When you're in the middle of a killing field and the fucking Chooser of the Slain tells you to do something, you do it.” ― Kevin Hearne, Hounded
Few other Kithain delight in making trouble as much as the Morrigan. True, there are Pooka who love mischief, and Redcaps who thrill at violence, but none of these are as happy in the thick of the storm as a Morrigan. The Morrigan delight in chaos, even when it doesn't go their way. Conventional Morrigan wisdom assures that the storm can never be leashed, it must be weathered by the weak, and the strong must learn to ride it. Consequently, the Morrigan are fully prepared to have their tactics turned against them; if some one takes the bait, and retaliates against a Morrigan for his obnoxious nettling of those around him, so much the better. Just as Morrigan love to challenge and try the strength of others, so too are they eager to test their own. All takers are welcome in the struggle which is life.
The Morrigan were born in dreams of warfare. They claim kinship, and even their name, from the war-goddess Morrigan. The goddess would often appear in raven-form above battle-fields, cawwing and casting her dreaded shadow over the plain. She became a symbol for the warriors of their impending death, for the ravens which flocked around her were birds of carrion, eager for the banquet which the combatants were about to provide for them.
It is from Morrigan herself that this Kith learned to take raven's shape, and intermitted their love of battle. The Morrigan are most happy amid the clash and fray of combat; many of them find employ as warriors or mercenaries, traveling like their ancient raven-kin to wherever blood is about to be shed, and glory can be earned. Many Morrigan delight in looting the spoils of war, picking up trophies from the bodies of their enemies. Few Morrigan are satisfied with a conflict if they don't earn at least some temporary keepsake to remember it by, be it a weapon or piece of armor stolen from a fallen adversary, or something more... ghoulish.
The comfortability that most Morrigan have with their raven forms means that most are quite content to devour the dead remains of those they slay. The image of a Morrigan gnawing a bone or sucking on an eyeball like it were candy make most Kithain extremely uncomfortable. Most Morrigan are quick and agile, traits they gain from their avian kin; they tend to perch rather than sit, and are quite nimble, especially in combat.
Despite their ferocity, Morrigan are not simply brutes. In battle, they are graceful and stylish; the delight they take in warfare shines through, as they leap from foe to foe, leaving bloodshed in their wake. Their wild eyes, bizarre war-cries, and giddy laughter is more than enough to intimidate most combatants. Morrigan assassins almost inevitably insist upon being allowed to chase their quarry, or else engage them in single combat to the death. Cowardice has never been a trait they favor, though there are no real rules of engagement. War is chaos, according to the Morrigan, and the best combatant wins with whatever means he's got. Dirty-fighting means nothing to these Kithain; after all, the only person who could accuse you of it is dead, right?
They have an affinity with the Fae realm.
Appearance and Lifestyles
While not innately spiritual beings, a majority of this Kith have an almost artistic or devotional love of combat. Many among their number speak only reverentially of their goddess ancestor, and offerings of sacrifice and prayer to the goddess Morrigan before combat is a common practice for the raven-kind. Morrigan have a strange penchant for becoming entranced by watching storms, as well; the fury and majesty of lighting and darkened skies call to them. Some Morrigan have been known to follow storms in bird form for months at a time, and some swear it is a sure cure for Banality. Many Morrigan also have artistic stirrings in their soul; the bardic tradition appeals to them, and a fair amount of Morrigan have become poets, musicians, and fringe artists. Like all things in their lives, however, Morrigan insist that their artistic endeavors be loud and somewhat dangerous. The best art is the kind that makes people nervous.
Morrigan would be much more welcome among other Kithain if it weren't for their love of trouble. They simply can't help stirring up the mix whenever an option presents itself, whether it's calling out a Troll for a duel, tying a Redcap's boot laces together, or starting a bar brawl simply to see what happens. Morrigan bore easily, and their Oathmates learn to keep them occupied whenever possible. When a Morrigan starts to shift uncomfortably in his seat, or his eyes wander around the room, odds are he's looking for someone to test his mettle against.
Despite their love of violence, Morrigan rarely pick on the weaker Kithain, unless first called out by such fae. Little is proven by pounding a Pooka into the ground, and Morrigan place too high of a premium on honor to fight their friends all of the time. Nonetheless, these Kithain do like to try their stronger allies, and are more than willing to spar for practice, or even amusement. Seelie Morrigan often subscribe to the Code of the Dagda, the warrior's code first made public by the Trolls. In combat, they fight Morrigan and Trolls first, and all other fae second. Unseelie Morrigan tend to be less concerned with the particulars, as long as the job gets done and they have fun doing it. A curious study in contradictions, most Morrigan insist upon their honor as warriors, and are as quick to use dirty tactics in combat. The contradiction doesn't seem paradoxical at all to them: though they are warriors born and tested, all is fair in war.
Many Morrigan tend to be pale, while the darker-complected of their kith have beautiful, almost night-black skin; it's rare to meet Morrigan who don't have dark hair to match their feathers, jet black being not uncommon. They favor dark clothing, and their features often appear hawkish. Punk motifs, and outfits designed to shock and surprise are a Morrigan mainstay. Their quick movements mark their bird seeming, as do the feathers which often appear in their hair, whether worn long or short. Many Morrigan paint their bodies, or have bizarre tattoos all over them, which serve to remind them of their warrior heritage.
Birthrights and Frailties
As with any Kith, Morrigan have a few traits exclusive to them.
Cloak of Feathers: All Morrigan can assume the form of a corvid at will. Most Morrigan turn into ravens, though crows, blackbirds, magpies, and other birds are not unheard of. This transformation takes one round, but requires no Glamour expenditure.
Cry Havoc!: Morrigan have inherited the spiritual birthright of warriors, and are phenomenal fighters. They receive 2 additional dice on all combat rolls they make, save for soaking damage (though they may add 2 dice to parries and shield usage). All attempts to surprise a Morrigan are at +2 difficulty; chaos calls to these Kithain, and they are usually ready for anything.
Crimson Rage: Morrigan have a tendency to go wild in combat, as the clash and fray sings to their blood. Once engaged in battle, a Morrigan must roll Willpower (difficulty ranges from 6, for a normal brawl, to 9, when facing a dire enemy who has bested the Morrigan in the past) or fly into a wild frenzy. While enraged, a Morrigan will not leave combat until all of his enemies are slain, and may have to make a Perception + Alertness roll (diff. 8) to determine if someone near him is a friend or a foe. If struck by a friend, even jostled accidentally, it is likely that the Morrigan will turn on him and attack outright as if he were an enemy. Morrigan may spend a point of Willpower to regain control for a moment, usually to warn others away or call out for assistance in restraining or incapacitating themselves. The Morrigan will not stop fighting until he is knocked unconscious or until everyone around him has been defeated. During their frenzies, Morrigan ignore all normal wound penalties, making them difficult to stop without the use of creative magicks or careful planning, or sheer brute force.