(12th century England)
Long ago, the city of Nottingham England was a peaceful place. The people had a king named Richard the Lionheart who was well respected, unlike his younger sister, Princess Joan who was so vain and selfish that people avoided her as much as they could. During the king’s rule of England, one 13-year-old girl was unlike any other girl her age. Instead of spending her time doing woman things, she would play outside, get dirty, and even learn how to fight with weapons.
Her mother had died when she was very young so her father raised her. And he raised her with all his love and even trained her to use weapons such as a sword, but her favorite was the bow and arrow. After using the bow for only a week, she had already gotten used to it. But one day, after thinking hard, she knew that she wanted to become a warrior, and in order to do so, she would need to get the best training. So after discussing it with her father, he decided that she would go live with her uncle John who lives a few hours away from her home in Locksley.
John, or as everyone calls him, Little John, he has been a warrior his whole life and would be glad to train his niece. So it was settled that the girl would live with her uncle where he would train her until she was ready. She felt sad to leave her father behind who had to stay, but at least she knew she would get the best training and would come back better than ever.
In order to get fully trained, the girl would have to stay with her uncle for a few years, 3 years to be exact for she was a fast learner. By the time she was 16, she was able to defend herself properly. And even though there was still much for her to learn, she decided it would be a good time to visit her father after not seeing him for 3 years.
However, little did she know that during her absence, King Richard had left for the Crusades, not knowing that his cold-hearted sister had taken his throne and was now ruling England with an iron fist. And by the time the girl made it home to Locksley, she never imagined finding her castle home burned down along with the body of her father who she later found out was murdered by the Sheriff of Nottingham, a trusted companion of Princess Joan.
Not only was she now orphaned, but the rest of the city of Nottingham had become poor and were suffering under the princess’s rule. It killed her to see everyone like this and she knew she had to do something about it. With her heart full of anger and sorrow, she knew exactly what she needed to do.
“Uncle John,” she spoke, “These people do not deserve to be treated this way. We must do something about it.”
“What is it that you suggest?” he asked.
“Train me some more, train me as you’ve never trained me before so that I may become an even greater warrior. Not only that, but we also need to gather more people. We need those who will join us to stand against Princess Joan and to help those who are suffering from her hand.”
“And how will we help those who are suffering?”
“Well,” she smirked, “I’ve never really liked the rich, always thinking they’re better than everyone else. They must be taught a lesson. If we’re going to help the poor, then we’re going to need help from the rich.”
“What do you mean?”
“Why, we’ll have to steal from them in order to feed the poor.”
“Steal?” he gasped, “But that’s illegal. You can hang for that.”
“Only if you get caught,” she smirked some more, “Don’t forget Little John, you used to steal back when you were a lad in order to survive. And now that my father and my money is gone, it looks like we’re gonna have to do just that if we’re going to survive. But in order to do so, we’re going to need more help. And we’re going to need to master all the skills required to live as outlaws because that’s how the rich see us now.”
And just like that, the girl and her uncle set off to gather people who were able to join them in their rebellion against the princess. It didn’t take long for them to set up a secret camp in Sherwood Forest where they would be taught how to fight, how to survive, and how to steal without getting caught. Pretty soon, they would be known as the Merry Ones, both men, women, and even children joined the group.
And as the years passed, the stronger they all became. And as for the girl who started it all, she would become the most well-known outlaw in all of England. Because she would do her work in disguise, nobody knew who was behind the crime of thievery. But her name remained the same. She was known as Robyn of Locksley, or simply Robyn Hood, the Outlaw Queen.