The Green Rogue Volume 1 – by enderandrew – narrated by Asclepius
Hello everyone, this is Asclepius, with a wonderful story from enderandrew, entitled
The Green Rogue Volume I
Told by Joorus the Scribe
Background music “Fossil Evidence”, by Smartsound
Joseph had a bad feeling about this. He had argued for years that water was safer than land, especially in Norgard where armies of Kobolds eagerly awaited foolish merchants who left the safe confines of Estgard and entered the craggy, wooded roads leading into Valhold. Yet, that is precisely what he was doing at the moment. He preferred to take skiffs up the Oso river as he never saw Kobolds building boats. Some called them crafty and far more intelligent than their monstrous demeanor might suggest, but Joseph always argued that if Kobolds had any wits about them, they’d be on skiffs as well.
That was before Kobold archers and mages sank his last skiff from the river banks. Even though there are few places to hide along the mostly flat river banks, he was complacent and ambushed. Since he lost his entire shipment on that trip (and was lucky to survive) his partners insisted they take the quicker route on land this time. The weight of their parcel would have made a small skiff impractical as well. They were bringing a new anvil to Valhold. Amazingly enough, they had spent so many years constantly crafting new arms for Norgard troops and their neverending war with the Kobolds that they had actually worn through the old anvil. Joseph hadn’t thought that possible, but he also didn’t think it was possible for Kobolds to make him look a fool.
That neverending war also had the King’s attention focused to the northeast, across the Thrones of Skrekk. This road was constantly traveled, but rarely maintained. The uneven roads and weight meant that even with this direct route, they traveled slower than Joseph would have liked. But he wasn’t about to push their horses and end up having to re-shoe one on the road while they sat still and helpless. He kept telling himself that so long as they kept a steady pace and his armed guards flanked him, they’d make it to Valhold safely. But that nagging feeling just wouldn’t go away.
Just then a figure dropped down from above, landing right next to Joseph in the front of the stagecoach. Before Joseph could react, the masked bandit had a blade to his throat. His guards started to pull their weapons, but Joseph could feel the blade biting into his flesh ever so slightly.
“Stop!” he yelled. The guards hesitated as more bandits emerged from the trees and circled the stagecoach.
“Your guards will get off their horses and throw their blades to the side. We will take your horses and this coach. After we ride off, your guards can reclaim their blades in case you run into Kobolds. We’re thieves, but not monsters.”
Though he could feel a trickle of blood at his throat, Joseph regained his composure. “I thought I was afraid, but you’re a coward, dropping from trees and stealing from honest merchants!”
The bandit pushed the blade in even closer. “Do not make me regret letting you live. I am no coward and I will kill anyone who swears otherwise. Perhaps you haven’t heard of the famous Green Rogue. I have the courage to challenge Lords and Kings alike, even a Titan! While King Granus keeps us in a neverending war, who will stop him? He cannot continue his attack on the Kobolds and protect his people at the same time. That is why he does not really have people. You are vassals, blind servants to a King who would lead you to your death!”
The bandit eased up on the blade and urged Joseph to step down from the coach. As he rode off with his stolen goods, he shouted one last thought. “Tell the Lords of Norgard what happened! Tell them how their authority is questioned and how their people suffer because of them!”