Chapter 4: Trouble Sneaks In

Chapter 4: Trouble Sneaks In

A Story by Ilerah

Dwenlin continues his new life, but unfortunately for the whole village, trouble gets involved.


Chapter 4: Trouble Sneaks In

      Dwenlin woke up, ate breakfast with Ame, helped turn a tree into a bed with Bandes, and did those same few things each and every day. Each day the tree became more and more like a bed. Soon they had all the planks cut out, and shaped the way that they needed to be. Within the first week that Dwenlin was there, his bed was made. Mrs. Grehul gave him a blanket, which she had made the past few days.

      Soon Dwenlin had a bit of a different routine, and on his second week there, it was a whole new world.

      Dwenlin woke up to a lot of noise, not the normal amount, or type of noise a town might make. This was an uproar, not a busy town. He jumped out of his new bed, threw on his clothes and ran out of his bedroom, not even noticing that Amedaith was still sleeping.

      He hurried out of the door, barely with his boots on his feet. He noticed that most of the population of the town was outside, and they were not happy. He ran into the crown gathered in the streets, noticing a few familiar faces. Grier, and Cate stood beside each other, the tall man was yelling while the woman was watching silently.

      “Cate, what’s going on here?” asked Dwenlin when he reached her.

      “Simple, another riot because of the denater, once again they have found a way to make this little town angry,” said Cate, as she watched the riot continue.

      “How though Cate?”

      “Well, usually we have to give them some sort of tax, the mining cities give iron, or coal. We, a lumber town give them lumber. If you don’t have something of value to them, you pay taxes in sempras, which can get that town into serious debt. So far we have had our tax raised at least five times, and…”

      “No, this is the sixth time Cate,” said Grier, then turned to the crowd and joined in their uproar once again.

      “Anyways, at first they didn’t need that much, but since they have had more and more rebellions they need more lumber for siege equipment, and more forts. It gets hard, now we need to give an extra twenty logs. That, in case you didn’t know, is a lot.”

      “That must make life tough,” said Dwenlin, stating the obvious, thus ending the conversation.

      He turned and watched what was going on. There were some denater on foot, making a barrier with some logs, to stop the crowd from charging. There were at least six of them on horseback, behind the logs. They walked back and forth, Dwenlin recognized one as an officer. An elderly man yelled above the crowd, “This will mean rebellion!” Dwenlin wished he had stayed silent, knowing that something would happen to him, if they were as evil as they are made out to be.

      The denater stopped walking back and forth, one of them drawing his bow pointing it at the elderly man.

      “No, don’t shoot him yet, let’s hear what the people have to say. Do you think that this will mean rebellion, you; by giving extra taxes of logs are helping alt the rebellion. These logs will be put up, around unsecure towns making them more defensive. The rest will be made into siege equipment, so that we can keep those rebels at bay, within their own cities and towns. This will make the people of Haffen safer, this will not start rebellion, but will help stomp it,” the officer said, with no hesitation, no pause. He had expected such a response from the crowd, and was prepared for the worst. This of course, Dwen knew was a lie. They were not helping the people but enslaving them and killing those who tried to fight back.

      “That is a lie,” yelled the elderly man back at him, “We used to be free, but now we are slaves, we are under the dictatorship of an evil tyrant.”

      Suddenly the people, as one, charged forward over the logs and into the soldiers. Almost the full population of the town, against a total of fifteen denater, they didn’t stand a chance. The people jumped the logs, and tackled the soldiers. Those on the ground were soon scattered, they ran for their lives, as the people chased them out of the town. The ones on horseback tried to stop the riot, but with no success, they were pulled from their horses, which ran away. They were beaten, but left alive and ran away. The villagers chased them, making sure they stayed out.

      “Fools!” cried a woman, “We will all die now, you have angered our oppressors and now they will come back. We could have given them some more logs, or negotiated. But you have killed us all!” she cried from the back, obviously she had not taken part in the riot. She stomped away, leaving them all standing there.

      Bandes stood up from where he was sitting, along the sidelines, “I call a meeting of all the elders, to discuss the riot and what to do.”

      The people looked at him, nodded and then dispersed.

      Dwenlin walked over to Bandes, who stood talking with Grier and Cate, “What do these meeting consist of Bandes?” asked Dwenlin.

      “Each year the village elects elders, some of the previous ones stay in, but most are removed and replaced. What I just called was a meeting of the ten elders elected in the village, they represent the village and make decisions together, on matters such as these. That way we do not have a mayor dictator,” said Bandes.

      Dwenlin nodded, “Who’s all in this council?”

      “Me, and no one you have met. Other than the elderly man who yelled during the riot, his name is Grate. Well I’ll have to be off then, this meeting awaits me.”

      Bandes walked away, heading towards the taller building in the middle of the town. Cate left to head back home. Grier walked towards the forest, to get to work. Dwenlin stood there all alone, the city suddenly seemed deserted.

