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Damn it, but he needed to piss. Always did, at a time like this.

–Dogman before every fight

The Dogman is a Named Man famed for his scouting and marvelous sense of smell. He is Logen Ninefingers' oldest friend, and a member of his crew along with Rudd Threetrees, Black Dow, Thunderhead, Harding Grim, and Forley the Weakest.

Appearance and Personality[]

The Dogman is lean, with lank matted brown hair. He has quick dark clever eyes, and sharp yellow pointed teeth[1].

Dogman earned a perfect Name for himself from his extraordinary sense of smell[2]; he is one of the best scouts in The North. Although not the hardest Name in The North, he still has quite a reputation. He's a decent sort of killer really, willing to do the right thing unless it’s detrimental to his own well-being. He has a deep-seated loyalty to Logen and Threetrees, often wondering what they would do and recalling lessons they taught him.

Dogman's a skilled archer, and uses a sword at closer quarters. In addition to Northern, he also speaks the Union tongue with a thick accent; despite the fact that prior to the series, he had never left The North[3].

History[]

The Dogman is Logen's oldest friend. He was with him when Logen returned over the mountains to his village, to find a burned-out ruin from a Shanka attack, and his family dead. Dogman had to hold him back from charging into the Shanka single-handed[4]. The pair fought together throughout Bethod's wars to unify The North. Despite staying loyal to Logen, Dogman was horrified by some of the things he saw him do in those years, such as the brutal killing of Shama Heartless in their duel[5].

Shortly before the start of the series, bad blood developed between Logen and Bethod. Logen and his crew were imprisoned in Carleon, including Dogman who was dragged naked from his bed with Shari. Expecting death, Bethod inexplicably allows them to go into exile.

The Blade Itself[]

With Logen presumed dead after his fall from a cliff during a Shanka attack, Dow squares up to Tul Duru and Threetrees over who should lead the crew. The Dogman tries to play peacemaker; Threetrees was Logen’s second, so he is now leader. In the end, Dow sees that everyone is against him, and relents, with Threetrees becoming the new chief. He decided they will go south[2].

On the way south, the Dogman comes across a burnt-out farmhouse, and the occupants - an old man, a woman and two children - hung from a tree. Outraged, Threetrees orders Dogman to track the culprits down so they can teach them a lesson. They learn that the band are Bethod’s tax collectors, razing the homes of anyone who refuses to pay. Also, that the North is now at war with The Union. Considering their options, they fear with Bethod's army heading south, The North will be undefended from the Shanka. Forley the Weakest proposes warning the only person they can, Bethod himself. Bethod fears all the others in the crew, so Forley should be the one to do it. Although they fear for Forley’s safety, it’s the best idea they have[6].

Forley entered Carleon alone to deliver the warning. The crew hide away, while Threetrees stand alone on a bridge waiting for the answer. It comes in the form of one of Bethod’s Carls, Bad-Enough and his entourage. Bad-Enough throws Forley’s head in a sack at Threetrees feet. At the sight of their dead friend, the crew attack and butcher all of Bethod’s men without mercy.

Threetrees says the words over Forley's grave honouring his self-sacrifice. Afterwards, Threetrees makes an announcement; the enemy of my enemy is my friend; he will join with The Union to fight Bethod. Who’s coming with him? Taking one last moment at Forley's grave, Dogman thinks to himself that he's now the coward of the band[7].

Before They Are Hanged[]

Crossing the river Whiteflow into Angland, the Dogman and the rest of the crew find a great battlefield strewn with Union corpses; the massacre at Black Well. Clearly, The Union need their help. However, they're turned away at Ostenhorm when they try to offer their services. Undeterred, they ambush Lord Marshal Burr and Colonel West to convince them they needed their help. Grateful to be alive, the Lord Marshal agrees and assigns them to Prince Ladisla's division, under West's command[1].

Colonel West sends Threetrees' crew scouting north of the river Cumnur. The crew soon find one of Bethod's scouting parties. After disposing of them, they follow their tracks and discover the King of the Northmen's whole damn army, ten thousand men, not five days march away from Ladisla's division[8]. Threetrees, Dogman, and West break the news to the Prince. However, against their advice, Ladisla orders the division to march and meet Bethod in battle without delay. Outside, Threetrees declares them all fools. His crew won’t fight with The Union, too blind to see they have no chance of defeating Bethod. Dogman tries to see the bright side; he stole an entire fish from Ladisla’s dining table[9].

The crew follows the Union's army safe in the forest, and witnesses the massacre of Ladisla's division. Amidst the chaos, the Dogman sees West, Ladisla, Pike and Cathil stumbling towards him. After killing their pursuers, he brings them back to the rest of his crew[10].

