Black Company Wiki
Advertisement
Black Company Wiki
Shivetya by Brenna Saxton

Fan art by Brenna Saxton

[Shivetya] says his original reason for being created was to manage the machinery that saw that travelers got where they wanted to go. Over time there were battles upon the plain, wars between the worlds, this fortress was built around him, and at every stage he was saddled with additional duties. Sleepy, the creature is half as old as time itself. He actually witnessed the battle between Kina and the demons when the Lords of Light fought the Lords of Darkness. It was the first great war between the worlds, it did take place here on the plain, and none of the myths have got it close to right.

Uncle Doj, Water Sleeps

Shivetya is a giant, prehistoric, three-eyed, sentient stone golem who appeared in the final three Books of Glittering Stone. For millennia, he was nailed to a wooden throne with silver knives in the fortress with no name at the center of the gigantic glittering plain. He was burdened with maintaining the plain as well as guarding the entryway to Kina's tomb-like cavern of imprisonment far beneath him. Shivetya became a critical ally of the Black Company and helped them on numerous occasions, most prominently at the end of Water Sleeps and throughout the events of Soldiers Live.

Appearance[]

Shivetya is unique: a living giant made of stone. Both his body and his wooden throne are described as "crude" in the quality of their carving. His eyes are "orbs [which] show no pupils... half-fried egg-white blanks." In one of the rare times he smiled, teeth were visible.

In She Is the Darkness, during the Black Company's first encounter with Shivetya, his throne was discovered to be toppled face-down and perched over a colossal crack in the ground. The Annalist Murgen described the golem: "I saw no evidence that the thing on the throne was anything but a carving. At closer view it did begin to look a little crudely made." As Shivetya had not yet moved, Longinus believed he was "just some kind of goddamn idol."

The golem's proportions are described as "giant" but are otherwise not extensively detailed in the Annals. However, Croaker did mention his third eye was "about the size of a roc's egg." And, Shivetya and his throne were large enough to give Suvrin pause regarding the Company's ability to turn the throne upright in Water Sleeps.

Before Croaker's Annals[]

Shivetya by Didier Graffet

Shivetya by Didier Graffet, from the front cover art of a French edition of Water Sleeps

Main article: Glittering plain

Shivetya was created by sorcerers of godlike magnitude from a mysterious, prehistoric race called the Nef in the most distant age in the past of the Black Company series. His name may mean "deathless" or "steadfast guardian." The golem was first tasked with controlling the sorcery-laden machinery which maintained the glittering plain, and in that role, he was critical in ensuring that travelers from the various 16 worlds reached their destinations. He outlived his creators but created a trio of ghost-like companions in their likenesses, which he called the Washane, the Washene, and the Washone.

Shivetya was not alone in the unnamed fortress; he had a number of companions, possibly other golems like himself. At some point his mates nailed him to his throne because of his devotion to duty, so they could desert without him interfering. One of the golem's earliest duties may have been to keep warmongers off the plain, but his ability to accomplish this was lost when he was pinned to his throne.

As centuries and millennia passed by, he witnessed countless events, including the war against Kina and her subsequent imprisonment beneath him, the creation of the hellish shadows within his very own throne room, and the raising of the pillars upon the plain. In addition to guarding the entrance to Kina's tomb, he was saddled with at least one more duty by sorcerers from the various connected worlds: the control and maintenance of the 16 shadowgates.

Shivetya would grow tired of his eternal duties and immortality. Many of the events of the Books of Glittering Stone were set in motion by him both to counter the machinations of his prisoner Kina and to finally free himself of his ancient burdens through the peace of death.

Bleak Seasons[]

While Shivetya is not mentioned directly in Bleak Seasons, the terrible earthquake which toppled his throne took place at the end of that chronicle. His throne remained suspended over a newly-formed crevasse for at least 15 years. The tremors had been caused by Soulcatcher's careless tinkering with the plain's machinery which surrounded his throne.

She Is the Darkness[]

Shivetya closeup by Didier Graffet

Shivetya pencil art by Didier Graffet, from Illustrations pour La Compagnie noire de Glen Cook

In She Is the Darkness, after the Siege of Overlook, Murgen had a vision of Shivetya killing Soulcatcher's crows while his throne tilts dangerously over a chasm:

The thing on the throne sits wide-eyed, blind. Its orbs show no pupils. They are half-fried egg-white blanks, yet the creature does seem to see. Certainly it is aware. Grimacing in agony, its face turns as it tracks each venturesome spy from the world. It concentrates its will on each newcomer, wanting it to land. A twinge of evil humor stirs its features whenever a weak bird fails to carry out its instructions.

Shivetya was first encountered in person by Croaker, Lady, and their exploratory expedition out of the homeworld. He was present when Soulcatcher sprang her trap to imprison many of her former captors within the cave of the ancients.

Water Sleeps[]

Fifteen years after She Is the Darkness, Shivetya was visited by more Black Company people. This time, it was the group led by Sleepy the Annalist, who was seeking to liberate the Captured. They were shocked and frightened by the golem, and did not remove the ancient daggers which kept him pinned in place. Nevertheless, Sleepy had her people move his throne away from the crevasse and set it upright. During the process, they inadvertently dropped him on his nose, and his subsequent facial expression indicated displeasure. But despite that incident, he returned the favor by feeding them with a substance they called "manna" from his own body.

Shivetya granted these visitors some of his memories from history, including the fact that Soulcatcher had been responsible for damaging the sorcery-powered machinery of his throne, which caused the massive earthquakes at the end of Bleak Seasons. Eventually he spoke to the group using the voice of a white crow, addressing Sleepy as Stone Soldier (a historical designation for members of the Black Company). He then levitated her alongside Tobo, Uncle Doj, the brothers Runmust and Iqbal Singh, Riverwalker, and Willow Swan for almost 2 hours over the glittering plain and reunited this group with the rest of the Company elsewhere on the plain.

The entire group arrived at Hsien at the end of Water Sleeps, but would revisit Shivetya and his fortress many times in the 4 years which followed.

Soldiers Live[]

In the four years leading up to Soldiers Live, Shivetya permitted Sleepy, now the Black Company Captain, to claim the ancient treasures in the caves beneath his fortress. They used this wealth to fund their retaliation campaign against their enemies Soulcatcher and Mogaba, who controlled Taglios and the former Shadowlands. The golem continued to produce manna for his long-term guest, the old scrivener Baladitya, and several others, including a pair of cowards from the Voroshk world called the First Father and Nashun the Researcher.

After Kina was finally destroyed, Croaker was trapped with Shivetya long enough for the golem to establish direct mental contact with him. Croaker wrote his very last Annals and removed the daggers which pinned Shivetya to his wooden throne. The stone golem was free for the first time in thousands of years. This was done to give the golem the ability to fulfill his one desire: to achieve the peace of death. He accomplished this by exchanging bodies, making Croaker the caretaker of the plain inside the stone golem's body, while Shivetya's consciousness was transferred to Croaker's aging mortal form until that time it would expire naturally. With Croaker in Shivetya's immortal form, the Nef agreed to take over the maintenance of the glittering plain.

Advertisement