Points of Light
Death Priest of The Raven Queen
A loyal and fervent priest of the raven queen, Kevin matches his purple and dead black wardrobe with his dead black heart and his purple remorseless soul.
To know the story of Kevin Wheatreaper is to know a story of struggle and fear. Kevin is the only child born to the Wheatreapers, whom had failed to birth a living child for many years. Thinking herself cursed, Rose Wheatreaper’s fears were elevated when she became pregnant with Kevin. On the night of Kevin’s birth there were three knocks at the Wheatreaper’s front door. Kevin’s father, Gregory, went to see who had come calling but when he opened the door all he saw were three lifeless larks. It seemed the larks had flown into the door, thus breaking their necks. Gregory recognized the ill omen but ignored it; he finally had a son and his wife had her joy. No kind of fate or omen would take that from them. Kevin’s parents raised him as best they could. They taught him the hard life of farming and they never shielded their child from the brutality of their way of life or of the world around him. As time passed it became quite obvious to both Gregory and Rose, that Kevin wasn’t a normal child.
He would often be caught gazing at animals for long periods of time and when he was asked what he was looking at his only reply was ‘I don’t know, time, I think’ for Kevin’s parents the only rationalization for his behavior was the result of a boy’s overactive imagination. The Wheatreaper’s understood their son was special and didn’t want their only child exploited, or even taken away from them so they isolated him from the rest of their community. Never allowing him to go to Thistle Brook and never permitting Kevin to make friends with any of the other children from the village. Although Kevin was not without friends for he did make companions with the local wildlife near his home where Kevin would feed the animals every morning and afternoon. Kevin fed birds, squirrels and even the fat raccoons that always dug up his mother’s flowers but even as a small boy Kevin truly enjoyed providing his woodland friends a safe meal away from predators. He eventually learned to appreciate the peace those moments allowed him and they provided him a respite from the concerned eyes and odd questions of his parents, their worried expressions always made Kevin feel somehow apart from his family.
When Kevin began to hit puberty his usual wildlife friends would no longer appear and every time he put out feed the only thing that would show up was an abnormally large crow which only pecked at the oats and grains a few times before flying away. As the years past the crow never failed to show up, regardless of whether Kevin put out feed or not and thinking nothing of it Kevin went on with his life. When the eclipse came, it was unlike any eclipse that the local scholars had previously spoken of. When the sun began seek refuge behind the moon and disappear, It made its attack. Whatever it was, wherever it came from and whatever it wanted may never be known. What is known is that the sun hurt It and kept It at bay. In the short moments of sunless sky It merged with the darkness and ran rampant.
This darkness creature lashed out from the forbidden places and consumed those foolish enough to be alone during this bloody witching hour. All those taken by the darkness were never heard from again. Gregory was one such victim and his life was snatched away so suddenly that many would say it was before his time. However, this would be a mistaken notion as Kevin realized his true potential on that day. In the field where Kevin had been working with his father, he felt the wintery chill of realization creep up his spine. The immediate danger wasn’t what Kevin realized nor was it the fact that he and his father were surrounded by some form of carnivorous darkness. What Kevin realized, as he and his father tried desperately to get back to their farmhouse, was his gift. As his father frantically attempted to shield his son from the creature, Kevin knew without a doubt that he possessed a terrible gift. He knew the exact instance of his father’s death and also knew when every other living creature would die.
When the sun finally returned, Kevin felt the creature’s pain and anger towards the living disappear as the first rays of daylight returned. A Terrified Kevin ran out of fear and the need to feel safe; but most importantly he ran because of the knowledge he now carried. The knowledge that he could have done something…anything…but instead he did nothing. And now his father was dead. He ran into the arms of his mother who held him and wept with him, but all Kevin could do was mummer ‘it’s my fault, I knew what was going to happen, I could have done something… I could have saved him’. As Kevin looked up and saw Rose’s lucid face, he immediately understood what fear looked like. The fear and horror etched on Rose’s face said exactly what she was thinking: ‘what have I given birth to? What sort of monster have I raised?’ All of these things were said without her having to move her lips.
Kevin was able to push his way free with a surprising lack of effort. That was when the real running started. He ran to escape, he ran to be free of the fear, he ran to forget his life and he never stopped. Whether due to exhaustion, hunger or exposure; Kevin eventually fell unconscious. The Kevin that woke up he was not the same as the one that ran away. This Kevin was mentally more capable of dealing with the loss and trauma of what happened. This was a Kevin that was strong enough to protect the child inside of himself that longed to be accepted. The Kevin that woke up would be stronger and wiser; He was completely able to protect the child’s mind.
