His parents died when he was only four years old, succumbing to the Winged Plague. Since then, he had been raised by his uncle Mammot. Crokus found the street's shadows more appealing than the books his Uncle worked on and he became an apprentice of Kruppe learning the art of thievery. Though Crokus did not give it any thought, his uncle's sardonic reserve for the pretence so rife on Majesty Hill, an attitude which had seeped into Crokus over the years, and youthful resentment towards authority provided the impulses for this career choice.
When out as a thief, Crokus dressed in soot-stained cloth which closely covered his body, including his face, only leaving space for his eyes. A black leather harness, criss-crossing his chest held the tools of his trade. In pockets and tight loops it contained coils of copper wire, iron files, three metal saws wrapped in oiled parchment, root gum, a lump of tallow, and a spool of fishing string. A thin-bladed dagger and a throwing knife were both sheathed under his left arm with pommels facing forward.
Some of his tools Crokus had acquired from his absent-minded uncle, Mammot, who dabbled in alchemy and was prone to misplace items such as magically hardened saws and other, to Crokus useful, tools.
The tips of his moccasins were soaked in pitch which gave him more grip when scaling up or down the side of buildings. To preserve the pitch, Crokus would not lower his full weight on his toes the rest of the time when crossing the roofs.
In Gardens of the Moon
About two days after rumors had reached Darujhistan of the fall of Pale, Crokus stole the content of the jewel box of Challice D'Arle from her bedroom whilst she was asleep. It took him twenty minutes to saw through the look on her bedroom door. He decided to also take a sky-blue silk turban with gold-braid tassels which he vowed to keep for himself and sneaked a quick look at the half naked, sleeping Challice. After Crokus left the estate, he was nearly shot by Talo Krafar in a case of mistaken identity. Crokus was saved when he bent down to pick up Oponn's coin which fell at his feet at that moment. Crokus was then followed and attacked by those who had previously attacked Talo, but again and again managed to escape by sheer luck and only suffered some cuts and bruises as a result.
Crokus had no idea of the coin's significance and that he, as "The Coinbearer" was wanted by some. Thus he did not realize that it had been the influence of the coin which had saved his life. Crokus did not notice when Kruppe diverted him for a moment to take a wax impression of the coin.
Thinking back on the sleeping Challice, Crokus gradually became infatuated with the thought of her and decided to return the jewels. He also considered to become well-read and to be presented to the young woman as a gentleman and suitor. Murillio and Rallick, having guessed the reason for Crokus wanting the stolen goods back from Kruppe, decided to further the change of career path, possibly by having a word with Crokus' uncle Mammot.
Crokus did not know that Kruppe was charged by Baruk to protect the coinbearer but should it transpire that the Lord rather than the Lady claimed him, he was to eliminate him.
Unbeknownst to Crokus, the Great Raven Crone mentioned to Caladan Brood that Rake's known dislike for Oponn would lead him to try and cut their connection to the coinbearer, however, she said that she had not told Rake all she knew about the matter. In order to prevent Oponn being pulled into the fray, Brood arranged for the 6th Blade of the Crimson Guard to protect Crokus.
On a visit to the Phoenix Inn, Crokus met Sorry and noticed fresh blood on her dagger. He realized that she was the one who had just killed Chert. When he tried to pay, Oponn's coin bounced on the bar, spun and kept on spinning, giving Crokus away to Sorry as being Oponn's coin bearer.
As Crokus returned the jewels, Challice woke up but did not call the guards. That and the brief conversation they had further strengthened Crokus in his infatuation.
On his way to the D'Arle estate, Crokus had secretly been followed by Sorry. As he left Challice's bedroom he saw Sorry standing in the garden, and although she was cloaked, he instantly recognized her as the woman he had previously met in the Phoenix Inn.
He came to know Sorry better on the return from a trip outside the city, after the Rope abandoned his possesion of her. Sorry had no memory of her former life and her real name, so she choose 'Apsalar', the name of the Lady of Thieves, the Patron of Crokus.
