Rowan sits at the table. He clasps his hands together as he prays about what he is about to do.
"Two hours, that's all I need. A two hour window where I can free the women that the sheriff has stolen for his bed and the men the marshall has put into prison. Then, I load them all onto my carriage and we drive to another city, one less dangerous. I let them go, give them all my money then I come back and attempt to join the Night Hawks, however that's going to happen."
He takes a deep breath and sighs. Standing up, he grabs his cloak from the wall and puts his dagger into its scabbard along the left side of his waist. Opening the door, he places the keys at the foot of the door, "I won't be coming back anymore."
The woman walks along the back alleys, trying to get home before the guards catch her out past curfew. As she tiptoes down one alley and into another she hears a voice that stops her heart.
"What're you doing out past curfew?"
Stunned, she turns and sees a pair of guards.
"My sister held me up, we were having fun, I didn't realize it was so-"
A guard holds up his hand, "I don't want your excuses. You know the rules."
Now the guards are standing in front of her, and one pushes her against the wall and begins to put his hands up her dress while the other fiddles with his pants. She screams and yells for help and suddenly a voice is heard.
"What's going on here!"
The one guard glances, "None of your business, go away."
The man runs along and bounds off the wall as he takes out a dagger and slits the throat of one of the guards. The other guard draws his sword but the man shoves his foot into his knee, shattering the kneecap. The guard falls to the ground in pain and the man then stabs the guard through his temple with the dagger. Then he turns to the woman.
"Are you OK?"
She nods, too terrified to speak.
"Tonight I am leaving the down and freeing the prisoners and those women that the sheriff has taken for his own harem. You can come too, in the marketplace I am parking my carriage, it has a large area in the back that is covered. You may hide there and bring your family if you must, I am leaving tonight and I am not coming. So run, go now!"
The woman runs and he walks down the alley to an unmarked door leading to the sheriff's castle. He draws his dagger and pushes the flat edge on to the door lock between the door and the wall. Moving the dagger left and right, he opens the lock. He takes the dagger out and pushes the door slightly, relieving the lock tongue. Then, he pulls the door tight and puts the dagger back it and the door opens.
As he opens the door he sees two guards who are caught a little off guard. He stabs the one closest to him in the right kidney and then slits the other guard's throat. They slump to the floor with no fight.
Many women lie in a room having lost all hope of escaping. Many were mothers, grandmothers, daughter, fiances, and wives on the outside but here they're just his. That devil, Sheriff Edwin Birmingham.
As they lie there the door opens and the guard throws in a new woman. Her brown rags, what's left of her clothes, barely cover her or her bleeding cuts. She wails and cries as she huddles herself into a corner. All the woman look on sympathetically, remembering their first nights, and a few comfort her and tell her it's not as bad as it seems, lying as much to themselves as they are to her.
All the women then hear a distinct thud outside the door and then it opens and a familiar face walks in.
"Sir Rowan?" One of the woman asks.
"I am no knight anymore, but I am here to rescue you. Go to the marketplace, all of you, I will guide you there and there you will hide in my carriage which I have arranged to leave tonight. I will never be coming back to this city."
The many women seem hesitant at first, not knowing if they should trust, but a few of the stronger, younger women stand up first, seeming to give their allegiance to this rescuing stranger. Soon all the women are up and he leads the way out to the marketplace, helping them all into the carriage. He is lucky and doesn't need to kill any guards.
After he gets all the women into the carriage he makes his way to the jail, and gets in it as easy as he did the back doors of the castle. He walks down the stairs to the lower level and is seen by a guard. The guard attacks him with a pike but Rowan dodges it and slashes the guard's throat, killing him.
"Are you here to save us?" Asks one of the prisoners.
"Yes, I am."
And after saying this he went around opening all the cells and freeing each man that was there for the sake of the Night Hawks. After telling them where they needed to go they rushed there without his help or aid.
A few minutes later when he arrives at the carriage a haunting sound fills the marketplace. The trotting of a lone horse.
"If one of you knows how to drive do so. I have a feeling we may be getting a visit from Marshall Corin Twynam. If he comes leave without me and go to the next town, arrangements have already been made to receive you. Godspeed."
Rowan turns around to see none other but Marshall Corin Twynam trotting down the cobblestone street on his horse. One of the men who was imprisoned sits at the reigns and drives the carriage away. Corin then steps down from his horse and walks over to Rowan who stands and does not flinch.
"What have you done." Corin asks, ice in his voice and hatred in his eyes.
"I have restored order and delivered justice, something you couldn't do." Rowan mocks.
"How dare you insinuate that I am not doing my job right!"
"You aren't, there were dozens of women that the sheriff just so happened to make his own personal PROSTITUTES!" Rowan screams the last word.
Corin slapps Rowan across the face, insulting and shaming him. "How dare you speak against your superior officer like that, Sir Kerr."
Rowan gritts his teeth, "I am no longer a knight. Not for this corrupt government anymore."
"It's funny how you see this all as corrupt, if I remember when you were a knight you were Marshal of your very own city. In fact, from the stories I heard you were much worse than I ever was, or am now." Corin takes another step closer to Rowan. "Women and children you slaughtered for getting out of line. Indeed, you were only knighted because you murdered a hundred men, women and children in an attempt to stamp out a rebellion that killed your wife, most of these people were innocent."
"Shut up. Stop talking."
"But then there were the rumors. They say you found religion, a god to call your own. Jesus. Funny, how this dead man could turn your iron fist into a budding rose. And now you're on a crusade for justice! How many people did you kill today? Huh? Is that how Jesus wants it? What about do not kill, or love your neighbor. You spit on your god by your actions tonight."
"You will never understand the power and love of Jesus. And for that I pity you."
"I don't need you pity. But like your Jesus, I need a ransom. Someone has to pay for those people to be free." Corin smiles vindictively.
Corin draws his sword and Rowan pulls out his dagger. Quick as lightning they duel for a few seconds before Rowan begins to realize he can't win. As they duel Corin slices along Rowan's left arm. Then Rowan turns and runs. Terrified of being caught, knowing there will be no end to the torment, the torture he runs. Corin, furious, but smart runs to his horse and jumps upon it. He begins galloping toward Rowan, holding up his sword while Rowan simply runs.
As he runs, Rowan prays. "Dear God, I know you're there. I need you to help me, please! Let me live, to fight another day!"
Suddenly, the horse rears and an arrow from one of the walls strikes Corin in the shoulder, throwing him off the horse and onto the ground.
"I will kill you Rowan! I will find you, you can never escape!"
Rowan shakes his head and continues to run, until he is out of the city's walls. Then he runs into the forest until he is lost. After that he lies down on a log and prays.
"I hope the Night Hawks find me before the bears do."
Then, exhausted, the darkness of sleep overtakes him.