Crow of the Storms
Gull Pirates have taken over much of the worlds oceans and almost monopolised the trade of piracy around the globe. One of the most pivotal factors of this fact is the Storm Crows.
Where most pirates would simply have a lookout on the crows nest of any ship, the Gulls use the mystical and corrupted Dark Crows as their lookouts. This is a somewhat terrifying proposition for any sailor, pirate or otherwise, as the Storm Crows use their voodoo spells to see farther and clearer than any other lookout. This effectively guarantees that any Gull ship can sail safely, knowing they will always have the advantage and the element of surprise.
That farseeing properties aren't the most fearsome aspect of the Crows, however. They don't simply sit and watch and warn. They are incredibly talented at not just finding enemy ships and groups, but also quickly finding a structure, a chain of command, a threat. Once they've established this information and these threats, they swoop in magically, unpredictably and with sheer force of their will and mind, can explosively bring down the most important enemy to the ship on their own.
It's not entirely certain what happens to either the victim or the Crow when the magical dust settles. The whereabouts of the Crows are a complete mystery to anyone other than the Gulls and Crows, although a number believe that after using such extreme magic enough times, they become insane and eventually become a deranged Skull Collector.
What happens to the victim of the dark magics is equally mysterious. Sometimes they are never heard from again. Sometimes they return days later, confused and without memory. There has been reports of people being brought away to dark dimensions where they had to survive a duel of mental stamina, but these reports do also tend to come from the insane or raving.
- If Crow's ability is used, neither Hero's Skull can be claimed by either player.
- You can only choose whether to use Crow's ability as she is hired. If you choose not to use it, the ability cannot be activated again later, unless she is shuffled and returns to play.
Crow of the Storms has been remarkably consistent throughout her design. She was one of the earliest characters designed for the game, back in its original build, and was always intended as a nod to Magic: the Gathering's Storm Crow/Force of Will meme.
The art changed from an image more in tone with the Skull Collector, and other Dark Crows within Saolkam, and became something more easily recognisable as a Pirate on the Crows Nest, while also trying to retain some of the frightening and dark aspects of the character.
Her ability has remained the same throughout, although with many word changes to keep her in tune with the rules as they were updated.
The only real change since her inception was a very late one, and it's her second ability. I worried that her ability might be seen as too situational in certain circumstances, especially as the deck was thinning, and not get used. This was especially a concern when I realised that if you used her ability while there was only one Hero in the deck, and you weren't first in Initiative, you were effectively doing everyone else at the table a favour and not benefiting yourself. I decided to give her a quick-hire ability as a way to turn this weakness into a strength and add an extra layer of strategy to timing her ability.