|“||Beryl is misery curdled, but also ancient and intriguing. Its history is a bottomless well filled with murky water.||”|
Beryl is a large, ancient city on the south side of the Sea of Torments, and the oldest in the famous collective called the Jewel Cities. Beryl's rulers were known as Syndics for many generations, until shortly after the city was annexed into the Lady's Empire. The Lady herself confirmed that the city and its environs became an imperial province.
The city was the first location of the Black Company series.
Before Croaker's Annals Edit
Beryl was the oldest of the three Jewel Cities, and could trace its origin back many centuries. It had a violent history. During the reign of Niam, at least 54 forvalaka arrived in Beryl from D'loc Aloc and terrorized the entire city for a decade until they were forcibly sealed away beneath Necropolitan Hill. Beryl also spawned an infamous general by the name of Dancing who almost destroyed the city during a civil war.
The Black Company Edit
The Syndic hired the Black Company as his personal guards, shortly after they had traveled north from Rebosa. This Syndic was corrupt, and he and his ruling faction known as the Reds were hated by much of the populace. Intense opposition from a rival group, the Blues, was one of the primary reasons he hired the Company. Because of this the Black Company became widely disliked by association, particularly by the local militia called the Urban Cohorts, who saw them as rivals.
Trouble started when the Blues poisoned four Company brothers at the Mole Tavern, killing two of them. The Black Company retaliated, killing at least a dozen at the Mole and capturing many more. This escalated into a civil riot which originated in the poor quarter, the Groan. The riot lasted several days and thousands were killed. The Urban Cohorts also rebelled against the Syndic and openly attacked the Black Company.
Additionally, the last surviving forvalaka was unintentionally freed from its ancient prison on Necropolitan Hill, and began terrorizing the streets. The Black Company faced the forvalaka, losing the wizard Tom-Tom and several other men in the process. The Syndic of Beryl was killed after the monster departed, almost certainly by the Company sergeant Match under the Captain's orders. Now freed from their commission after the Syndic's death, the Black Company was officially contracted by a mysterious northern legate (Soulcatcher). As the Company left Beryl, they killed many members of the Urban Cohorts both in revenge for years of bloody rivalry, and, to prevent them from setting up a siege of the Pillar of Anguish. They made their fateful voyage across the Sea of Torments aboard Soulcatcher's gigantic vessel, The Dark Wings, to begin their Imperial service in the northern continent.
Shortly after the Black Company departed, a new Red Syndic (a political puppet of the Lady) came into office. The navy of Beryl was now an appendage of the Lady's Empire. Over the next several months, the navy secretly ferried several war elephants across the Sea; these beasts would participate in the Battle of Charm.
Beryl was eventually annexed and became part of Empire along with the other Jewel Cities. The title of Syndic disappeared, and future rulers were simply Imperial governors. The city found increased stability.
After the Battle of the Barrowland, the 6 surviving members of the Black Company traveled south toward their fabled origin of Khatovar. They made the sea voyage from Opal to Beryl aboard The Dark Wings, which was only the second time that vessel had made port in Beryl. They decided to pass through quickly due to their bloody history there.
The Silver Spike Edit
Raven and Case traveled from Opal to Beryl in The Silver Spike aboard a miserable, storm-tossed grain barge. Neither man had been to Beryl before. Not long afterward, Beryl was one of many Imperial cities sacked by the "Wicker Man" (the Limper) on his rampage south in pursuit of Lady and Croaker.
|“||In Beryl [the Limper] encountered wizardry almost the equal of that he had faced at the Tower. The city's defenders put up a ferocious fight rather than bend the knee to him. His fury, his insanity, then, cowed even Toadkiller Dog.||”|
On Raven and Case's return trip back to the northern continent, they avoided Beryl entirely by soaring on the backs of Darling's windwhales. When the Limper returned to Beryl, the city had been fully evacuated by the Lady's Imperial successors, who now understood the threat he posed. Beryl was presumably rebuilt by the Empire in much the same way that Opal was seen to be rebuilt, after the Limper was neutralized in the north.