Deity Profile: Kherus Morgwi the Shadowlord

Name: Kherus Morgwi, the Shadowlord.

Other Names: Ker of Shadow (general use), Kurr Morgri (ogres and skinchangers), Mhozri dya Shrodak (Zhang).

Apotheosis/Awakening: The first moment of the universe.

Domain: Oretcht’ke, the City and Spindle/The Shadow Realm.

History: Like all of the great Dark entities, Kherus Morgwi came into being during the sundering of the primordial Endless Dark by the first spark of Light.  It is not that he spontaneously began to exist, but that he was riven from the previously-whole fabric of the Dark and, over the eons that followed, gained his own personality.

This personality drove him to disregard the mandate that the greater Dark–no longer known as the Endless but now the Hungry–tried to impress upon its shards: to destroy the Scouring Light and any of its sparks wherever they were found.  Morgwi instead chose to wrap himself in the broken husks of Dark entities who had tried and failed to destroy the Light’s sparks, thus shielding himself from the sparks’ radiance, and drift through the contested middle ground in the hope of avoiding direct conflict.

His shield of husks nearly proved his undoing when a nearby spark drew him in to use that shield to fend off assaults from enemy Darks.  When the spark found him clinging to the shield, though, it did not burn him away, but offered a truce–for it did not want to be involved in the fighting either.

Thus the Shadowlord met the Halion Light, and together they shaped the shield into a planet–first to provide a larger obstruction to anything the Darks flung in, and then as a terrarium for the life that their collaboration unwittingly generated.

For long ages, Light and Morgwi tweaked and prodded and experimented and observed, until finally their world bloomed with civilization.  Then, since Light had fallen in love with the shadow of the moon they had rescued together and started to spend all his time courting her, Morgwi grew bored of observing the world alone and decided to manifest upon it and interfere.

His many forays to the surface of Halci introduced him to the planet’s people and also to its spirits–such as Kosh Tenkosh the Spider, who took a liking to him.  As Morgwi shifted more and more of his attention planetside, Kosh Tenkosh offered to weave him a home for the many children he was now siring: a place halfway between the physical realm and the umbra that was his essence.  This Shadow Realm would be a bridge between the two, but also a place of permanent twilight which need never fear the sun.

Morgwi accepted the offer gladly, and began populating his new realm with as many children as he could make, for he was always plagued by the sight of the sun and moon consorting in the sky without him.  He sought woman after woman, and the children he sired were inevitably girls: shadowy copies of their mothers, capable of passing into his Realm with barely a thought and also of manipulating the shadow-stuff of which it was made.

Soon, he had so many daughters but spent so little time with them that they began organizing the Realm by themselves.  Several had seen the opportunities inherent in an infinitely expandable subdimension reachable only by those of their bloodline, and soon they had established smuggling rings, activist networks and thief enclaves throughout the world–all interconnected through the Realm.

Morgwi stopped in every now and then, and invariably found himself badgered by his daughters and their own children, dragged into meetings, dressed up and prodded to be ‘more godly’, and otherwise treated like a figurehead.  He sometimes attempted to sit down in his own Realm and go through his daughters’ reports to understand just what kind of organization had been built around him, but it rapidly became too bureaucratic to keep his attention, so he would inevitably abscond to the physical realm to continue his endless touring.

Powered by his blood in their veins and the endless depths of his shadow, his daughters ran their empire without him.

Followers:  These days, the Shadow Folk (or Orechkin) are a tightly controlled, strictly hierarchical organization based partially in smuggling and shipping, partially in outreach and activism, and partially in theft-restitution for the filching done by the eiyets–child-souls that fell into the Shadow Realm due to their invisibility to the Goddess of Death, and transformed thusly into tiny spiky kleptomaniacs.  Kherus Morgwi has little direct influence on the Shadow Folk; though they pay lip-service to him, they truly follow the orders of the Regency and the four Shadow Offices (Collection, Distribution, Oversight and Enforcement).  This is not to say that they do not revere the Shadow God; indeed, he is celebrated whenever he shows up, and given the opportunity to make any changes and commands he sees fit.  He just generally does not see fit to do so.

Manifestation:  As a regular visitor to the physical realm, Morgwi is often manifested, though he does not trumpet that around; it is technically against the rules for him to be there.  Still, not many of the greater god-servants or spirits care to shoo him off-realm when all he really does is hit on women in bars (or in restaurants, or at the theater, or in the market, or anywhere else he spots a pretty face).  His style, therefore, changes from manifestation to manifestation, ranging from his official light-eating black armor with its covering of spikes to a pair of swim trunks.  Regardless, his general physical features remain constant: he prefers to manifest as a tall, muscular human male with (regionally) dark skin and hair, jet-black irises and no shadow, though he has taken on beastfolk forms before.

Easy-going and jovial, he is known to attach himself to random groups of party-goers to make sure that they all have a safe evening, or long weekend, or drunken holiday.  He has also cleaned up his womanizing act from the old days of seducing a woman for a night and leaving her to bear his child, now opting for a more gentlemanly modern courtship with full disclosure before any sex happens.  After all, his judgmental daughters are always watching.

He is closely associated with Light (Andar) and Moon-Shadow (Dalatha), and also likes to hit the town with their terrestrial shards Iroliyale and Tatska, but since in either form that duo is quite lovey-dovey, he spends a lot of time wandering on his own.  Not all of his daughters disapprove of his serial-dating ways; some actively set him up with powerful female spirits and entities in the hope that he will settle down.  So far, none have stuck.

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About H. Anthe Davis

Worldbuilder. Self-published writer.
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