The Captured is the name Sleepy and her group used to refer to the members of the Black Company, their allies, and even some prisoners that were trapped for 15 years in suspended animation underneath fortress with no name, at the center of the glittering plain. The imprisonment of the Captured marked the climax of She Is the Darkness, and, Sleepy's dedication to their liberation was the driving force for many of the events of Water Sleeps.
They numbered about 35 and were located in a level known as the cave of the ancients, having been placed there by Soulcatcher and her assistant which she seduced, Willow Swan. In an act of mockery, Soulcatcher placed her sister Lady, and Lady's husband Croaker, together in an embrace: this was the second time Lady was buried alive with a husband. After fleeing across the glittering plain and re-entering the homeworld with Swan on the backs of two black stallions, Soulcatcher tinkered with Swan's memories of the event. She genuinely considered the Captured to be as good as dead, and did not consider their return to be within the realm of possibility.
List of the Captured[edit | edit source]
Although Sleepy spent years trying to free the Captured, she was never able to determine the exact number of those who were trapped, much less a list of names. The most common tally was 35. Below is the list of the individuals or groups who were identified in the Annals:
- Prahbrindrah Drah
- Thai Dei (brother of Ky Sahra)
- Cordy Mather (died)
- Longshadow (the last Shadowmaster)
- the Howler
- Isi (Nar general)
- Ochiba (Nar general)
- Red Rudy
- Pham Quang (Nyueng Bao bodyguard)
- several unidentified Nyueng Bao and Shadar men
A group of 7 Captured were accidentally killed by Cordy Mather while they were in stasis:
- at least two Nyueng Bao bodyguards
- at least two Shadar soldiers
- Longinus, misidentified as Cletus by Sleepy in Water Sleeps
About 13 people narrowly avoided becoming the Captured and fled onto the plain. But they would all be killed by shadows:
Sleepy liberates the Captured[edit | edit source]
The surviving Captured were freed as a result of the ceaseless efforts of Sleepy and Ky Sahra, who used the golden pickax (a shadowgate key) to gain access to the glittering plain. They and a group of others, including primarily Willow Swan, One-Eye, and the Radisha Drah, entered the cave of the ancients and were forced to choose only 5 family and friends to liberate in the first round of rescues. Croaker, Lady, Murgen, Thai Dei, and the Prahbrindrah Drah were the first wave to be freed.
Sleepy also discovered a small group of Captured who died after being frozen. These people had been disturbed by Cordy Mather, who somehow awakened, panicked, and unintentionally broke their protection spells by making contact with their bodies. Cordy then attempted to flee, but tripped one of the spring-loaded booby traps that was placed in the cavern by ancient Stranglers. He was killed by the trap's poison pin.
The prisoner Longshadow and the unpredictable Howler were not even considered for liberation by Sleepy during the first round of liberations. All the rest of the surviving Captured were eventually freed during several expeditions, led by Sleepy with the golden pickax, back and forth between the ice cave and the Company's new headquarters, the Abode of Ravens in Hsien. Less than five years after the rest of the Captured were freed, Croaker would record in Soldiers Live that only he and Lady remained alive.
Others frozen before the Captured[edit | edit source]
Also trapped alongside the Captured were many ancient and mysterious men, from any number of the sixteen worlds formerly linked by the plain, whose stories had been lost to everyone but Shivetya. These ancients were placed there countless centuries beforehand. They were covered with much more webs of ice than the Captured, some of them fully cocooned. These individuals were left untouched, and both Soulcatcher and Sleepy took great pains to ensure their bodies remained undisturbed.