Flying carpets were magical airborne conveyances which "required a strong-willed, powerful sorcerer to drive them... [demanding] undivided attention every moment they were aloft". They were extremely costly to make, and for centuries, they were used exclusively by the Ten Who Were Taken, the Lady, and presumably the Dominator. Then, during the Books of the North, they were used extensively by the new Taken. During the war between the Lady's Empire and Darling's New White Rose Rebellion, flying carpets were heavily modified with aerodynamic levers and flaps to allow non-wizards to operate them in controlled free-fall.
The Howler was the most prolific creator of flying carpets, and the best pilot among the Ten. Then, among the new Taken, it was Benefice who was most admired by the Lady regarding his skill with the carpets. Passengers on carpets needed to be restrained, or were warned to remain as motionless as possible, to prevent unbalancing the sensitive apparatus entirely.
The Black CompanyEdit
Members of the Black Company were flown on carpets on several occasions, Croaker most commonly. Croaker's first ride on a carpet was also the first time he had seen one, allowing him to finally realize how the Taken were traversing considerable distances more quickly than anyone else. During his first flight, he was a passenger alongside Raven on Soulcatcher's carpet. They flew out to conduct their ambush of Whisper (the most prominent and dangerous of the Circle of Eighteen) and the Limper, a traitorous member of the Taken who was meeting her in secret.
The Ten Who Were Taken used their carpets to ceaselessly ferry the best veterans from their various armies throughout the empire to reinforce the defenders of the Tower leading up to the Battle of Charm. The Howler notably used his carpet to drop disease-ridden orbs onto the Rebel horde, wiping out tens of thousands. Upon his return flight to the Tower, the traitor Soulcatcher somehow sabotaged his carpet, and he crashed at high speed into the top of the Tower. (He was thought to have been killed in the fall, but survived and fled south.) Soulcatcher's own flying carpet was piloted by one of her loyalist wizard acolytes, who functioned as her body double when the Lady and Croaker pursued her. It was thrown from the air by one of the Lady's dragonfly demons and commandeered by her moments later. The carpet was battered and structurally compromised in the subsequent fight against Soulcatcher. The Lady was barely able to fly it to the top of the Tower before it dropped away.
At the Battle of Juniper, a total of four flying carpets were destroyed. Three were lost to magic-artillery fire from the creatures of the Black Castle. The first of these was Feather's: she died after her carpet was struck and she slammed into the ground. Her husband Journey, another member of the new Taken, attempted to get revenge for the death of his wife, and lost his carpet in the process. He immediately stole the Limper's carpet, and likewise lost that one to the Black Castle's defenders. A fourth carpet, the one belonging to the Lady herself, was demolished when the Captain stole it and crashed it at extreme speed into the ocean outside of Juniper.
The White RoseEdit
As the Lady replenished the ranks of her new Taken to contend with the New White Rose Rebellion, she and her minions built many flying carpets. In addition to the traditional ones intended for the exclusive use of the Taken, the Lady ingeniously had many new, purpose-built carpets created, featuring aerodynamic levers and flaps. These new carpets allowed non-wizards to operate them like gliders in the event of controlled free-fall. These were created to defeat the anti-magic null field which surrounded Darling, the leader of the Rebels. The new carpets were staged in the town called Horse, and were used in battle against Darling's forces a few miles outside the town. The Annalist, Croaker, was even given brief control of the Lady's own carpet during the skirmish.
One of the new Taken, called Benefice, was especially skilled with carpets, and could fly whole formations of them by himself. And by this point, the Limper, now reduced to a head and torso with partial, shattered limbs, depended upon a miniature carpet to maintain mobility.
In the aftermath of the Battle of the Barrowland, Silent closed the Rite of Naming on the Lady, stripping her of all her sorcery. All the flying carpets were rendered useless in that moment, and those which were in use by the new Taken plummeted out of the sky. Carpets seem to have vanished from the northern continent after this point.
Dreams of SteelEdit
In the southern continent, the Howler and his tentative ally Longshadow combined their magic talents and created a very small flying carpet. Howler would use it to drop spies from the Shadowlands into Taglios. He also used it to kidnap Soulcatcher, thinking she was her sister, Lady. Croaker stabbed the Howler with the Lance of Passion, infecting Howler with an agonizing sorcery that caused him to eventually crash this new carpet, wrecking it.
She Is the DarknessEdit
The Howler had at least three new carpets available to the Howler during She Is the Darkness. One was relatively small and would be filled his holes by missile fire from Lady and her forces, only to be patched afterward. The other was considerably larger, able to transport a dozen men and their gear. A third carpet was black and could carry three people only. The Howler used this one to bring Narayan Singh and the Daughter of Night to Soulcatcher.
The last two flying carpets in the world belonged to Soulcatcher in Water Sleeps. Both of them were sabotaged with strategic saw cuts by the Black Company's new mole, Jaul Barundandi. As she flew out of the Palace of Taglios to terrorize the Nyueng Bao De Duang's Vinh Gao Ghang Temple of Ghanghesha, her carpet deteriorated and she slammed into the great river. She did not suspect sabotage until she returned and examined the final carpet, and found the cuts. After she used that final carpet, it was destroyed by Uncle Doj. Sleepy, Uncle Doj, and their comrades could hear Soulcatcher's outrage when she discovered the destroyed device, despite being separated from her by the Shadowgate.
The Howler, forced to support the Black Company after his awakening at Gharhawnes, built several brand-new flying carpets and shared the secrets of their creation with Tobo. They remained in use by the Company after the Howler's death.