Chapter 2: The merchant, and the bandits pt. 1
March 23. 1257
I woke up. I had slept one of the best nights in months. It was certainly worth it to pay extra for these nice beds. It was still dawn, but I bought a hare steak from the tavern keeper, to fill my stomach. I finished my meal, and left the tavern. I walked in the streets of the big city of Reyvadin, and I was surprised how big this city actually was. I have only been in Curaw earlier, but this was a lot bigger than that.
Suddenly, I hear footsteps. Then, the sound of a blade, being pulled out of the scabbard! My heart is racing. Fortunately, I have my sword with me. I pull it out, and get ready for a fight. Around the corner comes a bandit. He gets ready to strike his blade, but a quick thrust in his chest ends his life quickly. Shocked, I stand in the spot where I had killed the bandit. Another man comes running from the same corner as the bandit had come from.
«You stupid fool! Who goes out in the middle of night, in a big city like this? You have to be insane! Come with me, before anyone notices the dead man,» he says, almost angrily, but also disappointedly.
We walk quickly into his house, where he introduces himself. He is a well known merchant of Reyvadin. He tells me that the city long has been infested with bandits, from the inside out.
«I need you to help me. You look as a good fighter, would you help me with getting rid of the bandits? I need you to recruit volunteers from the villages nearby the city, so you can get some manpower to win some fights.»
«How many men would be needed?» I ask.
«About five. There is no problem if you feel like having more.» he answers to my question.
So I leave Reyvadin, and I ride to Ayyike, a nearby village. The village is poor, and many people are hungry. I ask the village elder if they have any volunteers. He says there are none, but I don't quite believe him. So I ask the villagers in person. Three villagers will fight for me, if they get food and shelter. That is more than the village can offer. I ride to the other village, Tebandra. I ask the village elder of this village. Six healthy men have nothing more to live for in the village, and wishes to fight for me. I ride back to Reyvadin. People are already awake, workers and guards are walking in the streets.
I get in the tavern, and tell the merchant that i have gotten nine volunteers. He tells me that he has seen a group of bandits outside the walls, and that they probably know where the bandit hideout is. Me and the group of volunteers have a look outside the city, and we see the bandits, strolling around the city wall. There is four of them. We charge against them, and as I am the only soldier with a horse, I got to the enemy first. The first one gets almost cleaved in half, as I swing my sword against his torso. I turn my horse, and suddenly I feel a powerful thud in my shoulder, followed by aching pain. Two of the bandits had begun throwing rocks at me! Enraged, I charge my horse right against them, and kill them quickly. The last one starts to fight the volunteers, but they knock him unconscious with a club.
Later, on the same day, he wakes up in the tavern, where I had brought him. I point my sword at his throat, and ask one question:
«Where is the bandit hideout!?». The man starts sobbing and crying and talks a lot of jibberish about going far away from here, and that he never would hurt anyone, and was forced to banditry by the high taxes. Finally, I get the answer to my question. There should be a cave near Ayyike, where the bandits gather all the plundered goods, and plan their next robberies.
It's almost midnight, and I ride with my party to the cave. After one hour of travelling, we finally get to the hideout. We see a campfire, and we sneak up right behind them. One of them sees us, and raises alarm! All the bandits in the hideout are coming to fight us! Fortunately for us, they are mostly drunk, and not harmful. It's a shame to kill men that can't even fight properly.
After all the bandits are finished, we plunder their plundered goods. Inside the cave, we find furs, food and money. Behind a bunch of crates, we find a man! He had been tied up, and was probably kidnapped! We untie him, and he starts thanking us:
«Thank you, oh thank you, o' mighty warriors! I never thought anyone would help me, I thought my life was over soon!»
I ask him who he is.
«I am brother of a well known merchant,» and he starts describing the merchant. He was talking about the merchant that saved me in Reyvadin! He joins our group back to the merchant, and when we get there, the merchant is very happy to see us.
«Brother! You're back! Thank you for freeing him!»
«You didn't tell us anything about a kidnapped brother,» I say, kind of surprised.
«Well, I couldn't tell you about him, I thought you would think I am a selfish bastard... For only wanting you to free my brother...»
«Well, I am happy to help,» I say happily, take farewell with the merchant, and go back to the tavern.