THE GREAT UPRISING OF DALEMARK:

Wend appeared next to Alk, Navis, Ynen, Moril and Mitt.

"Oh," Mitt said. "YOU'RE back?" Wend nodded.

"Yep," Wend said. "Looks like it, doesn't it?" Mitt noticed that Wend's hair was a good deal shorter, and also, he had lost his Northern accent, as well as his corny old-fashion manners.

"You must be Wend from Maewen's time, then," Moril concluded.

"That I am," Wend said. "Oh! Mitt! By the way, Maewen got home safely, and I gave her your message."

"Oh, good," Mitt said. "Thanks Wend."

"But I do owe you an apology," Wend said. "For the past two-hundred years, I thought you had killed Noreth. I was wrong. We Undying are often wrong. I'm sorry."

"It's okay," Mitt said. "But maybe you can help us. Hobin sent me a letter:"

Dear Mitt,
You want the kingstone? Well, there's some directions to it that have been in my family for years. However, there was a flood in Waywold about fifteen years back, and it got a bit blurred. Make the best you can of it, though. Also, Mitt, you know that gun I gave you? Well, I want you to know I have a few hundred more stashed away, and as soon as you get the kingstone, I'm going to hand them out and start a rebellion against Harl. Come down as soon as possible! People will be more willing to take part if they meet their new king. Ha. Not that Holanders WOULDN'T be willing to take part... But anyway, find the kingstone. Milda and the girls send their love.

Luck Ship and Shore,

Hobin


"Then," Mitt continued. "Here's the parchment with the directions on it. I don't know the place they listed. Neither does anyone else here!"

"The stone was made by the One, but taken by Kankredin. After my brother Hern defeated Kankredin, he ransacked his ship. He found the kingstone there," Wend said. "Well, what can you make out of it?" Mitt unrolled the aged piece of grizzled parchment.

"Most of its blurred," Mitt said. "But here's Kharnoreth and some blurring, and, er- hillside? Is that it? Yes... Then there's more blurring... And the word bust. Or is it bast? Or bost? Or maybe best? I don't know..."

"I can use my cwidder to make it right again," Moril offered. Mitt nodded happily, and gave him the parchment. Moril struck a chord, and the smudged ink rolled back into place. Moril smiled, and handed it back to Mitt. Navis grabbed it from Mitt's hand.

"Let's see it then," Navis said, squinting. "In Kharnoreth, located on the most distant hillside, you will find a bust of the One himself. That bust shall be opened, but not broken. If the bust is broken, you shall not receive the kingstone."

"Sounds fun," Mitt growled. "NOT!"

"Kharnoreth?" Ynen asked. "I've never heard of that..."

"Most distant hillside?" Moril asked. "That's Kernsburgh! The place we just left. But what's Kharnoreth?"

"I can't tell you," Wend asked. "But I can help you."

"Then HELP!" Mitt shouted.

"Sorry, Your Highness," Wend said. "Kharn is an outlandish and forgotten spelling of my brother's name in its Northern form." Ynen, Navis, Moril and Mitt all did some thinking, all coming from the South.

"Kern?" Navis finally said.

"And who is Oreth?" Wend smiled.

"The One," Mitt said. "The One Kern? Oh! The One King! That's it isn't it?"

"You're not as clever as you think you are, Your Majesty," Wend snapped. He smiled. "Anyone else?" No one spoke. "Well then," Wend continued. "What was Hern's in Kernsburgh?"

"Everything?" Mitt asked. Wend chose to ignore this.

"Where did he LIVE?" Wend asked, trying to make it easier.

"In a palace," Moril said.

"OH!" Navis and Ynen both exclaimed.

"Kharnoreth was the name of his palace?" Navis asked. Wend just smiled.

"So, we'll be turning back to Kernsburgh then, won't we?" Moril asked. Navis nodded cooly.

"I suppose so," he said. "If that's okay with Mitt." Mitt sighed. It had taken them a week from Kernsburg, because they had come over the mountains. And a week back. A week longer Hobin would wait for his uprising.

