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Beck: Ain't it God's sword, fell from the sky? I thought it had to be passed on. Is it cursed?

Craw: Every sword's a curse, boy.

–Curnden Craw and Beck, The Heroes

Curnden Craw is a Named Man, and the chief of a crew of Northmen warriors, or “dozen”, which traditionally equal a dozen men but rarely do. His crew includes his second Wonderful, Whirrun of Bligh, Jolly Yon Cumber, Brack-i-Dayn, Scorry Tiptoe, Agrick, Athroc and Drofd.

Appearance and Personality Edit

Craw is a grizzled old veteran, the last honest man in the North whose knees and nerves are giving out after years of bad weather and war. He is well respected among the Northmen and still tries to do things the old way and is known for being a straight edge. He always tries to do the right thing, which includes standing by your chief and your crew, and trying to keep everyone alive. He’s long been dreaming of retirement, going back to being a carpenter and smoking his chagga pipe on his porch while the sun goes down, but he never quite seems to find the right moment to hang up his sword. He has a nasty habit of biting his nails and often thinks about how he should really stop.

History Edit

Years ago, Curnden Craw was second to Rudd Threetrees, the chief of Uffrith. In fact, he got his Name from Threetrees after choking on a chicken bone while eating, which he was furious about at the time. When Threetrees lost his duel with the Bloody-Nine, he took a place with Bethod and eventually became close in his confidence, being almost like a second father figure to Calder. When Bethod was killed, he found a place with Black Dow, and has been leading a dozen for Dow ever since. He often remembers the woman he loved, Colwen, wishing he'd asked her to marry him.

The Heroes Edit

War has broken out between the North and the Unian and Craw and his dozen have been sent to secure a hill near the village of Osrung, crowned by ancient standing stones known as The Heroes. It is being held by a few of the Dogman’s men acting as Union scouts led by Hardbread. Craw manages to pull it off by talking it out with Hardbread, who seeing his crew is surrounded by Craw's dozen and decides to retreat .

Caul Shivers is sent by Dow to make sure they hold the hill, both sides seeing it as strategically important in the upcoming battle. Hardbread returns with twenty-two men, but they kill most and drive off the rest; Athroc is killed. Soon the whole Union army reach the valley of Osrung, and General Jalenhorm moves on the hill in numbers. Craw and his crew abandon the hill and return to Dow’s camp nearby, and Craw fears Dow's reaction once he tells him he's lost the hill.

With day one of the battle proper begun, Dow plans to retake the hill. With Reachey trying to draw the Union off towards Osrung, Black Dow will move straight on the Heroes with Craw’s crew. The Northmen attacked in great numbers and the Union forces both on the Heroes and in Osrung are overwhelmed, with thousands killed. Craw loses Agrick from his dozen, and Brack later dies in his sleep from an infected wound on his leg.

On day two, Craw and his crew are with Black Dow on the Heroes, when Bayaz tests his cannons. Craw gains a scar on his cheek, but Dow’s old second Splitfoot is killed, and he chooses Craw as his new second saying he reminds him of Threetrees. Craw accepts the role, despite reservations that Caul Shivers deserves it more, and gives the remains of the dozen to Wonderful. On Dow’s order, Craw releases Finree dan Brock and some Union prisoners to initiate peace talks. Later Brydian Flood and Beck join his dozen.

At the Heroes, Calder gets into a fight with Tenways, for not coming to support Scale on the Old Bridge. Craw tries to keep the peace, before Dow arrives and breaks it up. Calder asks Craw to kill Dow now that he's in his inner circle, but Craw refuses. He warns Calder that he must tell Dow, but he’ll give Calder a day to flee.

On day three, Craw and the dozen are on the Heroes when they turn back a massive assault by the Union. Craw is gets hit in the head, but Beck saves him. Drofd is killed, and Whirrun dies in his arms, telling Craw to bury the Father of Swords with him.

After the battle, Craw tells Black Dow what Calder had asked him to do. Dow and Calder agree a duel in the circle. Before the duel, Craw steps down as Dow’s second determined to retire, and is replaced by Wonderful.

In retirement, Craw builds his house, but finds with all the wounds on his hands, he’s not much of a carpenter. He’d started to think they wanted him in the valley more for his sword than his saw. Hardbread visits, and asks Craw to join the war between King Scale Ironhand of the Northmen, and Glama Golden.  After initially refusing, he joins them.

Illustrations Edit