Pawnbroker (Pawn for short, birth name Sugar Beet), was a sworn brother of the Black Company. He became a respected veteran and would accompany the elite mainstays of the band on several of their most dangerous missions.
The Black Company[edit | edit source]
Pawnbroker was a loanshark for many Company brothers. Although he disliked the resulting moniker "Pawnbroker", he preferred it over his farmers' birth name Sugar Beet, for which One-Eye mocked him openly. Croaker described Pawn as ugly, with "beady little eyes".
Pawnbroker was a member of the band at the time of their employment of the Syndic of Beryl. After the uprisings in Beryl, he and the rest of the surviving men were hired by Soulcatcher, the Lady's legate. They made the trip north across the Sea of Torments aboard the imperial flagship, The Dark Wings, to Opal. Pawn presumably took part in most or all major Company operations, including the Battle of Charm.
"Tides Elba"[edit | edit source]
Pawn was garrisoned with the rest of the Company in the city of Aloe during the events of "Tides Elba". He was present during the game of tonk with fellow veterans Croaker, One-Eye, Goblin, Elmo, and Otto, when Corey pointed out Tides Elba crossing in the street. Observing her for the first time from the outdoor seating of the Dark Horse tavern, they were immediately affected by what turned out to be her unconscious sorcery: an attraction aura.
Shadows Linger[edit | edit source]
Pawn was one of the handful of Company veterans to survive the harrowing Rebel ambush of Madle's tavern in Tally. By this time he was fluent in the hand-sign language taught to the Company by Darling, Silent, and Raven.
Shortly afterward, Pawnbroker was selected to be part of the advance team of 25 Company men that were flown from the Barrowland, into the city of Juniper, by the new Taken via flying carpet. This team was led by Elmo and included the physician and Annalist Croaker; the wizard Goblin; the veterans Kingpin and Otto; and other trusted soldiers like Sharkey, Tickle, Crake, Walleye, and Stork. This elite group made the trip ahead of the rest of the Company, and were therefore spared the long march across the northern continent and through the frigid Wolander Mountains.
When Shed attempted to flee Juniper aboard a ship, Pawnbroker and some other Company brothers arrived at the pier in pursuit. When the skipper refused to turn back, Pawnbroker and the men opened fire with arrows, killing the skipper, the mate, the boatswain, and about a dozen other crew members. He then launched in a smaller vessel to intercept them, but the ship carrying Shed escaped to Meadenvil. Asa also escaped to that same city, too. When Pawnbroker and Kingpin were sent to find them, their journey was delayed by bad seas and winds. However, upon finally arriving, Pawn and King quickly framed Bullock for Raven's murder and planned to be witnesses in the murder trial. Later, Pawnbroker and Otto, Kingpin, Croaker, One-Eye, Goblin, and Silent tracked down Raven's ship in the harbor at Meadenvil.
Pawnbroker learned that the Limper and Whisper were pursuing a private vendetta against the Company in Meadenvil, without the knowledge of the Lady. Pawn reported this after a violent clash including Limper's men and some soldiers of the Prince of Meadenvil, during which Pawn received some flesh wounds. It would turn out that the Limper was seeking not simply vengeance but also to retrieve Whisper's cache of documents which purportedly contained the true name of the Lady.
Soon after, Croaker orchestrated the ambush of the Limper. Pawnbroker participated by operating the small ballista that they built and installed in a pig shed. Goblin lured Limper into range, and Pawn fired a shaft that broke his target's breastbone, protruding three feet out of his back. He fired another shaft which ripped entirely through the Limper's body. With Croaker and an innkeeper, Pawn helped chop the Limper into a pulp.
Pawn was not mentioned again by name in the available Annals after his participation in the ambush of the Limper. He was not among the 10 Company survivors of the Battle of the Barrowland, and it is probable that, like many other Company brothers, he was killed in the fighting up to or during the Barrowland. Although less likely, it is also conceivable he retired or otherwise left the Company before that climactic battle.