The Judge of Charity

A young nobleman in both dress and stature went to see a soothsayer about his fortune one day. The soothsayer read his future and told him what it held. “You will come into a great deal of money soon. But be warned. For if you are too greedy, the sound of a crow shall spell your doom.” Though enchanted by her words at the time, he did not take them to heart:

A few years passed and the nobleman—having forgotten the soothsayer’s warning—had indeed come into a great deal of money after his father passed away. Now the owner of his father’s fief, he had amassed a great deal of wealth, yet he refused to invest it in the well-being of his land, and instead demanded more labor from his subjects.

As he was riding along a road one evening, he saw a beggar on the side of the road who asked him for anything he could spare. She looked to be a kindly old woman, with wrappings over her right eye, and yet the noble laughed at her and threw mud in her face. But, as he rode off, the sound of a crow echoed across the plains, and darkness fell soon after.

Alas, as he could just see the lights of his fiefdom, bandits beset upon him in the night. Swift and silent they were, taking everything that he carried, including his noble robes. Now, with mud on his face and torn undergarments for clothes, he looked nothing like the nobility he once was. It was a lucky twist of fate for him, however, for that very night when he entered his home, his people were in a riot, out for his blood. Using the secret entrance to the keep he slipped inside, only to find himself held at spear point by his own guards.

He spoke with them, explaining his true identity, but had nothing to prove his claims.  The guards were left unswayed, and demanded that he be taken into custody. As his desperate pleas became howling demands, a crow’s call echoed through the keep. It was then that he remembered the soothsayer’s warning, and quickly turned to run, only to be stabbed by his own men. And as he lay dying on the ground, the crow swooped in and plucked out his right eye.

This is the type of story that children of Feorbeund grow up on: a cautionary tale of the power of spirits, as well as the type of people that they hunt down.

Aelmesa is one of the seven Screaming Barons: a group of some of the most powerful, most evil spirits in Feorbeund. They meddle often in the affairs of humans, and deeply enjoy seeding turmoil among those too weak to stand up against them. They often take the form of a crow when they aren’t in the form of a human.

Aelmesa, specifically, is the Judge of Charity, meaning she seeks out those with greed in their hearts and strikes at them with anguish, betrayal, and anger until what they had has been passed off to others. When in human form, she always has one eye covered.

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