|“||Wings unfolded, long wings of darkness that cast shadows where no shadows should have been. Red eyes flared like windows suddenly opened on the hottest forges of hell. Glossy talons, like obsidian knives, slashed at the air. A terrible screech ripped from a mouth filled with sharp, dark teeth... Vast dark wings spanned the night, masking the moon and stars. Fires animated wise and evil eyes. Another limned huge needle teeth.||”|
The fire-eater was a demon summoned by the Limper to kill Darling, Bomanz, Silent, and others during The Silver Spike. The fiery clash in which the fire-eater fought was also glimpsed by Murgen and several others about 50 miles away during Shadow Games, which took place concurrently with The Silver Spike.
The Silver SpikeEdit
As the Limper and Toadkiller Dog rampaged across the southern continent, his ragtag army looted an incredibly heavy artifact, an "obsidian serpent, arrow-straight, ten feet long and six inches thick". They were pursued by Darling and her allies aboard a windwhale. The Limper sought to enter the Temple of Travellers' Repose and protect himself there, so he awakened the demon from its dormant state, and allowed it to consume several fires until it became gigantic. Using his sorcery to take command of it, he then ordered the fire-eater to kill the windwhale. It would be a lethal distraction for his enemies while he breached the protected walls of the Temple.
The first aboard the windwhale to see the threat in the night sky was Virgil – the sentient talking buzzard who often antagonized Bomanz. Virgil sounded the alarm. When Silent realized the danger, he attempted some warding spells, but these proved useless against the demon. Bomanz's most powerful warding spell caused the approaching fire-eater great pain, but did not stop it, either. The approach of the demon was so frightening that the three Torque brothers (Stubby, Paddlefoot, and Brother Bear) panicked and threatened to throw Bomanz off if he could not save them. So Bomanz ordered the menhir called Scar to evacuate everyone – humans and mantas – and then entered into a trance. Taking courage from his victory a year earlier against the Barrowland dragon, he sent his disembodied consciousness to foil the fire-eater.
Meanwhile, the fire-eater attacked one of the windwhale's gas bladders, the organs it used to stay afloat. Its attack grievously injured the beast, and the fire-eater gluttonously consumed some of the flames of the spreading, oily fires. But Bomanz, in his spirit form, put out some of the oil fires inside the windwhale's body, and then warded away the fire-eater when it attempted to breach a different gas bladder. Finally, Bomanz "evicted the commands" placed on the fire-eater by the Limper, and next ordered the demon to turn against its former master. The fire-eater was killed by the Limper, but at the cost of his wicker body.
Bomanz knew that the fire-eater did not originate from the Barrowland or anyplace else within the Lady's Empire, so it must have been from one of the independent locales that the Limper looted between the boundary of the empire and north of the Temple.