by Morrigon in Dark Ages
Part I Gregor
One dark, cold night, hidden away in one of the many quiet rooms that fill the Loures Castle, two ancients sat talking in hushed voices. Some Aislings knew that at least one of the original Anaman Pact was still alive, in contact with some Mundanes dwelling within the castle. But none would have guessed that two of the legendary League of Darkness stood talking within Temuairs palace walls.
"Taxiarchi," the taller, younger looking of the pair spoke, taking off his cloak, still damp from the pounding rain outside, to warm it by the fire. "Its been a long time old friend. Now, why have you called me here on this awful night?"
"Good evening Gregor. It has been a while hasnt it? If only you left those damn ruins now and then it might be more often." The short, rather dumpy, very wrinkled man smiled up at the other. "I have someone who wishes to meet you old man." He dropped himself down into the nearest chair, a mischievous grin on his leathery face. "Her name is Morrigon." He took a long pause, appraising his friends reaction. "I found her Gregor Its your girl. Shes an Aisling now, and your blood made her a dark one at that. Shes not Tuatha de Danaan theres no goodness or light in that girl. And shes here, Gregor, to see you."
"Its been so long you understand. I havent seen the girl since her mother was killed. It was so long ago that the three of us made our last trip to Mileth. As you know, Morrgatha used to sneak into the Eastern Woodland and prepare the herbs she found, just as we used to sneak into the Muhadi swamp late at night, for the Tulsis there. I still have an entire room full of little glass bottles filled with her healing brews." The tall, dark haired man frowned, lost in thought for a moment.
"I didnt mean to let the girl slip into the hands of those cursed Mundanes. I was sure no one knew that we were there that day, but realized quickly that I had underestimated our enemies. I heard a growl from behind some bushes. I strolled around the trunk of a huge tree, expecting to see a small wolf that could be disposed of with on swing of my blade. The wolf staring at me as I walked around the tree was no natural wolf. Huge, twice the size of any I had ever seen, fur blacker than the darkest night, glowing red eyes, and claws and fangs that looked like daggers, ready to tear into the first person the beast found. Only someone with immense power could have summoned up this creature against me. I glanced back at Morrgatha and the child, only in time to see four more of the creatures surrounding my wife, and another three coming at me. Little Morri was staring blankly at her mother from a few feet away, as the wolves started to attack. I glanced up from my battle once when I heard Morrgatha screaming at Morri to run. I saw the child flee, as Morrgatha bravely tried to defend herself. After my blade was cast into the chest of the last of the beasts, I looked over to share a victory smile with my beloved. Alas, she was lying in a pool of blood, the life drained out of her. Grief-stricken, I forgot all about the child for the moment. All I could think of was my beautiful Morrgatha. I picked up the ravaged body and slowly carried it home to be buried. By the time I got back to the woods to look for the girl, she was nowhere to be found. After hours of searching, I believed that I had lost both my girls to those demon beasts. Only yesterday, after speaking to you, did I realize that she did not die that night." The tall old man quieted, a strangely warm expression spreading across his face.
"Gregor, she has been taken care of, and has grown to a woman you would be proud of." The ancient looking man said this in a dry, shaky voice. "Shall I tell you about the years between when she was lost and today? Before I bring you to her?"
Gregor furrowed his eyebrows and looked down at the smaller man, seemingly lost in though, until after a long silence he said, "Aye, maybe a bit about her life, and some time to gather my thoughts. Please, go ahead." With that Gregor sunk down comfortably in one of the well-stuffed chairs next to the hearth. He stretched out his long legs, laid his head back on a cushion, and looked inquisitively at the other man.
"Hmmm, where should I begin? At the beginning?" Taxiarchi let out a short chuckle before continuing with his recollection. "Well, everyone in Temuair knows that she was found sleeping under a Hydele bush when she was five. Three of the local hunters found her almost frozen to death, and brought her to the hoem of Shamus and Katie le Fay home, where she was adopted, and raised as their own child til she became an Aisling. Gregor you should have seen the looks on peoples faces when she tried to explain what had happened. She told everyone about the daemon wolves, and some fantastic story about how she had gotten to the woods. When questioned about her home she mentioned Kadeth, but her description of it and your portal were taken as the imagination of a traumatized youngster. And, Gregor, she didnt know you were alive til today; she thought you had died with Morrgatha."
Trying to read Gregors expression, the old man continued. "As she grew up, she fed her hatred. Every day she spent in those same woods, looking for the beasts that orphaned her, waiting for her revenge, and killing everything she saw. One night, so Shamus le Fay says, she just never returned from hunting."
"It was days later when she came wandering into Mileth, looking dazed and confused, with the Aisling Spark of Chadul in her eye. Apparently she had forgotten everything when she was given the spark, and didnt remember anything of her mundane life til years later. A young man named Garland took pity on her, fed her, taught her about being an Aisling, and eventually helped her to become a monk as well."
"Ever since then shes been following in her fathers footsteps. She joined the church of Sgrios, following her heart to the most sinister of the lesser gods. Since then she has been using her powers of death and destruction to full advantage. Summoning up horrific Succubi to slay the weak, claiming the souls of the stupid, and generally terrorizing Temuair with her husband Max."
The tall, dark man interrupted immediately upon hearing this. "What? Husband?" Gregor bellowed.
"Now, Gregor, she is not a little girl any more. In fact she is the spitting image of Morrgatha; a beautiful woman. Calm down old friend. I think you would approve of her choice. Max is a dark Priest of Sgrios, as well as one of the Aislings who has been aiding us, bringing us Tulsis, along with your child. There is no man in Temuair as devious, or devoted to your daughter as him. She may have been a little girl the last time you saw her, but she is a grown woman now. Shall I take you to meet her now?"
