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Massie Burnson, The Wreck and Rise of Whitson Mariner, p. 32
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR EMBER'S END ARE AHEAD; CAUTION IS ADVISED.


Convene my war council! I will accept no more excuses. This rabble must be routed!
 
— Morbin Blackhawk to Shelt, Ember Falls

Morbin Blackhawk, remembered as Morbin Lastfoe, was the king and leader of the Lords of Prey. Having terrorized the rabbits of Natalia for years, he was finally slain by Smalden Joveson during the War for All Natalia.

Biography

The Green Ember

Morbin is first mentioned by Wilfred Longtreader, who likens his place among birds to that of Redeye Garlackson among wolves. He further notes that Redeye is in league with Morbin, leading his wolves at the Blackhawk's command. Redeye and his wolves all bear brands in token of this alliance, scars on their arms in the shape of the letter M.

Morbin is later mentioned by Kyle as the murderer of King Jupiter, whose son Winslow Joveson submitted to Morbin's rule after his father's death. Wilfred and Rake later go into greater detail during Heather and Picket's Initiation, noting Garten Longtreader's role in aiding Morbin. They note that Morbin's original intent was not to kill Jupiter, whom he mocked after capturing, vowing to burn the Great Wood. However, Jupiter's brave defiance enraged Morbin, who struck the king down and then carried out his threats against the Great Wood.

When Picket arrives at Jupiter's Crossing to find Prince Smalden Joveson at Garlackson's mercy, Garten appears and notes that Morbin wished to add Smalls to a group of prisoners already on the move. However, Garten also comments that Morbin expressed little interest as to whether Smalls lived or died. After Smalls' rescue, Wilfred surmises that Cloud Mountain's location has become known to Morbin, and asserts this viewpoint upon learning of his brother's involvement.

The Last Archer/The First Fowler

Jo Shanks, heading to muster, imagines that "Captain Frye would have him shipped to Morbin in a bag" were he to show up at muster without weapons. Lund later mentions Morbin as he and Jo discuss the Cloud Mountain Citadel Congress and the divided feelings regarding the Longtreader family. Wilfred, confronted with Frye's suspicions, pleads with him to turn his aggression towards the real enemy: Morbin and his allies.

Jo mistakes Solus for Morbin upon first seeing him from a distance, but is soon corrected by Helmer.

Ember Falls

Sween Longtreader has a close encounter with the evil king while working as a slave in Morbin's lair. As Morbin settles on his throne, which she has just been cleaning, Sween makes a quick and subdued retreat. She is later present when General Flox and Blenk arrive in answer to Morbin's summons. Blenk expresses fears that Morbin will turn against the wolves, but Flox assures him that the Lords of Prey require their services as ground forces.

During a council meeting attended by Morbin, the remainder of the Six, the two wolves, and Gartren Longtreader and his fellows, Morbin checks with Garten regarding their negotiations with Terralain. Blenk questions why they do not simply obliterate the rabbits, with Morbin responding that the Lords of Prey enjoy having the smaller creatures as slaves. When Melody dares to cry defiance of Morbin in his council, the villain strikes her down personally. It is subsequently revealed that he has agreed to a peace with Bleston in exchange for Emma, the newly revealed heir to his old enemy Jupiter.

When Heather takes Emma's place in being carried to the High Bleaks, Morbin questions her identity and has Garten brought to identify her. When Garten reveals who she truly is, Morbin suggests that they might throw her into the Tomb of Lander's Dragons along with Smalls. Furious at his will being defied, he orders the assembly of his war council, intending to bring his wrath down upon the Cause.

Ember Rising

After arriving at Longtreader Command, Heather discovers that the rabbits in service to Morbin have adopted a flag depicting him atop a mound of rabbit skulls. Helmer, in explaining the Six to Picket, notes that Morbin has long served as their ruler. Sween later reports to Heather Morbin's fury and intent to destroy Cloud Mountain, though Heather gratefully notes that it has doubtless been evacuated. Heather later learns from her father that students of the Akolan academy are fattened up to be served at ritual meals held by Morbin and the Six.

