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Of all the Company he is the least concerned about the image he will present in the annals. He does not care whether people like or hate him, does not care where he has been or where he is going. Sometimes I wonder if he cares whether he lives or dies...

Croaker describing Silent, The Black Company

Silent was a dangerous wizard of the Black Company throughout the Annals of the Books of the North, Port of Shadows, and the short stories of the On The Long Run arc. Nonvocal by choice, he took a vow of total silence at some point in his murky past, and he never disclosed the reason. He established a close but platonic companionship with Darling that would outlive even his membership in the Company. The two communicated in a finger speech that became an important part of the communication repertoire of the senior members.

Introduction[]

Silent was a tall white man with a "dusky" complexion. Underneath his shirt, he always wore a small leather bag on a thong around his neck. This "trick bag" was "filled with noxious oddments like putrefied bat's ears or elixir of nightmare", according to Croaker. His age is not established firmly but Croaker's mention of "old gray heads" during an isolated conversation between the young Chasing Midnight and Silent, Goblin, and One-Eye in "Bone Eaters" strongly suggests he is at least middle-aged. The fact he joined the Black Company before Croaker suggests he is older than Croaker himself, but, does not seem to be in the supernaturally-advanced age ranges of One-Eye or Goblin.

Personality[]

Silent by Виталий Стрелец 2

Fan art by Виталий Стрелец

Silent's lack of verbal communication did not result in him becoming cold or emotionless like Raven. In fact, in The White Rose, Croaker the Annalist would write:

Whatever vow he had taken, whatever it was that had driven him to abstain from speech, it had put a steel lock on Silent's jaw. I have seen him so pissed he could chew nails, so excited he lost sphincter control, but nothing has shaken his resolution against talking.

Enigmatically, and unlike most other Company brothers, Silent did not care about his reputation in the Annals. However, he treasured the documents nevertheless, and apparently chose to preserve them over the Company's treasure chest at a critical juncture in the group's history.

Abilities[]

Silent was a lower-magnitude wizard. But his powers were nevertheless extremely effective against typical Black Company targets. His specialities were distinct from the other Company wizards One-Eye and Goblin, who were primarily illusionists. He demonstrated the ability to control insects when he manipulated hornets to attack only the Blues – and avoid Company soldiers – during Mercy's raid on the Mole Tavern in Beryl. Silent was an expert in infiltration and cloaking magic. During the capture and Taking of Whisper in the Forest of Cloud, he was undetected by both Soulcatcher and the Lady despite close proximity. At Madle's tavern in Tally, Silent produced noxious fumes which caused debilitating agony among Rebel attackers; during that same event, he put out fires with his sorcery alone. At the Battle of Juniper, he was trained well by the new Taken to accurately launch a kind of long-distance, sorcery-based artillery barrage. He was also a swift and skilled swordsman.

Before The Black Company[]

Like most of his Company brothers, Silent's life before joining the group is not discussed. It is known he was born in the southern continent. He took the Company oath at some unspecified point after the brothers One-Eye and Tom-Tom joined in D'loc Aloc, but before Croaker joined in Padora. He was presumably born somewhere within the long stretch of territory between those two places.

Vow of silence[]

By the time he joined, he had already taken his namesake vow of silence. Nothing is revealed regarding why Silent took his vow. Croaker summarized the situation as follows:

He has not spoken in all the years I have known him. Nor in the years he has been with the Company. Yet both One-Eye and my predecessor as Annalist say he is quite capable of speech. From hints accumulated over the years, it has become my firm conviction that in his youth, before he signed on, he swore a great oath never to speak. It being the iron law of the Company not to pry into a man’s life before he enlisted, I have been unable to learn anything about the circumstances.

Croaker commented that the Captain deferred to another wizard, One-Eye, when it came to sorcery because he (the Captain) "cannot come to grips with Silent's refusal to talk".

The Black Company[]

Mercy and Verus

Silent is depicted in the background, hooded, with his sack of wasps (left). Mercy confronts Verus in the foreground. Croaker is also visible (bearded, with shield, at right).

