Raven Species in The World of Cartyrion | World Anvil


Ravens are a species of relatively large birds found in practically every region of Cartyrion. Highly revered by the Awkwana - almost certainly due to the similarities between the birds and the these Folk - they are not only encountered in the wild, but have also been kept as pets and trained for use as messengers by the birdfolk for thousands of years. Other Folk have more recently made use of them in these ways as well.

The birds resemble crows, though are typically larger in size, with a lower pitched vocalization that sounds more like a croak than a crow's "caw". Beak-to-tail, they measure about 2ft (60cm) in length, and can weigh 2.5lb (1.2kg). Their feathers are almost always jet-black from beak to tail, withh dark greyish beaks and scales on their legs which end in formidable talons. All-white albino variants appear from time to time - these have pale yellow beaks and pale pinkish leg scales. There have also been some extremely rare sightings of giant varieties of these birds reaching sizes as much as three times that of the common variety.

All ravens (and crows) are considered "special" by the Awkwana. The extremely rare white specimens are considered "sacred", especially among the Truthseers, who are themselves distinguished from other Awkwana by all-white plumage. Most other common Folk - especially grain farmers - consider them pests as they are fond of augmenting their diet of carrion with fresh grain and vegetables plucked from tended fields. The sudden appearance of large numbers of the creatures, however, is almost universally considered to be an ill omen by all Folk except the Awkwana, who consider it to be just the opposite. Among most folk, such a gathering is not called a "flock", but rather an "unkindness".
Common, Giant, White (Albino)
Common: 2ft(60cm)
Giant: 6ft(1.8m)
Common: 2.5lb(1.2kg)
Giant: 20lb(9kg)
Common: 4ft(120cm)
Giant: 12ft(3.6m)
In the wild, these creatures tend to nest in large groups. Their primary diet is carrion - kills commandeered away from smaller birds of prey, or the leavings of large land predators such as big cats, wolves, or bears. But they will also eat berries and tree fruits from time to time. Their large, strong beaks are capable of snapping all but the largest bones, and their pointed tongues seem designed to extract marrow from these bones. A flock of ravens can reduce a deer carcass to a pile of glistening white bone fragments in a few hours. When one member of a flock - or the nest of one member - is threatened, the entire flock will respond aggressively.

Ravens are highly intelligent, and can be domesticated - especially if raised from a hatchling. Some have been taught to emulate speech of the Folk (though crows are better at this). They have also been frequently trained for use as messengers, carrying small notes affixed to a leg. Typically, a raven can be taught to fly between two specific destinations, but some have mastered three or more, and can understand when "told" which to fly to by their masters.

Ravens tend to be attracted to shiny or sparkly things; both wild and domesticated birds have been known to steal coins, gems, items of jewelry, or shards of glass and secret them in their nesting areas. (In the case of domesticated birds that have free run within their households, these caches of trinkets could be anywhere.)


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