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Marwnad
-marwnad

Race:

Elf

Homeworld:

Gielinor

Clan:

? Iorwerth

Gender:

Female

Age:

236 (Human age equivalent: c.39)

Height:

5'9"

Eye colour:

Violet

Religion:

Dark Elf

Occupation:

Cult Leader

Alignment:

Chaotic Evil

Played by:

Fynnien

Marwnad was the taciturn but charismatic ringleader of a secret Elven death-cult known as the Keepers. From the hidden base of Dinas Gwaelod, she plotted the downfall of the Council of Elders in Prifddinas and the restoration of Dark Elven rule. She was killed by a rockslide while trying to escape the Battle of the Deephold in Year 8 of the Sixth Age.

Appearance

Marwnad is a little above average height for her sex and species. Her body is an enviable hourglass shape, and her limbs are perfectly toned. Her skin is fair, with a hint of warm olive tone, and her hair is a rich, ashy brown. She would be very attractive - except that her dark, cruel smile never quite reaches her guarded, violet eyes.

Biography

Background

Marwnad's origins are obscure. It is generally believed that she is from an old Iorwerth family but was orphaned at an early age. During the the Elven Civil War, she rose rapidly through the ranks of the Iorwerth military, first as a scout and later as an assassin, despite her differences of opinion with her commander Morvran; and in the closing years of the war, her exceptional record and zeal gradually earned her way into Lord Iorwerth's most trusted inner circle.

In reality, Marwnad began life as Arwydd of the Meilyr, only daughter of Branwen and Cador. She married Falerian, a warlock of the Cadarn, in the year 49 of the Fifth Age; and a few years later, she bore their only daughter, Fynnien. Arwydd was a dungeoneer by trade; but in the year 79 of the Fifth Age, she ventured into Daemonheim and did not return. Falerian went after, and was never heard of again. Both were presumed dead; but in reality, Falerian alone had perished, abandoned by Arwydd after he had rescued her. Some great change had been wrought in Arwydd while she was a captive in Daemonheim; she changed her name, abandoned her old clan, and enlisted with the Iorwerth military, working against her former kin in service of the Dark Lord.

On Lord Iorwerth's death, and with the destruction of the Dark Lord, Marwnad scorned those of her clan, such as her old commander, who made peace with the rebels. Rallying a band of other Dark Elven loyalists, she founded her own secret Dark Elven rebel faction: they became the Ceidwaid y Tywyllwch, the Keepers of the Dark.

Against the Light

She first tracked down the magician Mathonwy, one of the old Lord Iorwerth's most powerful allies, and enlisted his help in building the secret base known as the Deephold deep beneath the Underground Pass.

The return of Seren to Prifddinas initially shook the loyalty of some of Marwnad's followers, prompting a purge and a renewed focus on the ideals of the Dark Lord. The combined strength of Marwnad's and Mathonwy's personalities was sufficient to rally the others and prevent the secret of the cult getting out.

Once this crisis had abated, Marwnad left the completion of her stronghold in Mathonwy's capable hands in order to enlist with House Telemmaitë in her search for allies. Joining as a warrior, her martial skill saw her rise rapidly through the ranks and she swiftly gained the ear of their ruler Nolfinwë. Ultimately however, Marwnad found him too preoccupied with matters East of the mountains, and she returned to Prifddinas without revealing her group to him, to continue her subversion and covert recruitment there.

With the completion of the Deephold in Year 5 of the Sixth Age, Marwnad officially took up residence there, moving the bulk of her sect there except for the agents left behind in Prifddinas to recruit more cultists. These days her time is filled with running the day-to-day affairs of the group, planning her eventual takeover of Prifddinas, and presiding over the Keepers' regular gruesome death rituals.

Mathonwy's Legacy

-marwnad3

Marwnad, disguised as "Carwen of the Crwys"

Marwnad learned of the death of Mathonwy when she visited the charred remains of his home and discovered his body, after he failed to appear at a planned rendezvous. Aware that he had been pursuing an old flame of his named Fynnien for reasons of his own, Marwnad assumed that she was now in possession of all of Mathonwy's magical equipment and inventions. Disguising herself, she travelled to Lyam's house near Eagles' Peak, a location to which she knew Mathonwy had previously tracked Fynnien down. Claiming to be Fynnien's cousin, she gained Lyam's trust enough to learn that Fyn was living in the same valley, before teleporting away when she had what she needed to lead the planned raid on Fynnien's home. With five of her stealthiest scouts, in full Mourner garb, she ransacked the place, searching every possible hiding place for one of Mathonwy's most prized artefacts, his crystal ball - the Seeking Stone.

