Bright flames licked the dry wood greedily, sending a spray of sparks up in the air and out of the pit a few inches toward the older boy’s worn boots. Though he welcomed the heat it wasn’t enough to warm him up out in the cold with the snow blistering through the camp, sending shivers down anyone’s spine who encountered it. Closing his eyes, he cupped his hands and brought them up to his mouth, where he blew warm breath on the frozen skin. It did little to rise his freezing temperature. Dropping his hands he stepped away from the fire pit and began to walk across the grounds, hoping to reach the sleeping quarters where he could regain some feeling back into his body with an enclosed fire and rich, heavy blankets made of animals’ pelts, but instead a voice called out to him, causing him to reach a stop. He had not even made it halfway to the quarters. At first he didn’t turn around, hoping the source of the voice wouldn’t call again, so that he could make his escape out of the frigid wind and snow. Unfortunately it seemed to be important, because the voice and the call of his name came again, this time more urgent and hedged with impatience.
“Tybalt! Are ye deaf or ’wot? Ge’ ’yer scrawny ass over ’ere.”
A deep sigh left the rebel’s mouth, yet he managed to give a secret roll of his eyes. Alric Hogan looked and sounded like a brute, but to Fabian the threats were nothing but empty. Slowly, he turned around and looked at Hogan across the distance between them, their gazes meeting in a severe staring match. He didn’t look away, but Fabian put an end to it as he finally walked forward and stood before the guard. Hogan reminded Fabian as a miniature giant; he was over six feet, easily, maybe almost halfway to seven, and he was wide with layers of both muscle and fat covering his body. A long, dark grisly beard shrouded half of his face and thick, bushy eyebrows peaked above his small, bottomless pit-like eyes. Dirt was creased into his rough skin, and on his body scars, long-healed boils, and patches of hair covered every inch of him that wasn’t provided with the light armor the guards inside the camp wore. Most of those in the camp avoided looking or coming near to Hogan because of his daunting size and the way he spoke, but Fabian suspected it was also due to the vile stench that rolled off of Hogan’s body in vile waves. Either way, a midget of a giant fit his description well.
“Yes, Hogan? What is it now? I was just about to get some rest before the evening’s training.” Throughout the day, various training sessions were held for the rebels of the camp. It was always active in the camp, and never a dull minute ticked by. The Uprising was too busy for dull moments to sneak in. Even during late hours, when most of the camp was asleep, there was always someone out and about doing something; whether it were training, writing encoded letters, hunting out in the forest, taking care of the animals, or simply enjoying the presence of the night. During waking hours, there was scarcely time to take a moment to enjoy the day or weather itself; everyone’s focus in the Rebellion was on something else entirely. Say, bringing down the king and his demonized rulership, for example. For that was the spark to the fire of the Uprising.
When King Hector began his reign after the death of his father the kingdom of Dentara fell to a miserable ruin. The king’s ways were dark, twisted, malicious. The people of the land grew to fear and despise him, some taking the risk of standing up for their well-being, only to be imprisoned or executed for their right of free speech. The rise of taxes and bitterness of the king was only the beginning, and didn’t cease after the executions. The murders of innocent people continued and the high price of taxes steadily increased again. Dentara fell into poverty and anguish, a once great, proud land now drowned out with misery, disease, pain, and the evil the new ruler bathed in. Those that defied the king, but were careful not to show or speak it, shared secret whispers of a rebellion. The rebellion. The Rebellion—or Uprising—that Fabian was now apart of, and glad to be.
Curling his lips back to reveal yellowed, broken teeth, Hogan growled. “There is no time for rest, boy. Rarl Fenwick wants to see you before ’im.”
A shock of surprise went through Fabian. “He does?”
“Of course he does! Do ye think I stand round bellowing orders from the Admiral for not’in?”
“No, Hogan,” replied Fabian with a small shake of his head. His surprise hadn’t receded, however. Rarl Fenwick—the Admiral—the leader of the Rebellion—the one who started this uprising—wanted to see him.