I cannot be everywhere at once, and that is a sad reality.
In July of 1901, I traveled out of town for a few days. There was a bit of dark business I had to attend to during the first week of that month. When I returned on the 8th, I made my rounds to those old friends of mine who had raven companions. The first few visits were fine, but on the fourth, I learned that the creatures of the Hollow had attempted an assault.
By the time I reached the house of Patience Black, I had been told of seven separate attempts, and the mangled sight of her once well-kept home told me that the beasts had been successful.
The door to her home was broken, not from the outside, but from within. As I stepped over the shattered wood and into the parlor, I could smell blood and rot. A glance left showed that the creatures had entered through the window, broken glass strewn across the floor. Needlepoint, still in its frame, was beneath Patience’s toppled chair, and dried blood and flesh clung to the walls.
The kitchen was in shambles, and the backdoor was destroyed. Stepping out into the yard, I found a pile of feathers and a single raven’s foot.
The creatures had come for her, and they had killed her raven Tyr first. Without him to call out a warning, she had been taken unawares when they burst through the window.
The blood and the spoor from the creatures was old. At least three days. They were back in Gods’ Hollow, hiding in a place I had yet to find.
I lifted Tyr’s foot and carried it back to the Rookery, burying it with the remains of his kin.
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