Knights Morrighan (Dragonriders)

Overview

The Knights Morrighan, commonly called the Morrighan, are an elite military organization. They take their name from Mor-Rioghain, a Tuatha Dé Danann war deity. The Morrighan are the men and women that can bond with the dragons and ride them into battle. Originally, all Morrighan were of the Gwerin. Over time, men and women from other races demonstrated the ability to hear the dragons and understand their dragonsongs. They can also hear the dragons’ mindspeech.

Other Names

‘Riders, Dragon Knights, Dragonriders, Dragon Spawn, Worm Riders, Worm Dung

Origins

It seems there have been Morrighan for as long as there have been dragons. Their origins are lost to the mists of time, only legend remains.

Locations

The Morrighan live in or near a siege, the dragon’s land. You will need to see which ones are actively played to determine your character’s current residence. Siege Perilous is the oldest and largest siege. It is considered the capital.

Population

Morrighan: 300,000 +/- spread across all of Aereth’s sieges.

Health and Lifespan

The Morrighan lead very active and healthy lifestyles. By necessity, they tend to live on a high protein, low carb diet. They are resistant to most common diseases although not completely immune.

Average Lifespan:

Some of the races have naturally long lifespans. However, once linked to a dragon, all Morrighan’s lifespans are magically enhanced. Once again, we will not approve characters that are more than a few thousand years old.

Physical Description

Refer to the race’s documents for specifics.

Physique

In general, those selected to serve the Morrighan tend to be taller and longer of limb than most. This is because this physical build is the one that does best as dragonriders. They need to be able to grasp the dragon’s harness with their legs and need the longer reach to wield sword and shield.

Grooming

Hygiene: The Morrighan are aware of how closely related cleanliness and disease are. They evolved in a land with a multitude of warm springs which encouraged them to develop a regimen of bathing, washing their hands, hair, and clothes.

Clothing: The majority of Morrighan prefer soft, supple hide trousers and vests worn over a sturdy shirt and tall, soft boots.

Uniforms: The Morrighan wear uniforms made of wyvern hide that generally match the color of their dragon’s scales. This helps disguise them when mounted on the dragon. Since wyverns have true scales, their hides – if processed properly – are very strong, resilient, and resistant to damage. They can deflect all but the most direct strikes of blade or arrow. When not on mounted duty, the Morrighan have uniforms of black wyvern hide – scale mail.

Culture

Beliefs

Religion: Refer to character’s race document.

The Egg: Many Morrighan will swear, For the Egg or By the Egg which is a common term amongst the dragon.

Esprit de Corps: The Morrighan not only bond with their dragon, they bond closely with one another. They will leave no man or woman behind if there is any way, short of sacrificing their dragon, to avoid it.

Death: Morrighan are irrevocably bonded with their dragon at imprinting. Their lifespan is inextricably linked to their dragon’s. If the dragon dies, normally the Morrigan does also. If they survive the death of the dragon, they usually grieve themselves to death or go insane. It is more merciful to put a Morrighan to death in these situations. The Morrighan do not fear their own death. It is a natural part of living.

Marriage and Family

Some Morrighan will pair for a lifetime. This is more common when their dragons are also lifemates. Others couple and uncouple as attraction and affections waxes and wanes.

Children are cared for by their parents or whichever Morrighan are in residence at the Siege.

The Choosing

The first task is to find suitable candidates. The key is being able to communicate with the dragons. All Gwerin are born with the innate ability to hear, understand, and speak with the dragons. Almost all Wyr can have this ability, at least in their animal form. Many of those that can hear them in their human form have become Morrighan. With other races, the ability is more sporadic.

The candidates are assembled on a large dais outside the citadel. The Sergeant-Master of the training academy and their wingbonded dragon will go up and down the ranks of the prospective candidates. Each one is evaluated by how well they can hear and understand dragonspeech since this non-verbal form of communication is vital when in flight and in combat. Those that are chosen will be escorted to the citadel’s academy.

Most candidates are between the ages of sixteen and twenty. Those that fall under this age will be housed with a Morrighan family until they reach the appropriate age range. At that time, they can join the Choosing.

No candidates under the age of sixteen will be accepted for training.

Candidates

Strong of Character: Candidates must demonstrate strength of character and honor.

Intelligence: Candidates must be above average in intelligence, able to assimilate information quickly and demonstrate an innate sense of tactics.

Song of Airsith: Candidates must be able to learn and broadcast the Song of Airsith (Dragon’s Call) on a wavelength that the dragon can hear and understand. This is how they will call the dragon that will imprint them when they have completed training.

