Morrigan Heron

"Ex" Cultist

The rain nipped at Morrigan's skin as she pulled the knife from her palm. The wound burned as the blade fell to the ground. She took in a slow, calming breath and caught the scent of blood in the air. The smell was so thick she could taste the iron.
She reached up with a clean hand and ran it through her hair. The hand was soaked when she pulled it back. She lathered the blood between her fingers. She knew it wasn't hers.
She heard a voice. It came as a whisper, erupting from somewhere in the deepest part of her mind. The voice was familiar, but her predicament was not. She didn't know where she was, or how she got there. Her heart raced and her lungs hurt from the rapid breathing.
The Passion faded like a fond memory, leaving her to sort out the consequences. More than a mind state, the passion was a journey. It was a fundamental part of The Scarlet Arts, a voyage to the darkest place the mind can ever go. To practice The Scarlet Arts was to be intimately acquainted with one’s own shadow, and Morrigan's shadow was long and dark....
    Morrigan Heron is one of the most divisive and controversial people in The Web. Some call her friend, while others claim she's the enemy. Many know her as a member of The Oxford Cabal, an organization of scholars that focus their study on The Prestige. Others choose only to focus on her ties to The Children of The Fiery Lock, one of the infamous 12 Cults.   Morrigan's life is drenched in blood, death, and betrayal. Despite her reputation, she's been called upon for aid by most organizations in The Web. From Oxenfree to The Chiron Group, most find themselves needing her expertise when out of their depth.

"Mortally Challenged"

Morrogan stands at 5ft, 7 inches with dark red hair and pale skin. The woman is blind, her eyes the color of jade, though can manage life easier than most due to The Static.   She often refers to herself as "mortally challenged." Morrigan is a quasi-immortal, a state of being as close to immortality as possible. While resilient, she can certainly die. Her immortality is the result of an experimental ritual that altered her blood, allowing her to postpone death while her body heals under normally lethal circumstances.   This ritual also caused her blindness, the only thing about immortality she finds tragic. While the static helps, she still struggles considerably due to her lack of sight. While it's obviously harder to hold her own in a fight, she was also a gifted painter before going blind, a hobby she has since given up.
 

Skills

Morrogan is gifted in several genres of the prestige. She is one of the most powerful practitioners of The Scarlet Arts, a genre of the prestige focusing on the use of blood. She also has a knack for pyromancy. Like most who excel with fire, her skill with other elements suffer, particularly when it comes to water.   Outside of the prestige, she has a vast wealth of knowledge regarding the arcane, The Antediluvian Age, and eldritch lore. This makes her just as ideal for research as she would be for combat, if not more so.   Morrigan is a force to be reckoned with in combat, but this goes for her allies as well as her enemies. For many, Morrigan is a loose cannon due to The Passion, an altered state of mind that functions similarly to addiction for those who practice The Scarlet Arts. Morrigan has killed friend and foe alike during operations, and few are likely to forget it.
 

Fun fact: Small Achievements

Morrigan made many discoveries between 1945 and 1980, a time period when she was rarely seen outside of the Oxford Estate. She discovered a new way of performing the rite allowing one to gain the prestige with slightly less risk of death.   She discovered many hidden locations, from temples built to honor long dead gods to the first library, a nexus that allows travel to every library on the planet. She also discovered numerous artifacts from The Antediluvian age, and spent most of her time studying their secrets.   When The Web was officially created, Morrigan sought to improve her image and never declined a call for help. She tolerates the criticism and suspicion in an effort to change how people view cultists.

Personality

Those who meet Morrigan first notice her wit, along with her straightforward personality, but quickly learn of her flaws as well as her charms. She's described as bright and cheerful, though this isn't always a good thing. Her addiction to The Scarlet Arts can bring her delightful charm out in inappropriate situations, and she doesn't have the respect for life others do.   On top of a flawed moral code, Morrigan's lack of sight developed some quirks. She tends to fall apart when she can't control her environment. Immortal decay has complicated her personality as well. Her inability to remember key moments in her life can lead to contradictory personality traits. This makes her seem manipulative, even when being completely genuine.   Morrigan is best described as desensitized. She favors a utilitarian and practical approach to life. She's not afraid to do what must be done for the greater good, but her age makes her think on a much larger scale, and a much longer timeline. She can shrug off violence and brutality like no one else, possibly as a coping mechanism for her own violent nature.

