Sunday, 20 April 2014

Morgan Le Fay

The perfect spell, you could not resist,
I cast it well, beguiled and bewitched,
The evening fell and knocked like before,
But this time Hell had come to your door!
"Shapeshifter" - Gary Hughes

Here's the latest in the line of occasional non-historic Sub-Roman characters, Morgan Le Fay.

Morgan was Arthur's half-sister, a daughter of Igraine (Arthur's mother) and Gorlois of Cornwall. She was unhappily married to Urien of Rheged and was a student of Merlin. A powerful sorceress, but also a skilled healer, she plotted against Arthur, undermining him, his knights and even his wife, remaining a powerful adversary for many years. At the end, she was reconciled with her half-brother, and was one for the four enchantresses who went with Arthur to Avalon after his wounding at the Battle of Camlann.

The figure is a Julie Guthrie sculpt, sold via Grenadier Miniatures as a female assassin. The date on the bottom of the figure (1987) is slightly earlier than when I got it. I'd bought it and painted it, and had had good service from it in the rolegame days but had mislaid it. I'd been looking for it among the few figures I'd kept from back then, as I thought it was perfect for this purpose. It took me an age to find, and eventually it turned up behind a workbench in my garage during a massive clearout!

A quick clean-up and prime got her ready to paint, and to my mind there's only one example to follow:
Frederick Sandys' painting of Morgan. The original is in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, but this gives you the idea.

It's interesting to note the Pictish symbols on her overskirt. I don't this interpretation can be beaten, and here's my version derived from Sandys' masterpiece. Not a patch on his obviously, but I'm happy enough. The details on the mini are quite soft and subtle compared with today's castings, but at the time, these were pretty "state of the art".

Does the goblet contain some subtle poison, refreshing wine, a healing draught or some hidden spell the long-term effect of which can only be guessed at?

A powerful ally...

But if the contents of the wine-cup fail, then the dagger in her other hand will serve. I think Aelle is right to be wary of this strange lady.

...But a bad enemy

Marry Meet Again!


  1. A very nice post, beautiful story, beautiful minis and terrain...only hope this goblet is not the Graal...

    1. Phil, if it is, we've got trouble. That Aelle character is hardly a blueprint for Christian virtue ;-)