WARNING: This section or article may contain spoilers!
|Related Quests|| Darkness Incarnate|
Do the Ends Justify the Means?
- "Did the Blind Seer not tell you about us? Did she not warn you?"
- — The Crawler
The Crawler, referred to by some as the Nightcrawler, is the true main antagonist of Fable III. It is first encountered after the Hero of Brightwall, Sir Walter Beck and Captain Ben Finn are shipwrecked on the coast of Aurora. While Walter and the Hero trying to figure out where they are, the Crawler begins to psychologically attack them. When it first attacks Walter, it leaves him blind until the Aurorans find him and help him. Walter never seems to fully recover from the attack and this seems to allow the Crawler to possess him later on. It is only seen in physical form a handful of times throughout the game but its voice can be heard taunting the Hero and their allies during encounters with the darkness.
The children are the servants of the Crawler and appear as humanoid shadows with demonic wings on their backs, similar to the shadows in Fable II. Generally, the children are very weak but they have the ability to possess statues to increase their power and durability. It is unknown whether the children are an extension of the Crawler or shadowy beings that do the Crawler's bidding. There are indications that the Crawler is the creator of the children: the way the Crawler speaks about them, it gets angry when the children are unable to kill you and seems displeased when you kill the children.
History EditVoid, the Crawler was the chief lieutenant of the antagonistic entity known only as the Corruption. In the waning days of the Old Kingdom, following the construction of the Tattered Spire, the Crawler attempted to enter Albion through a rift created by the Spire. In a desperate attempt to stop it, three heroes, Sol, Blaze, and Stone attempted to seal the rift to stop the Crawler. The closing of this rift resulted in a gargantuan explosion that shattered the Spire, destroyed the Old Kingdom, and turned the three heroes into Willstones. Unfortunately for Albion and its people, the three heroes were not powerful enough to kill the Crawler, instead merely sealing it in Shadelight dungeon in Aurora. Many centuries later, Lucien's reconstruction and Theresa's subsequent reactivation of the Spire served to reawaken the Crawler five years prior to the events of Fable III. A year later, King Logan visited Aurora and saw his entire escort wiped out by the Crawler. Logan was nearly killed, but was nursed back to health by the native Aurorans in the City of Aurora. He promised to return and wipe out the Crawler, but never did. This was a turning point for him; it is revealed that Theresa told him that the Crawler would attack Albion and that he must prepare, a burden which led him to break his promise to Aurora and become a tyrant in Albion.
Four years later, the Hero of Brightwall also promises to help the Aurorans to gain support for their rebellion. This promise is fulfilled by formally making Aurora part of Albion and providing its people with protection. After deposing Logan, the Hero has exactly one year in Bowerstone Castle to prepare for the inevitable attack by raising up to 6,500,000 gold coins to pay for an army to fight the Crawler's minions. This is challenging if the Hero chooses to be a benevolent ruler and keep all of the promises, however, it is possible provided the Hero donates their personal wealth to the kingdom's treasury.
When the Crawler attacks, the Hero must fight their way through the Crawler's forces in Bowerstone Market. Toward the end of the battle, the Crawler possesses Walter Beck and becomes the final foe the Hero must face in the main quest-line. The Hero defeats the Crawler fatally but at the cost of Sir Walter's own life; a sacrifice Walter is glad to make. With his dying words, Walter thanks the Hero for driving away from the darkness and tells them he is proud of them.
The Crawler has the single-minded goal of destroying Albion along with the rest of the unnamed world, consuming it with darkness. It appears to find everything weak and acts as though it is doing the world a favour by destroying it. The Crawler is incredibly cruel and has no qualms with possessing people to turn them against each other or torturing them physically and psychologically. The Crawler delights in taunting its foes, often in an attempt to demoralize them.
Though a being of great and complex power, the Crawler prefers to stick to the shadows. It only reveals itself to the Hero and Walter in an effort to increase Walter's fear and paranoia, and only appears during the Battle of Bowerstone when the tide has turned against it and the Darkness.
It is revealed in Fable: The Journey that the Crawler was chief lieutenant to The Corruptor and a major figure in The Void, the same plane of existence that The Court hailed from. It is suggested through both Theresa's comments and the actions it undertook that the Crawler was instructed by The Corruptor to clear Albion for its rule, which it was cheated of by William Black.
