The Morrigan

Old Version of the Morrigan

The Morrigan
Bitch of Battles; Bloody One; Gorecrow

Symbol: A black raven with red eyes and serrated teeth inside its beak
Home Plane: Acheron
Alignment: Chaotic Neutral
Cleric Alignments: Chaotic Good, Chaotic Neutral, Neutral, Chaotic Evil
Portfolio: Conflict, war, survival in battle, revenge, scavengers
Worshipers: Warriors, gladiators, scavengers and looters, those who want to survive conflicts
Domains: Chaos, Destruction (Rage), Madness, Strength (Ferocity), War (Blood, Tactics)
Favored Weapon: Morningstar or scythe (cleric chooses one)

Physical Description:
The Morrigan is conflict incarnate. She sometimes will take the form of a large black raven or vulture with shining red eyes, or a troll-like woman warrior so horrific in appearance that her presence inspires mortal terror in all who try to fight her, and a maniacal rage in all those who are already engaged in a conflict. But most often her presence is felt in the wave of bloodlust that rolls over the field in the midst of a pitched battle, with corpses falling on all sides, or the raw fury of loved ones in the throes of a violent argument, or the steely glance shared between duelists as blades are drawn. The Morrigan is empowered by and fuels all conflict, great or small, and her presence means more food for the scavengers that are sacred to her.

Description of Nature, Personality, and Dogma:
The Morrigan is a concept given flesh: the concept of conflict. She exults in battle, lives for argument, and feasts on discord. Those who would follow her must seek out conflict and engage in it in some fashion. Some may try and end these conflicts, while others may try to cause and continue them, others may battle in them on one side or the other, others will try to profit from them, often through acts of scavenging, and still others seek out conflicts to mend the damages done by them, but so long as there is conflict it is all the same to the Morrigan. Conflict is what makes things strong and tests their worth. It is how the great are truly proven, and the full potential of beings and objects alike are brought out to face the newest threat.

Carrion birds are sacred to the Morrigan, and wise warriors will leave them alone as they feed on the fallen after a battle, regarding it as bad luck to kill them, and an easy way to tempt the wrath of the Morrigan. And terrible is her wrath.

Clergy, Places of Worship, Important Rituals, and Servitor Races:
The Morrigan's clergy are very often mercenaries, relying on her mercies to see them through another day of battle, traveling from one conflict to the next in a never-ending cycle of bloodshed and shows of strength, until only the strongest are left. Many are adventurers, seeking the strength of varied experiences in a world filled with conflict. A very rare few are healers, those of strong and indomitable will who seek to help the world rejuvenate after each conflict, so that the cycle can begin again. Only a few ever reach old age, and none of the truly devout ever die of natural causes.

Nobody builds temples to the Morrigan, nor would she accept any that were built to her. Those that have tried have met ends that are legendary in their ghastliness, leaving only ruined remnants of their attempts, which are as close to holy places as the Morrigan ever has off of the field of battle. The only holy sites of the Morrigan are battlefields. Most of these are fresh battlefields, but a few sites can become so soaked in blood and death that nothing ever grows there again, except perhaps a few of the most noxious, hardy weeds. These sites are considered touched by the Morrigan herself, and prayers to her can be heard there most readily.

It is a common practice among those who worship the Morrigan to open the eyes of those that are slain on the field of battle. This is at once a way to offer a favorite food to the birds of carrion that feed in the aftermath of such battles, and also a way of showing the bravery of the fallen, demonstrating that they are willing to face death itself without flinching. Conversely, it is a common practice all over Therafim to close the eyes of those who die in more peaceful circumstances, a way of demonstrating the peaceful nature of their deaths by making their end look more like sleep, and also to show their freedom from the Morrigan's caress.

The Morrigan's most common servitors are daemons, those mercenaries in the wars of the Outer Planes, and a small but elite army of these creatures serve as her personal guard.

History and Relations:
From the very beginning, there was the Morrigan. The first conflict of the gods, between the Light and Chaos, brought the Morrigan into being, and each conflict since then has only given her more power and more definition as a deity.

It can honestly be said that the Morrigan does not play favorites. All the gods are subject to her in one way or another. Many of them are more devoted to her ways and draw power more directly from her than others, such as Velsang, Lugscar, Arca, and Swarm, but even these deities do not get preferential treatment in any conflict. The only deity over whom the Morrigan has no significant influence is Amalgam. This contemplative deity is a source of endless frustration for the Morrigan, and she regularly does her best to send troubles and distractions to break his meditative calm, and his worshipers can expect a host of troubles from the Morrigan because of this. Thankfully, Amalgam and his worshipers regard these troubles as opportunities to test and improve their position on the path of enlightenment, and thus welcome them, at least in philosophical terms. Besides her troubles with Amalgam, the Morrigan regularly works with Sin Eater, and the more gentle-aspected of her clergy - those who repair the damage after conflicts and help to heal up the wounded so that they can battle again - often work side-by-side with the more gentle-aspected of Sin Eater's clergy, while each deities' martial followers eagerly fight against and alongside each other at any opportunity.

Favored Offerings and Justifications for Direct Intervention:
Eyes plucked from a foe, preferably a still-living foe, are an important offering to the Morrigan. The act of spilling blood onto the ground during battle is also a holy act for the Morrigan's worshipers, and a sign of their devotion to her.

The only times that the Morrigan intervenes directly with mortals is during especially horrific, bloody battles where each side is so consumed with hatred for the other side that they refuse to separate until one side or the other is utterly annihilated. In these situations, the Morrigan herself will sometimes manifest bodily in the thickest part of the fighting, tearing through any and all warriors who stand in her way with impunity. In such circumstances, the best that anyone can do is get out of her way, but most warriors in such circumstances are usually too consumed with bloodlust themselves to even consider such an act. The Morrigan serves Therafim in this fashion by working to destroy fighting forces that otherwise might utterly unbalance the cycle of conflict and resolution with their endless hatred, while at the same time sating a small portion of her endless bloodlust.