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  • Ryan Havdala

Shifty Rey

Kenku endured a lot of degradation from the societies that existed before the apocalypse. They are generally regarded as having questionable ethics, simple minds easily entertained by shiny things, and vengeful natures. As much as any one Kenku may or may not uphold those stereotypes, this Kenku certainly fit the bill. While not so vengeful, they did love shiny things and feel inclined to liberate those shiny things from unsuspecting people in the markets. Not exactly the talkative type, this Kenku wasn’t one for introductions, and most of the other lowlife cutpurses of the city market simply referred to them as “Raven” or “Rey” for short. As for the “Shifty” moniker, it’s not hard to imagine how a quiet, greedy rogue might acquire it.

One unremarkable, sunny day in autumn, Shifty Rey was working the market district for loose coins, food, or what-have-you, when a wizard was passing through on the way to the artifice hub on the far side of the market district. A quick whirl of feathers and talons and Shifty Rey had reached quickly into the wizard’s bag, snagged the first thing they could, and darted away. As luck would have it, the thing Rey had grabbed was very shiny! A fine silver mask, like the kind used for those fancy ballroom dances. Rey slipped the mask on and was disappointed to find that it was hard to appreciate the shininess of the mask when it was on their face. As Rey went to remove the mask, they heard a voice “You must not remove this mask, my feathered friend. You have been chosen by fate to free me from this prison and restore me to my full glory!” Rey was intrigued. Not a lot of people talked to them. And none of them had ever talked directly into Rey’s brain before. It was a funny sort of tickle. “To you I will give immense power, if you can collect all three talismans of my avatar. You already possess the Mask of Shi. Now you must collect the matching Sword of Gami, and the Ring of Ni.” Rey considered. If they were matching, they were probably also very shiny. “Yes,” the voice replied, “These items are of craftsmanship and power beyond compare.” But, Rey wondered, how would one find them? Wouldn’t it be simpler to just cut any old purse and take those shinies instead? “My talismans long to be worn together. They call out to each other, and the Mask of Shi you have donned will show you the way to the others.” Well, if this tickling voice would do the seeking, Rey would happily do the nabbing. It was Rey’s specialty after all.

And so, Rey departed the city in search of the other talismans. And when Rey and the voice arrived at the next city on the way, they found it torn asunder by some tragedy. And then the next one was found destroyed as well. And the next and the next, until Rey realized that something must have happened to ALL the cities while they had traveled. It even seemed like the other people Shifty Rey came across were wandering too, and occasionally Rey wandered with them as the voice instructed. So long as they were going the right way, the voice was happy to have them protected by numbers and strength. So long as they had shiny things, Rey was happy to tag along for a while so they could nab some. Of course, this usually got Rey in a lot of hot water with the group and they were forced to flee, much to the voice’s chagrin. But even if the shifty little raven was a pain in the neck, the voice would rather have a disciple than not after decades sealed away by horrible wizards who had worked so hard to contain it. All their work will have been for nothing, and this enigmatic whisper in Rey's mind will reign supreme once again! Mwahahahahahahahaha! …Just as soon as it can get this pesky little Kenku to focus!


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