Hell's Rebels - the last hope of Kintargo
Dressed in browns and dark cloaks the Tengu walks with a steady gait. If one didn’t notice the large beak peaking out of the hood, it might seem like just another denizen of the realm. Under the cloak, black eyes sparkle and catch the light, as well as every detail that comes the way.
As a soft rain begins to fall, the Tengu breaks into a hopping trot as it hurries home.
Up the creaking steps and onto the roof. There, a lone shack sits stoic against the rain. Once inside, the Tengu removes the wet cloak and hangs it up to dry as the small white raven shakes itself and watches intently. Speaking in soft clicks, the two share a private word before moving on to the tasks of the evening. The small room is filled with littered with bottles and jars of various medical properties. Dried herbs hang from the ceiling. A modest nest takes up a corner of the room. Settled in, the Tengu closes it’s eyes and listens to the rain. The graying feathers around its beak break the monotony of black as night falls. The Tengu slumbers, soft rustling and mutters to itself. Meanwhile, the watchful red eyes of the Raven glow in the darkness and speak of an ancient time.
My Brooder’s death was hard on me.
Nik had been let go from the Herb shop when I was still two years away from my Rite of Flight. Odde had been unable to pay wages for quite some time due to economic difficulty. (We weren’t surprised when they closed the shop less than a year later.) My Brooder and I found various jobs to help pay the rent, but relied heavily on the community. Nik’s position as Elder of Medicine helped greatly but there were grumblings why she didn’t just take a new job. Nik hid her ailment from the community. Who would trust a Shaman who couldn’t heal themselves? Towards the end, Nik rarely left the nest. I got rather good at sneaking off of the roof to dispose of the bloody bile. But then, I’ve always been light on my claws.
My Brooder passed two months after my Rite. Though I had seen it coming, it came unexpectedly. I had no idea what to do. I cleaned her up and then went to inform the Elder of Passing. I was now the new Elder of Medicine by right and of age. The skills I had learned by my Brooder’s side had found use caring for her these past few years. But inside I was lost. I had lost the strong guiding light of my fledglinghood. I grieved and wandered in the darkness for a year. I grew distant from the others and only interacted with those who needed my services.
A year and a day after Nik’s passing, I went back to the abandoned Herb shop that I had avoided. So many memories flooded back to me. I climbed up to the storeroom in the attic where I had spent many hours while my Brooder worked below. It was there I asked the darkness for guidance. I needed a path and was willing to give much.
A contract was made. I would have a purpose and a path to follow. I can never leave that path.
As I awoke on the floor, I heard a soft noise by my beak. I saw a small egg nestled in the gathering dust. Holding it gingerly I could hear the scratching of the tiny creature inside.
It’s been over 20 years now. The white raven that emerged from that egg has never strayed far from my side. Often, the small shelf of my vestibule wings has become it’s perch and nesting place, especially in these dark times. My cloaks hides it well from the prying eyes of the public. Though a separate entity from the Ancient Voice, it is intrinsically tied to my Patron. The Raven needs me just as much as I need it.