The Barrowland was a burial ground near the Great Tragic River, 100 miles into the Great Forest, north of the city of Oar. This is where the White Rose, at the end of her successful Rebellion, sealed away the defeated Dominator, the Lady, the Ten Who Were Taken, and "scores" of demons including Tracker and Toadkiller Dog.
After 370 years, the Lady and the Taken were freed by Resurrectionists, but the Dominator and his demons remained trapped. Then, after the climactic Battle of the Barrowland, the profoundly dangerous silver spike was intended to be locked away there forever, but it would be stolen and moved not long afterward.
Before Croaker's AnnalsEdit
Creation and features Edit
The White Rose had the Barrowland surrounded by several features to keep its prisoners trapped and Resurrectionists out. One was a network of protective spells which formed an invisible enclosure around the burial mounds. Anyone who passed into the range of these spells would suffer excruciating, slow, and certain death. The next was a group of soldiers called the Eternal Guard and their leader, the Monitor, who were tasked to patrol the area to prevent tampering. The Guard, a hereditary group, had a limited number of amulets which would permit them to walk unharmed through the protective spells and trim the overgrowth. A third protection was a subterranean dragon. A fourth was the ghosts of White Rose soldiers, who were bound by fetishes to haunt the area, screaming at intruders in TelleKurre, UchiTelle, and lesser-known languages. There was a fifth feature, a deep moat, but this had disappeared long before Croaker's lifetime.
Locations of the prisonersEdit
The Lady and the Dominator were interred in the rectangular Great Barrow at the center, surrounded by the dragon. The Taken were individually buried in separate barrows. Five were entombed in the outer barrows arranged geometrically at the points of a star, and the other five were trapped in the inner barrows, arranged in a pentagon that surrounded the Great Barrow. The outer barrows, numbered oddly and starting at the northernmost barrow and moving clockwise, contained: 1) Soulcatcher; 3) Shapeshifter; 5) Nightcrawler; 7) Stormbringer; and 9) Bonegnasher. The inner barrows, numbered evenly and beginning at the right foot of the arm of the star pointing northward, contained: 4) the Howler; 6) Moonbiter; 8) the Limper; and both 2) and 10) containing the Hanged Man and the Faceless Man in unspecified order.
The spirits of the Ten Who Were Taken would manifest above their barrows every 37 years, when the Great Comet which appeared at their defeat completed its circuit and appeared in the sky.
Bomanz the Wakener Edit
The wizard Bomanz spent 37 years trying to map the place, to find a way to contact the Lady to learn her arcane secrets. As he did so, the Lady was released by Resurrectionists upon the 10th return of the Great Comet, with the Ten also escaping to become her minions. She orchestrated her release such that her husband remained imprisoned in the Great Barrow. Bomanz himself became trapped in the Barrowland as he attempted to stop her escape; history would incorrectly attribute her liberation to him. The Lady wiped out the Resurrectionist movement that caused her escape (to ensure the Dominator would stay buried); kept the Eternal Guard to watch over her hated husband's burial site; and established her own empire.
The Barrowland experienced a resurgence of activity when the Lady and her new Taken realized that the Dominator was attempting to escape from the Great Barrow. In Shadows Linger, a small advance force from the Black Company was flown in by Whisper; Croaker spent a month and a half there researching the past of the Guard and the Barrowland. He drank with the Monitor, who bragged about the Guard's history, which was as old as the Company's.
The White RoseEdit
- Main article: Battle of the Barrowland
Several years later, Raven attempted to access the Barrowland in spiritual form to determine the Dominator's status. His spiritual self became trapped there after he panicked from seeing the Dominator awake and grinning. The Dominator's servants Tracker and Toadkiller Dog were released, and Raven's disembodied spirit became trapped in their stead. The Dominator was manipulating the weather such that the Great Tragic River flooded and threatened to tear open the Barrowland and sweep away its protections. The Lady, Darling and their newly-allied forces systematically exterminated the demons, killed the Dominator, and trapped his powers in a silver spike. Tracker planted the Sapling – the son of Father Tree – atop the Great Barrow and they nailed the silver spike into it for eternal protection. With the barrows emptied, most of the people in the Barrowland trickled away to Oar or other destinations.
The Silver Spike Edit
The ruins of the Barrowland remained inhabited by a small crew of Eternal Guardsmen. The area seemed quiet until the spike was stolen about a year later from the Sapling by the four spike thieves. The spike became an object of obsession for many sorcerers, including most prominently the Limper, who by this point was reduced to only his head. The few stragglers remaining behind in the Barrowland were killed off by the Limper, Toadkiller Dog, and their ragtag group of 50 coerced forest tribesmen. In the end, the spike was banished to a different dimension and the Barrowland was presumably reclaimed by the Great Forest.