Hamartia: Against the Scourge
The Starling Knight
Grymkin. Newly sapient, ashamed, traumatized. An uneasy ally.
The Starling Knight is a gaunt, eerie figure shrouded in a huge feathery cloak. Its face is hidden behind a pointed silvered bird-mask, and its gossamer finery is frayed and tattered at the edges. It wears a silver knight’s belt about its narrow waist.
What lurks beneath the mask and hat is unclear – it has displayed a variety of faces before – old, young, male, female. It has even taken the faces of people it was conversing with, in that very moment.
In its true form, the Starling Knight is a sexless, pallid humanoid with long black hair and black eyes. It wears small silver rings in its ears – a concession to vanity? A gift from its former patroness? Nobody knows.
Under its layers of clothing the Starling Knight’s anatomy is a fragile, hollow-boned amalgamation of avian and human. A pair of great ridged scars on its back indicate that it once possessed wings, which appear to have been crudely sawn off.
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
The Queen of the Folding Castle keeps an honor guard of 13 Grymkin knights, collectively referred to as the Knights of the Wing. Each knight is named for a specific bird, and each knight’s panoply is thus modeled after the bird for which it is named.
The knights move in eerie unison when fighting, despite their unique armaments, and seem to possess no wills of their own. They serve as instruments of the Queen and little else. Each knight is swathed in a feathered cloak and a silver bird-skull mask, thus concealing their appearance from all who behold them.
The Starling Knight was formerly one of the Queen’s Knights of the Wing. It served her wholly, sentient but not-quite-sapient, until a disastrous audience with the Architect of Flame. The demon seneschal taunted the Queen and broke a mysterious crystal vial upon the floor of the throne room, causing an explosion and – something even stranger.
The Knight came to consciousness thus besieged by invading demons, and the first thing it saw was a group of humans trapped in the throne room, in the midst of chaotic battle. It knows not why it acted to aid them and lead them out of the Folding Castle, but it had. In return they have refrained from killing it outright.
In this abrupt awakening the Starling Knight retained all its memories from when it was but an instrument of the Queen, but now possesses the shame, guilt and horror enough to quail at its deeds. It is not enjoying its newfound emotional range at all.
These newfound feelings, coupled with memories of the horrific process used to create Grymkin, have left the Starling Knight profoundly traumatized. It acts almost mechanically, through a deep, shocked daze, and is presently attempting to learn how to sleep, eat and function as itself.