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Mythology is one area where nobody wants to know the absolute truth because time has forged great symbols from raw materials supplied by ancient events. Prosaic distortions of fact metamorphose into perceived truths of the soul.

Water Sleeps ch. 97

Surendranath Santaraksita was the Master of the library of Taglios who became a prisoner, and then ally, of the Black Company during Water Sleeps. He was a member of the bhadrhalok, a local group of high-caste but powerless Gunni intellectuals who privately opposed Soulcatcher's Protectorate in Taglios.

Although Master Santaraksita did not appear before Water Sleeps, he almost certainly met Croaker and Murgen when they each visited the library in Shadow Games and Bleak Seasons, respectively. He may have been the "friendly old scholar" mentioned by Croaker in She Is the Darkness who suggested likely definitions of the word "Khatovar". Master Santaraksita also met Dollal Dey Banerjae at some point before he departed with Croaker's first legions to fight in the Battle of Ghoja Ford.

Water Sleeps[]

Master Santaraksita was given the first Annals of the Black Company by the Radisha Drah, and was instructed to destroy them, but he stored them privately instead. His unwillingness to destroy books would later allow the Company to recover them before they left the city to reanimate the Captured.

Santaraksita stumbled upon the young, low-caste sweeper of his library, a boy named "Dorabee Dey Banerjae", reading tomes. Unaware that this was Sleepy in disguise, he was stunned that somebody not of the priestly caste was capable of literacy. He revealed that he had met the real Dorabee's father, Dollal, but was deceived by Sleepy's fabrications to protect her cover. He tested Sleepy's aptitude on several occasions and tried to seduce her, still thinking she was male. In one incident, Master Santaraksita accompanied the library's gate man, Adoo, in search of Dorabee. Adoo led the old man near the warehouse of Banh Do Trang that was being used as the Black Company's secret headquarters, but the two were effectively immobilized by the "confusion net" of disorienting magic spells that had been planted by One-Eye and Goblin. Banh Do Trang notified Sleepy of the intrusion, and, Tobo successfully lured Adoo and Master Santaraksita out of the net to safety, protecting the group's anonymity.

Later, Master Santaraksita was kidnapped by Kendo Cutter. He and the older copyist Baladitya (who was also abducted) were confined and forced to translate the Company's oldest Annals. They were kept in relative comfort compared to other Company prisoners like Narayan Singh and the Daughter of Night. Eventually the Company brought the two elderly Gunni librarians out of Taglios, through the former Shadowlands, across the dangerous glittering plain, and into the fortress with no name. Santaraksita was present with Sleepy, Goblin, Tobo, and Suvrin when they encountered Kina in person for the first time, in the prehistoric chamber of her imprisonment far beneath the fortress. They fled in abject terror when Kina attacked them with fiery wisps of sorcery. Goblin sacrificed himself, impaling Kina with the Lance of Passion, to buy them time to flee back up the daunting staircase.

Soldiers Live[]

Master Santaraksita joined the monks of Khang Phi after the Company reached Hsien. For the next four years at Khang Phi, he finally found the intellectual challenges and wise people he has always wanted to spend his days surrounded by. His last act as an ally of the Company was to help them steal the knowledge to repair Shadowgates from Khang Phi.

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