Goddesses of Battle
The crew takes on a request to retrieve a fallen soldier's body. When they find the corpse in question, they discover a trio of battle goddesses who collectively refer to themselves as the Morrigna. They decide to accompany (Captain)'s crew to track down the descendant of their former charge.
(Captain) and company have come to the site of a battlefield on a grim but noble request: to find and retrieve the remains of a fallen soldier.
Although the soldier was renowned across distant islands for his valor, death has no respect for heroics, and thus he lost his life in service to his country.
His next of kin want to give their loved one a final farewell worth his bravery, and have entrusted the crew with bringing him home.
Vyrn: Yikes, look at this place. It's basically been burnt to a crisp.
Lyria: This place is kind of scary.
The environs are as gloomy as their task, but they press on regardless. That is until they discover three statuesque women standing in formation off in the distance.
Vyrn: What are those ladies doing in a place like this? They don't look like army people or skyfarers.
That's because they're some kind of primal beast!
Vyrn: Um, okay then, so what's a gaggle of primal ladies doin' here?
Bewildered by the appearance of the trio, they sneak a little closer. Soon something else comes into view: a deathly still figure at the feet of the three women.
Vyrn: Is that, you don't think... the fallen soldier?
Lyria: I think so. But it's strange how those three are just staring down at him.
They wait and watch, trying to ascertain the motives of the primal beast that has taken the form of three women.
But the primal remains unmoving, vigilant. Realizing inaction will solve nothing, (Captain) and the others decide to make an approach.
Vyrn: Excuse us, what're you all doin' in a place like this?
???: Mmm? Aaah...
???: We were cradling our charge—this warrior who acted with courage until his last moment.
Vyrn: Umm... So this man was important to you?
???: Important? No, we were simply giving watch to a worthy soul.
Vyrn: Right... I don't think he's going to get up and move or anything, but we've actually been looking for him ourselves.
Lyria: We want to reunite him with his family. May we please take him?
???: If that is your wish, then our role is finished.
Lyria: Your role?
???: Our mission, child. To act as partisan for those who find themselves at the mercy of unavoidable death.
Lyria: Um, what does that mean?
???: Badb, look at their faces. They seem so confused.
???: Shouldn't we explain ourselves before we get into all of the particulars?
???: Teehee... It's just as Neamhan says, Sister. Such a bad habit you have, putting introductions on the long finger.
Badb: Well, if you're going to begrudge me, Sisters...
The woman referred to as Badb steps forward to formally greet (Captain) and company.
Badb: I'm Badb. These two spuds are my sisters.
Neamhan: I'm the eldest, Neamhan. May the road rise up to meet you.
Macha: Macha here. Middle sister. Don't forget it now.
Badb: Mortals have grown fond of collectively calling the three of us the Morrigna.
Vyrn: Seriously? You have "the" in your name? Is it just me, or does that sound like an airship or somethin'?
Badb: The Morrigna is the moniker mortals have given us. Our individual names hold virtually no weight in comparison.
Despite Badb's explanation, (Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn still seem none the wiser. Macha struggles to suppress a giggle.
Macha: Teehee... We're a being of one soul, hear. Our individual names are just a way to identify a third of the whole.
Macha: They're separate names, certainly, but we're the Morrigna just the same. 'Tis all fair, children.
Lyria: Uh... huh...
Vyrn: So it's okay for us to call you whatever, right?
Macha: So long as it pleases you.
Neamhan: Back to the matter at hand. I believe we were discussing our role in this world.
Badb: We act as partisan, supporting the worthy by bearing witness to their deeds, and giving them the grace to earn higher honors yet.
Badb: And we serve our charge until they breathe their last. 'Tis both our role and the foundation of our existence.
Badb: Your man here was a strong soul himself. His valor cost him his life in the end, but it was a pure splendid farewell.
Badb sees that the young skyfarers still don't quite grasp the situation. She gives them a moment to mentally catch up before revealing the Morrigna's true motive.
Badb: That being said... We're on the hunt for someone else.
Lyria: You are?
Macha: The descendant of a legendary hero.
Morrigna: It was long ago, during the time of the War...
