|“||Oh. What eyes. Fire and steel. The Lady will love this one.||”|
Lisa Daele Bowalk was an impoverished young woman from a giant city who would transform into one of the most dangerous, longest-lived enemies of the Black Company.
Lisa was hired as a barmaid by Marron Shed, owner of the Iron Lily in Juniper, to protect her from her abusive father. She eventually assumed part ownership of the Lily and control over his finances. She became curious about Shed's sudden wealth after Raven's arrival. She seduced him in order to find out more. Shed revealed that he was selling corpses to inhabitants of the Black Castle, just as Raven had. Desperate to get out of Juniper and terrified of poverty, Lisa blackmailed him into continuing the venture, rattling off a list of people they should kill.
Lisa helped Shed strangle the moneylender Gilbert, but despite her initial enthusiasm, was stunned after this first taste of murder. Appalled, she accompanied Shed on his mule wagon containing Gilbert's corpse to the Black Castle. Inside she witnessed the horrifying sight of a prostitute named Sue in terrible condition. Finally, on their way out, she realized that the Black Castle creatures were interested in purchasing her from Shed. Shed turned them down, unable to "muster the hatred, anger or downright meanness to do" that. Lisa now thoroughly understood her vulnerability and how evil this road was. But there would be no time to change her ways: they were both stopped in their tracks moments later by Croaker, Otto, Crake, Walleye, and other members of the Black Company. Lisa tried to flee but was chased down by Otto, whom she fought ferociously before being beaten into submission. She next saw what she believed to be Shed's corpse, though this was actually a ruse to protect the Company. Feather, one of three members of the new Taken, quickly arrived on her flying carpet, and soon departed with the terrified captive. Lisa, on her way to be interrogated for her dealings with the Black Castle, let out a single cry as she disappeared into the night sky.
Although Lisa does not appear in the Annals until years later (Shadow Games), several facts are apparent about her life in the interim. She was certainly subjected to the Lady's Eye, a dreadful experience during which the Lady would read her mind for facts regarding her involvement with the Black Castle. Then, presumably because the Lady was impressed with the young woman, Lisa was sent to the Southern Continent to be the apprentice of the mighty sorcerer Shapeshifter. Shifter was thought to be dead by everyone except the Lady herself, but, he was actually living in the guise of a local wizard called "Eldon the Seer" in distant Gea-Xle. There, Lisa learned the powerful sorcery of shape-changing from her new lover. She was seen to take at least two different shapes: the shape of a different woman, but more importantly, also the shape of a forvalaka, an infamous species of monster. Not only could Lisa transform into the shape of a forvalaka, but she also attained the supernatural vitality, strength, and speed of the beast as well, just as Shifter could do. However, during her training, Shifter had not trusted her completely, and built a "deadman-loop" into the spells which Bowalk used to transform into the monster. In the event of his death, she would be trapped in the monster's shape.
Lisa Bowalk (using the guise of a woman not recognizable by the Company), and her master Shapeshifter (in the guise of "Eldon the Seer") rejoined the Lady and the Black Company at Gea-Xle. Despite the Lady's secrecy, Croaker was able to piece together the true identity of Eldon the Seer. However he had no idea that the woman was Lisa Bowalk. While their flotilla on the Main was under attack by the Howler and his swamp pirates, Croaker forced the Lady to call Shapeshifter in his true form. Lisa remained in disguise.
At the Battle of Dejagore, Croaker and One-Eye witnessed Shapeshifter scaling the citadel walls in the form of a forvalaka. Lisa presumably did so as well. Lisa watched from hiding as her master Shifter fought the Shadowmaster called Stormshadow (actually Stormbringer, another member of the Ten Who Were Taken thought to be dead since the Battle of Charm) to an exhausted standstill. But she attempted to intervene when Croaker and One-Eye betrayed Shifter by knocking him out and preparing to murder him. Murgen, the Company's standard-bearer, cut her with the Lance of Passion, and her blood spilled all over the Black Company standard. She "screamed like she was trapped in Hell's agony" (it would later be revealed that the Lance was not a mere relic but a devastating magic weapon). Lisa was immediately tackled by the Company and immobilized by Goblin's wizardry. Croaker, despite his decision to have Shifter killed, chose to eventually release Bowalk out of mercy. He did not know that Lisa would now be trapped in the forvalaka's shape with the death of her master.
Dreams of Steel and Bleak SeasonsEdit
Lisa, despite being granted freedom by the Company, was locked in the shape of the forvalaka and became obsessed with revenge. She specifically targeted One-Eye, and almost killed him on one occasion in Dejagore. One-Eye and Goblin informed Murgen about this, who reported it to Croaker when they finally reunited outside the city. Very shortly after Murgen's reunion with Croaker, Murgen was kidnapped by Soulcatcher and witnessed Lisa Bowalk, as a forvalaka, was traveling in her company.
She Is The DarknessEdit
When Croaker launched his campaign towards Overlook, Bowalk was taken in by Goblin who convinced her that he could return her to her human form. She worked for Goblin for several months doing his bidding, who continually reassured her that he and One-Eye could find a solution to her shapeshifting. She eventually turned on him, but he captured her by causing her to magically bind her claws to an object shaped like him. Bowalk was kept in a cage too small to sit up in to prevent her from using her terrible strength to escape. She was brought onto the Plain of Glittering Stone when Croaker launched his scouting mission onto it.
Lisa escaped from her cage after Soulcatcher captured her enemies on the Plain. As she fled in fear across the Plain, she was attacked by one of the feral shadows that infested the area. Despite the shadow's fearsome power, she actually killed it against all odds. She escaped the Plain through the shadowgate into the world in which Khatovar had existed, damaging the shadowgate in the process. There, the sorcerers called the First Father and Nashun the Researcher, chief Voroshk patriarchs, were able to help her attain human form for only an hour or two at a time, after which she would revert to the forvalaka shape. Meanwhile, she taught them the language of her home city, Juniper. Her new Voroshk allies helped her to attack the Company, now in Hsien, where she managed to kill One-Eye before escaping.
Croaker and Lady led a group of Company members and allies (including Murgen, Thai Dei, Willow Swan, Uncle Doj, Cratch, Slobo, a group of Unknown Shadows called the Black Hounds, and Goblin) across the Plain to Khatovar for revenge. Lisa and three of her Voroshk allies attacked this group, but she was subdued in barrage of blows from conventional weapons, specially-prepared magic fetishes, and fireball projectors. Bowalk was decapitated and then incinerated in a huge pyre.