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Black Company Wiki

The Master was an ancient, immortal, and vastly powerful sorcerer who was active in the northern continent prior to the Domination. He was still alive and operating independently during the lifetime of Croaker the Annalist, albeit in secrecy. The Master is an unseen major player in the events of "Shaggy Dog Bridge".

Before Croaker's Annals[]

Before the Domination[]

The Master performed the Rite of Taking on several victims, most prominently a woman who would come to be called Blind Emon, even before the Dominator came to power. The ability to Take another sorcerer is one of the most complex and difficult magic undertakings, available only to a very small handful of people throughout history, which speaks to the Master's level of power. It also speaks to his morality: Emon was a good woman who suffered horribly during the process. Nothing is known about the Master's other Taken.

The Domination[]

When the Dominator began to establish his empire, he attempted to defeat the Master. It is likely but unconfirmed that the Lady and some or all of the Ten Who Were Taken fought alongside the Dominator. What is certain is that the Master's own Taken fought against the Dominator, and all of them were killed except for Blind Emon. These sacrifices allowed the Master to actually repulse the Dominator. But the Master apparently also had to flee into hiding to maintain his independence. He settled into a castle near the Rip, where he enslaved a local population with Blind Emon as his enforcer. He forced Emon to create a network of permanent glamours to disguise the road between his castle and the community of serfs. He also had a bridge over the Rip built, and reinforced it with indestructible spells.

The Master remained in his hideous castle for centuries, eating continually until he became immobilized by horrendous obesity, and unable to die because he had made himself immortal. In lean times he was a cannibal.

"Shaggy Dog Bridge"[]

Main article: Shaggy Dog Bridge

After the Battle of Juniper, the Black Company was fleeing the Lady's Imperial forces under the command of Whisper. Whisper pinned them against the Rip, and the Master and Emon realized weeks in advance that they would be discovered after centuries of secrecy. He ordered Emon to prepare defenses, so she created kegs filled with explosives to use as artillery. When Whisper and three others of the new Taken came close enough, Emon knocked at least three of them from the sky with her exploding kegs. However, the Taken somehow cut off the magic connection between the Master and Emon, and Emon temporarily escaped the Master's grip.

After Blind Emon blasted hundreds of Imperials off the bridge over the Rip, Croaker and the Company fled and never looked back. Therefore, the fates of neither the Master nor Emon were recorded in Croaker's Annals. But, Croaker wrote that he was confident the Lady would find a way to defeat and kill her ancient enemies, now that they had been discovered after all this time.