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The Ten Who Were Taken is the name given to a group of villainous, extremely powerful sorcerers in Glen Cook's The Black Company and the series that followed it. Shortly (relatively) before the beginning of the book, they and one of their two masters, the Lady, were accidentally exhumed from their imprisonment in stasis under a heavily-enchanted mound of earth, and they commenced taking over the world and setting up a well-regulated empire. The name of the group comes from their number (10) and the process by which they were enslaved to the will of a charming gent who went by the name of The Dominator and his (aforementioned) Lady, known as Taking. These two were both the most powerful and, at least in the case of The Dominator, probably the most evil of the bunch.

What makes The Ten Who Were Taken so memorable is, in some cases, the imagery involved (The Hanged Man, walking around with his broken neck, is particularly powerful for that), and in others, the expression of will, egotism, and disregard for human life or suffering. The Limper and Soulcatcher are both exceptionally notable for this--in the course of the books, both of them suffer rather greater setbacks than one would expect them to overcome. They're also all at least a little insane--I suspect wielding great power and dealing with evil for a long time might cause problems like this.

Sorcerers in Cook's world do not generally make their true names known--just as in Heresy: Kindgom Come, a now-defunct CCG, knowing a wizard's true name gives power over them (in fact, in Cook's world, it can destroy the mage's power completely). Therefore, all of the magicians assume names, including the Ten. Their assumed names are, in no particular order: It should be noted that these are the original Ten Who Were Taken. As time passes, that number fluctuates, as does the membership. Later Taken include: The Black Company itself had occasion to help some of these folks along in their search for the afterlife, and to work for others. Quite a good series, though woefully underappreciated.

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