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Kiaulune, here labeled as "Shadowcatch", and surrounding lands

The Kiaulune wars were a series of conflicts which took place during the first 5 years of the 15-year gap between She Is the Darkness and Water Sleeps. They are only mentioned in retrospect in the Annals of the final two Books of Glittering Stone.

On one side was the Black Company, led by its Annalist, Sleepy and a key ally, Ky Sahra, along with their allied forces of Shadowlanders. They were desperately outclassed in terms of sorcery and resources. They fought against the armies of the Taglian Protectorate, commanded by the Great General Mogaba, who ostensibly served the Radisha Drah but was truly answerable to the unrivaled sorceress Soulcatcher. The result was the decisive defeat of the Company.

Before Water Sleeps[]

Immediately before the Kiaulune wars (at the end of She Is the Darkness), Soulcatcher trapped the Black Company's leadership (the "Captured") beneath the glittering plain. She eventually seized de facto control of Taglios and declared herself its Protector.

After the Radisha and Soulcatcher were resisted by the remainder of the Black Company, Mogaba was ordered to destroy them. Willow Swan played some role on the Taglian side as well.

The resulting wars took place near the city of Kiaulune, the fortress Overlook, and the wider Shadowlands south of the Dandha Presh in general. The Company remained safe in Overlook for the 5 years the wars lasted, as the structure had been hardened against sorcery by Longshadow. From there, the Company and their Shadowlander allies mounted assaults on Mogaba's Taglian forces. Though they never struck a victory against Mogaba, they were never fully wiped out.

A comment by Sleepy suggests that the Company used guerrilla tactics and avoided pitched battles to prevent their total destruction:

[Mogaba] believed real men got in close, where they could get splattered with each other’s blood when they fought. It was a blind spot we had exploited more than once during the Kiaulune wars and would exploit again until he figured it out.

In one skirmish near the Daka Woods, a Company brother by the name of Dorabee Dey Banerjae was killed beside Sleepy. She would use Dorabee's name for a stretch of seven years afterward for one of her alter egos while in hiding in Taglios, working for the librarian Surendranath Santaraksita. In another incident, the Company lost Croaker's Widowmaker armor.

The names of 3 other sites where the Company was defeated during the Kiaulune wars were listed by Willow Swan years later in Water Sleeps:

  • Khadighat
  • Bhoroda
  • Nalanda

Khusavir Pete betrays the Bahrata Battalion[]

The final crushing blow came when the Bahrata Battalion was betrayed by the Black Company defector Khusavir Pete and was wiped out by Protectorate forces at Kushkhoshi. During this bloodbath, more than 500 people (containing many Company brothers but mostly consisting of the Company's "largest surviving force of allies") were lost. This marked the defeat of the Company and the end of the Kiaulune wars. Soulcatcher emerged from the war as the undisputed ruler of both Taglios and the former Shadowlands, collectively the Protectorate.


After the Kiaulune wars ended, the Company survivors remained holed up in Overlook for at least 2 years. Their presence was not a secret. Soulcatcher eventually devoted her entire attention to obliterating Overlook itself with a specially crafted sorcery, a task which took the full 2 years. The remaining Company members and allies secretly moved north and dispersed into the urban sprawl of Taglios. The Company became an underground movement, headquartered in a warehouse on the banks of the great river owned by their elderly Nyueng Bao collaborator Banh Do Trang. The subsequent events are detailed in Water Sleeps.

Black Company veterans[]

When the Black Company transformed into an underground urban guerrilla movement in Taglios, its backbone was comprised of veterans of the Kiaulune wars. Prominent such veterans were:

Although not explicitly mentioned as such, these other Company men were almost certainly veterans of the wars as well:

The following close-knit Nyueng Bao allies were also veterans: