Black Company Wiki
Black Company Wiki
Tower at Charm by Dominick DiGregorio

The bleak Tower dominates the horizon at Charm. Fan art by Dominick DiGregorio.

The Tower at Charm is the name of the fortress which is both the administrative center of the Lady's sprawling Empire, as well as her personal palace. 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. It is manned by the Lady's functionaries and the Tower Guard, a special army hundreds strong. The Tower fully envelops a separate, inner structure which is 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.

The Tower is the customary demarcation point between east and west in the whole Empire. Several days ride to the south is Opal and the Sea of Torments; the closest city to the north is Elm.

Before Croaker's Annals[]

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 after the Tower was completed, the Taken marched forth, raised armies, and waged the consolidation wars to establish the Lady's new Empire. Many of these territories had belonged to her and her husband more than 370 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. Some of the boulders of the inapproachable waste area could be animated by the Lady and the Taken into plodding basalt 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.

The Black Company[]

The Black Company Campaign Setting Cover Art by Wayne Reynolds

A stylized interpretation of the Tower appears in the background of the Campaign Setting front cover. Art by Wayne Reynolds.

The Black Company viewed the imposing Tower for the first time, several days after they rode out from Opal. Though they rode no closer than 3 miles, the structure's silhouette loomed over the horizon. That night Croaker, moved by the sight of the Tower, wrote the first of numerous romantic fantasies of the mysterious Lady.

The Battle of Charm[]

Main article: Battle of Charm

The Tower was the location of the colossal Battle of Charm, during which the Rebels were crushed in a gruesome battle, and the remainder of the Circle of Eighteen were killed. The battlefield outside the structure was meticulously prepared in a "pie wedge" shape.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 Tower itself was actually penetrated by the last of the Rebel, but these invaders were killed by forces commanded by Whisper and the Limper, as well as the Black Company.

The White Rose[]

Tower a Charm by samshank0453

Tower at Charm fan art by samshank0453, showing flying carpets and the Great Comet. This fanciful interpretation disregards the novel's description of the Tower

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[]

To those of us without talent the Tower was just a big dark pile of rock, but to those two it was a great throbbing engine of sorcery, still peopled by numerous practitioners of the dark arts. They lived every moment in dread.

Croaker, Shadow Games ch. 5

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 the Company had the Lady's personal favor despite being enemies of the empire since the Battle of Juniper. In coaches pulled by the giant black stallions of Charm, the Company and soon afterward the Lady herself departed the Tower, never to return.

The Silver Spike[]

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, The Silver Spike ch. 15

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's heirs 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 either by the Limper or the windwhale which subdued him.

Bleak Seasons[]

As recounted in Bleak Seasons, Charm received an unexpected visit by Black Company mainstays Otto and Hagop, who had been commissioned as Imperial captains the last time they were at the Tower. They had traveled roughly 7,000 miles from Taglios and were accompanied by a delegation of Taglians, including Lanore Bonharj. The Tower officials were given letters from Lady, and after some hesitation they eventually cooperated with their visitors' fact-finding mission of uncovering the identity of Longshadow, the final Shadowmaster. The Tower opened the graves of the Ten Who Were Taken and turned over a "coffin full of papers" to help Lady rule out suspects for Longshadow's identity. They also supplied a hair from Soulcatcher's head that must have been preserved since before the Battle of Charm. However they did not send any men back with Otto and Hagop, who departed with Bonharj and the other Taglians for their long return journey.