Morrigan

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: The Imaginarium


The Morrigan -- an ancient goddess of war, often regarded as a monster in female form who combines both terror with greatness.

Submitted: February 04, 2018

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Submitted: February 04, 2018

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Morrigan

Aengus was the man that spotted it, the murder of crows coming in from the West. A much bigger flock than most, flying in some strange formation. He wasted no time in heading back to the village bearing the news of her approach.

The Morrigan is coming,” he said to everyone he passed, and it did not take long for the entire population to hear the news.

Children were ushered indoors and told to stay put. They did not understand the need to be respectful; they had no comprehension of her powers. So easy it was for one of them to cause a disaster with a careless insult flung with no real malicious intent. Just two years ago, in a nearby village some child had shouted out a comment both rude and ill-considered. The Morrigan had shown no offence, indeed it had been hoped that she had somehow not heard; when their crops failed in spite of the clement weather there had been no doubt that it was her revenge.

The villagers gathered their offerings, put them on display. She could pick and choose, take whatever she wished and no payment would be expected. The Morrigan had the power to bring war, destruction; nature itself would do her bidding. She could feed or she could starve. Whole villages had prospered or fallen to ruin at her will, so her visit was to be treated with utmost importance.

She could be seen now, approaching along the Western road. The woman walked at a steady pace, not slow but not rushing either. Some said that she was made of the crows, that they gathered together and brought her to human form. Others believed that the crows accompanied her, that they were both escort and guard. Either way, it was considered very bad luck to bring about the death of one of those birds, and if one was found dead it would be given a respectful burial. Such was the power, the terror, that this woman could wield.

She was not tall but still was imposing, slim bordering on emaciated. The Morrigan’s face was as white as her hair was black. Long, sleek but also coarse; a reminder of ravens feathers. Her body was wrapped in a long cloak, black as night, made from the plumage of hundreds of crows. She kept it held tightly around herself, almost as though she was holding herself in.

Would she break apart, becoming many birds with flapping wings, sharp talons and even sharper beaks? No one met her eyes as she walked along, looking from one side of the street to another. She did not reach out but offerings seemed to disappear from the piles as though by magic. The Morrigan was not greedy, just taking enough and no more than that, in spite of the large quantities placed out as an offering to her.

As she was nearing the end of the village a child ran out from one of the houses, grabbed hold of one of the adults legs and said in a loud, clear voice, “Is that the cro.....” The end of his sentence was cut off with an angry, “Hush!”

Had she heard? The villagers watched, fearful of a reaction, but the Morrigan showed no sign that she had noticed. A white feather, crow sized, drifted down through the sky to land at the young boy’s feet. What did it mean? No one dared to ask the question, to give voice to their unease. All heads turned to watch as she left the village, carried on walking at that same steady pace until she rounded a bend and was lost from view.

Just a moment after, a large murder of crows took flight, moving eastwards. Were they the Morrigan, or were they her companions? No one in the village was sure but they all had their own ideas. Slowly life went back to normal, the offerings were returned to their rightful places, and the white feather lay where it landed until a gust of wind lifted it and blew it out of sight.

 


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