Thief, murderer, mercenary, criminal boss and general pox on humanity.
Inspired by Ulysses Klaue
In settings where there are long established underworld thief, criminal and otherwise ne'er do wells there is going to be a system of heraldry associated with those who live in and rule from the shadows.
There are gangs, there are biker gangs, there are terrorist organizations, and then there are the Sons of Scorpions
A rather large armed group slowly walks the road. Unless you get to see what they transport, you could think it is a caravan with expensive goods, or the soldiers escort someone important. But this is a prisoner transport, on the way to mines, criminals on their way for punishment.
The soldiers may be willing to talk, the captain will have a few questions on you and the road, but they will keep distance, and part soon.