With that the two ancients got up, walked to the door, and into the next room. Gregor stared down in shock at the woman sitting at the table in front of him. Morrigon had turned from a pudgy, adorable child, to the mirror image of her mother, a dark and beautiful woman. Even sitting, Gregor could see that she was tiny, maybe five feet, if that. Her long, silky ebony hair was tied back with a black satin ribbon. The eyes shining up at him with the dark Spark of Chadul were the deepest emerald green, shocking against her pure white skin.
Part II Morrigon
Since the Mukul began to allow Aislings to enter the Mehadi Swamp, Morrigon had been collecting Tulsi blossoms. The nobility of Loures announced that many of the children of Loures were coming down with a horrible plague. Apparently, the only way to cure the children was to feed then the flowers from the heart of the Mehadi Swamp.
Cyril, councilor of Loures, told Morrigon that only the Tulsi blossoms would cure the children, Being an expert Herbalist, Morrigon immediately thought it strange that this man was asking her for flowers, known to elongate the life of those who ate them, to cure the ill children.
After bringing many a flower to Cyril, and after filling his cup with wine for the fifth time in an hour, Morrigon convinced Cyril to confide in her about the real reason he needed the Tulsi blossoms. Cyril told the woman about his deal with the Pact of Anaman, and how their thousand year life span was almost up if they were to survive much longer, they need a steady supply of Tulsi blossoms. At first she giggled in disbelief, but when she saw that Cyril was not joking, she was fascinated. That night Cyril told Morrigon all his secrets. He spoke of Lord Taxiarchi, who could occasionally be seen wandering the maze of countless corridors and abandoned rooms hidden deep within the castle, and of the demon Anaman, who visited him in his dreams, turning them to the most awful nightmares. He told her about the deal he had made with the Pact, and about his daughter, now sick with the plague herself, and about his regret. This ended the conversation, since the man was sobbing uncontrollably and unable to speak.
Many moons later, Morrigon went on her routine visit to the castle of Loures to give Cyril the flowers she had collected; ten Tulsis for Anaman, and three Sevtis for Cyrils girl. When she arrived, the councilors loyal servant told her of the awful events of the night before. Cyril had been killed during the night. Morrigon had no doubt htat it had been Anaman, Chaduls demon, knowing that Cyril had betrayed his tryst. Morrigon handed the servant the flowers and wandered away, in a daze.
Walking through the huge dark corridors of the castle, Morrigon found herself walking aimlessly, thinking about Cyril, now dead, and about her parents, dead long ago. What would it be like to live for a thousand years? Or longer even? Suddenly something caught her eye at the end of the hallway. Something had moved. She sped up to see who had just disappeared around the corner. As she walked to the end of the corridor and around the corner, she saw a short hallway, which ended abruptly in a small door. Morrigon opened the door and took a step into the large, dimly lit room.
A voice came from the seat along the far wall of the room, shrouded in shadows, "So, Morrigon, you have been speaking with Cyril. How much has he told you?"
Morrigon didnt move a muscle. She stared in horror at the dark shape in the corner, knowing it to be Lord Taxiarchi, on of the ancient Pact members. "You you know me? How What do you want with me?"
Taxiarchi let out a short, rumbling laugh. "Dont worry lass, Cyrils fate is not about to befall you as well. If I had not wanted you to find me here, you would not have. You are here because I know Cyril told you our secrets. I also know that you have been assisting us, even after hearing the truth. I know something else as well child something about you."
The ancient lord slowly raised himself up out his chair. As he shuffled over to where Morrigon stood, now in front of the crackling fire, she could see the lines etched into his face over a thousand years. His skin was like leather, his hair now gone, and his back was stooped, after centuries of holding up his own massive weight. "What if I told you I know where your father was? If I could bring him to you?"
A frown crossed Morrigons lips. "Shamus is dead now old man and as for my real father, hes long gone as well." She turned to leave, thinking the whole thing to be a farce, when Taxiarchis words froze her in her steps.
"Dont be too sure child. I have known your father a long time, and he is far from dead. Your father is Lord Gregor, of the Anaman Pact. Long after the war between Chadul and Danaan was over, he fell in love with your mother, and took her to Kadeth, to live there, among the ruins, in peace and solitude. After he lost your mother, and thought he had lost you as well, he went back to the ruins of Kadeth, where you had been born 5 years before. Gregor, your father, knows a spell long forgotten by most, which is similar to the arcane scrolls of today. With is Gregor can create a doorway from one place to another. He casts the spell, utters a few strange words, and a portal appears, sending him wherever he wishes to go. This is how your parents used to go back and forth between the ruins, and the populated lands of Temuair."
"Morrigon, when you were young, and your mother died, Gregor thought the wolves had killed you, just as you thought they had killed him. He had no idea til yesterday that you were still alive. Neither did I actually, til Cyril mentioned your name and I later saw you. I knew there was a lass going by the name Morrigon, but when I saw those green eyes, I knew you must be Gregors girl. And your spark she spark of an Aisling, but different. Not the spark of Danaan, but a darker spark, given by Chadul. You must have inherited the favor of Chadul from your father. In any case, you are here, and he will be shortly, and you can speak to him about it then. I must go for a spell, but I will be back, and when I return, I will bring Gregor with me." With that the old man disappeared through a door at the other side of the room, partially hidden by a large tapestry hanging on the wall.
As he had promised, Taxiarchi came back after some time, and behind him stood another man, taller, younger looking, with steely gray hair, emerald eyes, and dark, handsome features. Morrigon looked up at the two lords in the doorway. Tears began to well in her eyes as she stared at the tall man with the emerald eyes, so like her own. "Father " she whispered.