Morrigna: Though we are a primal beast, we found across enemy lines a skyfarer worthy of our grace. Nay, he was more than worthy.
Morrigna: He accepted our grace and achieved victory after victory with our support. 'Twas not long before he grew into a legend.
Morrigna: However, once a lad accepts our favor, he may never return to ordinary life. He must search for blood on the fields of war till his dying day.
Morrigna: This warrior knew that, but one day a fury the likes of which we'd never seen flared in his heart, and he shouted at us.
Morrigna: "I wish to see my family," he said. "If I can't be with my family before I pass, then what need do I have for honor?"
Morrigna: We did not give heed to his words.
Morrigna: After he passed, we continued our duty, bearing witness to warriors innumerable as they forged their own mythologies.
Morrigna: Over time a thought began to grow within us.
Morrigna: Why did that man reject honor? Was his family truly so exemplary that he would rather protect them over achieving glory?
Morrigna: Impetus enough for man to abandon exaltation—we needed to meet his family.
Morrigna: Despite our desire—time being the fickle mistress it is—it had already been several hundred years since the warrior's passing.
Neamhan: And so we thought, if we couldn't track down his direct flesh n' blood, we'd at least try to find a descendant of his.
Neamhan: Alas, trouble is as trouble does, we don't know where that man's family lived.
Macha: But we figure his progeny must have inherited martial merit equal to his own.
Macha: We can continue our duty knowing that perhaps one day we'll come across a worthy warrior with the blood of that man in their veins.
Lyria: Wow, that's quite a story.
With the air finally cleared, the three women smile at the young skyfarers. But soon their eerie, unified gaze shifts toward (Captain).
Morrigna: (Captain), we see in you... Yes. That's a fret now.
Morrigna: You are possessed of unparalleled valor. That much is clear from the look in your eyes, those pupils which have seen a thousand battles and may see a thousand more.
Morrigna: If we join you across your travels, we are likely to meet other brave combatants. And, mayhaps, a descendant of the hero we long to meet.
Vyrn: That's definitely in the realm of possibility.
Vyrn: Besides, we're always lookin' for more crewmates! Right, (Captain)?
Morrigna: You must steer the course of your own lives.
Morrigna: By our grace, we may only act as your partisan.
Vyrn: I'm not sure if that's such a big difference, but what do you think, (Captain)?
Choose: Welcome to the crew.
- Welcome to the crew.
- I hope we can find that descendant.
Morrigna: We thank you.
Lyria: Hehe, I'm sure we'll get along great, Morrigna!Choose: I hope we can find that descendant.
Morrigna: Truly. That is our one hope.
Lyria: I'm sure we will! After all, we'll be helping you!
Morrigna: We thank you.Continue 1
After their fateful encounter with the trio, the crew successfully transport the fallen soldier's body back to his family.
The Morrigna, having found a renewed purpose, watch from afar as their most recent charge completes his final journey home.
The Morrigna sense their former charge's descendant on a distant island. After arriving on the island, the Morrigna lead the crew to a young man in the middle of unsuccessfully fighting off a pack of monsters.
A few days after the Morrigna began watching over the crew...
The trio is standing on the deck of the Grandcypher, staring out into the distance.
Neamhan: I felt it too.
Macha: Hehe. Wind be with me, I felt it three.
Lyria: What's everyone doing out here?
Morrigna: We were admiring a familiar breeze as it blew by. It reminded us of the olden days. Of our warrior.
The Morrigna sighs in unison, caught up in sentimentality. They compose themselves, then point out to the sky.
Morrigna: Would it be all right to stop by that wee island over there? That's where we feel the breeze coming from, where we feel our former charge.
Vyrn: Wow, Morthreegna, you can feel all that from a breeze? You think your buddy's descendant is over there?
Badb: Aye, lad.
Neamhan: Please. We must see with our own eyes whether our intuition lies to us.
Macha: 'Tis an opportunity the likes of which we've never had.
Choose: Well then, what are we waiting for!
- Well then, what are we waiting for!
- We can't wait to meet this person either!
