The Year of the Skulls was a climactic event prophesied among the various cults of Kina's worshipers, including the Stranglers and the Free Companies of Khatovar. According to the doctrine, Kina's messiah – the Foretold – would use the Books of the Dead to usher in a year of ceremonial killings and a ceremony administered by cantor priests. At the end of this year, Kina would break free of her chains and reward her persecuted followers eternally.

Preventing the Year of the Skulls became a primary goal of the Black Company throughout the Books of Glittering Stone.

Before Croaker's Annals[edit | edit source]

Kina was an incredibly powerful entity trapped at the center of the glittering plain beneath the fortress with no name. For millennia, she sought to bring about the Year of the Skulls by slowly influencing followers among the 16 worlds linked by the plain. Her efforts were brought to a halt by a warlord named Rhaydreynak in the southern continent of the homeworld. Rhaydreynak persecuted the Stranglers so effectively that all three of the Books of the Dead were sealed away in the nameless fortress, and their Shadowgate key, the golden pickax, was lost.

Books of Glittering Stone[edit | edit source]

Kina's messiah "the Foretold" turned out to be the daughter of Lady and Croaker. She was kidnapped at birth, and raised by the living saint of the Stranglers, Narayan Singh; later she was aided by the Khadidas, a demonic entity that possessed the body of Goblin.

The Year of the Skulls was delayed when Sleepy burned all three Books of the Dead in Water Sleeps. The event was later made impossible by Croaker and Goblin, who attacked Kina directly, destroying her, in Soldiers Live.

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