|“||The castle formed the base of a fountain of fire reaching miles into the sky. A vast figure twisted in the flames. Its lips moved. Long, slow words echoed down the Port. "Ardath. You bitch." ... The figure's hand rose slowly, lazily, pointed toward Duretile. "They got enough bodies inside," Goblin squeaked. "The old bastard is coming through."||”|
The Battle of Juniper, also known as the Battle of the Black Castle, was fought between the Lady (commanding the Limper; her new Taken – Whisper, Feather, and Journey; the Black Company; other imperial forces; and armed locals) and the Dominator (commanding his demon creatures from the Black Castle). It took place within the far northwestern city of Juniper during Shadows Linger.
The Dominator's creatures were besieged in their castle, but they initiated the first attack. Their goal was to grab enough bodies to finish their portal so they could summon their master from his tomb-like prison in the Barrowland. One of the new Taken, Feather, was killed by their magic blasts. Their sortie was stopped by the Lieutenant's catapults and ballistae. Whisper led a group of Company men and armed laborers into the castle below the ground, via a sapper's tunnel that was opened by One-Eye and a sergeant called Shaky. At ground level, the Limper grabbed a sword and led the counterattack, leading a force of Company veterans like Elmo along with many armed locals into the structure. A towering, fiery representation of the Dominator rose from the Castle, and he attempted to use the true name of the Lady to disarm her. However, he incorrectly guessed "Ardath", which was the name of her sister. The Lady struck back with a massive sorcery counterattack from the palace of Duretile, and the Castle was successfully destroyed in the barrage of explosive and incendiary magic attacks.
This was also the last battle of the Black Company in service of the Lady. The Captain discovered that his employers were planning to kill them, so he had Silent round up many of his senior men in the midst of the battle to flee. The Captain died during their ocean escape when he attempted to pilot the Lady's personal flying carpet. The Lady later confirmed to Croaker that it was not she, but rather her minions Whisper and Feather, who had tried to betray them both. The Company refused her offer to return, however, and instead they would go on to become the nucleus of Darling's New White Rose Rebellion... the Lady's sworn enemies. The city of Juniper itself was largely leveled after the battle by the Lady personally, in response to a massive civilian revolt led by Hargadon.