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A Dragonlord, Duke of Southmoor, and the Lord of Castle Black. Morrolan e'Drien also serves as the Court Wizard of the Dragaeran Empire since the disgrace of Sethra the Younger.

Morrolan's father was Rollondar e'Drien, who was Warlord under Tortaalik just before the Interregnum, and was killed during Adron's Disaster. His mother was Adron e'Kieron's youngest sister, but we know very little about her; not even her name.

Morrolan is relatively even tempered for a Dragonlord, but never takes insults lightly. He supervises a party at his floating castle that has been going on for two hundred years non-stop. He is particularly devoted to the safety of his guests, and notoriously aggressive to any who dare violate it.

An image of Morrolan e'Drien (which according to Steven Brust is about right) can be found here, by Danielle Sylvie Taylor.


Morrolan was born in the first year of the Interregnum and raised in the East. We know little of his foster family, other than the fact that they raised him as a human (that is to say, an Easterner) and never told him he was one of the faerie.

His name, given to him (according to Paarfi) by a coachman named Miska, means "Dark Star"[1], either in the language of the Silatan (which Paarfi has Teldra assert) or the ancient tongue of the Dragon (which is what Vlad hears from Teldra); these may even be the same language. He also used the name "Dark Star" translated into Fenarian - "Sötétcsilleg" (a variant on the Hungarian: sötét csillag)

As a youth, Morrolan studied the Eastern art of witchcraft.

He lived for many years in Blackchapel, where he met the priestess Arra, dedicated himself to the Demon Goddess Verra, and formed a coven of witches. Blackchapel was then overrun and destroyed by neighboring villages in the name of Tri'nagore, and in an unsuccessful attempt to kill Morrolan.

Shortly before the end of the Interregnum, he discovered his origins, thanks to Miska, Arra, and Teldra, and came to the Dragaeran Empire to reclaim his ancestral lands, Southmoor. As he did so, the Orb returned to the world, re-enabling sorcery, and he dedicated himself to learning to be a sorcerer, which he quickly achieved. (With help from Sethra Lavode and Tukko). According to Paarfi, the gods prophesy that Morrolan will one day go beyond this into Elder Sorcery, and Verra believes that his incorrect bloodline (i.e. not e'Kieron) may not prevent this. ("We shall see", she says, and sure enough, Morrolan does later on receive an injection of a goddess's blood, which may indeed make it possible.)

He was instrumental in winning the battles which secured Zerika the Fourth the Imperial throne, one of which required the levitation of his fledgling home, Castle Black, and another of which required him to slay the god Tri'nagore. He combined this slaying of the god with his belated revenge for the destruction of Blackchapel. Later in Vlad's time, Morrolan's singlehanded destruction of the three neighboring villages remained in Eastern legend, though the revenge motive, and his slaying of the god, were not as well known.

For the next two hundred and forty years, Morrolan solidified his place as one of the more influential aristocrats in the Empire. His friendships with Sethra Lavode and Zerika the Fourth, and his penchant for hosting long-running housewarming parties, did a great deal to aid in this.

At some point, Morrolan's study of sorcery came to the point that he became a Wizard. He also began a serious study of Elder Sorcery, collecting numerous books on the subject, and also began collecting Morganti weapons. Both of these practices being technically illegal, it is clear that Morrolan has little regard for the niceties of the law when it conflicts with his own interests.

During this period, Morrolan and Sethra began searching for the lost soul of Aliera e'Kieron, Morrolan's cousin whose soul had become separated from her body during Adron's Disaster. They eventually discovered rumors of a staff containing a soul that may well have been hers, in the possession of an Athyra necromancer named Loraan. After negotiations to retrieve the staff failed, Morrolan and Sethra determined to obtain it by other means.

In this attempt, Morrolan arranged to have an Easterner named Vlad Taltos come to Castle Black in order to assist them. It was hoped that Vlad, being an Easterner, would be able to circumvent the sorcerous protections in the Athyra wizard's keep, which were thought to be aimed specifically at Dragaerans.

After Vlad retrieved the staff (with significant help from Morrolan), it was determined to indeed contain the soul of the Dragonlord's cousin, Aliera. In order to rescue her soul from its enslavement, Vlad and Morrolan took a trip over Deathgate Falls into the Paths of the Dead. (It should be noted that Morrolan undertook this journey with the understanding that it likely meant he would never return to the living world. Vlad, being an Easterner, was again thought to be a possible exception to the "the living don't return from The Paths" rule.)

