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The Lieutenant (known by no other name) was the second-in-command of the Black Company during the events of The Black Company and much of Shadows Linger. He next became the band's Captain and led them through more than 7 years of hardship as the backbone of the New White Rose Rebellion. But he always continued to be referred to as "the Lieutenant" despite his promotion.

In his youth he sailed as a cabin boy, where he learned ships. Later he received an education in military engineering. This included a specialty in siege weapons, as evidenced during the Battle of Juniper where he directed the construction and very effective usage of at least four types of such weapons: ballistas, catapults, mangonels, and trebuchets. By the time he joined the Black Company he was already an experienced soldier and tactician. In combat, he "lugs a hanger that is damned near an executioner's sword".

The Lieutenant was a staunch traditionalist when it came to the administration of the Company, and rarely fraternized with the other members. When he did socialize, it was over a game of tonk, but he was a notoriously poor player, even worse than One-Eye. According to Croaker, he had a bizarre sense of humor though he seldom showed it and was most often a "sour" man.

The Black Company[]

After the uprisings in Beryl initiated by the faction called the Blues, the Black Company entered into the service of the Lady. The Lieutenant and the rest of the Company sailed aboard the imperial flagship, The Dark Wings, from Beryl, across the Sea of Torments, to Opal. When he first saw the massive vessel, he implied that the oversize ship would not be seaworthy without sorcery, according to his seaman's experience.

Shadows Linger[]

On the Lady's orders, the Black Company traveled clear across the northern continent to Juniper, a city far outside the bounds of the Lady's Empire in the frigid northwest. He crossed the Wolander Mountains with them, and was not part of the advance team (Croaker, Elmo, Goblin, et. al.) that had been flown into the city beforehand by flying carpet.

The Lieutenant was a key leader in the siege of the black castle during the Battle of Juniper. He oversaw the construction and direction of siege weapons of at least four types: ballistas, catapults, mangonels, and trebuchets. With his careful preparations and quick action, he was responsible for killing many of the demonic castle creatures at a critical point in the battle. When the Captain died, the Lieutenant was distraught. Per the Captain's written wishes, the Lieutenant was elected commander of the Black Company, and Candy was elevated to the actual role of Black Company Lieutenant. But, despite his new rank, the Lieutenant steadfastly refused to be referred to as "Captain", and continued to be addressed as "the Lieutenant" for the rest of his life.

On The Long Run short stories[]

In the six-year gap between Shadows Linger and The White Rose, the Lieutenant was commander of a reduced and fugitive band, hunted by his 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), he led the Company across the northern continent while being chased the entire way by the new Taken, including Whisper and Journey, and their armies.

"Cranky Bitch"[]

The Lieutenant is featured throughout "Cranky Bitch". Since money is needed to repair the Company's ship, the Lieutenant has taken a contract with the Seamen's Guild and the Houses of Istven. But he has done so without consulting the senior members of the group, which irks Croaker, and no one is enthusiastic about the job. The Guild and the Houses will pay them to escort Chimney's merchant vessels in convoy work. Recently, one in four ships associated with these organizations have been captured in the Gap by the pirates from the Pocatose, an archipelago south and west of Chimney. When Croaker raises some concerns, the Lieutenant reassures him that Master Sylus – the man in charge of Cranky Bitch’s Juniperen crew – will support the decision. Candy assists him with the public formalities of their new contract. He later instructs Candy and all three wizards to outfit the vessel with 8 sorcery-powered high-angle ballistae.

At one point during the Company's several trips across the Gap, the Lieutenant inexplicably has a sudden desire to ravage the pirates' archipelago. All the other senior veterans and Darling strongly disagree, and when Croaker confronts him, even the Lieutenant himself is baffled. Croaker guesses that their commander's "urge to scourge the Pocatose" was somehow influenced by the mysterious twins Lacksluck and Luckless. When one of the new Taken attacks on a flying carpet, the enemy sorcerer is shot out of the air and killed. During the concurrent pirate attack: the Lieutenant orders no enemy to be shot in the back if they flee. After questioning some captured pirates, he sets them free.

