Category:Childer of the Morrigan
The Childer of the Morrigan are the orphans of a vanished army. Where once they were generals and war-chiefs of the covenant, tonight they are mercenaries and advisers in service to segments of pagan power. Or so the legends say. In truth, because the Circle of the Crone has never had the cohesion necessary to facilitate the formation of a great fighting force — and has never been willing to violate the Masquerade to such a degree — it’s doubtful that the Childer of the Morrigan were ever much more than respected advisors, wise warriors or cunning leaders. (As if such roles were not legendary in their own right.)
What seems to have changed for the Morrigans is the assumption of their necessity. No longer is the blood of a Stormcrow widely recognized as an essential component in the defense of the covenant. It has been a century since the Morrigan name was synonymous with great rank and, therefore, given respect and fear out of reflex. Tonight, many Morrigans are cherished and praised as leaders, protectors and visionary warriors, but just as many are anonymous vigilantes and forgotten veterans of forgotten wars.
The Morrigans blame the changing notions of war in the modern night. Although, on the one hand, a single warrior is still seen as a viable and potent force in battle, a warrior is so often cherished less than a weapon these nights. Why go to the trouble of funding and housing a Morrigan for the domain when any cheap Hound can carry the very best weaponry against the enemy and is cheaper to replace besides?
The Kindred who say such things are short-sighted fools with no memory. The Childer of the Morrigan have swung swords in defense of the Circle of the Crone for three thousand years. The first Morrigans were the warrior-queens of the covenant. They laid the foundation stones and raised up the tents under which persecuted pagan cults were unified. The history of the Morrigans’ of the devotion and contribution to the Crone is sterling, tarnished only with age. However, some Morrigans have started displaying a new drive and purpose within the covenant, and such might just be what causes the Stormcrows to gain their true place within the covenant.
Bloodline Disciplines: Animalism, Protean, Resilience, Vigor
Nickname: Stormcrows, Morrigans
Source: Circle of the Crone, pages 172-175.
Stormcrows suffer the same base affliction as their parent clan. As their Humanity scores erode, Stormcrows’ minds become more bestial and base. In the case of these warriors, elegant strategy gives way to brutal tactics. A humane Morrigan strives for the right victory for the battle; a monstrous Morrigan takes unnecessary risks to hurt the enemy and add suffering to defeat.
Defeat, however, is not something a Morrigan makes peace with easily herself. Her dedication to the covenant is distilled in her blood. In addition to the afflictions inherent in her Gangrel blood, a Morrigan is subject to a terrible dread of the soul. Stormcrows suffer from a permanent, incurable case of Depression (as per the derangement, see p. 97 of the World of Darkness Rulebook). In addition to normal triggers, there are other triggers (as per The Circle of the Crone Rulebook p.175)
History and Culture:
In the earliest nights of the covenant, the Childer of the Morrigan swore to defend it. Though stories of Kindred descended from the Morrigan
go back beyond the founding of the covenant, it seems clear that this bloodline was formed on that night, when its blood was promised to the covenant for all time. Thus the Stormcrows became a part of the mortar holding the loose stones of the Circle together. Three unconnected, religiously distinct cults in a single city might not be able to agree on a name for the Crone, but they could agree to pay tribute to the Childer of the Morrigan to keep hostile vampires at bay.
But that was a long time ago.
Since then, the Morrigan have dwindled. By the Middle Ages, the notion of a whole coterie of Stormcrows residing in a single domain had become unrealistic. In place of three or four warriors to oversee Hounds and assist Sheriffs, average Acolyte domains kept a single Morrigan near the Prince and Primogen as the nucleus of a war council — a body of advisory vampires of which the Morrigan was just one member. The largest Acolyte territories boasted war councils populated entirely by Morrigans. These wise women advised Princes and Hierophants alike in the proper uses of violence and when the promise of violence was enough to secure victory. They were generals, but they were historians and poets, too. They didn’t just lead vampires to victory, they lead Kindred away from needless battles and toward precarious peaces.
But that, too, was long ago.
The number of Morrigans has dwindled in the face of more bloodlines vying for Kindred attention and the presence of more cities pulling Kindred factions apart. Tonight, the Childer of the Morrigan are as likely to reside as hermits on the edge of Acolyte society as they are at the side of a Hierophant. They are warrior-poets without wars to fight, supplanted by subtler power-plays and political back-stabbing. Acolyte cults, after centuries of religious change and mutated by decades of neopagan revisions, have grown further apart from each other. Tonight’s Circle of the Crone looks so little like that the first Morrigans swore to protect, but still their blood is bound to it.
But the covenant can never be wholly safe. The night when Acolytes need the Childer of the Morrigan again cannot be far off.
The Childer of the Morrigan have been dedicated followers of the Acolyte philosophy for thousands of years. Though some claim that their lineage predates the gathering of vampire cults into the covenant of the Crone, it is undeniable that the Stormcrows are a distinctly Acolyte tradition. Morrigans who are not members of the covenant
are likely to be ostracized — or at least thought turncoats — by their kin.
That said, these warriors know that they must often serve multiple masters. Childer of the Morrigan who act on behalf of other covenants, or even accept a degree of membership in other ranks, may simply be seen as respected experts enjoying the benefits of their authority. If the Invictus can recognize the value of the Morrigans, then good for them. As long as a Stormcrow remembers where her spiritual loyalty lies — to the Morrigan — all may be well.
Stormcrows become unaligned vampires with surprising frequency, however. When the covenant’s political or practical aims diverge too far from those of the Stormcrow (or her matron war god), the best she can do oppose her mother covenant is to cut her support of it. A Stormcrow who turns against the covenant her ancestors fought to forge is the worst sort of betrayer… as long as her enemies within the covenant remain in power. All may be rewritten by a victorious Morrigan after the battle is won.
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