|“||The black castle is the Dominator's escape hole. When it reaches a certain size and certain set of circumstances, the creatures who live there, who are his creatures, heart and soul, will conjure him out of the Great Barrow. Here.||”|
The Black Castle was a mysterious fortress in the city of Juniper and a central location during the events of Shadows Linger. It was inhabited by Black Watchers, who collected human bodies and used evil sorcery to incorporate them in the structure, increasing its size. The frightening edifice was largely ignored by the population for generations. It turned out to be the key to a centuries-old escape plot orchestrated by the Dominator.
Before the Annals Edit
At some point during the Rebellion which threatened to topple his empire, the Dominator realized he would be defeated by his archenemy, the White Rose. He foresaw his imprisonment in the Barrowland so he initiated a plot involving evil sorcery to escape. He sent a faithful follower clear across the northern continent to the western seaboard, into Juniper in the frozen north. The follower carried a "seed" which would slowly grow into the structure observed in Shadows Linger so as human remains were supplied to it.
As the castle was intended to grow quickly, it was meant to be a relatively quick escape route, and the Dominator did not plan to wait for centuries. He was unaware how difficult it would be to move corpses around in Juniper, which had a unique cult of the dead. The city tightly controlled human remains, storing them in the sacred Catacombs beneath a place called the Enclosure. The city's leaders maintained a dedicated bureaucracy of Custodians, a police force of Inquisitors, and the mysterious sentinels called Guardians within the Catacombs itself to enforce their cult of the dead. As such, the Black Watchers were forced to bide their time over many generations to grow the hideous structure.
Shadows Linger Edit
There were several people who delivered bodies to the castle for money, including primarily Raven, a few Rebel refugees from the Lady's Empire, Marron Shed, and on Shed's last trip, Lisa Daele Bowalk. Two unidentified Rebels who had been arrested by the Black Company and who were interrogated by the new Taken, admitted to selling corpses to the castle as well, but in much smaller quantities.
The Black Castle was actually a portal designed to free the Dominator upon completion. The Dominator's minions managed to spread the seed of the castle through amulets given to several people, including Marron Shed. The amulets kill their hosts unexpectedly and begin growing a new Black Castle.
The castle in Juniper, the only one that grew to significant size, was destroyed by the Lady with the help of the Limper and her three new Taken at the Battle of Juniper. During this event, the Black Company suffered hundreds of fatalities.
The proto-castle, and "seeds" Edit
A much smaller proto-castle, outside Meadenvil, was also in the process of growing. This one was reported by Croaker to the Lady, who had it destroyed. The last remaining "seeds" were stuffed by Croaker into the mouth of the barely-living Limper, for the Lady to find and destroy as well.