The deep black twilight of Cylus had engulfed the world for nearly ten trials thus far, leaving The Farmland Plains desolate and devoid of life. Black ice covered the otherwise fertile fields of fields in the vicinity of Etzos. Nothing dared sprout from the ground, not even the hardiest plants. It was the exact definition of hell for a red-blooded farmer, making life incredibly challenging on multiple fronts.
The weaker and younger livestock would collapse during these times, causing the prices on the market to increase drastically. Only the strongest and hardiest of the horses and cattle would survive, making it an easy process to determine which individual breeds and horses would be allowed to reproduce for the upcoming season. It was a process that was pressingly needed by the Etzosi military as they were building a cavalry wing. The State was constantly pressuring individual farmers to breed all the horses that survived Cylus and were paying more to make lists of each attribute. The level of determination from the State on these matters was great, leaving a great yoke of burden upon the shoulders of the farmers.
To make matters worse, the incentive that thieves and bandits had to steal horses increased dramatically during these hellish times. The State was currently so corrupt that they were buying up horses with scantily questioning the source. Pouching camps began popping up just outside of Etzori jurisdiction on the other side of The Westride River; there they would change the brands on the horses. On top of all these hidden systematic corruption, Etzori military leaders openly ignored their righteous duty to protect the interests of the farmers; the bandits would eventually be slain and/or the gold would return to the economy somehow, it did not matter to them.
"The corruption in Etzos will be it's undoing," Brundt Blackfoot grumbled in the circle of torch lit faces. Blackfoot was a dark, grim man with a long gray beard. His family had been proudly farming the plains for several generations. The circle of concerned farmers were all men, except for one young, red-headed woman. They stood together upon the frozen ground they had vowed to til until the end of their days.
Brundt Blackfoot slowly turned his gaze around the circle in disdain, "It has always been up to the common man in Etzos to set matters straight. We need to band together. This is war now. We must stop these bandits and secure our livelihoods from the State,"
An eerie quietness swept over them as no one wanted to speak up yet for some reason. Blackfoot burst in anger after an entire minute, "Come on now, not a single suggestion?"