- "This was his hero."
- "Urchin, you've had hardly any preparation for being a captain, but I know you will be a good one. Take good care of Catkin. Wear your circlet every day, and wear it well. Remember that sometimes it's when we're simply being ourselves that we that we make a difference. The most important thing I ever did, absolutely without a doubt the most important, was pick up a half-drowned baby squirrel from the sea"
- -King Crispin
Crispin (later styled King Crispin the Swan Rider) was a male squirrel, Captain, and later King of Mistmantle. He was first married to Whisper, but after she died, he married Cedar and became a father to Catkin, Oakleaf, and Almondflower. His best friend was Padra and his former page was Urchin.
Not much is known about his childhood, but his mother was from the Anemone Wood, and his father was a tower squirrel. He grew up in the woods. His father was killed, and what became of his mother is unknown. He was the best friend of the otter Padra during his childhood, and grew up with Husk.
On a Night of Riding Stars some years later, he invited Urchin to Brother Fir's turret to watch the stars with him, Captain Padra and Brother Fir. Crispin and Brother Fir explained that it had been he who had found Urchin on the beach the night of Urchin's birth.
- Crispin then offered Urchin the opportunity to become his page at the tower, rather than working down at the jetty. Urchin accepted, and so began a series of adventures the two would undertake.
Prince Tumble was found dead the next morning, stabbed through the heart during the night. Crispin's fellow captain, Captain Husk, decided to draw lots in order to find the killer. However, Crispin argued against it and Brother Fir voiced his concern as well. When all the animals were called to The Tower for the drawing, the squirrel token came out of the bag, drawn by Husk. After all the squirrel marks had been set inside, Husk insisted that it was he who should do the drawing, as he had been on duty the night of the murder. Husk reached into the bag and pulled out Crispin's token.
After Crispin was exiled from Mistmantle Island, he landed on Swan Isle, where he met and fell in love with a young female squirrel named Whisper. He also met Lord Arcneck and saved Lady Arcneck from a water snake, nearly drowning in the process. He was taken care of by Whisper, who he later married. As a token of their marriage, Crispin gave Whisper his circlet.Crispin was surprised when Urchin turned up on Swan Isle, and was devastated when Gloss the mole, a spy for Captain Husk, killed Whisper. He later partially recovered from this trauma and returned to Mistmantle, riding on swans with Urchin. Together they brought down Husk, liberating Mistmantle of the wicked squirrel.
Crispin welcomed some animals from Whitewings Island to Mistmantle after they arrived on a battered, gale-lashed vessel. Two of the destitute creatures, Trail and Bronze, kidnapped Urchin with the aid of Scatter.
During this time, the Heartstone was discovered to be a fake, and when Brother Fir announced this, a search was mounted to find the real Heartstone. Lady Aspen had crafted a fake Heartstone so that when King Brushen was dethroned and Captain Husk made king, it would appear that he was the true King of Mistmantle even though he was not. Apple tried to marry Crispin away and used much time on sending him young squirrel females to the tower. He was polite and kind but sent them away. Two of them were two of Sepia's sisters.
A group called The Hedgehog Host attempted to assassinate King Crispin, believing that the true kings of Mistmantle should be hedgehogs, but they were caught and arrested. Sepia played a key part in ensuring that King Crispin knew about the plot.
Urchin returned safely with Scatter, one of the animals who helped kidnap him.
Cedar left Whitewings for Mistmantle at the end of the book, and was welcomed by Crispin, who fell in love with her. They both married soon after. During the ceremony, Crispin held the recently rediscovered Heartstone in his paws, confirming his position as ruler of Mistmantle.Linty, who had a panic attack after she thought she saw Husk, kidnapped her, and hid in one of her secret hideouts in the Tangletwigs.
Unexpectedly, the Fouldrought disease struck the island, and Yarrow the squirrel spread a rumour that Queen Cedar had brought the disease with her from Whitewings Isle. More and more animals agreed and spread the word to everyone on the island until almost all of them believed that the Queen was at fault. Padra's younger brother, Fingal, found a fish that died and decayed in the water and realized it was the source of the Fouldrought.
