Battle Scars This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

August 17, 2012
A sinister castle nestled away in the wilderness, unseen by man since the day it was built. Made to keep everyone out with it’s unparalleled barriers, both magical and natural. Thick, dense forest filled with huge brambles barred the way to anything other than a person on foot and even then fierce creatures roamed throughout the forest to deter travelers. The castle itself was surrounded by a deep moat, it’s towering walls were without a drawbridge, because it’s purpose was to keep one prisoner inside and everyone else out.

She was held in the only tower at it‘s tallest peak, at one time the castle had held guards, but after a time without food supplies they all died off one by one. In the beginning, the tower was the first thing to be built, brick by stone brick was placed with the sole purpose of containing her. After the tower was built to confine her, the castle was built to keep out those who might attempt to free her.

For thousands of years now Morrigan had been trapped in the tower, her immortal body refused even the escape death provided. Left to contemplate her sins and the sins of her people. Punished for the deeds of her duty, torn from her family because the humans blamed her for their woes.

In Morrigan’s veins flowed the holy blood of the Celtic gods of which was her divine right to claim. All her life she had lived as a god, uncaring of the plights of those mortals whom her actions affected. Until the day when the humans came seemingly out of nowhere but with deadly force. They killed her human consort before her eyes, luckily her demigod son was out with the herd or Morrigan feared she would have also had to see his crimson stain imprinted in her mind.

Apparently the humans had grown weary of War and the suffering that followed her everywhere. In their fear the humans used every means known to them to trap her, in the hope of preventing war from ever touching their brief lives ever again, but the thing about gods and goddesses is that everything is preordained to happen one way or another. In their foolish attempt to overpower fate they actually helped in letting evil prevail.

The cursed shackled burned against her wrists and ankles where the skin had long ago been rubbed raw by constant wear. Loneliness encased her heart in a bitter vault, while the tower had entombed her body for thousands of years, but no prison could extinguish the flames of hatred that burned brightly in her heart. Day by day her bonds grew weaker until finally a firm resolution emerged from a hidden place within Morrigan that she had never before contacted.

She tore the shackles out of the stone walls and stood, if not for her determination to be free, her legs would have buckled under her weight from the centuries of her undisturbed internment. Her tower room held no doors or windows, she had not seen the light of day since her incarceration. Raw, dark power flowed forth from her into the air until the walls around her broke open with a resounding roar.

Towards the east a dusty rose dawn spilled over the glacial mountains, from the forest came the sounds of beasts awakening from slumber. From the back of her tattered gray dress -which had long ago wasted away to nothing more than rags- sprouted majestic black wings. Morrigan wasted no time in testing these ill-used appendages before leaping into the air with good faith. The air seemed to embrace her with it’s presence as her wings beat the air with strength and power. It was a freedom that Morrigan had not known for many years and had constantly dreamed about since. For once in hundreds of years she felt at peace.

Yet Morrigan’s revenge would not be sated by peace, like the vicious beasts of the forest below her she thirsted for blood. She would see the earth crumble and die beneath her and along with it mankind, the descendants of those who killed her family. It was Morrigan’s purpose to fulfill her destiny if it was the last thing she ever did, she vowed to make it rain blood.

As if in response to her whims the heavens opened up and a great torrent of rain fell upon the earth, drenching her from head to toe. Unable to fly for long in this downpour Morrigan took shelter in the dark forest. No light streamed through the canopy, casting shadows every which way. With a weary, worn-out sigh she say down on the ground. Her wings disappeared for her in an instant, flying was tiresome work with wings that weren‘t made for even a god‘s body, which was why when she had enough energy she’d transform into her preferred animal the crow. As a crow she had flown over leagues at a time without tiring, but then again that was when she had been a goddess at full strength.

A mist rolled into the forest from the rain, casting an eerie air about her. For a moment she was wary, the mist reeked of god magic, then from the mist a ghostly white mare trotted out. Riding her was Morrigan’s god-sister Epona, with alabaster skin and long fair hair that draped across her graceful shoulders and matched perfectly the color of the mare’s mane. Epona was the gentlest of her god-sisters, being the goddess of fertility, cornucopia, and horses had mellowed her.

“We missed you Morrigan,” Epona said with a charming smile. “It has been hard maintaining the balance without you.”

Morrigan scowled at the ground. “Ignorant humans, believing violence will solve all of their problems.”

“Humans are what they were made to be sister; foolish, cruel, loving. Such things are in their base nature, even we can not change what the first gods intended for the grand design.”

The goddess dismounted from her steed with much dignity and approached her sister who sat upon the ground. Rain had plastered Morrigan’s midnight hair to her face, and mud covered her ragged dress. Epona felt sorry for her sister, in truth not many had missed the goddesses sadistic tendencies, violent mood swings, and thirst for battle. Only Epona knew that on the inside Morrigan hated what she was, hated that because of her responsibility to the balance thousands of people had died. Epona outstretched her hand and helped the other goddess to her feet.

“Come sweet sister and let us leave this place of mortal wickedness. Though you have lived here many years this is not your home,” the mare nickered agreement for her goddesses words.

Something inside War broke then and a stream of hate poured out. “But my revenge-”

“Will not change the past or the present, and will only destroy the future. Times have changed Morrigan, humans have changed. Before you have your revenge you must learn about what you are facing.”

Together they returned to heaven, where festivities had already been set up for War’s return though none but Epona were truly pleased by the fact. Morrigan dressed herself in a more fitting attire and joined her family to celebrate her homecoming with false cheer and empty smiles. All of them knew War’s thirst for blood and desire for retribution was not appeased by any means. It was only a matter of time before she took her revenge against the humans, and when she did death would come in myriads……

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This article has 28 comments. Post your own now!

Flying_Up_High said...
Aug. 20, 2012 at 5:54 pm
I really liked this story! I thought that the descriptions helped "show" the place Morrigan was in in and developed the story quite well. I hope you keep writing!  
Allicat001 said...
Aug. 20, 2012 at 4:22 pm
I personally thought the descriptions were what made the story so good, the plot was well paced as well.  Good job and keep writing!
Prose said...
Aug. 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm
I like the plot, but this was filled with description!  I think this would be alot better with simpler, cleaner prose to suit the plot.
KateyKat replied...
Aug. 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm
I respecfully disagree, my teachers have always told me that in fiction description is essential. What exactly didn't you like about the descriptions?
Randomscreennamelalalala replied...
Aug. 21, 2012 at 10:33 pm
I love it! I agree that the discription was great. Love the stuff about the grand design and fate. Here are a few things I noticed about it:   I think you should have said something more about exactly how she escaped. Maybe something about how she was very clever, because of the strategy side of War, and she figured out a smart way to trick them. Also, she said she needed revenge, but she didn't do much to show that. I think it would have been better if Epona had caught her i... (more »)
KateyKat replied...
Aug. 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm
Thanks Random, maybe I'll redo it and add in your suggestions! BTW loved your stories, keep up the awesome work.
AlexEvansTM replied...
Aug. 24, 2012 at 9:11 pm
First off, this is an amazing piece of work. Second off, the only thing I can find wrong with this is the description of the Morrigan. The Morrigan has wings, like a crow. She also has her other two sisters inside her so she's not always... well, herself.
KateyKat replied...
Aug. 24, 2012 at 11:12 pm
I know, it's just that at the time it was that kind of spur of the moment inspiration where you don't really go into the details because you don't want to lose that flow. I'm working on rewriting it and refining the piece so that it corresponds better with both the legend and the perception that Morrigan is a little insane. I like that someone checked up on my information though, nobody else did that, so thanks a lot Alex for helping me out!
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