Morgana had never lost a fight in her life, fighting since she was nine-years old. She remembers the first day she had fought for life as vividly as if the moment had just happened. An everlasting moment, a rock or foundation that defined who she was. Back then a foul wind blew and the rain cut sideways through the air in 1835. Morgana and her mother sought refuge in an alley on the sodden streets of Dublin. Their coats weighed heavy on their back. They had walked halfway across the city from their tiny hovel by the pier. The alley offered moderate protection against the Irish weather but her mother was alarmingly nervous, scanning the street, emptied by the rain. "We can't linger here, little one." She whispered. The anxiousness rubbed off on Morgana, every hair standing on end. Morgana caught a hint of whiskey and turned to look into the shadows. Three hulking figures approached. "You owe a debt, Branwenn." A voice thick with drink called out. Morgana's mother stood in front of her and shouted "She's sending drunks now?" They ignored her, getting closer.
"Give us the little crow, Wenna. No need for a fuss."
Branwenn stood in front of Morgana. "Stick with me, Morgana." She whispered, her right arm holding her child close from behind. Morgana heard a quick scuffle of boots on wet stone. Suddenly her mother's arm had left her side, suddenly swinging to the front. The rapid movement was followed by a coughing and spluttering. Morgana peered out from behind Branwenn to see the largest of the figures, the one who spoke, stumbling backwards, clutching their throat. The first grabbed her mother by the forearm but instantly received a jab to the throat. Coughing and spluttering they fell back. Morgana saw a flash of metal appear and disappear. Morgana erupted in fury, bouldering past the second assailant and headbutting the third in the stomach. Following her mother's lead, Morgana jabbed them in the throat as they keeled over. She returned her focus to the one attacking her mother but he bowled past her limping in pain. All three of them retreated back into the alley. Morgana memorized the faces, burning them into memory. The flash of metal belonged to a makeshift knife now embedded in her mother's stomach. Morgana and her mother shared the same face. Flowing red hair, a light splash of freckles that concentrated on the nose, and entrancing bright green eyes that shimmered like the sea basked in sunlight. Even in her agony Morgana thought her mother looked beautiful. Her mother held her face in her hands, warm fingers slowly growing colder. Light faded from her eyes to quickly to say goodbye. Morgana wailed as her mother's hands fell from her cheeks. An unfathomable fury built up inside her.
That was seventeen years ago, a lifetime ago. Now she stood on American soil, in a bar she owned herself, on the outskirts of a dust bowl town called Spirit's End. The saloon had been in her possession for three days, given to her by a former lover, already she was dealing with unscrupulous patrons that seemed to have trouble with her ownership. Morgana stood still, dishcloth in her right hand, staring down an idiot with a knife. She offered a peaceful solution: Get out and drink somewhere else. They responded with 'Go fuck yourself.'
Morgana had walked around the bar, keeping eye contact as they twitched and stood up from the stool before brandishing the knife. Not a word said by anyone else in the roo,. Silently waiting to make the first move. The blade began to raise but it was already over. Morgana threw the dishcloth up and in their face. As soon as she was blocked from sight, she followed it up with a straight jab to the nose. A crunch echoed through the saloon, followed by a crash as they fell on their ass. Morgana has never lost a fight.
A few of the other patrons picked up their friend from the floor and dragged him outside. Morgana returned back behind the bar unfazed and the usual din of the drinker increased once more. That incident could be the first of many at her saloon, a result of the absence of the previous owner. A man known more commonly known by his surname, Castle, to the locals of Spirit's End. The town never had an official mayor or government body, the city of Goldwater had seen to that. Castle was Spirit's End unofficial leader. He commanded the respect of the average citizen and unsavoury criminal. He had left chasing some wild dream, Morgana had protested at first but she eased off on one condition: the Hollow River saloon belonged to her.
Morgana had worked at the Hollow River two year prior to owning it, she could keep the place running in her sleep. Whenever Castle was out of town, Morgana was in charge, she ran a tight ship and took her time to get to know the patrons, building a solid rapport with them all. The problem was that Castle left without telling anyone, and Morgana had to deal with that. Over the past three days, townspeople of Spirit's End have trickled into the saloon seeking answers. Morgana told them the truth but it was never received well, especially when it was followed by 'I don't think he's coming back.' That was a hard fact for Morgana to swallow for herself, but she pushed passed it and concentrated on what she wanted. Over two years she learned everything there was to learn about Spirit's End from Castle, she was ready take over the town.