Magpie Studies Picture

I did some studies on magpies, because my current project involves drawing them. Also because there are many magpies around MSU; I look out my window and see them flying by.


In my very silly NeoArda stuff (and to some extent in Third Age Arda), magpies are associated with Isildur the Thief. Isildur is often described as lurking in magpie-form, and one of his epithets is Nyagaramolk, magpie-god.


While Isildur shapeshifts, like most Powers, he has a scar he can't get rid of- the Ring-shaped burn on his palm. He does indeed retain this in magpie-form, though it's generally hidden under feathers.


The Black Orc mythology pretty much sticks to Isildur stole the One Ring and the fruit of the Moontree (Nimloth) from Sauron during the Second Age, and assorted shinies and items of little worth from a broad assortment of people. He's also said to have guided Bilba in the events of The Hobbit (being the orcish interpretation of that "force beyond the designs of the Ringmaker"), and put a curse on Gondor's library so that it can't be organized.

Wild Orcs, on the other hand, have completely mutated the legends into something else, the most popular version being that Isildur stole the moon out of Valinor.

Because of this, and because the fact that Isildur's name means "servant of the moon" has vaguely pervaded orcish understanding, Isildur is often represented as a magpie with a crescent moon in his beak.


And yes, this is that Isildur. The orcs were apparently very impressed that he managed to steal twice from Sauron and lived for two years after the second. Drawing off this, they decided that Isildur has always been trying to steal Sauron's shit, therefore Isildur has always been trying to steal everyone's shit, and so he became a god of thieves in the orcish mythology, second only to The Black God himself (Morgoth).

You may not want to hear what they make of Beren and LĂșthien.
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