I have been invaded by Starlings today, and it resulted in a TON of pictures. This is a glimpse. I never knew a bird tongue could look like this. It is like there is a middle “beak layer”. I present to you - a Starling Tongue. Can an ornithologist confirm that this what it is supposed to look like and it is not like the Starling has a piece of his tongue frozen or something?
Just like Dalamar’s manasaber form I figured I’d start designing the rest of his forms if I considered him to have the full druid range of shape-shifts. Going off of the suggestions that High-Botonist Tel’arn was a very strong example of combining druidic and arcane magic I’d figure I’d take Dalamar’s storm-crow form and base him after those new nifty birds you get to ride in on in the opening scenario to patch 7.2!
It’s a big stretch from conventional warcraft bird-form but I was reaching for something more anthropomorphic and combat-based because hey - if High-botonist can be a walking anthro-tree and not a treant, then I can make Dal an anthro bird ;D
Huntsman. Uncle. Twin. And a self-titled “bad luck charm.”
I have so many feels over Qrow fucking Branwen.
Qrow’s semblance, revealed in Volume 4, is “bad luck.” Here’s what the RWBY Wiki has to say.
“Qrow’s Semblance brings misfortune wherever he goes, and unlike most Semblances, his is always active and uncontrollable. This leads to incidents as small as a glass being knocked onto the floor in “New Challengers” or as significant as a blocked attack chopping off the corner of a building in “Punished”. His Semblance can come to his advantage in a fight, such when Tyrian Callows falls through an old roof. His Semblance does not discriminate on who it affects, which causes him to keep his distance from the people he cares about.”
Qrow freaking Branwen.
Can you even begin to imagine what kind of hell this man must live each day?
No, you really can’t. You really, really can’t.
You probably think, “Yeah, it would suck to have constant bad luck.”
Allow me to elaborate for you.
Imagine a young Qrow, perhaps part of a happy family, crying because his sister, Raven, tripped and hurt herself while they were playing. In the weeks following, Raven is more careful when she’s playing.
Imagine a slightly older Qrow, now in school, watching his close friends get into freak accidents and sustain random injuries. His friends are in the hospital or kept home, healing, more and more often.
Imagine tween Qrow, hearing that close family members are passing away suddenly and unexpectedly. His relatives don’t visit much, they’re all grieving.
Imagine teen Qrow, finding out that his first girlfriend was in an accident and is now on life support. When Qrow goes to visit, her life support shuts down and the doctors are too late.
Imagine 17-year-old Qrow, starting his life as a Hunter at Beacon. During the relic retrieval in the forest, he makes eye contact with Raven, just as a Grimm attacks. Qrow wheels Raven onto the stage in a wheelchair when Ozpin announces Team STRQ.
Imagine Qrow, now on Team STRQ, grow more and more reserved as his teammates experience troubling accidents and strange injuries. They ask Qrow what’s wrong. He says he’s fine. He starts wondering if he’s the one causing the accidents and injuries.
Imagine Qrow, doing research with Raven, having recently discovered their ability to transform into their respective bird namesake. Qrow learns that his bird form, a crow, is a symbol of bad luck. Something begins to grow in the back of his mind as the WiFI goes out and many students doing last minute homework are unable to finish. Instead of celebrating finding his supposed semblance, Qrow is lost in dark thought.
Imagine 20-year-old Qrow, graduated from Beacon, watching Taiyang and Raven date, and seeing the small accidents that endanger their relationship whenever he hangs out with them for too long. Qrow refuses to date. Summer wants to help her teammate. Qrow say’s everything’s fine. Depression begins to set in.
Imagine Qrow, beside Taiyang, each holding one of Raven’s hands as she goes into labor in the hospital. Nearly 18 hours later, Yang is born, and Raven is in a very dangerous condition. The doctors say they’ve never seen such a healthy pregnancy go so wrong at the very end. Qrow, with his new title of Uncle, excuses himself, and goes to the nearest bar.
Imagine Qrow, tears in his eyes, as Taiyang and Raven and Summer have the biggest fight in the history of Team STRQ’s fights. Yang plays with Qrow in the living room, calling him “Uncle.” The fight is broken up by Yang screaming in pain. Qrow doesn’t know how the TV fell, but the weight in his heart tells him that it was his fault. Raven and Taiyang make sure their daughter is alright while Summer tries to speak to Qrow as he makes an excuse to leave. He ends up at another bar. The bartender is starting to recognize him.
Imagine Qrow, hiding the scent of alcohol on his breath watching TV with Team STRQ and little Yang. He sits apart from them, and the weight in his heart grows when the news report. The local bar burned to the ground, most of the employees still inside. Qrow’s depression and want for a drink only grow.
Imagine Qrow, biting back tears as the fight from a few months ago comes to a front and ends with Raven walking out, Taiyang heartbroken, Summer in tears, and Qrow trying to comfort Yang while touching her as little as possible. All of them think that it’s their fault that Raven left, but Qrow knows the true blame resides with him.
