years ago.

While the Morrigan does seem to occasionally experiment with creating new types of cauldron-born and replacing those lost in other realms, her true passion instead seems to be linked to the transformation of Blackroot Wode. There, the Witch has begun a strange reconstruction of an unfamiliar kingdom and has populated it with her favorite servants. With the Horned King as her silent consort, the Morrigan rules over a brooding yet hauntingly poignant court. Silver branches intertwine over moss-covered archways of unusual grey stone, and banners bearing unknown sigils fly from strangely twisting spires that grasp at the sky. In consultation with the most ancient bards of Cairn Kainen, the Enochians have concluded that the Morrigan is attempting to re-build a home long lost to her; to transplant her fallen realm into Morden and use the power of the Dark Cauldron to fill it with servants, warriors, and courtiers who will never falter or utter any betrayal.

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