King Richard is dead.
With King John on the throne, the Sheriff of Nottingham knows he will soon be replaced by one of the new king's favorite men. The only way he can survive the constant vagaries of political whim is to become wealthy in his own right. And the easiest way to do this is to see the king's taxes fall into his own pocket. When the thefts are reported, he will simply claim that a band of bandits has taken up residence in Sherwood Forest and has stolen the money. A good idea and it works. That is until King John decides the sheriff needs some help in hunting down the bandits.
Sir Guy is dispatched to Nottingham with a unit of French soldiers under his command. A ruthless man, Sir Guy will not stop until the taxes are returned and the thieves hanged. The sheriff is in trouble. There are no bandits in the wood and the king's coin sits snugly in the lockbox in the sheriff's office. A single word spoken by the wrong person will put his head in a noose.
But then news of Sir Robert of Locksley reaches Nottingham. Sir Robert had left for crusade many years before and he and Sir Guy hated each other. When rumors said that Sir Robert was returning to Nottingham, the sheriff devised a new scheme. He would spread word that Sir Robert was the leader of the bandits and that his loyalty to King Richard did not extend to King John. This plan would keep Sir Guy searching the woods for men who don't exist.