A Congress of Crows Document in Cairne | World Anvil

A Congress of Crows

Barely a month into her retirement, Airtam receives an eloquently written missive from an unsigned author, though through the tone and content she rightly assumes it can only have come from one place, Sighnai Oifrei herself. While hardly put at ease by the communication, Airtam was no fool and saw an opportunity that had never before been presented, a chance to sit down one on one with the face of the infamous Burnt Crows and discuss terms for a less turbulent future. Below is a copy of the letter received at her home, found upon the nightstand by her bed and placed there by an unseen individual while she slept.      
I was born too late to witness the majesty of my home. The verdant perfection of a place set aside by divine providence otherworldly blessings is but a smoky image upon countless bits of canvas painted by my kin so desperate for what was and yet too frightened to reach for it. What were the blue skies of old, those boundless, azure reaches that housed the dreams and imaginations of millions? To hear the gentle wash of crystalline waters upon shining beaches, and to have your heart and spirit filled with the songs of unblemished eons, to hear the words of my ancestors fall from the lips of my people in careless abandon spilling out across all. To know the soft ground beneath your feet is your own and to want for nothing. Oh, sublime fantasy. Oh gentle phantom. Would that my father’s tales of that place be more than the breath of a whisper at my shoulder, for the reality of that haven resides only in the fading memories of the old and etched upon the brows of the countless dead that knew it.   My home is a black place, filled with the seething, twisting abominations that stole it from us. It is a tomb with no roof and yet, the sun has not graced the soil there in centuries. Rolling storms of vile darkness batter the glory of yesterday into dust with every passing day and even our young are born with the scars that weigh heavy upon their parents' hearts carved into their flesh.     We, the damned. We, the cursed. We, the forgotten. We, the dispersed.     My father often told me of a small grove just beyond the treeline, not far from the home he was raised in. A home that was built by his ancestors and had been in the family since the time when the divisive bargain was struck that sent our cousins off to wander and granted us the gifts you humans coveted so greedily that you would rather destroy it all than to admit we possessed something you could not. And destroy it you nearly did, and of all the empires and kingdoms that unfurled the fabric of reality to appease the vanity of human arrogance that day, only you remain still seated in your shining palace and prospering. The elves have gone mad, and the dwarves pay their due daily, excluding the cowards that took to the skies, but you, well…One little war and you managed to spread yourselves across the world like a gangrenous wound that is slowly rotting, intent upon killing the host. The Empire remains at its roots and the rest thrive, each in their own way. You may be divided, but you still have not tasted the honeyed barbs of true suffering. You humans, with your short lives and shorter memories. It has always been about control for you, so terrified of all that you cannot understand, so you subjugate and bring the world to heel. While your armies no longer march their dung covered boots across the faces of the citizens of Cairne, your deep pockets and economic control has just as viciously beat the rest into submission.     But not us. My home is a black place, filled with innumerable numbers of your dead now. As I wander those halls and my senses fill with the stench of their decay as they are all forgotten, left to become the dust from whence they spawned, I find my hate for you mingled with pity. The leaders that caused my strife are all long dead, and the gods have abandoned us all. As a Seanachaisian, my outlook and perspective is like a color you have never seen or a musical note your ears have never heard. My senses are elevated and I am aware of the suffering around me. Every broken heart and every lonely tear is like a barely audible whisper in a crowded room for you, but for me, each a cracking dam and the torrential flood that follows. It is the symphony of calamitous devastation that smears the spirit across the wall and leaves a tattered husk in its wake. For every joy, it is the first cresting sunrise ever seen, golden light washing over distant mountains to the sounds of a thousand choirs singing in exaltation. Every child born and every life lost, I feel them come and go, glimpsing the grey waste of what comes before and after with each juxtaposition. I cannot even begin to fathom what a drab and silent life you humans must lead. It is no wonder you lack empathy to the point of becoming the monsters that you are. Then there is you. My eye has been upon you for some time, and I have seen you, not just in form and figure, but in deed and purpose. While your heart is a pale imitation of the world I know, it does seem to beat and fill with the sanguine essence of compassion and be motivated by a purpose larger than yourself. A wonder for your kind indeed, but one, if possible, that should be cultivated and nurtured. I have no misgivings about my position as an opponent to an Empire that covers nearly half the world. While I can carve away at the surface, and do what I may to tarnish its name and assure my people and what was done to them is never forgotten, I am threatening a whale with a sewing needle. The change I desire, true change, can only come from within. I am loath to do this, but justice cannot rage blindly on without an end goal and purpose. It is to this end that I extend to you a laurel of truce in hopes that we might meet, and discuss the potential for change as well as a plan for the future. Your future. If you agree to this, wear a red and gold lapel pin and take a walk through the commercial district on the morrow. One of my birds will find you and bring you to me. You have my word, you will be unharmed provided you come alone and tell no one. I believe you to be smart enough to understand the alternative should you decide to betray this opportunity.


Airtam, faced with the opportunity to be the first Becht in history to be granted a diplomatic opportunity to sit down with Sighnai Oifrei of the Burnt Crows and discuss terms of peace, took the chance and placed her safety into their hands, hoping for a potential resolution to the troubles between the Empire and the Crows.

Document Structure

Publication Status

This is one of the lesser known documents and among the many that were recovered by the Bechtlarite Intelligence Bureau and vetted in the proceedings that followed. While no attempts have been made to slow the information contained in this work from being spread, oddly this particular publication has a tendency to be stolen or disappear often.

Historical Details

Public Reaction

This particular publication has been met with a great deal of controversy, many claiming it was planted by the Crows as an attempt to seed information that painted them in a positive light in an attempt to lower the guard of the Becht security forces and to defame Airtam as less than loyal to the Empire in her final years, having secret meetings with terrorists and dissidents.
Leaked Original
Vellum / Skin
Authoring Date
15th and 16th of Frigus, 160 PR


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