The Second Blade was a unit of the Crimson Guard Fourth Company led by Iron Bars. In Midnight Tides, it was said to consist of two women and five men, including Iron Bars. (The exact number seemed to change from book to book). They were the only known survivors of Cal-Brinn's Fourth Company after a contract on Assail left the company scattered.
In Midnight Tides
Iron Bars and the Second Blade managed to flee Assail by leaky boat to the Letherii Empire, but quickly found themselves in debt and without access to a Warren. They spent two years doing ugly work and living off scraps in Trate before securing a contract to serve on a ship based in Letheras. Their plan was to commandeer the ship once it reached the ocean, and sail for home in Stratem.
Before they could travel to Letheras, Trate was captured and sacked by Emperor Rhulad Sengar's army of Tiste Edur. The Edur's presence somehow gave Corlo access to Kurald Galain and they were able to flee by warren to Old Katter with Acquitor Seren Pedac.
They left the Letherii Empire on Shurq Elalle's ship, working as pirates to pay for their passage.
In Reaper's Gale
Iron Bars, Corlo, 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, but she was left uneasy by Iron Bars' distaste at serving as anyone's subordinate. 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 next time they were mentioned was when a slave galley in the Southern Rust Sea pulled them from their sinking raft. 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, Iron Bars, and Halfpeck were the only survivors of the Second Blade at this point, but even Halfpeck died after some time on the Wall. Corlo and Iron Bars managed to escape and began to chase Skinner.
The survivors of the Second blade finally reached the Guard homeland at Stratem. Iron Bars participated in the expedition to Assail to rescue the survivors of the Fourth Company.
While on the Stormwall in Stonewielder, Corlo wondered which of the captured blade was still alive as a prisoner on the Wall. He mentioned Meek, Dropper, Joden, and Peel, which was the first time these Guardsmen had been named. Interestingly, he did not mention Garren or Lamb who were present at the end of Return of the Crimson Guard when the Ardent was captured by Mare raiders. It was likely that the reference to Meek was an error. There was already a Guardsman by that name in the Second Company who was not a member of Iron Bars' blade and who was involved in other events.
Notes and references
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.505
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.496
- Stonewielder, Chapter 9, UK TPB p.471
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.494-496
- Midnight Tides, Chapter 16, US SFBC p.500-506/515
- Reaper's Gale, Chapter 3, US TPB p.89-90
- 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