Later, during their final anchorage at Chimney, they are boarded by 6 senior officials from the Houses of Istven who are escorted by 12 armed men. As predicted, they announce that the Black Company should disarm: another inevitable and predictable backstab from their own employers. Instantly, the Lieutenant interrupts them, and orders them hurled overboard. Several are stabbed or drowned, and the survivors are forced to collect a long list of useful items for the Company. Since there is no consensus about what they should do next, the Lieutenant simply decides for them. They will disembark a final time, somewhere south of Chimney, and will go into the wilderness overland, instead of sailing to parts unknown aboard the Bitch.

"Leta of the Thousand Sorrows"[]

The Lieutenant is mentioned a few times in "Leta of the Thousand Sorrows". The Black Company has disembarked from Cranky Bitch for the last time, and they are now traveling across a wild untamed landscape with the new Taken on their trail. The Lieutenant is moving with Candy, One-Eye, Goblin, and the main body of the Company. They are more than one day's march behind the vanguard group led by Elmo, Silent, Darling, Croaker, Otto, and Hagop.

After both groups reunite, they establish a camp in a strange clearing, where identical supernatural women by the name of Leta are crafted by ancient sorcery emanating from the ground. Candy and the Lieutenant are the first men following Croaker to be bedded by their own Letas, but soon most of the other men are visited repeatedly by these bizarre sexual companions. The Lieutenant calls several command staff meetings to discuss the nearby new Taken, despite the noticeable depletion of ambition felt by the men. He personally intervenes "to keep Silent from butchering" a male Leta that was being created by the clearing's sorcery, and instructs his men to bring the corpse of the aborted thing to Croaker's tent for a postmortem exam.

"Wet Dream Fish Story"[]

At the start of "Wet Dream Fish Story", the Lieutenant is with Croaker, Darling, and the wizards One-Eye, Goblin, 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 by Elmo from a vanguard group to announce the exciting discovery of a road ahead. When the road leads them to a pair of old bridges connecting an island in the center of a large river, the Lieutenant calls for the engineer siblings Cletus, Loftus, and Longinus to evaluate the bridges. He and Candy grow increasingly anxious as the engineers are not swift in their evaluation, as much of the group is outside the tree cover... visible if any new Taken arrive overheard on their flying carpets.

While most of the group conducts days-long renovations for the bridges, the Lieutenant ensures that plenty of resources are allocated to be early-warning scouts for the Taken. He instructs the elderly One-Eye and Goblin and some others to spread out in various directions, armed with ballistae. Croaker is judgmental about the Lieutenant's attitude during these days of bridge repair: "the Lieutenant sounded crazier by the day, so certain was he that spending time not moving was setting us up for a horrible fate".

The Lieutenant attends the gathering where a Company newcomer from Choudan named Tedd interprets for the trio of ageless mermaid-fishermen named Adelin, Honra, and Eisen Fisher. After the Fishers offer to trade immortality in the form of mermaid jerky in exchange for their safe passage off the island, the Lieutenant tells his people they will not accept this offer on ethical grounds. This impresses Croaker, who believes the Lieutenant is “morally channeling” the late Captain. While the temptation is discussed immediately afterward, Darling agrees with the Lieutenant and passionately exhorts them to reject the proposal.

Whatever you’re thinking, none of that is going to happen. We’re on the run, and have been for months, because we’ve chosen not to be that kind of people anymore.

The Lieutenant and Candy work together to elicit details from Showboy when he is returned to the Company following his abduction by the mermaid Dai-Li. Candy plays the role of the angry interrogator, and the Lieutenant takes a more sympathetic role. But they can get Showboy to recall few details; the wizards One-Eye and Goblin need to intervene to clarify the confused man's memory further.

"Those Who Went Before"[]

As the Company continues along the old road in the western wilderness in "Those Who Went Before", the Lieutenant rides out with Candy to investigate Elmo's report of improved road conditions. When they find a large, artificial berm that marks an abrupt end of the forest, One-Eye states that sorcery is involved without any further elucidation. The stressed-out Lieutenant snaps at him with a snide remark involving Missus Hattie's House of Happy in the distant city of Roses. Soon, he is further enraged when their livestock is allowed to wander off, and a day and a half is wasted rounding up the animals. He gives a big speech against indiscipline, and no one takes his offer to disarm and head back toward Chimney into the waiting arms of their enemies, the Taken.