Note: If a Cadet fails to impress a dragon at the siege where they were trained, they have the option to try again at another siege. However, most Morrighan become so attached to the siege where they trained, they choose to remain as support personnel or will join the Dragonguard.

Tithing: Once per year, Morrighan will visit the lands their siege protects to select young people for testing and training. The dragon will broadcast a message in mindspeech and those that can hear it are selected to return to the citadel and, hopefully, someday become Morrighan. Some cultures look on this as an honor, some see it just the opposite. The candidates tend to view this custom with equal amounts of wonder, hope, dread, and fear, depending on their racial heritage.

Tribute: Some nations will send children as tribute in place of other material goods. The children are usually housed with Morrighan families until old enough to be tested. While not actual tribute, Aquitaine sends those that test positive for hearing the dragons.

Summoning: Some of the non-combatant dragon are stationed in and around the sieges. They broadcast songs daily. These songs are a combination of mental broadcasts, vocalizations (think whale songs), and infrasound. They are hauntingly beautiful. Some people are susceptible to the songs and they infiltrate their dreams. Eventually, the urge to find the source is overwhelming and they are drawn to one of the sieges.

Gwerin: Despite being able to communicate with the dragon, not all Gwerin choose to become Morrighan. Some choose to pursue a trade or simply live peacefully with their family near a siege, others choose to serve the Dragonguard (military unit). Those that hear the dragon calls and songs stronger than others often make their way to the citadel to join other Candidates. This does not mean they will automatically be imprinted. It all depends on if their wavelength matches with a resident dragon.

Dragonflight Academy

Each siege has its own training academy for those chosen to become Morrighan. The only exceptions are the smallest outpost sieges that are tasked only with patrol and protection of a certain region. The academies are named for their siege. For example, Siege Perilous’ academy would be Academy Perilous.

Training

After the Choosing, the candidates that elect to continue on and train as a Morrighan, are given the rank of Cadet. They are escorted by the Sergeant-Master to the academy. Cadets are restricted to the citadel’s academy wing during training. They are not allowed into other areas of the complex. Their contact with other Morrighan is limited to those that are serving as trainers. This practice is, ostensibly, designed to avoid having Cadets tainted by bad habits that may have been picked up by the paladins.

Cadets spend four years in training where they are taught basic warfare and weaponry with an emphasis on fighting various creatures of the Dark Hordes. In their third year, they are paired with a Morrighan who acts as their mentor. Often, upon attaining the rank of Squire, the cadet will serve with the same Paladin until they are ready to move up in rank.

In some circumstances, it can take longer. For example, if a Cadet fails to impress a dragon their first time, they can elect to repeat some of the training before trying again.

Cadet

This rank is reserved for the trainees. Cadets are not considered Morrighan yet. They also do not have full access to the siege’s citadel or the dragon aeries.

Impressing

Imprinting / Impressing is the final hurdle that a candidate has to overcome. They must be imprinted by an unbonded dragon. Imprinting is the formation of a strong psionic bond between a dragon and the man or woman destined to be their Morrighan.

Each month on the day after the Shroud, the Cadets assemble at the top of the citadel’s tallest tower (Tower of Wings). One-by-one they are handed a riding harness and step out onto the flight dais. From there, they mentally recite or sing their Song of Airsith, the Dragon’s Call. If that call is heard by a dragon, he or she will land on the dais and crouch down to gaze into the Cadet’s eyes and start their own song. The songs must meld or blend (i.e. be on the same wavelength). At the end of the song, Imprinting is complete. This takes approximately one minute. The Cadet then places their riding harness on the dragon and mounts. For a period of time, the Morrighan will reside with their dragon in his or her aerie to complete the bonding.

Not all Cadets will be chosen at their first Imprinting. This does not mean they will never become Morrighan, just that they did not match any of the available dragon at that time. Cadets may choose to repeat some of their training until the next month’s Imprinting or they may choose to not attend another Imprinting, preferring to take up a position with the Dragonguard (regular army), try again, or try at another siege.

Ranks

Lord-Paladin

This post is usually for life. The Lord-Paladin is the local commander in charge of a siege’s citadel — the city-fortress that surrounds and connects to the dragon’s siege. He or she has complete command. The highest-ranking officer and commander of the Morrighan, the Lord-Paladin, is also a combatant and leader in the field, although they do not accompany all units into battle.

Seneschal

The Seneschal is the right-hand and second-in-command of the Morrighan. This person is also a combatant.

Sergeant-Master

The rank of Sergeant-Master is given to the commander of a citadel’s training academy. They are an expert in all aspects of dragonriding and becoming a Morrighan.

