RPG Bloggers Make Yourself a Monster Meme: The Ravyn

Doesn’t everyone sometimes wonder what they’d be if they were an RPG-style monster? I did, as part of a coordinated RPG Blogger Bestiary… and I ended up with this.

The ravyn is a curious creature, both in look and in personality. Ranging in length from four to five and a half feet, it resembles a very large ferret with a distinctive crest of red feathers, and black wings that to some seem a bit too small to keep it aloft—not that that prevents it from flying. Its hands are highly dextrous, and its fingers exceedingly flexible. Its voice is capable of a wide range of impressions; when it speaks to humans or similar creatures, it will generally speak in an imitation of the first voice it hears, but with great facility in whichever tongue it chooses to use.

A ravyn interacts with an illusionary boulder, solidifying it and partly incorporealizing at the point of contact.

Most ravyns are found alone or in pairs, wandering through the world—larger groups, known collectively as musings, have been postulated but are rarely seen unless one of the members is an infant. They are particularly fond of new information; some say they feed on it, and that eating normal things is more entertainment than necessity for them. (This rumor has not been verified.) As they understand and can imitate most spoken languages, it is generally a simple matter for a traveler to offer one a story in exchange for tidbits of information. A ravyn interacts in interesting ways with a good story; other listeners present claim that a story told around a ravyn seems more vivid, drawing its audience in and preventing distraction.

Most mysterious is these creatures’ interaction with illusion. This was first noticed when an illusionist, trying to hide from one in a rare fit of rage, had created the image of a boulder around himself to hide from it. The ravyn appeared to be completely fooled by the illusion, but, as it climbed onto it and settled down to watch for him, the illusion itself grew real around the illusionist, and it was only by a stroke of luck that he managed to dispel it. Fortunately, the ravyn at that time was somewhat insubstantial, its strikes doing him no harm; though it resolidified after the disappearance of the illusion, he was able to escape further harm. While it is assumed that this is similar to its effect on storytelling, this has not yet been verified because of the difficulty of distracting listeners from the story.

They are also shapeshifters, though they seem to have very few forms in their repertoire, mostly small animals; they have been seen as bats, assorted species of bird, and occasionally in the form of otters (usually when there is mud to play in).

The ravyn is a peaceful creature, usually not prone to rage and as likely to flee as to fight. The one exception is in the presence of clichéd stories or hackneyed prose. In the presence of such things, or when it is unable to flee, its fur stands on end, and it pulls a red feather from its crest and strikes out, slashing away at the offending material (or the offending storyteller, if such is present). Though there is little strength behind them, red quill attacks are often highly precise, and come in close sequences.

Rumor has it that these creatures meet in groups to discuss and improve upon the stories that they have collected. Though no explorer has yet managed to see such a gathering, some have occasionally stumbled upon signs that such may have occurred.

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