The Crawler appears as a ghost-like being that tends to disappear and reappear as it pleases. Its body is small and thin in comparison to its oddly shaped head; regardless, it is still taller than a person even though it has a hunched posture. It has six large eyes, spikes protruding from the top of its pale head, a serrated looking mouth that stretches across the entire width of the head, long spindly legs, and very long, clawed fingers. It appears to have a hump on the top of its back, if one was to look. It appears to be a sort of backwards shark-fin.
The power the Crawler exerts over the darkness is very complex and substantial. Similar to banshees encountered in Fable II; it is able to look into people's hearts and minds, see their greatest fears and use that information to demoralise them. In the desert, he continually mocks the Hero of Brightwall after they are forced to leave Walter. The Crawler later takes the form of Walter and cries out "I'm blind!" before his voice twists to a taunting, mocking tone.
The Crawler can cast hallucinations in people's minds, even to the point where even the landscape is transformed. In the final battle in Bowerstone Market the Crawler causes the following: sand dunes appear, bodies are thrown up against glass, crates explode as darkness breaks through them, pools of darkness that spawn children appear and the sun is blocked out.
It is also possible that The Crawler is capable of driving a person insane through its voice. As Walter says in "Do the Ends Justify the Means?" "Don't listen to that thing! It'll drive you mad!"
In the Hero's fight against possessed Walter, he will attack the Hero similarly to the Sentinel. Along with having the ability to possess bodies, the Crawler can have a major influence over somebody who does not have the fortitude to resist.
The Crawler ceaselessly berates the Hero and their companions in each of its appearances. It's ranting, screaming voice echoes from the shadows. It taunts and mocks the Hero about the futility of their mission and the darkness that will overwhelm the world. Many of these are listed below.
- "Are you blind? Are you blind yet?"
- "The lost sheep returns to the flock! no one ever leaves the Darkness behind!"
- "Dead fingers talk. Dead fingers whisper. Dead fingers claw at one million eyes.."
- "You will never escape the darkness. It flocks to you. Always."
- "Are you thinking of your loved ones now? Of how you will never see them again?"
- "Feel the embrace of the children... They bring you eternal contentment..."
- "You are a fragile thing... You and your kind dissolve so easily..."
- "You abandoned your friend to die! He is calling for you while the children spread out his heart to the skies!"
- "He would have done anything for you. And now he screams alone. He curses you! Not even in death will he forgive you!"
- "Haha! There is nothing left! You are gone! All gone!"
- "Ahaha... The children are here to play..."
- "Be corrosive. Be pernicious. Be diseased. Be... Devoured..."
- "Watch your flesh turn to black. Watch your thoughts turn to black... Watch your fates turn to black."
- "There will be no bargains... There will be only darkness... THE CHILDREN COMMAND IT!"
- "You see now what future awaits you.. All those people you want to save. The people you want to control. They will shrivel as your friend has..."
- "They will become food for the Children. Who are still so... Very... Hungry..."
- "Accept death now... It is so much easier than what is to come..."
- "The tissue tears. The tears burn! The burns blossom like dirty flowers on their skin..."
- "Close your eyes! Those orbs of Light offend us...!"
- "See... For the last time..."
- "Death... Brings the gift... Of blindness..."
- "What happens to this piece of flesh, when darkness touches it's soul?"
- "Aaah... The eyes are gone forever..."
- "You feed us! You feed us!"
- "We will snuff out every last light, smother every breath from every mouth, and stop the beating of every heart."
- "Do you feel that music flowing through your veins? That's our heartbeat. The children put it forward out of love... Do you know how to love? It is the same as dying..."
- "Bring me their hearts! Bring me their stomachs! Bring me their bile!"
- "Do you feel the darkness around you? Do you feel it's torturous path through your mouth and your eyes? until it eats away inside you... Tell me how it feels..."
- "Now do you realize how worthless you are? How much you deserve the shadow?"
- "You bring the light. But it betrays you. It knows you are unworthy of its toxic gleam..."
- "Watch as your skin falls and leaves you exposed and hollow..."
- "Speak no words! SPEAK NO WORDS!"
- "You carry a funeral torch... you came here to die..."
- "Do you feel the claws tearing at your chest? Hush... Hush... Soon there will be nothing.."
- "You will turn to moss and dust! And we will take the darkness into your world!"
