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Black Company Wiki

I've been with the Company since I was only a little older than Spangler... "You're Spangler from Packer's Lane in Chimney, fifteen years old, almost sixteen, and you're my leading apprentice" ... a kid who resented having his life so much controlled by the Annalist and physician of the Black Company.

Spangler was a 15-year-old brother of the Black Company who featured prominently in "Those Who Went Before", a short story of the On The Long Run arc. He was one of the "lowlifes" recruited from the city of Chimney. Spangler and Butterbutt, another youth from Chimney, were intended to be the physician's apprentices of Croaker, but they shirked much of their training. Despite this, Croaker stated that Spangler was his "leading apprentice" and that he had chosen him because he "thought he was one of the smartest Chimney kids".

Preceding events[]

Although Spangler is not mentioned by name before "Those Who Went Before", certain details about his life prior to those events are known.

Spangler was one of the young "lowlifes" who joined the Black Company sometime during the short story "Cranky Bitch", at some point before their final embarkation onto the vessel of the same name at his birthplace, the city of Chimney. He was from Packer's Lane specifically. He may have known other natives recruited from his city, including Butterbutt, Rusty, Zeb the archer, Jarhead, and Dagoth, and possibly Tedd (who was from Choudan but was recruited in Chimney). He may have participated in some or all of the Company's sea battles on the Gap against the pirates of the Pocatose archipelago. It is certain he was with them when they disembarked from the Bitch a final time and entered the western wilderness. It is likely he was one of the many men bedded by the supernatural woman called Leta in "Leta of the Thousand Sorrows" and he probably witnessed the mermaids in "Wet Dream Fish Story".

"Those Who Went Before"[]

When the Black Company enters an old sorcery-charged cemetery called the Grand Memorial to Our Honored Dead, Spangler, Rusty, and 4 other newcomers from Chimney become incapacitated after touching white memorial posts. He is flooded with countless memories from the life of someone who died fighting the Domination centuries ago. Croaker, before he learned that Spangler was among the injured, asks Elmo to fetch Butterbutt and Spangler to help him assess the injuries. Soon, the Lieutenant orders everyone to continue their eastward trek except Croaker, who stays behind just outside the cemetery with Spangler and one other patient who is also unconscious.

When Croaker wakes up late at night to urinate, he spots a firefly: a possible indication that the Lady is observing him from afar. He also realizes that Spangler is mindlessly shambling back into the haunted cemetery. Before Spangler can touch the memorial post that injured him earlier, Croaker firmly guides him toward a limestone building that will restore his mind. He takes a risky route through the dangerous memorial posts, all of which emanate memories of long-dead people who died badly. To help Spangler regain control of his senses, he reminds him about details of his own life: his name, the fact he will be 16 years old soon, that he is from Packer's Lane in Chimney, and that he is Croaker's leading apprentice. During the walk, Croaker flicks a firefly out of Spangler's hair, and the bug bursts in a tiny explosion of sorcery against one of the memorial posts. Croaker believes this will alert the Lady and may trigger the Company's enemies, the new Taken, to attack, but this proves false. As he hustles Spangler into the limestone building – which is supernaturally lit on the inside – the young man regains control of his mind and body. Spangler confirms he had been flooded with the memories of someone who fought to the death alongside many others in a “no-mercy war” against the Domination.

Before dawn, Croaker and Spangler return to the medical wagon, and two days later, they reunite with the rest of the Company.

Like all other brothers mentioned prior to the Battle of the Barrowland, he is ultimately presumed deceased or missing since he was not among the 10 Company survivors of that battle.