"Navis," Mitt said. "You ride to Holand and tell Hobin that I've got the stone, but I can't come down, and to start the uprising."

"I'll be KILLED if I go South," Navis said. "ESPECIALLY in Holand. Come on, Mitt. Harl tried to kill me once before. And all other earls will LOVE to sell me back to Harl. Just like Lithar tried to do in the Holy Islands." Mitt sighed.

"Moril-" Mitt began. "No, we'll need you to get into the palace. Ynen? No, too young. Argh! Wait! Alk?"

"I suppose I could," Alk said.

"Then go," Mitt said. "But I advise you not to wear the Aberath colors... You know..." Mitt ran a finger along his throat.

"I see," Alk said. "Well, goodbye, then." He waved, and rode his horse at full speed down the green road, as Mitt, Moril, Ynen, Navis and Wend turned around.

"Wend," Mitt said. "You shall take Ynen's horse. Ynen shall share with Moril. We can't waste time." Ynen obediently hopped off of his horse, and Moril moved forward to let Ynen on the back.


When they arrived at the site of Kernsburgh, they found the waystone, and Moril opened it similar to how he did before. They passed the room where Hern had crowned Mitt, and they continued on further.

This part of the ancient palace was threatening to collapse any second, but Moril played his cwidder and the beams held.

At last, with a bit of light shining on it, there was a statue. The statue looked like an enlarged version of the gold one Noreth and Mitt had found in the stream. Only this one was made out of a strong marble. Mitt knew at once that this was it. The kingstone was inside here.

"How do we-" Mitt began.

"The cwidder," Moril said, still playing. Mitt nodded, and let Moril stand in front of the statue. Moril changed his song, and the statue raised, levitating about a foot off of the stand it was on. A shiny hematite-colored stone stood there. Moril reached for it with his free hand, but his hand was zapped when he touched it.

"Only the king," Wend said.

"Quickly Mitt!" Moril said. The statue was shaking now. "You've got to get the stone before the statue falls. It'll break otherwise!" Mitt reached out his hand, and grabbed the stone, just as the statue came falling down. The statue, despite being marble, shattered into thousands of pieces.

"What a shame," Ynen said. "It was a nice statue, too." Moril changed songs once again, and the statue reappeared on the table.

"Nice," Navis agreed. "Shall we take it? It IS the kingstone holder, after all."

"Right," Mitt said, still staring at the kingstone. We'd better get out of here." At that everyone began walking fast, as fast as you could with Navis holding a marble statue and Moril still strumming placidly on his cwidder.

But at last they got out. A messenger met them there.

"We've rode through the night to get here, we did," the messenger said. "Another messenger gave it to me yesterday evening at Fort Flenn and I rode and rode. I have a message for King Amil. Who's King Amil?" He turned towards Wend, who shook his head. Next he tried Navis. Navis shook his head.

"He's the ONE WITH THE CROWN, for Old Ammet's sake!" Navis yelled. The messenger bowed humbly, how Wend used to, and gave Mitt a sheet of paper.

"From Hobin," Mitt said, scanning through it.


Dear Mitt,

I've handed out my guns to the citizens. Others are armed with pitchforks and spears and bows and arrows. Everyone's taking part. My right-hand man, so to speak, is named Halain. He's a gunsmith too, and was the one that started to make the plans for the Uprising a few years ago. We're going to destroy the palace tomorrow, with Harl inside. Come down as soon as possible! I'm having a few messengers bring this to you!

Hobin


In Holand, Hobin had indeed destroyed the palace. It had gone like this.

Hobin had handed out the guns, and everyone in Holand trampled through the town, right up to the palace, with Hobin in the lead. They caught the palace off guard, and the army was mainly in Andmark, fighting Henda's troops. Harl was taken prisoner, and his family was killed, except for his two oldest sons, who were in hiding somewhere in Holand. As last revenge, Hobin and the freedom troops had set fire to the palace, burning down most of it.