Lyria: This is really important to you, Morrigna! So of course we'll go!Choose: We can't wait to meet this person either!
Lyria: They're the descendant of a hero after all! Anyone would be curious to see them, right, (Captain)?Continue 1
Morrigna: We thank you, with the promise we'll pay you back in kind.
Wasting no time, (Captain) has the Grandcypher change course for the island.
After alighting, the crew find themselves walking through a forest, the Morrigna at the head of their group.
The primal trio comes to an abrupt stop, and three pairs of brows furrow in unison.
Morrigna: We're close now. The breeze calls us this way.
Lyria: Oh, we'll see them soon! I'm so excited!
Vyrn: Huh? Unless this person's a monster, I think we might have a problem on our hands.
Lyria: Oh no! That was a scream!
Lyria: Ah, Morrigna, wait!
They dash after the Morrigna, but stop when they see a bruised and battered young man surrounded by monsters.
???: How did I get myself into this mess...
Having pushed himself to his absolute limit, the young man falls to the ground unconscious.
Lyria: We have to help him! Hurry, everyone!
Badb: Sure as the road is long.
Macha: Come 'ere, you little beasties.
Neamhan: You've gone and messed with the wrong sisters, hear. We'll tear you limb from limb.
Undying Purpose: Scene 2
The crew takes the young man to a village inn to recuperate from his injuries. The goddesses of the Morrigna learn he's the descendant they've been looking for, but despite this they find him unworthy. Shocked by their assessment, he dashes out of the inn.
After saving the man from the monsters, the crew finds a town and takes refuge.
They rent a room at a local inn and lay the young man out to rest, giving him a chance to finally recuperate.
Lyria: Oh, he woke up!
???: Where am I? I thought I was monster kibble.
Vyrn: You were about five seconds away from it. You passed out just before they struck.
???: Oh, then you're the ones that saved me? Thank you. I'm sorry for the pitiful display.
Vyrn: Don't mention it. But how come you didn't try to run away?
Hesitation and embarassment color the man's voice as he begins to explain.
He says that he's to be wed soon, but he's unsure if he'll be a worthwhile guardian for his fiance. His solution was to test his mettle against the monsters of the forest.
???: I have to become stronger! Or else I'll bring shame to my ancestor!
Descendant: You see, one of my great-great-great-great-grandfathers was a hero during the time of the War.
Descendant: That's amazing in and of itself, but it's said that whenever he took to the vanguard, his side always won.
Morrigna: 'Tis no lie. That man strode across a thousand battlefields with dauntless courage, guiding his troops to certain victory.
Morrigna: Which mentions nothing of his kindness. He revelled in the good times with his fellows and cried grander tears than any other when one would fall.
Descendant: How... How could you possibly know that? Could you have actually met him?
Morrigna: We are the Morrigna. We found your ancestor worthy and granted him a path to greater honor.
Descendant: Whoa! So you lent him the strength of a primal?
The young man stares at the Morrigna with eyes full of equal parts surprise and elation.
Descendant: To curry favor with a primal... Haha, my ol' forefather really was an amazing person!
Morrigna: Why do you laugh?
Morrigna: We were beside him until his dying breath. Should this not be a source of grief to you?
Descendant: How could it? He died the way heroes die! I'm sure that was enough for him!
Descendant: I think it's great! Seems like a small price to pay for being remembered for hundreds of years!
Descendant: Would you please lend me your power the same way you blessed my ancestor? I want that kind of strength!
The three sisters of the Morrigna cast their gaze upon the lad, summing him up. Moments later, three heads cock to the side in unison.
Morrigna: You are not worthy of our grace.
Descendant: Heh, you're joking, right? Please tell me you're joking!
Descendant: But, but I'm his descendant!
The young man, despite his wounds, grabs his sword perched alongside his bed and dashes out of the room.
Lyria: Please wait! You're still healing!
(Captain), Lyria, and Vyrn chase after him, fearing the worst.
The Morrigna, however, remains behind standing in quiet contemplation, remembering days gone by.
Hero: Pant... pant... So I die today...
Morrigna: How do you fare, our charge?
Hero: Who are you?
