The merchant’s caravan took the well-travelled Prince’s Highway, a meandering road through rolling hills and pastureland. Fields were bare of crops, harvested weeks before in preparation for winter. Countless villages and towns dotted the way, thinning out the farther they ventured west of Skelgard. When nightfall came, they stayed at roadside and village inns catering to travellers. For Cadoc and his men, it was a luxury not having to sleep rough beside the road.
After a few days on the road, Cadoc, at last, began to relax — or at least he stopped thinking every rustling tree or oncoming traveller wasn’t the impending sign of an ambush. It brought both mind and body much-needed respite, and he began to tune his senses to the rhythms of daily life.