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The new Taken were at least 12 sorcerers of immense magnitude and skill who were enslaved by the Lady using the Rite of Taking. The first three were "Taken" directly from the Circle of Eighteen to bolster the Lady's power in her war against that group in The Black Company. These were Whisper – by far the most important and dangerous of all the new Taken – as well as the newlyweds Feather and Journey. Four unidentified newcomers briefly appeared in the short stories of the On The Long Run arc. The final five (Benefice, Blister, Scorn, the Creeper, and Learned) were Taken to help lead the Lady's forces against the New White Rose Rebellion. Whisper, Journey, and 3 of the final 5 additions were participants in the Battle of the Barrowland, where the survivors of the group were rendered powerless due to the Rite of Naming.

Overview[]

The extremely powerful and sophisticated domination spells which the new Taken were subjected to constituted a ritual that takes hours, possibly days, during which the victim appears to be "broken, slain, and resurrected" as a devoted slave. The Lady's new Taken were subjected to her Eye and placed utterly and irrevocably under her power, just as the Ten Who Were Taken were originally controlled by the Dominator. However, the Limper, the last of the Ten still in the Lady's service in the north, ranked higher than the new Taken. Like the Ten, the Lady's new Taken were not automatons – they were free to scheme against each other and even the Lady – but the Lady had the power to completely strip them of all their magical talent at will.

Each of the new Taken was skilled with flying carpets and a wide variety of devastating sorcery. They were instrumental in key battles, including: cleansing the Ghost Country of forgotten evils in Port of Shadows; the Battle of Juniper against the castle creatures in Shadows Linger; and the choreographed slaying of the Dominator's ancient demon "pets" at the Battle of the Barrowland in The White Rose.

Despite their power, the new Taken were never considered to be as strong or threatening as the original Ten. Except for Whisper, they all dressed identically. Whisper proved to be the only unique one among them, and was the most characterized of the group by far.

The new Taken identified by name are:

Four other new Taken were also known to exist, but were never identified by name. They appeared in – and were killed during – the short stories of the On The Long Run story arc. A one-handed male Taken fell into a fatal trap at sea laid by the Black Company during "Cranky Bitch"; a young and beautiful female Taken was killed by Leta in "Leta of the Thousand Sorrows", and two others were killed by the sorceress Blind Emon during "Shaggy Dog Bridge".

A sorceress called Mischievous Rain, who resembled the Lady, was ostensibly one of the new Taken. She was heavily involved in the Black Company's activities during Port of Shadows – the years between The Black Company and Shadows Linger – but she is not mentioned outside unreliable and fragmentary records of that time. It is also disputed by historians whether she was a Taken at all, and in "Cranky Bitch" Croaker the Annalist vaguely recalled his time with her as being with the Lady all along.

The Black Company[]

Whisper[]

The first three sorcerers Taken by the Lady belonged to the Circle of Eighteen, the leaders of the Rebel armies which waged war against the Lady's Empire. The first to be Taken was Whisper, the most dangerous of the entire Circle. Significantly, until the Lady enslaved Whisper, it had been universally assumed (even by the Lady's own sister Soulcatcher) that only the Dominator was able to execute the Rite of Taking. Whisper was ambushed by two Black Company men – Croaker and Raven – in the Forest of Cloud, and her Taking was witnessed and chronicled in limited detail by Croaker.

Feather and Journey[]

Leading up to the epic Rebel siege of the Tower at Charm, the Black Company kidnapped two more (newly-inducted) members of the Circle, Feather and Journey, and delivered them to the Lady. They were both Taken by the Lady, like Whisper. Alongside Whisper, they both fought for the Lady against the remainder of the Circle, their former allies, at Charm.

Port of Shadows[]

After the Black Company captured Tides Elba, a young woman with significant magic potential who had been training as a priestess in Aloe's Temple of Occupoa, she was transported by the Limper to Charm. She later returned to Aloe as Mischievous Rain, having apparently been Taken by the Lady, along with two children who she claimed were the offspring of her and Croaker: Shin and Baku. She was also accompanied by a strange, three-eyed cat named Ankou. Croaker came to believe, with good reason, that Shin, Baku, and Ankou were demons of some kind who were subservient to Mischievous Rain. The Taken was tasked with assisting the Black Company in rooting out the Port of Shadows, a prophesied individual who would give birth to the Dominator's reincarnation, but also had a surprising predilection for Croaker and went out her way to make it appear as though they were in a relationship.

