The highways of Aranthaes are a symbol of the city’s wealth and power, attracting merchants, adventurers, and travelers from far and wide.

The highways that radiate from Aranthaes are always a bustling hub of activity. They connect the city to other major trading centers and cities, creating a network of commerce that spans across the continent. The roads themselves are wide and well-paved, allowing for smooth passage for both travelers on foot and carts drawn by horses or oxen. Along the roads, there are inns, taverns, and rest stops for weary travelers to take a break and replenish their supplies.

The caravans that ply these highways are heavily guarded, with armed escorts and wagons carrying precious cargo. Merchant convoys travel in groups for protection against bandits and other dangers on the road. Some of the more wealthy merchant houses run their own private police forces to provide additional security for their caravans. The merchant police forces are formed of battle-hardened fighters, skilled in the art of war and ready to defend their employer’s wealth at all costs.

In addition to the merchant caravans, there are also bands of adventurers traveling the highways, seeking their fortune in Aranthaes. They are often easily identifiable by their worn traveling gear, weapons, and the glint of gold in their eyes. Some of these adventurers travel alone, while others band together to form parties, pooling their resources and talents to better survive the dangers of the road.

Along these roads, a multitude of inns, stalls, and other waystations have sprung up to accommodate the constant flow of traffic.

Some of these waystations are little more than a few tents set up along the side of the road, where weary travelers can rest and purchase food and supplies. Others are more substantial structures, with sturdy walls, that offer rooms and beds for travelers to spend the night.

These inns and waystations range from simple, rustic affairs to more elaborate and luxurious establishments. Some offer only the most basic of accommodations, while others boast lavish furnishings, fine dining, and even entertainment in the form of music, dancing, and storytelling.

The stalls and markets along the roadsides are also bustling with activity, offering a wide variety of goods and services to travelers. Here, one can find fresh produce, meats, and baked goods, as well as weapons, armor, and other equipment for adventurers. Magic items, rare artifacts, and exotic curiosities can also be found for sale, if one knows where to look.

As the highways radiating from Aranthaes stretch ever farther, the waystations become more and more sparse, and the terrain becomes more rugged and dangerous. Armed guards and caravans become more common sights, as bandits and other hazards lurk in the wilds beyond the city’s borders. Despite the dangers, however, the highways remain vital arteries of trade and travel, linking Aranthaes to the rest of the world.

Crime on the Highways?

While the private merchant police are officially hired to protect the trade routes, there have been allegations that some of these guards are in league with the bandits and orc hordes that they are supposed to be guarding against.

This has led some to speculate that the guards are not merely collecting their wages from passing merchants, but are also extorting protection money from them in exchange for safe passage.

There have also been rumors that some of the guards are involved in smuggling and other illicit activities, using their positions of authority to move contraband goods along the trade routes. It is unclear how widespread these practices are, but they have contributed to a general sense of distrust among the traveling merchants and adventurers who rely on the trade routes.

To counter these allegations and improve public trust, some merchants have implemented stricter standards for hiring and training their guards, as well as increasing oversight and accountability measures. However, there are still concerns that corruption and collusion may be deeply ingrained in the system, and that more drastic measures may be necessary to fully root out these problems.


As you travel the busy highways you will encounter heavy traffic. Roll d20 for a selection of possible encounters

  1. A merchant caravan carrying spices and exotic textiles, accompanied by a handful of guards.
    Merchant Caravan: AC 12, HP 25 (per guard), short sword (1d6), leather armor
  2. A group of bandits hiding in wait to ambush any travelers who come by.
    Bandits: AC 13, HP 15, short sword (1d6), leather armor
  3. A pack of hungry wolves that have been stalking the trade route.
    Wolves: AC 13, HP 12, bite (1d6), pack tactics
  4. A traveling bard looking for inspiration and offering to perform for anyone who will listen.
    Traveling Bard: AC 10, HP 10, no weapon
  5. A lone orc, injured and begging for help.
    Injured Orc: AC 11, HP 8, no weapon
  6. A group of 6 (1d10) goblins who have set up a toll booth on the trade route and demand payment to pass.
    Goblins: AC 15, HP 7, shortbow (1d6), scimitar (1d6), leather armor
  7. A wealthy noble who has been robbed and left stranded on the road.
    Stranded Noble: AC 11, HP 15, no weapon
  8. A traveling merchant who is seeking adventurers to help him recover stolen goods.
    Merchant with Quest: AC 10, HP 10, no weapon
  9. A group of 3 (1d4) paladins on a holy mission, seeking information on a rumored temple in the area.
    Paladins: AC 18, HP 35, longsword (1d8), shield, chainmail
  10. A small group of 2 (1d4) villagers escaping from a plague and in desperate need of medicine.
    Plagued Village: AC 10, HP 5, no weapon
  11. A group of 6 (1d10) mercenaries who are on the hunt for a dangerous criminal who has fled into the area.
    Mercenaries: AC 16, HP 25, longsword (1d8), shield, chainmail
  12. A wizard who is searching for rare ingredients to complete a potion.
    Wizard: AC 12, HP 15, no weapon
  13. A small group of 4 (1d6) traders who have stumbled across a valuable treasure map and are seeking adventurers to help them retrieve it.
    Traders with Treasure Map: AC 12, HP 10, no weapon
  14. A group of 6 (1d8) smugglers carrying illicit goods through the trade route.
    Smugglers: AC 14, HP 20, short sword (1d6), leather armor
  15. A merchant caravan trying to overtake a rival’s caravan by any means necessary.
    Rival Merchant Caravan: AC 12, HP 25 (per guard), short sword (1d6), leather armor
  16. A mysterious figure who seems to be following the players, but disappears whenever they try to confront them.
    Mysterious Follower: AC 10, HP 5, no weapon
  17. A group of 10 (2d6) orcs who have taken over an abandoned watchtower and are using it as a base of operations.
    Orcs from Watchtower: AC 14, HP 20, greataxe (1d12), chainmail
  18. A pair of giants who are arguing over a particularly large boulder in the middle of the road.
    Giants: AC 14, HP 50, club (2d6+7)
  19. A young injured adventurer who is lost and looking for directions to the nearest town.
    Lost Adventurer: AC 10, HP 3, no weapon
  20. A group of friendly halflings who offer the players a hot meal and a place to rest for the night.
    Friendly Halflings: AC 10, HP 5, no weapon