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- See also: Hood's Message to the King
He wields a rebel's bow, strung tight against heartwood strained too far. It's a tension that can't last, but it doesn't have to, for the cause must be won or lost while passions still burn. It's a powerful template for revolution repeated many times across the Free Marches, but was it born on a battlefield or in rhetoric?
The "Message to the King" is where the stories usually diverge. Sometimes it's a plea for liberty taken to a tyrant's heart by the point of an arrow. More often, it's carried in the clatter of sacrifice as weapons fall to a courtyard's cobbles. It depends on the audience—the young like their victories sudden and violent, while the old prefer something more cautionary.
It may be that Hood is not so much a person as a tactic, ushered to far horizons or the grave's embrace in order to protect conspirators. After all, how many deaths can he claim when one is the typical limit for a common man? But the tales return, time and again, across leagues and centuries. At a certain point, one hopes the name is symbolic, because allying with such a power would bring its own problems and debts.
—From Rebels of the Marches: Allegory in Rebellion, forward by Philliam, a Bard!