He then hurried on to Baruk's estate on Rallick's orders to inform Baruk that there were now Malazans at Lady Simtal's estate and Vorcan intended to betray the Cabal. He watched as Anomander and the Galayn Lord battled in front of the estate. The battle left Anomander weak, and he asked Crokus to hurry and defend Baruk from Vorcan. Crokus arrived just in the nick of time to save Baruk from being killed, and hit Vorcan with two bricks (rather luckily, probably on account of the coin), then returned towards Simtal's estate to find that Murillio and Rallick's goals had been achieved. Meanwhile he also came to be concerned and felt responsible for Apsalar's safety.
When he met Apsalar again, she was trying to return home to Itko Kan and he opted to go with her, discarding Oponn's coin over the side of the boat. On this journey, they were joined by Fiddler and Kalam.
In Deadhouse Gates
The two Bridgeburners brought Crokus and Apsalar to Seven Cities on their way to Itko Kan. They were accompanied by Moby, the former familiar of Crokus' uncle Mammot. But Crokus, fiercely protective of Apsalar, questioned the soldiers' true motives. Fiddler admitted that returning Apsalar to her home was only a side concern. Their actual mission was to assassinate Empress Laseen in revenge for her attacks on the Bridgeburners. Additionally, Kalam thought a young woman who once possessed the knowledge and powers of a god of assassins might prove to be a Shaved Knuckle in the Hole.
During their journey across the desert, Crokus grew upset by Apsalar's increasing withdrawal and by signs that she was regaining Cotillion's memories and abilities. He was also dismayed when Moby seemed to revert to his wild status and abandon him.
Stumbling upon a battle between Soletaken and D'ivers following the Path of Hands, Fiddler, Crokus, and Apsalar were rescued by Icarium and Mappo Runt. The Jhag and Trell brought them to safety at Tesem, a temple of Shadow. There, Crokus came into physical conflict with the maddening High Priest Iskaral Pust, who he correctly suspected of plotting to make Apsalar the Sha'ik Reborn.
To further his plans, Pust sent Apsalar's father Rellock into the Holy Desert Raraku. Apsalar followed on her own, and was pursued by Crokus, Fiddler, Icarium, Mappo, and Pust. Crokus held a knife to Pust's neck in order to force him to call upon the aid of the Hounds of Shadow. The group fought their way through the Soltaken and D'ivers filled maze surrounding the Azath House Tremorlor. At the house Crokus was reunited with Moby, who was the only one of the party allowed to open the door. Once inside Tremorlor, Crokus said tearful goodbyes to the Bhok'arala as it stayed behind to be the house's new guardian.
The group passed into the Azath Warren, but Pust, Icarium, and Mappo soon disappeared. Crokus, Apsalar, Fiddler, and Rellock found themselves in the Deadhouse where they met Gothos, its guardian. Exiting the house into Malaz City they were reunited with Kalam by the shadow demon Apt.
In House of Chains
Shadowthrone returned Crokus, Apsalar, and Rellock to an alley in Kan rather than the fishing village he promised. Crokus and Apsalar were forced to sell their services to a local bookmaker and extortionist in return for the money to purchase a small boat to complete their journey. The loathsome work left two men dead and Crokus with the nickname 'Cutter'. The young thief chose to adopt the new name when he believed the only way to follow Apsalar, whom he loved, was to abandon his former life.
Cutter was visited by Cotillion in Itko Kan, just after Rellock had died. After a conversation, the contents of which remained unknown, he agreed to serve Cotillion and upon telling Apsalar, the two made plans to leave for Drift Avalii. On their way to the island, Cutter came to realize that in order to get closer to her, he had made the wrong choice by pursuing the life of an assassin, something Apsalar abhorred.
Cutter and Apsalar were shipwrecked and separated on rocky shore of Drift Avalii where Cutter was found by a Tiste Andii called Darist. Cutter helped Darist in his fight against the Tiste Edur who had invaded the is
land to wrest back the Throne of Shadow. They survived the onslaught of the advance party due to Darist's dazzling display of swordsmanship. Cutter killed at least on Edur in the fight. He was reunited with Apsalar who arrived with other Tiste Andii and killed the remaining enemies. It turned out that Darist was short for Andarist and Cutter correctly guessed him to be the younger brother of Anomander Rake.
