Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXIX – The Darkness Spreads

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The Darkness Spreads

It felt like a lifetime since Corvus had left Crowshaven in pursuit of finding the Starshade herb that would cure his sister’s sickness. He had found the mystical and somewhat mythical White Raven; learned of an ancient prophecy and now seen it reach its fulfilment.

The Crown of Crows had been obtained and a Ravenking had been crowned after centuries of divided tribal territories.

The battle for Treehold Keep was over and the war won by the Corvids.

Now all that was left was a waiting game. The Corvids knew that the Darkness was going to spread and they were assured by Alwyn, the White Raven, that the castle was a place of safety and sanctuary.

The Darkness slowly swallowed up the landscape; the Corvids kept themselves hidden away and prepared for a long, dark winter…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXVIII – The Great Cleanup Effort

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The Great Cleanup Effort

With the battle over and the surviving Rodents fleeing off into the distant landscape there was only one call to order left for the Corvids before the Darkness finally reached the land.

The great cleanup effort was at hand, all of the corpses had to be removed from Treehold Keep and burned, despite the traditions and hereditary laws of the Corvids and their funeral rites, this included their kin.

Treehold Keep would keep its inhabitants safe from the Darkness but only if the castle was clean and without any fresh remnants of death and decay for it to cling to and infect those nearby.

For the first and hopefully last time in Corvid history; Corvids were cremated alongside Rodents and in a rush too which meant little or no real funerary speeches or rituals.

Times were indeed changing. Life was heading in a drastically different direction. The world the Corvids knew along with it…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXVII – The Aftermath of Battle

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The Aftermath of Battle

Whilst the clouds of the Darkness can be seen covering the distant landscapes and slowly causing the deaths of all the creatures it touches, the Battle of Treehold comes to its bitter end.

Death reeks both within the castle walls and without.

The Corvids managed to gain this victory but failing to act fast could cause it to be short lived and bittersweet.

The Darkness was coming…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXVI – The Battle of Treehold

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The Battle of Treehold

There never was going to be time for negotiations or diplomacy between the Corvids and the Rattus Rodentius; the hatred went further back than memory itself and there were no stories of a time when the two kinds got along, or even tolerated each other.

Their history, in its entirety was one of war and deceit, battle and bloodshed; nothing more, nothing less…

The Ravenking Harfengel was not going to allow his entire species to become extinct due to losing this battle and not being able to hold up in the Treehold Keep.

It was all or nothing. Kill or be killed. Win this battle or lose to extinction. Present moment versus eternity…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXV – The Rattus Rodentius Army Awaits

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The Rattus Rodentius Army Awaits

When the Corvid scouts returned to Harfengel the Ravenking with news, it was as expected.

Grim.

The Corvid scouts spotted the Rodents inside the castle and in turn, they too had been spotted and the Rodents were quick to raise the alarm and prepare for a siege.

It was hoped that the castle was empty but the Corvids had left Crowshaven with war in mind as the most likely outcome.

This was it.

This was the culmination of a long history full of rivalry and vengeance; deep seated hatred that had been passed down through the generations.

This was the beginning of the end…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXIV – The Corvids Arrive at Treehold Keep

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The Corvids Arrive at Treehold Keep

The journey from Crowshaven to Treehold Keep was a relatively straight forward affair; but upon arrival the Corvids were aware of an ominous atmosphere around the castle itself. They kept back at a distance at first, to keep an eye on the castle itself. Harfengel sent a handful of Corvids to survey the area and get the lay of the land.

The rumours of the Rattus Rodentius clans moving into Treehold Keep some years ago were well known to the Corvids, so an ambush was to be expected; and Corvids are very curious creatures so there were no chances to be taken.

Keeping their distance across the water until more information was available was the safest play until the Corvid scouts returned with news; whether good or bad…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXIII – A Corvid Soldier, Skull Helm Detail

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A Corvid Soldier, Skull Helm Detail

As far back as the great Raven’s Tales go, Corvids famously wear one piece of armour into battle. The skull helm of an ancestor that died valiantly in a previous battle. Other than the helm, it’s just a sharpened beak and talons ready for any grappling needed.

The skull helm gives its wearer an edge, not only is their head protected from their enemies, it adds a massive intimidation factor. Throughout the history of Corvids, the Rattus Rodentius Clans (the sworn enemies of Corvid-kind) have always held a deep-seated fear of the skull helms worn by the Corvids; therefore they have always tried to take the helms away from Corvids they have defeated in battle.

Wearing the skull of an ancestor also gives the Corvid an added responsibility, they want to live up to the great deeds of their ancestors…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXII – The Corvids Assemble for War

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The Corvids Assemble for War

The time had finally come. Preparations were being made. The war assembly was underway

Harfengel the Ravenking had all the Corvids getting ready and dressed for the grand exodus and battle that awaited them. Since the days of the Old Corvidae Empire, such a large Colony of Corvids had been unheard of.

Even now, on the day they were preparing to leave, more Corvids were arriving; Alwyn hatched a plan to leave a a handful of messengers for any late arrivals, they were to leave and fly for Treehold Keep as soon as any sign of the Darkness was apparent.

The Corvids donned their skull helms with pride, sharpened their beaks and hoped for safe passage to their new home…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXXI – The Last Corvid Colonies Arrive at Crowshaven

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The Last Corvid Colonies Arrive at Crowshaven

A Ravenking had been crowned. The Corvid world was changing, and changing fast; which was a necessity with the Darkness coming. The word had spread across the many lands that Corvids inhabited in the days following the crowning of Harfengel, there was a constant stream of incoming new Corvids.

Only so much time was left though, it was very nearly time to leaveCrowshaven and head to Treehold Keep and the newcomers were still arriving at a steady pace.

Harfengel announced that within the week they would be leaving Crowshaven and heading off to the new land, ready for war in order to claim the only safe haven…

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Corvus – A Raven’s Tale – Crown of Crows – Part XXX – A Ravenking is Crowned, Ascension of Harfengel

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A Ravenking is Crowned, Ascension of Harfengel

After such an exceptionally perilous and wearisome adventure, Corvus and the others would naturally have wanted to rest; however, the fulfilment of the prophecy only laid the groundwork for the rest of the journey.

Retrieving the Crown of Crows was the important part that needed to be done in order for the Corvids to be saved from the coming Darkness, but that alone wouldn’t be enough. A Ravenking needed to be crowned, all of the Corvids rallied together as one Colony, and to get to the Treehold Keep and battle the Rattus Rodentius hordes; the long-sworn enemies of Corvids.

All those that had already arrived in Crowshaven and those that has been living there already, gathered together at the Divine Slab of Forefather to see the Ravenking crowned.

Fittingly, Alwyn the White Raven conducted the ceremony and crowned Harfengel making him Ravenking and Chief of all Corvid Colonies, thus giving him the power and authority to bring them all into one Colony.

The glory of this occasion took everyone’s minds away from one thing.

War was coming…

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