Hyalor and his company were out in the far wilds when one of the Swords saw a black bird circling. "An ill omen," he said.
"We shall see," replied Hyalor
Just then ill-tuned horns began blowing, and with screeching howls, a group of Rams came flying over the hillside and descended towards them. Hyalor called on his patron Elmal, but as soon as he did, the Ram magicians summoned dark, roiling clouds to blot out the sun. Hyalor ordered his Bows to fire. In no more than the time it took to open their bowcases, the Ram magicians called down a torrential downpour.
The Rams were an undisciplined mob, but they outnumbered the Riders and had so much bronze that they wore it as armor. It took all of Hyalor's battle tactics to drive them off. "We won!" said one of the Swords.
"For now," replied Hyalor. For while more than half of his warriors were wounded, the Rams had suffered little. He looked up and saw the black bird with its gaze riveted hungrily on the most grievously wounded Rider. "Bird," he called. "You look like a clever sort. But can you count? There are more of the Storm Rams than sons and daughters of the Sun. If you defeat them, the spoils will be larger."
So Raven flew to where the Rams had camped and were sitting around a fire. He crept up behind the Ugliest Ram and called to the leader, "What a coward! We would have won if you had not called the retreat." He flew behind another and yelled, "Blueface speaks truth, but he is still an oath-breaker, for he slew no City Men today." Raven could mimic the Rams perfectly, and he had soon stirred up sworn companions against each other until an armed brawl had broken out. When it looked like it was over, Raven goaded the Rams into restarting it. Then he flew back to Hyalor, who led his force to them, finishing them off.
Raven hopped around bragging about how he had tricked the Rams. Hyalor thanked Raven, and said, "I know you are a divine being, but I don't know who you are."
"I am Raven."
When he returned to the main camp, Hyalor instructed his people to sacrifice to Raven. Raven gorged himself on the offerings, and came back for more. Always pious, Hyalor obliged.
Hyalor and his company traveled to the far wilds, when the air grew chill and there was a deep booming of drums. A horde of massive trolls came loping towards them.
"Raven, cover us with your inky cloak, that even the Night Men cannot see through." But Raven did not answer. It was with great difficulty and loss of life that Hyalor and his warriors defeated the trolls.
Back in the main camp, he again sacrificed to Raven. Raven ate the sacrificial cattle, but only laughed when Hyalor called him faithless.
Yanade was a young Rider who had suffered greatly during the exodus. He came to Hyalor and said, "Raven is not a god, but a spirit. He is not reliable like a god, but capricious and erratic."
"I do not understand spirits," said Hyalor. "But in these times, we need all the allies we can."
"Then I will talk to Raven," said Yanade.
Yanade went to his tent, and burned sweet herbs and bitter herbs. He beat his horsehide drum, and found himself by a great black bird. It did not answer, so he kept going. He came to another black bird with hungry eyes. It did not answer, so he kept going. Finally, he came to where Raven was making images of himself from smoke. Raven answered, "Have you brought more food of the gods?"
"You are not a god, and we will no longer feed you."
"But I am hungry!"
"You are always hungry, but never reciprocate. We don't need your ability toe eat. We need your ability to see the shadows that Bright Elmal cannot. In exchange, we will give you a chance to be clever. But you must be an outsider."
"No. I will sit on your circle as an advisor!"
Yanade agreed to this bargain, which had been his plan all along. And this is why Raven sits with the gods and advises the chieftain. And even though Raven is often untrustworthy, we listen to his advice even if we do not always want to hear it.