"I can show you where to set up," says one of the guards.
The group packs their gear and follows the guards back through the tent village. "The stable any good?" asks Dagmarten, gesturing toward the barn and connected building.
The guards shrug and once says, "They have a little space. Mostly they deal with the beasts from the road crew or the loggers. At the very least you can get some grain there." He looks over the party's worn and bloodstained clothing, then nods toward a larger tent set back a bit from the main road. A bear's skull is mounted on one of the tent poles. "The Bear has drink and food for sale, usually." Finally, you reach a patch of newly cleared ground on the west end of the village. "Here you go. There're public latrines over there," he waves off beyond the stable. "Use em." With a nod he and his companions head back into the village, split into pairs and start their night patrol.
The group draws some curious looks from the nearest tents, but no one enters their area, which is marked off with stakes. Obviously someone is surveying plots in the village. After unloading the mules, Rawon, Mordikarr, and Dagmarten take them to the stables in hopes of boarding them there for the night, or at least getting them a good meal of fresh grain. Durego and Grendor go to the Bear to see about food and drink. Both groups meet with success and return to camp shortly after full dark. Around them, the tent village settles down quickly. Aside from occasional loud laughter from the Bear and the two other tavern-tents in the village and the occasional "all's well" from the guards, it's quiet. The food and drink from the tavern are adequate, stew with a bit of real meat in it and a rather raw ale. Mordikarr and Dagmarten both agree that the stable is adequate too. After the meal is done, the party sets their watches and settles down for the night.
[December 9] The next morning is breezy and cold, with a few scattered clouds overhead. After another meal from the Bear, tough biscuits doused in thick gravy, and watery porridge, the party packs up the mules and heads back to the offices. The bridge gate is already open, and a crew of workers, most carrying axes or saws, is heading across. The party waits around for an hour while their paperwork is completed, then pays the taxes due and heads for the bridge. There's a toll on the bridge, 1 CP per head or wheel, and then, finally, the group can get moving.
The old trail is gone, replaced by a rutted dirt cart track. This leads more or least straight east, across another stream, before bending southeast to join the Westwalk. Along the first couple miles, work crews are clearing brush and trees from the right-of-way, and it's a good thing the weather has been dry, the road looks like it will be a mucky mess in wet weather.
The crossroads with the Westwalk have been cleared, and the New Road continues straight east. The verges along this section are cleared, but the road is still just a rutted cart path. The group sets camp just east of the crossroads, on the site of what was obviously a worker's camp. At least there's plenty of downed timber for a fire.
[December 10] The road continues almost straight east, crossing another good-sized stream on a stone and timber bridge (no toll, yet). Beyond, the land is lightly wooded and fairly level. Ten miles into the march the party hears the shouts and noise of workers ahead. The group draws curious looks from the laborers, overseers and guards, but they pass the road head and the nearby camp without being stopped. The road east of this camp is in much better shape. The road bed has been raised a half-foot above the surrounding terrain, leveled and backfilled with a packed mixture of earth, gravel and stone. The party makes good time and nightfall finds them encamped at a big eastern bend in the road.
[December 11] It's a long day of marching, but they make it. Woodland turns to grassland, then farmland. The road winds between fields and pastures and a couple smaller cart paths lead to clusters of farms and homesteads off the main road. At dusk, the group reaches the outskirts of Auslaug.
Total taxes were 771 GP plus some silver. Rounding up to 772 GP covers tolls, food, drink and grain in New Town. To keep things moving, I'll just deduct that from the party treasure.
A very preliminary estimate of XP/gold is ~2K XP and 1400 GP per player character (XP includes gold). I need to do more math to come to final numbers. Based on preliminary results, quite a few characters will be gaining a level this visit. I anticipate Thursday's turn will be mostly administrative, dealing with the selling of loot, identification of magic and such.