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Desperate Times...Desperate Measures

Zadonia

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a part of Desperate Times...Desperate Measures, by ArabellaDemonte.

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ArabellaDemonte holds sovereignty over Zadonia, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Zadonia

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Zadonia is a part of Desperate Times...Desperate Measures.

1 Places in Zadonia:

5 Characters Here

Mala [0] The Gypsy
Vorus Helmich [0] Royal Knight of Tonstria duty bound to fight
Elegost Tonstria [0] Prince of Tonstria
Isabella Zadonia [0] The 17 year old Princess of Zadonia with a couple hidden secrets
Ratheric Vennor [0] Ratch is nothing short of a punk. He honestly needs a spanking, but he refuses to let anyone give it to him without a fight.

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Isabella clutched the reins leading to her Vanner stallion’s bit with a tightness she had never known. She hadn’t spoken to any of the knights around her as they rode onto the battlefield for fear that they may just recognize her voice. But the doubts in her mind escalated as the sight of the enemy army came up over the hill…much larger in numbers than their own. Pluto slowly shifted beneath her trying to adjust to his new position as war horse. She had been training him but he had never been around so much tension before and at four years old he was a bit young to handle such new occurances.

The call for a charge rang through her ears and her reaction was delayed but she finally urged her stallion onto into a gallop, trying to keep from interfering with the knights charging around her. It all seemed to go in slow motion the arrows flying and the sounds of the blades clashing…She reached for her own drawing it and keeping it at the ready. She hunkered down ready to make impact when Pluto suddenly cut to the side nearly sending her flying through the air. She managed to hang onto both her sword and steed as they ran straight towards a small cluster of enemy knights. She knew now that this was trouble as they reeled around readying their weapons.

She rode straight through the group, slashing with her sword enough so that they backed off from her allowing her an escape on through. But Pluto was out of control, the darn horse had lost his mind as he ignored any cue of rein or boot from his rider. This could be the end for her and she knew this fact very well as the horse tore through the enemy crowd. She had arrows shot at her left and right and swords being thrust at both her and her Vanner stallion…and all she could do was hang on and hope for the best.

As she rode she thrusted her sword to the side making impact with a few of the knights until she felt a sharp pain through her back. She lifted a small portion of her helmet to find that she was on the ground…and her stallion was steadily gaining distance from her. She muttered a series of rather unladylike words then turned to see the Prince upon his mount right in front of her. She readied her sword as her blue hues narrowed into a glare.

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#, as written by Lerro
The sound of Elegost's armor clanging together echoed through the dark night as he led the army to the top of a large hill. His black cape fluttered in the wind and Ebony snorted as she sensed that a battle was about to begin. The knights, horsemen and archers around the prince of Tonstria all kept silent as they finally reached the hill, peering down at their enemy. Zadonia was weak. They had endured countless battles with Tonstria and had held there own extremely well, but now the odds were against them.

"This shouldn't last long." said a voice next to Elegost. It was Faros, the general of the prince's army. He was Elegost's right hand man and forever loyal to the house of Tonstria.

"We shouldn't underestimate them. That's cost us several battles in the past." said Elegost, resting a hand on the hilt of his sword, the ruby on it shining in the moonlight.

Suddenly, Elegost could hear the men shout their war cries as they begun their charge. The prince had seen many battles before, but the war cries of the warriors below sent a shiver up his spine. They were desperate. So desperate that they were going to make this victory as difficult as possible for Elegost to take, and he knew it.

"Orders?" asked Faros.

"Send them a volley." answered the prince.

Faros nodded, unsheathed his sword and gave his archers the command. Immediately, arrows were fired into the air simultaneously as the massive horde of enemy knights charged towards them. Several fell beneath the pounding of arrows, but it wasn't big enough to make even a dent in the ranks. As they continued up to the hill, Elegost gave the command to send in his knights. They all roared with anger as they unsheathed their weapons and charged down the hill, smashing into enemy horsemen. Just then, something strange and remarkable happened that Elegost did not intend. A single enemy knight broke forth from his group and charged the ranks alone!

"Brave," Elegost smirked, "but very foolish. I knew they were desperate, but that is absurd."

Elegost continued to watch on in disappointment as the single knight headed toward a group of warriors waiting for him. He hated seeing men, even enemies, be overrun helplessly. However, this knight seemed to be unstoppable. He charged into the crowd as quick as lightening, somehow pushing through successfully! The prince looked on in awe as his warriors fell to the ground all around the lone knight, who then continued to push forward.

