Jorrin and Gira set up home in a far corner of Ragged Wood known locally as the Foijen, which was the most lawless part of the forest and considered by the Snook villagers to be out of bounds. If anyone entered, there was a real danger they would not return. It was rumoured beasts and bandits lurked in the depths of those woods. On still nights, howling wolves could be heard across the darkened land. And merchants came to the Snook with tales of marauding gangs prowling the Foijen.
Jorrin knew of these stories and had even witnessed an ambush on merchants. But the attackers were unsophisticated and relied on travellers not putting up a fight. Things were different when it came to his family. He was a skilled swordsman and his cabin had well-concealed defences. As the land rose high on a hill where the trees and bushes grew dense, an almost impenetrable thicket rose up like a wall of green. Just as it seemed you could go no further, a door made from branches and thorns opened to reveal a clearing. In the middle, a wooden cabin served as a sanctuary from the wilds outside.
It was a tough existence at first as food was scarce. And it had taken a lot of hard work to build their home. Jorrin chopped trees down for the clearing and had even taken the stumps below ground level. He made the disguised door and built the cabin out of the felled trees. Logs rose to form walls and branches intertwined to make a roof. When it was habitable, the family fended for themselves by growing vegetables, as well as keeping chickens and pigs. Foraging and hunting deep in the surrounding woodland put extra food on the table when Jorrin’s work was complete on the homestead. They were careful to approach the hidden doorway from many different routes to ensure a path never formed in the undergrowth. It was a secluded way of life.