MCM! Meet Niklas

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Niklas is my main character Cardinal Carrow’s primary love interest in my current WIP, The Cauldron Born . I also have to confess he is one of my favourite characters to write, the words just seem to spill out much more easily when he is “on-screen”, particularly when it comes to the witty repartee between him and Cardinal. I just love their chemistry and the way they spark off each other.

So, a little more about Niklas. First up, he’s a 1000+ year old former Viking vampire whom Cardinal meets when she moves into the apartment beneath his. They quickly strike up a mutual attraction but things are a little tricky since neither of them is in much of a good place to get involved with anyone.

Niklas is very tall, around 6’4, with wavy ash blonde air and silvery grey eyes and his skin is classically vampire pale. His ears have a very slight but noticeable point to them, suggesting he has fey blood somewhere in his ancestry. He has a dry, sarcastic sense of humour, which he often uses to deflect from revealing too much about himself. He has a good reason for secrecy but I’m not telling 😉

He has several tattoos, including three ravens entwined around a triple goddess symbol, representing his fealty to the goddess Morrigan, an Aegishjalmur (the Norse rune for protection) on his wrist, a flock of ravens in flight across his upper chest and shoulder and a tree of life, his family crest, on his hip.

Niklas is occasionally prone to bouts of hedonism, particularly when the weight and monotony of immortally become too much. Whilst he has a reputation as something of a wild child, he is reliable and stable when he has to be.  He is loyal and loving and will always step up when his loved ones are in need. Like Cardinal, he is fiercely brave, sometimes to the point of recklessness. After such a long life, he doesn’t cling to it too tightly and, like many Vikings, believes the date of his death was set long a go.

He has been many things throughout his life, a warrior, a prince, a slave, a concubine, a rock star, even a short and confusing pirate stage sometime in the mid 17th century, but his current incarnation is that of an art teacher at a night school. Painting and drawing were one of his first loves and the few things that have remained consistent throughout his life.

I could go on but let’s save some details for when The Cauldron Born comes out.

Hope you’re having a wonderful Monday and Blessed be! x

Mythology Monday! Meet the Morrigan

Welcome to Mythology Monday, a new regular feature I’ll be posting on the mythology that inspires my writing and the world of The Cauldron Born.

Today’s feature is all about The Morrigan, the Celtic goddess of war, fate and death. Morrigan is a figure I’ve been fascinated with for quite a while, ever since I first encountered her in the graphic novel The Wicked and The Divine by Kieron Gillen and Jamie McKelvie (if you don’t know of it it I strongly suggest checking it out, it is SO GOOD).

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The Morrigan, as featured in The Wicked and The Divine

Since then I’ve done a fair bit of research on the mythology of the Morrigan and felt very drawn to her as a symbol of the Goddess in her dark aspect. So it was no surprise really when Morrigan popped up in my head and insisted she had to appear in The Cauldron Born. In book 1, Morrigan only appears “off screen” through Niklas telling Cardinal all about his past encounters with her when he was just a young Viking warrior.

For those who aren’t familiar, here’s a little break down of who the Morrigan is.

The name Morrigan (or Morrigu, as it is sometimes written) is believed to mean “phantom queen” or “nightmare queen” from the Indo-European root word Mor (terror or monstrous), the Old English word maere (as in, nightmare) and the Scandinavian mara (also nightmare), and righan which translates as queen. There is also some argument that it was intended to translate as “Great Queen”, from the Old Irish mor, meaning great.

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The Morrigan, Image Credit Sharon Aur

In Celtic mythology, the Morrigan foretells the deaths of warriors in battle, often hovering above the battlefield in the form of a crow, ready to carry off the soul of the unfortunate fallen. This suggests that she was perhaps one of the inspirations behind the Irish legend of the banshee, a wailing hag that foretells death. As well as being a symbol of death, Morrigan was rumoured to be able to sway the outcome of battle, appearing in her crow form to either instil courage or fear in the gathered warriors. There are also some examples of the Morrigan actually fighting in the battles herself, such as the Battle of Mag Tuired, where she helps the Tuatha De defeat the Formorians.

As well as being a goddess of war and death, Morrigan has strong links to the land and, particularly, it’s animals. In addition to the crow, Morrigan was believed to be able to shapeshift into the form of a cow, a wolf and an eel, and has a strong affinity with horses. Morrigan is a protector of the land, it’s livestock and inhabitants.

 

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The Morrigan is often described as a “triple goddess”, representing Maiden, Mother and Crone, the divine feminine and the cycle of life. Sometimes she is pictured as one of three sisters, variably, Morrigan, Babd and Macha.

So that’s a brief outline of the Morrigan as I know her. If you would like to learn more about her I recommend “The Morrigan, Meeting the Great Queens” by Morgan Daimler for a more comprehensive introduction.

Also, the song “Morrigan” by Omnia gives a great feel of what the Morrigan is all about.

Blessed be! x