Sing a Song of Blackbirds
Black Martin is a figure of folklore along the Mahogany Coast. At a young age, he proved himself to be a talented painter and when he was a very young man he was chosen by the Ravens to become a Black Cardinal. After his appointment, he roamed the land solving disputes and acting as an unorthodox judge.
One of the most common stories of Black Martin is the dispute of the wheat field. It is said that one day, a land dispute was brought before Black Martin by two farmers. Both claimed that they had the rights to a parcel of land used to grow wheat, but neither was able to provide any evidence as to who owned it, and neither seemed to have a greater need. Rather than divide the land, as many others would have suggested, Black Martin painted a magnificent picture of the wheat field and left it standing in between the two mens’ farms. The next day he told them “There stand two fields. As to which of you owns which, I shall leave it to you to decide.” Once farmer, knowing that the painting was likely to be worth a fortune, claimed the painting and sold it to one of the local nobility. The other took the field and used it to grow a surplus of food, which he sold. And so both of the farmers became wealthy and, guided by the example of Black Martin, used the money to better their village. The lesson of this story is a simple one: Sometimes, the best way to solve a problem is through generosity, and that the value of an object is not in what the object is, but in how the people who see it perceive it.