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Enter, if you dare, human into the realm of the Raven. For that is how I am known in your world. When I walk among you I am Raven Alwin, Countess of Northumbria.

Raven the Victorious is the meaning of my name and I am the second child of Morkar of Bamburgh and Richenda d'Segre his wife though they knew it not in their time. Alfgife, the midwife who attended my birth saw the witch mark upon my shoulder and in the instant of my birth bespelled me to appear as dead. But that did not keep me from hearing my Mother's heartbroken cry when told that I had been stillborn. Nor seeing my father's crushed and lost look when he held me with bitter tears that fell and left their own marks upon my skin.

They buried me with all due ceremony and my tiny soul was broken knowing that somehow things were not right. Alfgife returned and took me from that dark place and went north to Scotland where she raised me to know just who and what I was.

"The d'Segre's have had witch bairns all through their history, girl, and your mother -- bless her -- would have tried to protect you from all that means. But I could feel your power while yet you were in her belly -- as could she -- but there would never be a way for her to train you and keep you safe. Not there with all those pox'd priests spreading their lies about women with power. So I stole you. Straight up. But never hid that from you. Now that you're trained to walk among the kine unseen we can go back if you like. But it won't be the same. Your Mam and Da are gone and your younger brother now rules. What say you?"

I chose to go. To my everlasting sorrow. For my younger brother choose to shun me and in my first -- and only -- loss of control I killed him. Not just him but his wife, their children and all the living descendants of Morkar and Richenda that were within the castle as I cursed them. Then I claimed what is mine and became Countess. I know my parents do not approve as their shades have told me so themselves. But in an odd way, they have both said they understand the pain and anger that drove me to destroy my human kin. Forgiveness for that is not possible but they do not condemn me and with that I am content.

I married, had children and had to "die" so that none would know just who and what I was. Over time I have kept watch on my descendants and done for those born with power what Alfgife did for me. Pulled them from a place that would have lead to their deaths and raised them as my daughters.

We live here at Raven's Hold. Enter if you have the courage....

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