Motley is a female crow that has both black and white feathers on her wings. Her name is derived from this mixed plumage. These colors also cause other crows to attack her, resulting in her being driven off by her own kind.
Like all crows, Motley is intelligent and inquisitive. However, she often displays intelligence beyond that expected of an animal. It is unclear if she has ever been Wit-bonded to another person. She eventually learns to vocalize words, and becomes quite sarcastic.
Web obtains Motley after his shepherd friend dies, leaving her behind. He suggests that Fitz adopt her, hoping that their well-matched personalities will lead the two to form a Wit-bond. Fitz declines his offer.
Fits is in Buckkeep Town when he encounters Motley being mobbed by other crows. She croaks his name, which causes Fitz alarm. Fitz draws Motley into his cloak and commands her to be silent. As Motley's plumage prevents her from living with other crows, Fitz brings her to Buckkeep Castle. Neither attempts to form a bond with each other.
Motley quickly tires of remaining captive in Fitz's room. She allows him to paint her white feathers with black ink so that she may venture outdoors without being mobbed again. However, she also explores the castle itself, and makes her way to Chade's room. There, she befriends the recuperating Fool and Chade's apprentice Ash.
In Divvytown, Motley receives Silver on her beak from Heeby. This enables her to alter her feathers to be pure black without the use of ink.