"HOBIN!" called someone in the crowd after their mission had been successful. "GENERAL Hobin!" The crowd cheered, and Hobin beamed proudly. He glanced at Milda and the two girls, who were four and five, and they beamed at him too.

"Everyone," Hobin said. "The real hero tonight was Halain. He planted the bombs inside the palace, and lit the fire. We owe it all to him. As a gift, I give him this." Hobin took out a solid gold dagger, with "Halain: Freedom Forever. From Hobin" carved on the blade.

Finally, night fell and Hobin and Milda and the girls went back to their house. Milda put the girls to bed, and then went into the living room to talk to Hobin.

"The Earl's dead!" Milda said, gleefully. "I'm so HAPPY!"

"Me too," Hobin said. "It was pretty easy, too, without any of the soldiers around. What I still can't get over is that Mitt's king!"

"I know," Milda laughed. "See, Hobin? Making him flee up North WAS a good idea, THANK YOU." Hobin laughed.

"Well, we'll be destroying all of the Earl's wharehouses, and we'd better hurry. Harl's soldiers in Andmark have heard the news, and they're coming back. Fast."

"We should leave this house, then," Milda said. "Because they'll get us."

"Good point," Hobin said. "I'll ask Siriol tomorrow if you can stay at his house."

"By YOU, you mean US, right?" Milda asked. Hobin shook his head.

"I'll need stronger protections," he said. "I have prior arrangements set up. I can't tell you."

The next morning, Hobin awoke inside a steamer trunk inside the cabin on the "Flower of Holand." He could hear gunshots coming from the shore. He opened the trunk, stepped out, and peered out the dirty porthole, and saw what seemed to the Earl's army. But Harl was dead. These soldiers had no one to respond to. Perhaps they were fighting just to bide time until a new Earl could be chosen. At any rate, Hobin stepped onto the deck. The "Flower of Holand" was converted into a battleship, where there were many guns, hidden cannons and kegs of gunpowder stored inside.

"Ham!" Hobin yelled, pulling a cannon out of its trapdoor hiding spot. "Can we get close to the shore?"

"Of course!" Ham yelled back. Ham raised the sails, and raised anchor and they came right near the shore. The earl's army, however, was ready. They fired at Hobin, and Hobin, being alone on the deck, could only fire a few times. He gave up and told Ham to make out of the harbor at full speed.

"How'd they know that this was the ship you were on?" Ham asked.

"Obvious, Ham," Hobin said. "It's QUITE obvious. They saw a ship coming. Only food supply ships have entered the harbor since the Uprising started. This isn't that kind of ship." He turned towards another ship nearby. It belonged to another freedom-fighter, so Hobin had received permission to use it. "We'll go on that ship, and you drop me off at Hoe Point. Okay?"

"Sure," Ham said.

When Hobin returned to lead the freedom fighters against the soldiers, Hobin knew he must find Harl's two sons. And fast. The only thing to do was to turn Holand inside and out.

So the Freedom Group, as they called themselves, led themselves through town, setting fire to the earl's wharehouses, barracks, and even common homes, just to catch Harl's two sons. The large marketplace on the wharf was the scene of a big battle between the Freedom Group and the earl's soldiers. The Freedom Group had won, but the marketplace still lay in ruins.

However, the Freedom Group was on land, and had only three armed vessels. As you know, Holand has a great navy. Also, other Southern earls sent soldiers and ships down, to keep Holand opressed. Lithar sent his entire Holy Island fleet to assist.

The ships lined up hull-to-hull along the harbor entrance. Other soldiers stood at the only entrances to the city. Holand was completely cut off of food. The Harl's eldest son, Harl Jr., apparently decided that starving the people will get them to surrender.


By the time news reached Mitt, who was fighting near Kernsburgh, Holand lay almost entirely in ruins. A messenger came to give the message. He sat in the Royal Tent.

"Is Hobin okay?" Mitt asked the messenger. The messenger nodded. "What about Hobin's family. Milda and his two girls?"

"They're okay, too," the messenger said. "Hobin wants to know how the fighting is here."

"We're going to win," Mitt said.

