Title: To The Unknown
Location: In the western part of the Wold.
On a rugged hill, an old man with a wizened visage kneeled over a large grave. Next to him stood a large tombstone that depicted a man that had just reached middle-age. "I remember when you were a young boy, running with your friends. When you grew into a young man and stopped working in the fields to find your fortunes in the rest of the world," the old man said. He weeped for a moment, then looked at the corpse and smiled. "You always had to help others with their woes, didn't you? You had to better other people's lives before your own or even for your own, as it so sadly happened." The old man's thoughts whirled back to how it all began.
The young man looked over at the landscape, taking in its rugged beauty and untamed majesty. He stood atop a hill that lent a great view of the distant mountains. He turned around and looked now at the numerous villages that dotted the plains surrounded the great hill. On top of the hill stood largest city for many, many miles(if you could call the meager hamlets of those not of royal blood a city). He sighed at the sight. The rich king living in the most luxury in all the land, while his subjects lay groveling in the mud just outside his doorstep. The man started down the hillside with one intention in mind. To free the folk of the land from the tyrant line that had ruled the land for centuries. Every tale he had heard of the king was filled with either anger at his selfishness and his neglect of his people, or full of admiration and praise for such an achievement as conquering the vast land he now controlled. It was easy to tell who was telling the truth, everyone but those who were appointed by the king spoke ill of him.
He walked into town and found to his surprise that it actually had an inn. He trudged through the muddy streets to enter the building, and found it to be rather nice. It was well-lit and had a comfortable atmosphere and had chairs and tables to accommodate over a score of patrons. It was nearing night so he sat on a stool at the bar and asked the innkeeper for a room. After he had negotiated a modest price with the innkeeper, he moved to sit himself at an empty table. There were about a dozen other patrons in the room. He noticed in particular a group of five near him talking in hushed tones about the status of the kingdom. "Rebellions brewin', the people won't stand for any more taxes and many don't stand for the ones now." a middle-aged, rather large bald man said. "That's hogwash!" Another man said. "The king keeps an army ready to kill any people with a rebellion in mind." The other man shook his head and replied, "The people already die due to the taxes that make them give up anything that's worth anything. They don't have any food, little clothes, and no money." The other man looked at him and shrugged, saying. "Anyway, who would lead the people, they would die in less than a week." The bald man nodded and said, "Aye, no one is stupid enough to die for something that won't happen."
The young man stood up then and turned to the group. "It isn't foolish to fight for the betterment of others, it is the best cause I know of." The bald man snickered and said, "So you will be leading the rebellion eh?" The youth replied with a firm and determined answer, "Yes."
The next morning the man awoke and ate breakfast quickly. He walked outside and saw that a group of people were gathering around what appeared to be a set of gallows. "These two men," shouted the constable. "Were caught stealing from the town armory." continued the constable, gesturing towards the stone armory, the best-constructed building in the town. "Now normally, this would only constitute a severed hand, but they were stealing them to instigate a rebellion!" The people hardly gasped, such attempts were becoming more and more common. The constable motioned for one of the two soldiers that flanked him to slip the nooses around the men's necks. The young man moved closer to see who they were. His eyes widened in amazement as he saw that it was the two men who he heard talking last night. He looked at the three soldiers who were about to execute the poor men. He looked down at the solid branch that he used as a walking stick and then looked back at the men. It was worth it he decided. He pushed his way through the crowd and edged toward the soldier that was fingering the crank eagerly. "And now these men shall pay the price for their folly, they shall die for trying to fight against our beloved king who has protected for years," the constable said as the soldier moved into position next to the crank. The constable started to turn and give the order to pull, but a man suddenly leaped forward and smashed a staff across the soldier's skull. The constable stood in amazement for a moment, but drew his sword the moment crazed man moved toward him. The other soldier ran toward the man with the staff but was intercepted by not one, but four leaping peasants. The constable quickly surveyed his surroundings and ran the only possible way, through the crowd. The fool, though, didn't realize that all the crowd was joining in, and he was inundated by a sea of screaming peasants. The three soldiers were easily overcome by the angry mob, who now looked to the young man as he began to untie the two men from the gallows.
The young man noticed their gazes as soon as he turned around. "People, will we just sit here, content to roll around in the mud while the king, not but 2 miles from here, sleeps in a warm, soft bed, content to become richer and richer by taking every single thing of value from us? Why do we not rise up to overthrow the tyrant from his throne and get food, houses, and money? We must rise up and kill him before we all die from lack of food or medicine or shelter! We must stir up everyone who will listen to us! We must bring them together in a united army and kill all who would grieve for so foul a king!"
"That's how it happened," said the old man, coming out of his reverie that the memories had caught him in. "That's how you led the rebellion, a young lad of no more than twenty." The old man burst into sobs but sobered quickly as he gazed upon his son's face. "You managed to split the kingdom in two, the smaller east being held by the king's army and the much larger one held by the people. You led the people against the king for twenty-two years. If only you weren't assassinated by a traitor, but don't worry the traitor was slain by your second as soon as the deed was done, a moment too late, though. The day after your death, there was a grand funeral, and the day after that, we charged through the center of the king's army and stormed his palace. Our kingdom is free. You did not die in vain, son. You will not be forgotten, but though your name is on this tombstone, I fear that it will be forgotten. Your brothers and all your brother's descendants will remember your name, I will make sure of it. But to everyone else, they will merely raise up a cup to the unknown hero that saved us all." The old man stood up, and started off from the hill. He stopped suddenly and reached for a waterskin that was on his belt. He raised it over his head and said, "To you, Malith. To you, the unknown hero."
P.S. I have updated this post and completely rewrote the story into an entirely new story.
Picture made by Aametherar the orc (Elves are the best!)
Last edited by Darathor : 11-02-2009 at 08:51 PM.