The troll struggled against the chains binding its massive arms and legs but the constant whacks from nearby townsfolk and the sharp prodding of a spear in its back kept it moving to the pile of kindling in the middle of town. There were thirty townspeople, mostly burly men who worked at the nearby farm and along the river, crowding around the creature shouting curses as it trudged to the unpleasant death that awaited it. Trolls couldn’t regenerate from fire, everyone knew that and burning one at the stake was the best way to make sure it didn’t come back.
Progress down the dirt packed street was halted by the sight of a single man. He was tall and thin with wild wiry black hair parted on the right side but most shockingly of all was the fact that he wore the regal red vest of a Royal Marshal, something these parts had not seen since the last Marshal had died due to extreme old age and most likely boredom almost ten years prior.
The scarecrow of a man raised a bushy eyebrow and fixed his gaze on the leader of the procession, “what is going on here?”
“We’re going to burn a troll,” the leader, a pig farmer by the name of Jarrus who looked quite like the animals he raised yelled as he tugged on the chains. “And who the bloody hell are you?”
“Hexan Geist, the new Royal Marshal. Why?”
Jarrus sputtered and waved a hand back at the troll, “this here bastard killed three of my pigs, caught him this morning eating one.”
“Unlikely,” the marshal sniffed.
The farmer pointed a wicked cleaver at him, “you calling me a liar? A fancy red vest won’t have you insulting my honor.”
“If I were to insult your honor you would know it and it would be followed by a duel invitation,” from his waist he pulled an intricately detailed walking stick and pointed it at the troll. “I am saying that it is unlikely that this creature was the cause of the troubles. Trolls only kill what they eat and aren’t known for their forethought. If,” he titled his head slightly looking at the beast. “He had killed your pigs he would have eaten all three of them. Show me your farm and bring the creature.”
The marshal reached down and picked up the tooled leather bag on the ground beside him before striding off in the opposite direction the angry mob was heading.
“Jarrus,” one of his farmhands asked rather bewildered. “What do you suppose we do now?”
“You know what a Royal Marshal is dunderhead?” He glared back at the thick young man.
The farmhand shrugged.
“It’s a lawman with the backing of The King hisself,” upon mentioning their long distance Monarch the men bobbed their heads and touched their foreheads in respect. “He says we take a look, we take a look.”
“We burn the blasted troll, you moron,” the piggish farm pulled the troll to follow the rather quick pace of the marshal followed by a confused and curious crowd.