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Taglios (formally known as Trogo-Taglios) is a sprawling city in the southern continent which was a key location in both Books of the South and all four Books of Glittering Stone. The city was identified as Troko Tallio on the maps at the Temple of Travellers' Repose. It was unwalled throughout its centuries-long history until the later Books of Glittering Stone, when walls, gate complexes, and other defensive structures were added.

Located almost 7,000 miles south of the Sea of Torments, it was the largest city the well-traveled Annalist Croaker had ever seen. The city lay on the southeast bank of the great river, actually inland a little, straddling a tributary that snakes between a half-dozen low hills. The great river's First Cataract is 480 miles north of Taglios. The city is roughly 100 miles north of the surging Main river, and another 200 miles south of the Main is the nearest sizable city: Dejagore. In the Books of Glittering Stone, the Rock Road was paved between Taglios and Dejagore.

During Croaker's lifetime, Taglios was officially ruled by its Prince, the Prahbrindrah Drah with the help of his sister, the Princess Radisha Drah. However, the royal siblings were forced to share an enormous amount of power with the head priests of the three major cults of the city: the Gunni, the Shadar, and the Vehdna.

Before Croaker's Annals[]

For generations, the people of Taglios were peaceful and were not very skilled in warfare, as their warrior caste had been pacified or extinguished after wars with the Free Companies of Khatovar 400 years before the modern Annals. The unwalled city's only protection was the surging Main river to the south, which was the traditional boundary of the city-state's political influence. Despite the constant political maneuverings of the upper classes and the priesthoods, and the general restiveness of the major religious groups, Taglios was characterized by "quiet changelessness" for generations. After apparently centuries of such peace, everything changed for the worse with the arrival of the Shadowmasters' scourge from the south.

Shadow Games[]

Willow's war[]

With the coming of the mysterious Shadowmasters and their armies, the Prince and the priests of Taglios assembled rabbles led by three foreign veterans from the north – Willow Swan, Cordy Mather, and Blade. This was "Willow's war", the opening conflicts of the Shadowmaster wars. The trio enjoyed a lot of early success holding off the Shadowmasters due to Willow's orchestration. He permitted the Shadowlanders to cross the Main, drawing them with no resistance, where they spun-off into many small, easily-crushed raiding parties. Following the successes of General Swan, the priesthoods assembled their own rabbles.

The Prince hires the Black Company[]

About a year later, more armies of Shadowlanders arrived from the south to once again threaten Taglios directly. The Prahbrindrah Drah, over the protests of Taglios' powerful priests, hired the Black Company to defeat them. The Company's Captain, Croaker, would come to be hailed as the Liberator among Taglians. He grew the new Taglian military using the legions found during the ancient times of the Jewel Cities as his model. The army initially consisted of 30,000 infantry in total, divided into 3 legions, each lead by a Nar general: Mogaba as overall commander as well as general of the first legion; Ochiba as general of the second; and Sindawe as general of a third, reserve legion. However the priests, the most influential being the Shadar chief cleric named Jahamaraj Jah, still commanded sizable Taglian armies themselves. Jah's forces would be reduced following the Battle of Ghoja Ford, when Croaker drafted many from the Shadar priest's army into his legions. The Taglians briefly liberated Stormgard (Dejagore) at the start of the Battle of Dejagore, but were forced into the city after the pitched battle was lost.

Dreams of Steel[]

Taglian by Didier Graffet

Taglian soldier

The Prahbrindrah Drah's Taglian armies were trapped during the Siege of Dejagore by Shadowspinner's siege line. With Croaker missing and presumed dead after the Battle of Dejagore, there were two claimants to role of Black Company Captain: Mogaba, who was trapped with the Taglians inside Dejagore; and Lady, who was outside the city. The Taglians, with the Prince's explicit permission, supported Mogaba's claim to the Captaincy. Under Mogaba's direction, Pal Subhir's Taglians committed mass murder against the Nyueng Bao population within Dejagore, wiping out two thirds of the tiny minority race's pilgrimage. The remainder of the Nyueng Bao fled Dejagore with the Old Crew (non-Nar) Company faction led by Murgen.

Back in Taglios, the priests made an attempt on Lady's life. In response, she organized a purge, and over 1,000 priests were executed in a bloodbath known as the Massacre at Khadi Junction.

The situation for the Taglians trapped in Dejagore remained relatively unchanged even after the Lady assassinated Shadowspinner. She simply took control of the Shadowlanders and had them maintain their siege line to support her claim to the Captaincy over Mogaba. However, now the Taglians were encouraged to surrender and their safety was guaranteed, unlike before. The situation was finally relieved when Croaker the Liberator returned, entered Dejagore, and peacefully retook command from Mogaba.

She Is the Darkness[]

Map of Taglios

Map of the area around Taglios.

Croaker exercised his authority as hired warlord and assumed full control over the city in order to fulfill the Company's contract with the Prince. One of his lasting legacies was the construction of the paved Rock Road which now linked Taglios directly to Dejagore, and which crossed the Main river at Ghoja, transforming the hamlet into a small city over time.

