A scrawny black bird squawks as it circles around overheard, looking for a meal. A blood-red patch on its head is its only distinguishable feature.

The kes’trekel is a carrion eater, constantly on the search for dead prey. Cowardly birds, they usually shy away from large targets, but have been known to assemble in packs to attack larger prey. In large numbers, the kes’trekel can sometimes muster enough collective psychic energy to manifest the psionic power of aversion.

Kes’trekels are extremely territorial and use their psionics to scare trespassers away from their nesting areas. They pair only long enough to mate. They are often captured and used as guards, as their nervous territorial squawking reveals the presence of all but the stealthiest intruders. Their eggs are considered a delicacy in Nibenay (if procured within two weeks of laying), and their eyes are sometimes eaten by the barbaric tribes of the Ringing Mountain in the belief that they grant enhanced vision.

The foot-long bird has a three-foot wingspan with black plumage; the only spot of color is a crimson patch on its head. Feral kes’trekel have a life span of approximately 15 years, while domestic kes’trekel sometimes live as long as 25 years.


The Water Margin JesseHeinig