Morrigna: We're the Morrigna. We act as partisan for the worthy and bestow unto them our grace.
Morrigna: Your companion have we been this entire time, watching you from afar as you risked life and limb across countless battles. And for your valor, you have earned your place in the annals of history.
Morrigna: And so, too, have you earned your rest. Thus our role is finished.
Hero: Hah, so that power that guided my body, it was you all along?
Hero: But I refuse to die yet.
Morrigna: Why? You have already gained the grandest honor. What more could you wish for?
Hero: To see my family again, of course. There's nothing grander than kin.
Morrigna: We cannot grant this wish. Once the worthy accept our grace, we can't permit them return to ordinary life.
Hero: Y-you damned witches!
Hero: What was the meaning of all this violence? Of all this suffering!
Hero: I must see my wife and child again! If I die without kissing them farewell, then to the Crimson Horizon with your honor!
Hero: My poor wife, my poor son... Forgive me. Forgive me for not saying a proper... goodbye...
The sisters' expressions do not change as their charge fades away. Instead they stand watching his body, three statuesque figures paying final respects.
Morrigna: (All of our charges have so far passed with contentment, satisfied they'd achieved fulfillment in glory.)
Morrigna: (All but one.)
Morrigna: (If only we had not become his partisan, had not guided his hand to glory...)
Morrigna: (Perhaps he would have found happiness in his future.)
Morrigna: (Is truly our fate... to lead the worthy to such an end?)
Existential doubt clouds the thoughts of the Morrigna, but Badb breaks apart for a moment to address her sisters.
Badb: What that man wanted to protect... Say 'tis all gone and lost to the passage of time, hear?
Badb: Then what exactly should we be doing?
Neamhan: You favor the hard questions, Sister. But I think the answer is rather obvious.
Macha: Teehee, right you are, dear. There's no hesitation in your eyes at all.
Neamhan: Aye, 'tis not a question of what we should be bothering ourselves with. 'Tis a question of what we desire. That's the only way to calm our heart.
Macha: There you have it. We trust ourselves to forge a path, right as the road. Do you not feel the same, Sister?
Badb: Calm our heart, is it?
Though they've finally located the descendant of their former charge, instead of amending the trinity's complicated emotions, their encounter births anxieties anew.
Undying Purpose: Scene 3
During the search for the descendant, the crew happens upon his fiancee, who reveals that he's probably gone to a local monster-filled cave to prove himself. This information proves to be accurate, but once again he struggles to finish off the fiends. The Morrigna interjects, providing enough support to allow the man to finish the fight himself.
The Morrigna's words cut the young man to the core, so he heads to a place where he believes he can prove himself worthy.
Descendant: If I can bring down those cave monsters, then the three goddesses should recognize me.
Descendant: I can do this! I am the descendant of a hero!
While misguided fervor guides the descendant to a cave, (Captain) and the others meander the town's streets looking for him.
Lyria: It doesn't seem like he's here.
Vyrn: Well, with his wounds he couldn't have gotten too far.
???: Excuse me, strangers. Are you all perhaps looking for a certain hero's descendant?
Vyrn: Good guess, lady! Do you know him?
???: Everyone in this town does, friend. But I know him better than most. I'm his fiancee.
Lyria: Oh, imagine bumping into you of all people!
Fiancee: What did he get himself into this time?
(Captain) explains the episode at the inn to the woman.
Fiancee: That man, I swear...
Vyrn: Do you know of any place he might've gone? Like a place bursting with monsters?
Fiancee: Monsters, is it?
Fiancee: Now that you mention it, he promised me something a long time ago.
Fiancee: He said he would prove to me he was a strong man, that he would go to the caves deep in the forest and defeat all the nefarious beasties.
Lyria: Do you think that's where he went?
Vyrn: Judging by the look on his face when he took off, I'd bet my scales on it.
Vyrn: Besides, we don't have any other clues. So let's get to those caves, (Captain)!
Following close behind the descendant's fiancee, they head through the forest and to the caves.
When they arrive, they come across a furious battle between man and monster.
Lyria: This looks bad! We have to help him!
Descendant: Please don't! This is my fight!
