| ||For Skellige's glory!|| |
| - Crach's war cry, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game|
Crach an Craite, also known as Sea Boar (Elder Speech: Tirth ys Muire) and the Wild Boar of the Sea, was a nephew of King Bran Tuirseach of Skellige and was mentored by Eist Tuirseach, his other uncle.
In his early years he was a contender for the hand of Princess Pavetta of Cintra, however, it never came to anything. After King Bran passed the throne to Eist Tuirseach, Crach became Jarl of Skellige, the main commander of the military forces. He also had a brief affair with Yennefer and remained fond of her afterward, which he demonstrated by helping her in her search for Vilgefortz in 1267.
He was known for sometimes showing his fiery temper as well as a healthy appetite. During his youth, he was described as a broad shouldered man with a mop of red hair. Later when he was a grown adult, his eyes were said to be hawk-like.
Crach was born in early 13th century on Skellige to the clan of an Craite. His mother was from the clan of Tuirseach. Not much is known about his childhood, only that he was taken by Eist Tuirseach, his uncle, as his pupil, and young Crach learned many things from him. When he was a young man he met the sorceress Yennefer of Vengerberg and the duo had a short affair. Even though they separated Crach remained fond of the sorceress for the rest of his life. Some time after their split Crach met a woman that eventually became one of his wives. This woman gave him a son, his first born, Hjalmar. Crach, now a father and married man, lived happily in the typical Skellige style. A little over 2 years later, he was part of the Skellige envoy sent to the kingdom of Cintra where he was one of the contestants for the hand of Princess Pavetta.
Queen Calanthe of Cintra invited many noble guests to the courtship of her daughter Pavetta, who just turned 15 and thus was ready for marriage. One of the main groups invited were those from Skellige. Above all, the queen wanted Pavetta to marry a Skelliger to ensure peace with the islanders. Among those sent from the islands were Crach an Craite, Eist Tuirseach, druid Mousesack and skald Draig Bon-Dhu. There were also other contestants, after all, the princess was a very beautiful young lady. Apart from the Skellige party, there were lords such as baron Eylembert of Tigg also known as Coodcoodak, prince Windhalm of Attre, and all three sons of Lord Strept. There was however another guest who did not appear to be interested in the hand of the princess. The honorable Lord Ravix of Fourhorn. Unknown to most of guests, Ravix was in fact just an alias of the witcher Geralt of Rivia who was personally invited by the queen and who sat next to her for the entire feast.
The queen thanked all the guests and offered them an incredibly rich feast. Crach, as is common amongst his people, rebelled and drank like a true Skelliger. After some time, the princess appeared and joined the feast. She however, was not very happy and barely looked up. Thus the feast continued quite normally until a commotion occurred in the throne room, and an uninvited guest appeared. It was a knight in full plate armor who introduced himself as Urcheon of Erlenwald. He stood before the queen and told her about his past. He told her that 15 years ago, he saved King Roegner, husband of Calanthe, and invoked the Law of Surprise. That law granted him the child of the king - Princess Pavetta.
To the great shock of all the guests, the queen admitted, that what the knight says is true yet she has no intentions to give him his daughter. Instead, she tricked him into removing his helmet. As he did, he revealed, that he was no man at all but rather some hedgehog-like creature, covered in spines with a muzzle full of fangs. Triumphant, the queen said that the Law of Surprise stands yet the princess has to agree to go with him. Calanthe was sure that seeing that he is a monster, Pavetta will reject him immediately. That however did not happened and to great surprise - and horror - Pavetta agreed to go with the monstrous knight. Calanthe collapsed to her chair, and the fight erupted. Cintrian knights as well as suitors attacked the Urcheon and pinned him to the ground. That was however a grave mistake. Pavetta, seeing Urcheon knocked to the ground, burst into an explosion of raw Power. That eruption was extremely dangerous and threatened everyone's life. The storm created by her was so strong, that nobody was able to move properly.
The witcher Geralt, and druid Mousesack were eventually able to calm the princess and stop the eruption. When the situation calmed down, the princess explained, that she and the Urcheon, whose name is Duny, were secretly seeing each other for over a year and that they fell in love. Duny was in fact human but suffered a curse that turned him into a monster, though after midnight he recovered his human form. Calanthe had no choice but to agree with their union. This decision was very difficult because of her fear of Skellige. Eist however took this chance, and proposed to the queen. Surprised, the queen eventually agreed to marry him thus fulfilling her desire for a union between Cintra and Skellige. Duny thanked the witcher and promised him anything. As is common amongst witchers, he invoked the Law of Surprise because he did not wish anything from the young couple. To a great surprise, Pavetta admitted, she was with child, a child which now belongs to the witcher.
