What way now?
The sun was beginning to set in the western sky when Rigel first caught site of the Lorimar road. It had been eight years since he first arrived at the order compound nestled at the edge of the dark forest. Eight years since he had seen more than a small handful of people. In that time he had learned much about Goddess Faran's love and hopes for people as well as significantly improving his martial skills.
Rigel had no desire to travel the road at night nor to sleep in the woods, they could sometimes be dangerous. But his options were limited. In the end he chose what looked like a comfortable place to lay his head and made ready to get some rest. As the sun was setting low he he heard noise coming up the road headed north. Rigel sat quiet and unmoving as a group of about 24 rode into view.
They rode at a casual gait but with a sort of easy discipline. Each member wore a matching tabard, one Rigel was unfamiliar with. They each carried weapons but of many different types and quality. Based the discipline, matching tabards and mismatched weapons Rigel judged them to be Mercenaries.
One man toward the end of the column quietly whistled and immediately the man in front signaled the party to stop. As they stopped each man almost instinctively turned slightly away from the road to see to their side. Within a few seconds it was like eyes were everywhere. After several minutes and two "Thumps" made by hitting the butt of a dagger against a wooden shield, the men all turned back to the road and the troop rode on.
Rigel awoke as the sun peaked over the mountains. The day was clear would take off the morning chill soon. At least Rigel hoped so. Rigel stretched to warm himself a bit then completed morning prayers and meditations. Ready to face his day Rigel moved out of the wood and to the road.
Well traveled and well maintained the Lorimar road stretched like a ribbon in either direction and Rigel hesitated. As he stood debating direction, a bee buzzed near then continued south. "must be a sign..." Rigel thought. Rigel turned and headed south.