"The man wants to die." Elegost said amazed. "He dares to charge my own ranks alone, look at him!"

"If I didn't know better, I'd say you admire him." said Faros smiling.

"I've never seen someone like him before. He fights like a one man army. However, I cannot allow it to continue. Keep control of the archers and cover me."

Elegost kicked Ebony's side, pushing her forward into the battle. He came alongside his own men who were under attack and ran across a horde of enemy knights. They all fell as he swung his broadsword with several quick strokes, then pressed on after the knight who had charged his ranks alone. The warrior was still fighting when Elegost caught up to him and swung his sword. The blow hit the knight's back, causing him to fall off his steed and onto the ground. The knights surrounding him raised there weapons to finish him off but Elegost raised a hand, "He's mine!"

The young 19 year old slid off his horse and walked over to his enemy, sword and shield in hand just in case the warrior wasn't done causing chaos. "Never before has anyone charged my ranks alone and caused so much damage as you, Zadonia knight. It saddens me that you are my enemy. Such a warrior as you does not deserve defeat." Elegost said with a sad tone, preparing to deliver the final blow.

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Isabella blinked as she was surrounded, she hadn’t expected all of this she just wanted to ride into a battle but she was about to die. As she had scrambled to her feet she dropped her sword to the ground grunting softly at her clumsiness. She swiftly leaned down to snatch it back up but as she rose back to an upright position her helmet flew from her head knocking one of the knights in the head. As the helmet fell from her head her curly brown tresses cascaded down to her shoulders…a true beauty in that suit of armor.

She didn’t know what to do now that her cover was blown. Running was not an option considering the group of enemy knights surrounding her and well fighting would be suicide. She thought for a minute that maybe they would just think of her as a common woman and dismiss her from the scene. But that would be hard considering the Zadonian beauty that seemed to shine through in any situation ,but the pendant. She snatched it from her neck, if those knights saw her pendant they would know her identity for sure. Her capture could mean the end of the war in a bad way and oh her brothers and Fathers would never let something like that lie.

As she snatched the pendant she threw it to the ground and stomped her iron boot over the jewelry. She spoke out in a soft tone only a seventeen year old young lady could manage “I didn’t mean to cause the damage…my stallion he got spooked and ran but heh what happens, happens I suppose…but I think we should just let sleeping dogs lie because frankly I wasn’t supposed to be out there…my Father the K….Carpenter! Yeah the carpenter…he will freak out if he learned that I rode out into battle…so how about we keep this our little secret and I just run off eh?”

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#, as written by Lerro
Suddenly, something very odd and surprising happened. The incredibly skilled enemy warrior was standing up from retrieving his sword when his helmet flew off. With the iron mask gone from the knight's face, Elegost realized that this wasn't a man at all, but a woman! A young teenage girl in fact, somewhere close to his own age. For the first time in his life, Elegost was caught off guard. Before him stood a beautiful girl with long brown curls falling from her head and resting on her armor. He was speechless. What was such a beautiful girl doing here?! He had almost killed her! Even if she was with the enemy, he would of never forgiven himself for killing a girl. Before he had a chance to ask any questions, the beautiful rose among the thorns spoke up.

“I didn’t mean to cause the damage…my stallion he got spooked and ran but heh what happens, happens I suppose…but I think we should just let sleeping dogs lie because frankly I wasn’t supposed to be out there…my Father the K….Carpenter! Yeah the carpenter…he will freak out if he learned that I rode out into battle…so how about we keep this our little secret and I just run off eh?”

Elegost almost didn't hear a word the girl said. Her voice matched her physical beauty and caused him to just look at her in silence and in awe. Suddenly, he shook his head and re-focused himself on what was going on. This girl was the enemy, and she had to be dealt with.

"You killed a few of my men girl, intentional or by accident doesn't matter. You deserve death." the words were very hard for him to say, but he didn't let it show. He kept his voice harsh and firm. He prepared to thrust his blade into her...but then lowered his guard. He couldn't do it. "You there, knight!" He called. "Ride over to Faros and tell him that I have retired from the field. This battle is his now."

"Yes my prince!" The knight said and then disappeared into the darkness.

"And as for you," he walked over and grabbed the girl's arm, "you're coming with me. You do not belong here, it is far too dangerous. Do anything stupid and I won't hesitate a second time in killing you."

