You decide to follow the left-hand path, leading you into the plains on the northern side of the mountain. There are better things to do than go mountain climbing at this time. For starters, your provisions are near depletion. The land hasn’t been very gracious in the past few days, so your only option for survival is to restock at the nearest town.
As you walk along the path, you can see tracks from cart wheels: surely a good sign. Where there’s a wheel, there’s trade — and where there’s trade, there’s a settlement!
Making your way down the road, the plains open up to you. They run as far as the eye could see. You tilt your head, and in the distance, wild horses can be spotted galloping with their herd. It is sights like these that make one appreciate the divinity of nature and all its children. When you orient your head forward again, you see a small hill before you, and behind it, a column of smoke is rising.
“Finally, a settlement!”
As you crest the hill, a town can be seen in the distance. It seems you won’t have to spend the night sleeping by the roadside again.
As you continue on, you spot a group of people approaching you. When they fully come into view, you are able to distinguish that they are soldiers of some kind.
Probably just out on patrol, you reckon to yourself, but when you get nearer, the soldier at the head of the column calls out. “You! Stop right there!”