Cutter left the courtyard to seek out shipwrecked Malazan marines whose presence on the island was felt by Apsalar and ask for their help. When he arrived back he witnessed Andarist die as a result of Edur sorceries. The rest of them, including Cutter and Apsalar, were saved by Cotillion, who killed the Edur mages and soldiers.
Cotillion then sent Crokus and Apsalar to Seven Cities, where he suspected the Master of the Talon was. He needed the pair to potentially assist his other agents with taking out this leader and make them fail in their endeavor. While Apsalar was disappointed to see Cutter do this, and asked him not to walk this path, she nevertheless decided to accompany him when Cutter answered that he had thought she wanted company.
Apsalar and Cutter's ship was pulled through a warren back to a storeroom within Tesem, Iskaral Pust's temple. Later, Apsalar, seeing Cutter e
mbrace all the things she hated about herself, made a decision to leave Cutter behind as she continued to serve Cotillion and Shadowthrone in Cutter's stead. She was determined that the patron of assassins would not have him, leaving him free from any of the murderous influences of the callings of an assassin. Cotillion attempted to convince Apsalar that Crokus loved the fisher girl within her and not the killer, but he was pleased at her decision, and admitted to liking the lad. Apsalar made the god promise to take care of Cutter.
Alone, Cutter was approached by Cotillion and offered a different kind of task. This time he would serve as the protector of Felisin Younger, the adopted daughter of Felisin Paran. Cutter tearfully accepted.
In The Bonehunters 
Cutter travelled with Heboric, Felisin Younger, the heavily pregnant Scillara, and the demon Greyfrog, starting from Pan'potsun and leading them towards the subcontinent's eastern coast. Cotillion had wanted him to accompany the Destriant while at the same time protecting Felisin Younger. They planned to journey to Otataral Island to return Heboric to where the Jade giants had infected his hands with Otataral.
The group stumbled on a Temple of D'rek where all the priests had been killed by someone Heboric described as an 'unexpected visitor', most probably D'rek herself. There, Crokus met the undead former Seguleh Second, now High House Death's Knight, who appeared from a portal while hunting Skinner. Hood's servant was angered that his god had interrupted his hunt to show him the deaths at the temple. He informed Crokus that the Tyrant's mages, who held sway over the City of Darujhistan, were only crouching low until the day the Tyrant returned. He also disabused Crokus of the notion that his Uncle Mammot was his actual uncle. By the time the Knight departed, Cutter was convinced that Hood had actually sent the Knight to warn the young thief it was time to return to Darujhistan.
The group passed through the ruins of the city of E'napatha N'apur, and two days from there, the group was ambushed by The Unbound, the T'lan Imass servants of the Crippled God, and Felisin Younger was taken. Cutter was disemboweled, Heboric and Greyfrog were killed, and Scillara was stabbed through the chest. They were discovered by the inhabitants of a small settlement run by Kalam's distant cousin, Barathol Mekhar. L'oric, who had been looking for his familiar, Greyfrog, and Felisin Younger, used his skills in the Denul Warren to heal both Cutter and Scillara.
While still unconscious, Cutter saw a vision of the Queen of Dreams as she received Leoman and Dunsparrow fresh from their flight from the Last Siege of Y'Ghatan. The goddess told Leoman she had no need for his service yet, but expressed disappointment that he had not brought along Corabb Bhilan Thenu'alas, the Chosen of Oponn. Cutter also heard the goddess inform Dunsparrow that Hood had marked her and was responsible for her brother's death. Cutter thought he witnessed the scene unobserved until the goddess turned to look at him, sending him back to his sick bed.
After recovering from his injuries, Cutter determined to deliver Heboric's body to Otataral Island, their original destination. On their way once more, Scillara and Cutter were joined this time by Barathol and Chaur on the way to the shores of the Otataral Sea. Scillara grew close with Cutter who had become rather listless and disinterested after the ambush, filled with guilt for Heboric's death and Felisin Younger's loss. She spoke of returning with him to Darujhistan to become a thief, and anticipated new adventures in an exotic new city. She enjoyed baiting the young Daru and Barathol asked Cutter if he had ever seen an animal led slaughter. Cutter could only respond with confusion. Soon Scillara and Cutter were sleeping together and Barathol hoped Scillara could ease the haunted look in Cutter's eyes and not damage him further.
