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The Raven Woman

Ethion's Boogy-Man

So be good boys and girls, lest the Raven Woman feed you to her young.
 

Myth

The story goes that by day, the Raven woman flies over the city and watches the children. By night, she flies to their windows, takes human form, and kidnaps them, usually never to be seen again. Some say that she takes them into her nest, either to feed to her children or to turn them into birds themselves. In other versions, she does not kidnap them, but merely pecks their eyes out.
 

History

The oldest documentation of the Raven Woman legend dates back to 1355. It tells of a raven whose eggs were stolen by two brothers. The raven transformed herself into a woman and lured them back to her nest, where she gave them a potion which would forever transform them into ravens. Then she kept them in her nest in place of the children they had taken from her. Though some historians believe that the raven woman has always been a reference to Mirella the Deathless, it is more likely that the two stories merged due to Mirella's symbol being that of a raven. The earliest documented version of the story in which Mirella is clearly the Raven Woman was not published until 1622. Nevertheless, this is certainly the most popular version of the story today.
 
In this variation of the story, Mirella herself may fly as a raven, or she may fly above the city in her ship, on raven wings. When she finds unruly children, she takes them aboard her ship, where she makes them work off any bad deeds they have committed or sometimes sells them into slavery. In darker versions of the story, she eats them, as her source of youth and eternal life. In some older stories, Mirella does not kidnap the children, but the parents sell them to her.
Content Warning: kidnapping, murder, body mutilation, slavery
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Cover image: by Niklas Veenhuis

Comments

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Master Arianrhod SilverWheel
Arianrhod SilverWheel
31 Jul, 2022 04:55

I love myths and legends. This one is awesome!

1 Aug, 2022 12:52

Thanks! I'm going to work on a picture of her so I can add it in after the badge ceremony.

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