|“||Plans are mayflies when the steel begins to sing.||”|
–Mogaba, Shadow Games, ch. 35
Mogaba was the acclaimed leader of the 32 Nar warriors who joined the Black Company in Shadow Games. He was the Company's finest soldier for a brief time, until the Siege of Dejagore, during which he created a rival claim to the Captaincy of the band. After that, he was dismissed, only to become the worst traitor in the Company's history during the Books of Glittering Stone by serving Longshadow. He was subsequently promoted to the new rank of Great General by Soulcatcher when she established the Protectorate in Taglios. Mogaba repeatedly defeated the Company during the 5-year-long Kiaulune wars which occurred at the beginning of the 15-year gap between She Is the Darkness and Water Sleeps. And, he was one of the final, most dangerous adversaries to square off with the Company in Soldiers Live.
Shadow Games[edit | edit source]
Mogaba led the Nar, the elite military class of Gea-Xle, during the time of Croaker's Annals. As a group, the Nar were the descendants of the Black Company which had served in the city for decades, centuries before Croaker and Mogaba. While the Company moved on and forgot their roots, the Nar remained behind in Gea-Xle and lived according the Company's ancient traditions. Mogaba himself was descended from the Company's priests. He became their leader as the uncontested, strongest, fastest, and most skilled of them all.
Mogaba is first met by the Company shortly after they entered Gea-Xle. His Nar followers turned over a lost Company officer's baton and a long-forgotten standard. However, due to the language barrier, he is falsely viewed as a thug by Croaker, and is turned away, much to is ire. With the help of Frogface however, Mogaba was able to explain the group were actually descendants of the Black Company's forebears. When the Company subsequently took the commission to escort a barge fleet and defeat the swamp pirates between the city and Thresh, Mogaba requested that the Nar join them. Each of his men had defeated a hundred others in order to join Croaker's march toward fabled Khatovar, which was a religious act in their eyes. With the Company being so small, Croaker agreed to bring on Mogaba and 31 of his Nar.
Croaker was impressed by him and described him as the best soldier he had ever seen. He became the commander of the infantry and was given command of the best Taglian legion at the beginning of the Shadowmaster wars. During the Battle of Dejagore he and his Nar were forced to retreat to the city with the remnants of the Black Company after being overwhelmed by the Shadowlanders.
Dreams of Steel and Bleak Seasons[edit | edit source]
Mogaba and the Black Company were now trapped by the siege tactics of Shadowspinner, the sole Shadowmaster in the region. Mogaba's behavior during the infamous Siege of Dejagore would lay the groundwork for his notorious defection from the Company.
Mogaba personally led numerous sorties, attacking the Shadowlanders directly, but was unable to break the siege. Eventually, Spinner created a flood, resulting in widespread famine and disease.
Mogaba began to use the siege to fulfill his personal goal of becoming the Captain of the Black Company, presumably to follow the original Company's sinister mission in bringing about the Year of the Skulls. Despite his evil, his aggressive night raids likely saved many in the city. But as conditions worsened, Mogaba sought to consolidate his claim to be Captain. Over the very loud objections of his Nar lieutenants, Mogaba carried on negotiations with the Prince of Taglios – the Prahbrindrah Drah – through his two ambassadors Ranjalpirindi and Chal Ghanda Ghan. The Prince promised to support his claim to take over the Company. They even struck up an agreement with their common enemy Shadowspinner that would result in the Old Crew being wiped out. Unknown to Mogaba, these negotiations were overheard by Thai Dei, who reported back to the Speaker of the Nyueng Bao De Duang, Ky Dam. The Old Crew was made aware of Mogaba's treachery.
As observed by Uncle Doj and Murgen, Mogaba and his most loyal Nar committed human sacrifice beneath Dejagore's citadel during the siege. He, Ochiba, and a few others drank the blood of captured Jaicuri, and then after the ceremony finished, committed cannibalism on account of the famine. Mogaba, it was discovered, was a leader of a cult of Kina; although this was a very different form of Kina-worship than the cult of the Stranglers, who refused to shed blood.
