It had been days since Elijah had left his family's cottage. He kept his sword close to him, as his grandfather had taught him, just in case he ran into bandits along the way. The day was warm and the sun hung high overhead. The kingdom of York was still days away, and Eli could feel his strength leaving him.
"I must find somewhere to rest."
In the distance, Elijah saw a small little village on the outskirts of the path. It almost looked as if it were trying to hide itself from travelers, either way it didn't matter. Elijah was low on supplies and he was getting hungry…this small village looked as good a place as any.
Elijah smiled, shrugged his shield over his shoulder, and made his way to the small village. Hopefully, there was someone who could help him. It didn't take long to reach the village, but as Elijah walked across its dusty roads he noticed it was so…empty. His grandmother had told him stories of sleepy villages like these. They were filled with people traveling to shops, and bars, looking for things to buy and do and experience. Where was everyone?
Elijah came up to a tavern. He took a deep breath, and entered.
"Hello?" He said as he walked up to the counter. There was no one there to greet him. No music, no dancing, no one to be found. "My name is Elijah. I am in need of supplies and a hot meal." He looked around, where was everyone. Where was the barkeep? Where were the customers? Either everything his grandmother had told him was a lie…or something was wrong.
Elijah knocked his fist into the counter three times, as if knocking. "Hello?" He called out.
He waited…and waited…and wa-
"Uh…" came a meek voice, "It someone there?"
Elijah looked from beyond the counter. "Uh…hello there." Elijah tried to smile. "I-I am a traveler. I have come a long ways and I was hoping to have a hot meal if at all possible." Elijah quickly reached down and pulled out his coin purse. "Of course I have every intention to pay."
The man smiled. His lips revealed a toothy grin, but one of fear and distrust.
"Look young man, I would love to help you out, but there is not much this town can offer you."
Eli put his change purse away. "What do you mean?"
"Every day this village is ransacked by bandits. There is hardly enough for the people of this town, let alone a stranger such as you."
"What do you mean bandits?"
The barkeep took a deep breath. "For months now the bandits have come to pillage and steal, it is a wonder the village has still held on for so long. We are not a town of fighters, but of simple shop keepers and merchants. We have tried to fight back against them, but all of our efforts have failed."
"What about the knights? Isn't there anyone to fight off this threat? Could you not send word to York?"
"That kingdom cares nothing for us. We have tried to contact them, but it is to no avail."
He grabbed the hilt of his sword and scowled. This injustice could not stand.
"These bandits, where are they?" Eli asked.
"We do not know, they only appear from the North and leave just as quickly."
Elijah thanked the barkeeper, his stomach was empty, and his body tired from walking all night and day, but he could not simply allow this to continue, especially if the kingdom of York refused to protect their subjects…just as they had refused to protect his grandfather. History kept repeating itself…
"But not this time."