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Nijha was the site of a shabby, crudely-built fort in the former Shadowlands, located south of Gharhawnes and north of Lake Tanji.

A noteworthy location in Soldiers Live, Nijha saw the first bloodshed between the Black Company and Soulcatcher's Taglian Protectorate soldiers. It was also where the reviled Company enemy Narayan Singh met his end.

Origin[]

The first small structure at Nijha was initially built by the Black Company itself, more than 19 years before Soldiers Live. The construction took place during the stages of the Shadowmaster wars chronicled in She Is the Darkness.

Blade explained its origin as follows:

The old Captain established it. It was a remount station for the first courier post. The wall got added because the natives kept trying to steal the horses. Soulcatcher eventually expanded the fort and garrison during the Kiaulune wars because she wanted a stronger presence here in case her enemies tried to sneak north this way. Assuming she did here the way she did everywhere else, she forgot the place as soon as the fighting was over. The garrison might be a hundred fifty or two hundred. Plus hangers-on.

Soldiers Live[]

Battle with the garrison[]

Runmust Singh and his brother Iqbal led the Black Company's skilled rangers ahead of Sleepy's main force in the campaign against the Protectorate. The rangers consisted of young veterans from Hsien like Minh Bhu, and all at least 10 years younger than the Shadar Singh brothers. With them were brand new captives: Narayan Singh (no relation to the brothers) and the Daughter of Night.

Soulcatcher ordered the men of her garrison at Nijha to attack the Black Company's rangers, having "told them they might achieve a startling triumph". The disorderly mob rushed forward, conducting "recon by fire" with arrows, ready to charge any outcry. The Singh brothers and the rangers would soon be detected by the Taglians, even though they had been obliquely warned by their supernatural allies, the Unknown Shadows. The violence began when Iqbal used an old fireball projector (a weapon left over from the Shadowmaster wars) to kill a Protectorate soldier who had spotted Runmust. As they fled, Runmust was struck with an arrow in the right thigh.

To buy time for the Singh brothers to flee, the rangers from Hsien quickly prepared to ambush their pursuers. The Taglians, though numerically superior, charged into a bloodbath, suffering a massacre. But the rangers failed to disengage when they had a chance. The Taglians eventually overran the rangers, wounding all but two of them and killing some. They also captured the Daughter of Night and sent her under guard north of Nijha.

Sleepy recognized Iqbal's fireball projector signal and flung her light cavalry forward to assist. Her horsemen turned back the Taglians and cut many down, saving the surviving wounded rangers and taking some prisoners. She was on the scene personally one hour after the fighting.

Surrender of the fort[]

When the surviving Taglians holed up inside the fort at Nijha, Sleepy planned to have a huge force show up to encourage their surrender. It was also an excuse to let her exhausted army recover and rest from their long, continuous push through the Dandha Presh.

Numbering fewer than 50, the Protectorate soldiers within Nijha surrendered after a sleepless night of antagonism from the Unknown Shadows. Upon disarming, they were accorded the honors of war and were allowed to depart with their families and what possessions they could carry.

Uncle Doj was sent into the fort first, to use his limited skills with sorcery to confirm that Soulcatcher had not left behind any booby traps.

Narayan Singh and the Khadidas[]

On the Black Company’s first night at Nijha, Goblin – secretly possessed by the Khadidas – was left unattended by accident. He approached the Company’s new prisoner, Narayan Singh, and after speaking to him briefly in Deceiver's Cant, martyred him with a rumel to spare him the tortures which Lady planned to subject him. The Khadidas then took two horses, one saddle, and fled Nijha to find the Daughter of Night.

Sleepy, Ky Sahra, Riverwalker, Uncle Doj, and many others found the corpse and realized Goblin had escaped. They had the disappointing news relayed back to Lady, and soon continued their northward march along the Viliwash river toward the site of the Black Company's next major action: Gharhawnes. Narayan’s corpse was disposed of within a cesspit at Nijha by the garrison which Sleepy left behind.

Later, when Lady, Croaker, Tobo, and Murgen arrived at Nijha from their mission at the Shadowgate, Lady ordered that Narayan’s corpse be dug up for inspection. They soon left Nijha and continued north by the Viliwash, as well, with Lady dropping pieces of Narayan’s remains along the way.

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