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Shivetya by Didier Graffet

Shivetya by Didier Graffet

[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 was a prehistoric, sentient, three-eyed stone colossus who appeared in the final two Books of Glittering Stone. He was nailed to a wooden throne with silver knives in the fortress with no name at the center of the gigantic glittering plain. His name meant "deathless" and he was burdened with maintaining the plain as well as guarding the way to Kina's tomb-like cavern of imprisonment. 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.

Before Croaker's Annals Edit

Main article: Glittering plain

Shivetya was created by sorcerers from a mysterious, prehistoric race called the Nef many distant ages in the past of the Black Company series. He 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.

As centuries and millennia passed by, he witnessed countless events, including the war against Kina and her subsequent imprisonment beneath him, as well as the creation of the hellish shadows. And, he was saddled with more duties by sorcerers from the various connected worlds. This included keeping warmongers off the plain, keeping Kina imprisoned, and controlling the 16 shadowgates.

Shivetya would grow tired of his eternal duties. 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 eventually free himself of his ancient burdens.

Bleak SeasonsEdit

Shivetya by Didier Graffett

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

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 DarknessEdit

In She Is the Darkness, after the Siege of Overlook Murgen has 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 SleepsEdit

Fifteen years after She Is the Darkness, Shivetya was visited by more Black Company people. This time, it was the group led by Sleepy, who was seeking to liberate the Captured. They were shocked and frightened by the golem, and did not remove the daggers which kept him pinned in place. Nevertheless, Sleepy had her people move his throne away from the crevasse and set it upright. In return, he fed them by generating a substance they called "manna" from his own body. The entire group left him to travel to the world called Hsien at the end of Water Sleeps, but would revisit his fortress many times in the 4 years which followed.

Soldiers LiveEdit

In the four years leading up to Soldiers Live, Shivetya permitted Sleepy and the Black Company to empty 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.

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