|“||There is no vengeance as terrible as the vengeance a coward plots in the dark of his heart.||”|
Marron Shed was the owner of the Iron Lily bar and inn, located in the Buskin, the poorest section of the city of Juniper. His experiences were written down in the third person by Croaker, the Annalist of the Black Company, and were a significant portion of the chronicles of Shadows Linger.
Shadows Linger[edit | edit source]
The Lily had been in his family for three generations. His aged and sickly mother June lived in the Lily and helped to clean the rooms when she was at her best health. Shed was notorious in the Buskin for being a coward. By chance, former brother of the Black Company Raven and his ward Darling came to Juniper and stayed at the Lily. Darling started working there as a barmaid.
Shed was unable to afford the Lily and was heavily in debt, so he turned to Raven for help, who always seemed to have money. Raven took him into the body selling business, and he aided Raven in selling bodies to the castle creatures of the black castle. Despite his cowardice, Shed took increasingly dangerous risks earning money with Raven.
Shed was kind to a few in his community, most notably a homeless man named Asa, whom he allowed to sleep in front of the fire when he brought firewood. Asa was as close of a friend as Shed had, but their relationship was tenuous because of Asa's lack of loyalty and Shed's anxieties over his illegal activity. Raven and Shed eventually caught Asa robbing wood from a special area called the Enclosure and stealing coins from the Catacombs, the ancient and sacred burial site for all of Juniper. The three of them looted the Catacombs together, but on this occasion Asa was attacked by a Guardian. Raven slew the creature after it mauled Asa. When Raven considered selling Asa to the black castle, Shed refused, putting his foot down for once. He and Raven then took turns nursing Asa back to health.
Shed was in debt to Krage, a prominent gangster in the Buskin, who decided to kill Raven for opposing him. Shed and Raven killed Krage and many of his henchmen through an improvised ambush, further building Shed's confidence.
After Raven left Juniper, the harbor bustled with activity, and the Lily received an influx of cash from drunk workmen. He bought a cottage near the Enclosure for his blind mother June, and hired servants – Bo, Lana, and their daughter – to be her caregivers.
But Shed's luck would disappear after a couple of unfortunate turns. He had hired his cousin Wally to help him run the Lily. However, Wally stole a large sum of money from him to pay a gambling debt. Shed tracked down and killed Wally in a rage, and then sold his body to the castle creatures. He then helped to support Wally's wife Sal and children out of guilt, acquiring further dependents in addition to his mother and her servants. He then fell deeply in love with a beautiful prostitute named Sue, who was secretly working for a moneylender named Gilbert to sink Shed further into debt than before. When he discovered the truth, he was heartbroken, but resolved to get vengeance because Sue's scheme would have resulted in the foreclosure of the Lily. He kidnapped Sue and took her to the black castle, where he was paid a fortune for her because she was alive.
Shed allowed Lisa Daele Bowalk, a young woman who had previously acted as a barmaid for him, to assume part ownership of the Lily and control over his finances. Lisa tricked him into admitting his part in selling bodies to the castle creatures and forced him into continuing the venture. Together they killed Gilbert and delivered his body to the castle. There, Shed resisted the temptation to sell Lisa to the creatures within. They were both captured by the Black Company moments after departing the castle. Croaker persuaded him to play dead, to prevent the Taken from questioning him and learning of Raven. The ploy worked, and they tricked Feather into only taking Lisa. Shed became a captive of the Company, allowed to continue life as before as owner of the Iron Lily. During the Battle of Juniper, he boarded a ship and escaped south.
Eager for a fresh start in the new city of Meadenvil, Shed arranged to become a co-owner with Selkirk, the owner of the Ruby Glass. But Selkirk revealed that recent disappearances were shaking things up in Meadenvil, and Shed realized he had been spotted by at least one surviving black castle creature. Unwilling to let the monsters endanger a second city, he tracked down Bullock in prison, and used his information to discover the newly-formed black castle the creatures are working on. While investigating it, he was again captured by the now-heavily-reduced Black Company. However this time, when he had a chance to flee, he offered to stay and help, and Croaker admitted him into the Black Company. He was mortally wounded during the group's successful ambush of the Limper. His final wish, which was granted, was for Croaker and the Company to spare Asa's life.