"But you just lost that battle out there!" the messenger protested.

"But," Mitt said. "I have a friend from the future. She told me I won this war. So I am going to." The messenger rolled his eyes.

"Whatever, Your Majesty," the messenger said, as he rode off.


Back in Holand, around a third of the Freedom Group was considering quitting. Including Halain.

"We're going to starve," Halain said. "We HAVE to quit."

"No," Hobin said. "We'll get them. We'll WIN! I'm going now. See you in the morning."

The fish on "Flower of Hobin" was dwindling, so Hobin decided he must go and get food from his house, before others stole it.

As he rounded the bend, he saw a shadow run from his house. As he came into the living room, he saw Milda from the back, lying on a chair. He went over to kiss her, and he gasped. Milda was dead. On the ground lay their two girls. Milda had a look of terror, betrayal and sacrifice on her face. She must've tried to stop whoever killed her from getting her children.

"Who would do this?" Hobin whispered. He looked down in Milda's heart. There was a solid gold dagger, engraved "Halain: Freedom Forever, From Hobin."

"Yes," Halain whispered, coming out of the back room. "It was me."

"Why?" Hobin gasped in sheer disbelief. "WHY? I thought we were partners... Friends... Why would you DO such a thing?"

"The Uprising is out of control," Halain replied. "Look, Hobin. We're ALL going to die. Surrender now."

"But Mitt has the kingstone," Hobin pleaded. "He really-"

"NO!" Halain snarled. "Kingstone or no kingstone, we're surrendering come morning. I've made the decision." He smiled a wicked smile. "Enjoy the gallows." He steped right up to Hobin, so they were only a foot away, looking straight into each other's eyes.

In agony, Hobin grabbed the dagger from Milda's heart and shoved it in Halain's chest. He collapsed on the ground in agony.

"A life for a life," Hobin said. "You took three from me, so I'll take one from you."

"Hob-" Halain gasped. "No!"

"Oh yes," Hobin said. "And anyone standing in my way will die like you did. You die in embarrassment. You die in regret. You in vain. You die in agony. You die in cowardice, coming after a helpless women and two baby girls."

"Hobin-" Halain said, even more strained then before. "Call doc-"

"No," Hobin said, laughing. "You're going to die right here on my living room carpet. And you know what, Halain? I hope it hurts." Hobin raised his foot and stomped down on Halain's wound. Halain screamed in pain and agony.

"You go hell-" Halain whispered, on his dying breath.

"Then save me a seat down there," Hobin said. "Because you're going first." He stomped down on Halain and Halain was dead.

The next morning, Alk rode into Holand, and tracked down Hobin, who was sitting still in the living room, looking over Halain, Milda and the two girls' bodies.

"Hobin, I presume?" Alk asked. Hobin looked up. He didn't forget a face.

"Lord Alk of Aberath," Hobin answered. "You come from Mitt?"

"Yes," Alk said. "King Amil sends his regards. He shall be coming down with the kingstone. Anyway," Alk continued. "I had such a trouble getting INTO Holand... Soldiers everywhere... And the harbor? Not even a guppy could get through!"

"Yes," Hobin answered. "My assistant and I had a little quarrel over that..."

"And neither of you were victorious, I presume," Alk said, staring at the four bodies on the ground.

"No," Hobin said. "But I'm going to win this. For Milda." He looked at Alk. "My Lord?"

"Alk," Alk replied.

"Alk," Hobin said. "Is this war known up North?"

"I shall say so," Alk said. "Almost every man in the North is coming down here to fight!"


And so they were. As Mitt, Moril, Wend, Navis and Ynen walked down the road to the Holand, the gigantic army from the North could be seen in the distance.

When they arrived in Holand, they had to sneak past the Southern soldiers at the city walls.

"Gee," Ynen gasped. "Holand is GONE!"

It was. Almost all of the buildings were destroyed; only a few were still standing. And in the harbor, there was the entire fleet of every Southern country, tied together by rope.


