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Craven Edge is a sentient two-handed greatsword once wielded by Sylas Briarwood and then by Grog Strongjaw before being thrown into the pocket dimension of the Dread Emperor.[5] Imbued with dark arcane power, Craven Edge drains strength from the foes it strikes, absorbing their blood into its blade, but potentially consuming the soul of its wielder.[6] As an NPC, Craven Edge is portrayed by Matthew Mercer in both Critical Role and The Legend of Vox Machina.

Description[]

Appearance[]

Craven Edge is a large, onyx, two-handed greatsword.

Personality[]

Craven Edge constantly seeks the thrill of battle and the taste of blood on its blade.

History[]

Critical Role[]

Background[]

Viktor Engholm - Craven Edge - Grog

Fan art of Grog with Craven Edge, by Viktor Engholm.[art 2]

While severing Craven Edge's connection to Grog's soul, Pike Trickfoot saw a vision of a nameless man striving for power and wealth, then striking a deal with a dark entity. The man didn't fully understand the deal he had made, and Pike glimpsed the dark entity punishing him for some unknown action. The dark entity bound the man's soul to the blade now known as Craven Edge, cursing his soul in the process, condemning him to eternal gluttony and an insatiable desire for strength and blood.[7]

"Winter's Crest in Whitestone" (1x36)[]

Percy gave Craven Edge to Grog, as Grog was the party member best suited to wield a greatsword. When Grog first took hold of it, the sword asked him if he was to be the wielder.[8] Grog was surprised, and immediately asked Craven Edge if it had a female setting or if he could rename it "Bacon". Craven Edge seemed somewhat exasperated by this, but asked Grog to pledge his acceptance of the sword, which Grog did.

"A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37)[]

Grog first used the sword to intimidate an associate of Riskel Daxio; having the sword out granted him advantage on intimidation checks.[9]

"Echoes of the Past" (1x38)[]

The first person killed on-screen with Craven Edge was Riskel Daxio, whom Grog executed by beheading. After taking a life with it, a wave of euphoria washed over Grog.[10]

"Omens" (1x39)[]

During the initial attack by the Chroma Conclave on Emon, Grog was the first to attack back, using Craven Edge.[11]

"Return to Vasselheim" (1x43)[]

While fighting in a match against Earthbreaker Groon, Grog attempted to switch from using Craven Edge to using his Firebrand Warhammer but found himself unable to resist the sword.[12]

"A Name Is Earned" (1x49)[]

Grog had realized that the sword was absorbing strength from slain enemies, and he had been refusing to take rests so that strength would not be lost. The night before the encounter with Kamaljiori, Grog stayed awake and talked to Craven Edge, asking how it felt about its previous master, Sylas Briarwood. Craven Edge recalled that Sylas kept it well fed. After Grog explained that he was staying awake so they could continue their kill streak the next day, Craven Edge claimed it was close to being "full". During the ensuing battle, Grog maxed out the strength he could steal with Craven Edge, which then grew and became jagged. After Grog jumped into the tornado and was swept away into the Elemental Plane of Air, he desperately tied the Chain of Returning to Craven Edge and threw it through a portal back to the battlefield, accidentally embedding it into Pike and bringing the frenzied Grog back to his senses.

"Best Laid Plans..." (1x50)[]

The party decided to rest to recover from the fight, and this time Grog rested as well. The blade began to shrink, its jagged edges pulling into the central blade, becoming slightly smaller than it was before. Its voice in Grog's head went, "Hungry--". Grog stood, walked off slightly, toppled to one knee, then fell face-first into the snow, dead. Pike threw the sword far from his body and began casting Revivify. As she did, Percy took Craven Edge aside and threatened it, if it didn't release Grog's soul. A shadowy form began to bleed from the blade and rise up, angry, and Percy summoned his own shadowy mist into a silent staredown with it. When Grog returned to life he immediately searched for the sword and saw it with Percy. The rest of the party tried to convince Grog to give it up, and Grog revealed it was Percy who gave it to him. After many fruitless attempts to convince Grog to relinquish the blade, he finally admitted to Pike that he felt he would need it to defeat Kevdak. She told him they'd find him something better and he finally agreed. After Pike severed Craven Edge's connection to Grog with a Greater Restoration spell, Keyleth banished the evil sword to the Dread Emperor's realm using Plane Shift.[13]

Due to conflicting statements about the Dread Emperor's realm, it is unclear if Craven Edge is now in the Astral Plane[14], in a pocket dimension[15], or somewhere else altogether.