Following the capture of the first encountered copies of Tides Elba at Honnoh, Mischievous Rain returned to the Tower with them, beginning an absence from Aloe that unexpectedly lasted for several months. Her long absence was never explained, and she or the Lady even went to the trouble of sending an impostor, a magically-trained Tides Elba copy disguised with a glamour, to Aloe to resume the search for the Port of Shadows. The genuine Mischievous Rain later returned to Aloe after the Company discovered several TelleKurre documents in a hidden Resurrectionist shrine, but then vanished from all records and the Company's memories after the subjugation of the Ghost Country. Croaker's last recorded memory of Mischievous Rain is when she introduces him to her sister, Laissa, as her husband using his birth name, which should not have been known to her.

An Aloen historian later asserted that Mischievous Rain may not have been a Taken at all, and speculated based on the evidence available to him that "Mischievous Rain" may have been an identity used by two people: the Lady at first, and then another woman after the long absence. In the historian's view, it could not have been the Lady the whole time because the Mischievous Rain who led the Ghost Country campaign was "more naive" and "thoroughly infatuated" with Croaker. The historian also claimed that "as many as five" other new Taken aside from Whisper, Journey, Feather, and Mischievous Rain were believed to have participated in the Ghost Country campaign, but noted that records were vague on this point.

Shadows Linger[]

Whisper and Feather secretly conspired in the far northwestern city of Juniper to harm the Black Company in some undisclosed way during the events of Shadows Linger. Their treachery was not immediately known to the Lady, and it was first uncovered by the Captain, who died trying to evacuate his men from the city.

Feather was killed by the Dominator's castle creatures in the Battle of Juniper. Her outraged husband Journey wasted two priceless flying carpets (his own and the Limper's) trying to avenge her. After the battle, he then remained in Juniper when the Lady personally laid waste to the city in response to the giant uprising of the populace led by Hargadon. Meanwhile, Whisper and the Limper left on horseback to undertake an unauthorized retaliation campaign against the Black Company in Meadenvil.

On The Long Run short stories[]

At least 6 new Taken pursued the fugitive Black Company for their desertion during the Battle of Juniper. They hounded them at sea and overland throughout the On The Long Run arc. But, despite their immense power, they failed to destroy the haggard band. In fact they suffered 4 fatalities when faced with the Company's ingenuity and other unexpected supernatural threats.

"Cranky Bitch"[]

Three unidentified new Taken were behind much of the bloodshed in "Cranky Bitch". They rapidly asserted control over the villages of the Pocatose archipelago, and threatened to kill everyone if they did not stage a pirate attack on Cranky Bitch (the ship carrying the Black Company). The Pocatose duly undertook 3 suicidal raids against the well-defended ship, as their fear of the Takens' terrible sorcery outmatched even the obvious danger posed by the mercenary band. One of the new Taken, an individual with only one hand, attacked Cranky Bitch directly with a fiery aerial assault from a flying carpet. The Black Company was prepared, and they shot down the hostile sorcerer using special ballistae with sorcery-guided projectiles. The smoldering corpse of this Taken was thrown overboard, and was abandoned to the depths by the other two Taken.

Croaker strongly suspected that the 3 Taken were carrying out an independent endeavor, unsanctioned by the Lady. It is likely that the surviving pair included Whisper and/or Journey, and the deceased one could have been Two Dead, a sorcerer of "almost Taken caliber" from Port of Shadows whose arm had required amputation.

"Leta of the Thousand Sorrows"[]

Whisper and 4 other new Taken continued their pursuit of the Black Company in "Leta of the Thousand Sorrows". When the Company set up camp in a supernatural clearing in the vast western wilderness, the Taken tried to mentally possess their enemies using egg-shaped objects with Taking-like sorcery within. This plot was defeated with the aid of Darling's null. A young and beautiful Taken woman was killed when the Company's strange new allies – the Letas – destroyed her flying carpet in midair. Then, Whisper and the remaining 3 Taken were chased away when the Letas sallied forth with explosive sorcery.

"Wet Dream Fish Story"[]

Only a single new Taken was seen in "Wet Dream Fish Story". This unidentified sorcerer was soaring in the distant sky above the mermaids' river island where the Black Company was camped temporarily. The Company established an effective lookout system, so with ample warning to hide, they evidently were not seen by the Taken.

"Those Who Went Before"[]

A single new Taken was briefly spotted in "Those Who Went Before" at a great distance. This unidentified sorcerer was seen to “slowly transit the setting moon” by Croaker from his vantage point near the Grand Memorial to Our Honored Dead.

"Shaggy Dog Bridge"[]

Whisper, Journey, and the two remaining newcomers to the Taken (both unidentified by Croaker) appeared in "Shaggy Dog Bridge". They were now accompanied by Imperial infantry. The four Taken fought an explosive midair battle against Blind Emon over the castle of the Master, during which the two newcomer Taken were killed. Journey and especially Whisper were badly injured during this battle but survived.

