Goblin was one of the Black Company's three main wizards during the modern Annals. He was a small man, barely five feet tall, with a high-pitched voice and a grin often compared to that of a frog or a toad. He was skilled in creating illusions and sleeping spells, which made him useful in reconnaissance and infiltration missions. He had a notorious, ongoing feud with his fellow wizard One-Eye. They frequently harassed each other with insults and competed against one another with increasingly elaborate illusion spells. Despite the tension, this was how they expressed their friendship.
Before The Black Company[edit | edit source]
Very few details are established in the available Annals regarding Goblin's origins. It is known he joined the Company sometime after One-Eye and Tom-Tom joined. He was from the southern continent and like the rest of the Company, had never traveled to the north until the group's departure from Beryl in The Black Company. He was present at the siege of Tember, which was an event that Sleepy would later surmise took place long before Croaker the physician took on the additional duties of Annalist, and presumably during the tenure of one of Croaker's more immediate Annalist predecessors, Miller Ladora and Kanwas Scar.
The Black Company[edit | edit source]
Goblin is first introduced when he helps Tom-Tom investigate Necropolitan Hill, where the forvalaka were imprisoned according to local legend. After entering, he realizes Tom-Tom was correct: a real forvalaka had escaped and now posed a genuine threat to the Black Company. He subsequently enters the Paper Tower a short time later, to chase down the forvalaka after it forced entry into the Bastion. He and the other wizards, however, have little impact on the brutal outcome.
After the Black Company was recruited by Soulcatcher, their employer the Lady established a psychic link with Goblin, in order to relay very urgent messages. A brief exposure to the Eye caused the tiny wizard a great deal of pain and made him wary of the Taken's power. Later he created an amulet for Croaker, which Silent used to track the Annalist into the Forest of Cloud, in order to back him up in case of trouble. Goblin also used his illusions in the capture of the newlywed Rebel leaders Feather and Journey, who had been newly-promoted into the Circle of Eighteen.
Goblin fought in and survived the epic Battle of Charm. It was later revealed in Port of Shadows that the diminutive wizard personally fought an inconclusive sorcery-duel against the physically massive Rebel sorcerer called "Essentially Capable Shiiraki, the Spellsmith" at Charm. Shiiraki also survived, and later joined the Lady's Empire, eventually becoming known as Buzz.
Shadows Linger[edit | edit source]
Goblin was chosen to be part of the advance team of 25 Company men that were flown from the Barrowland, into the city of Juniper, by the new Taken via flying carpet. This team was led by Elmo and included the physician and Annalist Croaker; the veterans Pawnbroker, Kingpin, and Otto; and other trusted soldiers like Sharkey, Tickle, Crake, Walleye, and Stork. This elite group made the trip ahead of the rest of the Company, and were therefore spared the long march across the northern continent and through the frigid Wolander Mountains.
"Shaggy Dog Bridge" and "Bone Eaters"[edit | edit source]
Goblin and the Company fled with Darling for 4 years across the northern continent, closely pursued by the new Taken. This included the events of "Shaggy Dog Bridge", during which he helped rig explosives beneath the key bridge over the Rip. Later, in "Bone Eaters", he used a disgusting illusion to scare off the eldest member of the brigand gang to which Chasing Midnight belonged. A few weeks later he helped One-Eye and Silent keep the bulk of the Black Company and their train of tag-along refugees at bay while Chasing Midnight, Darling, and others destroyed the hungry ghosts. He also survived the Battle of Queen's Bridge, where 100 out of 200 Company brothers fell.
Then, with the blessing of the menhirs, he settled with the Company survivors in the Hole, a series of caverns near the center of the Plain of Fear. They remained there for 2 uneventful years, after which the events of The White Rose took place.