Faith and Practice

Morrigan is deeply connected to her faith. Despite leaving the cult, she still practices every ritual with zealous dedication. Having been personally saved by the goddess, Morrigan can't help but feel special. The Maiden rarely interferes with the affairs of her worshipers, and much less with those who don't even know she exists.   Morrigan's relationship to the maiden is complicated further due to The Passion. While dangerous, Morrigan is addicted to it. It's not the sensations or the altered state of mind. When one enters the passion, they are connected to The Maiden, herself. They can hear her whispers and feel her presence.   The passion deepens Morrigan's relationship with the goddess, making it easier to give in every time she considers using The Scarlet Arts. It's the most powerful affirmation of faith she can experience. This is only further complicated when one considers the dangers present for those not in The Passion. While some have accidentally killed themselves due to blood loss, it's far more common to threaten those you care about most.
     
 

History and Acomplishments:

Morrigan's early life is as much a mystery to her as everyone else. We know she was born in the 1880s, but Due to Immortal Decay, most memories of this time are long gone, save for one. Growing up in Scotland, Morrigan gained The Candlelight at a very young age. She witnessed the massacre of her family at the hands of monstrous creatures. She then encountered The Red Maiden, an eldritch goddess of blood, passion, and extremes. The Maiden saved her and brought her to The Children of The Fiery Lock, The Red Maiden's cult.   The cult raised Morrigan as her own, cultivated her many talents and eventually initiated her into the faith at Morrigan's own request. She excelled, catching the attention of Rosalia Funar, the cult's leader. Rosalia's goal was to prepare Morrigan for leadership, choosing her as a successor. Morrigan earned the title of Lady-in-waiting, meaning she was among those fit to lead the cult. She also achieved the rank of Strega Rossa, or red witch, meaning her skills with The Scarlet Arts were beyond that of most in the organization.   Gemma and Morrigan shared a rivalry that quickly came to blows when Rosalia died. Gemma saw it as her right, believing herself to be chosen by The Red Maiden. In secret, she orchestrated her rise to power. This came to fruition in an event referred to as The Red Schism.
   

The Red Schism

On October 4th, 1908, The Red Schism began, a purge of all differing ideologies from the cult and a unification around a central, violent dogma. The Fiery Lock has a long history of infighting, and it usually ends In blood. Gemma took The Pilgrimage, a ritual that every matron of the cult must take to earn the title. The ritual requires one to meet their goddess, face to face, in her own domain.   Morrigan was meant to take the pilgrimage first. By taking it beforehand, and surviving, Gemma became the undisputed leader of the cult and began her purge by slaughtering most of Morrigan's supporters. Morrigan escaped, and continued to thwart the cult at every turn, leading to her immortality.   She kept close watch on the cult in the years that followed, preparing her revenge. She learned of an experimental ritual, one that could offer immortality through the alteration of blood in the body. Morrigan stole the research, performed the ritual, and woke up blind. She destroyed the research and spent the next few years adjusting to her new life.
       

World War One

Morrigan studied medicine, as many who use The Scarlet Arts do, and when the great war came, she assisted as a nurse. She met another quasi-immortal, a man named Theodore Klein, in a hospital tent dying of wounds that shouldn't have been fatal, and couldn't be healed. When he realized how similar she was to him, he made it a goal to find her again in his next life.   This is also the time when the passion began causing problems for Morrigan. Being around such horrors, working with the blood of the wounded on her hands, became an intoxicating pastime. As she grew more reckless in using her gifts of healing, she began embracing the pain and torment of those in her care. While she always sought to alleviate this pain, she would grow impatient and visibly agitated if soldiers weren't transferred to her tent with new injuries to heal.   When the war ended, she felt both relief and rage. The hospitals rarely needed the kind of healing she could give, and most wouldn't even consider her for a job as a doctor due to her gender. There was little in the way of work she could find. Theodore Klein resurfaced, the same man, but in a new body. It was he who would inspire her greatest accomplishment: the founding of The Oxford Cabal.  
   

