Corvus - The Ratslayer

By Stovall

It was a cold, rainy day in the city of Iridine when Corvus Pius, healer and adventurer,

earned the name 'Ratslayer'. There are some wish he did not have the title, as they think it is a

mockery. After all, despite a sewer rat's lack of killing ability, Corvus is hard pressed to fight and

win against one. Those who know the story, however, know that the name is a mark of honor.

But I am off the subject.....

As I said, twas cold that day in Iridine, and those who live there went about their busines

in the usual fashion. One of these people, a yound swordsman whose name escpaes me, did

most of his business in the sewers, sharpening his skill against myriad vermin. Luck was not with

him that day. He was swarmed by the creatures he hunted, managing to escape only after

sustaining several grevious wounds. He was weakened terribly by loss blood, and soon passed

from consciousness. Somehow, his desperate thoughts of escape were sensed by Ebon


Ebon's first thought was to rush immediatley to the young warriors aid. Unfourtunatley,

his arm had been smashed by a Cineran soldier earlier in the day, and the Parcince clubsman

didn't fancy trying to carry someone with the still painful wounds he'd sustained. He went to The

Stone Toga Inn, hoping to find a healer willing to accompany him.

There, sitting in a weary old chair, was Corvus Pius.

Ebon quickly explained the situation, and asked if the young healer would help.

Whipping out the tin pigsticker riding his hip, Corvus simply said: "Sure!"

And so they went, descending into the wretched filth of Iridine's sewers and racing after

the dying man. The Eternal City's underground was alive with hungry, ill-fed creatures that

sought them out, but all were crushed by Ebon's heavy club. Soon they found the wounded

swordsman, bleeding and close to death.

Corvus set to work, and soon the dying man's wounds were bound, though he would

need further treatment. Though they tried, neither Corvus nor Ebon could carry the fellow, and

so they waited, willing the injured swordsman to wake.

Then the shadow's began to move.

A horde of vermin swarmed in, their appetites whetted by the scent of blood. Two were

quickly smited by Ebon's club, but more came, too many for the stocky Parcine to handle alone.

Corvus leapt into the fray, and the battle commenced, sword and club tearing through the osecar

and rats as the two men to keep the vile creatures off the unconscious man. Fatigue set in

quickly, but soon the last beast fell, hitting the ground almost to the second that the injured

swordsman woke. With little hesitation, the small band headed back towards the surface. It was

then that things went truly awry, for as Ebon gripped the ladder that led to saftey, he saw that

Corvus was no longer with him.

Sending the injured swordsman up, Ebon began to search for the wayward healer, but

his efforts were fruitless. With few torches and slowed by wounds and fatigue, it wasn't long

before the Parcine clubsman was forced to make his own retreat.

Unbeknownst to Ebon, young Corvus lay in an anonymous section of tunnel, his body

wracked by some foul bug given him by a rat's filthy bite. The sickness set in rapidly, and, as

he slept, fever tormented his body. Fading in and out of consciousness, he nevertheless had the

prescence of mind to crawl onto a stone platform, out of the reach of any sewer creatures. He

forced himself to eat, and swallowed some healing herbs given him by Fiona. Hours passed

before his fever broke, but break it did. Still queasy and covered in sweat, the healer lit his only

torch, gripped his sword tightly, and began to search for the way out.

Soon Corvus was beset by the beasts of the sewers. but, being an intelligent sort, he

refused to battle them. Not knowing the sewers as well as most, it took him much time to find his

way, but soon the walls around him began to look familiar. His heart rose, as he knew he was

close to safety.

But it fell again as his only torch suddenly winked out.

Holding back panic, he felt his way along, hoping to find the clean stone of the exit

tunnel. He was close, very close, when the low growl of an osecar reached his ears and the

squeaking voice of rats began to twitter behind him. The hot kiss of unfriendly teeth found his

thigh, and the fight was on, the young healer slashing wildly, aiming by sound or the glint of his

attacker's eyes. Many times he felt his blade pierce flesh, but many more times did he feel

claws and teeth rend him. He fought on, not knowing where to run, until even more vermin

swarmed in. Seeing their shadow's slink in, he ran past them, for they had shown him the way.

The soft muck under his boots soon turned to old stone, but one of his hungry assailants

had followed. The rat attacked, and again Corvus lost his bearings. Slashing and thrusting at his

tenacious pursuer, the young healer was as suprised as the rat when his blade peirced the

rodent's heart. In the distance he heard more beasts approaching, and he ran north, down the

exit tunnel and into the safety of the warehouse we all know. It was there that I found him,

bleeding and filthy with his bloody sword beside him. He wrapped his last bandage around his

torn thigh as I entered, looked up at me and said: "I killed a rat!"

As if that were the whole story.

He told me some of what had happened as I walked him to Fiona's. His voice was

taught, excited, and he repeated periodically "I killed a rat!", like that was something truly grand.

It wasn't until I talked to Ebon that the extent of Corvus' valor was told.

To some, our name for Corvus may still seem mocking. Others may say he has done

more noteworthy things since, or that the name is not appropriate for one so devoted to healing.

It is true that Corvus Pius may chose to study the arts of swordplay and come to battle things far

deadlier than an Iridian sewer rat. Or he may devote his life further to the healing arts, and

never draw blade against another living thing. Regardless of circumstance, to those of us who

remember the bravery shown on that rainy winter's day in Iridine, he will always remain Corvus,

The Ratslayer.

Go Back