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Windy Country

Conjectural location of the Empty Hills, near the circled Windy Country

The Empty Hills, also called the Hollow Hills, are a significant, treacherous mountain or hill range in the northern continent. It apparently shares boundaries with one or both of the desolate Windy Country and the lethal Plain of Fear. It is mentioned briefly in both Shadows Linger and The White Rose.

Croaker the Annalist did not personally travel through the Empty Hills when the Black Company passed through, so details about this region in the Annals are sparing. It does not seem to have any supernatural dangers like the Plain of Fear, so its hazards are limited to terrain and weather. The Hills sustain very small populations of rarely-seen human natives; the rare, addictive parsifal plant grows there.

Shadows Linger[]

The Black Company was garrisoned in the town called Tome, in Tally province, when the Lady notified them that they must begin marching westward to Frost, then to the Barrowland. The Captain was enraged when he realized the distance they needed to march, and was especially concerned about the Empty Hills, the Windy Country, and the Plain of Fear. As ordered, the main body of the Company marched through the Hills and the other places. Croaker and a handful of other Company brothers were spared the trip by being flown over it aboard flying carpets by the new Taken. Some who made the trek through the Hills were picked up and flown by Whisper later, after Croaker had been at the Barrowland for five weeks. When they met Croaker, they shared "harrowing fables about the Plain of Fear and the Empty Hills", but, Croaker did not record any of those stories specifically in his Annals.

The Company apparently had not crossed the Empty Hills during their earlier eastward march to Tally, which took place before Shadows Linger. Croaker and One-Eye discussed the Hills briefly with an overtone of novelty while examining a map. But the region's dangers were well-known to the Captain.

The White Rose[]

After Croaker was subjected to the Lady's notorious Eye at the Tower at Charm, she showed atypical concern for his well-being. She sent her best physician of the Tower Guard to help him recover from the hellish experience of the Eye. The physician gave Croaker an impressive, effective concoction which included medicine from the top four leaves of the parsifal plant. Croaker, a physician himself, inquired about the medicine's origin. The Tower physician informed him that the plant came from the Hollow Hills, was used by the natives as a narcotic, and that there was "talk in council of growing it commercially after the fighting ends" as a medicinal.

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