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Goblin was one of the Black Company's wizards during the modern Annals. He was an elderly, short, skinny man, barely five feet tall, with a high-pitched voice and a wide grin often compared to that of a frog or a toad. As common with wizards, his powers enabled him to survive to a supernaturally advanced age – he claimed to be 150 years old during Water Sleeps. Goblin was skilled in creating illusions and sleeping spells, which made him useful in reconnaissance and infiltration missions. He and his fellow wizard One-Eye, who was older than Goblin by several decades, were notorious for their ceaseless feuding. 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[]

Very few details are established in the available Annals regarding Goblin's origins. He was from the southern continent and like the rest of the Company, had never traveled to the northern continent until the group's departure from Beryl in The Black Company. It is known he joined the Company sometime after One-Eye and Tom-Tom joined. A snide, offhand comment by Goblin in The White Rose – namely that he had been waiting for 30 years to see One-Eye tortured on a rack – may suggest that his rivalry with One-Eye began roughly 15 years before the first chronicle.

Siege of Tember[]

Goblin was present at the siege of Tember, by which time the leader of the group was the "Old Man". Goblin and other miners successfully undermined Tember's walls, allowing One-Eye and others to capture the place... but Goblin and the miners were only rescued "about five days later" from their tunnel. Goblin did not remember this siege fondly whereas One-Eye would recall it with much amusement. Sleepy would later surmise this event took place long before Croaker the physician took on the additional duties of Annalist, and presumably during the tenure of one of Croaker's lax predecessors, Miller Ladora or Kanwas Scar. Sleepy did not believe this siege was recorded in the Annals.

The Black Company[]

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[]

Goblin Serbian Shadows Linger

Goblin playing tonk in the interior artwork of the Serbian translation of Shadows Linger

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.

After the Black Company became fugitives from the Lady's Empire, Goblin was part of Croaker's group that ambushed and nearly killed the Limper outside Meadenvil.

On The Long Run short stories[]

In the six-year gap between Shadows Linger and The White Rose, Goblin remained with the reduced and fugitive band, hunted by their former Imperial employers. They were now protecting Darling, a young deaf-mute girl with a special anti-magic null who was apparently the prophesied reincarnation of the White Rose. During the first four years (On The Long Run short stories), the Company was pursued across the northern continent by the new Taken, including Whisper and Journey, and their armies.

"Cranky Bitch"[]

Both Goblin and One-Eye were on liberty in Chimney the night a supernatural lightning storm rolled over the city. The next day, the pair were returned to Cranky Bitch, blackout drunk and reeking:

...Goblin and One-Eye sprawled like wet carpets in the bottom of the first boat back, so blasted they had to be slung aboard with the smaller cargo hoist.

The senior Sergeant, Elmo, struck Goblin’s back, and the old wizard vomited overboard. Before the wizards were hauled away to recover, Goblin drunkenly mentioned a strange insight about the sorcery of the storm, causing Darling to become oddly flustered. No one knew the storm was somehow connected to the strange twin teenagers Lacksluck and Luckless.

Later, during the Black Company's time in service to the Houses of Istven and the Seamen's Guild, Goblin participated in the three battles out on the high seas of the Gap. He, One-Eye, and Silent used their sorcery to sink several hostile pirate ships attacking from the Pocatose archipelago. He also participated in the counter-ambush that killed one of the new Taken.

"Leta of the Thousand Sorrows"[]

Goblin was traveling with the Lieutenant, Candy, One-Eye, and the main body of the Black Company during the opening of "Leta of the Thousand Sorrows". After his group caught up with the pathfinder team ahead of them, Goblin became one of the many beneficiaries of the lustful entities known as Letas.

"Wet Dream Fish Story"[]

At the start of "Wet Dream Fish Story", Goblin is with the command staff (the Lieutenant, Croaker, Darling, and the wizards One-Eye and Silent) during the group's continued trek through the humid, inhospitable, bug-infested, and “densest forest north of the Sea of Torments”. He is present when Showboy is sent back to them by Elmo from a vanguard group to announce the exciting discovery of an old but impressively well-engineered road ahead. When the road leads them to a pair of old bridges connecting an island in the center of a large river, Goblin is the first to notice that it is inhabited. (The inhabitants are later identified as a trio of ageless men named Adelin, Honra, and Eisen Fisher.)