Descendant: Damn it... Am I really not worthy?
The young man falls to the ground. The monster bares down on him, claws extended. Moments before the strike lands, a gust of wind blows the monster away.
Morrigna: 'Twas a close one, that.
Descendant: Oh my goddesses! You've come for me...
Lyria: Morrigna, we'll back you up!
Morrigna: That won't be necessary, child.
Morrigna: This lad needed us, and we will bear witness.
Choose: We understand.
- We understand.
- Be careful.
Morrigna: We thank ye. For listening to such a selfish request.Choose: Be careful.
Morrigna: Who do you take us for? We should offer you the same advice.Continue 1
Macha: Teehee. This one's got a lovely spring in its step, hear.
Neamhan: Aye. But now we fight.
Neamhan: Go forth...
Macha: And bless this ground with victory.
Undying Purpose: Scene 4
After defeating the monster, the descendant's fiancee insists he doesn't need to prove his worth, causing him to realize what is truly valuable in life. Later, Lyria asks if he was truly without promise, but the Morrigna reveal that they simply did not want to lead the young man to an untimely death on the battlefield.
Vyrn: Yeah! Give 'em the good stuff!
The monster's hind legs give out. The Morrigna raise their arms to finish the beast, but at the last moment they stay their attack.
Vyrn: H-hey! What gives?
Sensing the opening in the primal's assault, the monster leaps for the young man's fiancee.
Lyria: Look out!
Before even (Captain) can react, the hero's descendant brandishes his weapon and pierces the monster through.
Descendant: Haha, I did it!
Descendant: Did you see, goddesses? I actually did it!
Morrigna: Why do you celebrate?
Morrigna: You chose to strike at the last moment, but this monster's fate, 'twas decided by our hand. Not yours.
Descendant: But... but...
Badb: We shan't grace such an aptitude for hubris with our gifts.
Macha: Never mind our charges past, you won't ever live up to your ancestor, lad.
Neamhan: You should be pure ashamed of your pride, see.
Morrigna: However. You acted to protect someone you care for.
Morrigna: From this day forward, ask yourself: do I fight to seek fame and glory? Or do I fight to protect those I love?
Descendant: Goddesses, please...
Fiancee: It's just as she says. If you weren't here, I would've died just now.
Fiancee: But don't you ever pull another stupid stunt like this again.
Fiancee: Who cares how worthy you are? As long as I have you by my side, that's enough for me.
Descendant: The truth hurts to admit... But I've been wrong this whole time.
Descendant: I'll try to live my life for myself—not as a descendant of some hero.
Descendant: Thank you, goddesses. You've helped me realize what's truly important, and I'll never be able to repay you.
Morrigna: You've no obligation to thank us, lad. We speak only the truth we witness.
Morrigna: (Captain), that completes our affairs on this island. We may leave.
As the Morrigna turn to walk away, their expressions remain steadfast, almost bored.
After the young man and his fiancee guide (Captain) and the others back to town, the crew heads for the Grandcypher and makes a quick departure.
The unity of a primal beast, leaning barely over the railing, stares at the island as it disappears into the distance.
Lyria: Um... Morrigna?
Morrigna: Yes, love?
Lyria: I have something I want to ask you.
Lyria pauses and gathers up her courage before she poses her question to the Morrigna.
Lyria: Did that hero's descendant... Did he really have no potential at all?
Morrigna: Come now, what's this about?
Lyria: Morrigna, didn't you say that after you find someone worthy, you watch over them till they die in battle? Was that a lie?
Lyria: I just felt that you were much colder with that man than with anyone else.
Morrigna: Well, aren't you fond of tough questions.
Morrigna: Hear, the emotion we felt at the time, 'tis not something so easily expressed with words.
Morrigna: But we suppose we didn't want to inflict the same fate on that man. 'Twould be a betrayal to our former charge...
Morrigna: And we won't have that, now will we.
Lyria looks to the Morrigna sisters, but their faces—ever unchanging—are nigh but unreadable.
However, just for the most infinitesimal of moments, Lyria thinks she sees a glimmer of a deep-rooted kindness twinkling in their eyes.