Fantasy Author Charles Moffat
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The Fable of the Crow and Raven

Once upon a time there was a widowed merchant from the Azagolian Empire. He decided to seek his fortune across the Leviathan Sea to the west, in the tiny kingdom of Korovia. He sold his home and most of his belongings, bringing his only daughter, Hana, and his ancestral sword which they called Grandfather. He then bought a vast quantity of silk and spices, and then chartered a ship across the the sea.

Across the sea they sailed westward, but alas as they neared the coast their ship was waylaid by a sea serpent worthy of the name Leviathan and the merchant was grievously injured. He lay there dying on the deck, the ship sinking and he handed Grandfather to his daughter.

He said: "As long as you have this your family is with you. We will always have your back."

Hana slung the sword across her back, weeping as the ship went down. Her father went to a watery grave while she clung to a barrel of sweet pickles floating in the water. A passing ship found her hours later, plucked her from the sea, and delivered her to the port city of Weyvin on the east coast of Korovia.

A foreigner to this new land, she was looked upon as strange by both humans and elves who lived in this wondrous city where the two races lived in harmony, but because of her tongue she was unable to find good work.

She took to fixing old fishing nets, time consuming work that only required her to find old discarded nets and salvage them. She caught her own fish so she would not starve, and traded repaired nets or sold fish to get bread and other items. Life was hard and lonely.

One day she was fishing off a rocky pier and collecting fish in a basket. A crow flew down and stood on the rock next to the basket. He regarded Hana and the basket of fish with curiousity.

"Hello!" said the crow.

"Hello," said Hana. She was so impressed with the crow she reached into the basket and tossed the crow one of the smaller fish.

Each day the crow returned, and each day it had learned a new word which it would say to Hana.

Afterwards she would hear the word in the city being used and from their context she began to guess their meaning. Each day her Korovian vocabulary would grow and pretty soon she was able to talk to the locals and learn additional words. Life was improving and she didn't feel so lonely any more.

The crow rarely spoke more than one or two words at a time, but always had a new word to teach Hana - not just in Korovian, but in Elvish too. Soon she was able to converse in both languages.

One day she was in the marketplace when she heard another language she knew, Azagolian. So rare to hear her father's tongue she sought out the speaker and saw an Azagolian mercenary leaving the marketplace. She followed behind him and heard him speak to a merchant of a hidden valley he was searching for, where people like himself dwelled.

A hidden valley? What strange wonder is this? She was determined to learn more, but lost the man in the crowd. Tried as she might, she could not locate him. She went back to the merchant and learned the valley was naught but legend. Still, if it was well hidden, perhaps there was some truth to it?

The next day she gathered up her few belongings into a sack. To feed herself she went fishing and gathered a good pile of fish in her basket. As usual the crow arrived with a new word.

"Persevere," said the crow.

"Persevere," said Hana, wondering what the word meant.

Hana decided this time to feed the crow smaller pieces of fish a bit at a time, coaxing him to perch on her arm. With her basket full of freshly caught fish, she grabbed her sack of belongings and set out on the highway from Weyvin going west.

Her journey west brought her to the tiny hamlet of Izhamet. There she purchased some thrice folded bread from an elderly woman and asked if she had ever heard of a hidden valley. The old woman retold the tale of a hidden valley where people lived in peace, sheltered from the outside world by the high mountains and steep narrow passes. Not much new to go on, but the bread was the best Hana had ever had.

The next day and the day after she continued westward. She forded a river on the first day and arrived at the mining town of Kazark on the second day. A larger town, she purchased more food and asked around regarding the legend of the hidden valley. A vendor selling mutton on a stick advised her to check the Kazark Library, apparently famous for its collection of rare books.

"Reading," said the crow.

"Reading," said Hana, who already knew this word.

"What a smart bird!" exclaimed the vendor.

So she and the crow went to the library. An elderly man who looked more like a bespectacled beggar helped her to find what she was looking for. A more detailed version of the myth and a map pointing out possible locations of the Hidden Valley. She paid him for his help and he even gave her a quick lesson in Korovian script, which she learned was not so different from Azageul writing. In exchange she showed the librarian how to read Azageul so he could more easily translate books from the empire.

