| City of Castiack|
Designed by Arethusa
Medium Groups: 26-31
Large Groups: 24-31
Fervently pacing in the spectacular throne room, the great king Pavore, of the prosperous city of Castiack, spread out his hands, looking at the lines etched into his palms, contemplating his own mortality. Upon hearing the heavy shuffling of robes, he straightened his spine and clasped his hands behind his back, so that the nurse would not see him trembling.
'Is my wife ...' Pavore coughed uneasily.
The midwife lowered her head, and was silent a moment. She looked at Pavore with great respect and admiration.
'Alas, she has given you a son. He is doing well, and you may see him soon.'
Pavore smiled a great smile, and almost laughed, tears filling his eyes.
'A son!' he exclaimed with the pride only a father can know. 'My wife, where is she? When may I see her?'
Tears began to brim the eyes of the young midwife, and again she lowered her head. When she regained her posture she looked Pavore in the eyes and told him how his wife had not survived the birth of their son. She went on to say they had done everything for her. The queen Fiona was just too weak. When the midwife finally left the throne room, the King's great cry could be heard echoing throughout the castle.
One of his nurses fed the young prince, happy and healthy, wine at his first birthday from the skull of a raven. In doing so, he would be protected and blessed. This act also gave Prince Dannon the ability to understand the language of birds. Upon turning 10, King Pavore took the young prince for their daily walk. In a large field was a clamor of many birds. The prince stood very still for several minutes, and then continued walking. After much prying, Dannon finally submitted to his father. He confessed that the birds had prophesized that one day his father would be a servant to him. This angered Pavore so much he banished his only son to the mountainous region.
A band of harpies, foul creatures with the heads of old women and the bodies, wings, beaks, and claws of a bird, were known to snatch up humans and carry them away. Taking pity on the young prince's pitiful cries, the harpies took him away to raise as their own. Several years later, Dannon, now a powerful mage, took vengeance on Castiack, and with the help of the harpies he enslaved the entire populace. In a final attempt to stop his son, Pavore sent for his own magician to see what should be done. Gazing deep into his powerful crystal, it was concluded Dannon had become too powerful for anyone to stop. The magician prophesied that a young maiden with golden hair would venture into the city. Dannon would fall into love with this young woman, and out of compassion he would free the people. Fearing what the harpies had planned for his people, he begged the magician to do something, anything to help them. With what was left of his strength, the magician transformed all of the townspeople into ravens. After he himself, the last real human alive in that town, was transformed, he flew to the gates of the city and perched upon a rotting tree. There he stood for so long he finally turned to stone. His eyes still search for the woman who would set them free.
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