Roughrider was once just a term given to the Samsun mounted messengers who traveled between the towns of the Roughlands in Ahlonia with goods and royal decrees, but now it has come to mean a very specific kind of man. The Samsun mounted vagrant outlaws of the Rouglands live on the fringes of society, depending on their wits and their weapons for their lives and livelihoods. Part bandit, part mercenary, part heroic adventurer, despite their romantic reputation most roughriders spend their time robbing tax collectors or other authority figures, and occasionally sell their services as caravan or settlement guards, often against other groups of roughriders. However when very occasionally one of their number rides to the aid on a beleaguered township, or kills and evil tax collector and returns the gold to the people, or rescues a child from slavery in a goblyn tribe the roughrider legend grows. Roughriders also represent the only contact with the outside world the rebel barony of Maethas has, and so the Black Baron often employs them as scouts and spies.


Over time roughriders have developed a sort of uniform that they nearly universally wear, though each roughrider will make the attire his own. Famous for their broad-brimmed hats and heavy split sealskin coats, the most common factor of the roughrider is his faithful Samsuns, raised from a hatchling and loyal only to him. Commonly they will fight with javelins and broad-bladed spears, and many use pennants with their own improvised heraldry to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies, and spread their legend through the roughlands. Roughriders are constantly coated in the mustard-yellow clay dust that blows across the roughlands day in day out, and their hats and coats are usually in poor repair. Many also keep a scarf tied around their noses and mouths to keep from breathing the dust in particularly bad storms, and to keep it from gathering in the collar of their coat.

Famous Roughriders

There have been a number of famous roughriders in the roughlands, but thanks to their chosen lifestyle their legends tend to be short. Currently a man named Raun seeks to be the exception, unlike most roughriders who ride in a band, Raun travels alone except for his stunted manservant. This enigmatic wanderer is a marksman with his bow, and has been riding from town to town for the better part of three years now killing greedy merchants and taxmen. Odo is desperate to bring Raun in, however to the common people he is a hero, and songs of his exploits whether real or imagined have served to enhance his reputation even more. Raun seldom stays in one place for more than a couple of days, but the price on his head means that a trail of other roughriders follow wherever he goes, hungry for the bounty.

Conversely the Marvin Gang is a villainous and feared name in the central roughlands. Eight strong, this group of bandits is known for riding into small settlements and taking over, taking whatever and whoever they want and then leaving before help can arrive. Their leader Diek Marvin prides himself for slaying other roughriders who challenge him, and he and his men wear clothing made from the skins of their slain samsuns, and he adorns his mount, a particularly large mean creature, with the tattered banners of his fallen foes.

Skills and Professions