Once I thought he was an atheist who hated the whole idea of gods and religion, but after further exposure I decided it was only the retailers of religion he detested.

Murgen, Bleak Seasons

Blade was a lean, dark-skinned, priest-hating man originating in the southern continent somewhere north of Taglios. He and his two close friends Willow Swan and Cordy Mather were hired by the ruler of Taglios – the Prahbrindrah Drah – to organize the first armed resistance against the initial invasion attempts of the Shadowmasters. Over the subsequent years of the Shadowmaster wars and afterward, Blade remained a close ally of the Black Company. His perfectly-executed work as a deep cover mole was critical in the Company's victory against Longshadow at the Battle of Charandaprash.

Blade was notorious for his outspoken disdain for the cult leaders of Taglios and his ceaseless efforts to turn the Taglian people against their priestly castes. He was also very physically fit, cool-headed in battle, and very proficient in armed combat, all of which suggests military training.

Before Shadow Games[edit | edit source]

Blade had no trouble grasping the intricacies of scheming in the old empire. He must have had experience.

Lady, Dreams of Steel, ch. 53

Blade's early history is fragmented and is never explicitly revealed in the Annals. It is known that he was thrown to the crocodiles by priests whom he had insulted. He was saved by Cordy Mather and Willow Swan during their wandering, southward trek. In Bleak Seasons, Murgen wrote: "Blade looks like he might have been born Nar. Like them he is tall, black and muscular, without an ounce of fat on him." However, the Nar who joined the Black Company did not have any particular reaction to him. He also made anecdotal jokes in Shadow Games referencing casual time spent in Gea-Xle with Mather and Swan, suggesting that he was not a wanted man there and that they rescued him before entering that city. Additionally, the K'Hlata brothers the Geek and the Freak examined him closely upon first meeting him and seemed very displeased, but told Croaker they would discuss it with him later. This suggests he could have been a disgraced member of the K'Hlata or perhaps simply a related tribe known to them, but, the conversation between the brothers and Croaker was not recorded in the Annals.

After his rescue, Blade became life-long friends with Cordy and Willow, and the three of them opened a brewery and bar in Taglios, the first of its kind. Despite being relatively content in this comfortable situation, Blade was still overall displeased with his life and was typically a taciturn man. A few years later, he finally had a change of heart, and confessed "for the first time I'm glad Cordy and Willow dragged me out" while plotting with Lady to assassinate Shadowspinner in Dreams of Steel.

Shadow Games[edit | edit source]

In Taglios, Blade aided Swan and Cordy in repelling the initial invasion of Shadowlanders during the opening conflicts of the Shadowmaster wars. These battles were referred to as "Willow's War" in Croaker's Annals. About a year later, the three accompanied Smoke and the Radisha Drah to welcome the Black Company and attempt to enlist them into service.

Dreams of Steel and Bleak Seasons[edit | edit source]

Blade became a military leader under Lady, and was instrumental to the success of several battles against the Shadowmasters' forces. He developed intense, borderline irrational devotion and loyalty to Lady. Blade accompanied her and her new Strangler allies (Narayan Singh, Ram, and two arm-holders) during their covert assassination of Shadowspinner. While she struggled with her rumel in strangling Spinner, Blade appeared and stabbed the supernaturally-resilient Shadowmaster through the heart. This helped change the course of the Siege of Dejagore.

She Is the Darkness[edit | edit source]

Blade, Willow Swan and Cordy Mather by Виталий Стрелец

After Croaker, Lady's husband, returned from his odyssey with Soulcatcher in Dreams of Steel, he makes his hatred of Blade known due to his jealousy over Blade's feelings for his wife. Blade defects to Longshadow's army after an outburst from Croaker, and becomes a key general for the final surviving Shadowmaster. The religious leaders of Taglios in particular send several armies against him, with Croaker's encouragement, because of his well-known hatred and prior persecution of them. Blade cleverly, and successfully, destroys each of their armies.

Blade rises up to become general over nearly a third of Longshadow's forces by the time of the Battle of Charandaprash. To everyone's surprise, Blade maneuvers his Shadowlander army into an indefensible position, and then orders them to surrender to their enemy, Croaker the Taglian Liberator. Blade and Croaker then reunite in a big embrace, revealing that Blade's defection was a deception from the beginning. Having tricked Longshadow and Mogaba into giving him a critical role in their army, he betrayed them in turn, dealing them a crippling blow.

Blade accompanied the Black Company across the glittering plain. He becomes one of the Captured, frozen in cave of the ancients beneath the fortress with no name, when the Company is ambushed by Soulcatcher.

Soldiers Live[edit | edit source]

During the 4-year gap between Water Sleeps and Soldiers Live, Blade is restored to consciousness by Sleepy and the Black Company, and brought to Hsien. During the Company's time in Hsien, he is in charge of the men gathering treasure in the fortress at the center of the glittering plain. Blade is the first to realize that Goblin is still alive.

Blade leads the cavalry forces that retake Dejagore from the Protectorate, and is then in charge of the garrison left there. He later participates in combat against Mogaba's middle army, the veteran Second Territorial, during the bloody Battle at the Shadowlander cemetery. He is killed there alongside his longtime friend Willow Swan and many ranking members of the Black Company. After his body was recovered, he was buried beside Swan.

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