The Many Roads
Most of the Bindlestiff roads are narrow affairs, not large enough for two carts to pass each other. Pedestrians have to actually climb into the heath and scrub along these roads to not be run over by the rare carts and wagons that rumble along the ways. The Bindlestiff Roads are a collection of farm paths and vagrant footpaths that run between the vagabond city of Gaberlunz, Cambor, the city of poverty, and Buzzard’s Bay, once the city of thieves.
The Roads are considered a dangerous place to travel, as the paths are unmarked, bridges are in horrible repair if they are even still holding up, and there are brigands lairs scattered through the area. Worse still, tha majority of land in the Bindlestiffs is unclaimed wilderness, there are no small farming villages every few miles, no barns to crash in for the night. Between random encounters with wildlife and brigands, few travel the roads who don’t have to.
The Bindlestiff Men
An exception to the rule is the Bindlestiff Man, usually a lone traveler who carries all of his goods in a blanket tied to a stick. These men and rare women tramp the roads, somewhere between being wandering bards and shiftless vagrants. As a rule, these wanderers are adept at living on the edge of society and feeding off of the land, avoiding brigands and wildlife alike. Some consider them lucky, others think them cursed with a permanent wanderlust.
On the Road Again
Resting between the Agares River to the north and the Bosque River Valley to the south, the Roads is a mix of rolling hills, scattered woodlands, and large spaces of open terrain. Wild wheat grows in copious amounts since many of the open areas were exploited a century ago to counter grain shortages, and were then later abandoned. These proto-communities for the most part dried up and were forgotten. Few of the buildings are left standing, and those that are have been since claimed by thick vines, inhabited by wild animals, or taken as bandit strongholds.
Food on the roads isn’t terribly hard to come by. The climate is forgiving and wild fruits, berries and wheat can be found with relative ease. Game is also towards the plentiful side, but generally wary of humans, mostly due to the violent antics of the brigands in the area. Winter is the worst season, as the exposed areas can recieve good amounts of snowfall and driving winds from the west.
Bandits and brigands are a constant problem in the area, with gangs of men gathering in the stone ruins of Trinity sponsored grain barns. Armed with makeshift weaponry and armor, they rule petty kingdoms carved out with their cudgels and bows. Most simply demand a tribute from the merchants and such, only a few pieces of gold or silver if the merchant group looks well armed. Less armed caravans unlucky enough to pass through the area are lightened of half of their load, but seldom any more than that. The brigands are rather fussy about not killing merchants since that would cause the trade to dry up completely.
Some less than scrupulous traders from wastrel Cambor will bring gifts for the bandits, usually barrels of ale to secure their passage or young and foolish girls to sate their often pent up lusts.
Many tinkers pass along the Bindlestiff Roads on their way to Gaberlunz. These caravans of brightly painted wagons and troops of horses are seldom molested in any fashion as most of the brigands have horror stories of a friend of a friend who was cursed by a Tinker witch, hunted by packs of wolves and such until he was eaten.