The White Rose[edit | edit source]
The Company and the Lady created an alliance, and Goblin helped in the battle against the Dominator, who was finally killed at the Battle of the Barrowland. Goblin and One-Eye pierced his skull with the silver spike, where the Dominator's power became imprisoned. Goblin would be one of the only 10 Company survivors of that battle. He, One-Eye, Murgen, Otto, and Hagop chose to remain with Croaker, the newly-elected captain, while Silent and the three Torque brothers parted ways with Darling.
Shadow Games[edit | edit source]
On their way south after the Battle of the Barrowland, Goblin accompanied Croaker to the Lady's Tower at Charm, but insisted on leaving as soon as possible. During their two-week stay, Croaker was given the rank of general in the Imperial army and also a legate. With his newfound powers, Croaker commissioned both Goblin and One-Eye as colonels. The two wizards bickered over who outranked whom. When Croaker and the Lady finally had the promised dinner at the Gardens in Opal, Goblin and One-Eye cast an illusion spell on the Annalist in order to have some fun. Croaker appeared like a fire demon, which terrified everybody there, while he was initially unaware of the illusion.
Goblin became a key participant in the Shadowmaster wars during the next several years.
South of Taglios, Goblin had the Company's first encounter with shadowweavers. Before Goblin could ambush them, these six shadowweavers were killed in a violent explosion of high-magnitude sorcery sent by either Soulcatcher or Shapeshifter. A snake imp (a demon loyal to Longshadow) which the shadowweavers had in their possession was confiscated by Goblin. It nearly assassinated Croaker later. Goblin admitted his mistake and buried the imp.
Later, on the first day of the Battle of Dejagore, Goblin exposed his buttocks to the city's occupiers while riding one of the black stallions around the walls. On the second and final day of that battle, Goblin and One-Eye both contributed some flashy sorcery to frighten the ranks of enemy Shadowlanders. Their efforts were quickly suppressed by more powerful Shadowmasters. The two wizards were among the Company members who retreated to safety behind the walls of Dejagore when their Taglian armies were routed.
Dreams of Steel and Bleak Seasons[edit | edit source]
During the Siege of Dejagore, he remained trapped in the city. There, the Black Company splintered into two factions, and Goblin joined the "Old Crew" which opposed Mogaba. Because of the Old Crew's actions in Dejagore, he was one of the Company brothers who earned Nyueng Bao bodyguard: Goblin's was named Thien Duc. After the Black Company reached Taglios, Goblin was promoted to a counterintelligence officer, responsible for hunting enemy spies and problematic cult leaders.
She Is the Darkness[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Shaded Road
Goblin participated in the subsequent campaign against Longshadow. Croaker gave Goblin orders to lead a special commando mission called "Shaded Road", to bring fighters to the south of the Dandha Presh via the long route around the mountain range. Goblin recruited 100 young Taglians, all under the age 25, who were interested in joining the Black Company. He sold them the idea that the operation was an entrance exam. Although they spread considerable fear throughout Mogaba's ranks and the villages which were loyal to the Protectorate, the primary goal of Shaded Road was to provide insurance for the Company if the Prahbrindrah Drah betrayed Croaker in his role as Liberator. The whole operation was shrouded in absolute secrecy: even One-Eye and Murgen were kept in the dark.
Goblin, his Nyueng Bao bodyguard Thien Duc, at least one sworn Company brother called Bubba-do, and their 100 young Taglians (including Mowfat) departed Taglios to conduct Shaded Road. They sailed downriver on the great river, cut their way through 200 miles of inhospitable Nyueng Bao swamp at the river's delta, and took to the western ocean. After passing through a fog bank, they landed on the coast of the Shindai Kus desert where they overcame awful terrain and predatory monsters. They marched undetected into the cold, southern slopes of the Dandha Presh and were joined by Lisa Daele Bowalk in her fearful, beastly forvalaka form. Throughout the entire odyssey, Goblin complained ceaselessly. But, despite his un-officer-like conduct, Goblin proved to be an excellent campaigner.
