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The Crones

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The Crones are major antagonists in The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt.

The three women, named Whispess, Weavess and Brewess, are witches living in Crookback Bog in Velen. Despite their evil nature, the people of Velen depend on them. At one point, Geralt encounters them on his search for Ciri.

History

Past

Legends claim that the Crones were created as daughters of the Lady of the Woods, the sole ruler over Velen. When the Lady descended into madness, resulting in the death of people of Velen, the Crones banished her underneath Whispering Hillock.

Over the years, the people of Velen started coming for the Crones for help. Although the Crones agreed, they always asked for something in return, for example servitude or body-parts of the ones they helped. Also, each year they celebrated a sabbath on the Bald Mountain where the people from Velen were invited to the mountain village to celebrate. During the celebration, three beautiful young men and women were allowed to the mountain where they would meet the Crones. However, those three were killed by the Crones and made into soup by the Brewess. In return, the Crones would gift the people of Velen with enchanted acorns.

People from Velen who were unable to feed their children would also send their children on the 'sweet path' which led to a village in the bog. There, the children were expected by the Crones who gave them food. However, once the children were fed they would eventually be eaten by the Crones.

Months before Geralt's arrival in Velen, Anna Strenger, the wife of Philipp Strenger had enough of her husband's abusive behaviour. She made a deal with the crones to get rid of Strenger's unborn child. She expected that the Crones would simply vanish the child but in their cruelty, the Crones made her suffer through a miscarriage. Unwilling to keep her part of the deal, which meant a year of servitude for the Crones, Anna met with an alchemist. The alchemist gave her a pendant which saved her from the Crones but she lost it in a fight with her husband. This allowed the Crones to send a fiend which fetched Anna and brought her into the village in the bog. There, the Crones forced her to care for the children (which they planned to eat) as well as to act as a medium between the people and the Crones.

When the Wild Hunt started searching for Ciri, their general Imlerith met with the Crones. Imlerith told them to keep an ear out for Ciri and they promised to do so, forcing the people they helped to cut off their ears as payment. They Crones then planted these ears all around the bog and used it to spy.

Dealing with Geralt

On his search for Ciri Geralt eventually arrived at the bog village. He convinced Anna, whom he did not recognize, to make contact with the Crones to ask them for help. She brought Geralt to a tapestry depicting the three sisters. He then spoke to the Crones who agreed to reveal what they knew about Ciri. However, in return they asked of Geralt to help the citizens of Downwarren in getting rid of the evil spirit undearneath Whispering Hillock (the mother the Crones banished). Once inside the cave, Geralt is told by the spirit that the Crone's cannot be trusted. She warns Geralt that the children of the bog village would die without her help and begs Geralt to free her instead of killing her. Dependant on Geralt's choices the outcome is different.

  • 1. Helping the spirit

After it is freed, it turns into a black horse and frees the children of the bog village from being eaten by the Crones. The escaped evil spirit murders every citizen of Downwarren. When Geralt returns to the Crones, they face Geralt in person. They are furious with Anna for letting the children escape. They curse her which later turns her into a water hag. Geralt's attempt to break the curse result in Anna's death. The Crones reveal to Geralt that he shouldn't have trusted the spirit and that the deaths at Downwarren are his fault.

  • 2. Destroying the spirit

After the job is done, the Crones are pleased. The people of Downwarren stay alive. However, the children at the bog village are beyond saving and will be eaten by the Crones. Together with Strenger, Geralt can later return to save Anna.

The Crones then fulfil their part of the deal. They reveal to Geralt that they found Ciri unconscious in the bog and brought her to the village. There, they waited for Imlerith to arrive but also planned to eat parts of Ciri. Ciri escaped before they could do so. After having found out about that, Geralt leaves but promises the Crones that he will come back for them and kill them. They reply that they have seen that Geralt will return but they are not the ones who will die.

Sabbath

After the battle of Kaer Morhen, Ciri and Geralt hunt Imlerith. They find that he is a special guest at Bald Mountain, where the Crones are celebrating their sabbath. Geralt and Ciri infiltrate the mountain and while Geralt heads to the top to fight Imlerith, Ciri enters a cave to find the Crones. While stumbling through the cave she eventually finds the three Crones who have taken the shape of naked young women. They are brewing a stew from human body parts. Ciri jumps in front of them and the sisters resume their ugly, true forms. They then engage Ciri who fights and defeats them.

