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Flying carpets are priceless, sorcery-driven airborne conveyances which require "a strong-willed, powerful sorcerer to drive them... [demanding] undivided attention every moment they were aloft". Despite appearing little more than "ragged carpet[s] stretched on a crude wooden frame", they were extremely costly and time-consuming to make, and for decades, 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 all of the new Taken. During the war between the Lady's Empire and the New White Rose Rebellion, the Lady created brand new kinds of flying carpets with levers and aerodynamic flaps to allow non-wizards to operate them in a controlled glide. The purpose of this innovation was to defeat Darling's anti-sorcery null. All the flying carpets were destroyed at the Battle of the Barrowland. For many years afterward, the precious handful of newly-created carpets in existence remained available only to the Howler and Soulcatcher, the last surviving members of the Ten. But, in Soldiers Live they were finally made available to the Black Company, which now also dominated the skies using newly-acquired Voroshk rheitgeistiden (flying posts) which any able-bodied non-wizard could use.

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 Company[]

In The Black Company, members of the 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 decrepit-looking carpet. They flew out to the Forest of Cloud 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. Shapeshifter and the Lady also must have used their carpets when they arrived at the same location, but they did so unseen.

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-spreading orbs onto the Rebel horde, rapidly 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 actually survived and secretly 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.

Port of Shadows[]

During Port of Shadows, the Limper's carpet was destroyed 2,300 feet above the Plain of Fear by an explosive device planted by Otto and Hagop.

In the historical narrative of questionable veracity that took place during the Domination era, the mysterious sorcerer Papa and later his son Precious Pearl also operated a flying carpet that had been stolen from the Howler.

Shadows Linger[]

In Shadows Linger, a select group of Black Company veterans was ferried all across the northern continent by the new Taken. Key destinations were the Barrowland and Juniper.

At the Battle of Juniper, a total of four flying carpets were destroyed. Three were lost to exploding sorcery from the castle creatures, firing from the top of their black castle. The first of these was Feather's: she died after her carpet was hit, and she slammed into the ground in the Buskin. 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 that one was destroyed. 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.

On The Long Run short stories[]

The new Taken used their carpets to pursue, monitor, and attack the Black Company throughout the On The Long Run arc. However, many carpets were wrecked during the violent encounters described therein.

"Cranky Bitch"[]

Three new Taken stalked the Black Company in the skies over the Gap during the events of "Cranky Bitch". They used their carpets to rapidly gain total control over the desperate pirates of the Pocatose archipelago. During the pirates' third sea clash against the Company, one of the Taken flew an attack directly against the Company's well-armed ship. This sorcerer was using a carpet described by Croaker as “the small personal size given the least favored”. Due to the foresight of the Lieutenant and Candy, and the careful preparations of the three wizards One-Eye, Goblin, and Silent, they fatally shot this new Taken right out of the sky with sorcery-powered high-angle ballistae. The dead sorcerer's small carpet was presumably destroyed and lost beneath the waves of the Gap.

"Leta of the Thousand Sorrows"[]

Two carpets were destroyed in midair by the Letas, the new allies of the Black Company, in "Leta of the Thousand Sorrows". One of the riders – a young unnamed woman – was killed on impact, and the other rider – Whisper – was injured and barely escaped with the aid of a third Taken and their carpet. Later, the Taken flew overhead twice more, dropping subtle sorcery attacks alongside large barrels filled with oil.

"Shaggy Dog Bridge"[]

At least two carpets were destroyed – and two Taken killed – during the events of "Shaggy Dog Bridge". Several new Taken were blasted from the air by Blind Emon over the castle of the Master. Whisper herself survived such an attack despite losing her own carpet.

The White Rose[]

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 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, but nearly lost control due to lack of training.

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 for mobility. Croaker first saw the Limper aboard this mini-carpet during his brief imprisonment at the Imperial fortress at Deal.

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 flying carpets were rendered useless in that moment, and those which were in use by the new Taken plummeted out of the sky. (A few years later, in Dreams of Steel, Soulcatcher would confirm to Croaker that no more flying carpets existed after this point.)

Dreams of Steel[]

In the southern continent, the Howler and his tentative ally Longshadow combined their magic talents and created a very small flying carpet. For a time it was the only one in the world. Howler would use it to drop Longshadow's spies and shadowweavers (most prominently One Who Leads Eight Who Serve) from Shadowcatch into Taglios. Later he used it to bring Smoke directly to Longshadow at Overlook, so that the latter could enslave the former with sorcery. He finally used it to ferry three of Longshadow's best bodyguards from Overlook to help him kidnap Lady (who turned out to be Soulcatcher masquerading as 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 at Overlook, wrecking it.

She Is the Darkness[]

The Howler had at least three new carpets available during She Is the Darkness. One was relatively small and would be filled with 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.

Water Sleeps[]

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 at the 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 to fly south, it was destroyed by Uncle Doj not far from the Shadowgate. Sleepy, Uncle Doj, and their comrades could hear Soulcatcher's outrage when she discovered the destroyed device, despite being separated from her by the sound-muffling effects of the Shadowgate.

Soldiers Live[]

The Howler, coerced 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. However, they were mostly supplanted by the rheitgeistiden, flying posts acquired from the Voroshk which any able-bodied person could use.