While most of the group conducts days-long renovations for the bridges, Goblin is spared this toil when the Lieutenant instructs him, One-Eye, and some others to spread out in various directions, armed with ballistae, to be early-warning scouts for any overhead Taken. Although Croaker cannot prove it, he later suspects that Goblin wastes time with One-Eye after the latter sets up his secret still to create moonshine. Alongside everyone else, Goblin observes the mute, nude, mysterious women who surface from the river, later identified as shape-shifting mermaids.

Goblin and One-Eye work together to probe the memories of Showboy, a Company man who had been kidnapped from the group for a few days by the mermaid Dai-Li and who seems to be under the influence of a "love me" spell. The two wizards use a silver bowl filled with water from the mermaids’ interior lake to display images of the young man’s memories. But the visuals are double-imaged. Goblin explains that there are 2 sets of memories: what mermaids want him to remember (a grand palace), and what he truly saw (a muddy den).

"Shaggy Dog Bridge"[]

In "Shaggy Dog Bridge", Goblin was part of the Lieutenant's group which traveled west on an ancient road near the Rip (when Croaker's group traveled in the opposite direction). When both groups reunited, the Lieutenant recounted his group's findings: they had encountered a hideous and decrepit castle surrounded by bones. With Goblin and Silent using their sorcery to interpret for the miserable locals, they learned that an appalling cannibal sorcerer called the Master lived within. With this information, the Company's goal was to avoid being detected by Blind Emon, the Master's enslaved sorceress, and to continue fleeing the Lady's new Taken.

Goblin, Elmo, Croaker, and some others were hand-picked by the Lieutenant to rig explosives beneath the Master's bridge over the Rip. One of the barrels he was handling suffered a mishap. He also "charted a pearl string of potent glamours that could be used to slink off to the forest unnoticed" for when the risky work was finished. Goblin fled on foot when Blind Emon triggered the firestorm that killed hundreds of Imperials.

"Bone Eaters"[]

In "Bone Eaters", Goblin uses a disgusting illusion to scare off the eldest member of the brigand clan gang to which Chasing Midnight belongs. Later, he helps One-Eye, Silent, and Chasing Midnight keep the bulk of the Black Company and their train of tag-along refugees at bay while Darling and her bodyguard invade the Village of Hungry Ghosts and neutralize the evil spirits within. When the Black Company enters into the service of the Magistrates of Rue, the wizards' skills of Goblin, One-Eye, and Silent are put to great use in their skirmishes against Rue's rivals, the Dank.

"Chasing Midnight"[]

Like most of the Black Company, Goblin does not appear directly in "Chasing Midnight: The Dark Lord as a Teen". But his minor participation in these events is recounted by Haru, who informs his cousin Chasing Midnight about Goblin's insights concerning the twisted wizard Black Shroud.

Before The White Rose[]

One-Eye and Goblin by Mikey Patch (Irontree)

Goblin and One-Eye fan art by Mikey Patch

Goblin survived the Battle of Queen's Bridge, where 100 out of 200 Company brothers fell.

With the blessing of the talking menhirs, Goblin 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[]

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 Black Company Captain, while Silent and the three Torque brothers parted ways with Darling.

Shadow Games[]

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.

Goblin helped Croaker scout the enemy fortifications at Ghoja and the ford across the Main River there, and the pair next investigated the abandoned town of Vejagedhya.

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[]

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[]

Goblin by kira mayer-d7bphmr

Goblin by Kira Mayer

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 sea-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 his contract with them by turning on 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 vast delta, and took to the western ocean. After passing through a fog bank, they landed on the coast of the Shindai Kus desert. There, Goblin personally defeated a predatory demon and they overcame awful terrain. 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 correctly 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[]

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. His illusions of the Shadar demon Niassi were wildly successful at distracting and frightening Soulcatcher's police force, the Greys. Goblin even escaped direct pursuit of Soulcatcher herself at the Palace of Taglios. He accomplished this by tricking the superior sorceress into stomping on a small statue of Ghanghesha, which ignited hidden fireball projector ammunition, permanently disfiguring her right foot.

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[]

Goblin by Виталий Стрелец

Goblin fan art by Виталий Стрелец

Possession by the Khadidas[]

Main article: Khadidas

Four 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[]

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