The Crows of Albion
Based:Barony of Chelmsford in the country of Warwich and the Duchy of York)
Heraldry: The Companies colours are Black and Crimson. Its insignia is that of a black, perched crow.
“If you are reading this, you are no doubt the newest member of our company and crew. First of all, congratulations, for if you have received this book you have no doubt managed to pass all the rigorous tests and exercises necessary to join our ranks. This is something you should be immensely proud of and I speak on behalf of our Commanders and Benefactors, when I say we look forward to working with you in the future.
However, while you have passed the tests to come this far, let me be the first to tell you that this is not the end, and that the journey before you shall be a hard one. Whether on the field of battle, on the high seas or within the ritual circle, we expect you to strive for the very best, for your actions shall not only be judged by your peers, but also in the eyes of the Pendragon Throne. Know, that from this day on, you are no longer fighting for your life or for profit – but are fighting for a far greater cause – that of King and Country.
But in order for you to truly understand the burden of honour you carry on your shoulders, it is important for you to know the history of our company, founded not so long ago in the year of 1109.
Our companies founding lies in the city of York, which as you are probably no doubt are aware, was invaded in the year of 1107 by the force known as the Akari, unliving fae from the land of Telluria. Led by the so-called Prince of York, they not only ravaged the city of York, but also a great many areas of Erdreja, under the command of one known as Lord Roan.
In the destruction that followed, Jackamo Cassandora, a wealthy merchant made the decision to fight back against them by forming a small fighting unit which he labelled as the “Crows of Albion”. The reason he said for this name, was to reflect the nature in which the company would fight – as one group, wreathed in black in the dark of the night where they would chip away at the enemy until nothing was left. Following the first meeting in January 1109, the company began its first hit and run attacks against the akari, maintaining a mobile presence in and around York, while keeping its main base in Londinium, far away from the fighting and a good source of potential recruits.
This is not to say that the company was initially successful – the death toll was often high and disciplinary problems were a primary concern. However there were some successes – the Crows were one of the many, many companies which stood against and defeated Lord Roan at the Crown of the World in 1109 and disciplinary problems were soon sorted by the introduction of a firm hierarchy and a new publication – “The Book of Crows” which outlined the company’s rules and procedures.
In the third month of 1110, the Crows finally got their chance to secure and save York once and for all when an opportunity presented itself for members of our proud nation to strike against the ‘Prince of York’. The cost of that victory was astounding, for while some Crows survived, a good many did not. It is estimated that almost 70% of the company was killed in the battle to secure the Vale of York, and among those lost was Jackamo himself, who died facing the akari with courage and honour. It took almost nine months before the company was able to recover fully and join the Harts at court once more.
The company you serve in today is very much a product of that reformation. The company still retains its varied background, many of its members hailing not only from Albion, but many from other countries such as Nihhon and the Southlands. Furthermore no longer does the company find itself situated in the heart of York or in Londinium , but now serves the Pendragon Throne from its HQ, the ‘Ars Moriendi’ a capital sized vessel which is anchored in the bay of the Islands of Lindisfarne. Though the company was originally designed with the idea of hit and run tactics in mind, under recent leadership the company has taken a distinct turn towards specialising in spell casting and healing as well as welcoming incantors of many different and varied faiths. This specialisation in the arcane and magic has extended further into the ritual circle, where the Crows of Albion now have a dedicated ritual team though this is not to say that the company does not take in heavily armoured fighters who show dedication to the cause.
What remains forever present however is the company’s primary aim – that we shall do whatever is necessary for King and Country. Whether at home or abroad, we fight on behalf of our proud nation and we remain strong in the knowledge that what we fight for is both just and right. Recently this has been best emphasised by our activities on the battlefield against the Viper Nation, and in the ritual circle in attempting to save the life of the Lord Regent Gabriel Bathroy. Whatever the odds, we stand by Albion until the end.
In conclusion, know that from today you stand as a member of the Crows of Albion. You follow in the footsteps of many greats before you – Theomach, Hamdir, Melba, Saekhor, the Commanders Jackamo Cassandora and Oulam, Baron of Durham. Know that they stand by the ancestors now and watch over you, for their sacrifice is a continued reminder of all we lay down in the name of Albion. Under the command of our ever watchful sorcerer and Commander Talos, it is hoped one day you too will achieve the level of sacrifice and heroism, these men and women have lain down in the name of the Throne.
I leave you now, with some wise words by the man who made this all possible as a reminder of all we stand for:
“We speak of “Strength through Unity”, yet if we don’t all pick up arms we shall never be truly untied. This is a harsh lesson …to learn, but, should we learn it, should we grow as a result of it then not only will we be united, then Albion too, shall prevail.”
Strength through Unity, Crow of Albion, you have a long journey ahead of you…”
-As dictated by Cap’n Magdellon Ironhoof, to the Archivist Gideon (March 1111)
“Introduction to the Crows of Albion – “Book of Crows V2”