An oneiros, who achieved apotheosis through fury.

The story of the original Morbius is hard to isolate, but he would seem to have been a merman driven out of his home community because of his berserk rages. It is possible that he became a pirate or bandit for a time, before being destroyed like a monster by his victims.

Avatars of Morbius often figure in legend as villains, but also occur as heroes, tragic heroes, or the companions of heroes. Very often they meet their end when their fury overcomes their judgement, although in many cases they achieve their goal (such as avenging a wrong) in their final rage, or achieve something beyond the power of sane men, or at least sell their lives dear. A common theme in Morbian legends is that the restrains of society must be thrown off by those who would prevail against society’s enemies. Morbius is not a favourite exemplar in Gehennum, but is more popular in Fairon.

In art and iconography, Morbius is depicted as a solid, muscular merman of mature aspect, nude, often wearing a golden crown, and armed with a spear, or sometimes as a gigantic figure crowned with storm-clouds and wielding a bolt of lightning, often waist-deep in the sea. He is symbolised by a shark, and by a conch-shell.

Morbius is worshipped very uncommonly, by pirates, Faironese, and by a very few makhetes. He also receives a public propitiatory cult intended to avert storms and volcanic eruptions. His avatars are often drawn from the preceding groups, but can crop up anywhere, and include the daimons of many volcanoes and violent storms.

Morbius’ major realms are fury, storms, and pirates. His minor realms are the ocean, travel, and death.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.