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Crone was the matriarchal leader of the Great Ravens living within Moon's Spawn. She had glittering black eyes, and enormous wings composed of oily feathers, which were described as mangy. She had a sharp gaze and her unnaturally acute vision enabled her to see a long way.[1] She had a chipped beak which she herself described as broken.[2] She opened her beak in a silent laugh whenever she was amused.[3]

Crone was over 120,000 years old[4][2] and the eldest of the Great Ravens.[5] In Gardens of the Moon she thought of "her thousands of years of life" and the wisdom they had earned her,[6] however food was often foremost on her thoughts.[7] She became offended whenever anyone treated her as a mere bird and did not give her the respect that her elder years and power had earned.[8][9]

She was loyal to Anomander Rake[10] and Caladan Brood, treating them almost as equals.[11][12] The Mhybe believed her Rake's favoured servant.[13]

In Gardens of the MoonEdit

Crone visited the alchemist Baruk and easily bypassed his wards. She rapped on the window and when Baruk opened the shutters she pushed the thin glass pane with her chest until it shattered. After introductions, Crone passed on a request from the Lord of Moon's Spawn for a meeting with Baruk. As the two talked, Roald announced the arrival of councilman Turban Orr. Crone asked to witness the meeting. With Baruk's agreement she used illusionary magic to make herself look like a black hunting dog to Orr. When the councilman patted the head of the supposed hound, Baruk was hardly able to prevent himself from laughing. Crone made several comments during the conversation, giving advice to Baruk but her voice only sounded like the noises of a dog to Orr. When the councilman was about to leave, Crone commented that his words were ill-chosen on this of all nights, even as she thought she could hear a spinning coin.[14]

Crone then traveled north to Blackdog Forest to share information and discuss strategy with her other master, Caladan Brood.[15] Flying back south to Moon's Spawn she encountered Hurtle and other distressed young ravens pursuing a puppet across the Rhivi Plain. Attempting to confront the creature that had murdered one of her kin, Crone was stunned by the puppet's nearly overwhelming attacks of Chaos magic.[16]

In Memories of IceEdit

Crone remained with Brood, hounding the warlord and "offering incessant advice like a conscience twisted awry." She tested Brood's patience to the point that he threatened to have her beak strapped shut.[17]

Crone participated in the meeting that cemented the alliance of Brood and Rake with their former enemy, High Fist Dujek Onearm, to contest the expansion of the Pannion Domin. She and her kin had been the first to observe and warn of the danger the Domin represented. During the discussions, Crone was shocked by the young Silverfox's uncanny knowledge of the Ravens' birth and silenced her before she could reveal too much. The Great Ravens were shamed by their origin and feared the consequences of its revelation. Crone thought to disclose their connection to the Crippled God and his power was to mark them as enemies of the Tiste Andii and others. Crone did not realise that Rake and Korlat were already aware of their nature. They carried fragments of the Crippled God's power within themselves and were strengthened by devouring sorcery. Rake found their potential power so appalling that he kept the Ravens close.[18]

During the Pannion War, the Great Ravens served as Brood's eyes and ears in enemy territory, although their effectiveness was much diminished by the Pannion Seer's own demonic Condors as they moved deeper into the Pannion Domin.[19][20][21] At Brood's camp, she felt pity for the quickly aging and deteriorating Mhybe and attempted to comfort her.[22]

Crone served as the go-between for Rake and Brood, informing the warlord that Rake had taken Moon's Spawn somewhere unseen.[23] But she became greatly agitated when Rake stopped communicating from the skykeep's unknown hiding place and she feared the worst for her master. Brood, Kallor, and Korlat refused to heed her warnings that the alliance with the Malazans and the success of the war itself teetered on the brink. Korlat had never seen the Matriarch so rattled.[24][25]

Crone and her gathered kin were reunited with Rake after Moon's Spawn made its surprise reappearance at the Battle of Black Coral.[26] When the devastated skykeep was allowed to drift out to sea to its doom, they lost their roost.

OriginEdit

According to the Elder God K'rul, the Great Ravens had formed like maggots from the flesh of the Fallen One, eating the pieces of his broken body which had been torn from him during his descent onto the sister continents of Jacuruku and Korelri.[4][27]

QuotesEdit

"I am Crone, eldest of the Moon's Great Ravens, whose eyes have looked upon a hundred thousand years of human folly. Hence my tattered coat and broken beak as evidence of your indiscriminate destruction."
―Crone, informing Baruk that she is no mere messenger[src]
Dujek: "And what so amuses your master, bird?"
Crone: "Bird? I am Crone, the unchallenged matriarch of Moon's Spawn's cacophonous, vast murder of kin!"
Whiskeyjack: "Matriarch to the Great Ravens? You speak for them all, do you? I'd accept that - Hood knows you're loud enough."
Crone: "Upstart! Dujek Onearm, my master's amusement is beyond explanantion--"
Dujek: "Meaning you don't know."
Crone: "Outrageous audacity - show respect, mortal, else I choose your carcass to feed on when the day comes!"
―Dujek and Whiskeyjack meet Crone[src]
"I am not immune to grief, you see, my dear - tell no one you have seen me so weakened by love. How can I comfort you?"
―Crone to the Mhybe[src]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.193/194/198
  2. 2.0 2.1 Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.199
  3. Memories of Ice, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.529
  4. 4.0 4.1 Memories of Ice, Prologue, UK MMPB p.35/36
  5. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.198
  6. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.194
  7. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.198 - example
  8. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.98
  9. Memories of Ice, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.528-529
  10. Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p.xv
  11. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 9, US HC p.231
  12. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US HC p.240-242
  13. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.97
  14. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.198-201, 203-206
  15. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US HC p.240-242
  16. Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, US HC p.245-247
  17. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.97-98
  18. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.98/110-111/116
  19. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.100
  20. Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.788
  21. Memories of Ice, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.528
  22. Memories of Ice, Chapter 5, US SFBC p.199-200
  23. Memories of Ice, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.527
  24. Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.788-791
  25. Memories of Ice, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.839-840
  26. Memories of Ice, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.978
  27. Memories of Ice, Chapter 3, US SFBC p.98
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