Taglios remained committed to liberating the Shadowlands and defeating the last remaining Shadowmaster, Longshadow. Croaker and the Company led the Taglian armies in battle southward, including dramatic victories at the Battle of Lake Tanji, the Battle of Charandaprash, and finally the Siege of Overlook. The Liberator had finally won the Shadowmaster wars as he and the Black Company were contracted to do. When the Prince betrayed the Company, Croaker was well-prepared, and arrested him. Some months later, the leadership of the Black Company and the Prince of Taglios all disappeared. They were believed by all Taglios, and the rest of the world, to be dead. They had in fact been imprisoned (forced to become the "Captured") by Soulcatcher.

The Captivity and the Kiaulune wars[]

The 15-year gap between She Is the Darkness and Water Sleeps, as well as the events of Water Sleeps, were referred to in Company lore as the Captivity. During 5 consecutive years before Water Sleeps, many Taglians fought under the command of Mogaba in the Kiaulune wars in the deep south.

Soulcatcher creates the Protectorate[]

With the Prince presumed dead, the Princess of Taglios – the Radisha Drah – continued the royal betrayal of what remained of the Company when she agreed to give Soulcatcher overall control over Taglios. The Radisha's purpose was, like so many others who made a contract with the Black Company throughout its history, to renege on the agreement she and the Prince made with the Company to win the Shadowmaster wars.

The Kiaulune wars[]

Soulcatcher used this new arrangement with the Radisha to become the dictator ("Protector") of Taglios's traditional territories. She then promoted the Company's most notorious traitor, Mogaba, to the new rank of Great General. Mogaba's task was to consolidate the former Shadowlands to be ruled by Taglios and to defeat the remnants of the Black Company. Fighting back, the Black Company now became allies with native Shadowlanders to resist the Taglian forces... forces which the Company itself had raised and trained. This led to the 5-year-long Kiaulune wars. Thousands of Taglians were killed, and the Shadowlands were further devastated. The Protector won the Kiaulune wars and consolidated her control over both Taglios and the Shadowlands.

Water Sleeps[]

By the start of Water Sleeps, Taglios was at the heart of a sprawling empire, the Protectorate. But its population was subject to the insane whims of its "Protector", the foreign sorceress Soulcatcher. Residents of the city were randomly victimized by Soulcatcher's shadows, also called the skildirsha. She built a partial wall for the metropolis, but with no threat anywhere in sight, the size of the Protectorate's armed forces shrunk drastically and declined in quality, especially in the newly-acquired Shadowlands territories. She ignored most of the important military advice of her Great General, Mogaba, whose desire to remain prepared for unforeseen eventualities was dismissed. Most of the day-to-day maintenance of the city and its imperial territories were administered to by the bickering Privy Council and its subordinates. A new police force, the Greys, was raised up from among the minority Shadar population. Although they were unpopular for being inextricably linked to Soulcatcher, they were praised for their anti-corruption work.

Meanwhile, the Black Company itself, after losing the Kiaulune wars and being evicted from Overlook, became an underground movement within the city of Taglios proper. It continued to be led by its Annalist, Sleepy, and the Company's primary ally, Ky Sahra. They were now headquartered in the warehouse of their benefactor, Banh Do Trang, on a bank of the great river. Local Taglians, the Greys, and especially Soulcatcher were all unaware of their presence on account of a complex web of disorientation and distraction spells woven around the place by One-Eye, Goblin, and Tobo.

Soon Taglios was beleaguered by gruesome self-immolations committed by the Bhodi disciples and other forms of protest against Soulcatcher's regime. Many protests and public spectacles were secretly orchestrated by the Black Company. Matters escalated further when Sleepy conducted high-profile abductions. The Company captured Princess Radisha Drah, as well as top-level Taglian officials of the Privy Council: Willow Swan, Purohita Arjana Drupada, and Inspector-General of the Records Chandra Gokhale. As Soulcatcher began to personally investigate, she fell for a trap set by Goblin and permanently injured one of her feet by stomping on hidden fireball projector ammunition.

Taglios remained in Soulcatcher's unstable hands after the Company departed the city during Water Sleeps. They then escaped the Protectorate entirely by exiting the homeworld itself, when they finally crossed the Shadowgate, in their quest to liberate the Captured. They would return four years later in Soldiers Live.

Soldiers Live[]

Main article: Siege of Taglios

Taglios was besieged by the Black Company in Soldiers Live. This was a difficult and bloody battle in which the Black Company Captain Sleepy was killed. Mogaba attempted to flee the city when the tide was turned against his Protectorate forces, but he and 3 loyalists were slaughtered on the great river by Tobo's most terrifying Unknown Shadows. The Prahbrindrah Drah was unexpectedly killed by the Khadidas in the immediately aftermath of the fighting.

The city hosted elaborate public funerals for those who fell during the siege. Aridatha Singh, widely respected as a competent and true-hearted leader, was given control of the city. Aridatha captured the young sorcerer Tobo when the latter attempted to murder him, and the city faced unrest when Tobo's Unknown Shadows tormented people in the streets. Peace was restored after Croaker forced Aridatha to turn over Tobo, who was in a coma, and later Suvrin marched the Black Company out of Taglios towards Hsien.