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Random Welsh Mythness- Morfran by Bunni89 Random Welsh Mythness- Morfran by Bunni89
Hooray, a character from my homeland's mythos! (there are a lot of crazy ones believe me)

Okay, as a run down, this guy is a minor character in the origin story of Wales's most famed folk hero. (But the one that got less well remembered in comparison to Merlin and such) Starting from the top!

We have a tale of a bard/wizard/allround awesome at everything mary sue guy called Taliesin. So awesome that there's even records of him actually existing! (Although its likely the mythos version sprung up around him, rather than he actually was a super wizard. We can at least confirm there was a bard with that name who's associated with the tale.) Now, as for his mythical origin story..

Once there was an enchantress named Ceridwen. She was of great power and had a beautiful daughter, but was cursed with an uncommonly hideous son (which is Morfran). However, Ceridwen decided to brew a potion of Awen (inspiration/muse) in order to grant her son great wisdom that would unsure him a better standing in life despite his disadvantage. She set her two vassals, Morda the blind man (who is of absolutely no importance to the story at all) and Gwion Bach the young servant boy (who is very important) to tend to the stove for a year and a day until it was ready.
At the end of this time, the first drops drunk would grant unparalleled insight into the world, while the rest would be worthless poison. Gwion Bach, being an utter retard, spilt some of the potion on his hand while stirring, and licked his fingers. Having become amazingly smart, he realized he was completely fucked and tried to leg it before Ceridwen killed him.
They had a trippy chase scene in which they changed into various animals to try and one-up each other (like the one merlin does in the disney version of the sword in the stone), but Gwion Bach eventually got tired and turned into a grain of rice, and so Ceridwen ate him.
Of course, this being the weirdness of Welsh myth, the witch became pregnant and gave birth to his reincarnation. Knowing it was Gwion, she tried to kill him, but was overcome by either motherly feelings for her offspring, or in the more mary sue-ish retellings 'he was just too beautiful'. So she tied him in a bag and threw him in the river, so that she wouldn't be responsible personally for his death, or else he'd be someone else's problem if he got found.
And then of course he did get found instead of drowning, and ended up with a spangly bardic career and all, blablabla we know the rest. His new papa, Elffin, named him Taliesin ('shiny eyebrows', no seriously) cos apparantly his forehead was really big and impressive and it was the first thing he noticed.

Buuuuut... lets check out this story again from a different angle, shall we?

Morfran the hideously ugly son. Described as being demonlike and deformed. Does he look particularly hideous up there? Aside from the horns and the funky eye, not so bad that you'd avert your eyes or anything.
You see, the sole defining feature that was ever said about Morfran's unappealing appearance... was that he was black.
Yes.
Indeed.
You can see why we don't talk about this myth so much anymore, no?

Look, all things considered, this was from back in a time when black people hadn't been seen on the shores of our country yet, and indeed no-one could imagine that really we all came from Africa originally, it's all controlled by a pigment called melonin, etc. These were times when the idea of a black person as we know it was a wild flight of fancy, and of course everyone knows what colour demons and monsters are in all those old pictures...
But it honestly doesn't excuse this sort of crap. They go on and on about the horrificness of such a man with 'coal black skin' despite it being THE ONLY THING THEY SAY IS WRONG WITH HIM, and later stories decide to change his name to the repugnant moniker Afagddu ('pitch black/utter darkness'), which is even worse nowadays just for the fact that it's pronounced 'a fag thee'. :| At least it's sometimes spelled Avagddu instead. His original name is crap too, it means 'giant crow'.
And he gets his only shot at shutting up the people who hate him taken away by a monumentally stupid slave boy, who goes on to have the world's greatest life. :| There's absolutely no positive moral to this story, everyone in it is either a prick, an idiot, or is Morfran. ^^;
He gets a few mentions in the Welsh Triads as taking part in a few battles, alongside a character called Sanddef who's never mentioned before or after and only exists to be described as an angelically beautiful man who causes people to say how Morfran must be a devil compared to him. Oh, and also its mentioned how Morfran's horse Guelwgan Gohoewgein ('Silver white, proud and fair') wins the title of one of the three most beautiful horses. :|
But at least he gets one advantage, he's said to be one of only three who survived the battle of Camlann, since everyone thought he was a demon and shat thier pants in fear of fighting him. ^^; And he was dubbed one of the 'Three Irresitable Knights' because of this, not irresistable in the attractive sense, but rather he was so ugly that anyone would give him anything he wanted in order to get him to leave. So yeah.
It's also worth mentioning that these later stories of Morfran as an adult feature him dubbed under the moniker of Morfran Son Of Tegid, while his mother was a single parent to him in his first appearance. So the continuity of these new tales is debateable, his depiction is basically the same character supplanted into a different setting.

