The psychopomps are hungry. There are other ways to think about how the creatures of the Underworld and the strange signs behave, when cycles of violence and deaths before their time start to turn again locally, but the eagerness they show makes many of the local Sin-Eaters of Hanging Hills and Fallcoast think of hunger. It’s the murder of crows descending near the reservoir, or the Black Dog sightings in the woods. It’s the old woman who watches every Fallcoast graveyard and walks the Hanging Hills until she disappears. And deaths always follow the signs, out of their proper time and out of order.
Were the death-omens here always so predatory? Not always, perhaps. The early Krewes that comprised the larger local Society of Crows faced smaller sacrifices in the cycle, a longer timespan to keep affairs in order in the local Underworld. They counted the deaths and disasters in individuals and small handfuls. But the body count rises and the danger of more strange deaths is always on the radar. When Crow Hollow was drowned with an entire town's souls in it, the local Sin-Eaters hoped this might appease the murder long enough, sated on the loss of a community. But in a community based so much on turning cycles, what hungered once will surely hunger again.
Some larger Krewes start from a core mythos which splits into factions later. The Society of Crows based out of Fallcoast and Hanging Hills is notable because they operate exactly backwards from this general origin: they are a collection of factions and beliefs whose origins were somewhat different from the start, and have coalesced inward rather than fracturing outward. Their bonds have beliefs and mythology in common, but they all rose up from individual smaller Krewes in this region of Maine who came to recognize common ground, rather than the other way around.
The overall Krewe, therefore, has a history of tolerating and even welcoming smaller Krewes that are not a part of their number -- in at least one case in the Society's history, those outsiders ended up finding common cause and joining the greater whole. All the same, Sin-Eaters local to the Society are more often than not drawn to join with the Society and its subgroups.
The Society of Crows are focused on the cycle of life and death, how life comes back out of death and inevitably returns there -- ashes to ashes, dust to dust. They believe the worlds of the living and the dead work in ways that repeat themselves and give signs of what is to come - that history, in its way, predicts the future, and that the actions in life have something to do with what comes after death. Their factions might have different ways of interpreting and relating to these cycles and mechanisms, of course. They point to bird migrations, to the cycle of tides.
((The Society of Crows is the Tier 2 Krewe that is a main focus locally, though outside Tier 1 Krewes will be considered by staff. This Krewe will have NPC leadership at first, and these NPCs may be used as Mentors by anyone who joins one of the Society of Crows factions; our intention is that PCs are allowed to join and eventually take this structure over, tear it down, maintain it -- whatever is IC. While Geist staff has an outline for the factions in the Society, it is very loose -- if your PC is a local who might well be a part, we are willing to build the factions around people who join the Society rather than forcing you to our mold. ))
TBD shortly, but a few tastes:
- The Whippoorwills: The whippoorwill is one of the region's oldest death-signifiers, and its song is said to act almost as a banshee's cry. Earliest records among the local Bound have stories of whippoorwills singing themselves near unto their own deaths just before a sickness ravaged the native population.
- Minister Bradford: Some of the early tastes of problems in the Underworld occurred during Minister Bradford's campaign against the undesirables of Hanging Hills early in the town's history. Most of the Society of Crows with a historical bent regard this reign of terror as the first taste of violent things to come.
- Drowned Towns: Crow Hollow comes by its name honestly: when the towns were drowned, the secret rumor says that at least one of the four was drowned before it was fully evacuated, and many denizens were swallowed alive by the waters. Regardless, bodies rise regularly from the waters, and flocks of crows give the reservoir its colloquial nickname. Local Sin-Eaters will caution newcomers about talking to the birds -- they know too much, some say.
...and more to come.