- "They were children, not brigands. Starving, filthy, sickly. They held us under the sight of their arrows and we stood fast... my son's age, they were. Children. Killed six of us..."
- —Valentin Behr, Road Warden.[3a]
- "The hinterlands of the Empire are full of miscreants and other bandits who prey upon their fellow man for no other reason other than financial gain. How a locality deals with such a threat varies, but in most cases a large reward if offered for the capture or execution of the bandit and his compatriots."
- —The Bandits of the Empire.
The hills and forests are full of Outlaw bands. It is a precarious existence, as they must deal not only with roadwardens, soldiers, and other agents of law, but also the dark denizens of the wilds.[1a] While many Outlaws are nothing more than common thieves, robbing coaches and caravans, others claim to champion the peasantry and fight for “justice not law.” As long as the Outlaws confine their attacks to the rich, the peasants aid them with food, information, and places to hide.[1a][3a] This support, and the rough terrain Outlaws use for their bases, makes them difficult for the state to deal with. Local Nobles often resort to the use of bounty hunters to end their bandit troubles.[1a]
Many outlaws do no think of themselves as criminals, but rather oppressed outcasts of society. This view is particularly common among Elven outlaws, who have watched as the boundaries of human civilisation have pushed up into their own forests.[3a]
Life of an Outlaw
- "...and he says, 'Titus, why d'you carry them shears?' And I says, 'These?' And he says, 'Aye, those're the only shears I see.' So I laughed and answered: 'Sometimes they don't want to take off their rings like I ask 'em to. When I show 'em the shears, most of 'em change their tune right quick. And if they dont... Hehehe."
- —Titus Widmann, Outlaw.[3a]
Outlaws exist wherever there are people to be fleeced from their hard earned coin. From the largest city to the smallest forested road, the outlaw’s domain is as diverse as the people they harass. They rely either on secrecy or a remote location to avoid being caught, and some even make an effort to keep their offences minimal to maintain a low profile; if they attract too much attention, a reward is posted for their capture and then they’ll have more trouble than they can handle. Consequently, it’s in their best interests to not leave witnesses behind who might tell the authorities of the outlaws' exploits. Some of the larger outlaw bands eventually migrate towards the Border Princes, where they are free to establish their own rule of law under the guidance of a strong Bandit King. Otherwise, without some sort of leadership, most loose packs and bands of wandering outlaws tend to fragment and disperse over time. They simply lack the discipline to work together with other miscreants and ruffians for extended lengths of time.[2a]