On Morbin's orders, plans for the Preylords' Victory Day include taking all the rabbit younglings in First Warren, Akolan, and various other slave settlements ruled over by his regime. Morbin plans this as a show of force, intending to cow the rabbits and insure that they do not continue to resist his rule. However, the Cause chooses Victory Day to initiate the Battle for First Warren, which starts with them using blastpowder to remove a statue of Morbin himself from one of the city's Seven Standing Stones. After a similar uprising in Akolan, Garten warns Heather that Morbin will react with fury, and that no rabbits are likely to survive the ensuing slaughter.

Ember's End

Morbin masses the birds of prey in Grey Grove in preparation for the Siege of First Warren, having determined to wipe out rabbitkind once and for all. By his orders and arrangements with Tameth Seer, the Terralain army is to attack First Warren first, before armies of wolves-including one led by King Farlock-join in the assault. The members of the Six are then to lead their fellows in wave after wave, overwhelming the defenders with sheer numbers and power. However, the Cause proves surprisingly resilient, with the Terralains joining forces with them and both Tameth Seer and Farlock being killed early in the battle.

The Blackhawk Option, a strategy aimed at killing Morbin himself using one of their bowstrikers, is used earlier than planned to eliminate Falcowitson, the first of the Six to attack the city. Whitbie Joveson notes that Falcowitson was doubtless elevated to the Six in his father Falcowit's stead because Morbin deemed his desire for vengeance an asset. After Falcowitson the next four members of the Six are sent to attack the city in pairs. The first two are slain by Jo using an arrow provided by the Pilgrim, while the second-and many other raptors and wolves besides-are killed when Helmer triggers an explosion that destroys First Warren's dam.

Morbin leads the final, massive wave of the assault himself, proving to be a horrific, unstoppable foe to the rabbits. After slaughtering many, including members of the Royal Fowlers Auxiliary, he moves into position near the seventh standing stone. Much to his surprise, Smalls appears and begins crossing the stones to confront him, vowing to bring an end to Morbin's rule. Pleased to see his weaker enemy but enraged as well by his defiance, Morbin resolves to crush him.

Picket Longtreader then flies in using a glider pack, and is able to blind one of Morbin's eyes by feigning an attack at Morbin's chest. However, upon his second attack, Morbin evades him and slices off Picket's right arm. Despite the injury, Picket attacks again, and is struck by Morbin's talons. Distracted and only able to see out of one eye, Morbin is unable to stop Smalls from driving the Stone Sword of Flint into his heart.

The Stone Sword breaks after killing Morbin, indicating that he is the final enemy of rabbitkind to fall in the battle. His body plummets into the flood still raging in First Warren, and is swallowed by the Brute's Gorge. Morbin is afterwards remembered as Morbin Lastfoe, with Smalls-now reigning as king of Natalia-discussing his end with Whittle Longtreader.

Physical appearance

Morbin was large, wide-winged and angular of features. His inky black feathers gave way to a golden yellow around his face. His beak was long and sharp and awful. His seemingly impenetrable breastplate bore his sign: a sharp "M" with golden stars at its base. His weapon was a long black sickle rimmed in crimson.

Personality and traits

Morbin spoke in a harsh rasp, which became a shriek in times of great anger. He enjoyed taunting his enemies, particularly when they were his captives or slaves, but could quickly be driven to rage by defiance. Like other predators Morbin seems to have had no regard for rabbits as thinking beings, seeing them only as sources of labor, food, or potential entertainment. His regime over Natalia was deliberately cruel, punishing many for the actions of few and targeting the weak to punish the strong.

In battle, Morbin had no known equals, with citadel lords Booker and Victor Blackstar believing him impossible to defeat in combat.

Trivia

  • S. D. Smith stated that he "feels strong anger" towards Morbin Blackhawk.[1]

Gallery


References




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