For the first novel of the series, see: The Black Company
You know they are vicious, violent and ignorant. They are complete barbarians, living out their cruelest fantasies, their behaviour tempered only by a few decent men.

Croaker, The Black Company


The Black Company was the last of the Free Companies of Khatovar and a band of highly trained mercenaries. Their contracts and commissions took them all over the known world, and even beyond into new worlds. They were highly respected and feared by allies and foes alike. 

Ranks and leaders Edit

The Company was always led by a single captain who was voted in by the officers and served for life. The Captain tended to groom his or her choice for successor, though the actual selection was still a matter of a vote. Generally, the Lieutenant was the first choice for replacing the role of Captain, but there were occasions where the Annalist, Standard-bearer or one of the Sergeants were promoted to the role, such as Croaker and Sleepy.  

Company also had an individual Annalist, who recorded the exploits of the Company and kept a list of the fallen. The Annalist was also responsible for regular readings from the past Annals, an almost religious ceremony where the brothers of the current Company got in touch with the traditions and struggles from the past.

In theory, in order to join the Black Company an individual had to be sworn in by taking an oath of loyalty and recommended by an existing member of the company. For example Croaker was recommended in by his friend Elmo. Breaking the oath was considered a grave act and culprits would be punished severely.

In reality, entry into the company was influenced by many factors such as current troop strength, available resources and individuals in roles of leadership.

The Black CompanyEdit

Beryl and the commission in the northEdit

The Black Company was in the service of the Syndic of Beryl, one of the Jewel Cities. The Black Company spent at least two summers serving as his bodyguards against political enemies and poorly trained but potentially mutinous local troops. Eventually, the Syndic of Beryl was slain, allegedly by a loose forvalaka but members of the company had used the attack by Shapeshifter disguised as Forvalka to assassinate the Syndic, under the promise of safe passage and employment by Soulcatcher, as her troops secured the city and engineered its annexation by the The Lady's Empire.

The Company was transported by Soulcatcher from Beryl across the Sea of Torments to the city of Opal, on the southern edge of the empire.