The Antivan Crows, also known as House of Crows, are an elite organization of thieves, spies, and assassins which are renowned throughout Thedas. 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. 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 usually employ elves because humans often find them attractive, giving them an advantage over their target. 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. 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.
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. One of these swords was a replica of Hessarian’s Blade of Mercy. 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.