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 Battle of Moytura… well. That’s another tale.
However, a year before the beginning of the war, the god Dagda and the Morrigan made a love pact in his fastness in Glenn Etin. From their union was born a child, a girl named Scathach (meaning the Shadowy One) for her black hair and shadow-grey eyes.
After the battle, many of the Tuatha de Danaan departed the Autumn World, leaving the fae without their guidance and the Morrigan was among the first to go. She had altered the edict of Fate by helping slay the fomorian Indech 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?
The Early Years
Scathach grew up between two worlds, among the human villagers of Albion and a tribe of Fuath who had remained loyal to the Tuatha de Danaan. Even as a child, she gained a great reputation, as a warrior, hunter, and sorceress. As a young adult, she gained her greatest fame among outsiders as a teacher of martial arts to such celebrated individuals as the warrior Cú Chulainn. It is fortunate that she was so capable, because the Old Ones’ departure soon caused rifts that involved the young goddess. She eventually gave birth to a daughter, Uathach, as well.
Even from the beginning, under Scathach her house's philosophy of leadership differed from that of the other sidhe. Born to the purple, they initially ruled as tradition dictated, but the mantle of power didn’t quite fit. Perhaps this made them poor examples of the monarch’s dream, but even then, the notion that they were entitled to control others’ destinies simply by virtue of their blood troubled them. The Morrigan had made the ultimate break with authority by refuting the patterns of Fate; her offspring were little different. Millennia passed and Scathach grew from warrior queen to something far more puissant and subtle. At her behest, her house divested itself of all but a few strongholds, travelling both the Autumn World and the Dreaming; they saw how the world was changing.
Even before the Shattering, various daring commoners underwent what has come to be known as the Changeling Way Ritual. House Scathach was hardly a trailblazer, but they were the only sidhe to make this momentous choice. Scathach herself was the first of her line to undergo the ritual, exchanging some of her nearly boundless power for the comparative mortality of human flesh… and the insights that came with it.
The War of Trees
Later, the Fomorians returned and, with most of the Tuatha de Danaan gone, increasingly menaced the younger races. The conflict quickly escalated far beyond the scale set by the last war. The fae learned that the fomorian Octriallach was not dead as once believed, but directing the cruelest of the Fomorian Courts from deep within Winterweir. A demon from the past had returned to haunt the world; Scathach’s duty was clear. Since no army could hope to defeat a creature like Octriallach, Scathach herself, one of the few remaining Tuatha de Danaan, despite her diminished blood, led a disparate contingent of nobles and commoners into the Winterwoods.
The sun did not shine in those woods, and a never-ending host of Dark-Kin, icy chimera, and invisible spirits harried the invading host. Warriors disappeared into this air, sometimes resurfacing as frozen, dismembered corpses. Still the diminished company eventually reached the forest’s chill heart and challenged the White King in his lair. Confident in his enemy’s doom, Octriallach himself joined the fray, determined to capture Scathach alive and force from her the location of his father’s blade.
The two met in single combat, and Scathach seemed a poor match for the White King, who warped and rent reality by his very presence. Bearing down upon his victim, the overconfident Fomorian did not notice how the Kithain’s most potent sorcerers had arranged themselves into a complex wizard’s knot around the battlefield, feeding their very life force into a fateful spell. The forest’s trees writhed like tentacles, enveloping the shrieking White Court and imprisoning them within, seemingly forever. The task of defeating the Red and Green Courts lay ahead, but the fae would have to accomplish this with little help from the Scathach. Scathach herself was gone, enshrined with her enemies at the heart of the Forest of Lies.
In the present, the White Court has freed itself of its arboreal prison, but Scathach, imprisoned with them, has disappeared. House Scathach is not vengeful by nature, but if she is dead, no force in existence will stay their wrath. Fomorian or not, the White Court will choke on its own nightmares.