Mother of Kerys, daughter of Morganna. She was one of a long line of witches who claimed stewardship of Willowsbriar Grove.
Gwennen, daughter of Morganna, mother of Kerys, was one of a family of matriarchal druids. Like all women in her family, she tasked herself with watching over the woodlands outside the town of Willowsbriar. In particular, she guarded the unspoilt wood known as Willowsbriar Grove. She was a self-proclaimed witch – a powerful practitioner of natural magic, curses, and hexcraft.
Gwennen was feared by the people of Willowsbriar, and well-known for her cruelty. She was intensely antisocial, and kept others away using any means at her disposal. She often responded to slights, real or imaginary, with disproportionate force.
She believed herself to be a master of the most powerful magic known to mortals, and that this came as a reward for her unyielding protection of Willowsbriar Grove. Though Gwennen was capable at polymorph magic, she assumed other forms rarely. Viewing the creatures of the woods as tools to be bent to her will, she got along with animals no better than she did with the humans of Willowsbriar.
Gwennen subjected her daughter, Kerys, to many potentially fatal poisons and curses from birth. She believed that overcoming such hardships would make her daughter stronger.
Like many generations of women in her family before her, Gwennen was raised in solitude, deep in the woods near Willowsbriar. Aided by her mother’s teachings Gwennen grew up to be a powerful druid, especially skilled at controlling plants and manipulating the earth.
In her youth, Gwennen terrorised the town of Willowsbriar. She would threaten to curse crops come the harvest, poison the water supply, and spread disease among their animals unless she was appeased. On the rare occasions that the townsfolk attempted to confront her, they found the woods to be viciously protective of the witch. When Gwennen learned of a new hex, or a particularly wicked curse, she would perfect it by inflicting it upon townsfolk who ventured into the woods to hunt or forage.
Though she was always an outsider, as Gwennen aged she became increasingly reclusive. Her attacks on the townsfolk dwindled, and she eventually became a horror story townsfolk would tell their children, to keep them from straying too far into the woods.
In her middle age, Gwennen abducted travellers passing through the woods, to find a suitable father for her child. Men she found pleasing were addled by poisons, intimidated, or magically coerced into sex. Gwennen gave birth to a daughter, Kerys, during the winter of her 36th year.
Following her daughter’s birth, Gwennen stopped all contact with the townsfolk of Willowsbriar. She spent her days raising her daughter, in much the same way as she was raised by Morganna. She continued to claim stewardship of Willowsbriar Grove and under her watch the local plant life thrived, though she did not make the woods any less hostile towards outsiders.
In her final years, Gwennen became a skilled herbalist. She made some coin brewing potions and remedies, which her daughter would take into town to sell or trade. Much to Gwennen’s delight, many of her potions had cruel side effects, some of which were intentional.
Gwennen died peacefully in her sleep aged 53, during the winter of her daughter’s 17th year. Kerys buried Gwennen’s body beneath her shack, where she had lived her entire life.