He forced her to climb onto his nearby steed, Ebony, and then climbed on after her, keeping his sword unsheathed just in case he had to end her. He intended to get some answers from her and decide what to do with her while Faros took care of the battle. They both rode out into the night until they were a safe distance from the fighting, but close enough to see the carnage.

"Now then," Elegost began, several questions coming to mind as he pulled off his helmet and stuffing it under his arm, "who are you? What are you doing here on this field? You could of gotten yourself killed, girl. Are you from Zadonia? Speak up!"

Sure he probably was asking too many questions, but finding a girl like her in a chaotic situation like that had startled him, and he wanted some answers.

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Isabella was at a loss on what to say or do while around the stranger, she knew she was seconds away from death and there is nothing she could do. Maybe it was time to tell the truth…it was at least worth a shot I mean he would for sure kill her if she kept her rank a secret. She had to take a deep breath, glancing to the enemy Knights a good ways on the field. Thoughts of escape were certainly out of the question now and with a gentle shake of her head she spoke softly.

“I…yes I am from Zadonia,and why I’m here? Well I’m asking myself that same question now Sir…I’m not even supposed to step outside the walls let alone on a battlefield but I wanted to help I was tired of standing aside and I certainly couldn’t bear to do so any longer….”

She paused for a second before continuing then glanced to her Father still in battle “Would you…could you….help my Father? I don’t want to see him killed that’s part of the reason I’m here today he is getting older and I wanted to keep an eye on him but then my stupid horse decided to take off right through enemy lines and well here I am…” She holds her delicate hand out forcing her soft rosey lips to curve into a sincere smile. “My name is Isabella…”

She waited quietly with her small hand extended tilting her head slightly as she waited…she was ready though if he did try anything. She was indeed a Princess and a female but she seemed to not know fear as well as most and in this case she hoped her sly talking had avoided her death for at least a bit. But even if he did free her disguise was blown…she would certainly be caught by members of her country which would transfer to her Mother who would ring her neck for sure. Suddenly this whole thing just didn’t seem worth it anymore…

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#, as written by Lerro
Elegost listened patiently as the girl finally spoke the truth to him. Or at least, she said it was the truth. Elegost had learned not to believe everything someone said at first, especially if that someone was his enemy. it was the last thing that the girl said that intrigued Elegost the most, and at first he thought he was being lied to.

“My name is Isabella…”

He had heard the name countless times before. Isabella, the princess of Zadonia. The rumors of her beauty were true indeed, if this really was the Zadonian princess. More questions came to mind, such as how a princess managed to sneak into the ranks of her father's army. The prince held his questions for later, deciding there would be another time for it.

"Lady Isabella...you bear the beauty and description of the Zadonian princess." He said, having no choice but to trust that she was being true to her word. He paced back and forth, arms crossed and head down. He needed to think of something. He couldn't just let her go. This was a chance for victory that he would never get hold of again.

"Your father," Elegost spoke up now, an idea being cooked inside his mind, "will die this very night at my hand. You will have no way of stopping me or my knights. Unless...you come back to my city. Usually my prisoners would have no choice but to do my wish, but seeing as though you are indeed a princess, I will give you a choice. Freedom is yours. Take it and leave but know that your father will not see the sunlight of tomorrow. Come to Tonstria as my prisoner, and I will call my men to retreat. Your father will take the field and remain unharmed. From there, I'll decide when and how you return home."

He paused as he saw Isabella's hand reaching out towards him. He almost grabbed it without thinking. No you fool, he thought she is the enemy. She could be tricking you. Stay strong, you have no time to become a softy. He ignored her outreaching hand, but decided she deserved to know who he was.

"Elegost." He said his slowly as if unsure if he really wanted her to know to. "Make a choice, my lady."

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Isabella’s heart dropped at the choice she was given…to go home with this handsome man would surely be the end of her. She had heard stories of what happened to prisoners and the thought this could be her fate send a shiver through her spine. But it was to save her Father…if it was her life for her Father’s she would gladly take the choice. Her Kingdom was in enough peril as of right now and needed to retain their familiar leader.

With a heavy heart and a light sigh she nodded gently “I will go…but just as long as my Father remains unharmed, neither my Mother nor the people could bear the loss right now…” She was about to continue when a thundering of hooves could be heard bounding towards them, none other than that coward horse of hers had returned to his rider…a bit late in his loyalty but loyal none the less.

