The Green Rogue, Volume III – by enderandrew – narrated by Asclepius
Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with another chapter of this wonderful story by enderandrew. It is entitled
The Green Rogue Volume III
Told by Joorus the Scribe
Background music Android Dream, by Smartsound
Lord Zolaas’ platemail glove slammed hard into his wooden throne, cracking it ever so slightly. It was embarrassing to constantly replace and repair his throne, but he was an impassioned man and he couldn’t hold his rage inside. His lands were dwindling, as was his power. They shifted to other feudal lords in Norgard. He felt like he had so little left and now bandits sought to take that away as well.
“Do these bastards not realize what they’re doing? It isn’t just gold or items. What if our men aren’t properly armed or prepared to fight Kobold forces? What if their will is weakened? How many would die because of the greed of a few?”
Sir Greggor stepped forward, with his palm outstretched. He did not like seeing his Lord so distressed. “Peace, my Lord. I promise I will take care of this and with haste. I agree that the cost is more than gold, which is why I take this threat so seriously. The Green Rogue is more than a common criminal and he will be stopped. We cannot fight a war on two fronts, especially one against our own people. With your blessing, I intend to take a small risk.”
Lord Zolaas’ head picked up a bit. Risk had not worked out well for him in recent years, but he also grew more desperate. One risk seemed to just lead into the next. “I’m not sure I can trust my own judgement anymore. I would not take any risk of my own volition, but if you trust it is the right thing to do-”
“My liege, I would not presume to decide for you,” Sir Greggor interrupted.
“No, it is time; it is your time. As my time wanes, you should succeed me. If this risk pays off, the glory and credit will be yours and I will step down. Not only will the Green Rogue be no more, but the poor leadership that inspired such rebellion will be no more. I cannot step down so long as he breathes, lest we incite more rebels. But if you take his head, then you should also take my throne. Perhaps you can even regain some of the lands we lost to the other Lords of the realm. Now go, and do what you must. I fear if I am associated with your plan, I will mar it with my failure.”
Sir Greggor bowed and left. He did not understand the need for politics and why any Lord should concern themselves with how much land was in their name. Everyone ultimately served the Titan, their King Granus, and thusly the people of Norgard. But perhaps this was a good test if he was fit to be a Lord himself. The thought of this risk terrified him. He was willing to risk his own life in combat, but what of the lives of others? Could he command people to leave the front lines to concentrate fully on this bandit if it meant a forward outpost might be overrun by Kobolds?
He knew the people would more easily stomach what they knew. If men died in battle to Kobold blades, it in theory should only renew the war efforts. But so long as this Green Rogue stole from men, they would have no support. Courage meant more than the might of lifting a sword in the heat of battle. At times, it meant having the will to make the hard decision.
He signed his writs and sent them off with messengers. The few mages they had would work on distractions while most every available soldier was being pulled back to merchant routes. The trap was in place, and he would have the Green Rogue’s head by nightfall. Would it be the only head taken? He hoped those writs weren’t death warrants he just signed.