Crokus Younghand was a seventeen[2] year old thief in Darujhistan and one of the regulars of the Phoenix Inn.[3]

His parents died when he was only four years old, succumbing to the Winged Plague. Since then, he had been raised by his uncle Mammot. Crokus found the street's shadows more appealing than the books his Uncle worked on and he became an apprentice of Kruppe learning the art of thievery.[4] Though Crokus did not give it any thought, his uncle's sardonic reserve for the pretence so rife on Majesty Hill, an attitude which had seeped into Crokus over the years, and youthful resentment towards authority provided the impulses for this career choice.[5]

Crokus was described as having shoulder-length, black hair (also described as brown),[6] regular features, and light blue eyes.[7]

When out as a thief, Crokus dressed in soot-stained cloth which closely covered his body, including his face, only leaving space for his eyes. A black leather harness, criss-crossing his chest held the tools of his trade. In pockets and tight loops it contained coils of copper wire, iron files, three metal saws wrapped in oiled parchment, root gum, a lump of tallow, and a spool of fishing string. A thin-bladed dagger and a throwing knife were both sheathed under his left arm with pommels facing forward.[8]

Some of his tools Crokus had acquired from his absent-minded uncle, Mammot, who dabbled in alchemy and was prone to misplace items such as magically hardened saws and other, to Crokus useful, tools.[9]

The tips of his moccasins were soaked in pitch which gave him more grip when scaling up or down the side of buildings. To preserve the pitch, Crokus would not lower his full weight on his toes the rest of the time when crossing the roofs.[10]

Crokus regarded Kruppe, Murillio, Rallick Nom and Coll as his best friends.[11] He had no siblings or cousins.[12]

In Gardens of the Moon Edit

Crokus younghand by luztheren

Crokus Younghand by Luztheren

About two days after rumors had reached Darujhistan of the fall of Pale,[2] Crokus stole the content of the jewel box of Challice D'Arle from her bedroom whilst she was asleep.[2] It took him twenty minutes to saw through the look on her bedroom door.[13] He decided to also take a sky-blue silk turban with gold-braid tassels which he vowed to keep for himself and sneaked a quick look at the half naked, sleeping Challice.[2] After Crokus left the estate, he was nearly shot by Talo Krafar in a case of mistaken identity.[14] Crokus was saved when he bent down to pick up Oponn's coin which fell at his feet at that moment.[15] Crokus was then followed and attacked by those who had previously attacked Talo, but again and again managed to escape by sheer luck[16] and only suffered some cuts and bruises as a result.[17]

Crokus had no idea of the coin's significance and that he, as "The Coinbearer" was wanted by some.[18] Thus he did not realize that it had been the influence of the coin which had saved his life. Crokus did not notice when Kruppe diverted him for a moment to take a wax impression of the coin.[19]

Thinking back on the sleeping Challice, Crokus gradually became infatuated with the thought of her and decided to return the jewels.[20] He also considered to become well-read and to be presented to the young woman as a gentleman and suitor. Murillio and Rallick, having guessed the reason for Crokus wanting the stolen goods back from Kruppe, decided to further the change of career path, possibly by having a word with Crokus' uncle Mammot.[21][22]

Crokus was warned by Rallick to stay away from the Orr Estate.[23]

Crokus did not know that Kruppe was charged by Baruk to protect the coinbearer but should it transpire that the Lord rather than the Lady claimed him, he was to eliminate him.[24]

Unbeknownst to Crokus, the Great Raven Crone mentioned to Caladan Brood that Rake's known dislike for Oponn would lead him to try and cut their connection to the coinbearer, however, she said that she had not told Rake all she knew about the matter. In order to prevent Oponn being pulled into the fray, Brood arranged for the 6th Blade of the Crimson Guard to protect Crokus.[25]

On a visit to the Phoenix Inn, Crokus met Sorry and noticed fresh blood on her dagger. He realized that she was the one who had just killed Chert. When he tried to pay, Oponn's coin bounced on the bar, spun and kept on spinning, giving Crokus away to Sorry as being Oponn's coin bearer.[26]