Once in the Halls of Judgement, Aliera was revived, and introduced to Morrolan for the first time. The two hit it off immediately, of course, and began a long relationship based on mutual respect, close kinship, and frequent bickering. Aliera even chose later to permanently reside at Castle Black, as stated in Iorich.

With the help of Vlad's unique skills as a witch, Morrolan was able to leave the Paths of the Dead with his companions. This involved receiving a transfusion of what appeared to be blood that Vlad had obtained some years earlier from Kiera the Thief. While the exact nature of this substance is unclear (it was said to be the blood of a goddess), it had the effect of permitting him to walk out of the Paths of the Dead, for which he, Aliera, and Sethra were profoundly grateful. Shortly after this, Morrolan hired Vlad on as a security consultant for Castle Black.

A year or so later, Morrolan became involved in a war with the Dragonlord Fornia, when he arranged to steal a Morganti weapon from the collection of Baritt, which had been given over to Morrolan's custodianship upon Baritt's demise. After several weeks of conflict, Morrolan's army, led by Sethra Lavode, and including a unit of veteran Dragonlords known as Cropper Company, won through and Fornia was killed.

Morrolan also became involved in a Jhereg war, when Vlad, to whom he now felt somewhat indebted, fell into the sights of a sinister boss named Laris. This proved to be a part of an elaborate scheme devised by Morrolan's former friend the Sorceress in Green to discredit him, as well as Aliera, and destroy the rightful Dragon Heir to the throne, Norathar e'Lanya.

Somewhat after this, Morrolan welcomed into his home a certain Jhereg named Mellar, who returned a book on Elder Sorcery that had been stolen from his collection some years before. This proved to be a mistake, since Mellar was actually using Castle Black as a refuge where the Jhereg Council could not kill him without starting another Dragon-Jhereg War. This was done in an attempt to exact revenge on three of the Great Houses of the Empire, Jhereg, Dzur, and Dragon. It was during these events that The Demon hired assassins that actually managed to kill Morrolan, using sorcerers of the Left Hand of the Jhereg to prevent his revivification. (This, in spite of his possession of Blackwand, which protects his soul from harm.)

Fortunately, Vlad and Aliera managed to capture the sorceress who had performed the spells preventing revivification, and persuade her to remove them, in exchange for her own soul. (But not, as it transpired, her life.) Morrolan was then revivified, and Vlad eventually managed to dispatch Mellar without triggering a war.

After Vlad went to Greenaere on a task for Verra, Morrolan was among the party that went to rescue him. When this led to the War of 243, Morrolan began preparing his armies for war. It was during the Revolt of 244 that Morrolan was involved with the siege on the Imperial Palace, protecting the Empress from throngs of Teckla and Easterners who were threatening the heart of the Empire itself.

Some years later, Morrolan, along with Aliera, was kidnapped by the Jenoine, who were attempting to tap into the Lesser Sea of Chaos and steal raw amorphia. After being rescued by Vlad (again), Morrolan, Aliera, Sethra, Verra, Devera, and many of the Lords of Judgment fought off the Jenoine on the banks of the Lesser Sea. It was during this conflict that Morrolan was killed again, and upon being revivified, learned that Lady Teldra, one of his oldest and dearest companions, had met her physical demise--struck down by a Morganti dagger, her soul being bound into the Great Weapon Godslayer.

Current Events[]

Morrolan is currently still mourning the loss of Teldra, and has remained somewhat isolated in Castle Black in the immediate aftermath of this tragedy.

Additional Notes[]

Morrolan is a formidable witch, (unusual for a Dragaeran). He is the master of the Great Weapon Blackwand (which also acts as his familiar!), which he received from Sethra Lavode as "tribute", since she lived within his demesne. (Though according to Paarfi, who corresponded with Sethra, "tribute" was not among Sethra's chief reasons for making the gift.)

Morrolan is considered to be extremely vain, taking considerable care of his appearance, but also, especially in his extreme youth, particularly naïve. That these traits coincide with his considerable talent and skill is a source of amusement for some and frustration for others.

The priestess Arra initiated, and long maintained, a large coven or Circle of Eastern witches in Morrolan's name within the lower levels of Castle Black. By the time of Issola, the Circle has apparently moved into the east tower of Castle Black, and Arra is no longer head of the circle.




"I am an elf?"

"It mislikes me."

"Shut up, Vlad"

"I do not wish us to die gallantly, I wish us to win!"

On learning of sorcery:

"Sorcery. I have learned something of sorcery. I am told it can do amazing things. I don't know. Blast them with fire, or make stones fall on their heads, or create an illusion of giant butterflies with nine-inch teeth. Something."



  1. Paths of the Dead, page 13