Isabella planted her face into her palm for a few seconds before looking up “For real Pluto…you come now? I could have used you back there,but at least you c…” Her sentence was cut off as Pluto began to nicker in a flirting manner towards Ebony. “What the…you…ugh men…”

She gently pat Ebony and rolled her eyes “You know I wouldn’t say a damn thing right now if you kicked the Hell out of the fool horse…leaving me then coming back only for a mare I swear…” Her tendency to get a bit…off topic was clearly evident in this case as she bit her lip trying to stifle a giggle. Here she was…potentially about to be killed…trying to stop laughing. She had to shake it off a bit before turning back to the man who had revealed himself as the Prince “Ah…well…as I said I will go with you but if I have to stay in a prison cell can I at least have a pillow? You know a comfy one?”

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The snorting of horses and the rattle of armor as the chivalry on both sides of this pointless battle stared each other down across the wide expanse. Although the forces of his King commanded greater numbers and more important knights the enemy was without their merits.True armor clad knights usually would take the field every time the Zadonian army had more then one trick hidden up their shirts.

" Peasant swine, they think to break our lines with beggars and street urchins." The man next to him said. Doris by name he like all knights had undergone the pilgrimage although the lesson had fail to make an impression. No doubt Doris though it a mere inconvenience that just slowed his taking of his rightful position in the Grand Game of Life.

" Perhaps Ser Doris but I hardly think that is their Plan A as it where. Besides perhaps they merely intend to tire our sword arms out then send in the real forces as it where." Vorus replied in the studied neutral tone, no point in taking offense at Doris's words the man was as a minnow in this battle of the big fish. Besides sometimes Vorus felt the same about whatever enemy he was fighting. The knights of Tonstria where without equal but the same could not be said of their leadership.Cocky to a fault and twice as stubborn as the donkeys the farmers carried their produce to market with. As evident by the totally preventable defeats they had suffered. But then again a King and council that where smart and wise would just make life too easy wouldn't it. Vorus smirked, which caused Doris to laugh. For Vorus did not as many knights did wear a helmet considering the ability to see sideways worth the tradeoff of losing the minimal protection the helmet gave.After all helmet or not one good whack with mace upside the head and your going down, doesn't matter which smith worked on the helmet.

Amidst his thoughts and banter with Doris came the call to Attention. Snapping the reins of his stallion, a black with a foul temper and a tendency to kick and bite during battle. Vorus had something of a fondness for foul tempered blacks, a legacy of his training as a squire. The predictable enemy charge which was met with the even more predictable volley of arrows which lo and behold barely made a dent in their numbers.Honestly why bother wasting the arrows. Vorus thought with contempt. Nearly 31 years of fighting battles and wars and their tactics had not changed a whit.


Now came the order to charge and lances in hand the chivalry did just that. Riding mounts bred and trained for war the knights where admittedly a fine sight. All flashing armor and silk capes dyed the colors of their houses, snorting horses they seemed unstoppable force. Like a wave breaking on the shore they plunged deep into the enemy. Lances impaled their targets and where traded for swor, mace, and axe. Then the brutal carnage began., screams filled the air as the poorly armored infantry met the fine steel the Knights wielded. Realizing the steel clad knights made poor targets the enemy aimed for the horses. Knights came tumbling down but Vorus with a lifetime of battle rolled back up his sword and shield leading. Pivot, strike, thrust, spin, rise shield, shield smash followed by a vicious downward slash. He moved with the same grace and speed he had when he was 16. Nothing could stop him. And that was what had this veteran Knight worried, surely the enemy must have something more to offer then this.


But trapped in the bloody melee of the battle all Vorus could see was the proud standard of Tonstria being carried deeper into the ranks of the enemy.Pivot,thrust, thrust shield up then sideways, lash out with foot, impale falling enemy with blade, pull out, duck low to avoid spear.

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#, as written by Lerro
"You have my word that your father will not be harmed." Elegost smiled, happy that they had come to an agreement. Just then, the horse that had rode Isabella into battle appeared out of the darkness. The prince pulled Ebony away from Pluto, annoyed by the witless steed. "Never mind them," Elegost said climbing onto his horse, "I have a promise to keep. i will allow you to ride your horse but if it even looks as if you are attempting to escape, I will plunge all of my knights into your father's ranks. Stay close to me."