Oxford

In the late 20s. Theodore introduced Morrigan to Damon Elton. Damon was a soldier and high ranking member of the Oxford branch of paranormal research. The branch was ridiculed for its lack of results as it followed leads involving urban legends and spiritualism with little to show for it.   Morrigan revealed the prestige, and with Damon, refocused the branch on more productive pursuits. The Oxford Cabal officially formed, and immediately became a tool for the government. As world war two neared, they were treated more and more like soldiers rather than scholars. They were forced to stand against whatever strange phenomena sprang up during the war.   This led to an unfortunate incident involving Morrigan's addiction. While chasing down a spy, Morrigan lost control, and severely injured Damon. Morrigan soon severed ties with the government, making The Oxford Cabal an independent organization.
       

The present

From the 80s to the present day, Morrigan maintained her isolated lifestyle, but left the Cabal when her relationship with Damon ended. She wandered the world in search of new discoveries. She remained content in her study of ancient tomes, namely The Simplex Arcana. She continues to plot her revenge. While she's not a member of the cult anymore, she still considers herself a devoted follower of The Red Maiden, and fully intends on taking her place at the head of the movement.   After The Helheim Incident, she gathered more attention from the organizations of The Web. She was instrumental in protecting Heimdal, and proceeded to assist until the incident was contained. Her reputation improved as she continued to investigate the incident, eventually meeting Tyler Hale. Her current lover.   Tyler is not affiliated with The Web, and is only just learning of its existence. Due to his resistance to Candlelight, he can't seem to remember they are together, a problem she's currently trying to rectify per The Rules of Inclusion.

Cover image: by Allef Vinicius

Comments

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25 Jan, 2021 18:41

Ooh. I don't know how much I'll have to say since I already have a reasonable amount of context on the character from The Scarlet Ashes, but we shall see(and it's exciting, nonetheless)   "a hobby she has since given up."
You don't say? This is redundant, but still kind of hilarious. A blind person can paint, just likely not very well. It probably wasn't intended to be humorous, but it certainly was.   I'd love to read more about her relationship with the Red Maiden. What kind of attachment does she feel since the Red Maiden essentially gave her the opportunity to restart her life while also pushing her down the path of destruction she currently walks. Especially in regard to how she feels about the Red Maiden's inaction during Gemma's massacre of her supporters.   "the prestige, and with Damon, refocused"
The comma before the and should be after it.   "Tyler Hale. Her current lover."
You could switch that to a comma.   It's amusing to read her relationship with Tyler as being pre-Candlelight. Anyway, cool article though I already knew most of this stuff since you did well to weave it into The Scarlet Ashes.

Give me a visit at my current project(s): Aesontis
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
25 Jan, 2021 19:02

Ahhh I knew I was missing something there. Her faith completely skipped my mind. Oof. Thanks man. I'll fix those typos too.

25 Jan, 2021 20:24

Sounds like the sort of person you ask for help when you literally have no other options. If I could help it, I'd probably send her in alone; she's very capable of defending herself and extremely capable of collateral damage; just make sure she's also never alone with someone you're trying to rescue.   So I'm wondering what sort of expertise Oxenfree needed from her; they don't normally deal with the presteige or magical side of things, right? just, y'know, multiverse travel.

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
25 Jan, 2021 20:32

Definitely a good idea. She isn't the best for team play. Lol as far oxenfree, she consulted to find a way of locating Michael using the prestige. It didn't work, as other universes have their own rules regarding things like the prestige. However, she was then consulted when the home team needed help tracking down one of her own, a woman who regularly kidnapped children. She did rather well in securing the victims, but some were traumatized having witnessed the fight hand, and the horrible fate that befell the kidnapper. Bliss was administered and all is now well XD

25 Jan, 2021 21:28

Case in point.