As Crokus returned the jewels, Challice woke up but did not call the guards. That and the brief conversation they had further strengthened Crokus in his infatuation.[27]

On his way to the D'Arle estate, Crokus had secretly been followed by Sorry.[28] As he left Challice's bedroom he saw Sorry standing in the garden, and although she was cloaked, he instantly recognized her as the woman he had previously met in the Phoenix Inn.[29]

He came to know Sorry better on the return from a trip outside the city, after the Rope abandoned his possesion of her. Sorry had no memory of her former life and her real name, so she choose 'Apsalar', the name of the Lady of Thieves, the Patron of Crokus.[30]

Crokus saw his Uncle Mammot killed, Apsalar "kidnapped" by Malazan spies, and was disabused of his obsession with Challice during the Gedderone Fête.[31]

He then hurried on to Baruk's estate on Rallick's orders to inform Baruk that there were now Malazans at Lady Simtal's estate and Vorcan intended to betray the Cabal.[32] He watched as Anomander and the Galayn Lord battled in front of the estate. The battle left Anomander weak, and he asked Crokus to hurry and defend Baruk from Vorcan. Crokus arrived just in the nick of time to save Baruk from being killed, and hit Vorcan with two bricks (rather luckily, probably on account of the coin), then returned towards Simtal's estate to find that Murillio and Rallick's goals had been achieved. Meanwhile he also came to be concerned and felt responsible for Apsalar's safety.[33]

When he met Apsalar again, she was trying to return home to Itko Kan and he opted to go with her, discarding Oponn's coin over the side of the boat. On this journey, they were joined by Fiddler and Kalam.[34]

In Deadhouse Gates Edit

The two Bridgeburners brought Crokus and Apsalar to Seven Cities on their way to Itko Kan. They were accompanied by Moby, the former familiar of Crokus' uncle Mammot. But Crokus, fiercely protective of Apsalar, questioned the soldiers' true motives. Fiddler admitted that returning Apsalar to her home was only a side concern. Their actual mission was to assassinate Empress Laseen in revenge for her attacks on the Bridgeburners. Additionally, Kalam thought a young woman who once possessed the knowledge and powers of a god of assassins might prove to be a Shaved Knuckle in the Hole.[35]

During their journey across the desert, Crokus grew upset by Apsalar's increasing withdrawal and by signs that she was regaining Cotillion's memories and abilities. He was also dismayed when Moby seemed to revert to his wild status and abandon him.[36]

Stumbling upon a battle between Soletaken and D'ivers following the Path of Hands, Fiddler, Crokus, and Apsalar were rescued by Icarium and Mappo Runt.[37] The Jhag and Trell brought them to safety at Tesem, a temple of Shadow. There, Crokus came into physical conflict with the maddening High Priest Iskaral Pust, who he correctly suspected of plotting to make Apsalar the Sha'ik Reborn.[38]

To further his plans, Pust sent Apsalar's father Rellock into the Holy Desert Raraku. Apsalar followed on her own, and was pursued by Crokus, Fiddler, Icarium, Mappo, and Pust.[39] Crokus held a knife to Pust's neck in order to force him to call upon the aid of the Hounds of Shadow.[40] The group fought their way through the Soltaken and D'ivers filled maze surrounding the Azath House Tremorlor.[41] At the house Crokus was reunited with Moby, who was the only one of the party allowed to open the door. Once inside Tremorlor, Crokus said tearful goodbyes to the Bhok'arala as it stayed behind to be the house's new guardian.[42]

The group passed into the Azath Warren, but Pust, Icarium, and Mappo soon disappeared. Crokus, Apsalar, Fiddler, and Rellock found themselves in the Deadhouse where they met Gothos, its guardian. Exiting the house into Malaz City they were reunited with Kalam by the shadow demon Apt.[43]

Shadowthrone himself then appeared and at Apsalar's request, spirited her, Crokus, and Rellock back their old home on the Kanese coast and severed all association between them and the god.[44]

In House of Chains Edit

Apsalar, Cotillion and Crokus by Puck

Interpretation of Apsalar, Cotillion and Crokus by Puck

Andarist by dejan delic

Interpretation of Andarist (center), Cutter (left) and Apsalar (right) by Dejan-delic

