Discuss (0)  

The Ravener

Author: Zeek McKrye
Date: unknown

"Alright, since this is for the benefit of all of us, I'm going to start
with a little early history and background information. Its always important
to keep an eye on the big picture. I'm sure I'm going to tell you all things
that you already know. If anything that I'm about to say is incorrect, I'd
appreciate being set right.

You all know that the Kal en Dral represent the elements that combine to
make up the world. The they and the entities under them stand primarily for
Nature and Balance.
Well, the Kal kre Bain are sorta the opposite. They represent all that is
un-natural and wrong. They're source of power comes from Outside.
However, they too head up a hierarchy of lesser beings. Some of these
include Bainen, Shadow Beasts, Mach med Dren... etc. The Kal kre Bain's
goals are not known in full, but apparently they include destroying our
reality; breaking the rules; killing the Kal en Dral.
I think about 300 years ago was when the vampire Azreal, called the Angel of
Death, introduced Guardian Moonsinger to her new dark masters and sponsors.
In both the Forgotten War and our more recent Lost Gate Wars we encountered
many strange minions of the Kal kre Bain, summoned here by the Nameless One.
In the end-game of our fight with Her, some very powerful forces were called
up.
Fortunately, many of Baines were destroyed by Guardian Stormbringer
following the fall of Her citadel. However, there were seven very strong
Bainen that escaped him and entered the Realms at large. As it stands now,
three of the seven yet remain:

The Demon Dog was killed by Peregrin.
The Animator was killed at 'Loose Threads.'
The Corruptor was killed by the Dragon Ebon, while Peregrin destroyed the
Black Dog Bandits.
Greed was killed in his lair at Brandon's Pass by a group of Realms folk.

The remaining three are:
Hunger - a pale gaunt humanoid that looks like one of the walking dead.
Hunger has left the realms, he intends to build and army and return when he
has the strength. This one might also be known as 'Terror'.

Destroyer - Known to us as 'The Ravener' and earlier as 'The Vicious
Vampire' ... It is in possession of a stone guardian gargoyle body. It can
therefore fly, and has a tough hide. It delights in mutilation and death.

Death Walker - Is a dangerous creature because it is so hard to find.. it
has the ability to Planeswalk at will... it could be anywhere... and it
excels at killing rani - especially any that know where it is... It looks
like a pale-undead-humanoid, glowing as if on fire.

All of the Bainen command formidable ranges of necromantic powers. They can
command or animate the undead with ease. Yet, they also have living minions
as well. Because of this, we must be prepared to face them at least twice.

Getting back to the Ravenor.. The first confirmed kill that we could link to
him was found on 6/23/98. Since that time he has steadily waged a campaign
to slaughter both peasants and animals. With the confirmed death toll
numbering over 100 men, women, and children as well as countless animals. I
don't like to think about just how many have not been found yet. Victims
have been found in many countries of the Realms, but the far overwhelming
majority have been within Chimeron's borders. Further, most of these were
within the bounds of Chimeron Proper. To date, the single largest find
occurred in Chimeron on 9/10/98. It was a pair of small boys who came across
the grisly remains of over 36 people in a mass grave. It was in a small cave
left over from the invasion last spring.

The Ravenor has done more destruction than the slaying people and animals.
Around October 16th razed the Kal en Dral shrine in Qua Taerreth Nunna. It
was there that the Ko-Rani named Peb spent himself to keep the Meg Stone
from falling into the Ravenor's hands.
In the beginning, the bodies were mostly found alone. Very often they are
left as a taunt to those of us who hunt him or to sew terror in the people.
In addition to being mutilated, all their fluids had been completely drained
away. Then later, we began to find what we started to call 'larders' of the
dead. As I'm about to tell you, we should have been calling them nests.

Soon after the attacks began, many of us started to hunt out the cause. Most
of us wished to put an end to the killing, but there was one who had a
slightly different motivation. Sensing the growing terror of the peasantry,
a local vampire decided to find the Ravenor and convince him to hunt more
discreetly.
He was at this goal for a very long time, but his latest actions are the
most noteworthy. He decided to use a stolen Gypsy boy as bait. He charmed
the wits from the boy and commanded him to wander the land at night as he
followed.
As the vampire soon discovered tho, it was the Ravenor who had been hunting
him. In their meeting, the Bainen revealed some things about himself. It is
now known that the Ravenor is very intelligent, ruthlessly cunning, and
stoically sure of his success. He does not hunt people to feed himself, but
rather to support his minions.
On that night, he had four of them with him. The ones the vampire saw were
of a smaller yet similar gargoyle build, but seemingly made entirely of
blood. He believes that they are undead and also nocturnal. All of them
could fly.
While the Ravenor seemed to be quite emotionless, the blood creatures were
brimming with excitement at the death of the boy. During this time, the
Bainen coldly revealed that he has a deeper plans than just feeding his
brood. He knows we are all looking for him and claims not to care. He
concluded the audience by commanding the vampire to remain there with the
dead child until the sun rose. At that time, the vampire was able to make a
messy escape which the Ravenor hoped might be followed by the Gypsies
searching for their lost boy.

