A merchant of fine goods from Snookington Village headed with reluctance through the forest on his journey to trade in the next manor. He and several men travelled with a dozen horses laden with luxury goods. They were accompanied by three soldiers from the King’s army. The overgrown path was splintered with shards of light breaking through the canopy above. Large rocks and steep hills dominated the land. Fear etched into their faces until they saw bright sunlight at the end of the track.
The convoy lumbered on, but armed marauders lay in wait. From both sides of the track, they struck like lightning. The soldiers drew swords and fought back. For a moment, they held firm. As their leader fought off two outlaws, a third stabbed him in the back. He fell, mortally wounded. The remaining soldiers were soon overwhelmed and slain. The merchants dropped their weapons and held their hands high. Without mercy, they were cut down. Only one merchant remained alive. He backed away as the robbers closed in for the kill.
A branch above swept aside. Jorrin the bandit-slayer stood on a large rock and leapt onto the path. The rogues hesitated. It was all Jorrin needed. He hit them hard. One dropped before he could even turn. Two others raised their swords, and Jorrin launched forward. Seconds later, both men were dead. The brigands quickly went from victory to fighting a losing battle. The shadowy figure was too strong, so the others turned and ran. Jorrin approached the merchant.
“You’re injured… Let me help.”
“Sir, I owe you my life.”
“You need to get out of here… NOW!”
Jorrin wore a hood to obscure his identity. The merchant looked, but could only see the man’s eyes. The injured merchant was helped onto a horse. Looking around, Jorrin grabbed a length of rope and tied the man to its saddle. He slumped forward as Jorrin pulled on some straps to secure the loosened saddle. Jorrin pointed the horse back in the direction of the village.
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