As the world returned to focus Kevin met the troubled daughter of a local innkeepe named Emilla. Emilla found Kevin roughly 30 miles from his farmstead. When asked who he was Kevin was unable or unwilling to reply, however, he would answer any other question posed to him. After recovering from his ordeal, he worked temporarily as a barkeep and it was through this temporary employment that Kevin was able to get some clues as to what truly happened to his father and what the darkness creature was. These clues lead him to Gareth, a former city guardsman. Gareth was now retired from the guard and lived in a village called Thistlebrook. On the night of the attack, Gareth was asked by the mayor to form a volunteer watch. The purpose was to guard the area for a monster made of darkness that was attacking the townsfolk. Upon hearing this, Kevin armed himself with a kitchen knife and a pot helm and intended to join the patrol. However, after briefly meeting with Gareth, he was rejected outright for the patrol. “You’re not old enough to come with us and there are many dangers that lay ahead,” Gareth told him.
Not one to be deterred by the opinions of others; Kevin began to follow the patrol from a distance and cleverly used his powers to keep the volunteers away from danger, or choices that would greatly reduce their lifespans. These interruptions did not go unnoticed and eventually Gareth confronted Kevin about what he was doing. Kevin told Gareth his tale. Gareth believed Kevin’s story and as if the gods willed it, Gareth hatched a plan that attempted to use Kevin’s ‘gift’ as a morbid compass of sorts to guide his team to this darkness monster. Gareth’s plan worked perfectly and the patrol found the would be prey that they sought. Unfortunately, it was the monster who had the upper hand. When the patrol arrived to confront the beast all that they found was a trap. Before anyone knew what was going on the darkness lurched forth from the shadows, braved the sunlight which set thin trails of black smoke sizzling of the blackness of the beast’s opaque form. Then the dying started. One by one Kevin saw them die, it wasn’t a surprise to him he knew what was going to happen. Only this time they didn’t heed his warnings and once again Kevin’s life was spared but at the cost of every last member of Gareth’s Patrol, including Gareth.
Alone and surrounded by death and horror, Kevin caught sight of an old friend, the large crow. It hopped from corpse to corpse before eventually cawing at Kevin and lazily flying off. Not wanting to be in the killing field anymore, Kevin gave chase to the bird, but couldn’t shake the feeling that he was somehow meant to follow it. He began to run, steadily at first but eventually Kevin lost sight of the bird and began frantically searching for it. He desperately wanted to catch the bird and somehow harness it to escape this place, this life in which he was now trapped. Kevin ran headlong into a thigh high stone that didn’t have any motive or agenda, it was just there. Kevin ran upright into it and was sent flying headlong into a freshly dug ditch. Kevin lay face up in the ditch for what seemed like hours until a man by the name of Grimace came along to see what all the fuss was about. Grimace was a tall man and well-muscled about the chest and shoulders, he was easily able to remove Kevin from the ditch. Once he was standing again Kevin could see no sign of the crow, but was able to identify the rock that had sent him into the ditch. It was no rock but a tombstone and the ditch Kevin was laying in was no ditch at all but a grave. One look is all it took to know who Grimace was or why he was here, Grimace was a gravedigger, one of the lowest members of society but a valued and loyal supporter of the raven queen. Grimace was a forthright man who had seen much in his life and listened carefully to the story Kevin told him and when the tale was done he offered Kevin a meal. Later, after Kevin had rested Grimace came to him in the dead of night and took him to the grave where he found the boy.
This time instead of an open square of dirt he saw a fine coffin had been laid lid open in the grave. When Grimace found confusion and fear on Kevin’s face he explained that the ritual he was performing was one all priests of the raven queen must go through to earn their vestments. Most have spent years if not decades studying and fighting for the Death Goddess’ cause. The Gravedigger was a patient man by nature and waited for Kevin to come to the only available conclusion. Kevin’s voice was only a whisper when he looked to Grimace and asked “you want me to become a priest of the raven queen?” Grimace’s response was a simple one, “NahBoy, I haven’t picked you for shit. Her Majesty the Raven Queen has sent for you.” For the first time in his entire life, Kevin felt like someone was interested in him and desired his presence. Grimace continued to explain the ritual and Kevin quickly understood the gravedigger’s intent was to bury him alive for a day and a night. From what Grimace said this would allow the would-be priest to commune with The Raven Queen. The Raven Queen would give Kevin a task that would need to be completed. Seeing the contemplation on Kevin’s face Grimace offered some words, “Don’t worry about the Sleep, that’s easy you can part. It’s Waking that’s the hard part.” Kevin looked up and down the coffin, “no, Grimace, I am the Kevin that remains awake, so that the other can sleep.” Without another word, Kevin stepped into the coffin and never went to sleep.