The Dogman and the others keep following Bethod's army, surprised to find they are now going north, ignoring the easypickings further south[3]. When Dogman spots some of Bethod's scouts, Threetrees jumps at the chance to get some food and gear from them. West and Pike join the Northmen in the fight, leaving only Cathil and Ladisla behind. After the battle, the whole crew is dumbfounded to see that West bit the nose clean off one of his opponents; a deed worthy of a Named Man - he is named Furious. When they get back to the others, they find that Furious has pushed the Prince off a cliff for trying to force himself on Cathil[11].

Finally, Bethod's army come close to the Union stronghold near Dunbrec, giving them the opportunity to bring the grateful Lord Marshal Burr some reliable intelligence of Bethod's movements, but also more importantly to get clean, get some rest, and get drunk. The Dogman and Cathil become lovers[12], the first woman he's been with since Shari long, long ago[3].

The next day, the crew volunteer Dogman to scout ahead, since he got some last night. He comes across a Northman called Caul Shivers. He and his Carls wants to join Threetrees rebels against Bethod. Dogman brings the newcomer to camp, and he's soon accepted. Threetrees’ crew just got a whole lot bigger[13].

As Bethod and The Union prepare for battle, Threetrees' crew, Cathil, Shivers and his Carls are assigned to General Poulder's division tasked with flanking the enemy while Kroy diverts their attention. In the forest, while waiting for their orders to charge, Dogman picks up the scent of something he hasn't smelled in a long time; Shanka. Just as they take hold of their weapons, a Shanka's arrow catches Cathil in the ribs. After the Shanka fall back, Dogman and Threetrees try to save her by removing the arrow, but she dies of her injuries. After several clashes with the Shanka, Fenris the Feared makes his appearance. Threetrees orders the charge. During the mêlée, Threetrees finds himself facing the Feared alone. The old warrior gives it his best, but the Feared crunches him to the turf, mortally wounded, Eventually, the Feared is routed by Tul, Dow and Shivers, leaving behind him a devastated crew, its leader dead[14].

Afterwards, Dogman and the crew bury their dead. Dogman says the words over Cathil's grave, remembering her as a girl none of them knew well, but who was tough and someone he wished he had the chance to know better. Overcome with emotion, Dogman cannot speak for Threetrees. Nor can Tul or Dow who seem lessened with their chief’s death. To the surprise of all, Harding Grim steps forward to speak the words. Afterwards, for once Tul and Dow are in agreement: neither one can be leader. So, to his astonishment, the crew names the Dogman as their new chief.[15]

Last Argument of Kings[]

One of the Dogman's first acts as chief is to seize the coastal town of Uffrith, to allow The Union to use it as a port for supplies. They do so with as little bloodshed as possible, by sparing the guards they could and giving the local headman, Brass, the chance to surrender. Black Dow reluctantly accepts Dogman's orders to leave the women be[16].

Later, when the Dogman is holding a war council, Logen Ninefingers returns from his journey, to the amazement of all his old crew. Dogman simply shakes his hand, no words are needed. He tries to offer Logen the chief’s position but Ninefingers declines; it’s Dogman’s turn. When Logen notices Shivers staring at him, Dogman tries to discourage him from picking at the wound with Rattleneck's son.

Soon they encounter the hillman Crummock-i-Phail, and come up with a plan to lure Bethod into a trap in the High Places, using his hatred of Logen, Crummock, and the others. Dogman leads the crew of archers in the tower, during the seven days of bloody siege. When the gate is finally breached, and all seems lost, The Union finally arrives and routs Bethod's forces. However, Tul Duru dies on the last day of the siege. To everyone’s surprise, Black Dow speaks the words over Tul’s grave, declaring himself less with the giant dead.

Bethod himself escapes the rout and takes refuge in Carleon, surrounded by The Union, the rebel Northmen, and Crummock's hillmen. To end the siege, Logen agrees to a duel with Fenris the Feared. Meanwhile, Dogman, Dow, and Grim infiltrate the city to kill the sorceress Caurib, who is using her powers to fill the Feared with strength. Dogman and Grim enter Caurib’s lair, while Dow sneaks around the back. As Dogman and Grim approach her, she takes them under her control with a word. However, Dow saves the day, leaping from the shadows and splitting Caurib’s head with his axe.

After Bethod's defeat, the Dogman and Harding Grim accompany new King Logen south to help The Union repel the Gurkish invasion of Midderland in the Battle of Adua. Many of the war-weary Northmen go reluctantly, even Dogman queries whether it is really their fight. The Northmen attack the city from the northeast, and make their way towards the Inner City. As they enter the Agriont, Dogman with Logen, Shivers and Grim faced off against an Eater. The Eater charges into Grim with an armoured elbow, who crashed into a tree ten strides away. The Eater is eventually overwhelmed by numbers, and killed by Logen. However, Grim dies in the Dogman’s arms.

Afterwards, the Dogman offers the words over Grim’s grave. In the end, Logen asks him to stay in The Union, and make some kind of arrangement with the southerners for weapons. The Dogman is left brooding over all his lost friends and what it was all for.

Best Served Cold[]

Caul Shivers often mentions his time with the Dogman, remembering him as the best chief he ever had.

