The Return of the Raven King is an ongoing plot / story arc that is open to all spheres and characters. The plot is basically a combination of the "Who Done It" and a 'Something Wicked This Way Comes' with a fair bit of Modern Mythic themes.
The story involves the possible return of a near-mythic figure known simply as "The Raven King". This is a character who has been noted in history and legends in multiple cultures. He was said to be present during the Black Death, the Crusades, and some say that he walked the no-man's land during World War I. Wherever there is death on an epic scale, when the ravens and crows swarm and circle the death like clouds of smoke, you'll find him.
It's uncertain what supernatural nation claims him as their own. The Changelings suspect that he might be one of the Gentry, the Vampire historians are positive that he's just a particularly elder of the Nosferatu or Gangrel clans with an affinity towards animals. The Changing Breeds have nothing concrete to say about him and the Geists worry that he could be a harbinger of dangers to come.
Wherever he might come from or whomever might claim him as one of their own, the Raven King was dethroned for a reason and it's uncertain how the world would shift if he came into power once more.
Those who want to have knowledge of the Raven King should have some form of library (other than google) dealing with ancient myths and legends of the old world.
The Raven King is a figure from ancient Anglo-Saxon mythology who was a mixture of a trickster god (illusions) and a thief. He stole things from the various supernatural races until he pissed off some of the bigger players who had to gang up to take him down. He was sort of like one of the original 'big bads' back when there were still 'big bads' who walked around the world.
The name "Raven King" is something of a misnomer. He's not a "king of ravens" because they follow him as his subjects or minions. He's a raven king because he leaves whole cities dead for them to feast on. So wherever he walks - the ravens / crows learned to follow.
It's not certain as to which of the supernatural races he came from.
The Changelings have their myths about the figure as to the Geists.
The information contained here is a record of the information that's been generated through the plot. If you're new to this story you're welcome to proceed with having any knowledge that's marked Public Info. These require no investigation roll at all. However if you'd like to gain knowledge to some of the Restricted info you should page the storyteller (Wyck).
Over the past few months a few pieces of artistic graffiti have appeared upon the sides of abandon buildings within the region of Pigeon Hill. The first image (Below) showed a raven skull with a pair of wings on either side above a few lines of poetic text. The lines read: "For ancient came a raven bold, the herald of woe and tales untold". The second tag was similarly located around the region and it was similar to the first but the design added a crown above the raven's skull image (below). The lines below it read simply: The crownless again shall be king.
When Wyck showed up to sell some of his flash art to Kilo, he drew the skull with the crown and offered to sell it to her. When pressed about what he knew about he image, he said that he's seen it in 'other places' and listed Texas and Alabama as at least two states.
Lomax and Kilo decided to go to the 4 neighborhoods surrounding Pigeon Hill and paint identical replicas of the Raven King - signed by Kilo and Lomas and the Southside Kings, in hopes that one of those entities would be (probably angrily) approached as to why we were copying their graffiti.
- Moosetown A01,
- Historical Waterfront B01,
- Historic District B02,
- University City B03.
They did all four in one night (last night) at about 2-3am, they chose any building they could find with a was big and empty enough to show off the raven, sometimes there was graffiti behind it. They reproduced the skull, wings and crown - all the same at all four locations and each design had the Kilo, Lomax and SK tags included. So that one way or the other one of them would be contacted (they hope).
And after some rolls, they saw this at the four sites:
1. Nothing of interest. It's early in your project.
2. While painting the tag and signing your name, you notice three crows seated on a nearby roof. They are absently ignoring your activities.
3. While painting the third tag, you notice a dozen crows on a nearby roof. They don't seem to be particularly interested in what you're doing but they are facing the building that you're working on.
4. And finally, in the wee hours of the night and as you finish the last tag, you notice that there are no crows around as you start. But as you spread the paint around and such, more and more of the winged black specks show up on the building opposite your chosen canvas. As you finish the skull and sign your name they start to squawk louder and louder. But when either of you finish the last brush stroke of the last letter of the last thing you paint (presumably the gang's name) they all fall silent. Everything is quiet for a moment as though a fuse was burning and was ready to blow at any second. And that's when it happens. They all jump into the air and fly off in twenty-something different directions as though they were startled. (Notice: twenty DIFFERENT directions, not as a flock or a swarm but in random and nearly chaotic paths).
- Kilo and Rictus want to go investigate Wyck's claims of seeing more of these graffiti tags back in Texas. After getting the location from the white-haired boy, they arrive to see (Image 3). In an area that is covered with various kinds of street art, this is one of the only tags that not covered over by anything else. They wander into a nearby bar to see if anyone has any answers. They end up going to a basement gay club called "Under the Rainbow" and speak with a figure known as "The Glenda". She was an interesting person, a black drag queen dressed in the very gown of her namesake from the movie 'The Wizard of Oz' and said that their interest in "The Canticle" was expected. Before any more information could be gained, the bar was raided by police and she offered them an escape through a side exit.