- "You have done such bad... Bad things... Terrible things it corrodes from within, doesn't it? It feeds and feeds yet it is never sated..."
- "Ahahaha why must you try so hard? Death is so easy..."
- "Scratch scratch scratch! Ahahaha."
- "We vomit forth the night..."
- "It doesn't matter if you leave. We are inside you. Your heart, your lungs, your thoughts will all be blackened."
- "You let him die. You let us take him. But you're glad, are you not? You wished him pain. You wished him undone, unthreaded, unliving!"
- "We drink the sounds you give us. The cries of your young, the gurgle of a freshly ripped throat, we give thanks for your desperation."
- "We are coming, for all those you wish to protect, all those you wish to control."
- "The Dark Guardian shall come and protect us... and all that is flesh and light shall die."
- "You have done such hurtful things. The people you know shall rejoice in your death."
- "Do not provoke us with the bonegleam shining from your broken bodies. It is a transgression against the night."
- "Who made you? Who crafted such slight flimsy forms? You rip like insect wings in our hands."
- "The light you bring will die. The light inside you will die. All that you are will die."
- "But you, too, wish for the black void... you tire of your travels, your burdens, the cries of the helpless, the cries of your dead. You too will be swallowed."
- "We have waited centuries for you."
- "The children hide in their shells. They have bodies now. Bodies can tear you asunder!"
- "You are tainted. The stain shall never wash out. The sun will never shine upon you again. Tainted...broken little toys..."
- "Death beats its wings for you."
Below are quotes that may be heard while The Crawler is possessing Walter in the story mode mission "Do the Ends Justify The Means?"
- "Do you see? do you see what you have allowed? We are all shadows now"
- "You made us do it! you made us!"
- "Crawl... Crawl!"
- "Don't fight back, my child! I have cared for you, I have taught you. I have MADE you!"
- "All that you love will become shadow. All that you see will become death"
- "You are already dead inside. Join me in the darkness
- "You rule over a graveyard... Is that what you wanted?"
- "You have done terrible things... Did you think that I wouldn't know? Did you think that I would... Allow it?"
- "Why did you do this to me?"
- "You would be nothing without me."
- "I am Shadow... And... Death..."
- "I only want to care for you... Am I not your father figure?"
- "The Children, I can't see the children!"
- The Crawler's voice sounds similar to the Commandant from Fable II.
- Despite its impressive mental powers, it is physically very weak, as Walter repels it by tossing a torch at it. Also, a note in Aurora mentions the Crawler only ceased its attack on the writers house when dawn broke, implying a strong vulnerability to light and/or heat.
- During one scene, the Crawler admits that it has been waiting centuries to attack Albion.
- The Crawler seems more interested in Walter than he is in the Hero, maybe because Walter had darkness that caught the attention of The Crawler before the Hero's did. This is possibly because of his fears, making him easier to exploit, or because he spoke the text that removed the barriers in the Aurora cave.
- The Crawler appears to be aware of Theresa and her abilities, as in one of its comments it says "Did the blind Seer not tell you about us? Did she not warn you?"
- The Crawler is never seen to fight the player or any other character with its own physical strength. Instead, he resorts to attacks upon the human psyche and using the bodies of others to attack, such as using the Children and Walter to harm the Hero.
- Entering the Sanctuary while encountering the Crawler results in the Sanctuary becoming empty and decrepit looking. There are pools of black sludge on the floor and Jasper is missing. You also only have access to your clothing and weapons rooms. This occurs during the first encounter and during the climactic battle as well.
- In the Fable III Limited Collectors Edition card deck, The Crawler is seen as the King of Clubs.
- The Crawler seems to enjoy appearing randomly behind or beside his targets, as seen when he does so twice with Walter, during both encounters with him. This may be a tactic to frighten or surprise them.
- When searching bookcases in the Reliquary, a message will sometimes pop up indicating that the bookcase contains "A series of books detailing the horrid, prophetic nightmares of the mad monk Silvestre Magus. The final one is simply called 'Darkness Descends on Albion'." This likely foreshadows the Crawler's attack on Albion.
- Aside from when it is possessing Walter, the Crawler rarely refers to itself in the singular. One of the only quotes it does so is "Bring me their hearts! Bring me their stomachs! Bring me their bile!"
- In Fable: The Journey, Theresa refers to the Crawler by the name "Nightcrawler".