John ate his sandwich, and looked down on the village of Decanus. The view was nice from the rocky hills just to the south of the town in eastern Corone, which afforded him a view of the entirety of the town, most of the streets, and of course, the three large camps situated at each of the gates in the defensive walls. What was used previously to keep invaders out was now a prison, and the bandits choked the town for resources from locals and travelers alike. They must have been keeping a tight lip on the entirety of their operation, because John himself had not even heard rumor of it since a merchant passed him a letter from the mayor of the town, one Reodin Eltir, who had asked John for his help in dispatching them.

It would be difficult to remove that many people, especially if they were dug in over the course of three months, as the letter had stated. The fading sunlight meant that campfires were starting to become visible, which would give him an indication of just how many people there would be, and perhaps where their leader was located. He wondered if he could scare them off. Certainly people around here knew who he was, right? The half-giant blacksmith and mercenary wasn’t exactly normal.

He took another bite of his sandwich.

However it happened, the commander would likely parlay with John if he walked out to the camps, unless the bandit commander was insane or stupid. Which, John mused, he probably wasn’t if he was able to keep this operation in such a delicate situation for so long. Perhaps the townsfolk were complicit? No, the mayor’s letter would have said so. Then again, he wouldn’t be the first official who was unaware of the actions of his people.

He counted the campfires, finishing his sandwich. Several thousand soldiers, perhaps opportunistic mercenaries in the wake of all that had been going on in Corone lately. Among those would be archers, both bowmen and crossbowmen, and at least one contingent of cavalry, judging by the horse-lines.

With the government in turmoil, it would be next to impossible to rely on those bureaucratic nitwits to stand up, much less devote real Coronian troops to this cause. He wondered if he should get some help. He sighed, grabbing a pole for his tent. At the very least, he could find out if he needed help tomorrow.