Riding forward, you begin to see a number of buildings on the horizon. The village looks quite sizable, for not having any sort of walls or proper barricades around it, though as you approach it becomes clear that its built in a ring with a large open area in the center.
With dusk falling, the central area is clear, but it looks like it is set to be a pretty massive marketplace. The town itself has enough buildings to hold hundreds of people anyway, and with the surrounding farms it may crest a thousand, but for a marketplace of this size it likely has quite a bit of travel.
Aside from the marketplace, the town looks almost remarkably unremarkable. Quiet and well tended, but there are a few taverns around just beginning their nightly runs that shake off any sort of 'too perfect' feeling. Several straggling wagons are just making their way from the central square, and you can see a few people hurrying home as a lamp lighter patrols around with a torch to give the main streets a glow. For the ominous name of lichgate, the city doesn't seem to deserve it.
Merry seems jovial enough on her trip, though she doesn't speak too much beyond to comment that hopefully we'll have a few less sheep missing now that the beast is gone. As you enter the town proper, she'll call over to a passing family for them to have their boy gather the council and there will be a coin in it for him, then looks over with a slight smirk, adding to the group.
"I hope you all are good listeners and don't mind sitting for a spell. Most of our votes get resolved through elder attrition. Sort of a trial by ordeal, but against the hands of time rather than a savage creature."