A Southern Road…
At the morn, Taz is introduced to his steed “Cunt” a disagreeable riding horse hated by most of those in the stables. The horse however is partial to Taz for whatever reason and the two get along famously, the stablehand is left at a loss of words. Taz is provided a 100sp retainer to spend and the ability to take the horse and a mail shirt on loan (to be returned or paid in full). He loads up on arrows, scabbards for his two swords, a whetstone, riding boots, saddle & gear, saddlebags of food, 12 stygian silver and a backpack. He is given the short sword and Bossonian bow taken from the dead thieves and heads at full gallop south to Sicus via the Argos Road.
Late on his first day Taz encounters Grom, a leader of a small band of peasants, he sells Taz a salted lamb and 8 flasks of blueberry wine. He passes on information from what he has seen in Sicus; no trade is currently ongoing and there are crazed murders going on in the area—even members of the city guard! Taz hears that the Wyvern Inn has the best whores and the Two Dryands the best drinks and that the Iron Skull is a good place to go and get yourself killed. He thanks the travellers and moves on. Taz is bothered by his sweaty, scratchy and heavy mail shirt but continues riding with it on, running into a boy by the name of Barrett as he sets camp. Apparently Barrett is the son of an orchard farmer near Sicus and just lost his cart and Oxen after a snakebite killed the beast and the cart flew off the road during its death throes. Taz offers to take him south, stating his is scouting the area for his liege Strom (the name of his tribe leader back home). The two rest and Barrett shares some apples, which Taz has never eaten, after taking his first bite he regrets only moments earlier giving one to his horse as a treat.
The next day, Cunt lives up to her name and refuses to ride both men so they walk the road, leading the stubborn mare. As the morning sun rises they are waylaid by 4 brigands, 3 with swords and one with a bow. Taz attempts to intimidate the scarred leader but fails and refusing surrender, attacks! Almost immediately Taz sees the benefit of the mail shirt, as it absorbs two blows and deflects a third. Taz thanks Mitra for her gift and resumes striking at the brigands. A scared but game Barrett rushes the bowman, forcing his shot and engages him with his bare (albeit mighty) fists. The battle is a fierce one and Taz is barely able to keep from being surrounded and smites the foes one at a time, finishing the leader with an incredible blow through his padded armor and into his heart. Barrett pummels the bowman to the ground and knocks him out, Taz claims the thieves weapons and lets the last man go…but only after taking his pinky as warning. That night they eat a hardy meal of lamb and share more apples, Barrett explaining to Taz the way to grow an apple tree. Later a noise is heard and upon investigation a ranger by the name of Rugarius is found. Taz offers hospitality to the man and feeds him. The group rests.
Day 3 begins with Rugarius explaining what he knows of the city of Sicus as he is an outrider who lives just outside the city. There is a secret entrance via a dry Aqueduct by the NW bank, a good way to avoid the 3 sp entry fee into the walled city. The city is “run” by two groups of thieves; The Jackals-
a group of well equipped loan sharks who travel in massive groups (do NOT accuse them of cheating or they take your eyes!) and The Wyverns who run a slave trade, a fighting arena called “The Pit,” and a brothel (The Wyvern Inn of yore). BUT there is a new player in town-The Bloody Dawn, a new group of rogues who know no boundaries and respect no one. Taz believes (rightly) that this Bloody Dawn is behind the killings. Rugarius thanks Taz and Barrett and moves on, again Cunt accepts no riders and they walk the horse again.
Mid-day a 3 cart caravan of merchants led by Zazon enroute to Tarantia offers trade. Taz sells the excess equipment from the dead brigands and buys a wheel of cheese, which turns out to be as large as his horse (Taz assumed it would be a small wheel, not a true wheel of cheese). Not knowing what to do with so much cheese, Taz offers lunch to all and a small feast begins destined to block the bowels of all for days to come. Zazon offers to shoe Taz’ horse and Taz agrees. As the men wait for the work to be done, Zazon confirms to Taz the lack of trade in Sicus and that he left as soon as possible fearing for the safety of the caravan. His men assist Taz with tying up the cheese to the horse and Barrett and Taz walk on.
At dusk an injured soldier is found, attacked by brigands, Barrett heals the unconscious man’s wounds and Taz watches during the night as the two rest, hearing haunting noises from the woods and howls of packs of wolves. Near dawn a ragged man with broken manacles on his wrists stumbles into camp, shouting “I did nothing to that woman…” Taz is wary but pays no attention to the comment and offers the man a chance to rest. The man, upon seeing the soldier, grows nervous and leaves. Taz doesn’t know why.
The next day, Taz meets Vago (?) the soldier who is healing. Taz is exhausted and asks to sleep until noon before they depart. However the sleep is deep, so deep he sleeps through to the next day—and through an attack by 2 wild boar who were killed by Barrett and Vago. The group eats, treats some boar for food later and moves on, now 5 days into the journey. Early afternoon the Tibor river is reached. Sicus is near! The group decides to hit the Inn and take the ferry across the following day. Inside is a distraught innkeeper named Petrius who is the last survivor of an attack by the Bloody Dawn. About the room lie the remains of 7 men and women, 4 locals and 3 Bloody Dawn memebers who Petrius killed. Taz offers to bury the dead for the innkeeper who agrees. Vago and Barrett assist, looting the corpses as they are being taken outside. Taz then sells his remaining cheese to the innkeeper for a large profit and proceeds to get drunk. The group makes merry!
A merchant arrives in the early morn and Taz buys two horses with coin and traded weapons for his companions who are more than estatic at their good fortunes. The merchant tells the 3 to be very careful, to avoid “The Pit” area of town, beware the Bloody Dawn as they are everywhere and that he noted a lone dark rider, a Stygian bearing a crimson and grey cloak…