Lord Robin of Loxley lives in Nottingham and enjoys a good life with Marian’s girlfriend, but is attracted to the corrupt sheriff of Nottingham to fight in the Third Crusade against the Sarazins. After four years away from England, Robin gets disappointed with these Crusades, especially after he fails to prevent his commander, Guy of Gisbourne, from executing several prisoners, including a teenage boy.
When he returns to Nottingham, Robin learns from his old friend, Friar Tuck, that the Sheriff has declared him dead two years ago to steal his land and riches to raise funds to fund the warfare waged by Cardinals who exile citizens of the city in the coal mines beyond a river. Investigating things, Robin sees how citizens are preparing for a revolution against the government that oppresses and exploits them and learns that Marian is now in a relationship with aspiring leader Will Tillman.
Robin is prevented from talking to her by the Arab whose boy he was trying to save earlier. The man presents himself as Yahya – which he says would be “John” – and proposes to help sabotage the war through the theft of money the church takes from people to finance Crusades. Marian is looking for Robin when he finds out that he is still alive, but he chooses not to tell her about her plans for her own protection.