I'm not sure if I have this all quite right, but it's a start. I'll fill in the backstory when I have more time. She's playing for the good guys, by the by. Name:
Herbal Supply Shop OwnerNature:
Tuatha de DannanGod:
The MorriganBirthrights: An Fáidh Cosán
- A leather-bound tome of indeterminately great age. An enchanted storehouse of knowledge, it can
actually absorb items and information from the physical world and store them as illustrations on its seemingly infinite
pages. Known to grant access to the Chaos purview, and perhaps other secrets...The Raven's Bill
- An impeccably sharp and durable billhook. Its blade is eerily capable with organic materials, cleaving
beef, bone, and bamboo with equal ease. With inorganic materials, its reasonably adept for its shape and size.
Grants access to the Death purview.Weapons:
While she currently does not keep dedicated weaponry, Morgan does possess a number of smaller knives
and tools that can serve in a pinch.Knacks:
Fast Learner, Cipher, Cat's Grace, Untouchable OpponentVirtues:
Death Sense, Eye of Brehon, Eye of the StormAppearance:
Morgan is something of a walking contradiction, even in the respect of being a walking contradiction. At a glance, she seems a bit unusual, and yet completely normal. No aspect of her appearance is all that strange or even unusual, and few who glance her way would think twice about it. Yet at the same time, everything about her seems a bit different, not quite up to sync with the world around her. She exudes an air of calm, an aura of tranquility - and yet, at the same time, everything about her seems to be at war with itself. She is, simultaneously, both a very canny and a very uncanny figure to behold.
Overall she looks and feels like a completely normal person. One could be generous and call her good-looking, but she could hardly be called a seductress. Her form is somewhat average on the whole: a trim woman of fair complexion, standing about 5' 10" and weighing- well, a healthy weight for her height. Her frame is relatively lean, and her curves not exactly modest on it. Her bust and bottom are pronounced and round, yet they don't especially stand out. Her blue eyes are clear and piercing, yet few would ever notice. Her lips are full, her naturally snow-white hair long and ever-so-faintly wavy. Stripped nude, the sum of her parts would seem to add up to a goddess of beauty, and yet the only impression she would give was that of a modest, average girl-next-door. A platinum woman with all the grace and color of wafting smoke.
But there again, her looks seem always in conflict without actually conflicting. Her snowy hair speaks to advanced age, yet she looks to be in her mid-twenties at best. She gives off and otherworldly, ethereal air, and yet has an earthy presence and persona. The flowing, full-length black skirts and dresses she favor only add to the sense of antiquity that surrounds her, yet at the same time she seems as thoroughly modern as anyone else. One could easily be unsettled, and yet there's nothing particularly unsettling about her. Only that calm demeanor, that gentle smile, and the sense of one's surroundings being at once silent, yet filled with unheard screams.Background:
Morgan Byrne has always enjoyed a comfortable and remarkably unremarkable life.
She was born on November 13, 1978 in Norwell, Massachusetts. Her parents were a loving couple, perhaps a bit doting on their only daughter. They had the resources to be: her father, Brendan Byrne, was a modestly successful trial lawyer in Boston, while her mother Sheila owned a local flower shop. Much of her formative years were spent in and around the century-old house they lived in, or the greenhouses and stockrooms of her mother's shop. It was from those experiences that young Morgan developed a love for nature, if not for the great outdoors itself.
Flowers were her especial joy, and this love only deepened as she grew. Perhaps the most interesting aspect to her during those years were the many uses that the flowers could be put to. While she had grown up seeing the colorful blooms all around her, the revelation that they could be dismantled and put to specific tasks was an epiphany she could not resist. As she grew into her teens, her interest in flowers for decoration waned, while her interest in herbal medicine only swelled. It was an almost distressing development for her mother - the child who once had stared up at her blooms in wide-eyed wonder was now only interested in tearing them apart. But the fact remained that they both enjoyed working with plants, and that common bond was more than enough to sate any concerns between mother and daughter.
Her father was a little less forgiving. A devout christian, he grew concerned as his teenage daughter began dressing in black and expressing and interest in Wicca. It didn't help that the girl had been born with white hair. Both he and his wife had both been concerned for the girl's health at first, only to be assured that it was just a quirk of genetics. But when she began to study Wicca, and to trade in her pink tanktops for floor-length black skirts, he couldn't help but wonder if his daughter was turning into a witch. Many were the debates the two had on the subject, young Morgan insisting she wasn't shirking the faith she'd been raised in. While her father's concerns never quite went away, he still loved his daughter too much to truly press the issue. His concerns were somewhat eased when she graduated college with a degree in horticulture. They were almost allayed when she decided to try and run her own business.
