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Black Company Wiki

The Main is a broad river in the southern continent found about 100 miles south of Taglios and at least 200 miles north of Dejagore. Like the great river, the Main empties into the ocean to the west. But, unlike the great river (which is mostly sluggish), the Main is powerful, surging, and uncompromising. Its seasonal rising and falling has dictated the movements of travelers since time immemorial. The Main and its environs played a critical role in the history of the Black Company. It was the backdrop of many of the events of the Books of the South, and was a major consideration leading up to the Siege of Taglios during Soldiers Live.


During the rainy season, the Main was historically impassable until the stone bridge was constructed at Ghoja in the Books of Glittering Stone. During the dry season, there are four fords along an eighty-mile stretch of the Main. Each was named after the small villages below each ford (all on the south bank). They are listed below from east-to-west, that is, following the westward flow of the Main:

  1. Theri ford is the farthest upriver and the easternmost of the four, closest to the Main's unnamed mountainous source(s). Above Theri, the Main courses through rugged canyons too steep and bleak for military operations. Theri is only mentioned in Shadow Games, and only in passing.
  2. Numa ford is typically crossable 2 days before Ghoja. It is the site of a military victory won by Lady in Shadow Games, but is not mentioned again.
  3. Ghoja ford is by far the most significant crossing over the Main throughout the Annals of the Black Company. It became the site of a key battle in Company history, and later the location of a great stone bridge served by the Rock Road which transformed the region.
  4. Vehdna-Bota ford is the westernmost ford, found nearest the sea, and is useful only during the driest months of the year. The eighty miles of river between Vehdna-Bota and the ocean are always impassable, which must mean the Main never merges with the great river and does not share that river's delta. After Ghoja, it is the second most frequently-mentioned ford in the Annals.

Shadow Games[]

The Main was the traditional boundary of the heartland of Taglios for centuries. At the direction of Willow Swan at the onset of the Shadowmaster wars, Taglios surrendered its holdings south of the Main to the invading armies from the Shadowlands. Then, Swan ambushed and crushed many isolated groups of Shadowlanders until the invaders got wise and repulsed his overconfident Taglians.

After he arrived at the head of the Black Company, Croaker realized the Shadowlanders were massing their forces at Ghoja. Utilizing critical intelligence from Shapeshifter, he crushed them at the Battle of Ghoja Ford.

Dreams of Steel[]

Frogface, the imp in the service of Soulcatcher, destroyed the growing bridge over the Main at Ghoja toward the end of Dreams of Steel. His reason for doing so was not a military one, but rather, simply to keep Croaker and Lady apart from one another. Keeping the two lovers separate was his prime mission, as commanded by Soulcatcher, the irrational and spiteful sister of Lady. With the bridge gone, and the rainy season fast approaching, the Main became completely uncrossable before the couple could reunite. Although Croaker was confined to Dejagore for months, he did communicate with Lady regularly via messages hurled by catapults from the banks of the Main.

Soldiers Live[]

Soulcatcher, the power behind the throne of the sprawling Protectorate, was challenged by the newly-reconstituted Black Company in Soldiers Live. To prevent the Company from crossing the Main, she personally commanded her Middle Army south of the river's fortified crossings. After she lost the Battle of the Middle Ground, the Company crossed the Main at Ghoja and finally took Taglios from Mogaba during the Siege of Taglios.