      He walked back to the house, his thoughts now swirling around inside his head. Why would the denater really need to raise the tax? Why did the people need to attack them? Couldn’t they just have talked about it?

      He entered the house, took off his boots and then walked over to the kitchen, since he had not even eaten yet. Amedaith was sitting at the table eating his bread, “Where is everyone?”

      “Oh, they are all outside, the denater have raised the tax price, and there was a riot. Now the town elders are having a meeting,” replied Dwen, talking with slurred words, noticing that he really wasn’t that awake.

      “Oh…” said Ame, then turned to his food, but put it down to say, “Dad is one of the elders, he was made one three years in a row, which is something unique in this town. The most years that someone had ever been an elder was five. All Dad needs to do is get elected two years more, and he will have tied with that record. I am quite proud of my father, he is such a good Dad…” Ame went on for the next few minutes about what his father had all done within those years as an elder, some of which didn’t make sense, probably the young boy getting mixed up.

      Dwenlin nodded to Ame as he ate, only have listening. He was thinking about what the elders were talking about, and really wanted to be in on that meeting. When he was done, he left Ame to play with his toys and left the town. He walked around the forest, seeing Grier once or twice as he walked around. He just wanted to see more of his new town, his new life.

      After an hour Dwenlin walked back to the town, going to the house. He walked in to see Bandes and Mareth talking, realizing that he hadn’t seen her at all today. She must have been at someone else’s house, he didn’t think on it anymore.

      “Hello Dwenlin, how are you this fine morning,” said Mareth with a smile.

      “I’m doing good, but this denater tax raising is kind of hard on me, mainly because I don’t know much about this world,” replied Dwenlin, as he took off his boots and coat.

      “Yes, sit down why don’t you we were just talking about that.”

      Dwenlin sat down as Bandes started talking, “The council can’t fix what the people did this morning, the denater will be angry no matter what we do. If we apologize we appear, not only weak but also submissive, which would force us to pay the extra tax. We cannot negotiate with them, since we have beaten some of their soldiers. So our only options would to be, submit to them and pay the extra taxes, or to fight them and rid ourselves of this yoke. This would also help others, since we are the main lumber source for the denater, so their wouldn’t be able to make siege weapons,” Dwenlin looked at Bandes, understanding the problem they had caused themselves.

      “So, of the two options many think we should fight for our freedom, but others think that the denater are not evil, and that the rebellious people are. This caused some argument, which made the meeting much longer than usual. So we took a vote. Of the ten counselors six voted for rebellion, to fight for ourselves, and no longer bear the yoke that we do, no matter how hidden it appears. Off the other four, three voted to submit to the denater. Counselor Grey voted that we do neither, but that we negotiate, he said we could go for ten logs, if not then fifteen, if we are forced to do twenty then we rebel.”

      Dwenlin nodded, this did make sense, he thought, why rebel before trying to negotiate.

      “So this got the elders thinking, and we discussed some more, and then voted again. Eight of the ten elders voted for Grey’s idea, myself included. Two of the same elders voted for submission. So we are going to try to negotiate for a lower tax when the denater come, if that doesn’t work we will declare rebellion. This way we have given ourselves a chance.”

      Dwenlin nodded, thinking about the decision, it did make sense, “I agree with Grey, even though I haven’t met him yet. I like what you agreed on,” said Dwenlin when he was done thinking to himself.

      “Glad you agree, though it makes no difference at all,” replied Bandes.

      “So when do the denater come next?” asked Dwenlin.

      “Within the next few days, if not tomorrow,” said Mareth.

      “I will do the talking, since I have a head on my shoulders. If Grate talks to them, he may kill them. Though he is the most experienced elder.”

      “Makes sense once again, you elders are really good at your job it seems,” said Dwenlin, trying to make some humor in this serious situation.

      Bandes and Mareth smiled, then got up and went into the kitchen, to eat some lunch.

      The next day along, the same as usual with the sun rays peeking through the trees, entering the boys room. Dwenlin got up, and did his daily routine. When he walked outside, he saw Bandes talking with Grate, and an older man, near his fifties.

      Bandes saw Dwenlin walking near, “Grate, Grey, this is Dwenlin, the new boy.”

      Dwenlin smile and shook their hands, “Nice to meet the both of you, I agree with the council’s decision by the way.”

      Grate smiled at that, “Good thing yah did, if not I would have you kicked out!” he said, finishing with a good cackle.

      Grey then spoke, “Thank you Dwenlin, some of the lumberjacks farther out in the forest saw some denater coming this way, they should be here within a few minutes. Want to watch us negotiate?”

      “Of course, I would be happy to join you.”

      They walked over to the first few buildings of the town, awaiting the denater. Soon a company of denater rode up the road on horses, over a dozen of them. Dwenlin tried to look calm, but inside he was nervous, and afraid for his life.

      Bandes and Grey stepped forward, confronting the enemy, while Grate stayed back. The denater stopped in front of Bandes, who walked right up to the head of the lead horse.