They came to a village on the coast, empty and depopulated by the Bluetongue Plague, where Cutter found a carrack, Sanal's Grief. They loaded it with their supplies and when they were under sail. Their journey across the Otataral Sea was interrupted by the appearance of a dozen suns plummeting from the sky. A hail of fiery debris destroyed their carrack, and Chaur grasped Heboric's wrapped corpse as it disappeared into the depths. Cutter was able to hold on to Scillara, while Barathol dived after Chaur. Swimming, Cutter saw Otataral Island had ignited with jade hands like that of Heboric's to capture the falling suns.
Scillara and Cutter were spotted in the water and carried to a nearby ship by Spite in her Soletaken Eleint form, while Barathol swam to the ship with Chaur in his arms. Aboard Spite's vessel were Mappo, Iskaral Pust, and Mogora. Barathol said that Heboric's body had lit with a green glow, allowing him to spot Chaur under the water. And Cutter had been able to bring Heboric's body close enough to the island for it to have made a difference and save them all. Mappo and Cutter recognised each other and the young thief asked where Icarium was. After the Trell admitted Icarium was lost, Cutter put his hand on the Trell's shoulder and offered his sympathy as Mappo broke down and wept.
Later, Scillara found Cutter staring at the sea, thinking of Apsalar. He told Scillara he needed to lie in her arms right now, and she agreed, deciding she and Cutter would find together whatever happiness they could get.
In Toll the Hounds
Cutter returned to Darujhistan, though he found that the city was no longer his home, having himself changed so much. He began an affair with Challice, but felt no love towards her. The affair ended abruptly when Cutter killed Gorlas Vidikas in revenge for the death of Murillio and left Darujhistan by ship.
In The Crippled God
Crokus was originally created as a character for the Gardens of the Moon screenplay written by Steven Erikson and Ian C. Esslemont that predated the novel of the same name. As a result, Erikson noted that the character was not organically created like those the authors developed in their gaming sessions and existed more to drive the events of the story's plot. He admitted feeling that he wanted to kill Crokus by the end of the Gardens of the Moon novel, thus requiring the changes that resulted in Crokus's transformation into Cutter.
Notes and references
- House of Chains, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.259
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.184
- Gardens of the Moon, Dramatis Personae, UK MMPB p. xiv
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, p.218
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.234
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.216
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.190
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.178/179
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.180
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.179/180
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.218
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, UK MMPB p.686
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.180
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.185/186
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.186
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 5, UK MMPB p.185-191
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 6, UK MMPB p.216
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.220
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.240/241
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.235/240
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.369
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.240/245/246
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.236
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 7, UK MMPB p.251/252
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 10, UK MMPB p.337-339
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 11, UK MMPB p.376-378
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.419/422
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.417-419
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 13, UK MMPB p.422
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 15
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 22
- Gardens of the Moon, Chapter 24
- Gardens of the Moon, Epilogue
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.93
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.96
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 7, US HC p.192-196
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.294
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.295-296
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 16, US HC p.442
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 19
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 20, US HC p.515-520
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 23
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 23, US HC p.583-584
- House of Chains, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.259
- House of Chains, Chapter 6
- House of Chains, Chapter 9, US SFBC p.362-363
- House of Chains, Chapter 9, UK MMPB p.437
- House of Chains, Chapter 12, UK MMPB p.523-525
- House of Chains, Chapter 12, UK MMPB p.527
- House of Chains, Chapter 12
- House of Chains, Chapter 16
- House of Chains, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.672-675
- House of Chains, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.739-743
- House of Chains, Chapter 26, US SFBC p.739-743
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 2
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 3
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 11
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 12
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.561-564
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 15
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.568
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.745-746
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 19, UK MMPB p.914/915
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.782-787
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.787-791
- The Bonehunters, Epilogue, US SFBC p.978-979
- The Crippled God, Epilogue II
- Black Gate Magazine video interview (see 16:00)