When the Pilfering Frei-Hussars showed the Markgraaf the abandoned sentry boxes at the Northern Frankzonian border, the Markgraaf was dismayed. It was obvious that it had been some time since they had last served their intended purpose, and they were in danger of disappearing altogether.
As Schreiber's Frei-Korps marched past the crossing post, the Colonel took in the situation at a glance. "Double the advance and flank parties. Everybody keep a sharp lookout and your wits about you. We must be ready for whatever we run into."
The Markgraaf mounted his horse and joined Schreiber at the head of the column. "I knew thing were bad here, but I never suspected they were so bad that Stanken would voluntarily abandon the fees he collected here. Colonel?"
"We need a local source of intelligence; with recent information; that is willing to talk with us, Milord.", the Colonel frowned. "We have no contract with any of the locals, nor do we have a base of operations for further supplies. The powers that be, might object to our marching though, and if their force is bigger than ours, they can make their objection most uncomfortable for us."
It was at that moment that a messenger from the advance cavalry patrol galloped up, and saluted. "Compliments of Captain Dorfmann Sir. We have located a good campground for tonight, Sir. The only draw back is further patrolling revealed a gypsy encampment over the next ridge. The Captain didn't want any of our horses going missing Sir."
The Markgraaf leaned over to the Colonel and said, "My wife always said that Frankzonia was full of woods, and the woods are full of gypsies, and the gypsies are full of shenanigans and...information. If we can approach them without scaring them off, we could learn much."
The Colonel nodded, and said, "Have our patrols been seen?"
The trooper replied, "I don't think so, Sir; but it's hard to say for certain."
"Alright. Tell Dorfmann that we'll make a cold camp tonight. Keep his scouts out. Don't approach the gypsy camp, but keep an eye or two on them."
The messenger saluted again, and spurred his horse.
"Have you had much experience with gypsies Milord?", the Colonel asked.
"No.", the Markgraaf replied, "but I'm hoping that my dear departed Father-in-Law's reputation is still influential with them."
Noticing the Colonels puzzled look, the Markgraaf explained, "Ernst, the Old Baron Von Kerns was a man that very few people disappointed more than once and lived to tell the tale."