Once the princess had finally mounted her crazy horse, Elegost pushed Ebony into a fierce gallop back towards the battle. Tonstria continued to gain the advantage in the fight, but Zadonia still had more than enough warriors to keep fighting. Elegost wasn't sure if his men would even agree to pull back. Not after almost tasting victory. He found Faros still in the back with the archers, firing several arrows with a bow of his own.

"Sound the retreat, Faros."

"Excuse me? My prince you cannot be serious! We have almost taken the field!"

"Contiuing this battle will cause us to have unbelievable losses. I'm not going to let my men die when I can provide them an alternative." Elegost barked back, nodding towards his princess prisoner. At first Faros did not understand, staring at the beautiful girl in armor. Then he understood.

"Princess?"

"Yes. Sound the retreat. Pull them back. We will speak further on this when we get back to Tonstria."

"Vorus will not be pleased." Faros said in a worried tone, spotting the fearless warrior cutting down several enemies that surrounded him.

"I'm not here to please him. Pull them back and make for Tonstria." the prince then turned to the girl and tilted his head, "Satisfied?"

Tonstria horns washed over the sounds of battle, reaching the ears of every warrior, friendly and hostile. "RETREAT!" Faros's voice exploded through the darkness as he gave the command. It took some time, but the knights obeyed the order and pulled back, trotting in the direction of prince Elegost.

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Isabella followed his orders and climbed upon her young Vanner stallion who simply pranced and snorted trying to show off for Ebony. He kicked up with his feet a bit as Isabella stayed close to the Prince, a playful smirk upon her face. She would go as prisoner as agreed but she knew deep down she would make the Prince’s life a living Hell as long as he kept her as such. She would be careful, as to not risk her Father’s safety but when she was done her capture would be regretted by everyone involved.

Pluto began to pace as the group of knights neared him,they looked so mean and uninviting to him and simply not horse-like at all. When they trot close enough Pluto nipped playfully at a few of them,only to receive a pop on the neck by his small rider. “Stop it now…you have got me into too much trouble today already it’s your fault we are here anyway least you can do is behave!”

She heard the call for the retreat and sighed lightly, at least he was keeping up the end of his bargain so far,he had better continue or else, well she didn’t have her sword…but her dagger! She slid a delicate hand down her slender thigh all the way to her boot and pulled out the crimson handle steel blade. She kept her other hand tight on the reins as she held onto the dagger hiding it behind her back.

All she had to do was wait for the Prince to get close enough…he was already off guard and if she killed him it would deal a severe blow to the army for the time being at least giving her Kingdom a chance to win…once and for all.

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Vorus caught up as he was with the main bulk of the Zadonia army was hard pressed. He and the men he lead where making much progress into the ranks of the latest nation to be declared an enemy by the fool King of Tonstria. Exactly what did such a weak nation do to us to deserve the flower of it's youth culled, to have it's sage's wisdom poured upon the blood stained ground. An unnecessary thought in the middle of battle but even with thougt distracting him the Veteran Knight was pressing in, Every sword stroke bringing him and his unit closer to the rear of the Zadonia forces. Soon the field would theirs, then a march too the Capital city of their enemy. And another victory underneath the Tonstria armies belt, and more spoils for their ever greedy king.

But fate is a fickle mistress and what seemed to be victory turned into retreat, the horns ringing clear even over the screaming of the wounded and the clashing of steel. Now there is a sound I have not heard some time, I wonder....No that blowhard Faros would never order a retreat under these circumstances. The man is like a attack dog, he never lets go when he tastes blood. He mused as he and the unit under his command slashed their way back through the seemingly content enemy. No doubt relived to be spared further slaughter. Maybe the Prince, he was always on the emotional side then again he is still young and mostly green. But our losses are hardly staggering, I wonder... He thought as he finally breached the enemy ranks with his unit in tow.

Truth be told Vorus was more puzzled then anything by the retreat order. Such methods where not Faros's ways and the Prince with his no doubt clear view of the field could see it was mainly a one sided slaughter. But the Veteran Knight was somewhat glad to quit the field, slaughtering the small folk always left a sour taste in his mouth. He was a Knight covered in the finest steel money could buy,using weapons a peasant could only dream of, with a lifetime of battle behind him. It always felt wrong to war against such nations who even when against the wall couldn't muster a defense that was worth mentioning. " If that brat wasn't the Prince I'd give him a piece of my mind. Ordering a Mithra forsaken retreat just as victory was ours. His wet nurse must failed to give him enough hits across the backside. Nothing like a beating to beat some sense into a child." A Knight of Vorus's unit side behind him, his voice filled with scorn as he unsuccessfully tried to keep up with the mounted knights and remove the twisted helmet off his head. Many knights had lost their mounts in the initial charge into the enemy ranks, Vorus among them.