And then somewhat stoked again when she relocated to Salem to do so.
Sure, it made some measure of good business sense. There were a lot of practicing wiccan in Salem, as well as tourists entranced by the area's history. There were also a fair number of herbalist shops already, which meant a healthy dose of competition. And it was pretty much witch central, which his white-haired, black-clad daughter was heading into. Still, she seemed to make a go of it, developing unusually deft concoctions and building up a steady clientele for them. By the time she was 30, she was able to move herself and her modest shop into a stately old mansion. She was doing well for herself, living fairly quietly and yet wholesomely for her surroundings. In that, he could only take pride.
There was a secret to her success, however. Something her parents didn't know, and probably wouldn't have believed if they did:
She could talk to ghosts.
In late October 1995, a sixteen-year-old Morgan had been out with friends, working at a haunted house. She had been cast as a ghost due to her white hair, while Connor (her boyfriend of the time) had been cast as a machete-wielding serial-killer. As the evening drew on and the haunted house began to close for the night, Connor had offered to walk her home. She accepted somewhat gladly - it didn't take a seer for her to read what was on the boy's mind. As they made their way through the streets toward home however, he playfully led her on a little detour, ending up at a graveyard. She couldn't help but to notice the ravens perched in the moonlit trees along the way, but thought little of it. After all, it was Halloween, and the boy she liked was leading her somewhere to make out.
She wasn't thinking much of anything at all by the time she found herself braced, half-dressed, against the side of a tomb. The night air seemed unusually cold against her bare back, and she wished she had taken the the time before to show Connor how to properly unfasten the tattered white ballgown. But while he busied himself fumbling with her fastens, she found herself gazing aimlessly off to the side. She saw the distant figure step into view, but she didn't care. She saw the gleam of the moonlight off the visor of its motorcycle helmet, but thought nothing of it. If anything, the danger of getting caught only added to the thrill of the moment. It wasn't until she blinked, and the figure disappeared, that her senses began to return.
For several moments, all was silent. Connor managed to get her dress undone, and turned her back around. She melted into his arms, and his kiss once more. And then jumped to wide-eyed attention, as the shrill screams of ravens filled the air. All at once, the boy broke his embrace and whipped around, leaving the both of them staring in stunned silence at the helmeted specter. As they watched and the ravens cried, the figure lifted its visor, revealing a grotesque face within. Dread washed over them as the corpse's lips drew in a sickening grin, and then began to part.
In that moment, a deathly chill washed over her body. A flash of recognition leapt into her mind. A dullahan. A messenger of death. A creature who had but to speak a name, and the owner would soon meet their death. But whose death? Hers? His? She didn't want to die, and she certainly didn't want him to die! Terror and confusion flooded her mind, and yet with it came words. Words so eerily calm, words so clear she could almost hear them."Then you had best rise and fight, little rook."
Something hefty and wooden filled her hand. Something with a bit of weight. And before she knew what she was doing, she flung herself toward the figure, lashing out with the Raven's Bill and stabbing it into the corpse's face. The dullahan's head flew backwards from the impact, sailing clear off its body. Its call turned to a shriek of pain as it bounced along the ground, finally landing upside-down some distance away. It had scarely come to a halt before the screaming ravens descended, the helmet vanishing beneath the beating wings of the ravenous murder. By the time the ravens dispersed, nothing remained but a few shards of shattered plastic, dissolving into dust.
When at last Morgan turned to check on Connor, she only found him running away screaming. In his place at the side of the tomb was the terrifying figure of a woman, clad all in black and drenched in blood. Around her stood stood a loose crowd of people, in clothing and costume from many different eras. She was the Morrigan. They, the spirits of the dead. And from that night forward, Morgan was their student.
In the years that followed, the girl would learn how to read people, living or dead, and to glean information from them. As a carrion crow might pick through the fallen bodies of the dead, Morgan picked the brains of the long departed. When she moved to Salem and opened her shop, Raven's Loft
, she found no shortage of souls from the long and bloody history of the place. In them, she found more teachers, more knowledge to absorb. From them, she learned more about the finer points of herbal remedy, at times returning long-forgotten recipes to the living world. In return, she often found herself running errands for the deceased, always trying to do so as anonymously as possible. In some small way, it seemed, she was able to help both the living and the dead, and take care of herself at the same time. In this life, she has found great pleasure, even happiness.
And yet, she has always sensed a greater purpose behind it, as if the intervening years were just training to further a higher motive. The Morrigan moves in mysterious ways, and the time may be drawing near for her true purposes to be revealed...