Smoke was a wizard in service of the royal family of Taglios, though officially he was merely the chief firefighter of the city. He was short, immediately recognizable for discolorations on his skin, and was well-known for his cowardice. He protested the decision of the Prince, the Prahbrindrah Drah, to employ the Black Company to help win Taglios's Shadowmaster wars. But he did accompany the Princess, the Radisha Drah, when she traveled to hire them. Smoke was very satisfied with the Company's defeat at the Battle of Dejagore, although he was pleased with their blows to the Shadowmasters.
Smoke opposed Lady's rise to power, but could do little to prevent. During this time, he was contacted by Longshadow who eventually enslaved by him using a sorcery ritual similar to the Rite of Taking. He acted briefly as Longshadow's spy. Later he was attacked by a demon sent by Soulcatcher, and fell into a coma.
Croaker (the Liberator) and One-Eye discovered that a person sleeping near him could actually make contact with Smoke's disembodied spirit and use it to spy on people, by essentially riding his consciousness. Smoke's spirit could even be used to time travel as an observer to almost any events that transpired back until the attack that left him comatose. They shared this secret, a profound military advantage, with Murgen, who often took care of Smoke. The wizard was comatose for several years, during which time Murgen took full advantage of the ghost-walking ability to spy extensively on the Black Company's enemies. Murgen's inability to properly cope with the disorienting effects of traveling through time with Smoke's spirit is the reason why his Annals for Bleak Seasons were so troubled and disjointed.
Although Smoke's spirit lacked normal self-awareness, it had a kind of fearful instinct which would cause him to refuse to approach people, places, or events that terrified him. That which most terrified his spirit was Soulcatcher: if sufficiently close to the sorceress, his ghost would exclaim the phrase "she is the darkness!" fearfully until he was guided away.
Smoke was brought along for the Company's campaign against Longshadow. Once they reached Overlook, Smoke started recovering from his coma. He was mysteriously assassinated before reaching a complete recovery.