Imagine Qrow, now without his twin and best friend. Summer and Taiyang find out about his growing reliance on alcohol, and they do their best to help him. He finally tells someone what he’s been feeling for so many years. He’s a bringer of bad luck. Summer and Tai are trying to reassure him as the power goes out, and Yang cries for hours. Qrow wishes for a drink and answers.
Imagine Qrow, as he goes on long hunting trips, and on one return discovers Taiyang and Summer have begun a relationship. He hesitantly agrees to be the best man at the wedding. Raven doesn’t show up, despite Summer reaching out to ask her to be the maid of honour. Several small mishaps occur at the wedding, but Qrow makes it through without a single drop of alcohol. Maybe, just maybe, things are looking up. Maybe the hunting helps.
Imagine Qrow, hunting more and more, rushing back when he hears the news. He arrives a few minutes after Ruby Rose is born, beaming as he hears the pregnancy was quick and easy. No repeats of last time. Yang holds Ruby, already strong enough, and asks with wide lilac eyes if “Uncle Qrow” wants a turn. He can’t refuse, and takes the small bundle, wrapped in a red blanket. Qrow feels the weight in his heart, knows he should hand Ruby off before anything happens, but he doesn’t want to let the little bundle go. In several nearby rooms, doctors rush to save patients who are flatlining for no reason.
Imagine Qrow, uncle of two beautiful girls, turning down babysitting in favor of hunting. He notices a pattern as he kills Grimm after Grimm after Grimm. He finds them fighting each other, already wounded, and sleeping. During fights, Grimm stumble on thin air, wound fellow beasts, miss openings for attacks. Qrow uses his bird form more and more, but the question of his semblance hangs in the balance. Where does the bad luck come from, and why? When there’s no Grimm around to fight and Qrow is alone, the weather is always terrible.
Imagine Qrow, unable to do anything but drink after Summer dies. Taiyang would join him, but his two girls need him. Ruby and Yang ask for their uncle, but Qrow doesn’t want to be around anyone he cares about. It’s too risky. A car accident kills several people outside the bar. Qrow drinks into oblivion.
Imagine Qrow, still ridden with grief, helping Tai bury Summer. Raven doesn’t show up. Yang gets expelled from school for fighting. Ruby gets bullied after Yang is gone. Qrow drinks. Tai tries to cope. The bad luck continues.
Imagine Qrow, finally cracking under so much pressure. He goes to talk to Ozpin at Beacon, something Summer suggested several years ago. Ozpin has answers. Qrow’s semblance isn’t his bird form. Ozpin calls him “a strange case.” His semblance is always active, and it cannot be controlled. Qrow breaks down right there in Ozpin’s office. Ozpin offers to help, staring down at the remains of his favourite coffee mug.
Imagine Qrow, struggling to stay sober, teaching his first class at Signal, thanks to Ozpin’s good word. He’s every student’s favourite teacher. His classes are practical and hands on, and the students are heavily independent, since Qrow distances himself from nearly everyone. It gets harder once Ruby joins Yang at signal. The accidents stay at a minimum. Qrow feels like maybe he’s figuring this out.
Imagine Qrow, helping Ruby put the finishing touches on Crescent Rose. Ruby has already cut and bruised herself several times during the construction, but Qrow fears Ruby’s adoration and idolization more than the injuries. He needs to distance himself. He helps Yang with her motorcycle once she gets her permit. He really needs to distance himself, but he enjoys spending time with the girls. Ruby goes to the hospital when a dust cartridge explodes in Crescent Rose and Yang ends up in the bed next to her after getting in an accident on her first spin. Qrow swears never to be so selfish again. They could have died. Everything was his fault. Depression and alcoholism return. He quits at Signal, to the dismay of everyone.
Imagine Qrow, putting all of his time into hunting, honing his skills. His semblance is uncontrollable. The Grimm, attracted by the stench of negative emotion rolling off of the single Huntsman, soon discover this. He hunts several species of Grimm to near extinction in parts of Remnant. Taiyang sends the occasional update. Qrows notices that everything seems to be going smoothly, and that gives him a dark sense of satisfaction.
Imagine Qrow, in very recent events, hearing a glass shatter after being knocked over, getting Winter Schnee caught acting out line, and playing video games that the girls lose, despite having more experience. Small things. Nothing too big. He’ll take off soon and the bad luck will fade.
Now, remember. Qrow, watching Ironwood deal with prosthetic malfunctions, hearing reports of Amber getting worse. Hearing the news that Yang is disqualified. That Penny Polendina is dead. Grimm are attacking. The Fall Maiden’s powers are in the hands of the enemy. Amber, Penny, and Pyrrha Nikos are dead. Ironwood’s army is destroyed. The Grimm dragon is awake, but quickly frozen by Ruby’s silver eye powers. Ruby is in a coma. Yang is dragged to safety, bleeding to death, missing an arm. Her teammate is also badly wounded. Qrow watches Team RWBY get torn apart as Weiss Schnee is taken home by her father, Taiyang arrives to take Ruby and Yang, and Blake runs away. Ozpin is dead.
