Ma captures a merc who'd caught her to try to trap her son and the rest of the party. The leader of the flock of raven-folk, imagine the looks on Wraithvine's and the rest of their faces when she shows up with her new feathered friends.
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The Raven-folk were said to be cursed by the gods. They had the power of creation taken away from them. Less superstitious types who studied the evidence of eons had a more sensible answer - they were the descendants of created beings.
Once upon an eon ago, a villain calling themself the Master of Crows decided to take Corvids and turn them into the perfect servant. Only capable of mimicry, never capable of invention, they would follow the letter of their instructions to their dying breath. Which was as close to a curse as any creature could get. The Master of Crows was defeated by a mighty hero, and his corvid minions escaped to become the Raven-folk. Minions for the rest of time, subservient to the nearest dominant will.
Which, when she got right down to it, creeped Ma Oxbrydl out. She would tell this bird-person to sit and they would sit. She could give it any instruction and it would follow. Well. All instructions but one: "Choose for yourself."
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