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Cranky Bitch was Raven's large, sturdy, oaken ship which appeared in Shadows Linger (1984) and more prominently during the short story named after her, "Cranky Bitch" (2021). Built by shipbuilders in Juniper, she was "very expensive" and "a fine, big ship with a look of newness" which even nighttime darkness could not conceal. Captained by Master Sylus, she featured a vast master cabin (intended for Raven), whaleboats, a quarterdeck, a hutch topside which would serve as the sickbay, a pair of cargo hoists, and was eventually packed with numerous ballistae all across her deck.

She was named by Croaker the Annalist, who never referred to the vessel as "the" Cranky Bitch. The definite article "the" was omitted, unless the nickname "the Bitch" was being used.

Shadows Linger[]

Raven paid for the construction of Cranky Bitch using ill-gotten treasure from his sale of corpses to the mysterious humanoids in the black castle of Juniper. His goal was to deliver his ward Darling to Meadenvil and presumably beyond, to keep her safe from the Lady. After Raven faked his death in wild country outside Meadenvil, the vessel was taken by the Lieutenant and other members of the Black Company (with Darling) to Chimney.

"Cranky Bitch"[]

Cranky Bitch, with her orphaned Juniperen crew and the fugitive Black Company aboard, was at anchor in Chimney when a bizarre supernatural thunderstorm ripped away 2 fathoms of mainmast top and caused other major damage. Although the Company still had their treasure chest (spirited away from Juniper by Elmo and 70 other riders), the new damage to the vessel forced them to consider taking a contract to fund repairs.

Escorting convoys, they sailed the Bitch back and forth across the Gap 4 times, between Chimney and Kadith... but never entering the Strait of Vermust, which was Imperial waters. During 3 of these voyages, they sank many (much smaller) vessels from the suicidal pirates of the Pocatose archipelago. During the third sea battle, they also fatally shot one of the new Taken out of the air using sorcery and special ballistae.

The Black Company eventually disembarked from Cranky Bitch a final time to begin a 4-year overland journey through the vast western wilderness and other locales that would end in the distant Plain of Fear. Their next encounter of consequence was recorded in "Leta of the Thousand Sorrows". An unspecified number of sailors from the Bitch remained with the Black Company. It is unclear if the ship was abandoned altogether or if it was sailed away by remaining sailors for a destination not recorded by Croaker.

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