After the battle, Ciri checks whether the Crones are truly dead. While the Brewess and Whispess are both slain, the Weavess jumps back up. She snatches Vesemir's witcher medallion from Ciri's throat and, before Ciri can kill her, transforms into a flock of ravens. She then flies out of the cave and escapes Bald Mountain.

Bestiary entry

"Sister crones, hand in hand, terrors of the sea and land, thus do go about, about: thrice to thine and thrice to mine, and thrice again, to make up nine."
Macveth, Act 1, Scene 3
The isolated corners of our world harbor creatures older than humans, older than academies and mages, older even than elves and dwarves. The Crones of Crookback Bog are such creatures. No one knows their true names, nor what breed of monstrosity they in fact are.
Common folk have given these three sisters the names Weavess, Brewess and Whispess, and call the threesome "The Ladies of the Wood" or simply "The Good Ladies." The Crones act as the true sovereigns of Velen, whose inhabitants they help survive through harsh times in return for unquestioning obedience. They wield powerful magic, but one different from that of mages. They draw power from water and earth and are bound to the land in which they live. The Crones can hear everything that happens in their woods, predict the future, twist the threads of human lives and bring blessings as well as curses.
The Crones seem for all intents and purposes to be immortal. Magic elixirs keep them from aging and allow them to take the appearance of young women. These elixirs and their mystical ties to the swamps in which they live also give them supernatural strength and vitality.

Journal entries

Whispess

Whispess

The Crones of Velen were not just old — they were literally ancient, having been around since the reign of the first human kings and possibly even since the coming of the elves.

Of the three ghastly sisters, the Whispess was the most ancient, or at least so claimed the swamp dwellers' whispered legends. Whispered, for if they spoke too loudly the Crone would hear it — for she demanded tribute in the form of human ears, which she hung from trees and through which, using primeval magic, she heard all that happened in the swamp.

Yet no magic, new or old, could save her from Cirilla's wrath.

Brewess

Brewess

The Crone known as Brewess was the middle of the three demonic sisters in terms of age – but the first in terms of size. Brewess was said to be a master concocter of magical mixtures, and, in the more ghastly legends, was said to know over a dozen different recipes for human soup.

During the Crones' sabbath it turned out the sisters truly did feed on human flesh, cooking them up in infernal pots spiced with root from the cursed tree growing on Bald Mountain.

In the end Brewess shared Whispess' fate: she was slain by Ciri's blade.

Weavess

Weavess

Though the youngest of the three Crones, the Weavess was not one jot less ugly or evil than her older sisters. It was she who wove their magic tapestries of human hair gathered as tribute from the young children of nearby villages during their "cutting" ceremonies. These tapestries were how the worshipers of the Ladies of the Wood made contact with and paid homage to their deities.

The fight on Bald Mountain was meant to put an end to all three Crones, but Weavess evaded her elder sisters' fate. She was able to escape by transforming into a flock of ravens and took Cirilla's medallion with her.

Gwent cards

The Crones also exist as Gwent cards.

Crone: Whispess (gwent card)

Tw3 gwent card crone Whispess
I'd be your best – and last.
Description
Deck Monsters Gwent deck
Type Units
Row Close combat
Strength 6
Special ability Muster : Find any cards with the same name in your deck and play them instantly
Price 20
Source Purchase from Innkeep in Arinbjorn

Crone: Brewess (gwent card)

Tw3 gwent card face Crone Brewess
We'll cut you up, boy. A fine broth you will make.
Description
Deck Monsters Gwent deck
Type Units
Row Close combat
Strength 6
Special ability Muster : Find any cards with the same name in your deck and play them instantly
Source Random, from playing a craftsman or merchant

Crone: Weavess (gwent card)

Cron weavess card
I sense your pain. I see your fear...
Description
Deck Monsters Gwent deck
Type Units
Row Close combat
Strength 6
Special ability Muster : Find any cards with the same name in your deck and play them instantly
Source "Gwent: Velen Players", won from the Old Sage

Gallery


 
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Azar Javed | Jacques de Aldersberg | Professor | Roderick de Wett | Salamandra | Savolla |

The Witcher 2: Assassin of Kings
Bernard Loredo | Dethmold | Draug | Henselt | Letho of Gulet | Lucius Maravel | Radovid V the Stern | Ravanen Kimbolt | Serrit & Egan | Sheala de Tancarville | Shilard Fitz-Oesterlen | Stennis | Succubus |

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
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