Shukrat was a young woman from the ruling family of the Voroshk world who appeared in Soldiers Live. She was part of the first trio of Voroshk encountered by the Black Company. After fighting them and being soundly defeated, she was their captive for some time, but soon genuinely integrated into the group. She was eventually adopted by Croaker and Lady alongside Arkana, and fell in love with Tobo. She was more sociable than was the Company norm, and was less sneaky and manipulative than Arkana.
Soldiers Live[edit | edit source]
Family[edit | edit source]
Shukrat is described as being beautiful, in her mid-teens, and, like the rest of the Voroshk, as having fair skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. She would mention that she and Arkana had poor relationships with their fathers, the Voroshk patriarchs. Her father, called the First Father, notoriously put aside her mother for a lover named Saltireva. Shukrat was never the same after this affair.
Captured by the Black Company[edit | edit source]
In Soldiers Live, a subset of the Black Company and their allies came to the Voroshk world through the glittering plain to assassinate the forvalaka Lisa Daele Bowalk, who was an ally of the Voroshk. The Voroshk leadership sent Shukrat, a younger sister, and one other family member to accompany Bowalk on a preemptive strike. The three Voroshk were equipped with their priceless shefsepoken (magic robes) and soared through the air aboard their rheitgeistiden (flying posts). But Bowalk had not warned the Voroshk about the Company's fireball projectors. The Company used the weapons to cause Shukrat to crash, mortally injure her younger sister, and chase the third away in defeat. Shukrat was carried away from her impact site by Willow Swan on a litter, and like everyone else present, Swan was awestruck at the young woman's beauty. After killing Bowalk, the Company carried Shukrat through the shadowgate on the stretcher as their captive. She was presumably still unconscious when three Voroshk patriarchs who arrived soon afterward unintentionally destroyed their shadowgate after being tricked by Croaker.
Integrating with the Company[edit | edit source]
Shukrat was soon joined by four other Voroshk teenagers – Sedvod, Gromovol, Arkana, and Magadan – who willingly surrendered to the Company. These four did so to escape the shadows that now threatened to overwhelm their world without the shadowgate to hold them back. Unlike them, Shukrat proactively integrated with the Black Company, with Croaker assessing her as "almost pathetically eager to fit in." She learned the Taglian language quickly, and spoke that language to inform Croaker when Sedvod finally succumbed to his mysterious illness (which turned out to be a curse placed on him by the Khadidas). She frequently translated for the others.
Deeply attracted to the young Company wizard Tobo, she happily taught him the secrets of the rheitgeistiden flying posts.
War against the Protectorate[edit | edit source]
Shukrat participated in several dangerous Company missions during their war against the Protectorate. During the Battle of the Middle Ground, she used her rheitgeistide to soar over Soulcatcher's Middle Army and opened fire with impressive accuracy using a fireball projector. During that same battle, she next persuaded Croaker to trust her in rescuing Tobo after he and the Howler were knocked off their flying carpet by the Khadidas. She and Croaker were accompanied by Uncle Doj, Murgen, Thai Dei, and others, and they attempted to rescue the two wizards without being spotted. But when they were exposed by one of the Howler's unintentional screams, Taglians under the seduction aura of the Daughter of Night charged madly at them. Doj and Thai Dei, veteran soldiers, expertly killed numerous attackers, and Shukrat utilized her very limited sorcery to great effect. The rescue was a success but at the cost of Uncle Doj and Thai Dei.
She also participated in the successful Siege of Taglios.
Rescuing Tobo[edit | edit source]
Shukrat also accompanied Croaker and Arkana on his unsanctioned mission to rescue Tobo, after the young wizard was captured during his foolhardy attempt to murder Aridatha Singh. Croaker and Shukrat, with the help of the Unknown Shadows, kidnapped Aridatha aboard their rheitgeistiden, and threatened to drop him out of the sky if he did not inform them where Tobo was being held. Aridatha relented and told them the location, and waited with Arkana on the north bank of the great river. Meanwhile Shukrat and Croaker smuggled the grievously-wounded Tobo out of his cell. Aridatha was unharmed in this incident and was restored to Taglios. Shukrat remained present throughout the entire 12-hour-long surgery performed by Croaker to remove the skull fragments from Tobo's brain.
Rescuing Arkana[edit | edit source]
After Croaker was stranded in the fortress with no name by Arkana, Shukrat was mentally contacted by Shivetya. She flew out with some Unknown Shadows and rendezvoused with him. Together with Croaker and Soulcatcher's white crow, they rescued Arkana from her imprisonment at the Voroshk stronghold of Rhuknavr.
At the close of the Annals, Shukrat and Arkana together took over the duties of Annalist after Croaker put the pen down for the final time. Shukrat kept her promise to keep her lover Tobo in line, and returned with him, Suvrin, and the rest of the Company to Hsien.