The wagonmaster pulled lightly on the riens, and the horses came to an uneven halt. He hadn't spoken with his passenger for hours, and both were happy for the silence. Too many drivers wanted to chatter the day away, filling the time on the road with useless sound. The driver tucked the reins over the footrest and settled back.
The passenger was holding a heavy crossbow across his lap. He set the bow between them on the seat and then levered himself out of the seat. He lowered himself easily down to the road before he turned and offered his hand. The palm was worn as much from labor as a sword hilt, and it had the texture of old, dried leather.
The driver leaned out and shook the passenger's hand. He nodded gravely and then pulled back and reached over to put the crossbow in the bed. He would have no need of it now that the caravn had crossed back into civilized lands. When he turned back, the passenger was already making his way down the road into the village.
The village was old. There was plenty of new construction, but the builders used old foundations as often as not, carefully resurrecting the past as footings for the future. The passenger looked around at the new buildings and shook his head in wonder. It seemed just months since he had left the village to embark on his adventures, yet now he couldn't even recognize the way to his own old home. He shook his head at the way time passed and walked on.