OOC Thread Outskirts of Edeur Three separate wagons charted their way down a worn out road, pacing through a forest towards a place not yet visible. Different markings adorned the sides of each vehicle, different accents came from each driver, but circumstance had put them all upon the same road. Traveling in packs had become the only reliable means of reaching one's destination in the country, and the haunting remains of battered down carts and smashed-in crates along the border roads stood as solemn proof. For some of their number, the clattering of rickety wooden wheels and the staccato drone of horseshoes had been going without pause for the past few days. The only diversions set out for them on the way had been the perpetual fear of banditry and a few notable members of the group. There had been a stirring among some of the more superstitious soldiers of fortune when someone noticed the plague mask carried by another passenger. Some of the fearful had emigrated to another coach, their spots soon taken by people who cared more for leg room. Of course, the petty divisions that inevitably surfaced while wheeling dozens of mercenaries to their new homes had also crept in. It was doubtless many aboard were mercenaries, at least to the casual observer, because so many of the passengers openly carried arms. Those waiting for an attack even went as far as keeping their scabbards upon their laps for most of the journey. Openly was the essential way to describe their method of travel, as each wagon was piled high with reinforced crates of goods that those looking for a ride had been piled atop. The way they anxiously watched the horizon from on high, the careless might have even mistaken them for brigands themselves. Cloaks and covers sheltered many of the people aboard. The elements had been as sparing as could be expected in a coastal nation. Light rains, made even more mild by the permanently agreeable weather, had so far been the only thing to assail the wayfarers. One party not openly toting arms or even covered against the elements was one of the more recent additions. With the last load of supplies brought on for that coach in particular had come aboard two women, one with fair hair and the other dark, clad in the same blue uniform. The destination of the entire group, Edeur, was no secret, and to anyone with more than a passing interest in the city their clothing was the mark of the city's abbey. For a wagon primarily filled with foreign mercenaries, such knowledge was not common, but neither was an interest in the two personnel that sat by the rear car's driver. One by one, they rounded another bend in the road. Civilization was too close for ruins and scraps to be left alone, but even within the domain of the city guard there was a conspicuous puncture in the modest wood frame fence isolating the forest from the road. Twin wheel-made tracks faded into the woods, and it did not take an imagination inflamed by days or hours of dangerous travel to conceive of what could have precipitated such poor handling of a vehicle. On the other side, the gentle rush of a nearby river added its voice to the symphony. It was more than a refreshing addition to the uncivilized racket of over a dozen chatting mercenaries and their overworked transportation, it was the surest sign that their trek was coming to an end. The river that drew up alongside the road ran parallel with it straight into Edeur, the place the overwhelming majority of them would be jumping off. The forest around the road, still green despite the growing lateness of the season, slowly tapered off into brush and finally open fields. Finally a smell circulated that did not belong to the horses, mercenaries, and inner forest. Society nudged at every sense, from the thin trails of smoke leeching into the sky to the gentle aroma of cooking fires. Edeur was plain to see then, sprawling out on both sides of the river. Timber frame houses composed the outer rings of the town, beautiful structures framed in various hues of wood and built with brick and clay. Some were plastered over and others left their brick filling on prominent display, but uniformity had been lost with modernity in the city's design. Nowhere was such a loss more apparent than the two most visible landmarks of the city center. At one end a clock tower rose into the sky, it's boxy, robust structure bearing a broad face on which time telling hands occasionally clicked. Above it, the openings of a belfry gaped. It was just past midday, which meant it would be a short while before its bells could be heard. Opposing the tower was the slender, shorter spire of what could only be the town's abbey. Little could be said of the gray peak, other than it matched stone construction of the town's oldest buildings, which could be glimpsed only occasionally from the outside. Brick gates rose up over the larger roads that fed into Edeur, though no gates barred passage. A rarity in Lachne, guardsmen could be observed working at the entrance stations. At the sight, some of the more scrupulous warriors began to stow their weaponry, either with their belongings or after the example of a young woman in their midst with a conspicuous bundle of black cloth. It was that security that kept the operations of any faction within the city clandestine. Recruitment happened in taverns, and control was a nebulous thing they fought for without regard for the governor and his skeleton crew of policing soldiers. The most concrete materialization of that was the fourth wagon currently occupying the road, still a ways away from the main group, but stopped by the city guard for processing and admission. As the distance gradually faded away, it became apparent that it was not an equally encumbered wagon but instead a closed carriage. No search could be seen underway, though that offered little relief to drivers with nothing to hide and travelers just looking to be off the road.