Character Profile 5 : The Mor'h
The Mor'h (to include the Tah'l and the Lo'mor'h)
First Appearance : Tales of Reign
The Mor'h are a difficult thing to convey in short blogs. Currently there are 1400 pages or more of story hiding truths and half-truths about them. These beings exist as an alternative to life in Sol. However, they are not so removed that they can't be related too. If anything they are something to be more deeply connected too. The Mor'h are. So, deeply we dive into an introduction to the alien influence and presence that causes the reader to question who exactly does the word alien apply-a philosophical dilemma littered throughout first contact and universal expansion.
Aliens come in many forms and many sizes, be it a territorial distinction or the cosmic entities depicted in science fiction, fantasy and horror; we are attracted to the creativity and for some the ability to relate. When creating the Mor’h for the modern Tales of Reign I wanted to both ascend humankind and descend humankind. Call it a Roddenberry trope, but empowering aliens can be just as debilitating to them as liberating. SPOILERS AHEAD Jim!
The story of my Mor’h grew from a fascination with alien stories in those grocery store tabloids of yester-year. I remember being a kid in the cart while Mom was checking out and being mesmerized by the tall tales of bug-eyed Martians abducting farmers. When I drew the first comic in high school, my aliens, the Mortaliens, were just that, a group of unique Greys that ruled a galaxy of rampaging nationalists. As mentioned many times, twenty years later, when I began drafting Tales of Reign, I matured and so the subject material also needed to mature. But those first aliens in the comics hold a special place in my heart. The comic is where I first dabbled in blending species and what that would mean or actually do. With years of study and schooling behind me, I found a better way to explain the connection and also better ways to muddy the history of that integration.
"As mentioned many times, twenty years later"
The Mor’h as a whole would take on a different evolutionary progression than humankind, as they never experienced a mass extinction on their world. They end up living in a primordial paradise compared to Earth in Sol. But nothing is rosy in the land of the Mor’h as they developed no real sense of loss causing them to make catastrophic events of their own. Theirs is a cautionary tale for human beings, yet they are silent teachers; meddlers if you will. What the Mor’h do in Sol, to Sol and to themselves is a classic example of Shelleyian warnings of science run amuck. I researched a great deal about plants, evolutionary traits in Biodomes, scales of models predicting evolutionary breaks or possible breaks that could have been to establish my rules. I needed my world, at least in the story of Tales of Reign, to carry reasons for the things that occur. The fantasy elements needed to match the grounded cultural inspections happening with the characters and the cultural pollution left in their wake.
Talking about individual characters in generalizations is a lot like gossip! You can add some juicy details and say how much you like them and leave it at that. Putting the Mor’h into a single category as one character would be a massive spoiler-and so I've done here-but…I do so gingerly. If you’ve read the books, dear faithful Reader-you, you know why the Mor’h get their own category as a whole. Or in the slightest you can understand why. I am a visual artist first, writer second; I know or usually know the great details of what I’m depicting in print. I avoided displaying the Mor’h as much as possible as I had hoped a fandom would build and claim them like some did with the Moties in Niven and Pournelles Mote in God’s Eye. That hasn’t happened and so I no longer feel that hiding my own interpretations matter.
"I am a visual artist first, writer second"
The genealogy in play, the traits in play, do not lean on the physical appearance as much as the Mor’h exist internally as much as they do externally. They are a pure reflection of madmen in white lab coats staring into Petri dishes at what they’ve done, not what they have discovered but what they made happen. The Mor’h in principle find themselves in a curious vacuum that is forced to change with every new contact. They discover their own vulnerability in their folly. In one event they nearly destroy themselves, in another they harness all that is beautiful in existing in a natural life into something of a repetitive cycle they can control. Yet in the end, or the beginning really, the Mor’h find that they are more vulnerable in every way than any fragile ecosystem dying at the hands of humankind. The Mor’h are not a metaphor for global warming or now climate change; they are a personification of curiosity, joy and the fragility of time to linear beings who happen to base everything on soil and metaphors around plant growth .
All of the politicking, the warring, and intrigue; circle the philosophy of the Mor’h as they exist and function. The characters involved--human, human-effected and branching evolutions, all owe their strife and success to the Mor’h in a sense. Reign’s first person account is necessary to experience the internal machinations of a dual existence that is ever-changing and at times debilitating. This character profile is the heart of Tales of Reign. Without the Mor’h, the debate, the struggles all lose harmony. Reign wouldn’t need Dae, Ben wouldn’t have his fated encounters, Hermes wouldn’t have a unique complicated growth, Gorgon Pri would be just another arm-chair Archie Bunker. The Mor’h exist because they have to, accept it or not.