Stories said Corgon the Mighty was six feet tall with a shock of hair as red as fire and able to outfight a dozen bandits at once. As was often the case, legends weren’t entirely accurate.
Corgon stood before the Brigand Queen. “I will gladly accept your surrender now.”
The Queen sized up the ratling, all four feet of him. “Is this a joke?”
Corgon smiled. “I usually give my opponents a chance to walk away. It helps keep my conscience clear.”
“It’s true,” said the giantess behind him. “He is as compassionate as he is merciless.”
The Queen turned to one of her lieutenants. “Seriously, is this a joke?”
Corgon cleared his throat. “Are you surrendering or not? I’ve been contracted to slay a monster goat a good ride from here, and I don’t have all day to fritter away with you.”
The bandits laughed.
The Brigand Queen said, “Forgive me, but everyone knows that Corgon is as wide as he is tall. His eyes are black as death, and his hammer can crack mountains.”
Corgon twirled his hammer. “The hammer part is true. The rest . . . not so much. It’s why I hired Wilma here to record my adventures with more accuracy.”
Wilma waved. “Hello. Should I be writing this part down?”
Corgon said, “This part? No.”
The eight foot ogress rifled through her bag of writing supplies. “Don’t do anything legendary yet. I’m not ready.”
“I told you to get that stuff out when we first entered the camp.”
“Fresh out of scribe school,” explained Corgon . “She still is getting the hang of it.”
The Brigand Queen said, “I don’t know how you thought this bluff would work, but you no longer amuse me.” She turned to her largest and most loyal minion, a man of tremendous muscle covered in scars and war paint. “Kill them.”
Wilma was still fumbling through her bag for a good quill. She heard the minion’s terrifying cry and a crack of what sounded like thunder. When she turned her attention to the fight, it was already over. The minion lay sprawled on the ground with Corgon sitting atop his chest.
“Please, tell me you got that,” said Corgon .
“Sorry. Can you do it again?”
“I’ll just tell you about it later.”
“That’s not allowed.”
“The scribe’s oath is to only record what we personally witness. Otherwise, it’s hearsay and conjecture.”
“You can trust me.”
“Accuracy is important. I would think you of all people would understand that.”
“Fine.” He stood as the bandits closed in from all sides. “But be sure to watch this then.”
He dispatched the bandits, saving his most impressive maneuvers for those moments he was certain Wilma was watching. After he’d beaten a fourth of their number, the rest thought better of him and fled in all directions.
On the ride back to town, Wilma went over her notes.
“Be sure to include that part where I flatted three men with one strike,” said Corgon
“It was only two,” said Wilma.
“No, it was three.” He turned to the Brigand Queen, hogtied across his saddle. “Back me up on this.”
“Three,” she grumbled.
Wilma scratched out the old number as the town came into view over the horizon.