Crosley Digwell was introduced in “Captain Goldbeard: Set Sail on the Sea Butt.” He was created using Plantbird's prompt, "A pirate captain with a strict no killing policy."
When Crosley was growing up in Mudtrap, his parents (Bosley and Masley Digwell) assumed that he would join the family gravedigging business. Their home, the Digwell Estate, was an underground house in the slums with a grave-like entrance parallel to the ground.
While working with his father at nine years old, Crosley was too young to help with the digging, but he did listen to his father’s advice and the tricks of the trade. He hadn’t actually seen or experienced death yet, though, because his father’s work was so removed from it.
Crosley saw his father’s work as the most boring task imaginable. Instead, his biggest thrill was seeing the ships come into port each day.
His fascination paid off when, at ten years old, Crosley became the captain of a pirate crew. He had come across a group of pirates and sailors swapping stories, and he joined the conversation with ever-escalating tales of his own derring-do.
It is worth mentioning that the pirates in question were unemployed; their captain had recently retired and left them and the ship in Mudtrap. They were not the fiercest or most ferocious pirates, nor were they particularly intelligent. This made them particularly susceptible to the sway of Crosley’s charisma.
When the pirates asked Crosley his name, he answered that he was called Goldbeard, completely unaware that a fearsome pirate king with the same name already existed on the other side of the world. The crew and people of the Mudtrap region didn’t know any better, though, and believed him because of his confidence.
Crosley explained that a sea monster had taken his ship and crew. He barely survived when he washed ashore here. The crew sees this as their chance to work for a famous man and get back into pirating, so they offer to make him the captain of their ship.
Now sailing abroad on his ship, the Sea Butt, Crosley expected to have a lot of fun living the pirate life. Crosley’s idea of piracy was very storybook. When asked about murder, he answered honestly that he didn’t want to kill a person. He enacted a strict no-killing policy because he viewed the whole experience as a game. While warming his crew up to the idea, he used the phrase, “Sometimes the hardest move is not to kill” just a bit too often. His crew interpreted his behavior as honorable, assuming that he must have some sort of shady, serious past from before this.
When battle ensued, Crosley emerged victorious through a combination of luck and confusion tactics. He directed the Sea Butt to avoid cannonfire and then move straight into melee range with nonlethal weapons, forcing enemies to submit. After each battle, Crosley Insisted on taking the other crew and incorporating them into his own. In this way, he eventually amassed an armada. His opponents typically join because he’s so charming, and they’re grateful not to get killed.
During his journeys, Crosley focused on pursuing adventure. He wasn’t concerned with acquiring treasure or renown because any amount of money is a lot of money to a child, and he ultimately doesn’t respect anyone else anyway. Life on the Sea Butt was filled with music, games, spooky stories at night, and slumber parties. The crew was generally happy to get to be kids again instead of murderers. The Sea Butt itself was a luxurious ship, as all money from journeys was pumped into its accommodations.. It also has a capable crew of experienced pirates thanks to the many recruits Crosley has attracted..
Eventually, the original Goldbeard heard about Crosley’s armada and decided to confront him. When word of Goldbeard’s fury reached Crosley, he knew he couldn’t beat him in a pirate war. He made it his personal quest to get to Goldbeard first and convince him to join his team.
When Crosley was eleven, he came across Goldbeard, and unfortunately Goldbeard opened fire on the Crosley’s armada, destroying fifty percent of the fleet. Though Crosley initially failed at convincing Goldbeard to become his friend, this disaster made his quest all the more real to him.
By age twelve, Crosley has a hundred ships behind him and comes to find that people are afraid of him. Around this time, he renames his ship to the Sea Ass.
Looks and PersonalityEditAt the end of the day, Crosley is ultimately a child. He even giggles at his own ship’s name.
Crosley is always willing to switch allegiances to get what he wants. Because he is so young, though, this often means that he has an open mind and is willing to be friends with anyone.
Crosley believes that he is a terrifying pirate, but in reality that is primarily his own child-like vision of himself. He does believe, though, that it is better to be feared than respected. As his armada grows and he becomes more “fearsome,” Crosley begins to become somewhat arrogant.
As he enters adolescence, Crosley chafes under authority and rarely follows orders from anyone. Like many boys his age, he hates his parents. Even his top pirate advisors can’t convince him to abandon his deadly pursuit of Goldbeard.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Crosley is a naturally smooth-talking hustler, and his charm encourages others to believe his lies.
Art by Dave Lapru