“I can’t imagine how someone could be so despicable. I mean, kidnapping all these women for who knows what?” I say as we walk down the path in the woods. “Well, everyone tells their own stories as to what they think he does. Naturally I don’t care about rumors that people say.” Jean shrugged his shoulders. “So, does that mean you don’t care what he does to them?” “Quite the contrary, I care greatly. I just don’t like the rumors of what could be going on, get worked up about it, and find out its actually false.” “Oh, I see. That makes sense I guess.” The next few minutes went by quietly as we continued down the path. “Did you hear that?” Jean asked as he drew his mallet and readied for a fight. I stopped and closed my eyes to listen better. Next thing I knew, I felt cold steel on my neck. “GIVE US YOUR GOLD OR THE BOY GETS IT!” I looked at Jean panicked, hoping he knew what to do in this situation. Jean lowered his mallet and took a step closer. “DROP YOUR WEAPON AND STEP BACK OR WE WILL KILL HIM!” Jean carefully lowered his mallet to the ground and stepped back. As he stepped back he gave me a sly wink. “Good, now give me your gold and he can go free.” The robber said, seeming calmer to know he has the upper hand. “Well, that would involve me getting closer. Are you sure you want me come closer and give you the gold?” It dawned on me what he was doing, but still I decided to remain silent so as to not provoke the man with his dagger drawn to my throat. “Yes, now that I know you’re weaponless, I’ll permit you to come closer.” “Might I recommend you pull that dagger away from the young lad’s throat?” he said as he started to approach with gold in his fists jingling as he walked. “I’d rather keep it here until I have the gold.” He pulled the dagger closer to my throat as he spoke. “Alright, just trying to make sure you don’t kill him when you get the gold.” Jean spoke very slowly and carefully as he slowly approached. Jean was about a foot away from him when he hissed at the robber “It’s your funeral regardless.” He sprinted the last foot and threw a fist into his face which connected with an audible crack. The bandit released the knife on impact and just hit the ground. “Thanks Jean, I don’t know what would’ve happened if you hadn’t been so calm in that situation, or worse, weren’t here.” “No worries John, that’s what friends are for. We really should get going though, bandits usually travel in groups. Unless, this guy was just a scout for the party in which case we better get moving before they come looking for him.”

The cell was cold and dark. The only light was from the torches in the sconces at the end of the hall. The cells were under constant patrol by the guards. Grace was pacing her cell waiting for the inevitable to happen. “I need to get out of here. Its awful hearing the stories that are told by those who have been here for a while and seen the prince, but the suspense is the worst.” Grace stopped pacing and took her bobby pin out of her hair. “Maybe I can try to escape by picking the lock. I guess I could try it later. The guards tend to alternate out at the same times every day and there is always one point where the guards just end up falling asleep. That might be my best time try to escape.” Grace looked around her cell again. It was pretty much a basic cell. There was a small, very uncomfortable bed and not much else. There was a grate on the floor in the back of the room. “Hmm, that grate seems to be out of the question. There’s no way I would fit through that. If this lock picking idea fails, I may be stuck here.” Grace started to pace her cell again. “All this is making me tired and stressed. Maybe I’ll just close my eyes for a bit to prepare. No point in trying to escape while exhausted.” Grace decided to lie down on the bed and try to sleep.

“This is it. Grimmwol, named after the man who founded it, Nathaniel Grimmwol. He was a well-loved man, until he went insane and decided to try to conquer the other villages in the area.” Jean always did love the history of different villages and was always reading a book on some history of the cities and towns in the area. “Hey, there’s the Deathly Drag-Inn. Let’s see if we can get a room for the night.” I said as I started to walk towards the inn. “Nope, I refuse to go to an inn. Last time was bad enough.” “Wait, why not? There’s nowhere else to stay in the village.” “Last time was just…never mind, I’ll just set up camp outside the town. You can stay in the tavern if you want, but I’m staying away from that place.” “Jean, what happened last time?” “It was my first time at a tavern and I was sitting at a table with my friends, and I saw a group of hobbits come in to the tavern, and normally, hobbits are fine gentle folks. Never had an issue with one before, but then this one just stood up and yelled ‘WAIT! THEY COME IN PINTS?!’ and I was just so frustrated that such a calm creature would stand up and just yell something so stupidly absurd. That, and it was a bit too loud for my taste and I’m not much of a drinker.” I thought on it for a minute and realized that I had only really seen him drink water or the juices from berries, never anything with alcohol in it. “Well, I guess the whole not drinking thing and not liking loud noises is a good reason, but really? The hobbit was a big issue?” “It wasn’t so much him, but it was just something that bothered me, but amused me a bit…” I shook my head at Jean. “You’re so bizarre sometimes. I’m staying in the tavern. See you tomorrow Jean.”