Thursday, 3 November 2011

Of Children & Crows (Part 3: Final)

From a distance Amerasu and her Comitati look upon the scene that is unfolding in the Gardens of the Dead. Hiska pulls back the hood of her cloak and looks to Amerasu.

“My daughter and Tirandel know what they are doing so why do I fear so much.” A statement, as much as a question. “Trust in the CrowSingers Etriel, for they have always served your House well and I cannot believe they would do such a thing lightly if there were no other way.”

“Trust?” Amerasu turns fiercely upon her bodyguard and household companion “It was trust which brought us to this moment all those years ago when men failed us on the field of battle in spite of their long given words and blood bonded treaties. Our sons paid the price of trust that day and evermore I have carried its lament. Trust is a whoring bed fellow. That is all trust is.”

The tears upon Amerasu’s delicate face mark her grief. Hiska can only comfort her with a silent embrace for she has no words to offer her queen.

* * *

The wings of the crow’s block out all light and the three figures fall into the darkness brought upon them by the birds that are revered as the harbingers of death by the Elven Houses. There is no noise within the living tomb of shadowed wings other than the flapping of wings and the snapping of beaks as they puncture skin and take their blood toll. The child is screaming as Rauxlor and Seeker take from him that which they demand – his life blood.

Avarin and Tirandel shelter him from the beaks of the other crows that are calmly seeking to join in the macabre feast. Blood streams from their faces and limbs as the frenzied attack starts to abate. Once black dresses are now dyed a dark crimson. They do not fall or falter from protecting the child. Never once do they step back or fail to shelter him from all except the two birds that have demanded royal blood. This night both elven women have learnt what it truly is to be a Singer to the Crows.

From within the darkness that surrounds them Rauxlor and Seeker stand back and face the Elves and their own kind alike. A voice is heard by all within this company:

"This night we have supped upon the direct bloodline of Third Son Navarre. With his passing and that of his fellow Aditu warriors we have been protecting the Aditu from the wandering spirits lost upon the Crow Road. Four years passing is time enough. Our shadow can now be lifted. Without their bodies they cannot be laid to rest in our Garden of the Dead, for they fell far from here in lands unknown and hidden from us. Jhokl demands his payment. This we have taken from the son this night. With his blood upon our beaks and wings we have an offering for Jhokl to put our beloved lords safely upon the road that will lead them to his Halls. My kin, fly with me this last time for I will not return.

My place is at the side of he who has served me so well and whom I must now give my last honour and breath to. My master calls me home. Blood for blood.”

Rauxlor then ascends into the night followed by a streaming murder of crows. Only Seeker remains behind staring at her CrowSinger, Avarin, who returns her gaze coldly.

“You have done well my children. Rauxlor will pass from the mortal veil and ascend, as is his fate so to do. Long has he carried the dead. Now the time of mourning is past for you. Bury items of all those we do honour to in the barrow beyond these steps. They deserve your remembrances, as they will have ours. Mighty lords of the House Aditu fallen in battle. They can now be at peace.”

With that Seeker follows her kin and is lost to sight in the paling light of the night sky.

Tirandel and Avarin comfort the child who is bleeding from his hands. They wrap cloth about the wounds and notice that despite his cries of pain he appears calm and not at all fearful. Tirandel looks to Avarin: “The kei-vishaa helped.” Avarin merely looks back at her companion with eyes that narrow and blood streaked cheeks. Her dress is soaked in her own blood from many wounds, as is Tirandel’s.

She looks to the tomb that Seeker spoke of. “We will do as commanded and rejoice in the peace that has been granted them so long since their passing from us.”

The three figures then make their way from the Garden of the Dead in silence. Thoughts need no sound.

* * *

The figures in the Rose Gardens watch as the crows take to the sky.

As the comitati step away from Amerasu she turns her head and speaks softly from the depths of her hooded cloak of crimson and royal blue.

“Soon my daughter will be your Queen.”


  1. Yes, dark. But I like it because of that. I presume another crow would now step/fly/hop forward to join Seeker and ???? (Tirandel's bird) and become the child's spirit guide? Or would Rauxlor remain the spirit guide even after he's ascended?