Beryl[]

Silent was first introduced in Croaker's Annals in Beryl, after he spent half a day in the woods, in order to gather some dangerous wasps. He accompanied a sergeant named Mercy when the Captain ordered them to confront the Blues, political enemies of the Syndic who murdered two Company brothers at a bar called the Mole Tavern. When the Blues fought back, Mercy ordered Silent to intervene, and Silent unleashed the wasps, which stopped their enemies cold. Very soon the political conflicts in Beryl escalated to a civil uprising. In this tense situation, the Company sent a small squad to negotiate with the mysterious legate from the northern empire (Soulcatcher). Silent was part of the squad as a well-respected and important member, even though he did not say a word.

Assassination of Raker[]

Some months after they accepted Soulcatcher as their sponsor in service to the Lady and went north, Silent and Elmo managed to obtain six head hairs from Raker, who was one of the generals of the Rebel forces seeking to overthrow the Lady's Empire. This occurred during an ambush in a farm somewhere outside Meystrikt. The Company's wizards and Soulcatcher used the hairs in an elaborate spell. In public, they set an incredible pile of treasure which could only be obtained by whomever deposited Raker's severed head. The operation was a success: Raker was hunted, disowned by all the other Rebels, and eventually killed by Raven with help from Croaker.

Capture of the Limper and Whisper[]

The next task by Soulcatcher was to capture Limper and Whisper during their secret meeting. Silent, sent secretly by the Captain, served as a backup for Croaker and Raven, while they were ambushing the sorcerers. From cover, he witnessed part of the gruesome Rite of Taking which the Lady performed on Whisper. Having lost several of their most talented leaders, the Rebel was finally defeated during the Battle of Charm.

Darling[]

Throughout this time, Silent had become the second closest friend of the orphaned civilian Darling. As she was a deaf-mute, the pair communicated in finger speech. Raven, the girl's new adoptive father, was the first to suspect that she was the prophesied White Rose reborn. Silent and Croaker soon guessed the same. Raven deserted with Darling before the Battle of Charm ended; Silent and Croaker later tracked them down. But the two agreed to let Raven continue his flight with his young ward. They suspected that the girl would be endangered by the Lady, and the better solution was to let Raven guide her as far away as possible.

Shadows Linger[]

Sketches of Silent by Mikey Patch (Irontree)

Silent by Mikey Patch

Action in Tally province[]

Silent was a critical part of the Black Company's mission to root out new Rebels in Tally province in the beginning of Shadows Linger. A veteran team consisting of Silent, Croaker, Candy, Pawnbroker, Otto, and Kingpin set up an ambush inside a tavern owned by the local barkeeper Madle. There, they killed more than two dozen Rebels, including the mid-level organizer Neat. One man escaped, however, and raised the alarm. A massive mob of Rebels from throughout the province descended upon Madle's tavern later. They survived an initial wave of attackers only on account of Silent's prepared, lethal sorcery. He also put out the flames when they attempted to torch the structure. During the harrowing fight, the Company brothers killed most of them and executed the prisoners afterward.

In Juniper[]

Silent rode with the Captain, One-Eye, and the main body of the Black Company across the northern continent to Juniper, a city far outside the bounds of the Lady's Empire in the frigid northwest. He crossed the Wolander Mountains with them, and was not part of the advance team (Croaker, Elmo, Goblin, et. al.) that had been flown into the city beforehand by flying carpet.

Prior to the Battle of Juniper, Silent was taught by Feather, one of the new Taken, how to accurately launch a special, long-distance, sorcery-based artillery barrage from Duke Zimerlan's palace, Duretile. This allowed him to bombard the Dominator's black castle during the battle with fireballs, covering the infantry's advance.

In the midst of the battle, it was Silent who relayed the Captain's desperate orders to immediately evacuate the senior members of the Company from the city aboard a prepared ship. Silent may have chosen the Annals over the Company's treasure chest (or some portion of it) to abscond with. He later participated in Croaker's bloody, successful ambush of the Limper outside Meadenvil.

On The Long Run short stories[]

Silent was present with the Company throughout the On The Long Run arc of short stories, all of which take place during the first 4 years of the 6-year-gap between Shadows Linger and The White Rose.

