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For the language of the same name, see: Shadowlander

Shadowlanders are the inhabitants of the vast number of conquered cities and territories comprising what became known as the Shadowlands. It is a broad, catch-all term that encompasses everyone south of the Main. They were the unfortunate subjects of the four Shadowmasters by the opening of Shadow Games.

Despite suffering through many years of harsh subjugation and an avalanche of continual defeats during both the Shadowmaster wars and the later Kiaulune wars, the Shadowlanders played critical roles in the history of the Black Company. Most notably, two of them (Sleepy from Jaicur and Suvrin from Kiaulune) would attain the highest ranks of the storied organization, with both eventually becoming the Captain.


Shadowlanders are described as being similar to Taglians, sharing the same religions (Gunni, Shadar, and Vehdna) but being darker-skinned. Their main language was Shadowlander, but many dialects existed. Particularly in Kiaulune the languages were collectively known as Sangel. Women and children were seen less frequently by the Black Company, and the typical Shadowlander men were aged and wrinkled. This was likely a result of the Shadowmaster's tyrannical reign, where the people were seen as nothing more than disposable assets.

Shadowlanders are superstitious; during Soldiers Live, Suvrin occasionally made reference to rakshasas, a kind of shape-shifting demon of which supposedly inhabited the Shadowlands. Croaker and Sleepy however dismissed his fears as strictly mythological, stating that if they actually existed the Shadowmasters would have bound them to their will and used them in the prior war.


Before Shadow Games[]

Shadowlander cities began to be conquered by the violent, feuding Shadowmasters at least 15 years before Croaker the Annalist arrived in the southern continent. The first to be conquered was Pityus, followed by the two very large cities Kiaulune and Tragevec, then Six and Fred, followed by Dejagore (also called Jaicur).

Shadowmaster wars[]

Main article: Shadowmaster wars

During the Shadowmaster wars, hundreds of thousands of Shadowlanders fought and died, fearing both their rulers' cruel retribution as well as their enemy, the Black Company (which was in service to the ruler of Taglios, the Prahbrindrah Drah). Murgen realized that the Shadowlanders were subjected to "a human disaster" on account of the battles, disease, accident, and related hardships of war. Also – especially in the southernmost regions – Shadowlanders suffered immensely during the gigantic earthquakes which occurred at the end of Bleak Seasons.

Kiaulune wars[]

Shortly after the period referred to by the Black Company as "the Captivity" began, thousands of Shadowlanders fought against Taglios again, but this time, the reduced Company was their new ally. The government of Taglios had betrayed the Company under the direction of the Radisha Drah and Soulcatcher. These conflicts lasted for 5 years and became known as the Kiaulune wars. The Shadowlander armies were yet again defeated by Taglios. This occurred during the gap between She Is the Darkness and Water Sleeps.

Subsequent events[]

During the Protectorate years, the Shadowlanders were neglected by Soulcatcher. Largely left to their own devices, the inhabitants rebuilt, slowly recovering from generations of misery. A number of Shadowlanders earned important ranks within Black Company by the time of Water Sleeps. When the Company returned through the Shadowgate in Soldiers Live, comparatively few Shadowlanders were harmed during the subsequent swift liberation of the region from the Protectorate. However, before the invaders crossed the Main, a bloody battle was fought within the traditional bounds of the Shadowlands: the Battle of the Middle Ground.