Meanwhile, Hobin was to confront the third of the Freedom Group that planned on surrendering. Hobin showed no sympathy for them, after what Halain had done. Without an explanation from any of them, Hobin's soldiers came in and killed every last opposer.

It was a day after that battle when Mitt had finally tracked down Hobin. By that time, the land soldiers from all over the South had arrived, and were beginning to fight a few skermishes with the Freedom Group. However, most of the Freedom Group was able to run away to another part of Holand, and maybe even shoot a few Southerners on their way. Hobin had convinced them all to just hold off the Southerners until the North arrived.

"I've the kingstone," Mitt said, coming up to Hobin at the dark of night.

"Excellent," Hobin said. "This could save us. You need to show it to my soldiers... Tell them the North is coming."

"But what if they won't listen to me?" Mitt said, doubting himself.

"Look," Hobin said. "Mitt. Hold the kingstone up on the edge of the harbor. Pray to Old Ammet and ask him to send lightning down to one of the ships in the harbor."

"Just one?" Mitt asked. "But shouldn't I ask for more?"

"Hush," Hobin said. "Do as I say."

"Alright then."

The next morning, Mitt awoke. It was a gloomy day, with gray clouds crowding the sky. The entire Freedom Group assembled on the remains of the wharf, as Mitt waded into the sea. He continued wading until he reached waist-high water.

"CITIZENS!" Mitt said. "I am your KING!" The Freedom Group cheered, but soon it went quiet.

"Dear Ammet," Mitt said. "Please. Aid us to carry out freedom for everyone. Please, Ammet, sir." Suddenly, the clouds burst open and a breath of fire shot out, hitting the center ship on the row of ships that was blocking the harbor. Mitt turned around and another bolt hit the city walls.

On the walls, which the majority of the Southern soldiers were near, burned quickly. The other soldiers, patrolling the remains of the city, ran with intense loyalty to the South to help the soldiers. They all died too that day.

Out at sea, it took days for the ships to burn out. But when they did, a week later, they were gone. Food and supply ships from the North immediately came.


In the months that followed, Mitt moved to Kernsburgh and began the construction there. Hobin stayed in the South, organizing revolts in Waywold and Canderack. Hobin was under the order from Mitt that he was to spare as many lives as possible.

With this, Hobin had difficulty.

In Waywold, Hobin had his soldiers, as well as all of the soldiers from the North.

Hobin organized a revolt. Around a fourth of the citizens of Waywold were against Hobin. Just to make sure no rebellions against Mitt started, Hobin killed them, as well as anyone remotely related to them.

Mitt sent a warning to Hobin, but Hobin ignored it. He moved on to Canderack.

Here in Canderack, it was a split city. But it very patriotic city. Half patriotic to the South and half to the new king. But the city still wouldn't let him in.

"I've tried," Hobin's messenger said. "They just won't let us enter!" Hobin picked up his gun and shot the messenger in his fury.

Coming out of the General's Tent, he noticed that on the other side of the city walls was the Canderack army, ready to attack if Hobin entered.

However, Hobin didn't need to enter. He ordered his troops to surround Canderack, each with one torch in hand. On the count of three, every torch was thrown onto the walls, and the city was burned in less than a day. No Canderack citizen survived.


Back in the General's Tent in the next few days, Mitt's messenger came to Hobin.

"A note from his royal highness, King Amil."

Hobin:
Look, you HAVE to stop. The destroying of Canderack set it off. Come to Kernsburgh. I'm sorry, but I'll be stripping you of your General ranking. I'll find something else for you to do.

-Mitt


"Will you be going to Kernsburgh?" the messenger asked. "I'm to take you in chains, if neccesary." Hobin shook his head. He grabbed his gun, and shot himself through the head.


EPILOGUE:

When Mitt heard of Hobin's death, he was distraught, but soon got over it. It had been concluded Hobin had gone insane by experts. But Mitt knew this wasn't true. Hobin was very much sane.

So what had happened? Did Hobin enjoy murdering? Was he really insane? Did he do it all for Mitt? Or did he do it all to avenge Mila?

You decide.