From Labyrinthe Wiki
The sparse rural population of Sellaville was gathered all about the trade roads and the great rivers, only sparse and tiny settlings living any distance at all from such arteries of civilisation. They gathered what they could, which was much, but with even the harvest barns bulging and carts full to market by far the majority of even the wild crops in sight were left to rot in the spring rains and new sunshine.
The people of the Refuge headed out in family groups to gather the sparser crops nearer to the city – drying a part of such to form corn dollies that were hung from sturdy doorways. These were said to take on the pestilence from the people within and in truth a number did seem to rot overnight. In two cases such burst into dirty flame in the dying hours before daylight came once more.
Word also came from the very fringes of the territories. A trader brought word that the hillfort known as The Rose had been attacked by a scrappy force of Orcs – the fight had been slight and the Orcs easily beaten away but it showed that the Bastion’s presence was well founded for else such raiders would clearly have made it their business to enter the rural lands of the city else.
Doubtless such would not have troubled the traders – for such were bound to flock to the lands once word spread of the free harvest to be had. Indeed, a number were already in the city, some with quite a reasonable gathering of wagons and of them not a few had a distinctly southern twang to their voices.
Trouble did not flare though for the people of Sellaville were hardly afeared of a few drunken traders, adventurers or other transients. Not a few took to wearing their plentiful weapons more openly but doubted not that the traders would have an extravagant old time of it. They had wagons and the grulls to encourage the rural folk for another harvest – and there seemed to be no sign of a Craftenguilder to make order out of it all. The traders would have to respect him - not that he was to be seen – more than they might the Commissent.
But truly it was not the worst that might happen. Traders rarely went anywhere empty wagoned and the markets did well out of them. though most likely it was those of the black kind that did best of all…
And in the months closing days a small warband of spearmen trudged into the city, dusty from the trail and answering the Hanot’s surly questions with a declaration that they were here on “Michael’s business”.
Lambs were born and youngling oxen lowed. Where cattle might still be found they calfed well and safely. If the sun was hardly hot enough to burn unwary and winter paled skin then it was at last warming for a few hours and the light bright and cheering throughout the day.
Two weeks before and a band of Orcs had attacked the Rose. Orcs travelled fast over bad ground and they had been about the Rose even as the pathfinders had scrambled up and into the fortifications. Riimiril’s lads had turned out and the Orcs, half in number as the defenders, hurried up the hill in a disorderly fashion. After a savage scrap they had broken and ran back into the wilds. Nigh on twenty Orcs had died and though there had been a lot of scrapes and a few broken bones the worst injury to be founds amongst the defenders of the Rose had been a broken skull. Even now that spearmen would have reached Sellaville and the healers to be found there.
It had not been much of a fight but it had enabled Gabber and Longlost to work together. Indeed, Willock had just watched the pair rather than interfere. If they hadn’t been able to deal with a pack of Orcs on their own then he’d never be able to leave.