In a world where teleportation magic doesn’t exist, the opportunity to travel a few days journey in moments is beyond value. With only a simple toll, you can be practically on the doorstep of Nizul-tibi before you know it.
Silk Armor? The Mongols wore silk undergarments under layers of leather armor. Why? Because silk is very strong. If an arrow hit them and made it through their armor, it would usually not have enough energy to puncture the silk. It could still enter their body but, because the silk would not break, the arrow's barbs could not do their work and the arrow could easily be removed leaving a relatively clean wound considering normal arrow wounds.