The Annalist is the historian of the Black Company, who is charged with composing and protecting the Annals, and is also responsible for educating the current members about the storied band's past. Over the centuries, the Company's Annalists have accumulated an immense archive, though numerous tomes have been lost. These include the first Annals which describe the Company's origins. Among the Annalist's main duties are to keep a list of fallen brothers and to organize readings of the Annals. This is an important ritual, which is expected to raise moral and reinforce the Company's connection with its past.
Croaker was probably the Black Company's most reputed annalist. He held the position during the Company's service under the Lady. That section of the Annals would later be referred to as the "Books of the North". Croaker was forced to abandon the Annals during the Battle of Queen's Bridge, a very shameful act for an annalist. However, this pales in comparison to the loss of almost seventy years worth of annals at the Battle of Urban decades earlier. After the Battle of the Barrowland, the Annals were returned at the Tower at Charm and he was redeemed. During the Black Company's southward march to Khatovar, he discovered that some missing Annals had been archived at the Temple of Travellers' Repose, and spent many hours translating them with One-Eye, Lady, and the local monks.
In the Black Company series a number of characters held the office of annalist.
These are some of Croaker's predecessors as Annalist from throughout the Company's 400-year history: