The standard, or banner, of the Black Company was a critical piece of the Company's history, and a major psychological component of its presence on the battlefield or on the march. The role of standard-bearer, charged with carrying the banner into combat and protecting it, was a deeply respected position in the Company. The standard hanged from a crosspiece that was attached to the Lance of Passion, a priceless Company relic which turned out to be a shadowgate key.

The first standard Edit

At the beginning of The Black Company (during their service to the Syndic of Beryl), the Company standard had the following characteristics:

A field of scarlet with nine hanged men in black and six yellow daggers in the upper left and lower right quadrants, respectively, while the upper right quandrant featured a shattered skull and the lower left boasted a bird astride a severed head. It might have been a raven. Or an eagle.

The meaning and origin of these symbols were nowhere to be found in the Annals. This banner was replaced with the newer, much more famous one, sometime shortly after the Company took the contract with Soulcatcher in service of the Lady. The first standard was apparently lost or discarded, and forgotten by all except Croaker. This first banner was not described in any detail until the final chronicle, Soldiers Live. The last known example of this standard was kept by the Nar of Gea-Xle, and turned over to Croaker in Shadow Games. Croaker considered recreating the first standard when he and the Company exited the Hsien shadowgate and entered the glittering plain.

The second standard Edit

Throughout most of the Annals, the standard used by the Black Company was a vast piece of cloth, embroidered with the Company's new symbol: a silver circle surrounding a silver human skull with elongated canine teeth. The skull lacked a lower jaw and was exhaling fire; one eye socket was scarlet. The skull was actually Soulcatcher's sigil. It was the same sigil on the mainsail of her flagship, The Dark Wings.

After the standard went missing in the Battle of Dejagore, Lady used the hollowed-out head of the Shadowmaster called Shadowspinner as the Company's temporary totem in Dreams of Steel.

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