The One-Eyed, Red-Eyed Crow
Last night I caught glimpse of the One-Eyed Crow
This morning, ashudder I verily woke
And spied the Devils baleful Eye upon me!
The Ebon Thing, with the sable wing
Blithely did the bird perch a skeletal tree
While clawing and cawing, softly.
The horror, the horror!
Today I was grasped by invisible claws
I began soon to tremble and quiver
The inevitable dance with the Red-Eyed Crow
Did force me to Deaths Door delivered.
A lone and bloody Monocle
Did I look upon this night
In a raucous flap of wings
Did come the harbinger of fright
Yet only from a distance do I feel its supple stings
Oh all the gods, have mercies!
Ive no strength left to sing
The horror! The horror!
I sense despair and melancholy
Lost in this marshy gloom
A vertigo intense and palpable
Which pulls me toward my doom
The Demiurge comes for me now
I fear I have not long
Rejoice, Rejoice in life, I say
Stay clear of this fetid place
Beware the Crow my children
Farewell my sweets embrace!
Alas, alas! My die is cast
Gods, spare your indigent servant!
The birds foul stroke has cut me deep
Woe upon woe, I go to my sleep
And await the Crow to cull me
The horror, the horror!
Dusk turns to Night
My mind spins lights enthralling
The One-Eyed, Red-Eyed Crow, I fear, comes gently, now acalling.
A night-leaden-gray, over-large, but mundane appearing crow, with a single, crimson mote of a despicable eye, centered on its malevolent little head.
A spooky legend of the desolate fens, but unfortunately a real creature as well, the ill-famed One-Eyed, Red-Eyed Crow fills all swamp dwellers with dread and loathing. Numerous warnings, mostly in the form of childrens verses, caution the unwary about encountering this dreaded beast in the mires. Some local tribes go so far as to call the Red-Eyed Crow the incarnation of some devilish or demonic primal force, and some even claim that the bird is the most malevolent creature in all of existence.
The One-Eyed, Red-Eyed Crow is spiteful and wicked enough however, that it does not need further legends ascribed to it. A truly malignant creature, with no redeeming traits, this black-hearted avian of dubious origins, is ever rare, but almost always fatal to those who cross its path. The crow appears as a quite ordinary member of its species, except for its single, cyclopean, crimson eye, centered, and staring out in bemoaned misery.
The crow is patient and will never chase its prey, always waiting upon desiccated tree branches, leering down balefully at unsuspecting passersby.
The crow is not extremely difficult to kill, since it has the constitution of a hardy, mundane raven, but no special magical defenses. It is the insidious attack of this bird however, that can be, and is, rightfully feared.
When travelers, especially lone travelers pass below the One-Eyed, Red-Eyed Crows demesne, it will first attempt to lock its single eye upon its chosen target, and woe to those who meet its gaze from below, for the demonic power of the bird is thus, that anyone staring into that spiteful, chthonic mote, will immediately feel a weakness and sense of immitigable anxiety, followed soon after by a complete and utter sense of gloom and hopelessness.
If its mnemonic gaze is successful, the bird proceeds to do nothing, and merely watches from a distance, as the disoriented victim suffers, as if receiving nourishment from the very wretchedness that it engenders.
Before long, the victim may fall upon the marsh in an inevitable fetal position, drowning in despondency, and it is then, the One-Eyed, Red-Eyed Crow will strike.
Flying on wings, which sound like those of rasping beetles, the Crow will swipe at the distracted depressant with either beak or talon, and fly away once more into the swamps canopy above, with but a single, dismaying Craaww!
If its draws blood in any way, the bird has achieved its purpose, for now, the Crows deadly power is enacted. If the intial swooping strke draws blood, no matter how little, a slow, excruciating process begins. As long as the Crow is within one hundred feet of its pitiable victim, it will siphon the life force from that individual, blood, soul and all, slowly, but irrevocably. Not even the slightest pain is felt throughout this eldritch process, by the victim, only an unfathomable darkness of spirit.
It may take an entire day or sometimes less, depending on the stamina and willpower of the individual, but inexplicably, as the victim stumbles and thrashes about, seeking a way out of the swamp, the mind now a wounded kitten, the Crow feeds from afar, devouring the essence of its prey. Eventually, when the wounded dies, the Crow will swoop down and land gingerly on the victims chest, digging its hungry beak deep into the navel, then having pulled free and gobbled down, whatever it was after, it takes off again, once more, and flies in earnest toward The Eternal Witness. Landing on the Elder Yew’s bough, the demonspawn craws the Eulogies of the Fallen. No one can even guess, what relationship, if any, this vile bird may share with the Ancient Yew.
Nay, do not ask me the One-Eyed, Red-Eyed Crows ecology, for surely the gods would laugh! Tis no fauna, Andreu, the Bird is Iniquity, a Primordial Evil, the Fear of all Men. Know less, live longer! Do not go into the swamps.
—Poryllsus, zoologist of Bavens Warren.
So powerful is the superstitious fervor and legend surrounding the One-Eyed, Red-Eyed Crow, and so few facts are known about its existence and nature, that the diabolical creature serves as the Bogey-Man, and even Father Death, in the zeitgeist of many a swamp tribe and culture.
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CodexThe Eternal Witness ( Lifeforms ) Unique - Forest/ Jungle
An ancient yew tree, touched by Death himself and chosen to be his witness throughout time.