But on the other hand, Morfran was said to be pampered beyond all reason by his mother, an ungodly powerful sorceress who protected him from the various angry mobs, while Taliesin got treated as her slave, killed and then abandoned in his next life.
If you actually look at it a little, the dude had a similarly shitty deal in life too. Abandoned/sold into slavery by his original parents, worked to the bone (stirring a cauldren for A YEAR?!) by what from his perspective is a terrifying hag and her hellspawn offspring, then he makes a stupid mistake, goes through a terrifying race to escape, fails and gets EATEN ALIVE WHILE CONCIOUS (albiet in the form of a food item), is reborn and then abandoned AGAIN. Oh, and he was mentioned as being able to speak and think at an adult level even when newborn, so imagine being completely aware of what's happening to you as you're tied inside a sack and thrown into a river to drown. (Not to mention having to experience your own birth- NIGHTMARE FUEL)
I can imagine him having a fair amount of issues himself.

But what really intrigues me is that there's mention of an early poet named Morfran, who was said to be the same one as in the story. But he spontaneously dissappeared off the map, and the only evidence he existed was a brief mention by the poet Cynddelw in a poem over 500 years later.... :ninja:
That's why I have come to the conclusion of how this story could have had a happy end~~~

Morfran was the ghost writer for Taliesin's poems.
Explains the large gap where he doesn't get mentioned at all until he's already grown up and an established soldier. And how he'd even get out in the world despite being basically confined to his mother's house 24/7 to be hidden from le villagers. And why he'd be turning up a fair amount of miles away going under a fake father's name (which actually changes along the timeline, he was said to be buried under the moniker 'Osfran's Son'). It's also pretty likely that Sanddef could be Taliesin himself, since he has pretty much the same description and shows up out of the blue.

Taliesin: Come on, bro. Lets go make a name for ourselves!
Morfran: S-shouldn't I put a bag over my head or something..?
Taliesin: TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN

And er, that's how I ended up being inspired to draw this guy as a character in my own continuity. ^^;
Filling in the gaps of myth, the dynamic duo goes on spangly adventures!
Taliesin: And so you write the poems, and I announce them dramatically in my booming voice, while wiggling the eyebrows a bit. We rake in some cash and prestige then split it 50-50!
Morfran: ...and while you're doing that, I hide under this barrel...
Taliesin: GET OUT DA BARREL. WHAT DID I SAY ABOUT SELF CONFIDENCE? :|
Mob: It's a demon! And it's menacing that poor bishounen man!
Taliesin: *facepalm*
Oh, and yes, he has a blunderbuss for a false leg. I don't know why, it just seemed like an awesome idea, and then I ended up making the whole family themed around guns. ^^; Taliesin can pull P-90s out of his swiss army eyebrows. He can also pour flour and eggs into them to make a birthday cake. (It tastes hairy though, even the immortal bard can't be good at everything.)
They has brotherly love.

...I'm weird.

~ This has been lesson one in Welsh mythology :XD:
Add a Comment:
 
:iconboorat:
BooRat Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
man lazy eye's got tosuck!!!!!
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I think the horns are probably worse ^^;
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:iconboorat:
BooRat Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
naw i would like horns
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
They're awkward for him cos they get stuck in doorways XD
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:iconboorat:
BooRat Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
Antler would be worst but a nice set like a rams would be cool! have him trim them like HB!!
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
In real life trimming horns beyond a small length will seriously harm the animal. ^^;
They have nerves connected up to those things y'know. In the case of a rhinocerous if it snaps off they can actually die.
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:iconboorat:
BooRat Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010
But they can trim a rinos very closely and not harm them! and they do it to cattle all the time but why should we care if we make the food bleed alittle!!
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner Sep 2, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
The stuff they do to cattle is generally disgusting torture ^^;
Tip: don't visit a farm. EVER. it's not the fun kind of torture, more the sad and depressing kind, then they get mincemeat-ed.
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(1 Reply)
:icongreenfrostfire:
greenfrostfire Featured By Owner May 29, 2010
so this was why you asked me about blunderbusses
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner May 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Ya :XD:
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:icongreenfrostfire:
greenfrostfire Featured By Owner May 29, 2010
and his dan bangs are in fact horns?
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner May 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
^^; They're just horns, lol.
Not everyone is as hairishly endowed as me.
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:icongreenfrostfire:
greenfrostfire Featured By Owner May 29, 2010
yeahs but it still looks the same XD
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner May 29, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Morfran: Yes... my horns are hideous.. *emo pose*
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:icongreenfrostfire:
greenfrostfire Featured By Owner May 29, 2010
at least their not as hidious as dans ^^;
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:iconbunni89:
Bunni89 Featured By Owner May 30, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Dan: *throws cola at you* *misses and knocks out morfran* Uh... oops.
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(1 Reply)
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