Paladin

The paladin (akin to a knight) is the backbone of the battlefield. Morrighan Paladins are the equivalent of an airborne cavalry and mounted infantry. A small force of paladins are very powerful, skilled in warfare, clad in armor, and able to take on a large number of hostiles. Each wing (a Morrighan and their wingbonded dragon) can essentially become two fighting units when on the ground.

Squires (Fledglings)

The rank of squire is given to newly wingbonded Morrighan, those fresh out of training. Squires are sometimes referred to as Fledglings since they have just made their maiden flight on their imprinted dragon. A Squire is normally assigned to a Paladin who serves as a mentor. It is up to this Morrighan to determine when the Squire is ready for the rank of Paladin.

Support Personnel

Marshal

The Marshal is in charge of all arms for the Morrighan. This person is an expert in all weapons used by the Morrighan. He or she keeps the armory well-stocked, makes sure stingers and other weapons are in excellent repair, and forwards orders for more inventory as needed.

2nd-Marshal

The first officer under the Marshal, the 2nd Marshal (aka Under-Marshal), is in charge of the lesser equipment, riding harnesses, padding for saddles, barrels of water, and other logistics.

Master of Rooks

This person is in charge of the ravens that serve as the messengers. They usually have several adjuncts that report to them to help with the birds.

Adjunct-Squires

This rank is given to the siege’s general support personnel. Most of these people are not combatants, and they are not servants. If for any reason, a squire does not move up in rank to Paladin, they can be offered the “job” of adjunct. These citadel employees are very important in the day-to-day operations of a siege.

Units

  • Wing: The smallest unit consisting of a dragon and a Morrighan. This term also refers to a dragon, Morrighan and Cadet Rider or anyone else being transported in addition to the Morrighan.
  • Smallflight: 4 wings. Smallflights usually consist of two senior riders and two junior riders and are paired in a lead / wing formation.
  • Flight: 6 or more Smallflights make up a Flight. Most flights are long term although their individual Smallflights might be assigned to special duty.
  • Phalanx: 2 or more flights. Phalanxes are the most fluid group as flights are assigned based on need. Things that will influence the makeup of a Phalanx are the number of Dragonguard, where the battle will be, who they are fighting, type of duty (escort, etc.).
  • Wake: Multiple phalanxes.

Naming

Smallflights, Flights, and Phalanxes are usually commanded by the most experienced Morrighan and named for that person.

Benefits of the Morrighan

Not only do the biped races gain benefits from the dragon’s protection, the dragons benefit as well.

Portals

The dragon are able to open arcane portals that allow for near instantaneous travel from one point on Bridd to another. However, they cannot visualize new destinations. For this, they need a Morrighan who can use map coordinates and mind-pictures to transmit the destination to the dragon.

Vision

When in flight, a dragon’s eyesight is limited. This leaves them vulnerable to attacks from behind and underneath. Also, when they are exhaling their fire, they have to close both inner eyelids to protect their eyes. While the lids are semi-translucent, they do make the dragon’s eyesight hazy.

They also benefit from the perception of their Morrighan. The dragon tend to be very grounded in the here-and-now, less able to see the big picture. Without the Morrighan relationship, the Citadels and alliances with other bipedal species would not exist. They add all the shades of gray to the dragon’s black-and-white view of the world.

Planning and Tactics

The dragon make great battle companions. However, they are not big on planning. They are more about the doing. The Morrighan are masters of tactics and battle planning. This makes the union of rider and dragon a force to be reckoned with.

Companionship

The dragon trust their Morrighans like no other being on earth. Their connection to their imprinted person is stronger than the one they share with their lifemate. The man or woman who impresses a dragon gains a friend, protector, brother or sister, and a loyal companion.

The dragon view most sentient intelligent biped species with a combination of amusement, protectiveness, and mistrust. It is in their nature to defend them from the Shadow-Born and Shadow-Touched. However, there has been a longstanding enmity with some of the nations and races. Wights and humans (Travelers) have been the vanguard of those trying to exterminate the dragon. In the modern age on Aereth, most nations realize they need the dragon to help defend the world from the Dark Horde.

Morrighan FAQ

Click to view.

Overview

The Morrighan are an elite military organization. They take their name from Mor-Rioghain, a Tuatha Dé Danann war deity. The Morrighan are the men and women that can bond with the dragons and ride them into battle. Originally, all Morrighan were of the Gwerin. Over time, men and women from other races demonstrated the ability to hear the dragons and understand their dragonsongs. They can also hear the dragons’ mindspeech.

