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Khatovar was a city of Kina cult-worshipers located in what would later be called the Voroshk world. The leaders of Khatovar created and sent the Free Companies of Khatovar – most prominently the Black Company – into the homeworld and into other worlds linked through the glittering plain. Over the centuries, the meaning of "Khatovar" was lost to the later generations of Black Company soldiers, including Croaker the Annalist. After the Battle of the Barrowland, Croaker vowed to return the Company's Annals to Khatovar, without knowing what or who Khatovar was, setting in motion the events of both Books of the South and all four Books of Glittering Stone.

The name "Khatovar" is erroneously used by Croaker to refer to the Voroshk world itself, until he learns in Soldiers Live that Khatovar refers to a mostly forgotten ruins. The Voroshk, the rulers of that world by Croaker's lifetime, explicitly reject the term "Khatovar" as the name of their world. For outsiders like Croaker, both the passage of time and lack of surviving references to Khatovar had made the name synonymous with the that world. He corrected his vocabulary moving forward after learning the truth.


One Who Leads Eight Who Serve (one of Longshadow's shadowweavers) said to Smoke that "Khatovar, in the old tongue, means Khadi's Throne".[1]

Some years later, Croaker told Murgen: "A friendly old scholar in Taglios did tell me that while the exact meaning of Khatovar has been lost, similarities with modern dialect suggested something like ‘Place from which Khadi went forth,’ or simply ‘Khadi’s gate’."[2] (It is plausible that the scholar Croaker referred to was Surendranath Santaraksita.)

Before Croaker's Annals[]

Creation of the Free Companies[]

Kina cultists in Khatovar created the Free Companies of Khatovar and sent them across the glittering plain into new worlds for the purpose of finding the best location for the Year of the Skulls. All of them that were sent to the homeworld returned to Khatovar except for the Black Company, which remained and lost sight of its original mission.

Khatovar was actually a trendsetter as they were the first of a number of civilizations to create Free Companies. Kina cults from several of the other 15 worlds linked by the glittering plain were inspired to mobilize and distribute their own Free Companies. After much squabbling, a consensus developed among this multiple-world religious movement that the rites which would bring about the Year of the Skulls should take place in the homeworld. They decided this as vengeance for Rhaydreynak's bloody persecution of the Deceivers, a separate and much older group of very important Kina-cultists (but not a Free Company).

Reduced to ruins[]

Sometime early during the approximately 400-year-long stretch between the Black Company's departure from Khatovar and the events of the Books of the North, Khatovar's civilization was obliterated. According to Nashun the Researcher, "That evil city was expunged from the earth before the Voroshk arose. Its people were hunted down and exterminated." Khatovar was reduced to permanent ruins by an unidentified enemy culture, one which predated the modern era's ruling clan, the Voroshk. After the Voroshk conquered their world, they erased all mention of Khatovar, and evidently the enemy culture which crushed it, from their histories.

Croaker's vow to return the Annals[]

After the Battle of the Barrowland, the Black Company was reduced to merely 6 men. Its Annalist, Croaker, swore to fulfill his duty of returning the Annals to Khatovar, the Company's mysterious origin. This was his underlying quest throughout the Books of the South and the Books of Glittering Stone. He took the commission to become the Liberator of Taglios and achieve victory in the Shadowmaster wars simply to continue passage toward Khatovar. He had no way of knowing his destination had been reduced to ruins generations before his birth. During Soldiers Live, he learned that his compulsion to travel to Khatovar was influenced by the entity known as Shivetya. Once he switched places with Shivetya, he gained the ability to view Khatovar at the time of the Black Company's creation through the time-traveling eyes of the stone golem.