Shadowthrone returned Crokus, Apsalar, and Rellock to an alley in Kan rather than the fishing village he promised. Crokus and Apsalar were forced to sell their services to a local bookmaker and extortionist in return for the money to purchase a small boat to complete their journey. The loathsome work left two men dead and Crokus with the nickname 'Cutter'. The young thief chose to adopt the new name when he believed the only way to follow Apsalar, whom he loved, was to abandon his former life.[45]

Cutter was visited by Cotillion in Itko Kan, just after Rellock had died. After a conversation, the contents of which remained unknown, he agreed to serve Cotillion and upon telling Apsalar, the two made plans to leave for Drift Avalii.[46] On their way to the island, Cutter came to realize that in order to get closer to her, he had made the wrong choice by pursuing the life of an assassin, something Apsalar abhorred.[47]

Cutter and Apsalar were shipwrecked and separated on rocky shore of Drift Avalii where Cutter was found by a Tiste Andii called Darist.[48] Cutter helped Darist in his fight against the Tiste Edur who had invaded the island to wrest back the Throne of Shadow. They survived the onslaught of the advance party due to Darist's dazzling display of swordsmanship. Cutter killed at least on Edur in the fight. He was reunited with Apsalar who arrived with other Tiste Andii and killed the remaining enemies. It turned out that Darist was short for Andarist and Cutter correctly guessed him to be the younger brother of Anomander Rake.[49]

Cutter left the courtyard to seek out shipwrecked Malazan marines whose presence on the island was felt by Apsalar and ask for their help.[50] When he arrived back he witnessed Andarist die as a result of Edur sorceries. The rest of them, including Cutter and Apsalar, were saved by Cotillion, who killed the Edur mages and soldiers.[51]

Cotillion then sent Crokus and Apsalar to Seven Cities, where he suspected the Master of the Talon was. He needed the pair to potentially assist his other agents with taking out this leader and make them fail in their endeavor. While Apsalar was disappointed to see Cutter do this, and asked him not to walk this path, she nevertheless decided to accompany him when Cutter answered that he had thought she wanted company.[52]

Apsalar and Cutter's ship was pulled through a warren back to a storeroom within Tesem, Iskaral Pust's temple.[53] Later, Apsalar, seeing Cutter embrace all the things she hated about herself, made a decision to leave Cutter behind as she continued to serve Cotillion and Shadowthrone in Cutter's stead. She was determined that the patron of assassins would not have him, leaving him free from any of the murderous influences of the callings of an assassin. Cotillion attempted to convince Apsalar that Crokus loved the fisher girl within her and not the killer, but he was pleased at her decision, and admitted to liking the lad. Apsalar made the god promise to take care of Cutter.[54]

Alone, Cutter was approached by Cotillion and offered a different kind of task. This time he would serve as the protector of Felisin Younger, the adopted daughter of Felisin Paran. Cutter tearfully accepted.[55]

In The Bonehunters Edit

Crokus found himself with Scillara, Felisin Younger, and Heboric, starting from Pan'potsun leading them through the desert of Raraku to the coast. Cotillion had wanted him to accompany the Destriant while at the same time protecting Felisin Younger. They journeyed to the Otataral Island, encountering bandits on the way.[56]

The group stumbled on a Temple of D'rek where all the priests had been burned by someone Heboric described as an 'unexpected visitor', most probably D'rek herself. There, Crokus met the undead former Seguleh Second, now High House Death's Knight, who appeared from a portal and was ostensibly hunting Skinner. He informed Crokus that the Tyrant's mages, who held sway over the City of Darujhistan were only crouching low until the day the Tyrant returned. He also disabused Crokus of the notion that his Uncle Mammot was his actual uncle.[57]

The group passed through the ruins of the city of E'napatha N'apur, and two days from there, the group was ambushed by Unbound T'lan Imass, the servants of the Chained God, and Felisin Younger was taken. Crokus (Cutter) was disemboweled, Heboric killed, and Scillara was stabbed through the chest.[58]

