"I'm Temerian as long as Temeria is paying." The Nazairi woman said with a snort as she rode past the commander. "And soups are not sausages last time I checked, but I guess it'll do. The name is Nadia, by the way."
She trotted Wander across to the nearest of the horse lines and hitched him at the first available post. She went to unload her saddle bags and remove the saddle from the horse's back before stopping and looking around. At a second glace there did not seem to be much point in fully unpacking. Much of the camp was already being prepared for onward transit. Tents were being put down, horse and pack mules were being loaded with their burdens. Guess I'm late to the party, just like Sodden Hill...
"Sorry boy, you'll just have to grin and bear it." Nadia patted the horse with genuine affection before heading back towards the cookfire and the cauldron of soup that the commander of the company had pointed to. She elbowed a conscripted man out of the way to get at the simmering stew within. The man muttered something under his breath about women not knowing their place. Nadia drew herself up to her full height and looked at him, showing that she was just as tall as he was. Her grey eyes glinted with menace in the hazy morning sunshine.
"I might be a woman, but I can still bugger you up the arse with my spear." There was pause, before the Nazairi burst out laughing, punched the solider on the shoulder in jest, and handed him back the ladle. A couple of the other soldiers standing around chuckled under their breath as well. Nadia stood and talked with them as she ate the surprisingly good soup, Immortals be praised, actual cooks.
She learnt a few things from the soldiers, some of them were old hands, some of them were still green, some had fought at Sodden Hill like she had, but all in all they did not seem a terribly impressive bunch. One of the men swore that there was Blue Stripe amongst them, though that could just be a rumour. Even so it was interesting, she had seen what Foltest's stripes could do first hand, she would not want to get on the wrong side of one if there was one here.
She also learned exactly who the commander of their expedition was, Baldivar, one of Foltest's by-blows apparently. And there I was believing all those rumours about the sister fucking... She had met the Temerian King during the Northern War as he had been fond of mixing with the common soldiers, he had been a good soldier, a good commander, but she couldn't say she really knew the man. Nadia hoped his son had inherited some of his talents.
Speaking of talents, she saw a number of interesting ones on display around the camp. For example, the two solitary men with cat like eyes and swords of steel and sliver. A pair of fucking Witchers? Nadia had known a few Witchers before, the Bear Witchers sometimes went south from the Amell Mountains into Nazair, but she had never seen two of them in the same place before.
There were other strange fellows as well, an Aen Seidhe in fine armour, an unkempt man with a hawk upon his shoulder, and a pair of women. She was glad that she was not the only one, diverted some of the unwanted attention that way. They weren't dressed as fighters, so Nadia couldn't really guess at why they were here. She supposed one of them could be a sorceress, after all they had held off Nilfguaard at Sodden Hill until Foltest had arrived. Could both of them be magic usesr? Two Witchers and two Sorceresses? If that was the case Foltest was throwing an awful lot at this.
After she had finished her second breakfast it wasn't long before they were back on the move under the forest canopy. They went north, following along a trail as the ground rose up around them. After some time the trees thinned to reveal that must have been their destination - a ruinous fortress that sat above the woodlands of Toussaint. It looked in bad repair, the gates smashed in, stones tumbling from the ramparts.
They quietly dismounted outside whilst Baldivar laid out his plan. She checked her weapons and her equipment, everything was set, her brigantine was buckled, her helmet was firmly on her head. She strapped her shield to her left arm and took another spear to hold in her off hand in case she needed to throw the first.
Nadia was to be with Baldivar, the rough looking fellow with the hawk called Renar, and the very beautiful woman with the startling mismatched eyes who was apparently called Avery. She gave all of them a lopsided smirk.
"Time to earn my keep I guess. Stick close and I'll try to keep you from dying."