Black Crow
“Crying Eric”, Omen-Giver, Sketco
Worshippers: Disaffected youth, oracles, victims of crime, tengu
Alignment: Neutral
Domains: Art, Darkness, Death, Madness
Subdomain: Loss, Nightmare, Sound, Psychopomp
Favored Weapon: pistol (firearm) or shortbow
Favored Animal: crow or raven
Favored Instrument: viola

A mercurial being of many guises and ancient aspect, Black Crow is the bleakest of the psychopomp Ushers, indifferent to all others save Ereshkigal, yet mystifyingly popular among certain niches of mortals. To certain rainforest-dwelling barbarian hunters of northern Avandrool, Sketco the Raven created the world from his droppings, indolently curious about the life crawling upon it. As Omen-Giver, Black Crow is the death-god of Porphyran tengu, bringing bad dreams of one being sealed again in one’s egg, and the loss of all senses, physical and mental. In civilized lands, Black Crow is incarnated in earthly avatars, who are followed around by flocks of nosoi psychopomps, a chorus of commentary on the sad progress of the mortal condition. Those who feel put-upon by fate, strict parents or the impunity of evil call upon Black Crow in his “Crying” incarnations, singing discordant songs, banging on instruments and painting one’s person in black and white. Black Crow sees this all as part of His/Her purpose as Ereshkigal’s addressor to the unaddressed, sympathizer to the underdog and mistreated. Black Crow’s adherents have a vigilante streak within them, and have an intense dislike of bullies and sometimes get sidetracked from more formal duties to deal with them, with extreme prejudice.

Followers of Black Crow are typically solitary, though morose teenagers that revere “Crying Eric” (an example of one avatar) do tend to clump together in sullen, cosmetic-smeared cadres. That particular aspect tends to have clerical adherents that prefer the classes of inquisitor or oracle (bones mystery); all enjoy carrying loaded firearms and playing with them casually, so as to emphasize their indifference towards death. Tengu and barbarian adherents come and go so as to emphasize their mysteriousness, though tengu adherents enjoy a stronger reputation as one to be respected and feared. Though followers of Black Crow do not build temples, temporary shrines to Black Crow are sometimes established in domiciles of particularly poignant suicides. The “Crying” cult is especially popular in the nations of Iffud, Blix and the large cities of the Middle Kingdoms.

Spell Preparation Ritual
Barbaric followers of Black Crow/Sketco dress in feathered robes and release captive ravens as they pray for their spells; these often lead the adherent to locations of dead bodies, quick guides to departing souls. Tengu adherents and oppressed humans tap rhythms on drums and murmur dirges to the escorts of the dead, muttering their grievances to any soul that cares.

Religion Traits
The following religion traits may be taken by worshippers of this Usher.

Blixian Roulette (Black Crow): “Cut my life into pieces, this is my last resort…”. Once per day, you can pray (as a free action) to Black Crow to put a bullet in the chamber of an otherwise empty firearm. There is an inalterable 50% chance of this happening.

Black Wing Shaman (Black Crow): “Sketco hear my caw, cover me with your awful wing of darkness…”. You gain Stealth as a class skill, with a +1 trait bonus to Stealth in dim light or darkness.

See Also