The Main is a broad river in the southern continent which runs south of Taglios and at least two hundred 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 is impassable. Outside the rainy season, there are four fords along an eighty-mile stretch of the Main:
Theri is the farthest upriver; above Theri the Main courses through rugged canyons too steep and bleak for military operations. Vehdna-Bota lay 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.
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.
Dreams of SteelEdit
Frogface, the imp in the service of Soulcatcher, destroyed the 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. Frogface's plan worked, and Croaker was confined to Dejagore for months. They did communicate regularly, however, via messages hurled by catapults from the banks of the Main.
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 and took Taglios from Mogaba.