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Black Company Wiki

Showboy (also spelled Show Boy) was a sworn brother of the Black Company who appeared in three of the short stories of the On The Long Run arc. He appears with his pet dog Ralf in a major role in "Wet Dream Fish Story", during which his name was given as "Showboy". He was also mentioned briefly in "Cranky Bitch" and "Those Who Went Before", where Croaker the Annalist gives his name the alternate spelling of "Show Boy".

Croaker wrote that Showboy "got his name because he talked a great game till it came time to play", and later even called him the Company's "dimmest candle". Showboy attempted to flirt with Darling, which Croaker did not appreciate. However, Croaker was deeply impressed with Showboy's moral actions after his supernatural encounter with a mermaid named Dai-Li.

It is unclear when Showboy joined the Company, but the fact that he seems to have subordinates during "Cranky Bitch" suggests he was already with the group before their arrival in Chimney and would therefore be one of the survivors of the Battle of Juniper. He may have been part of Master Sylus's crew aboard the ship Cranky Bitch.

"Cranky Bitch"[]

After a violent storm in harbor at Chimney, one of Showboy's followers goes topside to confirm the danger has passed when the storm seems mostly over. Showboy presumably sailed with the rest of the Company aboard Cranky Bitch and participated in the sea skirmishes against the pirates of the Pocatose.

According to Otto, Chimney was where Showboy acquired his pet dog Ralf, a "scruffy little brown and white terrier thing".

"Wet Dream Fish Story"[]

Showboy is with Elmo’s vanguard group as the Black Company slowly moves through the western wilderness, the “the densest forest north of the Sea of Torments”. He departs this group to report to Croaker, the Lieutenant, Darling, and the wizards One-Eye, Goblin, and Silent the exciting news that a road has been found.

Shortly afterward, Showboy is the first to witness the inexplicable sight of naked, buxom women surfacing from a river. Since Croaker judges Showboy to be foolish and not a credible person, Croaker initially dismisses the rumors until the mermaids are confirmed to be real. Later, Otto witnesses both Showboy and his dog Ralf leaping into the arms of a young mermaid and being pulled underwater.

Encounter with Dai-Li[]

Showboy and the dog Ralf are presumed dead until they both resurface – soaked, exhausted, and still alive beyond all expectations – after 3 days missing. Showboy is confused and disoriented; he repeats himself and seems to be under the spell of a kind of love me sorcery. But he identifies the mermaid that pulled him under by name: Dai-Li (pronounced Dye Lee). Showboy simply repeats that Dai-Li took him and Ralf the dog to the “Palace of the River Queen”. With Candy playing the role of the angry interrogator and the Lieutenant playing a more sympathetic role, they get Showboy to recall only certain details. His memory becomes hazy when he starts talking about the “River Queen”, who is supposed to be the original matriarch of the mermaids, now residing elsewhere as a water dragon. Croaker is not impressed with this mythical story and suggests the wizards One-Eye or Goblin to check the young man’s mind. The two elderly wizards use a silver bowl filled with water from the mermaids’ interior lake to display images of the young man’s memories. But the visuals are double-imaged. There are 2 sets of memories: what mermaids want him to remember (a grand palace), and what he truly saw (a muddy den). They learn that the mermaids mated with Showboy, and gave him messages that he failed to retain. They also confirm the story of Adelin, Honra, and Eisen Fisher about their connection to the old Dominator, almost 4 centuries ago.

Subsequent events[]

Two nights after Adelin, Honra, and Eisen Fisher are killed and consumed by the mermaids, their large packs containing mermaid jerky disappear. Croaker believes they were moved and abandoned or buried in the woods by Showboy, who is still loyal to the mermaids. Due to his action, it seems no one had the opportunity to succumb to the temptation of consuming the jerky to gain immortality.

"Those Who Went Before"[]

As the Company continues along the old road in the western wilderness in "Those Who Went Before", Showboy and his clique advance in an unauthorized, undisciplined rabble beyond Elmo's vanguard group to get a closer look at something interesting. They find a large, artificial berm that marks an abrupt end of the forest. This turns out to be the boundary of the old, sorcery-charged military cemetary called the Grand Memorial to Our Honored Dead. Careless loss of livestock and Showboy's unauthorized movements spur the Lieutenant to give an impassioned speech against indiscipline.

Showboy is not mentioned again in the available Annals. But, like all other brothers mentioned prior to the Battle of the Barrowland, he is presumed deceased or missing since he was not among the 10 Company survivors of that battle.