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Toadkiller Dog was ostensibly the mangy mongrel companion of the mysterious soldier called Tracker that was encountered by the Black Company in The White Rose. But the hound's red eyes betrayed his true nature: a powerful demon loyal to the Dominator who was in search of a method to resurrect his master from his prison beneath the Barrowland. Toadkiller Dog's power and durability were immense, and it was even capable fighting a number of the new Taken.

The White Rose[]

After two mostly uneventful years directing the activities of Darling's New White Rose Rebellion in the Plain of Fear, the Black Company was visited by the newcomers Toadkiller Dog and Tracker. Their arrival was presaged by the enigmatic menhirs. Tracker had been sent to deliver a message for Croaker. The two spent some time with the Company and were invited to join their military operation against the Limper's compound outside the city of Rust. During the withdrawal from this raid, Toadkiller Dog failed to board the windwhale in time. Tracker became very upset after being separated from the dog, but the beast managed to return to the Plain of Fear by himself and was found by Croaker.

The hound and his strange owner next accompanied Croaker, One-Eye, and Goblin on their undercover mission to the Barrowland. During their flight out of the Plain on the back of a windwhale, they were engulfed by a frightening change storm. This supernatural weather phenomenon briefly revealed Toadkiller Dog's true form: "something half as big as an elephant, fanged, possessed of the most evil eyes I've ever seen [...] from an artist's or sorcerer's nightmares". But his disguise was restored after the storm disappeared, and the Company men did not understand what they had witnessed. Later, they were all captured and imprisoned by the Eternal Guard, only to break out and spend weeks in hiding in the Great Forest. Tracker and the dog attacked and wounded one of the new Taken by themselves. Though Croaker and the comatose Raven were eventually captured by the Imperials, the rest of the group returned to the Company's headquarters in the Plain, the Hole.

Later, Toadkiller Dog's true nature was revealed: he was a demon in service of the Dominator. He attacked his master's nemesis, the Lady, when she was defenseless, but Father Tree intervened. Afterwards the demon returned to the Barrowland, where he coerced a sizable force of tribesmen from the Great Forest to serve him. In the Battle of the Barrowland, Toadkiller Dog fought ferociously for the Dominator, and led the tribesmen in a surprise attack against the Eternal Guard. During combat, he lost one of his front legs to the sorcery of the new Taken and was forced to retreat. But after the battle, he continually returned to the site, always dodging tiny change storms flung at it by Father Tree's offspring, the Sapling.

The Silver Spike[]

Toadkiller Dog by Matushyzny

Toadkiller Dog fan art by Matushyzny.

The Limper's enforcer[]

Toadkiller Dog returned to the former battlefield and spent many nights digging for something, which turned out to be a severed head. Witnessing this, the spike thieves delayed their attempt to steal the silver spike until the hound departed. Toadkiller Dog forced the forest shamans of nearby tribes to create an artificial body for the head. The head on the "amalgam" was actually the Limper, who was intent on seeking revenge against Lady and Croaker for his decapitation in the battle. He and the dog commanded a small army, which at first consisted of 50 tribesmen, and they sacked what remained of the Eternal Guard's town in the Barrowland. Next, they sacked Oar and all the cities on their way southward, with Toadkiller Dog frequently devouring deserters. Imperial soldiers also joined, fearing the demon's retribution if they refused. They besieged the Tower at Charm itself with 5,000 soldiers, but were unable to capture it. They pillaged Opal, crossed the Sea of Torments to attack Beryl, and rampaged south. Along they way, somewhere outside the boundary of the Empire, they captured a dormant fire-eater.

They were defeated by Darling's army of Plain of Fear monsters at the Temple of Travellers' Repose. Still having a use for the Limper, the demon hound traveled east to the country of Sweeps.[1] There, he created an alliance with family of wizards called the Nacred. Upholding his side of the deal, he massacred every single member of the Shaded family, the Nacred's rivals. In return, the twelve leaders of the Nacred traveled with him to the Temple, where they crafted a gorgeous new clay body for the Limper's horrid head. However, once being fully reconstructed, the Limper betrayed Toadkiller Dog and the twelve sorcerers by trapping them all in the Temple's subterranean chamber and running northward, to claim the silver spike for himself.

Return north[]

After forcing the survivors to dig a way out and feeding on those too weak to work, the monster alone escaped the ruins. The demon returned north to chase the Limper fueled by vengeance. Outside Beryl, which had been evacuated by the Empire, he saw a black rider throw a fiery spear eastward. He soon caught the Limper's trail, and began to follow him across the long easterly land route, passing through a wide variety of mostly desolate terrain, including, in order: swimming the River Bigotes and the Hyclades; traversing the Rani Poor desert and the lifeless landscapes of Barbara, Laba Larada, Khun, the Canyons of the Undead, and the ruins of the temple city of Marsha the Devastator; crossing the populated province of Karsus, the Plain of Dano-Patha, and the treacherous Mountains of Sinjian; and finally, through a dangerous crossing of the Straits of Angine, and onward into the northern continent. At various points during this trek, Toadkiller Dog was encouraged and guided from a distance by Imperial riders with flaming spears. And, he found remnants of ingenious mechanical traps which had been laid for the Limper.

Alliance with Charm and confrontation at Oar[]

At the Tower at Charm, the heirs of the Lady's Empire struck an alliance with Toadkiller Dog. He accompanied them as they rode out on lesser demon beasts toward Oar, where the silver spike was known to be hidden. The ancient demon was killed alongside his new allies in a ferocious melee while trying to take down the Limper. His remains became intermingled with the Limper's clay body, and were boiled away in a huge cauldron over many days in the final, successful effort to kill the mad sorcerer.

References[]

  1. The Silver Spike, chapter 44
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