This is my first Robin Hood fanfic, so bear with me. And no, I am not referring to Robin Hood's daughter when I say "New Princess". Read the story and you'll figure out where I'm heading. The plot is a continuation of "Robin Hood Prince of Thieves" and the successor of the Sheriff of Nottingham is exactly like the one from the movie, except without the witch and even worse when it comes to women.
Eighteen year old Wulf was walking through Sherwood Forest, still not able to believe it had been over eight years since Robin Hood and Maid Marian had married...and since Wulf was almost hung to death.
Wulf's parents, John Little (Little John) and Fanny, had sent the young adult out to hunt for dinner. However, just as he was leaving their camp in the middle of the forest, Robin pulled the boy aside.
"Wulf, I need to ask a favor."
"Of course, sir, anything." Even though he was raised rather informally, Wulf still had the respect to call Robin 'sir'.
Robin chuckled at the unnecessary formality. "My sources in Nottingham have informed me that the new sheriff has the same mindset as his predecessor. Keep an eye out for any soldiers or other strangers wandering through the forest. If there are only a few, you can handle them yourself. But if there are more than five, I want you to signal for help."
Wulf continued through the little makeshift village, smiling at all the familiar faces he saw. He waved at his eight (almost nine) year old brother, Griffith, who was playing with Robin and Marian's seven year old son, Archer, and Azeem's five year old niece, Rinah.
While Wulf looked more like their father with his dark brown hair and muscular physique, Griffith took after their mother with her light red hair and short stature. Griffith had been born less than a month before the attack of the forest by the Sheriff, his men, and the barbarians, the first time Maid Marian visited Sherwood. Griffith seemed to lead the children of the village since he was the oldest of them.
Archer was true to his name, the best archer in the village other than his father. He had curly brown hair and was already rather handsome for a seven year old, but was occassionally egotistical because his mother was practically a princess and his father was the leader of the village. However, any time Archer got out of hand, a scolding from Friar Tuck would humble the boy.
Rinah looked just like her uncle with her painted skin and dark eyes. Her long, straight, thick black hair fell down her back like a raven's wing. Rinah's mother, Azeem's younger sister, had died giving birth and left her daughter in the care of her brother. Wulf knew that Rinah would grow up to be a beautiful young woman someday. She was shy, gentle, and kind, but also obeyed every rule of her Islamic religion, following her uncle's example.
Wulf grabbed his bow, arrows, and sword as he left for his hunt. About twenty minutes into his trip, Wulf heard loud voices coming from a clearing. Wulf crept silently and crouched behind a bush to get a better view. He saw five men on horses surrounding a girl about his age.
"You're under arrest, outlaw!" one of the soldiers yelled down at the girl.
Wulf furrowed his brow in confusion. What could this girl have done that would make her an outlaw?
"Arrest?! And by order of who?!" the girl replied sassily, glaring at the head soldier with her hands on her hips. Wulf noticed that the girl spoke English fluently even though the girl's accent was definitely foreign, for sure not English.
"By order of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Outsiders are not allowed inside his kingdom without his authorization. He has ordered that we are to take you to be hanged in the square."
"Oh yeah? You and what army?!" she challenged.
The captain and the other four soldiers unsheathed their swords and pointed them at the girl. Wulf started to notch an arrow to help the girl when the unexpected happened.
"Alright. You asked for it." The girl pulled two knives out from her boots and quickly disarmed the captain. She dropped one of the knives back in her boot and caught the soldier's sword in her free hand. With moves as quick as Robin's, the girl slashed down four of the soldiers and was holding the captain in a headlock with her knife at his throat in less than a minute.
"Go and tell your sheriff that if he wants me, he will have to come find me himself using a hundred of his best soldiers!"
She retractef her knife and shoved the man down on his knees. He hurried up and clumsily mounted his horse. The soldier galloped away towards the town.
Now that the soldiers were gone, Wulf got a good look at the warrior girl. She had long blonde hair that was tinted red at the ends from the soldiers' blood and was tangled with sticks and leaves, making it obvious that she had been wandering through the woods for some time.
The girl's clothing was different than Wulf had ever seen on a woman because it was more like what one would see on a man. She had on dark brown leggings under her muddy black skirt which had obviously been torn off becuase it only reached her knees, barely touching the tops of her leather boots. The sleeves of her shirt had apparently been ripped off too since her brown cloth lace-up shirt looked more like a vest. Other than her hidden knives, the girl was armed with a bow and set of arrows.
"Who are you?" Wulf called out as he stood up from his hiding place.
Faster than lightning, the girl whirled around and had her arrow aimed straight at Wulf.
"Do not shoot," Wulf hollered. "I am one of Robin Hood's men. I want to help you. We can offer you refuge, clothes, and food."
"Who is this Robin Hood?"
"A hero of the noblest cause. He disposed of the previous Sheriff of Nottingham. There are no words to describe his goodness."
"Very well. Take me to him."
"As you wish."
They walked in silence back to the village. Finally, after fifteen minutes, Wulf spoke up. "You never did answer my question. Who are you?"
"An orphan. Nothing more," the girl answered in her strange accent.
"Even orphans have names," Wulf responded, one hand holding the top of the handle of his sword.
"This orphan has not been called by her name in so long that she does not remember it."
"Well you have to have a name to be called by. I'm sure we can think of one."
They resumed their silence. "Where are you from?"
The girl continued to look down at her feet. "Originally France. But I became a wanderer after I lost my parents. I spent years in the land of the Celts until I arrived here."
"How did you travel from France across the waters?"
"You ask many questions, most of which I do not wish to answer."
Wulf understood what the girl meant. "Did you travel with the Crusaders?"
The girl nodded but did not say another word on the subject.
"That explains why you possess the fighting skills that you do. I have never seen a woman battle as fiercely as you," Wulf continued.
"Thank you," she murmured.
They reached the camp within a few minutes. The people looked at the girl with mixed emotions.
"Robin!" Wulf yelled across the village. "I have someone who needs to speak with you!"
Robin and Marian stepped out from their hut in the trees and looked down to Wulf and the mysterious visitor. Robin looked over the edge of the platform with a confused face. He did not know why, but this girl seemed familiar in some way, put he could not put his finger on it.
"I shall be down in a moment," Robin shouted down. He wrapped his arm around his wife and together they mounted the rope next to their house and descended to the ground.
"Wulf, would you care to explain who this stranger is?" Robin asked in a parental voice.
"This girl single-handedly defeated four of the Sheriff's men using two knives and sent the captain off with a warning for the Sheriff. She is now an outlaw."
The men of the village stared at Wulf and the girl in amazement, enthralled by the story. Even Robin looked impressed.
"And what of your parents, my dear? What is your name?" Marian questioned kindly.
The girl kept her head down, not looking either Marian or Robin in the eyes. "My parents died ten years ago and my name died with them."
"She must be given a name," came the wise voice of Azeem. "A new name to represent the new life she will have in Sherwood Forest."
"How about Kiara?" suggested Rinah as she came to stand up next to her uncle.
"Kiara...I like it," the girl grinned.
"Well Kiara, let's see what we can do about getting you a clean dress." Marian took Kiara's hand and led her to her and Robin's hut.
Robin noticed Wulf staring after the girl and crossed his arms over his chest as he smirked knowingly.
That's Chapter 1. If you like, I'll continue. That's my motto.