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Black Company Wiki

Kingpin, nicknamed King, was a sworn brother of the Black Company. He was a veteran soldier who participated in several Company missions alongside Croaker, Pawnbroker, and the three wizards One-Eye, Goblin, and Silent in Shadows Linger. Although Croaker disapproved of his laziness, he respected King's ability with a sword.

King's origin is not stated, but his lack of fluency with the Jewel Cities dialect by the time of Port of Shadows makes it a near certainty that he was not member of the band during their employment by the Syndic of Beryl (that is, chapter 1 of the first chronicle). If that is accurate, he would have joined after Raven, and it is most likely that he was one of the hundreds of new recruits from the Imperial ranks who took the Company oath right before the Battle of Charm.

Port of Shadows[]

In Port of Shadows, Kingpin was a lower-ranking infantryman and a member of sergeant Kragler's platoon. He is mentioned in only one conversation, after he fails to show up for cooking duty. The Lieutenant interrupts a tonk game at Markeg Zhorab's tavern, the Dark Horse, in which Croaker is present, and asks for King's location. Elmo, though he was the sergeant of a different platoon, offered to discipline King, and left the game to find him. [1]

Shadows Linger[]

By the time of Shadows Linger, Kingpin had the dubious distinction of being the Company’s leading malingerer.

Kingpin's first ride aboard a flying carpet was also Elmo's first as well. They were lifted alongside Croaker by the new Taken Whisper, in a long flight from Frost over the Plain of Fear, Forsberg, Oar and Deal until they reached the Great Forest and landed at the Barrowland.

Kingpin departed the Barrowland by yet another flying carpet ride. He was selected to be part of the advance team of 25 Company men that were flown from the Barrowland, into the city of Juniper, again by the new Taken via flying carpet. This team was led by Elmo and included the physician and Annalist Croaker; the wizard Goblin; the veterans Pawnbroker 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.

King was tasked with keeping tabs on Marron Shed, the innkeeper of the Iron Lily (a dive in Juniper's downtrodden Buskin section). With Goblin, he questioned the homeless man Asa regarding details of Raven's whereabouts. Later, in Meadenvil, he helped frame Bullock for the murder of Raven, to keep the former out of Juniper. (The corpse had actually belonged to a hunter named Moleskin.) Despite his success with that task, King failed at other duties, leaving later arrivals to Meadenvil like Croaker, One-Eye, and Goblin disappointed. These three held a private conversation with King in a tavern favored by foreign sailors regarding Raven's whereabouts using the Jewel Cities dialect, which King did not speak well.

Not long afterward, in the countryside outside Meadenvil, Kingpin was trampled to death by a horse when he, Bullock, Silent, and a local innkeeper successfully ambushed the Limper.