The Tower at Charm is the name of the fortress which is the palace and the administrative center of the Lady's Empire. By far the largest structure in the northern continent, the Tower is a "featureless black cube five hundred feet to the dimension" and a frightening symbol of the Lady's control. The Tower is "manned by the Lady's functionaries" and the Tower Guard, a special army hundreds strong. It fully envelops a separate, inner structure which was the personal residence of the Lady herself. This "inner Tower", which takes up one-third of the volume and has only a single entrance, is universally feared: those who enter are subjected to the Lady's Eye.
Before the Annals[edit | edit source]
The Tower was constructed by the Lady and her powerful servants, the Ten Who Were Taken, after their liberation from the Barrowland. It was their first undertaking together, and from the Tower, the Taken marched forth, raised armies, and established the Lady's new Empire among territories that had belonged to her and her husband centuries earlier during the Domination.
The Tower was built from massive, imported basalt billets. The basalt that was not used in the construction was strewn outward for a mile in every direction except for a single, perfectly manicured approach, restricting all land access to a tightly-controlled point. The land outside the jagged basalt "moat" was actually beautiful pasture. The basalt boulders of the inapproachable waste area could be animated by the Lady and the Taken into plodding giants in the shape of a "grotesque, gargantuan parody of the human form", which could trample and hurl massive stones at attackers. (These giants would be animated in the Battle of Charm and neutralized by the Circle of Eighteen.)
After the Tower was completed, the Ten Who Were Taken would raise armies and march out to wage the consolidation wars.
The Black Company[edit | edit source]
The Tower was the location of the infamous Battle of Charm, during which the Rebels were crushed in a gruesome battle, and the remainder of the Circle of Eighteen were killed. Bonegnasher, Moonbiter, Nightcrawler, and the Faceless Man would be killed in the combat outside its walls, and Stormbringer and Shapeshifter were thought to have been lost as well. During the chaotic last hours of the battle, Soulcatcher – one of three traitors among the Taken – sabotaged the flying carpet of the Howler and caused him to smash directly into the Tower at breakneck speed.
The White Rose[edit | edit source]
In The White Rose, Croaker was now a key member of Darling's White Rose Rebellion. He and Raven were captured by Imperials and brought to the Lady's inner tower. Via the Lady's sorcery, he witnessed Darling's windwhale's ravaging an Imperial city (apparently Frost) while being protected from the new Taken by her null. The Lady then subjected him to the Eye. Despite technically being a prisoner, he was treated well afterward on the Lady's orders. His awful headache pain was reduced by an attentive Tower physician who gave him a medicine derived from the parsifal plant which grows in the Empty Hills. At the Tower, the Lady explained the Dominator's plan to use the Great Tragic River to escape the Barrowland. She revealed her idea to establish an alliance with Darling to kill the Dominator. Two weeks later, she flew him on her own carpet from the Tower to Horse.
Shadow Games[edit | edit source]
After the Battle of the Barrowland, the Black Company was reduced to 6 men, and the Lady was rendered mortal and powerless. Deceiving her entire Empire that she was still nearly-omnipotent, she accompanied them back to the Tower, where they found themselves "closed up in that dread place for two weeks". The Lady decreed that Croaker become both an imperial legate and an army general, and the befuddled minions of the Tower outfitted him with clothing and paperwork of the highest-ranked men of the Empire. The Company felt increasingly unsafe around the Guard, whose members resented the fact that they had the Lady's personal favor despite being enemies of the empire since the Battle of Juniper. In a coach pulled by the giant black stallions of Charm, she and the Company departed the Tower, never to return.
The Silver Spike[edit | edit source]
|“||You ain't never going to impress me with nothing if you think you're going to tell me tall tales and you ain't never see the Tower at Charm. There ain't nothing ought to be that big. It's got to be five hundred feet tall and as black as a buzzard's heart. I never seen nothing like it before and I don't expect I ever will again.||”|
Case and Raven passed near the Tower in their unsuccessful attempt to catch up to Croaker in The Silver Spike. Case, despite being a former Imperial soldier, had never seen the structure before and was awestruck by the place.
After the Lady's departure from her Empire, her hand-picked leadership at the Tower remained in control. The Tower even successfully repulsed an attack by the Limper, the last of the Ten Who Were Taken in the entire northern continent, and used their sorcery to keep their mocking laughter hanging in the air over him as he fled in a rage. Later, the dread lords and ladies of the Tower struck an alliance with Toadkiller Dog, and rode out with him on the backs of lesser demons to Oar, where they were all killed by the Limper.