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Literature / Sherwood Forest

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''Home. Where was home, now? Nowhere he recognized.

But perhaps that wasn’t the problem. Perhaps he’d been gone so long, and fighting so hard that the Crusade had melted him down and forged him into something new- a valuable tool for God’s war, but entirely unusable for anything else.''

Sherwood Forest is a web series by Laura Mc Vey, with a new addition (a short story, usually in the 13, 000 range) released on the fifteenth of every month. It tells the story of Robin of Locksley, who returns home to Nottingham with his friend John and a prisoner of war, Shaima, in tow, only to discover that the Sheriff he appointed to keep the peace while he was gone has burned his house down, seized control, and imprisoned Robin's wife in the castle.

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Being a Robin Hood adaptation, the series has a cast of core characters who you'll find in most versions of the legend:

  • Robin Hood, a disillusioned Crusader who's driven to hiding in Sherwood Forest while he tries to figure out how to defeat the Sheriff. As of the first story in the series, Homecoming, he's suffering from some pretty serious Heroic BSoD
  • John (Little John, though no one calls him that) is Robin's longtime best friend who accompanied him on the Crusade. His main function is to talk Robin down and mediate fights between the outlaws.
  • Will Scarlett, Robin's foster son who still holds more than a little resentment towards Robin for running off and leaving Nottingham vulnerable to the Sheriff's schemes.
  • Shaima, a prisoner of war who Robin brought back with him to keep the other soldiers from having her executed. She's not terribly happy with him.
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  • Marian, Robin's wife, who is (as of "Robbing the Rich") still a prisoner in Nottingham Castle. She uses her position to try and manipulate/undermine the Sheriff from within.
  • the Sheriff of Nottingham, who took over Nottingham while Robin was away, raised taxes, lets his guards run amuck attacking the villagers, and is Robin's primary antagonist.
  • Much Miller, an irreverent peasant who comes up with the idea of "robbing the rich to feed the poor."
  • Guy of Gisbourne, the Sheriff's right-hand man, who spends most of his free time terrorizing the villagers.


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Tropes:

  • Accidental Kidnapping: Robin didn't intend to kidnap Shaima; she'd snuck into the Crusaders' camp intending to avenge her dead brother and got caught. The other soldiers wanted to execute her, but Robin managed to persuade them that he could neutralize the threat by taking her prisoner. Shaima, of course, doesn't exactly see this as a noble deed; she just knows she's been dragged halfway around the world, away from everything she knows and loves, and is now living in the woods.
  • Advice Backfire: Thomas tells Allan that he'll need better financial prospects before he'll consider allowing him and Bess to get married. So Allan goes out and gets a job. Working for the Sheriff. Who Thomas is trying to raise a rebellion against. Needless to say, it doesn't help.
  • Blood-Splattered Innocents: Will, after the first time he kills someone in battle.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Will to Robin in "Homecoming."
  • The Caper: Robin, John, and Much get up to this in "Robbing the Rich," at Much's suggestion.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Much
  • Disappeared Dad: Will is Robin and Marian's foster son; his biological father has not been mentioned thus far.
    • This changes in "Sins of the Father," when Will's biological dad comes to town. Will's overjoyed, until he realizes that he's working for the Sheriff and wants Will to join him.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: Shaima to Will the first time they meet.
  • Five-Man Band
  • Hands-On Approach: Will offering to teach Shaima how to fight can be seen as an example of this.
  • Heroic BSoD: Robin is not dealing with the aftermath of the Crusade very well.
  • Honor Among Thieves: Goes with the territory.
  • Honor Before Reason: Sure Will, you go ahead and charge into battle against a bunch of armed guards. What could go wrong?
  • Kangaroo Court: The Sheriff holds court at the castle once a month, but if you have a complaint to make against him or his guards, or he's accused you of something, you're pretty well screwed.
    • In "Homecoming," a girl comes to the court claiming that Gisbourne tried to rape her. The Sheriff tells her that Gisbourne will pay for the dress he ripped.
  • Magnificent Bastard: The Sheriff gets off a few good zingers.
  • Silk Hiding Steel: Marian seems pretty helpless, until she starts orchestrating prison breakouts under the Sheriff's nose.
  • True Blue Femininity: More than once, Marian is described as wearing a blue dress.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: mostly because "home" has been burned to the ground.
    • As of "Foreigner," Shaima can't go back to Jaffa because there's no way for her to get safe passage.
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