Tobo, also known as Shiki and Thi Kim, is the son of Murgen and Ky Sahra who would become a key member of the Black Company in the later Annals. Born with a natural magnitude for sorcery on account of his bi-racial ancestry ("big, hybrid talent" according to One-Eye), Tobo's calm, inquisitive, and patient nature enabled him to become a powerful wizard. His strange bond with the Unknown Shadows would play a major role in Sleepy's war against the Protectorate in Soldiers Live.
She Is the Darkness[edit | edit source]
Ky Sahra gave birth to Tobo during her imprisonment at the Vinh Gao Ghang Temple of Ghanghesha, deep in the Nyueng Bao De Duang delta (west of Taglios, along the great river where it merges with the western ocean). She had been shuttered away by her own people for conceiving a child with a foreigner. However, Murgen would visit them both in his spectral form. Sahra took great comfort in the invisible presence of her husband, but Murgen realized that his infant son, an "absolutely beautiful drooling lump", was frightened by him. Tobo continued to be raised by Sahra alone after Murgen was trapped in the ice caverns below the glittering plain.
Water Sleeps[edit | edit source]
Tobo came of age in Taglios during the time of the Protectorate, which was Soulcatcher's tyrannical rule of the city and its imperial holdings. Raised in and around Banh Do Trang's riverside warehouse, Tobo was surrounded by the underground members of the Black Company and a tight-knit community of Nyueng Bao De Duang.
At the start of Water Sleeps, he was 14 years of age.
Tobo aided the Black Company in major and minor ways under Sleepy and Sahra's direction. He received training from Goblin and also One-Eye to use his magical talents so that he can one day replace them within the Company, as was foreseen by Sahra's mother Hong Tray. He enthusiastically showcased his early talent with a frightening glamour when Sleepy's Company team first encountered Suvrin outside the New Town.
Tobo's curious nature got the best of him on the glittering plain, and he was lured down to the resting place of the dread goddess Kina beneath the fortress with no name. Goblin sacrificed himself buying time for Tobo, Sleepy, Suvrin, and Master Santaraksita to escape when fiery tendrils from Kina's nostrils attacked them. Crossing the remaining half of the plain, he settled with the Company and the Nyueng Bao "Community" in the world called Hsien.
Soldiers Live[edit | edit source]
In the four years between Water Sleeps and Soldiers Live, Tobo received a thorough and careful education in the ways of sorcery from Lady, One-Eye, Goblin, and even the captive Longshadow. Lady eventually suggested that Tobo "might possibly become a match for her in her prime". One of his unique talents is the ability to communicate with the titular residents of the Land of Unknown Shadows (the Nyueng Bao name for Hsien). As his power grew, so too did his influence over the Unknown Shadows, until he was finally able to deploy them as informants, spies, messengers, and in some cases, killers. On the surface, this connection resembled Longshadow's use of the feral shadows from the glittering plain, but on closer inspection, Tobo's relationship with the Unknown Shadows was quite the opposite. Whereas Longshadow had a master/slave relationship with the mindless shadows (and lived in genuine terror of them), Tobo's bond with the fiercely intelligent Unknown Shadows was deeply respectful. He actually loved them and gave each of them names.
Using the knowledge stolen from Khang Phi, Tobo became a master of Shadowgate repair. He fixed the homeworld's Shadowgate by removing the haphazard tapestry of jury-rigged spells placed on it by Longshadow, who had been forced to seal it with his own true name. When Tobo finished, the magic structure was stronger than it ever was.
The young sorcerer played a significant role in Sleepy's war against Soulcatcher and her Protectorate minions. He spent significant time teaching their young Voroshk guests, successfully turning two of them (Shukrat and Arkana) into allies who helped them for the remainder of the campaign. After his mother Sahra disappeared during the Battle at the Shadowlander cemetery, and his father was killed in an ambush set by Mogaba at the start of the Siege of Taglios, Tobo's gentle nature was tested by a need for vengeance. He sent his most dangerous Unknown Shadows to torture Mogaba, Ghopal Singh, and two of Singh's cousins to death, even though they were fleeing on the great river. He then attempted to covertly assassinate Aridatha Singh, but was outsmarted and put into a coma after sustaining a dreadful head wound. Unconscious and slowly dying in a hidden Taglian prison cell, Tobo was finally rescued by Croaker, Shukrat, and the Unknown Shadows. He recovered and overcame his dark emotions. He helped heal Lady, who had been seriously wounded in a rumel attack by the Daughter of Night. The Company put him back on the path to becoming the positive force that his great-grandmother Hong Tray had foreseen.