V is for Violing

combat-scene-2Stories and legends pass as entertainment and guidance, traditions of fate and fortune that fill the smoky interiors of inns and taverns across Ambria and Alberetor. Amongst these, birds figure time and again, oftentimes heralds of bad luck, but also of communication and freedom from earthly bonds.

The Violing, of all birds, have become a troubling menace to travelers far and wide across Ambria. The carrion birds have taken to expanding their diet to includes snapping chunks from the flesh of the living. It isn’t clear whether this change in their behavior has arisen naturally or through insidious corruption by long exposure to dark magics in Davokar or the gore-soaked fields of Alberetor.

Converse

Certain lore suggests that any who consumes an alchemical preparation laced with the blood of a Lindwurm acquires the temporary ability to understand and converse with all birds, including the corrupt and black-tempered Violing. Rumour suggests the Witches of the Clans use this very technique to turn the Violing into their capable spies, sending the birds hither-and-yon.

The Pale Eye

One tale tells of the Greater Violing that perches in the tallest tree of Davokar and communes with the Great Worm, Grandfather Lint through the creatures of the forest. The Greater Violing, called the Pale Eye, communicates with lesser birds of the great forest who serve to bring it information on events beneath the canopy. What benefit Pale Eye receives from Grandfather Lint does not figure in the verses of the tale.

Misfortune

Folklore suggests that the sight of three birds of black feather prior to battle bodes poorly for the side who sighted them first. While not specific to Violing, the nature of the corrupted creatures has served to strengthen and embed this belief further.

Before the siege to claim Lindaros, Brother Golin of the Church of Prios recited a prayer to the Sun God specifically to ward against the curse associated with this vision.

Cold and Snow

In the folklore of the Young Gods, from the old country, mythology told of a great bird that nested in the Titans and whose wings were the cause of the bitter winds that flowed across the fields of Alberetor in the winter. The great bird, Velgur, nested in the snows of the highest peaks.

Folklore proclaimed mystical properties for the snow on this peak as a means for the rejuvenation of the sick and elderly, as the great height exposed the ice to the most natural and raw of elemental forces. It isn’t clear whether Velgur served as a guardian of the mystical snow – but the winds he fanned off it served as a good sign for crops the following year.

The Sleepless

While untested and unproven, certain masters of lore and magic associate the Violing with the specific corruption that causes the dead to rise from their sleep. That carrion birds swarmed the battlefields after clashes with the enemy in Alberetor likely served as the source for this belief – but the continued study has given it some credence as a possibility.

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