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Raven N

Quoth is a raven who lived at a wizard's in Quirm. He is now the mount of the Death of Rats, but as he says himself: "I'm only in it for the eyeballs." He is named Quoth, as in "Quoth the Raven". The raven himself is not fond of the name imposed on him and refuses to utter "the N-word" (several of the latter stanzas of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven end in 'Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore."') Quoth has been known to get irritated if circumstances ever lead to a suggestion that he might be forced to say the word

Raven N


First appearance in Soul Music as the Death of Rats tries to use Quoth as translator to Susan Sto Helit. Appearances alongside the Death of Rats in Hogfather and Thief of Time As Death of Rats often has to work in tunnels, etc, Quoth does not always get mentioned while the Death of Rats is at work, just as Binky does not always get mentioned while Death himself is talking to some newly deceased. The mount, raven or horse, can be assumed to be somewhere nearby.

Like other ancient towers, the top of the Tower of Art is home to an unkindness of ravens. At Unseen University, they have been somewhat transformed (like certain dogs and rats) by the ambient magic. They make it difficult for Watchgnome Buggy Swires to mount a covert observation job from the top of the Tower - it's difficult to remain inconspicuous and undercover, when loquacious but thick talking birds are excited and asking "What are you doing, mister?" every other sentence. From time to time some of these ravens are used as pets or familiars by wizards setting up shop away from UU, while not very bright, their ability to talk will impress most punters.

One of these ravens appears in Reaper Man, as Reg Shoe's only sentient listener while Reg is trying to raise consciousness with an impassioned speech to the dead in the cemetery at Small Gods. It is perhaps hoping for Reg to awaken something with a serviceable eyeball it no longer needs, which will spare it all that tedious digging. In the meantime, like any other resident of Ankh-Morpork, it is enjoying the street theatre, and just this once might be inclined to utter, or hint at uttering, the n-word, purely for its entertainment value...

There is also Raven House, one of the girls-only study houses at the Assassins' Guild school, where young ladies of Quality are taught to be perfect gentlewomen, and to inhume with style and grace, as befits their gentle ladylike qualities. If their tutelary animal is the raven, it is quite possible that Miss Smith-Rhodes teaches them that the way to a man's soul is through his eyeballs, normally with a fine stiletto or a Number One Throwing Knife.

Common Ravens are much less common than American Crows in the Eastern United States. Out West, it's a toss up. (Chihuahuan Ravens and Fish Crows are common in western states, but they're a whole different ID headache.) Look for ravens foraging in pairs; crows are highly sociable and will hang out in murders and communal roosts.

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In stories and reality, the raven is often associated with death. Legends tell of this dark bird driving men to madness or carrying the souls of the dead. Much like its similar and more common cousin, the crow, the raven picks apart bodies of dead or dying animals. These greedy scavengers even lead other animals to carcasses it has trouble ripping open.

Dead on Arrival: The number one item on the raven's menu is carrion (dead animals). Whether the creature died of starvation or was hit by a truck, a raven will strip its bones of meat with its long, sharp beak.

Second Chance: When the raven can't find any dead animals, it turns into a hunter. It targets small or weak mammals and starts by pecking the victim's eyes out. The raven can also catch and kill small birds in flight.

Ravens have played a role in stories and mythology throughout the world. The ancient Greeks believed ravens were spies for the gods, and the legendary King Arthur was supposed to have turned into a raven after his death. A British legend says that if the family of ravens living at the Tower of London for almost a thousand years ever leaves, England will fall to its enemies. In a famous poem ("The Raven") by the American Edgar Allen Poe, a raven visits a man at midnight and repeatedly speaks a single, ominous word: "Nevermore." 041b061a72


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