Crach returned from Cintra empty handed but his loss was not that great as he already had at least one wife and a son, Hjalmar, back home. He eventually ascended to the title of Jarl of the an Craite clan and the ruler of Kaer Trolde. When his uncle and mentor Eist married Queen Calanthe, he became her and Pavetta's relative and Ciri, Pavetta's daughter, spent her summers and winters visiting Skellige. However, after Pavetta and Duny died during their trip, Calanthe, angry at Crach and Eist for letting the young couple sail out, had Crach swear a blood oath (bloedgeas) that he would always guard Ciri and give any help needed when called upon in regards to her safety, before the queen banned Ciri from visiting the isles again. However, this ban only lasted 6 months and Ciri was once more spending her summers and winters on the islands. On one such occasion, Hjalmar, now 15 years old, was challenging anyone to beat him at an ice skating game where they tried to see how many rocks in a row one could jump over while ice skating. Ciri took him up on this and beat his record. When Hjalmar then tried to beat the new record, he instead broke several bones and was bedridden for a time to heal. During this, Ciri visited him and, in their naivete, got "engaged". Terrified at what Calanthe would do, as Crach knew the queen had plans in the works to marry the young princess off eventually to another kingdom's prince, he promptly broke the two up and Calanthe dragged Ciri back to Cintra immediately.
During the Second Northern War, Crach helped Yennefer and provided her with sanctuary as she was looking for Ciri, who was kidnapped. Thanks to his help, the sorceress made a great discovery and found a portal leading from Skellige to Nilfgaard. Even though the sorceress was arrested and tortured afterwards, eventually she and Geralt succeeded and rescued Ciri in no small part thanks to Crach.
Crach continued his rule as a Jarl and watched as his children grew into strong adults worthy of the an Craite name.
The Third War
In 1272 King Bran Tuirseach died and Crach attended the funeral, setting the funeral pyre on fire before announcing they'd soon gather to select a new ruler at the feast in Kaer Trolde keep. Eventually, Geralt and Yennefer appeared to talk with Crach on matters concerning Ciri but he informed them they had to wait as they had to have those contending to be the next ruler come forth.
In the main hall, Crach then announced that those wishing to nominate themselves to come forward, dropping a weapon on a table in the middle of the hall as a sign of their commitment. As his son Hjalmar wasn't currently there but wished to be considered, Crach showed his son's axe before putting it on the table. When all the jarls' sons of the region finished nominating themselves, Crach's daughter, Cerys, came forth and proceeded to throw her weapon down as well much to everyone's surprise.
Later, Crach had a discussion with the witcher and the sorceress, as the duo wanted to explore a local forest that suffered a magical explosion in hopes it would tell them something about Ciri. Crach granted them their wish before asking if Geralt could find the time to help his children in their endeavors. During this, he also voiced he didn't know what Cerys was doing, having nominated herself to be the next ruler, and while Skellige never had a female ruler before, he'd equally support his two children.
A new ruler
Before he could attend the final feast though, Birna, who was one of the late king's wives and the mother of his firstborn son, met with Crach, getting into an argument over how the next ruler should be decided; in particular Birna wanted it to be hereditary starting with the last king, thus making her son, Svanrige Tuirseach, the next king, rather than a voting system between the jarls. As this was never Skellige's way, Crach firmly told her no and she left just as Geralt appeared once more. During their talk however, a pack of wild bears attacked the feast and while they were eventually killed, they murdered many guests including almost all the contestants except 3: Svanrige, Hjalmar, and Cerys. As the attack had happened in his own keep, the Jarls accused Crach and demanded an explanation. They gave a chance to his children to find evidence of who was responsible for the carnage, otherwise the an Craite clan would be held responsible for the slaughter.
- If Geralt helps Hjalmar: Crach, while glad one of his children was elected, noted how Hjalmar was rather hotheaded like himself, though could still be a good ruler.
- If Geralt helps Cerys: While admitting it was unusual to have a female ruler, Crach stated he was fully confident in his daughter's abilities and that she'd do a good job.
Not long after the coronation, Emperor Emhyr var Emreis decided to finally conquer the Islands and sent a massive fleet under his personal command. Nilfgaardians moved their fleet to the isle of Undvik. Before any battle could begin however, the final plan for defeating the Wild Hunt was commissioned. When the Hunt appeared on the Naglfar, Crach led his men against the wraiths and rammed their own ship into it, allowing them to board the Naglfar and fight against the Wild Hunt, with Crach facing none other than Eredin, the King of the Wild Hunt himself. Though he was no match for the Aen Elle elf, he fought him all the same and ultimately Crach was knocked down by Eredin, with the latter asking if he had any last words before he died. A true Skelliger at heart, Crach picked up his axe and futilely tried for one last attack, which Eredin easily evaded before killing Crach.
