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Edric Croe

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Marshal Edric Croe was commanding officer of the Vervunhive militia on Verghast, during the Siege of Vervunhive.


This page contains spoilers for: Necropolis (Novel)

After the commander of the Vervun Primary, Marshal Gnide, was killed by the city's paranoid High Master, Salvador Sondar, the city's ruling noble houses nominated various candidates to replace him. Croe was the obvious candidate: in addition to belonging to one of the leading noble houses, he was tall and impressive-looking, highly popular among the officers and troopers, and one of the few VP officers with recent combat experience. His chief rival for the post, Heskith Anko, possessed none of these advantages, but was appointed Vice-Marshal to appease the feuding noble houses.[1a]

Croe was a conscientious military leader, but hamstrung by the need to appease the competing agendas of the noble houses, the autocratic Vervunhive Primary Commissariat (the VP's political wing), the officious General Noches Sturm (the most senior officer of the arriving Imperial Guard reinforcements), and the ambitious Commissar Pius Kowle, an expert propagandist and a popular hero among the city's people for his actions in the opening stages of the Siege.[1a] Because of this, Croe felt obliged to support several of this cabal's more short-sighted decisions, including vetoing the proposal to make an armoured sortie from the walls to delay the Zoican forces[1b], and the VHPC's arrest of General Grizmund for allegedly disobeying orders.[1c]

During the Third Storm by the Zoican forces, Sturm's inadequacy as a leader was exposed; faced with panicked calls for help from every quarter of the city, Sturm faltered and began to suggest ordering a retreat. Croe promised to kill him on the spot if he finished the suggestion. Dispensing with politics, Croe ordered Sturm to release Grizmund from the VPHC stockade - by force if necessary - and detail him to command an armoured counterattack, while Croe left to take personal command of a reinforcement corps heading for the city's South Wall.[1d]

Just as Croe was preparing to ride out, the city's void shield collapsed, as the corrupt High Master Salvador Sondar shut it down. Croe's first impulse was to return to the command center, but realized that the reinforcements' morale would collapse if he was seen running away. Instead, he handed the Sword of Hieronymo Sondar - the traditional symbol of the city defense's commander - to his adjutant, and sent the man back to pass it on to Croe's successor.[1e]

Croe fought bravely at the South Wall gate, but was knocked senseless when the structure collapsed. A short time later, the Zoican infantry entered the city and methodically bayoneted any surviving VP troops they found, including Marshal Croe.[1e]

With Croe's death, command of the city's defenses passed to Colonel-Commissar Ibram Gaunt, the senior surviving infantry officer of the Guard reinforcements. Gaunt received Sondar's sword, and carried it with him in the years after.[1f]