Spirit of the Black Bird
The Spirit of the Black Bird is a spiritual being honored by certain Rostran Esotericists, especially the Ixa Ad-Korvidiu sect. A cunning amalgam spirit regarded as the sire of all corvids, the Spirit of the Black Bird has many High Rostran adherents in places like the Red Velvet Desert and other parts of the Rostran diaspora.
Trickery, Animal, Air; Greed
Divine Symbols & Sigils
Corvids of all varieties are considered to harbor the Spirit of the Black Bird, as these are the birds most invested with the desirable qualities of Iloi (intelligence) and Ivonela (charisma). Ritual sigils attuned to the Spirit of the Black Bird are often highly ornate figures of black smudges, with sigils often drawn on the bodies of the supplicants in addition to the more traditional flat space on the ground. Korvidiu often execute sigils by combining rendered meat fat or engine oil with soot and then smudging this mixture on the ground or their own bodies, often incorporating red pigments in defiance of traditional Esotericist symbolism. Orthodox Esotericists mark out these sigils with green and purple pigments from vegetable sources. In both sects, burnt offerings of meat and herbs are then sacrificed to the Spirit of the Black Bird, with the supplicant encouraged to either eat these offerings later and share them with any corvids which might come along.
Tenets of Faith
The Spirit of the Black Bird, being invested heavily with the qualities of Iloi and Ivonela, teaches its supplicants to support their community through cunning, opportunistic, and collaborative means. The spirit exhorts its followers to provide for themselves and their kin by any means likely to succeed, observing only those moral remits which serve to enhance the survival of the family-flock. Those who favor the Black Bird in a more abstract way regard the sprit as a primal force related to animal survival and the ability to solve practical problems through ingenuity. Binding the Black Bird is said to enhance the practitioner's guile, leadership, appraisal, and ability to pierce through the deceptions of others. Though Iparda (perception) is not commonly associated with the Spirit of the Black Bird, a firm understanding of what has been seen is one of the spirit's many boons. The Black Bird might be called upon in times where resources must be found in the wild, as when the practioner has been stranded away from civilization and must survive long enough for rescuers to find them. Alternatively, the Black Bird is said to grant its supplicants the power to commune with, and even train, their avian companions more effectively; failing to give proper respect to the Spirit of the Black Bird can cause one to suffer attacks by these wily creatures, whether directly (i.e. dive-bombing or revealing one's stealthy approach by bursting into flight) or indirectly (i.e. despoiling food stores). These qualities make the Black Bird a popular figure among those who live a hard-scrabble life, such as settlers within the Red Velved Desert or those impoverished beyond the means of supporting their families. The Black Bird is the unofficial patron spirit of the Red Velvet Association and the official patron spirit of the Avarix Corps for this reason. The grasping, sometimes malicious nature of Black Bird-inspired activities makes it unpopular especially among the Cobalt Rostrans, who, while community-minded, look instead to Knappism for their moral foundations.