Corlo Orothos was a High Mage serving in Iron Bars' Second Blade of the Fourth Company of the Crimson Guard. Although not an Avowed, he had been a member of the Guard since the First Induction. His warren was Mockra.
He was described as round faced and bearded. He wore gloves and a crimson surcoat over lighter armour than a typical Guardsman. He sometimes carried a diadem in his left hand to amplify his power. Forty rituals had been woven into it including one that could make his squad move faster than normal. When forced into combat, he carried a long, thin-bladed knife. Stress sometimes caused his hands to shake.
In Midnight Tides
Iron Bars and his squad fought their way out of Assail and became separated from the rest of Cal-Brinn's Fourth Company. They were stranded for two years on the continent of Lether after their sieve of a ship landed at a Letherii port and began incurring debt. Because Lether's magic was primitive and restricted to the Holds, Corlo was unable to access his warren. After seven months, Bars and his men were heavily indebted, doing ugly work and living off scraps in Trate. They found work aboard a ship in Letheras through an agent and intended to commandeer it and go home once they got to sea.
Before they left Trate for Letheras, war broke out between the Letherii and the Tiste Edur. As the city fell, Corlo found that the Edur's arrival somehow gave him access to Kurald Galain. He opened a gate to whisk his squad and Acquitor Seren Pedac to safety, but the group found themselves trapped in the Warren of Darkness surrounded by Shadow wraiths. Corlo held them back with his magic until the Acquitor suggested bargaining with one for aid. The wraith, named Sandalath Drukorlat, showed them the exit in return for delivering her soul to oblivion.
The Acquitor led the Guard overland towards the capital amid a countryside awash in refugees, looters, and deserters. The Guard commandeered horses from a looted stable then tracked down the raiders who had slain the horse breeder and his family. Corlo boiled the brain inside one raider's skull during the short fight.
Once they started travelling together, Corlo identified Seren as a natural talent in Mockra, educated her on warren magic, and awakened her to her own abilities. He guided her through a ritual to ease the grief, guilt, and shame that consumed her since her rape in Trate and the death of Buruk the Pale. As the group passed through the village of Brous they were approached by a force of renegade Letherii soldiers led by Finadd Arlidas Tullid. The Finadd attempted to forcibly impress the Guard into his service until his mage, Urger, recognised Corlo's power and warned that the High Mage could kill them all.
The group reached Letheras just ahead of the Edur army. By the time Emperor Rhulad Sengar's troops entered the city, the Guard had reached the ship of their new employer, Shurq Elalle. Bugg found them there and recruited them to slay The Pack, the D'ivers god of the Jheck. Corlo helped obscure the Pack's location from the thousands of Soletaken wolves rushing to come to its aid. He and the other Guardsmen entered the Pack's temple and killed its six powerful Lizard cat forms at a loss of one of their number.
Iron Bars took on the additional task of killing the Seregahl for Bugg and sent the other Guardsmen back to the ship. He asked Corlo to protect their passage then make haste for the Azath Tower to assist him. Corlo sat cross-legged in the street outside the gate to the Azath House's grounds while using his magic to manipulate the minds of the five gods facing off with Iron Bars inside. He exhausted himself with the effort and only the emergence of Silchas Ruin ended the battle in Iron Bars' favour.
In Reaper's Gale
Corlo, Iron Bars, and the other Guard remained with Shurq Elalle for a time as her ship crossed the oceans seizing merchant vessels. They proved to be formidable allies and Corlo's magic was far more clever and refined than any magic she had witnessed before. Eventually, the Guardsmen were dropped off on the eastern coast of Jacuruku, where they planned to cross the continent and find another ship on the western side. The last Shurq had seen of Iron Bars and his soldiers was when they were turning inland on Jacuruku's shore to face a dozen massively armoured figures descending upon them. Her first mate Skorgen Kaban thought he heard the sound of blades clashing before the heavy rain obscured their view.
The first time after his release from his ancient prison that Silchas Ruin was told of magic that affected the mind, he told Seren Pedac he had never heard of Mockra. She replied that Corlo had told her that warren magic had supplanted the magic of Holds and Elder Warrens that Ruin was familiar with. Later, when a voice claiming to be Mockra itself spoke addressed Seren in her mind, it advised her to remember Corlo's teaching and warned of the danger of its misuse. Under the Acquitor's questioning, it admitted that even the Guard mage did not know the personification as intimately as Seren did.
The next time they were mentioned was when a slave galley called the Ardent pulled them from their sinking raft in the Southern Rust Sea. The Second Blade commandeered the ship and made their way to the southwest, towards Stratem, their eventual goal. They ran into a ship of the Seguleh, but Iron Bars managed to defeat their spokesman, ensuring their freedom.
Corlo was taken prisoner along with the rest of the Ardent's crew and taken to the Stormwall. Although chained with an otataral collar, he managed to avoid combat on the wall. Instead he was used by the Stormguard as a bargaining chip to motivate Iron Bars' cooperation. Bars quickly became Champion of the Wall but suffered through periods of unresponsive depression that only Corlo could break. Corlo felt great guilt for urging Bars to continue to fight in order to spare both their lives.
Corlo's only other friendly contact was with Jemain, the Ardent's former first mate, who served as a Stormwall trustee. He informed Corlo about Shell and the other Guard who had come to rescue him and Bars. He also sadly reported that all of the Ardent's Guardsmen had perished on the Wall, including Halfpeck. Corlo informed Bars about their fates, and the Avowed went mad and tried to murder him.
When the Wall began to come down, Jemain found Corlo hopelessly pinned under rubble in the infirmary. He was forced to cut off the mage's leg at the knee to free him. Then he, Corlo, and Bars were transported to safety by Blues via warren.
Corlo's name was misspelled as "Corlos" throughout Reaper's Gale.
Notes and references
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.726
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.496
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Dramatis Personae
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.623
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 1, UK PB p.260
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.622
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 19, US SFBC p.589
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.505
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.628
- Stonewielder, Chapter 1, UK TPB p.73
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.495-496/503
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.503/508-512/515-516
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.577-578/587-591
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.621-625
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 21, US SFBC p.629-630
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.654/664-666
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.697/701-702
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.701-702/707-708
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.708
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.726-727/737-739
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 24, US SFBC p.697
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 25, US SFBC p.766
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 3, US TPB p.89-90
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 4, US HC p.102
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 14, US HC p.388-389
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 1 Chapter 4, UK PB p.153-156
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Book 2 Chapter 1, UK PB p.260-268
- Return of the Crimson Guard, Epilogue, UK PB p.696-698
- Stonewielder, Chapter 9, UK TPB p.469
- Stonewielder, Chapter 9, UK TPB p.470
- Stonewielder, Chapter 11, UK TPB p.566
- Stonewielder, Chapter 11, UK TPB p.570
- Stonewielder, Chapter 12, UK TPB p.588-593