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Rudd Threetrees

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Rudd Threetrees. Rock of Uffrith, they called him. No bigger name in all the North. Great fighter. Great leader. Great friend. Lifetime o’ battles. Stood face to face with the Bloody-Nine, then shoulder to shoulder with him. Never took an easy path, if he thought it was the wrong one. Never stepped back from a fight, if he thought it had to be done. I stood with him, walked with him, fought with him, ten years, all over the North. I’ve no complaints.

–Harding Grim on Threetrees

Rudd Threetrees is part of Logen's crew of Named Men, along with Dogman, Thunderhead, Black Dow, Forley the Weakest and Harding Grim, which he became leader of after Logen's assumed death at the hands of the Shanka.

Despite only appearing in two books, Rudd Threetrees has been mentioned in every book so far in the First Law Series.

Appearance and PersonalityEdit

Threetrees is a great, broad-chested old veteran warrior of great renown with grey creeping up in his beard and tangled hair. He's known for his patience; always taking his moment to think things through before making a decision, and is very tactical in planning his attacks. He holds to the "old way", a now old-fashioned Northern sense of honour, despite his circumstances. In battle, he wields a big round shield and a sword, which allows him to fight more or less defensively depending on the situation.

In addition to Northern, Threetrees also speaks the Union tongue[1].

HistoryEdit

Threetrees was chieftain of Uffrith. He opposed Bethod's rise to power, and when Bethod’s army put siege to Uffrith, he offered a duel in the circle. Threetrees was beaten in single combat by Bethod's champion Logen Ninefingers, but allowed to live. Curnden Craw was his second from before the siege of Uffrith.

Shortly before the start of the series, bad blood developed between Logen and Bethod. Logen and his crew, including the Threetrees, were imprisoned in Carleon. Expecting death, Bethod inexplicitly allows them to go into exile.

The Blade Itself Edit

With Logen presumed dead after his fall from a cliff during a Shanka attack, Threetrees became the new chief of the crew. He decided they will go south.[2]

On the way, they come across a burnt-out farmhouse, and the occupants - an old man, a woman and two children - hung from a tree. Outraged, Threetrees and his crew track the culprits down, and teach them a "lesson". They learn that the band are Bethod’s tax collectors, razing the homes of anyone who refuses to pay. Also, that the North is now at war with The Union. Considering their options, they fear with Bethod army heading south, The North will be undefended from the Shanka. Forley the Weakest proposes warning the only person they can, Bethod himself. Bethod fears all the others in the crew, so the Forley should be the one to do it. Although, they fear for Forley’s safety, it’s the best idea they have.[3]

Forley entered Carleon on alone to deliver the warning. The crew hide away, while Threetrees stand alone on a bridge waiting for the answer. It comes in the form of one of Bethod’s Carls, Bad-Enough and his entourage. Bad-Enough throws Forley’s head in a sack at Threetrees feet. At the sight of their dead friend, the crew attack and butcher all of Bethod’s men without mercy.

Threetrees says the words over Forley's grave honouring his self-sacrifice. Afterwards, Threetrees makes an announcement; the enemy of my enemy is my friend; he will join with the Union to fight Bethod. Who’s coming with him?[4]

Before They Are HangedEdit

Crossing the river Whiteflow into Angland, Threetrees and his crew see a great battlefield strewn with Union corpses; the massacre at Black Well.

Turned away at Ostenhorm when they try to offer their services, they ambush Lord Marshal Burr and Colonel West to convince them they needed their help. The Lord Marshal agrees and assigns them to Prince Ladisla's division, under West's command.

Colonel West sends Threetrees' crew scouting north of the river Cumnur. The crew soon find one of Bethod's scouting parties. After disposing of them, they follow their tracks and discover the King of the Northmen's whole damn army, ten thousand men not five days march away from Ladisla's division.

Threetrees and Dogman break the news to West, and accompany him to tell the Prince. Against Threetrees and West's advice, Ladisla orders to march to meet Bethod in battle without delay. Outside, Threetrees declares them all fools. His crew won’t fight with the Union, too blind to see they have no chance of defeating Bethod’s host.

The crew follows the Union's army safe in the forest, and witnesses the massacre of Ladisla's division. Amidst the chaos, Dogman finds West, Ladisla, Pike and Cathil, and brings them back to the rest of his crew.

Threetrees and the others keep following Bethod's army, surprised to find they are now going north, ignoring the easypickings further south. When, the Dogman spots some scouts of Bethod's, and Threetrees jumps at the chance to get some food and gear from them. West and Pike go along with them, leaving only Cathil and Ladisla behind. After the battle, the whole crew is astonished to see West bit one of his opponents nose clean off, a deed worthy of a Named Man - he is named Furious. When they get back to the others, they find Furious has actually pushed the Prince off a cliff for trying to force himself on Cathil.

Finally, Bethod's army come close to the Union stronghold not far from Dunbrec, giving them the opportunity to brings the grateful Lord Marshal Burr some reliable intelligence of Bethod's movements, but also more importantly to get clean, get some rest, and get drunk.

While scouting near Dunbrec, the Dogman comes across a northman called Caul Shivers, who argues passionately that Bethod is no good, and agrees to join asking Threetrees crew along with his Carls.

As Bethod and the Union prepare for battle, Threetrees' crew, Cathil, Shivers and his Carls are assigned to General Poulder's division tasked with flanking the enemy while Kroy diverts their attention. In the forest, while waiting for their orders to charge, Dogman picks up the scent of something he hasn't smelled in a long time; Shanka. Just as they take hold of their weapons, a Shanka's arrow catches Cathil in the ribs. After the Shanka fall back, Threetrees and Dogman try to save her by removing the arrow, but she dies of her injuries. After several battles against the Shanka, Fenris the Feared makes his appearance. Threetrees orders the charge. During the mêlée, Threetrees finds himself facing the Feared alone. The old warrior gives it his best, but the Feared crunches him to the turf, mortally wounded, Eventually, the Feared is routed leaving behind him a devastated crew, its leader dead.

The crew then bury the Threetrees. Overcome with emotion, Dogman cannot speak for Threetrees. Nor can Tul or Dow who seem lessened with their chief’s death. To the surprise of all, Harding Grim steps forward to speak the words. Afterwards, the crew names the Dogman as their new chief.

IllustrationsEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Before They Are Hanged, Heading North
  2. The Blade Itself, Part I, Flatheads
  3. The Blade Itself, Part II, Dark Work
  4. The Blade Itself, Part II, Back to the Mud

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