Deal is a settlement, town, or city with a major fortress in the north of the Lady's Empire, located in the northern part of the province of Forsberg, within "howling distance" of Oar. No details are established in the Annals about Deal itself beyond its fortress, which was a significant location in The Black Company. The fortress can comfortably house hundreds of people and features a large, open courtyard.
The Black CompanyEdit
The Limper held the fortress at Deal until it was seized from him by Raker, one of the most effective Rebel leaders among the Circle of Eighteen. Its loss was a significant blow both to the empire and to the Limper's reputation.
Shortly after the Black Company entered into the service of the Lady and disembarked in Opal, they learned they were needed north. The Captain informed the senior members that the loss of the fortress at Deal was an indicator of the Rebel gaining a foothold. After their slow march north into Forsberg, the Company recaptured the fortress in the dead of night. Raker was outraged, but this was also yet another humiliation for the Limper and his people inflicted by the Company.
The main body of the Company remained in the fortress at Deal for at least one month. Croaker recorded that the place was big for the Company, which numbered in the low hundreds. In that month, they fought off four Rebel counterattacks.
To purchase supplies, they sent weekly "turnip patrols" into Oar. The civilian Flick was not supposed to leave Deal, but he accompanied Candy, Raven, Doughbelly, Jolly, and some others on the fateful turnip patrol, one month into their stay at the fortress, during which Raven was attacked by local Oar thugs working for the Limper's subordinates Zouad and Lane. After an unauthorized but productive adventure in Oar, Croaker, One-Eye, Goblin, Elmo, and the others rejoined the rest of the Company in Deal. Shortly after they returned, the entire Company was sent south into Elm. Raker swept through Forsberg after this, recapturing the entire province and presumably Deal as well. However, like most other holdings that had been lost to the Circle, Deal was recaptured by the Lady's Imperial armies after the Rebel's horrendous defeat at the Battle of Charm.
The White RoseEdit
Croaker was imprisoned in the fortress at Deal for a few days during The White Rose. He, and the Black Company, had abandoned the empire and were now serving Darling. Croaker had created a diversion to buy time for his friends and allies to escape to the Plain of Fear. He was captured by Whisper and her forces. He awakened in the fortress at Deal, but did not immediately know where he was. Whisper demanded to know the whereabouts of her stolen documents, but left him alone when she received report that her men had tracked them down.
Later, the Lady arrived at Deal, and demanded that Croaker inform her what had literally shredded 20 hounds and 100 armored men from Whisper's force. Croaker genuinely did not know, but it turned out to be Toadkiller Dog, a demonic monster disguised as a simple hound, that had been accidentally freed from the Barrowland by Raven's foolhardy tinkering. The Lady had Croaker face off with a large Imperial soldier, and then briefly tortured, but promised no more harm would come to him. Two days after the Lady's departure, Whisper brought in the Limper, Croaker's hated enemy, to his cell. Croaker had not seen the Limper since Shadows Linger when he had hacked the Taken to pieces. He was now "human wreckage" and needed to be supported by a miniature flying carpet. The Limper, with his accomplice Whisper watching proudly from the doorway, promised to kill the physician. But they were interrupted by the Lady, who confronted them in a magic projection. She made it clear that not one more single insubordination would be tolerated. The Limper and Whisper departed, utterly aghast.
Later that same night, Croaker and the unconscious Raven were moved out to the castle's open courtyard, to the Lady's flying carpet. Raven was tied down, and after half an hour, the Lady herself flew them out of Deal. Croaker would next awaken in the Tower at Charm.