The party rode on across the country side and discussed what had happened in their lives since the last time they had seen each other. They all felt it was remarkable that the powers that be decided the group should work together again. It was a calm and cool day, not a cloud was in the sky. A perfect day for a ride across the kingdom.
“Off of those horses,” a voice called from behind shrubbery which lined the road. “There are ten men with bows in these woods ready to turn you into pincushions.”
The riders pulled their horses to a halt and dismounted. Arlin called towards the woods. “What is the meaning of this? Who are you?”
“We are nothing but a band of friendly brigands,” a smiling man said as he emerged from the underbrush, a sword was in his hand. “Now would you kindly throw down your weapons? We don’t want any harm.”
Arlin scoffed. “We? Am I to believe that there are ten of you out there?”
“You are to believe there are fifteen of us. I didn’t want to tell you of the group on the other side of the road who will shoot you in the back if you don’t follow my commands.” The brigand then hollered towards the vegetation which lined the road. “Come on guys. Let them know that you are out there. Hoot and holler.”
There was a pause. Everyone on the road watched the shrubberies. “Don’t be shy. Let them know you’re here. We can’t kill everyone silently under the cover of night.”
Distinct voices emanated from the foliage with shouts of how deadly they were. The hidden brigands tried to disguise their shouts to be from many different warriors, but it was plain only two were hidden.
The men on the stood dumfounded. Jarik couldn’t contain his laughter. Arlin walked along the road to the brigand, trusting his friends would be prepared when fighting started.
“Stop his laughter or I’ll have my twenty guys rain down death,” the brigand stomped his feet. “They are all expert shots. Every last one of them.”
Arlin spoke softly as he approached the brigand. “You do not want to do this. I am a cleric of Dian Cécht and I mean you no harm. Just lower your weapon and be on your way. I will forgive your actions against us.”
“No,” the brigand spat, his eye twitched. “He said that you would give it to us. Fork it over. Give us the money. We know you have it. Hand over the gold.”