" He is still green and young Ser Gungthir, we all make mistakes when we are young." Vorus said more in effort to be diplomatic then an actual defense of the Prince. No doubt their is a real reason behind this then mere fear of a new commander. He thought with some concern, Vorus did not like surprises. For they tended to be of the ill omen type.

" Maybe, but this Prince of ours has gotten to learn quicker then we did. We mess up it only cost us our lives. Like or not our lives are in his hands. And he's got to learn war is no tourney waged on a bright sunny afternoon with a feast afterward." Ser Gungthir replied as the trudged alongside the other knights who found themselves without mounts. The enemy had so far had shown no tendency to attack them as they marched off but Vorus along with every other unit commander sent rear guards to reinforce the watch.

" I suppose your right but the Prince must have some reason. After all he has Faros to advise him.." Vorus said in return taking a few deep breaths.

In reply Ser Gungthir made a rude sign not commonly seen amongst the nobility. Faros was respected among the ranks as a capable commander and warrior but his loyalty to a fault earned him much scorn. It was rumored the man would do anything the King asked of him and even amongst the mostly amoral Knights of Tonstria that was considered a sin. Even they would not cross some lines, more then one knight had met his end on the headsman block for disobeying the King. " That's what I think of Faros. I tell you Ser Vorus it's like each new king is greedier, meaner, and stupider then the last."


" Well at least there is some hope in this Prince, he only thus far shares his father's face."

" Perhaps Ser Vorus but he is too much of a soft touch to be a King. Don't get me wrong I am glad he isn't the iron fisted tyrant his father is but he is going to need some backbone to rule a kingdom like Tonstria. Our commanders are skilled and well liked amongst the ranks, us knights are numerous and skilled, our borders stretch far, and our vaults are filled with the spoils of our countless victories. If the Prince isn't careful his soft heart will be his doom."

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Ratch sighed loudly. He hated the night time. It was so boring, inactive, and uneventful...and worst of all, he couldnt sleep. It drove him mad simply lying in bed, waiting for sleep to embrace him. He couldnt do it. He needed to do something untill he felt tired. He rose from his bed, pushing his blankets from his form. He got dressed quickly and quietly, putting on his usual outfit. He strapped on his boots, and opened his bedroom window. He felt the cool night breeze, causing him to smile. He liked the cold better than the heat. He walked to his bed again, reaching under it. He pulled out his harness and all of his gear. He fastened it onto himself taking quick inventory, before nodding to himself. He walked to the window, gripping the top of the frame, and lifting his legs, swinging out of the house, landing on the ground only a few feet from the the window. He smirked, closing the window, leaving it barely cracked for later. He started out onto the cobblestone road, and began to walk.

He lived in the village town closest to the castle, and he knew the castle wasnt far. He also knew the Prince: Elegost. They didnt know eachother personally, nor had they ever spoken. But he had seen and heard the man. Ratch thought most nobles could be stabbed with rusted nails, but the Prince wasnt all bad. At least he had a good blade arm, supposedly. Beyond that, he cared not for nobles. He continued thinking as he moved down the completely dark street. He needed to work on his own weaponry. And he had just the place in mind.

Ratch reached his destination: A small outpost outside of the town. It was little more than a watchtower, and a storehouse, but it had been abandoned for a while. The Tonstrian army had deserted it for unknown reasons, but never took it back. Ratch found it odd...especially now that Zadonia and Tonstria were at war. But he didnt care either way. He now had a little hangout. He walked into the middle of the grounds, and looked around. Sure enough. Deserted. He smirked to himself. He walked to the warehouse, and pushed open the door. It was pitch-black inside, and hard to distingush what was what. He stumbled into the darkness, and felt his surroundings, before his hand hit something. It was metal. He felt along its shape....it was a lantern. Perfect! Now...to find something to light it. His hand ventured further along untill it hit another metal object. He grasped it firmly in his hand, and brought it close to his face. He was in luck; it was a flint striker. He moved back over to the lantern, and opened it up. It wasnt hooded, luckily, so he reached inside, and struck the flint a few times against the striking rod, and sparks rose from the rock, catching quickly to the wick. The room was illuminated to him, and he looked around. The room was filled with dust, and rats skittered from the rays of light.

