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Numa is the name of both a minor ford and a small nearby village on the south bank of the southern continent's Main river. It was mentioned only in Shadow Games.

Numa is one of the 4 seasonal fords – all found within a particular 80-mile stretch of the Main – that appear only during the dry season across the otherwise impassible river. The other fords are: Ghoja (by far the most important to the Black Company); Vehdna-Bota (the westernmost and nearest to the sea); and Theri (the easternmost and farthest upriver). Numa is upriver from Ghoja and is typically crossable 2 days before it. Numa is downriver from Theri.

After being the site of Lady's smaller but noteworthy battle which served as a prelude to the larger Battle of Ghoja Ford in Shadow Games, Numa is not mentioned again in the Annals. Also, only Ghoja ford received a bridge and the sturdy Rock Road serving it. Numa, Vehdna-Bota, and Theri benefited from no such construction, so none of them experienced the natural growth and expansion that Ghoja was seen to sustain in the ~25 years after Shadow Games.

Shadow Games[]

Although the Main River was the traditional southern boundary of Taglios, the small villages of Numa and Ghoja were Taglian despite being on the southern shore of the river. But both became the northernmost points of the Shadowlands after the four Shadowmasters ceased their internal feuding and began consolidating their combined territories. Simultaneously, the small villages of Vehdna-Bota and Theri were simply abandoned, and were not even repopulated with Shadowlanders later. As Willow Swan observed at the very start of the Shadowmaster wars: "the Taglians gave up their territories below the Main without a finger raised to resist".

After the Black Company arrived in Taglios, its Captain, Croaker, quickly realized that Ghoja was the key crossing. He and Goblin personally scouted the crossing; meanwhile he ordered Shadid and Willow Swan to Numa, Murgen and Cordy Mather to Vehdna-Bota, and Sindawe and Blade to Theri.

Croaker, now hired as "Liberator" of Taglios by the Prahbrindrah Drah, concentrated his efforts on militarizing the Taglian population to prevent Ghoja from being crossed by the Shadowlanders. He even abdicated the defense of the other 3 fords to the religious cult leaders: Jahamaraj Jah and his untrained 2500 Shadar were sent to protect Numa; a Gunni force above the Theri ford; and apparently a Vehdna force above Vehdna-Bota.

Battle at Numa Ford[]

The immensely powerful sorcerer Shapeshifter crossed the Main at Lady's direction and reported back to her with vital intelligence: the Shadowlanders were preparing to cross 10,000 at Ghoja ford, 3000 at Numa, and 1000 each at Vehdna-Bota and Theri. He later reported the startling revelation that the enemy was using dams to flood a plain to allow the Ghoja ford to be crossable sooner than expected.

Just one day before the Battle of Ghoja Ford, Lady commanded Jahamaraj Jah's 2500 Shadar Taglians against the 3000 Shadowlanders in a smaller battle at Numa ford. She pushed the enemy back across the ford twice, but then had a sustained battle on the northern bank. This battle is only briefly described in a conversation the next day between Lady and her husband Croaker:

“You won.” “Barely.” She sat down and told me. “The Shadar did good. Pushed them back across twice. But not the third try. It broke up into a brawl and chase before we could get into it. When we did, the Shadowmasters’ men formed up and held out almost all day. [There were] a few [survivors]. But they didn’t get back across. I put some men over right away, caught them off guard, and took their fortress. Afterward I sent Jah on across... I gave him a hundred men to scout and told him your orders were to circle around behind them here. He could be in position this afternoon if he pushes.” “He take heavy losses?” “Eight hundred to a thousand.”
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