Through their deadly reputation and exotic poisons, the Crows practically rule their homeland. Though honor among such an organization is generally dubious, they do adhere to one standard: contracts are met and agreements are kept. Failure to eliminate a mark means the life of the operative is also forfeit. The Antivan Crows are a driving political force in Antiva, often hired to assassinate Antivan nobility or even royalty. Zevran implies the Crows are an important part of Antivan society as a whole.
When the Crows are hired for a job, generally one master handles the contract. However, if the master is unable to complete it, then other masters can be hired. It is even possible to hire the entire House of Crows, however that would be extremely expensive. There is only one known case where this occurred.
The Crows started as an arm of the Chantry. In the hills north of Treviso, an order of monks used the herbs grown in the gardens of their abbey to oppose the rule of a despotic duke in the only manner they could.
The Crows and Queen Madrigal Edit
One of the Crows most infamous assassinations was that of Queen Madrigal. The Queen failed to return from a hunt and was later found with four swords through her body. One of these swords was a replica of Hessarian's Blade of Mercy.
Captain Aristade was charged with investigation of the murder. After several Crows died while being tortured for information he came to realize that no amount of pain would break the Crows. The guild's notorious reputation was well earned.
After Zevran's assassination attempt fails and his supporters are killed, the Warden may kill Zevran, recruit him or to let him live and send him away. If Zevran joines the Warden, his former comrade Taliesen confronts them in Denerim and offers Zevran the chance to return to the crows and conceal his initial failure to kill the Warden. If Zevran's approval is high enough, he rejects Taliesen's offer and kills him to protect the Warden. If not, Zevran turns against the Warden and is killed fighting alongside his fellow crow.The Warden may also choose to work for the Crows, with quests given by Master Ignacio. Ignacio reveals that the Crows originally believed that Loghain was the best hope for Ferelden against the Darkspawn and hoped to eliminate Loghain's political opponents so he could unify Ferelden and lead the defense against the Blight. However the Warden's successes convinced them they were an acceptable alternative and that the assassinations the Warden carried out eroded Loghain's support while furthering their own agenda.
If Vigilance was forged:The master smith of Denerim, Wade, forged the legendary blade Vigilance from the bones of an ancient dragon, for Ferelden's Warden-Commander however the blade was eventually stolen by the Antivan Crows. However the Crows subsequently lost the blade.
If Zevran survives the events of the Fifth Blight, then Hawke meets a disguised member of the Crows, Nuncio. Nuncio claims to be a lawman from Antiva and asks Hawke to track down an murderer who is revealed to be Zevran. Upon finding him, the truth is revealed and Hawke learns that the Crows are being torn apart from within by the elf, who seeks to seize the leadership.The Antivan Crows also attempt to assassinate Hawke during an ambush in Hightown after being hired by either the Cavril family or Friedrich's surviving family. However the Crows' assassination is foiled by Tallis.
Recently several high ranking members of the Antivan Crows have been assassinated with no contract given for their deaths. Some claim these deaths are the results of a single operator whom they refer to as 'The Black Shadow'.
If Zevran survived:Several senior Antivan Crows speculated that Zevran Aranai is likely the Black Shadow causing chaos and dissent within their ranks.
The Antivan Crows are seemingly compartmentalized into family houses, in imitation of the great noble families of Thedas, with each member of that house, from its leader to its rank and file assassins taking the house's name as their family name. The leadership of the Guild as a whole seemingly lies with the Eight Talons, and their respective houses, while lesser Houses are referred to as cuchillos (knives).
- Talon: A high-ranking member of the Crows. As of approximately 9:38 Dragon Age Claudio Valisti is the Third Talon; the others are unknown.
- Guildmaster: A leader amongst the Crows, possibly of a larger group.
- Master: A high-ranking assassin who accepts and handles assassination contracts.
- Assassin: A member of the guild without greater rank.
The Crows usually employ elves because humans often find them attractive, giving them an advantage over their target. However they also have a large number of Human recruits. They train their recruits from a young age, and have no problem killing them if they make a mistake. It seems to be an effective method, though they would have everyone believe it takes some special skill to do what they do.
The Antivan Crows buy orphaned or enslaved elves and humans when they are children and force them to live together in tight quarters. The only way they can survive the brutal process and prove themselves worthy is by surviving every test the Crows throw at them, including killing their peers.
Antivan Crows who achieves the rank of Talon are given a ceremonial dagger from the Guildmaster and sent to assassinate a target using that dagger alone. The greater the risk, the greater the good omen for the Talon's future.
Notable members Edit
- Zevran Arainai
- Claudio Valisti: Third Talon of the Antivan Crows in 9:38 Dragon Dragon
- Calien d'Evaliste: An Antivan Crow during the Exalted Age who was involved in the Fourth Blight
- Ezio Valisti: Third Talon of the Antivan Crows as of 9:41 Dragon
- Callisto di Bastion - Killed King Guiomar the Younger of Antiva
- In Dragon Age: Origins, Sten asks Zevran why they are called "The Crows." Zevran replies that he heard at one point they were considered being called the Kestrels, but claims that the name "didn't sing, didn't dance".
See also EditCodex entry: Antiva Codex entry: Zevran Arainai Codex entry: The Crows and Queen Madrigal Codex entry: Finesse The Antivan Garrote
+2% critical chance
+4% critical damage
Immunity to flanking Crow Dagger
Varies (Tier 1-7)
Requires: 10-30 dexterity
Critical chance: 3.00%-4.80%
Armor penetration: 4.00-8.00
Strength modifier: 0.85
+15% critical/backstab damage Gift of the Talons
Assassins who achieve the rank of talon in the Antivan Crows receive a dagger from the guildmaster, who orders them to kill a target with that blade alone. The more unusual and difficult the target, the greater the omen for their future in guild leadership. More than one talon has never returned.
Requires: Level 12
+2% Critical Chance
+17% Flanking Damage Bonus
10% chance to use Hidden Blades on a hit, with 3 added hits
- ↑ Mentioned by Zevran Arainai and Ignacio.
- ↑ Bioware Wiki. Assassin on BioWare wiki
- ↑ Dragon Age: The World of Thedas, vol. 1, p. 64
- ↑ Referenced in Codex entry: A Letter From Zevran.
- ↑ As witnessed with Master Ignacio.
- ↑ According to the guest announcements in the quest Wicked Eyes and Wicked Hearts, in Dragon Age: Inquisition.