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Plain of Fear

Barns, seen to the east of the Plain of Fear

Barns is one of five "huge" and "formidable" cities that form an arc east of the Plain of Fear in the northern continent, the others being Rust, Frost, Thud, and Ade.

Barns, part of the Lady's Empire, was lost to the Rebel, but would be reclaimed by the Taken known as the Faceless Man.

Before the Annals[]

The city of Barns was conquered during the consolidation wars of the Lady's Empire, presumably by one or more of the Ten Who Were Taken and their armies. It became part of the border arc of the empire's eastern frontier, in a line along with at least four other massive nearby cities: Rust, Frost, Thud, and Ade.

Then, sometime in the decades afterward, Barns became part of the Rebel movement headed by the Circle of Eighteen. The stubbornness of the best general in the Circle, Whisper, held the eastern front together despite the best efforts of the Taken.

The Black Company[]

Whisper, formerly the champion of the Rebels, was Taken (enslaved) by the Lady. This precipitated the rapid collapse of the Rebel in the east. Two of the Taken – Nightcrawler and the Faceless Man – led separate armies across the Plain of Fear to retake Thud and Barns respectively. Shortly before this, Whisper reconquered Rust, then Frost, for the empire, and the Circle general Parcel reportedly committed suicide at Ade to avoid capture by Bonegnasher, an 8-foot tall cannibal among the Taken.

Soulcatcher proudly informed the Annalist Croaker of all these developments during the Black Company's own struggles with the Rebel at the Stair of Tear.

After Barns was reconquered by the Taken, it again became part of the border arc of the imperial eastern frontier.


Merely six years after The Black Company, as Croaker would record with awe in Shadows Linger, the Empire had stretched far beyond Barns and that arc of other cities, into the formerly independent kingdom of Tally.

Barns and Ade (unlike Rust, Frost, and Thud) were not mentioned in The White Rose, and as such they might not have participated in the New White Rose Rebellion.