The tale of the Scathach begins with a creature known as the Morrigan. Her name means Phantom Queen, and she was a grand enigma, even to the other Tuatha de Danaan. Humanity worshipped her as a goddess of battle, ecstasy, fertility, and magic. She was instrumental in securing the Tuatha’s victory over the Fir-bholg in the First Battle of Moytura, and in the second… well. That’s a tale.
The Second Battle of Moytura Edit
After the Fir-bholgs’ defeat, both the Tuatha and the Fomorians observed an uneasy truce, but such a condition could not last long between two forces so diametrically opposed. In the last war, Nuada, then king of the Tuatha de Danaan, lost his hand and replaced it with one of silver. There were those among the Children of Dana who, foolishly, felt this handicap disqualified him from rulership. In his stead, they installed Bres the Beautiful; son of a Tuatha woman and a Fomorian king, upon the Falian Throne. It was not long, however, before the Tuatha realized they had made a terrible mistake. When the Children of Dana increasingly arrayed against him, Bres brought out his father’s brood to solidify his claims by force.
Shall we speak of names? Those who led the invading horde had names that still possess power, long after those who bore them have passed beyond. One among them was Balor, lord of the Fire Court. Another was Indech, scion of the then nascent Ivory Court and hunts marshal for King Tethra of the Emerald Dream. Just as important to the story in Indech’s son, Octriallach. Not yet one of the potentates of the age, he was nevertheless clever and subtle, with a far-reaching eye for magic. With these and countless others, the Fomorian War Dream cloaked itself in a nightmare gale and swept our over the tenebrous seas toward the isles of the sane.
The Dagda & The Morrigan Edit
Meanwhile, in the Tuatha’s quest for allies, the god Dagda returned to his fastness in Glenn Etin. There, a year before, he had made a love pact with the Morrigan and now sought her for her wisdom. Since that time she had borne his child, a girl she named Scathach (meaning the Shadowy One) for her black hair and shadow-grey eyes. Upon their reunion, the Morrigan foretold many things, including the imminent end of the current age and the place where the Fomorians would first emerge from their nightmare trods.
Indech & The Morrigan Edit
The battle joined in earnest. The Tuatha’s ally Lugh of the Long Arm met Balor of the Piercing Eye in single combat. The Red King opened his cyclopean eye, and a poisonous crimson light crept out across the plains, killing thousands before Lugh drove his spear through the Fomorian’s brain. Balor was not the only Great One on the scene, however; the second monarch is of far more consequence to this tale.
In a narrow valley, Indech and the Morrigan came face to face. Inhumanly beautiful in visage but with the body of a great wyrm, the White King laughed when he saw the lone woman before him. He drew his blade, the Sword of Tethra; a fearsome sliver of stormy night with an emerald shimmering above the hilt.
“By this sword, forged in green fire, stand aside, woman. I am Indech Oneira-Osseus. Where I pass, nightmares slip loose of slumber’s shackles and feast upon their dreamers.” But the Morrigan did not move.
“Then, by the Fates who have promised that I will deliver destruction during the nights of Final Winter, I command you to fall!” he thundered. Cracks appeared in the White King’s beautiful visage as he gave himself up to his rage and swung his great sword toward the unarmed woman. Another potent blade parried it in a shower of sparks. Wielding it was Ogma, gentle poet and warrior-scholar. Sword and spell, the two gods strained themselves to the limit. It was Indech who held the vantage, though, for he was fated to win.
Forgotten in the shadows, though, was the Morrigan, a servant of Fate, who now betrayed that trust by severing the threads of Providence that protected the Fomorian. The battle, preordained to bring Indech victory, ended with Ogma’s blade through his heart. And so Indech died, thousands of years before his promised time, but his legacy would live on. Swearing vengeance, his son Octriallach turned into a white mist and fled into the forests of Winter. The victorious Tuatha counted him among the dead; it was a mistake their changeling offspring would one day regret.
The Departure of The Morrigan Edit
The Fomorians were creatures of nightmare, but as they retreated, a vital spark left the world. It was to this troubled era that Scathach’s dynasty was born. Many of the Tuatha de Danaan departed the Autumn World, leaving the fae without their guidance; the Morrigan was among the first to go. Indech, she knew, had not been fated to die, but to play his part in the final times. The Morrigan had altered the edict of Fate and knew she had to pay the price. Before departing, she met one final time with Dagda. The two decided to spirit their child away to be raised on the Isle of Skye (the Isle of Shadows) that would one day bear her name. A sensible precaution given what happened to both parents’ previous children: Aedh, Mechi, and poor haunted Leanhaun. Her affairs in order, the Morrigan transformed into a crow and flew deep into the Dreaming beyond all knowing. What she sought, and whether she found it, who can say?