      “Your village has rioted, assaulted, and in an indirect way, insulted the denater and our leader, and our beliefs. What do you have to say about your actions, and will you accept the raised tax, made for the purpose of bettering the life on this island?” said the lead horseman, obviously an officer.

      Bandes then spoke, “We have no excuse for our actions, but do regret them. They were thought out and done in anger and contempt. This we cannot change, but we wish to talk about the future, which we can shape with our actions, and decisions this day.”

      The horseman nodded to continue, and Grey began talking, “We do accept the raised taxes, but as the leaders of this village we have concluded that the raised tax is too high for the population to continue in normal daily activities. This raised tax is so high, it would evidently be making us slaves, so we wish that our tax could only be an additional ten logs, not the twenty requested.”

      The horseman looked at both Grey, and Bandes. He looked around at the village noticing that most of the habitants were outside watching the negotiations, “I will send word to my lord, if not ten logs would your village accept fifteen?”

      “Yes,” replied Grey.

      “Alright, I will send word to my lord, telling him of this. When he sends word back, that will be the final decision, whether ten, fifteen, or twenty, whatever is written in that letter is his final answer.” Expect a reply in four of five days’ time. We will camp outside the village,” said the officer, turning around and leading his men out of the city.

      “That went well actually, I didn’t expect such a reply from him,” said Grey

      “Of course we all know that his lord will say no, and we will have to pay twenty,” said Grate

      “Well yes, I do expect that to be the answer.”

      Bandes cut in the conversation, “If so then we stick to the plan, and rebel. I will not have my whole life changed and will not be a slave. Even if I revolt by myself.”

      “Agreed,” said the other men, stating their loyalty indirectly.

      They walked towards the houses in the town, Bandes called the village, and told them the news, not all of them accepted what they did.

      “I don’t think that they will listen to our negotiating, no matter how nice they sound,” said one angry citizen.

      “We realize that,” said Bandes, “We also realize that we have put ourselves in a difficult problem, but we can only blame ourselves for rioting. Whether you joined in that or not, we are as one in our decisions not as many. If most of us rioted, which we did, they see it as the whole village.”

      “Even so,” replied the angry villager, “We do not condemn those who put us in this problem, but I do not like it at all. Why do you even think that negotiating would work? Or did you, was it just a hopeless and futile attempt to save the village from your mistake?” He then ran, and jumped on one of the house steps, to gain a higher few of the villagers.

      “You made the mistake, then you try to hold futile negotiations! You, and the rest of the elders who have agreed to do this new that they would not negotiate with us, but yet you tried. Why? Your weak, you cannot see past your own two feet, and you are not fit to lead this village. I will not stay here and be led by fools. I am leaving, and those who agree can join me, those who don’t are disgraceful.”          

      The man stepped down and walked through the crowd, towards his house. A few followed him and went to their houses, but most stayed. Those who followed glared at the others, accusing them of this.

      Bandes walked up the steps and continued talking, “We may have tried a futile attempt to negotiate, but we wanted to make sure that we had no option but to fight, if we fight. We did not want to fight, before negotiate, that would be more than stupid. We were not weak, but wanted us to be left with no option, to say that we tried everything. If they accept our negotiations we will do it, if not, we will fight!” Then he too stepped down and walked over to his house, Dwenlin, Grey, and Grate following him.

      The rest of the villagers dispersed and went to their homes, most of them nodding their heads at Bandes, agreeing with him.

      The night came quickly and a meeting of friends was held at the Grehul’s house. Grey, Grate, Cate, Dwenlin, Grier, and Mareth sat in a circle in the kitchen, around the table.

      “I think we did all we could, there are always those who doubt, some show it more than others, Witter is a good example of that. He didn’t have the guts to fight, even if he did agree with you,” said Grier.

      “Who is Witter?” asked Dwen.

      “The man who decided to leave with a bang,” said Mareth.

      “Ah I see,” replied Dwenlin, and then leaned back in his chair.

      “I know we did all we could, but I feel partly responsible for the outcome,” said Bandes quietly.

      “Listen, whether or not he agreed with you, he couldn’t stay and fight. Like Grier said he didn’t have to guts, but he needed an excuse to leave, other than being a blasted coward, so he said the council was weak,” said Grey.

      “That’s how I see it,” said Cate.

      “Well, you guys and keep discussing it, I’m going to bed. I have a feeling that tomorrow morning is going to be a busy day,” said Dwenlin with a yawn.

      He walked out of the kitchen to the sound of many good nights, and went to Amedaith’s room. He crept in quietly. He slipped off to bed, and fell asleep quickly, thinking about the future.

© 2015 Ilerah

Author's Note

Help me with grammar, and please comment on story line or anything else you notice.

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Added on October 19, 2015
Last Updated on October 19, 2015



Alberta, Canada

Like writing both poems, and stories. Manly fantasy, but I like a mix. more..