A Broken Toy
Invisible Crow hardly remembers its life. It was easy giving up its name when it hardly could recall it at the end. It couldn’t recall was it had been then, only fragments.
It was born on the Blessed Isle, a member of House Iselsi shortly after the House’s fall from grace. It remembered that. It hid for a while, but its true house was discovered, or revealed, when it was at primary school. Maybe this was to be made a public example of by the Empress in making the show of dismantling the great house in front of the other houses before forming it into the spyhouse the Empress wanted. Maybe this was a deliberate act of one of its family members. Maybe this was just an accident or a matter of time. Regardless, it was exiled with its closest family to Wallport. A fraction of the group arrived. Then it and its family was hurried from there along the road north to Whitewall. None of that group arrived at its intended destination, only one was found, hung by one of the first age lamps along the road. If its life was made a public example of why one doesn’t cross the Empress, then a very clear example was indeed forged; many who thought of treachery would be forced to think on that nameless hanging body and the road it took to get there.
But the road was not the end of its story. A fraction of a fraction of the original group left the road and entered the shadowlands. It does not remember why its family did this no more than it remembers who or why one of its family was left hanging from that lamp. It does remember what happened to those who arrived at camp 17. It would rather it didn’t. Kept alive, if one could call it that, it lived for years longer than it should have. A toy for the mistress who.. “loved”.. it and it’s family more than the Realm did. But like all toys that are played with too much, it eventually broke.
But while this is the end of its story in life, the breaking was not the end of its tale. It had held out the longest, the best, of all the others. It could have been a hero, but surrounded in death, it attracted one of the exaltations of its mistress. The toy it had been was no more, and in its place a new toy with a new name was made. While its exaltation did much to heal the damage done by the years of play, mistress had to do much to fix and repair its body. Some of its parts where broken or missing, so they were replaced. Some of the replacement parts where once that of family, some of strangers, but all toys of its mistress. Some of those toys are still played with today. But even still, patchwork body and patchwork innards, something screeched when it moved.
It was one of the first to be exalted and collected, having exalted so close to hand to the mistress. But there were others, other deathknights in the world. Other new toys of the mistress. And they had to be collected and brought home to play with too. But there were others, in heaven, in hell, and in places between that would steal her toys and break them.
Therefore, as the most capable to collect them, but also as mistress’s newest and most prized possession, it was given clothing to help its goal and to hide it from the eyes of heaven that had done nothing to help the mistress when she was bullied away from the living.
The clothing then was modified to hide it from hell, who would break all her toys and scatter them to the winds.
And next the clothing was modified to hide it from the stars of the dead, for the others like mistress would also want to collect her toys so as not to let her play with them.
All to hide it and let it do its job, to bring back all the other toys.
That was to be the last improvement, but then the mistress had a dream. Something was coming. Something worse than all the others. The something would do everything the others would do, take her toys, break them, and bully her. But the something would do far worse. The something would make mistress and the others like her into toys to be used and played with like itself. So the clothing was made to hide it from eyes that were not yet open and looking.
The eyes of the breakable toys, the humans, would see little and understand less. But if they found one of their number missing blood or other parts or just broken, they would know to look for it. And if they looked, then the others the cloth hid it from might also look. Further, something inside of it, that something that made it move and speak, was broken badly. When mistress played with it, it would screech very loudly. Even when left alone it would screech loudly. So to help fix what was broken, and to let it stay away from the human toys, it was given a rock. This rock was from a cold, quiet, hidden place on the frozen planes near mistress’s home, but where the horrible sun still shown bright. The rock made it also become, cold and quiet. It stopped screeching. It also didn’t need to play with the human toys and take their blood and parts while it had the rock.
Among the humans where other toys. Toys made of essence or madness. While the human toys broke easily, the toys called Gods and Fae were not so easily broken. And they would try to stop it, break it. And mistress didn’t like her rare and precious toys to be broken by such replaceable and common things. So it was given a pair of very unique accessories and shown how to play with them. These pair of disks would let it not be broken by the other toys, it would instead break them.
It was finally ready to go into the world of the sun, and find the mistress’ toys. And find them it did. And when it came home, the other toys in tow, and one misplaced toy that wasn’t hers, mistress was very happy. It was put away in a very special box where all the best toys did go until it was needed again while mistress played with her new toys.
There it stayed until it was needed again.