Ratch walked back outside, placing the light on a nearby barrel, letting the radiating light fill about a twenty foot radius around it. Ratch could now see enough for his purpose. He wasnt going to do anything extensive, simply practice a bit. He pulled his axe from his back, taking his fighting stance. He imagined his foe in front of him; a Zadonian knight, covered in chainmail armor. He swung at his make-believe target, bringing his axe down in a wide crecsent. "One!" he counted aloud as he brough his axe back to his ready stance, before swinging again, repeating as quickly as possible. "Two! Three! Four!..." He continued. It wasnt much of a practice as it was an exercise. He went on untill he hit 50. He then switched from vertical strikes to horizontal ones. Swinging back and forth....he repeated this as well, the same as before.

After he had gotten in his axe swings, he worked on his next weapon. He put his axe on his back, and walked over to the lantern. He picked up a barrel beside the one that was bearing the lamp. He drug it over to the center of the light. He took a few steps back to the border of the luminated ring. He reached to his belt, and pulled out a fairly large hunk of lead. It was very heavy for it's size, as dense as lead is. He gripped the ball tightly, before leaning back...he took a large step forward, and pitched the lead right at the barrel. The barrel gave way to the mass against it, and broke, making a sizable hole in the barrel. It was hollow, so nothing flowed out. Ratch only grinned, as he rubbed his throwing shoulder. It was an impressive throw, and it would be least to say, anyone hit by the projectile would be stunned in the least. Bone wasnt much tougher than wood, so if the foe was unarmored, he might be able to cripple them... He walked to the barrel, and reached inside the hole, reaquiring the ball, before slipping it back into it's pouch.

He turned the barrel around, and pulled out a unique 'toy'. His boomerang with pointed tips. He wheeled his arm back, and hurled the curved bladed...curve... at the barrel. The makeshift weapon flew to the side, and missed it's target entirely. "Still need some work with that thing." He said aloud to himself. "Though, I couldnt throw those things in the first place." He walked, and reclaimed the boomerang, before hooking it again on his belt.

Lastly, was his second favorite weapon, only next to his axe...he had actually made the item from a blacksmith's scraps, and an old leather glove. It was a glove, covered in steel hunks. It was a makeshift cestus, except...less spikey. He pulled the glove on over his normal handwear, seeing how it was a little bigger anyway, and clenched his fist. It fit well. He walked to the barrel. Stopping about two feet from it. He then took a large step towards the barrel, and yelled fiercely. "Ruuuah!" he cried out as the metal fist contacted with the barrel, causing it to tumble back a few feet. It was hollow, so it was no surprise that it went distance. He went to examine the barrel, which was now on it's side. No break. Not even a crack. Ratch was strong, but not enough to simply break a reinforced barrel. He shrugged, and set the barrel up again, again assualting it with a punch.

This time, he left the barrel on the ground, and put a foot on it, as if he was holding an enemy down. He then began to pummel the face of his imaginary foe, blow after blow. The flow of his punches began to slow, as his wollops began to weaken. He panted, and dealt one last solid blow to the barrel. He looked down at the target. The wood had cracked against his assault, causing him to smile madly. After all that, he finally began to break the barrel. The pride he felt was unbelievable, and seemed to give him a second wind. "Haha! How do you like me now, barrel!?" He pushed off on the container, and watched the barrel roll into the distance, out of the sphere of light. He panted, still tired after the assault. He smirked, knowing he could cause injury with his fist...or as long as he had his special glove weapon.

Finally, he felt a tad tired. He walked over, and picked up the lantern, and walked over to the watch tower. He placed the handle in his mouth, holding it with his teeth, and began to climb the ladder. Once he reached the top, he took the lantern from his mouth, and set it on the ground. There was just enough room up here for the boy to strech out all the way, which he did. He pressed his back to a wall, and let his legs strech all the way. His eyes began to close...

And he waited. And waited. But yet still sleep didnt take him. He groaned in annoyance, before standing up again. He looked out from the watch tower, his eyes on the horizon. He supposed he'd have to wait to fall asleep....