What the heck to we mean whenever we mention the Balance in the Morrigan’s Brood Series, and how is it that the Deargh Du maintain the Balance?
That is a fair question, though the question came not from a person’s lips, either whispered or shouted, but from the gobbledegook that is my sleep-deprived mind. I (Christopher) know what the balance is in our series, at least I think I do, so I thought I would share, using excerpts from our books, what we (Heather and I) feel the balance represents and how the Deargh Du maintain the Balance.
For visitors to the Triscelle Publishing website or for anyone who has ever looked at the back cover of one of our novels, you would have seen this text, this poem, which describes in some detail as to who the Deargh Du are and what they do… they are Maintainers of the Balance, right those who have wronged, and so forth. (Note: I wrote the poem, while Khanada Taylor designed and built the font and graphical elements.) So, we have this description of the Deargh Du being children (aka Brood… hence the name of the series) of Morrigan and then their relationship with the Balance, but what does it all mean?!?!?!
According to our background information on Shelfari, the Balance is…
… the Celtic belief that existence is balanced on a single fulcrum. Forces are at work to unbalance existence in order to plunge it into the abyss. The Deargh Du strive to counter those forces that seek to topple the Balance. Sometimes wrongs must be righted, but other times wrong things must be done for the right reasons. How people live their lives, the decisions they make, and the actions they take have a direct affect on the Balance within and throughout.
A presentation Heather and I developed to market Morrigan’s Brood further explains the Balance:
- Celtic belief that existence is balanced on a single fulcrum
- Forces are at work to unbalance existence in order to plunge it into the abyss
- The Deargh Du strive to counter those forces that seek to topple the Balance
- Sometimes wrongs must be righted, but other times wrong things must be done for the right reasons
- How people live their lives, the decisions they make, and the actions they take have a direct affect on the Balance within and throughout
So, not only is the Balance applicable to the Grand Scheme of things, i.e. Good, Evil, and Gray in their various forms vying for control, teetering on plunging existence into the abyss, but there is also Balance within the individual, that these forces are at play within us, and that our thoughts, our voice, and our actions influence which elements gain dominance within ourselves and how we affect the world around us.
Think of the Balance not in terms of a linear beam on a fulcrum, which I have depicted, but rather as a plane, or a continuum, balanced upon an indistinguishable point beneath. Good and evil are on opposite sides of the continuum, but on both sides lies gray, though one represents transition from Good to Evil and the other Evil to Good. If a force of Evil impinges upon existence, Good sometimes rises to balance it. Along the same reasoning, if a force of Good impinges upon existence, Evil sometimes rises to balance it.
In Dark Alliance, Morrigan’s Brood Book III, Morrigan Herself teaches a new Deargh Du about the Balance in this excerpt: (Note: The Deargh Du’s name and gender have been removed to avoid spoilers.)
The white marble seemed to turn dark and became a stone floor. Then walls grew out of the floor and became solid stone. Brightly colored tapestries unfolded and rolled down the walls. Swords and strange armaments began to slide over the empty spots. Schlee had never witnessed such things before.
Character turned back to Morrigan and noticed that Her gown of white had disappeared. Morrigan now wore unfamiliar, courtly attire. She walked to a table and a pair of chairs. A strange board rested on the top, along with two rows of small wooden figures.
The Goddess motioned for Character to take a seat. “Please sit. Join me in a game,” She requested.
Character sat down and watched her sit across from Her. “What is this game called?” schlee asked, though some elements, like the board, seemed familiar.
“It is not surprising you have not seen this game. It will not be known in this form for some time. It is called ‘Chess’, but you will forget that when you leave this place. Shall we play, Character?” She ran a graceful finger over the top of one of the game pieces.
Character studied the board and wondered how schlee could ever hope to play this unknown game without guidance.
“White moves first,” Morrigan instructed schlem.
Schlee placed a cautious finger over one of the smaller figures. Schlee closed schler eyes, and then a sudden knowledge overwhelmed schlem. Schlee recognized pawns, rooks, bishops, knights, and the king and queen. Their movements then burned into schler memory. Now that schlee understood the mechanics of the game, Character picked up a pawn and placed it in another square.
Morrigan smiled and then moved one of Her pieces.
Character moved again, wondering whether schlee understood the dynamics of the game or merely moved due to a strange compulsion.
Morrigan leaned forward, moved a bishop, and took captured one of schler men. After Her move, Character watched Her flick a curled strand of hair over Her shoulder.
“I do love this game, sometimes more so than Fidchell,” She explained with a smile. “You must ask Marcus to teach you Fidchell, one of these nights,” She added. “This chessboard is very much like the world as you know it. You have elements of good and evil, both vying for control of the board.”
After schlee moved a rook, She studied the game board and then took another one of schler pieces with Her next move. “Sometimes, evil diminishes good.”
Character leaned forward and took one of hers with schler next move.
“Well played,” She congratulated. “Sometimes, however, good diminishes evil. If the game continues in this manner, either good or evil will win. That would be unbalanced.”
Schlee watched her move again and then asked, “What do you mean unbalanced? Wait… first, what happens when the game ends?”
“It ceases to exist,” She replied.
“Can the game be stopped?” Character asked, shocked at the seriousness of Her answer.
“No,” She replied, “but the game can be balanced.”
“How is that accomplished?”
Schler hostess smirked and then waved the question away like a bothersome fly. Suddenly, schlee heard the sound of stone hitting wood, and then Character stared down at the board. In between the black and white game pieces were gray ones, interspersed between schler men and Hers.
“You have added pieces, and they are all gray. What purpose do they serve, Morrigan?”
“Let us continue playing and you will see,” She answered, before leaning forward and taking one of Character’s knights. Schlee watched a gray piece move on its own accord and then knock out one of Hers.
Character reached over and took one of Her bishops, and then schlee watched as another gray piece maneuvered and knocked out one of schler pieces.
“I see, the gray pieces equalize the colors on the board, but what happens when there are no black or white pieces?” Character asked as schlee stared back at Morrigan.
“That does not happen. As you can see, some of the gray pieces turn white while others turn black.”
“So, even though the pieces on the board are in constant flux, balance is maintained,” Character ascertained aloud.
Schlee watched Morrigan beam at schlem.
“The gray pieces are the Deargh Du,” schlee added.
“Yes, the gray pieces are my Deargh Du, and sometimes others,” She answered.
“And with the renewal of the white and black pieces, the game continues.”
“Yes,” She replied.
“But that seems unbalanced, in a way… the game must end at some time,” Character observed as schlee looked at Her again, albeit a little wary. Schlee began to wonder whether schlee now asked too many questions.
“Sadly, yes,” She answered. “This game at some point beyond time will end. However, Character, like all things, it will begin anew.”
Wow… I loved re-reading that part. Now for one more excerpt from the presentation Heather and I put together for Morrigan’s Brood:
“The Balance must be maintained, for there are those who seek to upset the natural order of things. When Good becomes too benign or when Evil gets too destructive, we must step in to restore order to the Balance. Do you wish to continue in the Life Beyond to serve this noble purpose? You will have my eternal appreciation.”
The Goddess Morrigan to newly created Deargh Du, Morrigan’s Brood
So the Deargh Du, created by Morrigan, maintain the Balance by stepping in when Evil or Good becomes too great and balance out that force through elimination or other means.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief journey through one of the central themes of our series. For some reason, I was inspired tonight to compile these elements together for you, our readers. Heather and I both welcome you to explore our series, and we love to have discussions about our themes, our characters, and anything else relating to our works. Thank you for walking with us, and please enjoy the journey.