Into the Darkness
The Antivan Crows, also known as House of Crows, are an elite organization of thieves, spies, and assassins which are renowned throughout Thedas.
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. 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
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.
A 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.
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.