|“||Shoglig told me the time, and the place, and the manner of my death. She whispered it, and made me swear to keep it secret, for magic shared is no magic at all. So I cannot tell you where it will be, or when, but it is not here, and it is not now. You boys, on the other hand … Shoglig didn’t say when you’d be going.||”|
Chapter Summary Edit
An aging veteran Named-man called Curnden Craw2 trudges wearily up a steep hill towards a hilltop ringed with ancient standing stones known as The Heroes. It is eight years since the end of the First Northern War, and again The Union and The North are at war. Craw is the leader of a dozen, a crew of Named-Men, loyal to King Black Dow of the Northmen.
Nearing the peak, he sees the flicker of a campfire within the circle of giant stones. Gathering his courage, Craw strides confidently into the camp. While the men around the fire bristle in surprise, the leader Hardbread urges them all to calm; this crew is loyal to The Dogman, rebel Northmen allied to The Union.
Hardbread is another old veteran, and he and Craw know each other well, having fought together and on the opposing sides down the years. After some friendly banter, an awkward standoff ensues. However, Craw has the upper hand, with his crew – Wonderful, Whirrun of Bligh3, Scorry Tiptoe, Jolly Yon, Brack-i-Dayn, Agrick, Athroc, Drofd - having already stealthily surrounded the stones, and taken their sentries prisoner. Nevertheless, Craw allows Hardbread and his crew to clear out unharmed. From the hilltop that commands a view of the valley of Osrung below, Craw watches Hardbread and the others trudge down south. He wonders what Union scouts would be doing this far north, and orders Drofd to ride to back to Carleon to warn Black Dow that the Union Army may be closer than they all think.
|Curnden Craw||Jolly Yon||The Dogman||Black Dow|
|Whirrun of Bligh||Athroc|
Loctions and Terms Edit
|Osrung||The North||First Northern War||Battle of the Heroes||The Union||Carleon|
- In Best Served Cold we've had the futility of revenge, and now we have the futility of war.
- Curnden Craw is probably the closest thing to a central character The Heroes has. He was once Second to Rudd Threetrees, and still tries to do things the old way – stand by your Chief, stand by your crew, try to keep everyone alive, at least on your side. He’s long been dreaming of retirement, going back to being a carpenter and smoking his pipe on his porch while the sun goes down, but he never quite seems to find the right moment to hang up his sword…