"Bone Eaters"[]

The surviving pair of new Taken were not a direct threat in "Bone Eaters", as they were still recovering from the injuries they sustained from Blind Emon during "Shaggy Dog Bridge". Their inactivity permitted One-Eye to harass the Imperial rank-and-file with his spirited torments and miserable illusions, totally draining their fighting spirit. However, the Taken almost certainly had a hand in the complex glamour that forced the Black Company to approach the dangerous Village of Hungry Ghosts. Later, Whisper, only partially recovered, surreptitiously entered Rue one winter night, handing the city's senior leaders an ultimatum from the Lady to betray the Black Company, and they accepted. But this plot is observed from the shadows by spies, namely, rats controlled by One-Eye. Before the double-cross can happen, the Company strikes the traitors first and leaves the city with considerable loot.

The White Rose[]

By the time of the events of the third chronicle, the Lady had Taken 5 new wizards: Scorn, Blister, Benefice, the Creeper, and Learned. The Lady used them to encircle the Plain of Fear to trap Darling and the Black Company – the nucleus of the New White Rose Rebellion – by stationing her new Taken and the Limper at various points outside the plain. The Limper, the only member of the original Taken still in the Lady's service, was stationed with Benefice outside Rust as commander over all. Whisper and Journey operated together out of a village called Spit, to the west of the plain. The newest five each had their own posts and unique stellae. The newest five were generally undistinguished in Croaker's Annals, and although he encountered all of them, they often went unnamed because of their identical dress.

Scorn and Blister[]

Lady initially stations Blister at Thud, and Scorn at Hull. These two Taken eventually prove to be traitorous to their empress.

Blister's great talent is necromancy, which apparently includes divination; she is able to read the future and realizes that Lady is destined to disappear from the her own Empire. Thinking she has an opportunity, Blister and fellow Taken Scorn launch a surprise attack on the Lady in the Plain of Fear, knowing she is without magic inside Darling's null. The assassination attempt is foiled by Father Tree, however, who strikes Blister and Scorn from their carpets with lightning bolts. They both plummet into venomous land-coral. Soon after, the Lady -- thinking her attackers were the usual suspects Limper and Whisper -- was somewhat surprised to discover that they were Blister and Scorn instead. She strips both of them of their powers, and they are left for dead; neither one participates in the Battle of the Barrowland. Scorn perishes; years later it was established that Blister, who was also presumed dead in the coral, actually survived, although bereft of magical ability.

Benefice[]

Benefice was the sub-commander positioned under the Limper at Rust during the imperial encirclement of the Plain. He and the Limper are later seen on carpets fleeing Rust as Darling and the Plain creatures approached. The Lady admires him specifically for his prowess in managing multiple carpets, and even compares his riding skill to that of his great predecessor, the Howler. He was given the most responsibility of all the Taken in the airborne attack on the windwhales over Darling's army as it marched westward to Horse. In this battle, Benefice personally controlled a W-shaped formation of five massive carpets. Later, he went on a two-day journey by carpet for the Lady, and tracked down a carved rune stone that proved worthless.

The Creeper and Learned[]

The Creeper and Learned were the Lady's subordinates at Frost and Rue, respectively. Neither were mentioned again by name in the Annals, until a tangential reference about their survival was recorded in the sixth chronicle many years later.

Fate of the new Taken[]

Croaker recorded that a pair of Taken was knocked out of the sky by both a swarm of mantas and Darling's null as the Plain army marched on Rust. He implied that those two Taken could have been killed that night. Later events would prove that these two must have survived, however, as all seven remaining new Taken were mentioned by name to be alive afterward.

After the failed attempt on her life by the traitors Blister and Scorn, the Lady set up a sort of 'dead-man's trigger' as a kind of insurance policy. Should the Lady be killed or lose her own power, it would immediately strip away the powers of the new Taken. This occurred after the death of the Dominator in the aftermath of the Battle of the Barrowland, when Silent spoke the Lady's true name to fully strip away her supernatural abilities. As a result, the remaining new Taken also lost their ability to fly their carpets, and plummeted out of midair, "undone, and soon dead" as recorded by Croaker. However, it was later determined that only Benefice could have been killed during this event. At least 5 years later during Bleak Seasons, Otto and Hagop reported reliable testimony from Imperial officials in the Tower at Charm that Whisper, Journey, Blister, Creeper, and Learned had somehow survived.


New Taken
Whisper
JourneyFeather
BeneficeScornBlister • The CreeperLearned
Mischievous Rain
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