Unfortunately, it is apparent that the blood creatures no longer require any
help. On November 6th, four attacks occurred on the same night in
Blackwater, Qua Taerreth Nunna, Rhiassa, and Thorn Valley. Each victim had
one bite mark where earlier victims were found to have as many as six.

On a cautionary note, the we must be careful how we sent letters since the
Ravenor may specifically target our message carriers if he wishes to stop
our communication.

Another important recent event was the cryptic readings that came from the
Seer and Seeress of the Northern Wilds. The message from the Seer was
ominous, yet the meaning is still not clear enough for open speculation. The
Seeress tho, gave us some important advise. She told us that, "The
Destroyer's strategy is deep and secure and it has more pieces left than
estimated. Beware! Strike not too quickly, your steps are precarious, and
the Destroyer has you covered." She then advised us to meet with Stuart,
Marie, and also with the other Kathrani. She bade us to Remember that all
the Bainen are 'of a Kind' and that true victory will not come easily.

Speaking of victory, I think our best hopes are tied strongly to the egg
which Stuart has been keeping safe. Actually, the ‘egg' is the vessel inside
which Sir Lars's soul was placed into so that he could be carried out of the
Well of Souls. Currently, the egg holds the compassion of a guardian
gargoyle. It has also been called a gargoyle heart.
Incidentally, this one is female.
We found her during the rescue mission we undertook to retrieve Sir
Peregrin. He disappeared in a battle with the Bainen known as DeathWalker
when he elected to take an evil black death-bolt meant for Guardian
Stormborne. According to her, the place he was sent to was, "A Bain-land -
one of the realms that they corrupted and destroyed... There are thousands
of realms, splinter realms, planes, lands, and places. The Kal try to
protect each of them as if each was 'it's own'. Each with it's own natural
order and place... The Bainen try to destroy them all... PlanesWalkers, such
as DeathWalker, can travel from plane to plane, realm to realm, wrecking
havoc as they may." Portals to Bain-realms appear blue from this side of
them, green from the other.
This particular realm had a bleak and barren landscape, devoid of comfort
and life... The sky was a murky grey, the sun hanging suspended at a
perpetual 'noon'... Dry red dust hung in the air... Actually, it was
Peregrin who first encountered her. She helped him in that evil place until
we found them. Upon re-entering the Realms, Stormborne purified all of us,
including the egg.
According to her, "I think you will have a very difficult time destroying
her body... Most bainen are more spirit than flesh, much like Rani or
'anti-rani' as it were... I guess you could try knocking the body down,
opening the egg, or throwing a protect the soul around the body, and hope
the bain is dislodged so that the Gargoyle can recover it's body - and
destroy the bain once it's outside it's protective shell... there is no
guarantee that will work though. After all, that plan relies on you being
able to knock the body down - not an easy task..."

In summary, the enemy that we face is intelligent, well-informed, strong of
arm and also in necromantic magic. His body is ni-invulnerable and can also
fly. His followers are extremely blood-thirsty, yet also loyal to him. We
can expect the Ravenor to see through basic traps and withstand conventional
attacks. To make matters worse, our time table is short.. I don't expect the
patience of the peasantry to last much longer... The Ravenor has turned the
terror up a notch by lately leaving his victims (and those of his minions)
with their faces intact.

It would be very bad for us to under-estimate what we are up against.

Our next course of action will be to find a ritual to allow the gargoyle
heart to re-enter its body. Second, we need a method of immobilizing him
long enough to conduct the ritual. After he has been exorcized, then the
pummeling can begin. We many also need to deal with his brood of
blood-critters as well.

++++++

End Historical Briefing:

Notes: All of the bainen mentioned in this telling have been slain. Hunger
was slain under water, it had been building an army of undead, attacking
boats, and remaining in the sea between Rrathkeale and Teng Hua. Deathwalker
was lured to a trap, and eventually killed. The Ravener was also eventually
destroyed, and later, his brood killed.
Created by Iacob of Ivory (David Kapell) at 10-31-05 12:30 PM
Last Modified by Faelinn Shadowmoon (Leanne Micciche) at 04-14-08 08:45 PM