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We sighted Lake Tanji an hour before night fell. The sudden view was so stunning I stopped dead in my tracks. The lake was miles across and cold grey. It dwindled away to my right, the direction our road ran. To our left the land was very rugged. Arms of increasingly substantial hills ran down to the water. The Dandha Presh itself seemed to rise directly from the far shore, all greys in the evening light, dark down low and lighter at the peaks, where snowfields sparkled. A playful god had scrawled a thin cloudline across the panorama, halfway up the mountains, so that the peaks rode a magic carpet.

Murgen, She Is the Darkness, ch. 14

Lake Tanji is a massive freshwater lake in the southern continent. It is located just a few hills and valleys north of the stony Plain of Charandaprash, which is the only navigable pass through the Dandha Presh mountain range. On one of Lake Tanji's northern shores, the Black Company fought against a hellish avalanche of killer shadows in She Is the Darkness. This event – the Battle of Lake Tanji – was one of the key battles of the Shadowmaster wars. The lake appeared again in the Annals, 15 years later, when it was visited briefly by Sleepy and her disguised group of Company fugitives in Water Sleeps.

She Is the Darkness[]

Main article: Battle of Lake Tanji

Croaker, the Black Company Captain, approached Lake Tanji with the armies of Taglios under his command as Liberator. Murgen the Annalist was stunned by the beauty of the lake. They captured the villages in the area from the Shadowlanders, and then set up a large camp on Lake Tanji's northern shore. The Company and their Taglian forces fortified their position with wagon-mounted fireball projectors. These weapons, and the various smaller hand-held models, would prove indispensable in the battle that ensued.

Hidden on a rock outcrop on the lake, the Howler unleashed a nightmarish avalanche of Longshadow's killer shadows upon the Company. Rocks all along the shore of the lake were utterly melted in the heat of the fireball blasts which defeated the shadows. As Murgen recorded the next morning: "There was no shortage of tormented landscape. It looked as though small lightnings had been on a year-long rampage around the lake". The dead were buried in narrow gulches before the Liberator and his forces marched onward to their next victory, the Battle of Charandaprash. Murgen suffered one of his terrifying dream-visions of hideous Kina manifesting above Lake Tanji before they left the region.

Water Sleeps[]

The southward-bound bands of disguised, fugitive Black Company members and allies passed around Lake Tanji during their journey to the Shadowgate in Water Sleeps.

Sleepy the Annalist bathed in the lake with her companions Uncle Doj, Ky Gota, and Willow Swan. She recorded her brief experience at the lake:

We reached Lake Tanji, which I love. The lake is a vast sprawl of icy indigo beauty... I could retire beside that lake... Each of us seized an opportunity to bathe in the icy water.

Sleepy also mentioned that the scars from the Battle of Lake Tanji – melted rocks and exposed human bones – were still very clearly visible even 15 years later.

Soldiers Live[]

The Black Company, now reconstituted with several thousand new soldiers from Hsien, came down from the Dandha Presh and passed around Lake Tanji in Soldiers Live. The passage was uneventful as the lake is mentioned only in passing by Croaker the Annalist.