Category: Swarm of ravenous crows
Danger rating: Life Threatening
Activity Period: Drought
Restrictions: Cannot fly in heavy winds, exists only within the Empire, close to the Obaayn Desert.
Description: An Aoktholian Swarm is a huge swarm of screeching, red and black feathered crows. The Aoktholian does normally not exist, but when there is a drought, these desperate crows change. Their wing feathers turn red and they begin to amass in ever larger swarms. In the beginning these swarms will be attacking defenceless victims, such as small children, dogs and cats, and they will completely cover these victims, peck them to death and greedily devour them, leaving only the blood spattered skeleton behind. Then, as the swarms grow bigger, they will begin attacking full grown humans, cattle and larger beasts, until one day the swarm is so big that it devours all it encounters; herds of cattle, families, villages and even small towns. At this point the swarm will be so vast that it will cover the horizon as it approaches, a trait that has given them the alternate name "Dark Swarm" in some locations. When the drought is finally over, these crows turn black once again and then disperse, finally able to survive on their own.
The Desert Nomads believe the Aoktholian are the messengers of the Gods and hold them sacred. These nomads have learnt several techniques to stay alive where all else are eaten and indeed entire tribes follow the Aoktholian to pillage the areas these birds have ravaged. Within the temples of the desert tribes, ancient frescoes of the Aoktholian as they assault entire cities can be found, as well as mysterious wall paintings of Aoktholian-human werebeings. The Aoktholian’s droppings are coloured red, due to the excessive amount of blood and red meat these creatures eat. This gave birth to the now widespread rumour, which has reached even the north, that when the Aoktholian pass, it rains blood.