They were discovered by the inhabitants of a small settlement run by Kalam's cousin, Barathol Mekhar. L'oric, who had been looking for his familiar, Greyfrog, and Felisin Younger, used his skills and the Denul Warren to heal both Cutter and Scillara.[59]

After recovering from his injuries, Crokus dug out Heboric's body, determined to deliver it to Otataral Island, their original destination.[60] On their way once more, this time with Barathol, Chaur and Scillara as companions, the group reached the shores of the Otataral sea. Scillara began to sleep with Cutter in order to comfort him, since Cutter had become rather listless and disinterested with everything in past few days after Felisin Younger's loss, for which he blamed himself. They found a boat, Grief, and started on their journey.[61] When several sun like small objects, a hail of firestones struck in the vicinity of the boat, threatening simultaneously the nearby The Bonehunters and the The Host under Ganoes Paran with utter destruction, the carrack was hit with stones and sank with everyone. Cutter was able to hold on to Scillara, while Barathol dived after Chaur. Swimming, Cutter saw that the Otataral Island had ignited with Jade hands like that of Heboric's. The hands, belonging to Heboric, then forced these firestones to converge on them, saving everyone in the vicinity. Crokus and Scillara, near to drowning, were plucked out of the water by Spite in her draconian form and dumped on the boat in which Mappo, Iskaral Pust and Mogora were traveling with. Moments later, Barathol re-surfaced with Chaur. Mappo said that Cutter had been able to bring Heboric's body close enough to the Island for it to have made a difference and save them all. It is unclear how much the simultaneous efforts by Paran influenced these events.[62]

In Toll the HoundsEdit

Cutter returned to Darujhistan, though he found that the city was no longer his home, having himself changed so much. He began an affair with Challice, but felt no love towards her. The affair ended abruptly when Cutter killed Gorlas Vidikas in revenge for the death of Murillio, leaving Darujhistan in a boat.

In The Crippled God Edit

He and Apsalar were finally reunited in Itko Kan at her original house.[63]


Crokus was originally created as a character for the Gardens of the Moon screenplay written by Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont that predated the novel of the same name.[64] As a result, Erikson noted that the character was not organically created like those the authors developed in their gaming sessions and existed more to drive the events of the story's plot. He admitted feeling that he wanted to kill Crokus by the end of the Gardens of the Moon novel, thus requiring the changes that resulted in Crokus's transformation into Cutter.[64]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. House of Chains, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.259
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.184
  3. Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p. xiv
  4. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, p.218
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.234
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.216
  7. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.190
  8. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.178/179
  9. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.180
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.179/180
  11. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.218
  12. The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, UK MMPB p.686
  13. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.180
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.185/186
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.186
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.185-191
  17. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.216
  18. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.220
  19. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.240/241
  20. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.235/240
  21. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.369
  22. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.240/245/246
  23. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.236
  24. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.251/252
  25. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, UK MMPB p.337-339
  26. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.376-378
  27. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.419/422
  28. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.417-419
  29. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.422
  30. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15
  31. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22
  32. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22
  33. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 24
  34. Gardens of the Moon, Epilogue
  35. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.93
  36. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.96
  37. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 7, US HC p.192-196
  38. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.294
  39. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.295-296
  40. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 16, US HC p.442
  41. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19
  42. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.515-520
  43. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 23
  44. Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 23, US HC p.583-584
  45. House of Chains, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.259
  46. House of Chains, Chapter 6
  47. House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.362-363
  48. House of Chains, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.437
  49. House of Chains, Chapter 12, UK MMPB p.523-525
  50. House of Chains, Chapter 12, UK MMPB p.527
  51. House of Chains, Chapter 12
  52. House of Chains, Chapter 16
  53. House of Chains, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.672-675
  54. House of Chains, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.739-743
  55. House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.739-743
  56. The Bonehunters, Chapter 2
  57. The Bonehunters, Chapter 3
  58. The Bonehunters, Chapter 11
  59. The Bonehunters, Chapter 12
  60. The Bonehunters, Chapter 15
  61. The Bonehunters, Chapter 19
  62. The Bonehunters, Chapter 20
  63. The Crippled God, Epilogue II
  64. 64.0 64.1 Black Gate Magazine video interview (see 16:00)
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