The Immortal Game
Goddess of battle, strife, and sovereignty.
Associated Epic Attributes:
Strength, Appearance, Manipulation
Animal (Corvids, Cattle and Horses), Chaos, Death, Fertility, Prophecy, War
Animal Ken, Brawl, Fortitude, Marksmanship, Melee, Thrown
The most fearsome and mysterious of the Tuatha, the Morrigan is an enigmatic figure, a goddess reveling in slaughter and bloodshed yet blessed with knowledge beyond the normal ken even of gods. She is a deeply mysterious figure, often thought to be one and the same as her two sisters, or to be a triple goddess who somehow encompasses all three. The Phantom Queen is a creature of battle and death who strikes fear even into the hearts of her allies, but she is also a powerful sorceress and seer of the future, and through her fierceness and destruction often comes new life, born of the soil watered with the blood she spills. Few of the Tuatha enjoy her eldritch company and fewer still wish to, but none dare to offer her insult; to do so would be the most foolhardy act of one’s immortal life.
No one who looks upon the face of the Morrigan comes away unchanged by it. Feared even by her fellow Tuatha, her dreadful reputation in battle is legendary. She appears most often as a lean, gray hag with iron strength and a wiry frame, and if she is seen in battle, she is usually soaked from head to foot in the blood of her foes. There are no weapons the Morrigan is not expert with, though her favorites are spear and sword. She can be beautiful, too, as when she appeared to the hero Cúchulainn to try to seduce him before the Second Battle of Moytura. With black or red hair and flashing eyes, her enchanting figure in this guise is tied to her role as a fertility figure. She is associated with cattle, a common fertility symbol in Irish mythology, but more traditionally with ravens, crows and other corvids. She can take the form of a crow or raven and is often found flying over battlefields, surveying the damage and descending to feast on the bodies of the dead. Among the Tuatha, the Morrigan is considered their greatest seer, especially adept at predicting the outcomes of battles and the deaths of men in war.
The Morrigan can still be found on battlefields to this day, either as a soldier or as someone removing the dead bodies so they can be tagged, bagged and sent back home for burial. She has been known to appear as a martial arts instructor, a fortune-teller (inevitably seeing gloom and doom for those who come to have her read their cards or their palm), a dealer in blackmarket arms and an animal rehabilitator working with injured ravens, rooks and crows.
The Morrigan’s Scions are among the fiercest, toughest and cruelest members of their kind. Strong, cold and used to both physical and emotional punishment, they can take nearly everything that gets thrown at them and come back for more. Whether they are found in the Special Forces, a zoo’s avian exhibit office or at a mixed martial arts championship, there are very few Scions (or titanspawn, for that matter) who can best them when it comes to sheer power, determination and lack of mercy.
The Morrigan as she is now is a relatively ‘new’ incarnation. The sisters Macha, Nemain and Badb were originally a trio of war goddesses known as the Morrígan. Sometime during 16th or 17th Centuries the sisters merged together to fight off English, Aesir and Dodekatheon invasion, or possibly Fomorians – no one is completely sure who is to blame. Whoever ultimately was the cause, the merging maximized the powers of the three, at the permanent expense of their individuality. Occasionally, one of the sisters manages to break out of the merged personality and operate solo for a while, but mostly they are one person now, which freaks out a lot others within and without her pantheon.
The Morrigan and Cu Chulainn
Cu Chulainn, the hero of Ulster and a son of Lugh, once encountered the Morrigan driving her cattle through the fields. He insulted her, thinking she was but a poor peasant, and she prophesied that one day soon he would die in battle. He did not believe her and threw himself headlong into at war with Queen Medb of Connacht; though he was always victorious in battle, the Morrigan harried him at every turn, tripping him, injuring him, and frightening and derailing him with her powers. She told him that, if he wanted her to let him live, he could give himself to her as a peace offering, but he refused. On his way to the final battle, he saw her by the ford, washing his bloody clothes in the river; it was a powerful omen of his impending doom, and, indeed, he was mortally wounded in the battle and forced to tie himself upright with his entrails to keep fighting until his last breath. When he had finally died, the Morrigan sent crows to roost upon his body, so that all on both sides of the battle could see the price of defying her.