Other Names

Dragon Spawn, Worm Riders, Worm Dung

Origins

7.5 – 7 MYA

The Morrighan were created at the end of the Desolation Wars.

Locations

The Morrighan live in or near a siege, the dragon’s land. You will need to see which ones are actively played to determine your character’s current residence.

Population

Morrighan: 200,000 +/- spread across all of Aereth’s sieges.

Health and Lifespan

The Morrighan lead very active and healthy lifestyles. By necessity, they tend to live on a high protein, low carb diet. They are resistant to most common diseases although not completely immune.

Average Lifespan:

Some of the races have naturally long lifespans. However, once linked to a dragon, all Morrighan’s lifespans are magically enhanced. Once again, we will not approve characters that are more than a few thousand years old.

Physical Description

Refer to the race’s documents for specifics.

Physique

In general, those selected to serve the Morrighan tend to be taller and longer of limb than most. This is because this physical build is the one that does best as dragonriders. They need to be able to grasp the dragon’s harness with their legs and need the longer reach to wield sword and shield.

Grooming

Hygiene: The Morrighan are aware of how closely related cleanliness and disease are. They evolved in a land with a multitude of warm springs which encouraged them to develop a regimen of bathing, washing their hands, hair, and clothes.

Clothing: The majority of Morrighan prefer soft, supple hide trousers and vests worn over a sturdy shirt and tall, soft boots.

Uniforms: The Morrighan wear uniforms made of wyvern hide that generally match the color of their dragon’s scales. This helps disguise them when mounted on the dragon. Since wyverns have true scales, their hides – if processed properly – are very strong, resilient, and resistant to damage. They can deflect all but the most direct strikes of blade or arrow. When not on mounted duty, the Morrighan have uniforms of black wyvern hide – scale mail.

Culture

Beliefs

Religion: Refer to character’s race document.

The Egg: Many Morrighan will swear, For the Egg or By the Egg which is a common term amongst the dragon.

Esprit de Corps: The Morrighan not only bond with their dragon, they bond closely with one another. They will leave no man or woman behind if there is any way, short of sacrificing their dragon, to avoid it.

Death: Morrighan are irrevocably bonded with their dragon at imprinting. Their lifespan is inextricably linked to their dragon’s. If the dragon dies, normally the Morrigan does also. If they survive the death of the dragon, they usually grieve themselves to death or go insane. It is more merciful to put a Morrighan to death in these situations. The Morrighan do not fear their own death. It is a natural part of living.

Marriage and Family

Some Morrighan will pair for a lifetime. This is more common when their dragon are also lifemates. Others couple and uncouple as attraction and affections waxes and wanes.

Children are cared for by their parents or whichever Morrighan are in residence at the Siege.

Selection

The first task is to find suitable candidates. The key is being able to communicate with the dragon. All Gwerin are born with the innate ability to hear, understand, and speak with the dragon. Almost all Wyr can have this ability, at least in their animal form. Many of those that can hear them in their human form have become Morrighan. With other races, the ability is more sporadic.

Candidates

Strong of Character: Candidates must demonstrate strength of character and honor.

Intelligence: Candidates must be above average in intelligence, able to assimilate information quickly and demonstrate an innate sense of tactics.

Song of Airsith: Candidates must be able to learn and broadcast the Song of Airsith (Dragon’s Call) on a wavelength that the dragon can hear and understand. This is how they will call the dragon that will imprint them when they have completed training.

Note: If a Cadet fails to impress a dragon at the siege where they were trained, they have the option to try again at another siege. However, most Morrighan become so attached to the siege where they trained, they choose to remain as support personnel or will join the Dragonguard.

Tithing: Once per year, Morrighan will visit the lands their siege protects to select young people for testing and training. The dragon will broadcast a message in mindspeech and those that can hear it are selected to return to the citadel and, hopefully, someday become Morrighan. Some cultures look on this as an honor, some see it just the opposite. The candidates tend to view this custom with equal amounts of wonder, hope, dread, and fear, depending on their racial heritage.

Tribute: Some nations will send children as tribute in place of other material goods. The children are usually housed with Morrighan families until old enough to be tested. While not actual tribute, Aquitaine sends those that test positive for hearing the dragons.

Summoning: Some of the non-combatant dragon are stationed in and around the sieges. They broadcast songs daily. These songs are a combination of mental broadcasts, vocalizations (think whale songs), and infrasound. They are hauntingly beautiful. Some people are susceptible to the songs and they infiltrate their dreams. Eventually, the urge to find the source is overwhelming and they are drawn to one of the sieges.

