The Banner of the Crimson Emperor

The boy's report

The little boy ran down the road toward his family’s farm. He needed to tell his father. The late afternoon sun beat down upon him as he ran. He ran past the rows of crops, kicking up dust behind him. The boy’s father saw him coming and started briskly walking towards him. His face was stern.
“Benedict,” the father called when his son was near, “where on Ratheus have you been!?”
“Father…” the boy stammered. He was gasping for air.
“Ben, none of the animals have been tended to today! You know what will happen if we have nothing to offer…”
“Father, they’re gone! The bandits are gone!” the boy exclaimed.
“What do you mean, Ben?”
“I snuck away, father, after milking the cows this morning. I wanted to see if I could get out money back.”
“You what?! Ben, they are killers! They would have hurt you” the father said.
“They won’t hurt us anymore, Father, they’re all dead.”
“What?”
“I saw it. A group of heroes came. Killed them all.”
“Don’t lie about something like that, Ben.”
“I’m not lying, Father, I swear by the Shining King I’m not.”
“Tell me what you saw”
“Three women, all of them elves of some kind, and a man and an orc!”
“An orc!? Here?”
“It’s ok, Father, they were heroes. They approached the guard and were attacked. But they beat them all, Father. They had magic and swords. And the man, he was so big and strong. He had this giant hammer an howled like a wolf when he fought. They went inside and I could hear them fighting, the man howling. Then the old mill caught fire!”
“Did the bandits make it out?” the Father asked.
“No! They were all killed. They threw Sir Aroogos out the window and then they jumped out too”
“How ghastly,”
“No, Father, they were big heroes. Aroogos was a bad man that hurt us. And they helped each other, the orc couldn’t swim in the river. But the big man helped him. Saved him. Saved them all!”
“I wonder what really happened.”
“I saw it, Father, I really did!”
“I believe you, Benedict. We have to investigate this. I have to go to the Miller’s farm to talk about this. You run inside and talk to your mother. And tend to those animals.”
The little boy smiled and started to run towards the house. He saw a strangely shaped log on the ground and picked it up.
“When I grow up, I want to be big and strong like that man!” the little boy said to himself as he started to swing the log like a great hammer.

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