Unlike most ravens, Astaroth (as he had been named by his Knight) had experienced travel between dimensions before. It was not so abrupt last time however. This time, he had known only violet, felt a strong tug, and then suddenly he landed on a slab of wood.
Looking around, it was a very long slab of wood, filled with food of more kinds than Astaroth had ever seen, and drinks that smelled similar to the ones his Knight favored, but stronger. More importantly, there were a large amount of large, hairy men and large, less hairy women sitting around this large slab of wood. Astaroth quickly rose into the air, startled by the presence of so many creatures that were obviously carnivores.
Astaroth noticed that many of these carnivores were looking at him. Nervously, he began to circle the room. Then, suddenly, there was another raven in his face.
“And what are you doing here, young one?” It croaked.
“Lost. Lost Knight. Violet.” Astaroth cawed to the much older raven.
The duo flapped up to the rafters of the high-vaulted ceiling. There was another raven identical to the first one sitting up there already.
“Interesting. I see. You’re quite a long way from home, Astaroth.” The second raven cawed.
Astaroth wondered, in its own ravey-y way, how this raven knew its name. “Yes. Need to find Knight.”
“Master says we can’t help you for the moment. Something about fate, or the like.” said the first raven.
“But he does say we can train you. He has a soft spot for ravens, and even though raven knights never end up here he likes them too.” said the second.
“Train?” croaked Astaroth, cocking his head to one side.
“To do some of the things we can do.” returned the first raven. “I’m Muninn.”
“I’m Huginn. Welcome to Valhalla.” finished the second raven.
Odin watched as the three ravens flitted around the dining hall.
Well, that is slightly inaccurate. Odin watched a lot of things, in a lot of times and places, but in the present he was focused on the three ravens in his dining hall. Astaroth, as the new raven was called, was still nowhere near as fast as Huginn and Muninn, but he was speeding up. There was little better for training speed than trying to steal food from the plates and hands of hungry Einherjar.
Odin was almost tempted to keep the third raven. It was quite polite for a being with the intelligence of a young child, even if it was mischievous at times. But unfortunately, Odin had only two shoulders and Huginn and Muninn were enough of a handful already.
Besides, Odin could see what would happen if Astaroth did not leave. While he could handle it, and it would not be the end of the world, Odin would prefer not to have to deal with something of that magnitude. The time when Astaroth would have to go if things were to go as planned was fast approaching. Soon, he would return to his Knight’s side.
Astaroth flew into the sky of Valhalla, with Huginn and Muninn at his side. This had been a very informative excursion, but the Master said it was time to go back. Huginn and Muninn had shown Astaroth how they went to the mortal world to watch things for the Master, and Astaroth had been taught how to follow their example. All three ravens twisted their winds just so, and slipped sideways through reality, vanishing with a crack of air.
Astaroth had seen this transition twice before now, but this time it was of his own volition, and that changed everything. Huginn and Muninn were not there, as they were going to a different location. But Astaroth had just one spot in mind.
He focused on his bond to his Knight. He appeared in a different sky than before— much like Astaroth, his Knight had done much traveling in this time. He could see his Knight and the other travelers in a clearing in the forest, moving about their campsite. Astaroth dove out of the sky and alighted on his Knight’s shoulder, where he belonged.
The other humans looked surprised, and looked at each other and the Knight, speaking in their own tongue. The Knight looked to Astaroth, confused.
“I didn’t think I was getting another raven after that trap. What changed?” he croaked in raventongue.
“Nothing. Not a new raven. Sorry took so long to get back, Knight. But here now.”
The Knight’s eyes widened. They grew even more when Astaroth decided to steal the large bone-wearing human’s food, since he was hungry, and did so and got back before the Knight could so much as blink.