- Breaking News: Fire strikes the city as structures in four neighborhoods were found to be engulfed in flames before crews could respond. Police officials report that the fires were almost definitely caused by arson and were located at the following areas of the city: Moosetown, Historical Waterfront, Historic District, and University City. The structures were considered a total loss by the fire department.
- Update: bodies discovered at the arson sites at Moosetown and University City. The police have not released a list of the deceased or suspects though one source within the department suggested that gang involvement is suspected.
- The evening after the four buildings were burned, Vandal put out a spread to talk to some informants who he hoped would have seen something and give him some information about the destruction of the buildings.
- Holmes has learned from the local EMT and Fire departments a few bits of interesting info: Both of the two bodies that were discovered in the burned buildings were apparently homeless based upon what they were wearing, their physical condition and the like. They didn't die from the fire itself but rather from smoke inhalation (or that's the official story). Unofficially, and this is just hearsay from the crews who were on site, both of the men were missing their eyes when they were found. What's more weird is that the eyes were burned out like by a red-hot poker or something.
- Lomax tried to use his knowledge of the street to see if any of the homeless had noticed anything unusual was going on.
- The first 3 sites get him basically nothing. One of the sources looks at you oddly when you ask if anything 'weird' has been going on. "Have you been watching -anything- that's been going on out there? There's always something weird going on - just a matter of how weird and how long it lasts." However, at your last stop (location 4 / University City) you get a bit more details. It seems that some of the homeless have noticed an inordinate number of crows around the city - they squawk and scream at them as they paw through the trash and stuff. There's no specific place where they're clustered so it's just a general feeling that something's drawn their attention. One guy mentioned that a buddy of his, 'Ol Hank' killed one with a rock and they followed him all over town - dozens and dozens of them. Wherever he was they would roost nearby and squawk at him something fierce like they were angry at him or something. Never seen such a thing. Hank turned up dead about a week ago (before the arson). When they found him there were crows all over the body pickin at him.
- A new bit of information was uncovered by yet another interested party (Izzy). They have some histo-mythical information on the character of "The Raven King" that might shed some light as to what's going on. They also received two more pieces to the great puzzle of "The Canticle". She also learns of another player in this trail of breadcrumbs. His name is Ix.
- Even MORE information has surfaced due to Kilo's ability to pull occult knowledge out of her...uh..yeah, let's call it a resource.
- Lomax, Rictus and Kilo go to the building in University City, the one where a body was found after the arson, to investigate things. They find that though 1 body was found, there were 13 living there. The rest became ghosts with their bodies turned to ash.
- Lomax finds a foot-long, black feather within the blackened ruins.
- Kilo finds an old skeleton key under the sleeping mat of the guy whose body was found.
- Rictus helps cover Lomax's escape when things turn bad.
- Amastacia and Aurore go investigate the Waterfront building that was torched. It did not end well.
- Aurore, in an amazing bit of research, discovers a possible connection to an organization out of Germany called the Cult of the Crow Father.
- Holmes gains access to hospital records and looks for any information on the two bodies that were taken in to the hospital from the burned buildings. He discovers that over the past six months, thirteen similar cases were brought in in Massachusetts, Rhode Island Maine and Vermont. Each time it was two bodies logged into the system on the same evening and all on the same lunar cycle of the month. The only blip in the pattern was that on the night that the two homeless bodies were logged in from Fallcrest another one, an elderly man in Boston, was logged in with similar injuries. All, but the isolated man were listed as 'Homeless' and ranged in age from late twenties to early forties. More information is available through IC contact with Holmes.
- Adrian investigated the burned building in Moosetown and discovered more information concerning how/why the buildings burned from the source of the fire on fhe 4th floor. He also collected two bits of information (one of them was a long, black feather) upon the roof itself.
- Breaking News at the Hypnotiq Club:
- Shots fired at one person rumored to have been killed. Police investigated the reports of the alleged death but found no signs of an attack. Investigations are ongoing. (+bbread 13/149)
- Street Rumors report that the shooting is somehow related to the messages found around town regarding a Rabbit Hole (+bbread 13/147) which is the name of the private basement area of the club.
- Breaking and Entering at local Motel leads to murder:
- One man is in custody and another is dead after what police are calling a botched breaking and entering at the Moonlite Motel and Lounge.
- Sources close to the police report that there was signs of a struggle within the room but could not confirm the presence of what some are calling a 'flood light' in the room.
- Meeting at the Rabbit Hole
- An older man arrived wearing the symbol of the 'Cult of the Crow Father' on a small ring. When he was asked about his knowledge of the Raven King he got up to leave.
- Before he could get out, a second, hooded man appeared at the basement door and shot the old man at near point-blank range; killing him instantly.