The Heroes[]

It is established that in the period between the trilogy and The Heroes, as Black Dow took the Skarling Chair and supposedly killed Logen, Dogman called him a traitor and convinced the Union to go once more to war against him. He then rallied all the Northern clans near Uffrith to his cause.

During the first war council that Bayaz attends, the Dogman is present. Bayaz acknowledges him as mutual friend of Logen. He is then sent near Ollensand to gather some of his warriors before coming back North to the Heroes.

He shows up right on time to prevent the easterners of Stranger-Come-Knocking to annihilate Meed's division.

During the final assault of Jalenhorm's division on the hills, he orders his second, Red Hat, to rout the Northern troops by shouting the Bloody Nine's name. This tactic shows success and Dogman reflects on how interesting it is that a dead man's name can have so much use.

During the Peace Conference, The Dogman is present, and shows regret at the news of Black Dow's death. When Calder tried to offer the hand of friendship, he nevertheless turns him down, still unable to forgive the killing of Forley the Weakest all those years ago. The eventual peace agreement gives The Dogman control of a territory between the rivers Cusk and Whiteflow, including the city of Uffrith, as a protectorate of the Union with six representatives on the Open Council.

A Little Hatred[]

For the intervening twenty years, The Dogman has been ruler of the Protectorate of Uffrith, allied with The Union, although representation on the Open Council has never happened. He has also had a daughter, Rikke, with an unnamed wife, who apparently died in childbirth. Rikke however is prone to fit and may be blessed or cursed with the Long Eye. The Dogman is now old and grey, with a deep-lined face, but he remains one of the most respected men in The North. Jonas Clover describes him as, “Only man won any kind of power in the North in my lifetime and stayed halfway decent.” When Stour Nightfall invades the Protectorate, The Dogman doesn’t know if he has the bones for the fight anymore. He nevertheless leads his folk at the Battle of Red Hill, and succeeds in reclaiming the Protectorate, thanks to support from Finree dan Brock of Angland and to Rikke's Long Eye. In the end, The Dogman returns to Uffrith to rebuild his hall and garden, while Rikke is sent to Adua to represent the Protectorate in any post-war deals.

The Trouble With Peace[]

The Dogman's health is now clearly failing, with no one thinking he'll be around for much longer. The future of the Protectorate is uncertain, especially since Rikke’s fits have been getting worse ever since she forced the Long Eye open during the duel between Leo and Stour. A vision sends Rikke into the High Place, where a witch who lives in a forbidden cave, beside a forbidden lake, may be able to help her. In her absence, The Dogman sadly passes away. Usually, when a man goes in the ground, there are a few words said from his chief or his family. As they bury The Dogman in the garden he'd never had the time to tend, it seems everyone in Uffrith has words to say. Finally, Isern-i-Phail asks Rikke if she wants to speak.

Shit. Fucking shit. Been a fine thing listening to you all. So many stories. So many burdens he took a little piece of onto his own shoulders. No wonder he was crooked at the end. No wonder. Guess we’ll have to carry our own burdens now. Or maybe all share a little o’ the load between us. All them battles. All those great names he stood beside; fought against. His story was the story of The North, for sixty years and more. You’d think he was the last o’ some race of giants to hear talk of his victories but… He was a small giant, my da. He’d rather have been growing things than killing ’em. Didn’t get much of a chance at it, as this garden’ll testify. He was always going to tend to it tomorrow. But he loved to sit here, with the sun on his face. He could spend hours here, looking to the sea. Hoping better times might roll in on the tide. By the dead, I was proud to be his daughter. Folk can talk a lot of shit at a funeral, but even his enemies thought he was the best man in The North. That’s all I got.

Rikke

As folk shuffle away, the conversation immediately turns to what happens next. Oxel favours rejoining The North, and Red Hat wants Uffrith to become a full member of The Union, while Hardbread can’t decide between the two. It's up to Rikke to chart the future of the Protectorate.

Illustration[]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Before They Are Hanged, Part I, Best Laid Plans
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Blade Itself, Part I, Flatheads
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Before They Are Hanged, Part II, Heading North
  4. The Blade Itself, Part I, No Choice at All
  5. The Blade Itself, Part II, Never Bet Against a Magus
  6. The Blade Itself, Part II, Dark Work
  7. The Blade Itself, Part II, Back to the Mud
  8. Before They Are Hanged, Part I, Bloody Company
  9. Before They Are Hanged, Part I, Prince Ladisla's Stratagem
  10. Before They Are Hanged, Part I, The Fruits of Boldness
  11. Before They Are Hanged, Part II, Furious
  12. Before They Are Hanged, Part II, Cold Comfort
  13. Before They Are Hanged, Part II, Coming Over
  14. Before They Are Hanged, Part II, Holding the Line
  15. Before They Are Hanged, Part II, Back to the Mud
  16. Last Argument of Kings, Part I, Being Chief
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