Lady and her allies, including the Stranglers, eventually killed Shadowspinner. Instead of ending the siege, she took control of Spinner's leaderless army and directed them to maintain the siege, albeit with much less bloodshed. Her goal was now to oust Mogaba and terminate his rival claim to the Captaincy. Croaker finally entered the city to publicly negotiate with Mogaba. He handed over the city peacefully. He even asked for a merciful death, as he recognized the evil of his ways. But Croaker chose to spare his life, as he sensed there was still something good left in there. Mogaba departed with Khucho and only two other Nar: the rest of his kinsmen remained behind, loyal to Croaker, the true Captain of the Black Company.
She Is the Darkness[edit | edit source]
After Mogaba's flight south and isolation he saw no other option for himself, and joined with Longshadow. With the other three Shadowmasters all dead, Mogaba was appointed as commander of the remaining armies of the Shadowlands, along with the Howler. Despite their significant defeats in the north, Mogaba raised enough soldiers that he was confident in his ability to defeat Croaker and the army of Taglios in open battle.
After the major defeat at the Battle of Charandaprash, Mogaba took control of the Shadowlander forces and was able successfully fight a tactical retreat across the Plain of Charandaprash, saving thousands of soldiers. This resulted in the Black Company having to fight heavy resistance all the way towards Overlook and subsequently fight in urban combat with entrenched troops at Shadowcatch. When Longshadow fell and was captured by the Company, Mogaba's allegiance again transferred, this time to Soulcatcher in her new role as Protector of all Taglios, an empire which now included the Shadowlands.
Water Sleeps[edit | edit source]
Under Soulcatcher's new regime, the Protectorate, Mogaba took on the title of Great General and commanded much of Taglios' military. He formed the Second Territorial, an elite regiment of soldiers trained the same way the Nar were when in Gea-Xle. With the Black Company crippled but still active, Mogaba was keen to root out the survivors, having not combated a worthy foe in many years. However, he was instead ordered to patrol the provinces outside the city, with Willow Swan and his Greys being given the task of hunting down the Company. This largely involved stamping out the remnants of the Stranglers, and dealing with minor rebellions which Catcher often instigated herself. As a result, Mogaba came to despise the Taken, which would later prompt him to turn on her.
Soldiers Live[edit | edit source]
Mogaba grew to hate Soulcatcher's tyranny as the Protector of Taglios and decided to plan a coup. He managed to gather support from Ghopal Singh (commander of the Greys) and Aridatha Singh (commander of the City Battalions). Combined they plotted to overthrow the Taken, whilst working on occasion with the Black Company to remove her, given their lack of sorcerous allies. They constructed an elaborate mechanical trap in one of the city's major gates to eventually kill Soulcatcher.
The Great General detected that the Black Company encampment not far from the Grove of Doom did not have wizards, so he initiated the Battle at the Shadowlander cemetery. After about a third of his forces, commanded by a promising young officer named Narenda Nath Saraswati, was largely wiped out, Mogaba's own Second Territorial division inflicted many casualties. But after grueling combat, his soldiers were forced to retreat. When he observed that the Company regained supernatural assistance, he sent his newest aid-de-camp, Than Jahn, to negotiate an armistice with the Company so the bodies of lost Taglians could be collected for proper funerary rites. He worked to spin the battle as a victory, and thanks to Aridatha Singh, did in fact gain two valuable prisoners: the Daughter of Night and the Khadidas.
When the Siege of Taglios began, Mogaba set a trap which used the remainder of Soulcatcher's killer shadows to devastate a Company raid that had been sent to remove him. The most notable fatalities he inflicted were Murgen, the Howler, the First Father, and Nashun the Researcher. Mogaba used the trap he had built to kill Soulcatcher against the Company, splitting their forces in half, and killing its Captain, Sleepy. But soon he knew the city was lost. To save face while giving Aridatha a chance to stop the battle, Mogaba fled the city with Ghopal Singh and two of Singh's unmarried cousins from the Greys. They boarded a fishing boat and attempted to escape up the great river. When they were accosted by Soulcatcher's talking crow, he disowned her once and for all. However, the next moment their ship was assaulted by the Unknown Shadows under Tobo's control, and Mogaba and the three others finally met their grim end after days of torture. Mogaba was posthumously viewed by the Taglian populace as a martyr who accepted defeat by the Black Company and fled, sparing the city further needless bloodshed.