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The consolidation wars were the series of conflicts which forged the Lady's Empire from formerly independent kingdoms in the northern continent. They were waged by the Ten Who Were Taken and their armies on behalf of the Lady after she and they were liberated from the Barrowland following 370 years of subterranean imprisonment. The term "consolidation wars" was used by Murgen to refer to the string of conquests that happened in the decades leading up to The Black Company, but, the Empire continued its expansion for years afterward.

Before Croaker's Annals[]

Preceding events[]

The Lady and the Ten accomplished two major actions before undertaking the consolidation wars. First, they exterminated the Resurrectionists "root and branch" so the Lady could guarantee her husband, the Dominator, would remain imprisoned within the Great Barrow. This was also almost certainly when they asserted command over the preexisting Eternal Guard, to assist in keeping the Dominator neutralized. Next, the Lady and the Ten built the Tower at Charm, a gigantic, sorcery-hardened headquarters. Only after that did the Taken build up their armies and wage the consolidation wars.

Major conquests of the consolidation wars[]

Croaker and the other Annalists of the Black Company (including Lady herself) did not supply many details about the consolidation wars. One exception was the following important blanket statement that referred to the consolidation period: the Lady lost many battles, but, never lost a war.

Major events of the consolidation wars are as follows (not necessarily in chronological order):

  • Capture of the Salient, presumably one of the first Imperial provinces, and its major fortress Meystrikt
    • The Lady negotiates with the free republic of Roses (a major city within the Salient) that it can remain an independent enclave despite being completely within the bounds of her Empire
  • Capture of the kingdom of Forsberg and its capital Oar (Forsberg was presumably another of the earliest Imperial provinces)
  • Capture of Lords, Elm, Rye, and other noteworthy cities in the central and northern parts of the continent
  • Capture of the Jewel City of Opal, on the southern shore (Sea of Torments) of the continent
  • Capture of the easternmost holdings, including the five huge cities of Rust, Frost, Thud, Barns, and Ade, all located in an arc east of the Plain of Fear

Murgen, in his Annals of She Is the Darkness, would recall that the Groghor people were wiped out during the consolidation wars. The Groghor language would survive only with him, and ironically, the Lady herself.

Later Imperial annexations[]

The consolidation wars were apparently halted when the Rebel of the Circle of Eighteen fought back against the Empire. This occurred at least 3 years before the arrival of the Company in the north (The Black Company). Before the Circle was defeated, however, the Lady's legate Soulcatcher (one of the Ten) would still initiate the annexation of Beryl across the Sea of Torments. Later annexations like Aloe in Port of Shadows; Tally during Shadows Linger; and the Imperial action in faraway Juniper could all be considered a continuation or restarting of the consolidation wars.