The Company of Shadow was an 'army' composed of some thirteen hundred orphaned Malazan children who had been crucified by the renegade Korbolo Dom during the Seven Cities rebellion. The children had been rescued by the Aptorian demoness, Apt, who convinced Shadowthrone to save their lives with his magic. The children were then placed in the care of Minala and Kalam Mekhar.
In House of Chains
The children were trained by Minala and Apt in a host of martial skills:
- "Minala seemed to have it all under control...Between her and the aptorian demoness [Apt], a certain measure of control was being maintained, a host of life skills were being inculcated...stealth, tracking, the laying of ambushes, the setting of traps...riding, scaling walls, freezing in place, knife throwing and countless other weapon skills...The children took to such training with frightening zeal...An army in the making for Shadowthrone."
- ―Kalam's description of the children's training
Onrack the Broken, Monok Ochem, Ibra Gholan, and the renegade Tiste Edur, Trull Sengar traveled to the cavern containing the First Throne suspecting The Unbound and the Tiste Edur planned to take the Throne for their master, the Crippled God. Monok Ochem was not pleased to find Minala and her Company already there guarding the Throne.
In The Bonehunters
Now referred to as the Company of Shadow, Minala's charges were superbly trained, disciplined, and fiercely unwilling to yield without exacting a price. They referred to her as "Mother" and looked to Panek for leadership.
The Company managed to resist four attacks by the newly blooded Tiste Edur of the Den-Ratha tribe, who were determined to capture the First Throne. They successfully defended the Throne with the help of the Onrack, Monok Ochem, Ibra Gholan, and Trull Sengar — but at the price of a horrendous number of casualties and fatalities among the child soldiers. Around half the company had been killed and another three hundred were dying of their wounds. Only four hundred remained in fighting condition.
- "There wasn't enough time...For training. For the years needed...for them. To grow up. To live."
- ―Minala speaking despairingly with Cotillion about the children making up the Company of Shadow
Eventually, the Tiste Edur attacked in force. The warlock, Sathbaro Rangar, opened a gate for two hundred veteran Edur warriors and sixty Letherii archers led by Kholb Harat and Saur Bathrada. They were also accompanied by Ahlrada Ahn as well as the champion Icarium and his companion, Taralack Veed. Monok Ochem veered into his Soletaken form to kill the warlock before Icarium became enraged by the sight of dead children and turned on friend and foe alike. Trull fought the Jhag to a standstill until Icarium shattered his spear. As Icarium pushed in for the kill, Apt swirled from the shadows and attacked, but was killed. Minala was struck by a spear in the chest beneath the right clavicle and staggered back to the throne room. Trull later observed Panek kneeling beside the prone and still form of his remaining "mother" as Minala's blood slowly pooled beneath her. Cotillion and Shadowthrone arrived after the fight was over and Shadowthrone began the work of tending to the pitiful few survivors.
In Reaper's Gale
After the final disastrous (but 'successful') defense of the First Throne, Minala and the small number of surviving children of the Company of Shadow were finally brought back to the Realm of Shadow by Shadowthrone to recover there as best they could.
Notes and references
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US HC p.299-399
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 11, US TPB p.299/304-305
- Deadhouse Gates, Chapter 23, US TPB p.583-584
- House of Chains, Chapter 20, US SFBC p.657-658
- House of Chains, Chapter 23, US SFBC p.748-749
- House of Chains, Epilogue, US SFBC p.851-852
- The Bonehunters, Dramatis Personae, US HC p.17
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.962
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.753
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 2, US HC p.68
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 17, US HC p.555-557/558-559
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 24, US HC p.775
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.813
- The Bonehunters, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.962-972/976-977
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 8, US TPB p.189/192