"Cranky Bitch"[]

Silent Serbian The Black Company

As depicted in the Serbian translation of The Black Company

Silent and the rest of the surviving Black Company fled for the next 4 years eastward across the northern continent, pursued by Whisper and the other new Taken. They would become the nucleus of the New White Rose Rebellion.

Silent was on liberty in Chimney the night a supernatural lightning storm rolled over the city, while Darling remained behind aboard Cranky Bitch. This was one of the rare instances when Silent was separated from his young ward. Later, during the Black Company's time in service to the Houses of Istven and the Seamen's Guild, Silent participated in the three battles out on the high seas of the Gap. He, One-Eye, and Goblin used their sorcery to sink several hostile pirate ships attacking from the Pocatose archipelago. The evening after the first of those battles, Silent and Darling arrived at Croaker's sickbay. Carefully, they explained that Silent had seen something in the sky possibly resembling a flying carpet. They were probably under the observation of the new Taken. Silent and Darling asked Croaker to relay this to the commanding officers, the Lieutenant and Candy.

After Luckless was shot with a crossbow bolt by Hagop, Silent did not offer to go retrieve the injured teenager from the rigging. Croaker revealed here that Silent did not handle high places well. The wizard next participated in the counter-ambush that killed one of the new Taken. Later, Silent overheard some of Master Sylus's sailors quietly conspiring to find a way to sell out the Black Company to its enemies. This information helped the Lieutenant to make the decision to disembark from the Bitch and take a land route.

"Leta of the Thousand Sorrows"[]

The Black Company has disembarked from Cranky Bitch for the last time, and they are now traveling across the western wilderness, a vast forest, with the new Taken on their trail. In "Leta of the Thousand Sorrows", Silent is with Darling, Croaker, Otto, and Hagop in the vanguard group more than a day's march ahead of the rest of the Company. When they find a clearing where supernatural women are crafted by ancient sorcery emanating from the ground, Silent attempts to disable the sorcery with a special silver-tipped spear, but his efforts are in vain. He is one of the few men who reject the women ("Letas"), and he refuses to bed them. Later, despite One-Eye's insufferable bragging, Silent reveals that the pair of new Taken who were just knocked from the sky were struck by the Letas, not by the Company's own wizards. He is furious when the clearing attempts to create a man for Darling, and helps Croaker abort the male entity.

"Wet Dream Fish Story"[]

Silent plays a minor role in "Wet Dream Fish Story". At the start of this chronicle, he is with the command staff (the Lieutenant, Croaker, Darling, and the wizards One-Eye and Goblin) during the group's continued trek through the humid, inhospitable, bug-infested, and “densest forest north of the Sea of Torments”. He is present when Showboy is sent back to them by Elmo from a vanguard group to announce the exciting discovery of an old but impressively well-engineered road ahead.

Silent, Darling, the Lieutenant, Candy, and Croaker attend the gathering where a Company newcomer from Choudan named Tedd interprets for the trio of ageless mermaid-fishermen named Adelin, Honra, and Eisen Fisher. There, the Fishers offer to trade immortality in the form of mermaid jerky in exchange for their safe passage off the island... an offer which is ultimately rejected. Later, he transmits Darling's finger speech when she confronts the river mermaids who have released Showboy from captivity.

"Those Who Went Before"[]

Silent has a brief exchange with Croaker in "Those Who Went Before". As the Company continues along the road in the western wilderness, they pass through an old, sorcery-charged cemetery called the Grand Memorial to Our Honored Dead. Silent accompanies Darling inside, but Darling is deeply stressed by the ancient sorcery that infests the place. After Rusty, Spangler, and 4 other incautious newcomers from Chimney touch the memorial posts and are rendered unconscious, Croaker requests that Darling be near the victims in case they can potentially benefit from her null. Silent signs that she will do this but only if the victims are removed from the cemetery first. Once outside the berm that surrounds the cemetery, Silent signs to Croaker that the sorcery emanating from the place is still strong, explaining this was why their livestock had scattered before they entered the place. Darling's null has a positive effect, but when Rusty awakens, he glares at Darling with “pure, lustful evil”. He stops when he sees the expression on Silent's face. Silent continues onward with everyone else when Croaker is instructed by the Lieutenant to remain behind with the unconscious Spangler and one other victim that would not awaken.

