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The term Rebel (often in the singular) referred to at least three separate movements which all opposed the Lady and her Empire, at various times and in various places on the northern continent:

  1. the Circle of Eighteen and their sprawling armies (The Black Company)
  2. the indigenous Rebel of Tally, a new Imperial province in the distant east (Shadows Linger)
  3. the New White Rose Rebellion founded by Darling (The White Rose)

All three Rebel movements claimed to be inspired by the prophesy of the White Rose reincarnation, but only the last of them had the genuine claim.

The Rebel of the Circle of Eighteen[]

Main article: Circle of Eighteen

The forces of the first Rebel movement were the primary combatants in The Black Company. They were led by a group of high-magnitude sorcerers called the Circle of Eighteen. They waged war against the Imperial armies and their leaders, the Ten Who Were Taken, as well as the Lady's hired mercenaries, the Black Company. When compared to subsequent Rebel movements, the Rebel of the Circle was by far the largest. They motivated their masses with prophesies and a detailed mythos involving the Great Comet and the promised return of the White Rose.

The Battle of Charm[]

After a string of victories in the north, the Circle besieged the Tower with more than 250,000 soldiers during the epic Battle of Charm. There, the Rebel was virtually wiped out. The Circle and the replacements who replenished the ranks of the Eighteen were all killed (or Taken). Another fatality was their hoax "White Rose reborn" who was simply an anonymous young girl whom they paraded out toward the end of the battle and surrounded with an inspirational glowing light. The Lady revealed that many of the Circle had been working as agents of her husband, the Dominator, who was ceaselessly attempting to be freed from his centuries-old prison known as the Barrowland. In her estimation, the Rebel movement of the Circle did not come about independently, but was ultimately the machination of her husband.

The Circle had falsely proclaimed to have found the prophesied White Rose reborn. But in a twist of irony, the true reincarnation of the White Rose – Darling – was a young girl on the Imperial side. Her power, called the null, was even exposed for the very first time in combat against the Circle. She helped Raven and others in an Imperial formation shake off a Rebel sleep spell that had rendered them unconscious.

Fates of the survivors[]

Despite the catastrophic losses suffered by the Rebel at Charm, small bands and individuals from the Circle's forces did survive:

Hidden within the Empire[]

Some Rebel survivors of Charm simply remained hidden within the Lady's Empire. One of these was Corder, who lived in Tanner and would become a key underground cell captain in Darling's New White Rose Rebellion about 15 years later (The White Rose). Another was Fish, who acknowledged that the "[the Imperials] don't want to let anybody who went there [Charm] die of old age" and consequently spent many of his subsequent days living a self-sufficient life in the unforgiving Great Forest.

Joined the Imperial ranks[]

A number of Rebel captives from Charm and fugitives who were tracked down later were given the choice to switch to the Imperial side or be executed. Many changed their allegiance. A Rebel wizard who actually survived the combat at Charm, and who would change his identity to "Tesch" after joining the Empire, was the most noteworthy of these. He appeared in Port of Shadows.

Cannon Shear: in the east[]

An unseen Rebel operator called Cannon Shear (who was reportedly a cousin of Whisper) challenged the Empire after Charm. It is unspecified if he was actually at the Battle of Charm in person. He and his rabble were badly defeated by the Black Company in an ambush outside the easterly city of Aloe in Port of Shadows.

The "Crater crowd"[]

A small band of Rebels disarmed and fled the Lady's Empire entirely, making their way across the northern continent all the way to its northwesterly most inhabited place: the frigid city of Juniper. There, they regularly met in a tavern called the Crater and swapped old war stories. They were stunned when they were surrounded and captured there by the Black Company in Shadows Linger. However, they were not the main target of that raid, and the new Taken simply handed them over to local authorities in Juniper called the Custodians.

The Rebel of Tally[]

The indigenous Rebels of Tally constituted a local Rebel movement that sprung up when the Lady and her new Taken expanded the Empire farther east, after the Battle of Charm. The Tallylanders were unrelated to the Circle's original Rebels, but were no doubt inspired by them because of their acceptance of the White Rose prophecies and symbolism. The 10-year-old nephew of Neat even considered himself a soldier of the White Rose. Tally, formerly an independent kingdom but now the newest Imperial province by the start of Shadows Linger, generated its own homegrown Rebel cells. For a time their activity was limited to ambushing the occasional Imperial courier. Many of the cells in and around Tome were crushed by the Black Company at Madle's tavern. Some survivors of this movement fled to the bleak northeasterly kingdom of Tambor. (The Black Company would have pursued them there had they not been recalled west to the Barrowland.) It is not recorded in the Annals what became of these Rebels.

The New White Rose Rebellion[]

Main article: New White Rose Rebellion

The White Rose[]

The third group to use the label "Rebel" was the alliance led by Darling, the genuine White Rose reborn. Darling's forces included the 50-man Black Company and many more partisans in cities like Rust and Oar, but, more important were her allies from the Plain of Fear: a menagerie of overpowering, sentient monsters commanded by talking stone slabs called menhirs.

Under Darling's leadership, the new Rebel would have an entirely different unifying spirit than it had during the years of the Circle. Despite the prophecies, this Rebel movement did not topple the Lady's Empire. However, it did succeed in stripping the Lady of her immense sorcery, forcing her to secretly flee her Empire forever. More importantly, they were instrumental in helping the Lady kill the Dominator during the Battle of the Barrowland in The White Rose.

The Silver Spike[]

Darling and her last surviving band of Rebels – supported by her Plain of Fear monsters – flew the Rebel banner one final time on the walls of the city of Oar during The Silver Spike. They were instrumental in neutralizing the silver spike.