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Buke was a caravan guard[1] from Darujhistan with a death wish. He was described as tall and lean with a grey beard and sad eyes.[2] Old burn scars covered his forearms.[3] He wore a freshly oiled scale hauberk and carried a crossbow on his back and a longsword on his hip. His horse was fine, healthy, and well-equipped.[2]

Buke was a friendly rival to Gruntle among the caravanserai, although he preferred signing with smaller clients and working alone.[2] Stonny Menackis had feelings for him at the beginning of Memories of Ice. Buke might have returned those feelings if he did not feel that Stonny was "worth more than messing herself up with me".[4]

History Edit

Buke's family (wife, mother, and 4 children) had been killed in a tenement fire while he lay drunk and dead to the world in an alley not a hundred paces from the house. This led him to depression and suicidal tendencies. Another man might have continued to find solace in drink, but instead Buke gave up drinking and began taking assignments with poor merchants as a lone caravan guard. Poor merchants were vulnerable to be attacked far more often than the richer, better guarded caravans, and Buke wished to go down fighting.[2][5] He was also an able fighter, so his tenure as a caravan guard was not short.

In Memories of Ice Edit

Buke was initially hired to escort a poor merchant named Murk between Darujhistan and Saltoan. But during that voyage, the merchant's coach and cargo were lost at a crossing on the Catlin River. As a result, Buke was dismissed. He then arranged to be hired as a guard by Bauchelain and Korbal Broach who happened to be at the same crossing.[2]

Shortly after making arrangements with the necromancers, he had a chat with Gruntle who was at the same crossing and explained that he had in fact been following the sorcerers as he was certain that Broach was responsible for a string of gruesome murders in Darujhistan. His plan was to pose as their caravan guard while plotting to kill them.[2] After a series of encounters with bandits, Rhivi spirits, undead K'Chain Che'Malle K'ell Hunters, and hearing the tales of Emancipor Reese he began to realise he was in over his head. But he survived the K'ell Hunter attack that left others in the caravan dead and accompanied the duo as far as Capustan.[4][6]

Once in Capustan, he continued to work for the necromancers at their newly purchased estate, handling taxes and paperwork while waiting for an opportunity to complete his plan. Later, Keruli convinced him instead to drink a magical potion[7] that changed him into a Soletaken in the form of a sparrowhawk so that he could thwart their murderous ways. Buke was delighted by the gift and further enlisted the help of the city's Camp elders to keep watch on the estate and on Broach's movements. Amidst the chaos of the Siege of Capustan, Broach's hunts began to turn up empty.[8]

Bauchelain was well aware of his erstwhile employee's activities and insisted Buke desist in his misguided efforts while warning him against taking his Soletaken form again in their presence. The necromancer then made Buke captain of their new estate guard of reanimated Urdomen soldiers. Although Reese thought his masters monsters and sympathized with Buke's desire to thwart their evil, he warned the caravan guard that he was no match for their sorcery. The two became estranged as Buke chided Reese for not being more forthcoming about his masters' Soletaken abilities.[9]

As a sparrowhawk, Buke followed the necromancers in their rook forms when they challenged Anaster, leader of the Tenescowri, on the battlefield. The guard was pleased to see his masters casually knocked aside, feathers smoking, by Pannion Domin sorcery.[10]

After the city fell to the cannibal hordes, a shaken Buke flew around the city in his sparrowhawk form, observing the horrors. Reminded yet again of his sorrow, Buke decided to let go of his human form, "slipping" into the sparrowhawk, and flew far away from the grief of the world.[11]

Gruntle later discovered that Buke had refused the Shield Anvil Itkovian's offer to take away his sorrow.[12] Gruntle also happened upon the necromancers' carriage on the road to Coral. Fearing the worst at not seeing Buke among them, Gruntle asked Bauchelain about his friend. The irritated necromancer asked Gruntle to relay the message that Buke was fired the next time he saw him.[13]

Notes and referencesEdit

  1. Memories of Ice, Dramatis Personae
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Memories of Ice, Chapter 4, US SFBC p.120-121
  3. Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.351
  4. 4.0 4.1 Memories of Ice, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.229
  5. Memories of Ice, Chapter 6, US SFBC p.229
  6. Memories of Ice, Chapter 7
  7. Memories of Ice, Chapter 10, US SFBC p.371-372
  8. Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.451/460/487-489
  9. Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.487-489
  10. Memories of Ice, Chapter 14, US SFBC p.490-491
  11. Memories of Ice, Chapter 17, UK MMPB p.714/715
  12. Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.794
  13. Memories of Ice, Chapter 22, US SFBC p.793-795
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