Goblin's group cut their teeth picking off fugitive and deserter Shadowlanders who fled from Mogaba's armies during the Battle of Charandaprash. Then, they began killing the officers of the larger accumulations that retreated through the Dandha Presh, the most notable of which was the Nar named Khucho. Whenever the Shadowlanders organized to counterattack, Goblin's glamours and illusions sent them in the wrong directions. They spread so much fear in Mogaba's ranks that the entire force of Shadowlanders cracked and scattered. Goblin faded his group into the wilds, headed south.
Next they participated in many night raids and pillaged villages which cooperated with Mogaba. All the while they were surrounded by crows, which turned out to be Soulcatcher's spies. Goblin deduced that Bowalk the forvalaka was a double agent for Mogaba, and would soon try to kill him, so he laid a trap for Bowalk. When she moved to attack him, she actually bit into a scarecrow that he had spelled so it would be impossible for her to release her jaw's grip. Mowfat then arrived and informed Goblin that Mogaba's large clean-up team was heading straight for them, less than a mile away. They ambushed the group of Shadowlanders, delivering heavy casualties.
Having proved immense success as a campaigner, Goblin eventually reunited with the Company near the Shadowgate. Neither he nor One-Eye passed through the Shadowgate, so they avoided Soulcatcher's trap which imprisoned the Captured.
Water Sleeps[edit | edit source]
Goblin, Sleepy, and the underground Black Company opposed Soulcatcher's new political order in Taglios (called the Protectorate) and worked continuously to free the Captured. Goblin even managed to create a trap, which permanently injured Soulcatcher's leg. It took them 15 years, but Sleepy's Company finally discovered a Shadowgate key – the golden pickax – and sent a rescue mission across the glittering plain. Unfortunately for them, they also encountered the sleeping Kina beneath the fortress with no name. Goblin, wielding the Lance of Passion, attacked her by himself in order to buy time for Sleepy, Tobo, Suvrin, and Master Santaraksita to escape. He was thought killed in this incident and no effort was made to retrieve his body, as it was last seen melting like an overheated wax candle.
Soldiers Live[edit | edit source]
Possession by the Khadidas[edit | edit source]
- Main article: Khadidas
A few years later, Goblin was overheard by Blade weakly calling for help where he was last seen. He was retrieved and returned to the Company, but they all grew suspicious of his behavior. The true Goblin was effectively comatose, while his body was now in the service of Kina, possessed by an entity known as the Khadidas. In Goblin's body, the Khadidas strangled Narayan Singh with a rumel and replaced Narayan as the Daughter of Night's guardian.
After some time on the run, the Daughter of Night and the Khadidas settled at the Grove of Doom. There, they were ambushed and captured by Aridatha Singh and his City Battalions men during the Battle at the Shadowlander cemetery. They were transported to the Palace of Taglios, but eventually broke free to hide among the sprawling abandoned sections of the Palace. Then, after the Siege of Taglios, they were cornered by Tobo within the crumbling Palace. The Khadidas launched one final magic attack, which bounced harmlessly off the master sorcerer Tobo, but a ricochet killed the Prahbrindrah Drah.
Goblin regains control[edit | edit source]
With Croaker's persistence, the consciousness of the true Goblin was finally retrieved using two powerful items left behind by the late One-Eye: the black spear and his old enchanted felt hat. Goblin would remain in control of his body only so long as the hat was glued to his head and the spear remained secured to his hands. After some time relearning speech and the use of his own body, Goblin went on a suicide mission underneath the fortress with no name. There, he pierced Kina's brain with One-Eye's spear; simultaneously, Croaker detonated the rheitgeistide which Goblin was riding. Kina's death caused a massive explosion which utterly disintegrated the wizard, finally allowing him to rest in peace.
|Black Company Wizards|
|One-Eye • Goblin • Silent • Tom-Tom • Raven |
Third • Lady • Tobo • Arkana • Shukrat