by Robert J. Schwalb
The Raven Queen looms large in folklore, and most mortals have heard tales concerning her rise to power, her victory over the god of the dead, and her subsequent flight to the underworld, that gloomy realm called the Shadowfell. The particulars in each tale vary, but the important elements never change. Their telling and retelling cement the deity's place in the imaginations and fears of those who dwell beneath her cold scrutiny. The Raven Queen elicits loathing and love, occupying a contradictory place, but a coherent one all the same when viewed through a mythological lens.
Death has no name, yet it looms everywhere. One can hear it in a mother's wail and in the rattling breath slipping out between spittle-flecked lips. One can spy it in a predator's eyes or in the glassy-eyed stare of the freshly slain. Its heralds screech as they wheel over ripe fields, grown fat from war's excesses. All who have lost a son, daughter, spouse, or parent know death -- and they know it best as the Raven Queen.
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About the Author
Robert J. Schwalb is a freelance game designer with numerous design and development credits to his name. You'll find his most recent work in Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons, Primal Power, Dragon Magazine Annual 2009, and Adventurer's Vault 2. Robert lives in Tennessee.