- The Raven King (or at least his image) then appeared within the club (or the basement room of it) and ordered the shooter to answer some questions and then leave.
- Damian Took possession of the dead man's body to hide it while the cops were coming. He also has his ring.
- Aurore took possession of the dead man's cane.
- Frankie sent her ghost ally to spy on the shooter to see where he went after he was told to leave by the 9-foot tall skeletal figure.
- Isrieal took care of the cops.
- Later that night at the Moonlite Motel
- Damian and Frankie go to the old man's hotel room to look for clues.
- They found two other men searching the room looking for a package.
- One man was killed by a 'Shadowy Spiritual Presence' that retreated from light.
- Damian and Frankie got a package duct taped under the bed frame. It's a copy of a journal and they took a skull with a candle affixed to the top that the two men were using as some kind of early-warning system.
- DamianFrankie and Aurore to hiking in Crow Hollow to find the remains of an Abernathy tomb called Raven Hill. Things get interesting.
- A full copy of the Canticle is discovered by the group and a few take pictures with their phone.
- More strange things discovered below Crow Hollow are yet to be understood.
| RP Hooks
- Occult: This is a plot based within the mysteries of the occult. Rather than just being a minor historical figure of myth, those who have delved deeply into the occult might have heard about some of his doings back in the Age of Myth.
- Something Wicked This Way Comes: He's coming back. This is like the storm cloud on the horizon and anything that can feel the winds of fate shifting would know that there's something that -could- spill over into the mortal world.
- Changeling: The Raven King is a figure that's buried deep within the lore of the Fae - he may have been one if some of the legends are correct. Word has it that he had some dealings with some of the Elders when they weren't so elder and took something that belonged to them.
- Geist: The Raven King is a Harbinger of death. He's a conqueror. The crows have started to gather and what do we call a group of crows? They know that if he returns, death will soon follow.
- Bread Crumbs: This is a plot for those who like to find clues and follow them to a possible conclusion. This is a moderately slow-paced plot because of the holidays so there's a lot of investigation, research, theorizing, translation, etc. The more action stuff will happen once everyone is able to put the pieces together.
| The Canticle
The Canticle of the Raven King is sort of a puzzle of bread crumbs which participants in the plot are trying to figure out. The Canticle is a narrative poem / bardic verse which appears in 4 line stanzas. The pattern reveals that the first line rhymes with the fourth so it does help when lining things up that way and there are 15 in total.
So far they have discovered a few of the stanzas which are shown here in the order that they were found.
Found by: Public
For Ancient came a Raven Bold
The Herald of Woe and tales Untold
He shaped and caught, and light he fought
to hide in stars above his Hold
(These are known to be in order)
The first to come of Winter’s Borne,
Known he to bare the Hunter’s Horn.
A first born’s ire, more fierce than fire
Laid low the walls and Raven’s sworn.
The next to fight, the Elvish knight
Sung to the stars and brought to light.
A shadow’s death, an angel’s breath
And forged a chain of endless might.
(These are known to be in order)
The greatest of his treasures all,
Held far beyond his stoney wall.
In places deep, where darkness sleeps
A timeless babe, of Autumn’s Fall.
Stolen he was, from winter’s heart
And sewn the end, right from the start.
Broken was she, and severed three
And each the Raven’s peace depart.
For the Thorn’ed crown and broken sword
Buried deep in the griffon’s hoard.
The Raven stole into towers tall
Of Luna’s Get and Fairest Lord.
Beyond the Seas to where the Ravens follow
Fled the King into his Hollow.
Sung away at the break of day
And n’ere remembered beyond the morrow.
Knight and Hunter climbed the tower
To fetch their kin from the bower.
Their twin in wrath, broke not the path,
For she claimed crown and winter’s power.
Twixt branch and root and ashen bone,
Winter’s issue broke wood and stone.
Through iron bars and fallen stars,
The brothers came upon the throne.
| Player Feedback
Feel free to edit the sections to below to add your comments.
What did you like about the style of the plot (Investigative / Combative / etc.)
I liked everything I encountered, it felt like a good ol' DnD session which is what I have been craving as a player! - Amastacia
What did you think of the characters, the scenarios, the nitty-gritty?
I didn't get to know enough about the NPCs yet to really give a synopsis here, but I liked the settings and the overall feel of the plot. I liked the other PCs that were involved! They seemed neat and varied. -Amastacia
What did you think of the visuals, "handouts" (google doc links) and the like used to further develop the story?
This is probably one of the coolest parts and convinced me the ST was really dedicated to telling the story. Just take care not to do too much and burn yourself out OK Wyck? -Amastacia
Did you like the plot? Did you have fun? Is there something that you would like to see differently in the next plot? Is there something I should keep doing?
Yes! Yes! Don't neuter me next time! Keep doing everything! You're an amazing ST Wyck, keep up the hard work. <3 - Amastacia