In vengeance for Mathonwy's death, Marwnad waited just long enough to set fire to Fynnien's house, before fleeing the scene with the Seeking Stone as her prize.

Long Lost

Marwnad's brush with Fynnien had reminded her of her former life, and she found herself increasingly curious about her daughter, and why Mathonwy had been so interested in her (Excerpt 1: the Deep Seat). As luck would have it, the perfect tool was about to fall in her hands.

One of Mathonwy's old human agents, named Eric, had escaped captivity in Ardougne. Unable to survive as an outlaw in Kandarin on his own, in desperation he finally fled to the Deephold for sanctuary. Marwnad learned of his connection to Fynnien, and resolved to use him to lay a trap for her (Excerpt 2: Night vision). As far as she could tell, the plan worked: she was able to bring Fynnien back to the Deephold (Excerpt 3: Requiem for winters past).

Fynnien recognised her mother, and at first, things seemed to go well. Although preventing her from leaving, Marwnad treated her well, desiring nothing more than for Fyn to join her, understand her belief system, and support her cause to overthrow Prifddinas and restore Dark Elven rule and the death-worship of Haluned.

Life has no meaning, Fynnien. No value at all. Death comes to us all in the end, and we have no choice but to accept it. Embrace it. Revel in it. Only by freeing ourselves from the delusion that life has any worth can we ever truly master death.


Marwnad quickly saw however that Fyn could not be persuaded through love alone. Marwnad set her a test, attempting to teach her to open herself to darker energies, but when Fyn refused, Marwnad flew into a rage, locking her away in an unlit cell until she would learn to obey.

The Battle of the Deephold

Mother and daughter did not have much time to continue attempting to convert one another - Fynnien desperate to redeem her mother to the light of Seren, Marwnad determined to force her daughter into the worship of Eluned's shadow - for the next day, they were surprised by a warhost of Prifddinas, led by Marwnad's brother-in-law Talhaearn of the Cadarn, one of Arianwyn's old lieutenants. In the ensuing battle, fought within the narrow confines of the Deephold, all Marwnad's work was undone.

While Peredur led the defence, Marwnad, accompanied by Cynan and with Fyn as her prisoner, attempted to make her escape. The structure of the Deephold however had been weakened by the chants and spellcasts of the battlemages, and a rockslide pinned Marwnad to the ground, cutting off the three of them from the battle. Fyn, with her hands bound, was unable to free her mother - while Cynan fled to save himself. Marwnad died before help could arrive - but not before she finally told Fyn that, out of fear, she too had left Falerian to die as he begged for her help, just as Cynan had abandoned her.

With their high priestess nowhere to be seen, the morale of the cultists broke; some attempted to surrender, pleading they had been under the control of strange spells or potions. Peredur organised the most steadfast of them into a wedge, which managed to break through the Prifddinas lines and scatter into the Underground Pass. Peredur himself attempted to catch up with Marwnad, pursuing her into the secret passage behind the Great Hall and finding it collapsed. He was able to clear enough of the rubble to get through, only to discover her already dead, with Fynnien weeping at her side. Fynnien told him that Cynan had abandoned them to die; Peredur attempted to take Fyn with him, but Fyn fought back and, hearing the Prifddinas Guard coming up the passageway behind him, Peredur struck her unconscious and left. Blaming Cynan for Marwnad's death, Peredur tracked him down and killed him.

Legacy

Marwnad was outlived by her daughter, Fynnien, and her mother, Branwen, who returned to Prifddinas in the wake of the battle and continued to live their lives. They buried Marwnad in the forest of Isafdar, under the name of Arwydd.

The Keepers of the Dark were broken and scattered; Marwnad's cult died with its leader. However, many of its members filtered back to their kith and kin in Prifddinas, living in secret. There always had been other Dark Elves than the Keepers. One of these survivors was Peredur.

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