Finally, with the help of Sepia and Fingal, Linty the squirrel--and more importantly the princess--were found in a small boat rowing towards the Mists. With the help of Sepia, Lugg and Fingal, Linty was prevented from going through the Mists with Catkin, and was brought back to shore. Princess Catkin was reunited with her distraught parents soon after. Sadly, Captain Lugg passed away after the rescue due to his heart giving out.
The King and Queen sent Princess Catkin to another part of the island where Corr lived, and the two soon became friends.
Lord Arcneck and some other swans from Swan Isle requested Mistmantle's aid to defeat the ravens that attacked their home.
King Crispin slew the Archraven, but the bird wounded him severely. After he was healed, the ravens attacked Mistmantle. They kidnapped Catkin and held her hostage. Urchin, however, wisely turned the ravens against each other, and they soon began to slay one another. Gleaner slew The Silver Prince, bringing joy to Mistmantle and ending the war.
As King Crispin sought to prepare the islanders for the coming rage tide, the delusional squirrel Mossberry convinced a group of animals that King Crispin was not the true king, and that Juniper was not the true priest. Mossberry believed that he was the rightful master of Mistmantle, and that The Heart had chosen him to deliver the island from doom. Soon Mossberry and his rebels started to leave the island. Crispin reasoned with them animals and Mossberry, and saved many creatures, but some were killed when the Rage Tide struck. Urchin's friend Sepia was also swept away, leaving him devastated. Corr, being a Voyager, chose to rescue her. He visited Whitewings, but she was not there. He then visited Swan Isle, and Lord Crown informed him that some swans saw her. From there Corr was able to bring Sepia back. However, Brother Juniper had a prophecy, and Crispin knew that he had to sacrifice himself so that Sepia could return through the mists. Before his departure, Crispin made Urchin a captain, telling his former page that his old wound from the Raven War was slowly killing him and that he didn't want his family to see him grow old and cantankerous. He went beyond the mists, and Sepia was able to pass through them to Mistmantle Island. Corr later went back beyond the mists to retrieve the body of his King and give Crispin a proper funeral. His grave, which was in the middle of Anemone Wood, has white stones and mending moss on it.
Crispin was remembered by the islanders as a beloved and selfless king who lived and died for Mistmantle.
Crispin was a very noble and brave squirrel, and was praised as one of the finest Mistmantle Captains. He was also shown to be very kind and didn't think himself any better than anyone else.
Crispin had many close relationships with the other creatures of Mistmantle.
"Thanks for everything, Crispin of Mistmantle." -Cedar, after her husband's death.
Queen Cedar was Crispin's second wife, and the mother of his children. From the moment she arrived on the island, Crispin was entranced with Cedar, and he later made her his Queen. He constantly admired her courage and wisdom, and valued her as a companion. She was brave in return, and loved her husband and her family dearly.
- "Do you think I want Catkin as a Queen at so young an age?" - Crispin
- "I promised Oakleaf a sword training." -Crispin
Since Oakleaf was Crispin's only son, and they are alike in many ways. They have a good relationship with each other. In his young age, Crispin taught his son to fight with a sword. After King Crispin's passing, it was said that Oakleaf looked more like his father than ever before.
- "...Almondflower is so young she may not remember me." -Crispin
Princess Almondflower was his last child and second daughter. After the Raven War, they became closer. Crispin was glad to spend time with his youngest child before his death, knowing that she would remember him when he was gone, when he had previously feared she would not.
"Never forget Lady Whisper." - Crispin to Urchin
Lady Whisper was Crispin's first wife. He met her at Swan Isle. When they married, he gave her his Captain's Circlet as a sign of their marriage. After her death, he made a grave for her and placed the circlet on it, but took it back to Mistmantle when he left.
Urchin always looked up to Crispin, and in return Crispin kept an eye on the young squirrel in the forest. He was so pleased with him that he made him his page. When Crispin was exiled, Urchin was so devoted to him that he offered to leave with him. They became close friends in later years. Crispin eventually made him into a member of the Circle, and finally a captain.
Padra was a close friend of Crispin, and remained so after Crispin became King of Mistmantle. Crispin looked to him for help and advice in many situations. After Crispin's death, Padra was distraught about losing his closest companion, and mourned his loss.