"Shaggy Dog Bridge"[]

Silent is mentioned only briefly in "Shaggy Dog Bridge", during which he and Goblin interpreted between the Lieutenant and the hapless slaves of the unseen, foul sorcerer called the Master.

"Bone Eaters"[]

Silent features prominently in "Bone Eaters". He rode up with Darling on horseback to confront the disobedient soldier Rusty. Darling instructed Silent to protect and train Chasing Midnight, a young woman whom she had invited to join the New White Rose Rebellion. Silent delegated this task to Robin. Later, he helped Darling organize the protection of the Black Company and their band of refugees escaping the Lady's Empire from the lethal siren call of the hungry ghosts. He was familiar with this sort of supernatural threat. Using finger speech he relayed Chasing Midnight's plan back toward Darling, and the malicious entities were soon successfully wiped out. Croaker took note in his chronicle for these events that, at one point during this ordeal, "Silent grunted, which proved how rattled he was".

When the Black Company enters into the service of the Magistrates of Rue, the wizards' skills of Silent, One-Eye, and Goblin are put to great use in their skirmishes against Rue's rivals, the Dank.

The White Rose[]

After those 4 years on the run from the Lady and her new Taken, the Black Company arrived at the Plain of Fear. They were permitted by the menhirs to make their headquarters in a cavern later referred to as the Hole. They organized couriers and other minor activities for 2 uneventful years as the backbone of the New White Rose Rebellion.

After several battles, the Lady and Darling declared a truce and joined forces to defeat the Dominator. At the Barrowland, Raven was found and restored to health, but Silent had developed hostility towards him, as both were revealed to have a romantic interest in Darling, and Raven had caused Darling incredible heartbreak.

During the Battle of the Barrowland, Silent slashed at the Dominator with a sword, and skillfully evaded his enemy's attempts to strike back. But, the Lieutenant and Elmo were killed by the Dominator's blows when they attempted the same. In the aftermath of the battle, the Lady betrayed the alliance with Darling. She used Darling's true name to permanently strip her of her null. Silent, outraged and torn between his vow and his love for Darling, finally broke his silence and pronounced the Lady's true name, disarming her of her immense sorcery as well. Soon after, Croaker convened an official convocation of all surviving members of the Company at the Blue Willy. The band had been reduced to merely 10 men: Silent, Croaker, One-Eye, Goblin, Otto, Hagop, Murgen, and the three Torque brothers: Stubby, Paddlefoot, and Brother Bear. Wishing to stay with Darling, Silent and the Torque brothers chose not to head for fabled Khatovar. Honorably discharged, they parted ways from the remainder of the Company.

The Silver Spike[]

Silent by Виталий Стрелец

Silent by Виталий Стрелец

After the silver spike was stolen, Silent, Darling, and the Torque brothers were met by Bomanz in the Windy Country. Silent's distrust of the ancient wizard was undisguised. They and their group of monsters from the Plain of Fear had several confrontations with the demented Limper and his loyal pet demon, Toadkiller Dog. He rode with them on the back of a windwhale across the Sea of Torments, and survived the chaotic death and collapse of the giant creature outside the Temple of Travellers' Repose. In a chaotic fight outside the Temple, Silent struck Toadkiller Dog with a bushel of ferocious snakes, distracting the demon from its murderous headlong charge.

Later, on the ramparts of Oar, the superior wizard Bomanz was unable to stop the Limper from approaching the silver spike. Silent sacrificed himself in order to further weaken the Taken. He transformed his own body into a substance that burned fiercely, and jumped onto the Limper. This heroic suicide partially melted down the Limper's malformed clay shape, buying time for a windwhale to seal the Taken into a boiling trap prepared by Exile. Silent's death immediately devastated Darling, who wept and pounded her fists relentlessly into the nearby rampart wall.


Black Company Wizards
One-EyeGoblinSilentTom-TomRaven
ThirdLadyToboArkanaShukrat
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