"Easy," said the crow.

"Easy," said Hana.

"Yes, easy," marveled the librarian.

The Troll Lands to the south was the closest possible location of the Hidden Valley, but it was fraught with dangerous trolls, giants, and the like. The Snowfells mountain range to the North was further, and the biggest dangers there was avalanches and ogres according to the librarian.

Still the myth said that the valley was surrounded by tall peaks and difficult to navigate passes. If the Hidden Valley was to be found, it seemed more likely that the Troll Lands might hold what she sought as the mountains there were plentiful and few had ever explored them fully.

As she journeyed south she drew the mountains on some paper she had purchased from the librarian, using some charcoal. She took note of any features of the mountains, with respect to their distance from other mountains, their shape and orientation.

"Details," said the crow."

"Details," said Hana, unfamiliar with this new word.

She continued onwards, avoiding any troll tracks she came across and keeping Grandfather handy. Her best chance against a troll was to keep her distance. She hid at night and made a good campfire to keep away the wolves and trolls. Trolls especially were afraid of fire, so this was wise on her part.

Each time she espied a new mountain she would pause and draw it with charcoal, adding it to her maps of the region. She kept going south for days until she had come to the southern peaks of the mountain range. Thereupon she saw a river and barges moving upriver, pulled by donkeys on the south side of the river. She followed the barges, noting the river on her map. The barges arrived at a wooden fort occupied by humans, and they were quite surprised to see a strange woman emerge from the mountains, unscathed by trolls.

"His Lordship will want to speak to you," said one of the guards at the fort entrance. She was recommended to the Trollhaven Inn, where Lord Wagner came to meet the young woman who had walked the length of the Troll Lands and learn her story.

Upon interrogation, Hana showed him the maps and drawings she had made and explained that she was seeking the Hidden Valley. Lord Wagner was very impressed. "Look at these details," he said. "These are very well made and accurate maps."

"Yes, the details," said Hana, now comprehending the word.

"Can you make more?" asked Lord Wagner. "I can pay you handsomely. These maps are quite valuable. I will even give you an escort of rangers to keep you safe from trolls, and you can map the entire region. With any luck you will find the Hidden Valley you seek."

Hana agreed, as she certainly could use the gold, and she was hoping to continue her search regardless. As the months and years went by she became a skilled warrior, learning how to fight trolls with steel and fire and bow. Her ancestral sword Grandfather became like an extension of her arm, and she wielded it with such finesse she rose in the ranks of the rangers who explored the Troll Lands from their fort at Trollhaven, eventually becoming Fort Captain.

Always the crow was with her, but she learned later he was no crow, but a raven. Still, she called him crow. The name had stuck.

Her reputation too went hand in hand with her feathered friend, and she became known as Raven - partially because of her jet black hair. Thus the raven was called Crow, and she was known as Fort Captain Raven. Hence, Crow and Raven.

"Home," said Crow one day, years later as they were returning to Trollhaven from a long journey.

"Yes, home," said Raven.

She had given up on her quest to find the Hidden Valley. It truly was hidden, and perhaps not even in this mountain range. Still she had work here, she had friends here, and her knowledge of the language had vastly improved. This was home now.

Her maps and drawings were copied by scribes into books, becoming the most definitive guide to the Troll Lands ever made, spreading her fame as an explorer and adventurer. She hadn't done it for fame or fortune however. She had merely been looking for a home. And she had found it.

The End.

The Fable of the Wolfkin


  • The Fable of Sir Fartsalot
  • The Fable of the Boring Dwarf
  • The Fable of the Crow and Raven
  • The Fable of the Dragon's Bank
  • The Fable of the Graverobber and the Cursed Cutlass
  • The Fable of the Ice Mephit
  • The Fable of the Incubus of Izhamet
  • The Fables of the Jackalope
  • The Fable of the Sibilant Snake
  • The Fable of the Wolfkin
  • The Imp's Arrow
  • The Princess and the Foxalope
  • The Turkey Vulture's Tale


  • The Korovia Creation Myth
  • The Myth of the Dark Eclipse


  • The Legend of Dark Maya
  • The Legend of Nordica

    Last Updated: February 8th 2023.
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