Westwind Hills, approx. a leage from the Western Gates of Regalin
"Aw no, what are they doing here?"
Shifting uncomfortably from his perch in the slingshot-shaped treebough, Rezo peered through a gap in the leaves to spy a Krad checkpoint blockading the only clear path to the city. he had been traveling at a painstakingly slow pace for roughly a week now, and it was only now at the threshold of the royal city did a true challenge rear its ugly head. The young man had heard of these tolling areas cropping up all around the kingdom; just another way for the invaders to oppress Etil without resorting to outright combat. Steep prices, threats, intimidation...
Rezo scrounged around in his pockets to see if he had any spare gold pieces. A couple of the coins clacked sadly in his leather vest, but there's no way it would be enough to buy safe passage past the Krads. They'd maybe turn away a noble with a curt nod, but a young armed kid, all by his lonesome? He'd probably get mugged. And even if they did accept his meager toll, that left him with next to nothing to subsist on when he was within the city walls.
"What am I gonna do?" Rezo mumbled to himself. He saw a few merchants pass through the blockade with little fanfare; either they had enough money to spare or they were Krad sympathizers.
Straining his eyes towards the horizon, the sight of Regalin Castle's epic spires was vsiible just over the impenetrable stone squares of the city walls. So close, and yet so far away. he could almost taste the sweet scents of city food, of the bustling marketplaces. But none of that mattered! He was supposed to be here on a mission, to meet with the King and request aid for the village, as hopeless as that seemed. All the while, on a time limit. The full moon would be approaching in another week's time, and Rezo would much prefer the wide open spaces of the wilds where he was less likely to harm someone under lunar influence.
So could he sneak through? Would it just be easier to sacrifice a day's time and go the long way around? He sighed--this was hopeless! Rezo nervously twiddles his bare fingers on the shaft of an arrow as he awaited a way forward to present itself.