The Lieutenant cautiously leads the Company through an old, sorcery-charged cemetery called the Grand Memorial to Our Honored Dead. Unsettled by the lingering sorcery surrounding the graveyard, the Lieutenant orders almost everyone to continue their eastbound trek, even leaving Croaker behind with Spangler and one other immobile person. Later, when Butterbutt and several other newcomers from Chimney go missing, the Lieutenant forbids any attempt to find them, for fear that they may lose even more men.

"Shaggy Dog Bridge"[]

He will let slide lesser things situationally. His recollection of them is eidetic, however.

In "Shaggy Dog Bridge", on an ancient road near the Rip, the Lieutenant took a group of men west at the time Croaker went east. He recounted his findings to Croaker later, namely that he encountered a hideous and decrepit castle surrounded by bones. After communicating with the miserable locals with the help of Silent and Goblin, the Lieutenant 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. On the fly, the Lieutenant carefully orchestrated an explosive clash between Emon and the Lady's Taken. He next ordered a group of his best men to rig explosives beneath the Master's bridge over the Rip, and was fleeing on foot when Blind Emon triggered the firestorm that killed hundreds of Imperials.

"Bone Eaters"[]

The Lieutenant was present alongside Darling in "Bone Eaters". He helped orchestrate their response to the threat presented by the hungry ghosts, although the final plan of action was conceived by Chasing Midnight.

"Chasing Midnight"[]

The Lieutenant is mentioned once, by Haru, in "Chasing Midnight: The Dark Lord as a Teen". When Black Shroud collapsed his secret lair down upon a mob of thugs who formerly worked for the late Songo Songaghi, the Lieutenant called out Rue's "seventh century" to investigate the ruckus. Alongside some Black Company wizards, he had the surviving thugs arrested. Outside of this, the Lieutenant was otherwise managing the Company's string of victories against Rue's enemies, the Dank.

Before The White Rose[]

At some point, the Lieutenant suffered a dismal defeat to the Empire's Nightstalker Brigade at the Battle of Queen's Bridge, losing half his men, but led the surviving 100 brothers to safety. They arrived at the Plain of Fear and negotiated with the enigmatic menhirs to live unmolested in a stinking cavern called the Hole. For the next two years, the haggard Company remained in the Hole on the Plain, safe from the Lady's forces. Now, however, they were not simply Darling's bodyguards, but had evolved into the backbone of her New White Rose Rebellion.

The White Rose[]

The Lieutenant was utterly dedicated to Darling's protection. He made his quarters with two other men outside her door in the Hole, so that "if ever the enemy reaches Darling, it will be over their bodies". He was not mentioned frequently in Croaker's Annals for The White Rose, but, he must have been a linchpin for Darling's strategic military training.

Lieutenant by Mikey Patch (Irontree)

Lieutenant by Mikey Patch (Irontree)

The Lieutenant personally led the surprise raid on the Limper's compound outside Rust which was ordered by Darling. He commanded about 35 men, including Elmo, Silent, Goblin, One-Eye, Croaker, Tracker, and Tracker's hound Toadkiller Dog. When their ride – a giant windwhale – fled in fear prematurely, he kept his cool and orchestrated the successful repulsion of a much larger Imperial force. They were eventually rescued at the last moment by a replacement windwhale.

At the Battle of the Barrowland the Lieutenant led the diminished Company against the Dominator alongside their former enemies/new allies: the Lady, her new Taken, and the Eternal Guard. There, he and Elmo were slain by the Dominator in hand-to-hand combat:

Elmo, the Lieutenant, and Silent jumped the Dominator the moment the windwhale dropped him. That was like jumping a tiger. He threw Elmo thirty feet. I heard the crack as he broke the Lieutenant's spine.

His body was buried in the Barrowland beside the dozens of other Company fatalities from that battle. Although only ten of the Lieutenant's men would make it out from that battle alive, the woman he swore to protect, Darling, survived as well.

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