Preface

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FROM THE AUTHOR TO THE READER

I will not tell you a tale of the twelfth century nobleman, a returning crusader, or an anthropomorphic fox. But you may find elements of all of those within this story. I do not derive my image of Robin Hood from the movie versions of his story, the books and novels written about him, nor from the ballads and poems of olde. Rather, I draw from all of those; picking and choosing the bits that best fit the image I have created in my mind of that most legendary of heroes.

I do not believe that I shall (nor do I attempt too) pull the wool over the eyes of any who might read this tale. What I am doing here is obvious and without guile. I owe great heaps of acknowledgment to Howard Pyle, from whom I have begged, borrowed, and stolen character, plot, and story. This is a reworking of the legend of my favorite folk hero from my favorite telling. And while this tale does not take place in Sherwood Forest, or even Nottingham town, it’s surroundings should be familiar to one and all. And scour as you will this tale, you will find no rogue named Robin Hood, yet, you will find that spirit unmistakably represented. This is the tale of a different outlaw in a different wood, in a different land.

I am going to tell you a tale of swashbuckling adventure full of flashing blades and bawdy indecencies. There will be heroes and villains, you shall be told of great piety and murder most foul, and I will make you witness to incidents of corruption in both law and character. This is a tale of blood, sex, magic, and greed. If you are of a type who reads only biography or scripture, and avoid all things fiction; step away now. You who are offended by joy in the fantastic or who see no value in humor and fancy should find another something to read. These are the things you will find here, if these things are not for you. Click away and go no farther than this, for I tell you plainly that if you go farther you will be scandalized by seeing characters who never were doing things that could never happen in a place that has never existed.

Here you will find a hundred dull, sober, mundane places, all touched with magic and adventure. Here every traveler has a tentative step as they travel the high road, far from the city. This country is not England. This is the land of Drythlor, a place full of adventure, heroism, and fantasy. Come, travel with me into this wondrous land, knowing full well, that when you tire of it; you click the mouse and it is gone, and you are back in your everyday life, with no harm done.

Let us sweep aside the veil between this world and the other. Come, travel with me and let the tale unfold, our adventure awaits.