Black Company Wiki
Black Company Wiki

Oar is a large, walled city in the far north of the Lady's Empire, situated south of the Great Forest and north of Deal. It was originally the capital of the independent kingdom of Forsberg, and, became the provincial capital after Forsberg was taken over by the Lady's Empire during the consolidation wars. It is the last major city in the north of the central northern continent. The only noteworthy settlement north of Oar is the Eternal Guard town at the Barrowland, located 100 miles into the Forest. In that town, the fur trade was traditionally an Oar monopoly.

Oar was visited by the Black Company in all three Books of the North, and, was a key location in The Silver Spike. Croaker the Annalist described it as "crowded, filled with distractions" and compared its size to that of Chimney (an unrelated city on the faraway west coast of the northern continent).

Oar's North Side neighborhood was a notorious slum. Oar was the birthplace of the Resurrectionists who liberated the Lady and the Ten Who Were Taken.

The Black Company[]

The city of Oar had a large, homegrown, underground Rebel presence prior to, and during, The Black Company. Unlike other Rebel groups, the cell in Oar was very independent-minded. This was because the local Rebel leadership did not defer to the Circle of Eighteen, which was the alliance of generals which directly commanded all other Rebel hierarchies.

The stable-keeper Cornie was a member of Oar's Rebels. Cornie was coerced by the Black Company into making his Rebel companions kidnap Colonel Zouad, who was the favorite enforcer of the Company's main Imperial rival, the Limper. The Rebels tortured Zouad in their hidden headquarters until they were interrupted by the Limper. Many Oar Rebels were buried alive alongside Zouad and the Limper when Shapeshifter sprung his trap on them all. In the hours that followed, Shapeshifter and the Black Company wiped out the remaining Rebels in wild combat throughout the streets of Oar.

The Black Company's victory in Oar was quickly reversed, however, when Raker swept through the city and recaptured it for the Circle from the Limper's leaderless army. The city was now part of the Circle's growing northern holdings.

Shadows Linger[]

Like most other cities that had been lost to the Circle, Oar was recaptured by the Lady's Imperial armies after the Rebel's horrendous defeat at the Battle of Charm.

A full eight years after the Company had been in Oar, Croaker soared over the city with Whisper on her flying carpet during their flight to the Barrowland. They flew so low he could distinguish faces in the streets. In his Annals he commented that the inhabitants looked no more friendly to the Lady's agents now than they did those eight years ago.

The White Rose[]

In The White Rose, Major Klief and his unit of Eternal Guard men arrested a blacksmith named Sand in Oar. Sand had been part of the New White Rose Rebellion, and his involvement was exposed by the Guardsman Case on behalf of Raven. Later, Croaker and some other undercover Black Company brothers (key members of the Rebellion) approached Sand's smithy, but detected the Imperial trap and avoided it.

The Silver Spike[]

During The Silver Spike, four thugs from Oar's downtrodden North Side slums banded together and became the spike thieves. They stole the silver spike from the Sapling, and later hid it within the city's walls. Oar and many other places in Forsberg were sacked by the Limper, Toadkiller Dog, and their ragtag force containing mainly savages from the Great Forest.

Shortly later, the Empire's Nightstalker Brigade and its leader, Brigadier Wildbrand, were ordered to quarantine Oar when it was revealed that the silver spike was hidden somewhere inside the city. People could come in, but they were not allowed out. The influx of "spike hunters" looking for the silver spike put a strain on the city's infrastructure. These squalid conditions led to an outbreak of cholera which would claim many lives, including Old Man Fish. The most dangerous spike hunter, the Limper himself, returned to Oar all the way from the Temple of Travellers' Repose in the southern continent. Darling commanded a force of dangerous creatures from the Plain of Fear to prevent the spike from getting into the wrong hands. Many powerful sorcerers (including the Limper; Exile; the twins Gossamer and Spidersilk; a large entourage of wizards from the Tower at Charm; and Bomanz the Wakener) and other influential individuals (including Silent, Raven, and the monster Toadkiller Dog) were all killed in the subsequent chaotic confrontation on and near the walls of Oar.