Merchants travelled through the Foijen carrying valuable wares and many of the villagers were rich. This attracted marauders to the land. They were unscrupulous men who prowled around looking to kill and steal. There were often gangs of up to a dozen men lying in wait for unsuspecting victims and robberies became more frequent.
Jorrin walked through the forest one afternoon and stopped at the tree line near the Snook. He watched some villagers go about their daily business and, when the coast was clear, pulled a hood up and crept into the village. He headed half-way up the High Street and pushed the door open to the ale house. He ordered and sat in a darkened corner of the tavern. A fire crackled some respite to the dimmed surroundings and smoke hung in the air. He enjoyed a few beers and listened to the chatter.
Through the fuggy atmosphere, he overheard men talking about the increasing number of attacks by bandits. Two merchants and a wealthy villager had all been held up at knifepoint. They talked about the Foijen being the only way through to and from the rest of the Kingdom. Everyone was worried about the robbers. The injuries had been mounting until, on the most recent raid, all the merchants had lost their lives. And a large amount of merchandise and gold had been stolen. Following the murders, it was rumoured Lord Snookington had requested armed escorts from the King, but troops were needed elsewhere. Jorrin finished his tankard and left the ale house.