The Crow - Spooktober 2023 Prompt 1 in Aradeia | World Anvil

The Crow - Spooktober 2023 Prompt 1

The Crow

The disappearance of crows began during the first grounding. Back then, Lorla, the home of the mortals, was the safest and least populated country in all of Aradeia and humans lived in unity with mixed folk and the chosen. One of the largest groups of featherfolk were designed after the crow's image. Pitch black feathers, long, firm beaks, watchful eyes and a rather mischievous wiggle in their step made them easily recognizable. They were admired by fellow feathers and humans alike, were known for their intelligence and wisdom. Some claim that a few of them might still be out there today, hiding from elves and dwarves due to their conflicts in the past.     One of them, a particularly neat fellow called Corkrax, had an alchemy shop in the Crystalline Outpost in the Northwest when the first war between dwarves and elvenkind made its rounds in the Wilderness. His shimmery green feathers were known all over the waste, even though he originally came from Lemdaux Village, close to the cathedral's port. Being a proud Lorlan, he was admired for his open heart and mind, without losing his species' urges to cause a little mischief wherever he could. One day, as the elves and dwarves fell into the mortal lands, he felt his heart drop. It was dawn and he had just opened shop as a group of elves entered the outpost in search for supplies. They were rowdy and harsh, questioned women and children with bellowing voices, grabbing their arms and hitting them if they didn't respond the way they wanted. Their gazes wandered over the houses, pierced into the homes of the still oblivious families. Most of the Omni had just woken up. They were sitting at their breakfast tables, prepared for school or work. They never saw it coming, until it was already too late.     Some homes were raided, others conquered, some destroyed in search for goods that helped them. Corkrax clung to a bag filled with flasks and herbs. His priced possessions firmly pressed against his chest, the crowfolk slipped through the back door of his shop and ran outside. Shattering glass was heard behind him and he watched as elves dove into his laboratory through the front window, stealing and rummaging through whatever they could find. Their grabby little hands wrecked his supplies and stuffed everything of use into their bags. Potions and soaps, bandages, medicine, dewdrop lily liquor and amora wine, tizzletop creams and drown dagger drops vanished in their leather bags without hesitation. The tallest of the elves, a soldier in his mid-years named Kélin, arrived behind the counter. "We need all of it. This little shit has some good stuff. Might come in handy for the stone nibblers." He looked up and gestured to one of the soldiers in the back. "He might have some explosives in the back. Shouldn't be difficult to find. He's got everything out in the open." He emptied the register, threw out all items that were unusable for him and dove into the deepest corner of the shelf as a pointy object pierced his delicate pointer finger. With a twitch, he pulled back, blood dripping from his hand, before he reached down and snatched it. It was a blood red gem, magic swirling inside of it. No blood on the tip, as if nothing happened. Confused, he twisted and turned the stone in search for runes, as he felt a gaze digging into his back. As he turned around towards the window, a pair of shiny black eyes captured him. "Omni," he snarled, waving his companions over. Corkrax watched them closely, each soldier readying their weapon, as he lifted his right wing in delight and opened his beak to share a rather peculiar little rhyme. "Crunakrentem Mythasentem, Elvenaris Locomotem. Carisontes Aramentem, Explosaris Commenscem"     A sudden explosion erupted from the blood red gem, engulfing Kélin in crimson flames that burned his sturdy figure into a crisp in seconds. His companions watched in horror, as the elf fell down to his knees and flames rose from his body to the ceiling, climbing up the wooden shelves all around. The soldiers tried to help their leader, but fled as soon as the remaining flasks around them burst at once, their contents scolding their skin like molten lava. Screaming, the elves left the alchemist's shop, leaving its remains in timbers while Corkrax watched his home succumb to the inferno he had started. His laboratory vanished and with it the world that he had created, while his gaze remained on the hollow statue of Kélin whose body slowly dissolved into silvery shards of light. Bit by bit, his body decomposed and vanished in the ground around them. Corkrax left his shop as he had first met it when he was still a hatchling - as a hollow shell.     After the incident, crowfolk was hunted down by the elven kingdom. Corkrax was brought to his knees at the edge of Sithaline as a group of elves found him in the Wilderness, lost and drained of all his powers. He was parched and aching, having wandered in the Wilderness for weeks, and had a trial in front of the old emperor who destined Corkrax to death by flames to avenge his general's demise. Corkrax was tied to a post and set ablaze with a torch in front of millions of elves, as golden light broke out of his core and stole him from the mortal realm. While his body fell into ashes, his soul rose to the skies, vanishing in the eternal depths of Aeva.     To this day, some people claim that they can hear his voice on the 31st day of the last day of the third season. Crunakrentem Mythasentem, Elvenaris Locomotem, Carisontes Aramentem, Explosaris Commenscem.   Beware, my friend, if you're immortal. Do not cross his path when he's around. You might not like what you will see, and even less what he might show you, for he has chosen to take revenge on all those that have wronged him.

Cover image: by AI (artbreeder)


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