Never, anger a Raven.
Niall Ó Mórrígan-Mór is one of the more complicated male characters that I developed over the years. He was born from an interest in the tragic heroes of Celtic mythology, and the epic warriors of pulp fiction. When I traversed the wooded areas and the bogs of Ireland I thought of grand warriors upon their Chariots. I wanted to create someone that would help me also dig into the stories I grew up with and I wanted to delve into a period of time that rarely was used in fantasy. Niall thus came striding out of legend and along with others in the initial game that would become Altear (at the time called Sundered Way).
Drinker, Fighter, Warrior, Spy
Niall Ó Mórrígan-Mór was the son of a fierce Warrior Chief known as Sorcha. His father he barely knew and was killed by his mother when the man helped lead a rebellion against her rule. Niall would grow up as a punctual, but lazy drinker who would constantly natter to his mother. In the end though she nearly tore off his arm with a spear and set him straight. From that day on the man grew into a fierce prince who would come to see the election of a powerful new Queen to the empty throne of the Kingdom.
Origins of the Raven Lord
When I was first coming home from Ireland I came back to found a website known as Binding Attrition. It last a good few months before deciding being devoured by inactivity. Yet, a sense of creativity spurned from ideas of game design (I was working on a dice rolling system at the time). Then I began work on a historical Celtic game that would be influenced by the legends of the Fae. This started off as a bit of fun, but over time I rad entire books on Celtic society and mythology. I formulated a sense of what the game was giong to be about and after reading a book called the “War of Flowers”. It was this and my love for the Song of Ice and Fire books which brokered the idea of a casted Fae species. An idea that was not at all inherent in Celtic and Indo-European society in general.
The Raven Lord (as we sometimes call Niall or even blunter, the Raven Prince) came about because of a deep respect I hold for the pagan Gods of Ireland, prime among them the Morrigan. Cu Chulainn himself was defeated by his hubris when dealing with the Warrior Goddess. In the War of the Flowers the ruling class were made up of primary wingless (all Faeries had wings in that world) descended from primary figures in Faerie legend (in this case Titania and Oberon).
Running with that idea and a little inspiration from the infamous Drowtales along with Avatar the Last Airbender the Sundered Way was created. Niall then came forth from that foundation and came as the Prince of a confederacy of Tribes. He was a fine warrior, a hard drinker, and master of Tempest magicks. Then the game like became inactive and Niall went back up on the shelf.
From Prince to King
When Sundered Way was relaunched as Altear, Niall went through a change. Funny thing is, much of his change was part of the storyline established back in the Sundered Way. Niall was simply a drinker back then and a womanizer. By the time the second game arose he had become a political machinist and a wise-talking mastermind. He had a family where he had none. He rarely spoke straight and had a love of riddles (a habit formed in Roleplay and not by myself). To many he was an infuriating problem that many people tried to figure out. Niall had many grand plans and part of that was re-establishing the Dynasty that had been usurped after the end of the previous game.
See Niall lived in a world of Tribes and feuding Clanns. His, the Ua Morrigan, had been fighting for years before a great War overtook the entire High Kingd he lived in. Eventually under his and other leading chieftains the smaller Clanns united into six great Confederacies which changed the national order. Niall’s daughter who was at a time destined to take the High Throne of the entire Kingdom. When an enemy Clann attempted to kill Niall’s former lover, the High Queen, the entire Kingdom plunged into Civil (the very one which reforged the Clanns).
In the end, Niall went from being the wayward drinking son of a fiery Chieftainess, to the King of a warrior Nation. His unseated daughter forced him to dream of not only seeing the unification of the splintered Kingdom, but the creation of a grand Empire in its stead. Inspired by his divine ancestor, the great Morrigan herself.