Last Stand of the 5th Crusade

Riva: The Crows

16th of Arodus, Kenabres catacombs


The Crows are a dangerous group, called a murder
For reasons and acts as black as a feather.
With merciless violence they strike with a fervor
For death for death’s own sake when they flock together.
They steal what is loved, leaving naught but disorder
And murder and theft and loss beyond measure!
When they fly misaligned, such acts may be averted,
Or the thievery is just and its loot well-deserved.

I can no longer doubt that it has found me. How many times have I felt my mind split open, words not my own being etched upon it. Over half my years like this. I can’t return to where I was. I must remember Rieko’s lessons. I must remember to breathe. How do I breathe when these visions knock the wind from me? How do I maintain peace and mindfulness when every fiber of my being screams to fight, and the voices scream back at me? I could hear them.

Enough. I must not dwell on that now, or the fear will only drag me deeper. From what is happening above, there is fear enough.

I saw it coming, though I did not even realize it at the time, as distracted as I was by the voices. I’m not sure if Trynna fully appreciated it, but I performed a perfect reading. Every card of the reading was a Dexterity card, matching the suit of the Key card. The chance of that is one in a thousand. Dad sometimes liked to point out the statistics of Mama’s readings. Wait no, perfect alignment of suits is one in 729. I can see his voice now. He would be proud. Mama would too.

As the Key to the reading, Trynna drew the Locksmith. That set the tone for a very literal read.

From the Past came the Rabbit Prince. Vagaries of hand-to-hand combat, capricious, younger member of a well-off household. From what I understand, that is Trynna’s past. It’s almost so literal that there is nothing to learn here, but I feel the cards did this to prove to her that they are not some mere parlor trick.

Then the Crows, perfectly aligned in the position of pure evil, representing the Present. “Murder and theft and loss beyond measure.” This did not make sense to me at the time, but now it shines as bright and fixed as the North Star in its terrible direction. When that card came, I’m sure the demons were already advancing on the borders. I feel utterly powerless to stop the horrors above. I can’t even stop the horrors inside me. No — can’t think like that. We must get out there somehow. I know Ivan is alive. I need to save him, if only I knew where he was. Keeya and the others as well. It sounds insane to write this, but I hope Keeya was not released yet. I digress. My mind simply cannot focus with all this.

In the Future position, the Dance. But it was perfectly misaligned, in the position of chaos and evil, the Abyss. Even more horror awaits. In misalignment this card often reads as the Dance becoming hypnotic. Yet now that I fully understand the Present, the Crows, I dread that it may be more, a perfect inversion of the Dance’s meaning: the framework is collapsing. The order that has maintained the greater good is failing, and evil and chaos come.

Whether that refers to the world above or to my own self, I do not know.


Well done. Great read!

Riva: The Crows


Riva: The Crows

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