26 Jan, 2021 21:13

My first introduction to your world, and I have to say I am extremely intrigued! I love stories in the 1800s/1900s alternative history style! I guess the story itself takes place in the present but it's a very interesting angle to develop in any case. I will take a dive into "The Web" soon enough, I think.   Great read!


Let us unite against the enemies of Album!
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
26 Jan, 2021 23:16

Why, thank you! I would greatly appreciate it but, of course, don't feel obligated. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and hope you enjoy whatever you read, should you choose to delve further!

Sage Serukis
Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull
28 Jan, 2021 00:27

Morrigan is such an interesting character. I do not think I would want to be on her team for any missions though. Her history with Gemma and the Fiery Lock cult is what intrigues me the most about her, I think (and her relationship with the Red Maiden).

Emy x   Welcome to Etrea! Please check out my peculiar plants entry! :)
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
28 Jan, 2021 04:28

I've been working on her for quite some time. I'm glad she's so well received! Being around her in a fight is not the best place to be, for sure. Thanks so much!

28 Jan, 2021 05:13

"The woman is blind, her eyes the color of jade, though can manage life easier than most due to The Static." I think you meant "though SHE can manage"   "her skill with other elements suffer" Either skill or suffer should be plural.   "In the late 20s. Theodore introduced Morrigan to Damon Elton." Was that first period meant to be a comma?       And yaaaaay I am so excited Morrigan finally had her own article. I love her! <3   I did not realize she had so much control over the Oxford Cabal that she could sever it from the government. How did the other members feel about this (especially after she just up and left not long after)? Or the government? I presume the government stopped paying them a salary at that point.

Author of Fillimet, bright fantasy land of possibilities, and Vazdimet, its darker spacefaring future.
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
13 Feb, 2021 16:46

Ooooo so sorry I missed this. I'm glad you enjoyed it, and love the character! This one was kind of a long time coming.   In the modern day, she really doesnt have the control she used to, but back then, she was pretty much the top. Most of the Cabal was all for it, though her leaving did bother a few. The government would have done everything they could to bring them back to the fold, but sadly, they couldnt find them. Its why the estate is hidden. They did stop paying salaries but this was a temporary setback. The research done at the Cabal is quite valuable, and other organizations in The Web stepped up with generous donations.

2 Feb, 2021 08:53

Ooo, this is great!   I have the dumbest of questions, and I sincerely apologize for its denseness: how does she study the new tomes she finds?

Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
2 Feb, 2021 16:18

That is actually a brilliant question XD, and one I fail to answer hear. Arcane osmosis is the answer, as few are written on Braille. Effectively, she can just absorb the contents of a tome. I'll be sure to add that.

2 Feb, 2021 23:46

Ah, a little bit like the download scene in The Matrix, but without needing a hole in one's head!   Come to think of it, an article on arcane osmosis would work, too. Then all you'd need here is a link. Spare you having to rip up your (very lovely) prose overmuch.   Meant to mention last time, too, that your mini is *sweet*!

2 Feb, 2021 16:19

I'm not very familiar with this world of yours, but I'm really intrigued by all these ideas and notions mentioned throughout the text. Morrigan definitely feels like a more unconventional kind of hero ^^ I really like her!

Feel free to check out my submission to the Peculiar Plant Challenge !
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
2 Feb, 2021 22:18

Thanks for the like and comment changeling. I appreciate the kind words. Morrigan is a heavily featured character in this world. I'm glad you like her. Apart from the void between, this is my favorite world, and I'm glad you've given it some love! Thanks again my friend, and I hope you end up enjoying the world.

18 Feb, 2021 23:36

Note to self: Use drones to observe from a distance when asking her for help.

Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
Sage Dylonishere123
R. Dylon Elder
22 Feb, 2021 21:49

Truth... a wise choice indeed XD thank you kind sir.

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