The Legend of Vox Machina[]

Craven Edge was shown being wielded by Sylas Briarwood against Grog in "The Feast of Realms" (LVM1x03). As Sylas apparated it from hiding after the political feast with the leadership of Tal'Dorei, he said, "My blade thirsts" as he attacked, and the blade absorbed Grog's blood several times during their battle, seemingly growing in power as Grog weakened.

Sylas again used it during the final battle at the Ziggurat, dropping it when hit by Grog's attack. In the final episode "The Darkness Within" (LVM1x12), as the party leaves the cavern, Grog noticed the sword on the ground as it whispered the word "hunger" and he picked it up, claiming it as his own.

Grog's image in Craven Edge

Screenshot of Grog seeing his face reflected in Craven Edge, by Titmouse.[art 3]

He continued to wield it in subsequent battles, becoming increasingly bloodthirsty and violent as he did so. Earthbreaker Groon told Grog that his dependence on the dark weapon proved his frailty. Craven Edge continued to whisper of its hunger, and Pike eventually noticed Grog's increased ferocity and became concerned, attempting several times without success to question him about it. Eventually Grog himself questioned the blade, asking what's in this for Craven Edge, who responded, "The blood of your enemies feeds me. Their strength becomes yours." Grog was slightly hesitant but enjoyed the power of the sword.

In the confrontation with Kamaljiori, Craven Edge spoke to Grog, saying that if it was not fed, it would feed itself, and withered Grog's right arm to prove it. When Umbrasyl appeared, Grog managed to draw blood with the blade, and became frenzied, almost able to hold his own against the dragon and refusing to leave the fight even as the party was escaping. As Pike desperately tried to get him to join the group, he pulled away and Craven Edge accidentally pierced through Pike's body.[16] During the teleport, Grog, Pike, and Scanlan were separated from the rest of the party, arriving in a deserted area of Tal'Dorei. Pike was horribly wounded but begged Grog to put Craven Edge down. He dropped it a few feet away, but when she tried to heal herself, Pike realized her wound wouldn't close because her blood was being sucked into the blade. When Scanlan and Pike told Grog the blade was evil, he defended it, saying it made him strong, but they insisted he get rid of it. Craven Edge whispered to Grog that they were jealous of him, and in madness, Grog approached them murderously, but remembered Pike's face when he stabbed her, and his blow went not against the gnomes but into rocks as he attempted to destroy the blade. Finally, Craven Edge cried, "If this is the end, I'm taking you with me!" and as Grog finally succeeded in shattering the sword in a burst of red power, he dropped to the ground, emaciated and with all his strength gone.[17]

Features[]

  • Dark Aura: Grants the wielder advantage on Charisma (Intimidation) checks when unsheathed.[1]
  • Devour the Weak: Whenever Craven Edge damages a living creature, that creature must roll a Constitution saving throw (DC 12). On a failed save, Craven Edge drains one point from the creature's Strength score and transfers it to the wielder (increasing to a maximum of 25 Strength) until the next short rest or long rest. Creatures brought to 0 Strength by this feature are slain.[1][18]
  • Gluttonous Evolution: If Craven Edge devours enough strength from Devour the Weak to bring the wielder to 25 Strength, then the blade shifts form into a larger, jagged blade that seeps shadow. Until the wielder's next short rest or long rest, all attacks with this sword deal an additional 2d6 necrotic damage.[1][19] After the short rest, the attuned creature must make a Constitution saving throw (DC 16) or have the now-hungry weapon, energy spent, devour the wielder's soul, causing instant death.[1]

