Part 2: The Ruins
Continued from Encounter 1: The Ruined Hut.
When it was clear that the battle was finished, Tristan slung his hunting bow over his shoulder and moved to join Rikard behind the still-smoldering hut. The man who was badly wounded by Emeric was still sobbing on the floor, but his fervor had diminished some. The horses neighed and flicked their tails, eager to be away from the scene of death. Indeed, it was clear that they were well-trained horses, for they did not run despite the sounds of pitched battle.
The sun was waning in the west and a crisp breeze blew through the small valley and tousled the stunted grass. The sheep that were about had run at the first sounds of battle, but a few could still be seen on a hillock to the south. The small fire made by the bandits had devoured a skewer of meat that was left over it to cook, but there were still a few more skewers stuck into the ground nearby. The ragged wooden door creaked on its iron hinges and banged loudly against the frame of the hut each time a gust of wind came by.
Tristan looked at Rikard, then at the half-naked woman on the ground and shook his head.
"Welcome to Stromland?" he said simply.