Crach is dressed in sturdy, functional attire crafted from thick wool and leather. A few ornamental accessories serve as markers of his high social status: rings, a brooch pinned to a thick fur coat, and a simple band across his forehead made of gold and silver. Though some on the Continent dismiss him as a primitive barbarian, Crach is in fact a shrewd politician and carefully weighs his every decision, preferring prudence over rash bravura.
- Skellige sagas brim with praise for war chiefs and warrior-braves of ages past, yet the saga of Crach, jarl of the Clan an Craite and lord of Kaer Trolde, will outshine them all. It will sing of his strength, his courage, his wisdom, his generosity, his loyalty to friends and his relentless pursuit of his foes.
- There will be few exaggerations in such a tale, for Crach, the mightiest of Skellige's jarls, truly did possess all the traits of a hero. He aroused terror in his enemies - in fact, Nilfgaardian mothers would use his name to frighten their children into obedience, and all in that empire spoke in hushed tones of the infamous Tirth ys Muire, the Wild Boar of the Sea, who devastated coastal provinces during frequent and terrible raids.
- Geralt had known Crach for long, since a time when as a young man the jarl had sought the hand of young Pavetta, Ciri's mother.
- After Bran's demise, Crach could easily have claimed the throne for himself. Yet he preferred to support the claim of his son, Hjalmar. When his daughter Cerys announced her intention to seek the throne as well, the jarl also gave her his support, showing no favoritism when it came to his children.
- To the islanders, honor is the most prized of virtues. Crach thus agreed without hesitation to live up to the pledge he made many years ago on behalf of himself and his entire clan and supported the search for Cirilla with any means Skellige could offer.
- Crach also did not balk when the time came to stand and fight Eredin. Though Eredin killed Crach during this fight, the jarl's death did not break the islanders' spirit, instead becoming a model of how to die like a true hero.
- Gwent: Skellige Style
- Collect 'Em All
- The King is Dead – Long Live the King
- The Lord of Undvik
- King's Gambit
- Brothers In Arms: Skellige
- The Sunstone
- On Thin Ice
Crach is a leader in the Homecoming version.
Reward Tree entries
- Scroll 1: At a young age, Crach was foretold that he would one day clash with a foreign ruler, an enemy to Skellige, on the Isles' stormy, coastal seas. For his entire life, the head of Clan an Craite waited for that fateful day...
- Scroll 2: Convinced the prophecy referred to the Emperor of Nilfgaard, Crach constantly urged his fleet to remain watchful for black sails bearing the Golden Sun. He eagerly awaited the emperor's arrival, to look him in the eye before wresting the crown from his head.
- Scroll 3: Years passed, then decades... Crach sank dozens of Nilfgaardian galleys, yet the emperor's feet remained on dry land. Apparently, he was troubled by matters more important than the taming the rocky isles.
- Scroll 4: Crach became convinced the prophecy must have been misinterpreted. Resigned, he ceased his search for the great sea battle that was written for him in the stars. That is, until on Skellige's shores appeared the Naglfar – the ghostly drakkar commanded by the King of the Wild Hunt himself.
- Chest 1: Due to the havoc wrought by his fleets in the Empire's coastal territories, Crach earned the moniker "Tirth ys Muire" – the Wild Boar of the Sea. Pleased with the new epithet, Crach decided to sculpt the bow of his drakkar into the likeness of raging boar's head. According to legend, they harvested the wood from Gedyneith, the sacred oak of Ard Skellig. The drakkar instilled fear into the hearts of enemies, for whenever they rammed into an enemy vessel, the wild boar's eyes would glow blood red...
- Chest 2: Crach an Craite fathered two children – his son, Hjalmar, and his daughter, Cerys. When asked whom he would wish to see as heir and successor, he could only sigh, conflicted by his thoughts. Hjalmar reminded Crach of his younger self – ambitious, valiant, hungry for glory. An impressive warrior, yes... But a jarl? Cerys, on the other hand, possessed all the qualities required of a capable leader. But were the islanders prepared to follow the word of a woman? Only time would tell...
- Chest 3: As a young man – his beard a rich auburn, his smile broad, the famed vanquisher of the Nilfgaardian armada – Crach stole the gaze of many women. Why, even the famous Yennefer of Vengerberg was enticed by Crach's charm. According to rumor, he asked for the sorceress' hand in marriage. In response, Yennefer smiled, kissed him on his brow... then opened a portal and disappeared from the Skellige Isles for nearly three decades.
- Cráite means haunted, tormented/tortured or annoying in Irish, while crach means raid. Therefore, "crach an cráite" could be translated as "raid of the tormented", albeit being grammatically incorrect.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Something Ends, Something Begins
- ↑ The Last Wish
- ↑ The Tower of the Swallow
- See the GWENT standalone game version card: Crach an Craite