Secret Features[]

  • Sentience: Craven Edge is a sentient, chaotic evil weapon with an intelligence of 16, a wisdom of 12, and a charisma of 18. It has hearing and darkvision out to a range of 60 ft. This weapon can understand abyssal & common, and can communicate with anyone who's wielded it telepathically. While you are attuned to it, Craven Edge also understands every language you know.
  • Personality: Craven Edge is cold, vicious, and seeks violence at any opportunity. It wishes to be used by merciless creatures who will feed it when ordered to. [20]
Grog-Wielding-Craven-Edge-by-JT-Arndt

Fan art of Grog wielding Craven Edge, by J.T. Arndt.[art 4]

Appearances and mentions[]

Quotations[]

  • "You... are you my new wielder? [...] Leave me until one worthy lifts this blade. I am useless left here; I seek the thrill of battle—I am hungry."[24]
  • "Do you enjoy drinking the strength of your foes, watching them beaten before you, and have that very power become your own?"[25]
  • "Do you wish the shadows to encase your form and grant you resilience in anger, forcing those to kneel before you in fear?"[26]
  • "No... Keep the tears flowing."[27]

Trivia[]

  • Craven Edge is an anagram for "Vecna Greed".

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Twitter logo Matthew Mercer (@matthewmercer) on Twitter: "Certainly! (Possible ep 50 spoilers ahead) dropbox.com/s/hcnhno9e97i7et6/Craven%20Edge.jpg?dl=0" (2016-04-22) — in reply to @DFB1983: "any chance of the critters seeing the full stats of Craven Edge?" (backup link)
  2. See "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50) at 0:50:07.
  3. See "Into Rimecleft" (LVM2x06).
  4. See "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50) at 1:04:11.
  5. See "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50) at 1:04:11.
  6. See "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50) at 1:03:17.
  7. See "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50) from 1:01:48 through 1:02:30.
  8. See "Winter's Crest in Whitestone" (1x36) at 51:01.
  9. See "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37) at 3:42:02.
  10. See "Echoes of the Past" (1x38) at 0:29:10.
  11. See "Omens" (1x39) at 3:35:45.
  12. See "Return to Vasselheim" (1x43) at 3:34:57.
  13. See "Best Laid Plans..." (1x50) at 1:04:11.
  14. See "The Story of Vox Machina" (Sx06) from 18:35 through 20:00.
  15. See "Into the Frostweald" (1x48) at 0:28:10.
  16. See "Into Rimecleft" (LVM2x06).
  17. See "The Fey Realm" (LVM2x07).
  18. See "A Name Is Earned" (1x49) at 3:42:42.
  19. See "A Name Is Earned" (1x49) at 3:43:27.
  20. Matt uploaded the full description of Craven Edge to Dropbox and shared it with the Critter community.
  21. See "The Kill Box" (1x52) at 0:48:19.
  22. See "Vox Machina Go to Hell" (1x91) at 0:53:10.  Craven Edge was mentioned.
  23. See "Gathering of Needs" (3x95) at 3:33:45.  Delilah tells Laudna she has had encountered sentient weapons, and Craven Edge was wielded by her husband.
  24. See "Winter's Crest in Whitestone" (1x36) from 44:58 through 47:08.
  25. See "Winter's Crest in Whitestone" (1x36) at 51:39.
  26. See "Winter's Crest in Whitestone" (1x36) at 51:50.
  27. See "A Musician's Nostalgia" (1x37) at 1:41:25.

Art:

  1. Fan art of Craven Edge, by Viktor Engholm (source). Used with permission.
  2. Fan art of Grog with Craven Edge, by Viktor Engholm (source). Used with permission.
  3. Screenshot of Grog seeing his face reflected in Craven Edge, by Titmouse (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.
  4. Fan art of Grog wielding Craven Edge, by J.T. Arndt (source). Also see J.T. Arndt's website. Used with permission.



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