Crow perched on a small outcropping high in the torch lit cave, and smiled. Wrapped in the black feathered cloak that gives him his name, Crow was invisible to those below. He loved the rush of power he felt, looking down over his slaves pressed tight in the cages. Wild, fearful, pleading eyes peered from the faces of every kind of race, watching as the guards made their rounds.
Humans, dwarves, elves and things he didn’t even know the name of. All creatures have worth, whether as servants, entertainment or food. Crow didn’t care what his men brought in. There was always a buyer.
A shout from one of the guards in the corner drew Crow’s attention. His men had managed to grab a young feline and its containment was proving difficult. Brutally cunning fighters and incredibly stubborn, a properly broken feline can fetch a huge sum as a prized pet among certain noble classes. As difficult as it is to get a child away from its tribe, they were well worth the effort. Crow had lucked out with this one. Its tribe had faced a brutal winter, loosing most of its members during a extensive cold snap. Weakened as they were, his men were easily able to dispatch the few remaining tribe members. It was a shame the two other children didn’t survive. They were worth only a fraction as much as meat.
Leaning in to get a better look, Crow reached back to grab the rope he used to climb up for support. But instead of rough, thick rope, his fingers wrapped around smooth, cold chain. With a start, Crow let go and tried to spin around, but his foot slipped on the narrow ledge. Before he could even cry out, four ink black chains unfurled from the darkness above and wrapped tightly around him.
Crow tried to scream for help as a small, thin, naked man dropped from the darkness onto the ledge, but the chains had crushed all air from his lungs. He couldn’t move, scream, or even breathe.
The small man sat there hunched, staring at him, as Crow had stared at the slaves. The man’s pale skin was stretched tight over his ribs; his long dark hair was thin and greasy and reaching out from behind his back were six long, oily black chains. But worst of all was the man’s eyes. Open wide, his eyes glinted with a hint of madness and burned with a fire from deep within.
Silently, a chain rose to between Crow and this terrifying man. At the end of the blade was a smooth blade, the light of the fires below glinting off its metal. “My church has fallen and so have you” said the man, as the blade slowly drifted over Crow’s heart.
Desperately, Crow tried to struggle, tried to break free. But it was no use. The chains would not budge, and his lungs burned from lack of air. With one quick motion the blade sunk into Crow’s heart. As his vision faded, Crow could hear the man’s final words. “Your soul has been weighed. Your life has been judged. They have been found wanting.”
Po looked at the cooling corpse for several minutes before lowering it onto the ledge behind him. The guards must die as well, for there was too much blood on their hands to be washed clean. But first, Po must find the young feline. Before she died, Po promised the mother that he would save the child, and Priest would not forgive Po breaking such a promise.