"So then my cousin here stabs the man with his knife and.."
Griever laughed along with John's story, remembering the time they had fought together as mercenaries. It had been before John went his own way, deciding that mercenary life was not for him. Though he called Griever cousin, they were really not related. They had simply lived and fought together for the many years they were soldiers for hire.
The Merry Men and Griever were in a pub in one of the towns. Robin was with them, too. Griever had promised Kate he would give the Hawks some freedom from the men before they were made to adjust. Plus, Robin would most likely die if he didn't stop pestering Kate.
But... Sitting here with the Merry Men, watching them drink and listen to John's story, Griever could tell they were all hurting. The fall of Nottingham was worse than he thought. Plus, Robin's hate for the Fae only furthered the suspicion that something more had happened. What exactly had happened when Nottingham fell?
"Little John!" Robin cheered when his man had finished telling the story, "You always know the best stories!" A drunken leader of the Merry Men put an arm around Griever. "I knew you were good, but I never heard these stories... If I knew you were this good, I wouldn't have just hired you to recruit the Hawks." He laughed and stumbled, only caught by Much.
Griever turned to John and waved the large man over to a table. The bartender nodded to them and a waitress brought drinks only a moment later.
"John, I need to know what happened at Nottingham."
John's face twisted a little. "I was wondering when you were going to ask."
Griever grunted. "Just be glad I'm asking. If it were Kate or Jem, it wouldn't be a question. Those women like demands much more."
The large man rumbled with laughter. "Seems you always meet with the tough ones. First was Leona, then-"
The man lowered his head. "Right. Nottingham." John scratched his head and made sure the other Merry Men weren't in earshot. Luckily, they seemed pretty preoccupied with keeping Robin in check. He was the only one drunk.
"It all started a month after Robin started seeing Maid Marion. We had won over the sheriff for the time being and things seemed to calm down. Then..." John looked at Griever seriously. "The Sheriff was found dead."
Griever shrugged. "And?"
"Well, it looked to be some sort of animal. Long story short, it was a Fae. They attacked the Sheriff's place the next week."
John shook his head. "They didn't stop there, Cousin," he said sternly, "They killed all of the villagers they could find. We barely managed to save half of Nottingham." He looked sadly at Robin. "Maid Marion didn't make it."
Griever felt a stab of sorrow for his friend. Beasts! How would he felt if Jem died? "I.. Well, that explains a lot." A thought came to mind, then. "Wait, how is Robin able to sense the Fae?"
"When he found Maid Marion had been killed, he snapped and started hunting them down. He acted normal to us and even sent you letters like nothing had happened, but we knew about his new hobby." Little John sighed. "I guess Robin gained some sort of power from his anger. Wouldn't surprise me after all this."
Griever nodded. He figured that Robin was watching Ali because of her being a Fae. And Kiera had been exposed to Fae, so maybe she had taken a pet or had something from them... He couldn't think of anything else that would explain her being a target, though.
The doors to the pub burst open, admitting a panicked looking man.
"A beast!" He ran strait toward Griever, obviously seeing Eternal Lion strapped to his back. "There's a large beast killing people! Please, sir, you have to help!"
Griever nodded and looked to John, who also nodded.
"Merry Men," John said as he stood, "Stay here and keep Robin on his feet. Me and Griever will deal with this beast." The massive man then grabbed his staff from beside the door and headed out. Griever followed suit.
The night outside was filled with silence. Not screams, like their should have been, but silence.
The man who had told them about the beast ran down the road, waving for them to follow. John and Griever nodded to each other and followed the man. Griever knew he was about to face a Fae. Call it an instinct, but the last few weeks had made him a better warrior. Ever since the man had entered the pub, he had a bad feeling.
Was it that monstrous Fae that had wounded him and taken Eternal Lion so long ago?
Griever shook his head and focused on following John's massive frame and the villager toward the outskirts of the town. Was there only one of the Fae? It wasn't like this was the first time they had found one acting alone. Griever had trained against one of those. It was just... odd. They were intelligent creatures who now knew humans could be a threat. Why fight...
Griever stopped just as they passed the gate. John stopped as well, but eyed Griever oddly.
The man ahead stumbled and looked back in panic. "Why are you stopping!? They could be attacking the others any minute!"
Griever pulled Eternal Lion, causing the man to shudder. Well, that explains it. "Where are the other Fae?" John seemed to pick up on what Griever meant and hefted his staff.
"They are just ahead! Come on, hurry! My wife is there!"
"Drop the act, Fae!" Griever snapped.
The man tried to keep himself looking surprised, but the fake mask fell and an angry smirk replaced it. "Damn Humans. Smarter than the others." The man changed into a large spotted cat Griever recognized as a leopard. "Be wary of that blade, brothers!"
Griever turned to see two more leopard Faes appearing from the forested area around them. "Well, John, guess we get to make another story."
John nodded. "Aye, Cousin."