Gwerin: Despite being able to communicate with the dragon, not all Gwerin choose to become Morrighan. Some choose to pursue a trade or simply live peacefully with their family near a siege, others choose to serve the Dragonguard (military unit). Those that hear the dragon calls and songs stronger than others often make their way to the citadel to join other Candidates. This does not mean they will automatically be imprinted. It all depends on if their wavelength matches with a resident dragon.

Training

Most candidates are between the ages of sixteen and twenty. Those that fall under this age will be housed with a Morrighan family until they reach the appropriate age range.

No candidates under the age of sixteen will be accepted for training.

Cadet

Candidates are given the rank of Cadet and are housed in the Candidate barracks at the siege’s citadel.

Cadets spend four years in training where they are taught basic warfare and weaponry with an emphasis on fighting various creatures of the Dark Hordes. In their third year, they are paired with a Morrighan who acts as their mentor. The candidate will become part of his or her household. They will ride with the Morrighan for two years.

Impressing

Imprinting / Impressing is the final hurdle that a candidate has to overcome. They must be imprinted by an unbonded dragon. Imprinting is the formation of a strong psionic bond between a dragon and the man or woman destined to be their Morrighan.

Each month on the day after the Shroud, the Cadets assemble at the top of the citadel’s tallest tower (Tower of Wings). One-by-one they are handed a riding harness and step out onto the flight dais. From there, they mentally recite or sing the Song of Airsith, the Dragon’s Call. If that call is heard by a dragon, he or she will land on the dais and crouch down to gaze into the Cadet’s eyes and start their own song. The songs must meld or blend (i.e. be on the same wavelength). At the end of the song, Imprinting is complete. This takes approximately one minute. The Cadet then places their riding harness on the dragon and mounts. For a period of time, the Morrighan will reside with their dragon in his or her aerie to complete the bonding.

Not all Cadets will be chosen at their first Imprinting. This does not mean they will never become Morrighan, just that they did not match any of the available dragon at that time. They may choose to not attend another Imprinting, preferring to take up a position with the Dragonguard (regular army), try again, or try at another siege.

Organization

Wing: The smallest unit consisting of a dragon and a Morrighan. This term also refers to a dragon, Morrighan and Cadet Rider or anyone else being transported in addition to the Morrighan.

Smallflight: 4 wings. Smallflights usually consist of two senior riders and two junior riders and are paired in a lead / wing formation.

Flight: 6 or more Smallflights make up a Flight. Most flights are long term although their individual Smallflights might be assigned to special duty.

Phalanx: 2 or more flights. Phalanxes are the most fluid group as flights are assigned based on need. Things that will influence the makeup of a Phalanx are the number of Dragonguard, where the battle will be, who they are fighting, type of duty (escort, etc.).

Wake: Multiple phalanxes.

Naming

Smallflights, Flights, and Phalanxes are usually commanded by the most experienced Morrighan and named for that person.

Benefits of the Morrighan

Not only do the biped races gain benefits from the dragon’s protection, the dragons benefit as well.

Portals

The dragon are able to open arcane portals that allow for near instantaneous travel from one point on Bridd to another. However, they cannot visualize new destinations. For this, they need a Morrighan who can use map coordinates and mind-pictures to transmit the destination to the dragon.

Vision

When in flight, a dragon’s eyesight is limited. This leaves them vulnerable to attacks from behind and underneath. Also, when they are exhaling their fire, they have to close both inner eyelids to protect their eyes. While the lids are semi-translucent, they do make the dragon’s eyesight hazy.

They also benefit from the perception of their Morrighan. The dragon tend to be very grounded in the here-and-now, less able to see the big picture. Without the Morrighan relationship, the Citadels and alliances with other bipedal species would not exist. They add all the shades of gray to the dragon’s black-and-white view of the world.

Planning and Tactics

The dragon make great battle companions. However, they are not big on planning. They are more about the doing. The Morrighan are masters of tactics and battle planning. This makes the union of rider and dragon a force to be reckoned with.

Companionship

The dragon trust their Morrighans like no other being on earth. Their connection to their imprinted person is stronger than the one they share with their lifemate. The man or woman who impresses a dragon gains a friend, protector, brother or sister, and a loyal companion.

The dragon view most sentient intelligent biped species with a combination of amusement, protectiveness, and mistrust. It is in their nature to defend them from the Shadow-Born and Shadow-Touched. However, there has been a longstanding enmity with some of the nations and races. Wights and humans (Travelers) have been the vanguard of those trying to exterminate the dragon. In the modern age on Aereth, most nations realize they need the dragon to help defend the world from the Dark Horde.

Morrighan FAQ

Click to view.