Qrow drowning in the belief that everything was his fault.
Remember Qrow following Team RNJR, keeping several miles between them, the horrifying memories of everything so fresh. He knows he can keep Ruby safe from a distance. But Tyrian attacks, and he’s nearly too late. He’s not exempt from his semblance. Far from it. Wounded. Too close to Team RNJR for their own good. Having to take more of their innocence and carefree lives by explaining what was happening. The quiet shame he hides as he reveals his semblance, not meeting Ruby’s eyes for fear that she will see him as a monster. Poison setting in. Unable to protect Ruby and her friends. Unconscious, but still causing bad luck.
Understand Qrow. Despite the terrible things his bad luck does to those around him, the bad luck affects him worst of all. Because he knows. He knows that it’s his semblance, and he believes that it’s all his fault. And he can’t do anything to stop it.
Best part of being a bird and having a partner/friend/girlfriend who constantly wears hoods…you get to sleep in them.
I don’t know. I just thought of this and needed to draw it.
Even before they started secretly dating, and especially after, Qrow enjoyed taking a warm, cozy nap in Summer’s hood. She was always a rather quiet girl, and along with her warmth, pleasant yet subtle scent, and soothing voice when she did speak, he was lulled right off to sleep. Nothing was safer and more comfortable for a mid day nap than her hood…unless her lap under a shaded tree was available.
Summer LOVED IT didn’t mind. Her cute partner (then boyfriend) snuggled up in bird form inside her hood? Yeah, she couldn’t resist that.
What do you think rowan would be like as a father?
ooooh ok here we go I have a lot of thoughts after writing Circumstance (the princess in these headcanons is not the same as in my fic)
Rowan is the most protective father to ever protect
His and Aelin’s first child is a female, with silver and Ashryver eyes and delicately pointed ears and Rowan loves her with all of his heart
He calls her ‘his Ember’
The new princess is tiny and adorable and precious to everyone in the castle, especially the cadre
The males love to make fun of Rowan for his soft-heartedness towards his daughter, but they secretly love the girl just as much, and would protect her with their lives
Her first word is ‘daddy’ and King Rowan Whitethorn cries at the sound
Ember grows up a true princess, much like her mother did, but instead of her little burst of fire magic being repressed, Aelin and Rowan teach her to hone it and learn to love instead of fear her gift
As soon as she can hold a wooden sword, Aedion, Rowan, and the rest of the cadre have her training
She is absolutely adorable waving around the tiny weapon, but as she progresses, Ember becomes the prodigy that Rowan says might rival her mother
The king loves teaching his little princess to fly in her small baby bird form, Aelin watching from the bottom of the tree in case she falls, because Rowan’s not taking any chances
But he’s also not going to go easy on her either
Pushing his daughter off the branch, Rowan wills a soft wind to lift the bird’s wings up and allow her to coast over the gusts, easily flapping and keeping to the air
Aelin has never seen Rowan smile as wide as he does when he shifts back, holding the tiny bird who landed his palm and telling Ember how proud he is of her
His own silver hair grown out long, Rowan allows his daughter to braid the strands - much to Aelin’s dismay as he never lets her do that - and when her hair is long enough, Ember practically begs her father to do it up
Needless to say Rowan becomes very proficient in hairstyling
While Aelin lets her daughter eat whatever she wants, Rowan is the one that pushes the plate of vegetables towards her at dinner, and makes sure she eats all of whats on her plate before she gets a slice of chocolate hazelnut cake
As Ember is an avid reader, Rowan and Aelin will snuggle up on either side of their daughter at bedtime, and take turns reading a story, using funny voices to make her laugh
Usually, Rowan will end up the last person awake, quietly reading the last chapter as the two most important people in his life snooze soundly cuddled up against him. It’s in those moments that Rowan thinks he is the happiest he’s ever been
As she grows up, Ember begins to travel on diplomacy meetings with her parents, and Rowan cannot stand all the Lords’ sons who dare look at his precious princess for more than two seconds
Aelin is constantly elbowing him in reprimand during meetings to stop scaring the Lordlings shitless
When the princess gets into disagreements with the queen, Rowan is endlessly conflicted between backing up his wife, or protecting his daughter from his wife’s wrath
Most of the time it’s a balance between the two, the king working as a mediator between the females
Eventually, even though the king prayed that the day would never come, the crown princess finds her mate
The two girls have a much easier love story than Rowan and Aelin, which they are grateful for, but it doesn’t stop each of the cadre males plus Aedion from going up to the poor female and threatening her that if she breaks their princess’ heart…
None of them have to follow through on those threats however, as the princess and her mate marry soon after she turns 20
Ember asks her father one last time to do her hair for her wedding day, and Rowan has tears in his eyes as he does
Finally, he walks her down the aisle, and as they reach the end, and Rowan slips his daughter’s hand into the waiting palm of the woman she has chosen to love and spend the rest of her life with, he kisses her cheek