Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A to Z of Witches. M

M is for Morgan Le Fey (and other Morgans)

Morgan le Fay by Anthony Frederick Augustus Sandys
Morgan Le Fey is one of the first witches from literature I ever encountered.  I remember reading tales of King Arthur, Merlin and Morgan.  She seemed like such an interesting and complex character to me.  Not exactly 100% evil but certainly not good either.  She has a very complicated relationship with her half-brother and their son Mordred.

Of course there is also the Morgan le Fey of Marion Zimmer Bradley's The Mists of Avalon.  She is a different character to be sure.  Her "evil" is only how the Christian invaders see her paganism.  Yeah there is a lot in this mix and may or may not belong in an Arthurian legend, but I don't care. It's a great tale.

There are other Morgans too. There is Morgause, the older sister of Morgan. The two often get merged into one character.

There is The Morrígan the Crone of War from Celtic myths. There have been some attempts to connect this older figure to the Arthur myths.

She even shares a lot in common with the Game of Thrones character Cersei Lannister. Both desire their sons to be king. Both conceived their sons via incest. Both wish to control behind the scenes. Where Morgan uses magic Cersei uses guile and sometimes poison.  

Morgan le Fey (and I do prefer that spelling over "fay") is certainly a character with some depth and history.  Like all good myths her powers, abilities and motivations change with the telling. While she might be more famous than Circe, she has less characteristic powers.  We know she drugged Arthur to a sleep to seduce him. We know that she has some sort of precognitive powers, but they are not great.  But she is powerful, or at least powerful enough to concern Arthur.  She may have also learned magic from Merlin and he knows a trick or two.

For my use Morgan le Fey is a member of the Faerie Tradition.  Seems logical. It also fits since the morality of the fey can seem to be good or evil depending on the point of view.  There is also a regalness to the fey that I also see in Morgan and the Faerie Tradition.  It also fits in nice with the Mists of Avalon version of her.

Morgan le Fey
The Witch stats for Basic Era Games
13th level Witch, Faerie Tradition

Strength: 9
Dexterity: 12
Constitution: 13
Intelligence: 17
Wisdom: 11
Charisma: 18

Death Ray or Poison:  9/7
Magic wand or devices: 10
Paralysis, Polymorph or Turn to Stone: 9
Dragon Breath: 12
Rods, Staffs and Spells: 11

To hit AC 0: 16

Hit Points: 66
Alignment: Neutral (maybe a little Chaotic)
AC: 5 (talisman of protection)

Occult Powers
Familiar:  Raven (+2 to Death related saves)
7th level:  Speak to Plants and Animals
13th level: Fey Shape

Cantrips: Analyze Fertility, Chill, Daze, Detect Curse, Object Reading, Open, Sound
First: Bewitch I, Cause Fear, Sleep, Silver Tongue
Second: Calm Emotions, Enthrall, Evil Eye, Phantasmal Spirit, Mind Obscure
Third: Fly, Scry, Twisting the Heartstrings III
Fourth: Bewitch IV, Dance Macabre, Divination
Fifth: Endless Sleep, Greater Command
Sixth: Bewitch VI, Projected Image
Seventh:  Foresight

Pretty good build really.

Supernatural AtoZ


Anything and Everything Paranormal Blog said...

Love your post, and find the information listed at the bottoms very interesting.

Sara C. Snider said...

I love The Mists of Avalon. It remains one of my all-time favorite books. Whenever I think of Morgan Le Fey, I think of the character in that book (Morgaine, I think she was called).

Interesting comparing Morgan with Cersei Lannister. I had never thought of the similarities between them, but they are definitely there. :)

Sophie Duncan said...

I've been considering using Morgan Le Fey and other bits of Arthurian Legend in a book series I'm currently planning - she is a complex character and could be a good source of chaos :)
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C.D. Gallant-King said...

I remember the first time I saw Excalibur as a kid. Great film I fell in love with immediately. Magic, knights, naked ladies. It was everything a kid could ask for.

And then Arthur had sex with his sister. That messed me up for a long time...

Grammy Staffy said...

You taught me things I didn't know before. Now I know about Morgan Le Fey. I had forgotten that she was with King Arthur.

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have fun with a to z

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

She's always very interesting whenever she turns up in legend or fiction :). Always good to see a powerful woman in a tale, even if she is often the bad guy.
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Mina Burrows said...

She's been around so long, she's legendary.

Excellent points on Cersei! Amazing.