The morning rays pierced through the gap of the satin curtains. The castle's massive library was crammed shelf to shelf with old tomes. Historical and fantastical lore. A few tables and chairs were set up in the center of it, all empty except for one girl. Annette forgot about the world again, losing herself in the images conjured by words. She flipped another page filling the room with the sound of ruffling. She had been at this again for a few good hours, immersing herself in a completely different realm. Someone clearing their throat roused her attention, she ripped her eyes away from the book to look at the silver haired man. He spoke "Aren't you wasting your time reading all this rubbish?" Ann closed the book with a soft 'thunk' noise. Ann shook her head "I don't think this is rubbish, it's quite fascinating" The elder man picked up the book, inspecting it's cover " 'Shadowclaw and Temrin: Origins of the Rulership". He placed it back on the table "Oh Ann, what am I going to do with you?" He grimaced down at the pagebound object "Temrin was our first and most powerful leader, to think that he would share the throne with that Anthro scum is unthinkable" He placed a hand on her shoulder "Now Ann, disregard all these fanciful books of yours and pay attention to what is important." Ann sighed, but before she could speak the man raised a finger in in the air "Actually, I did come to tell you, his majesty requested that you not be late for your swordfight training." He helped her up and led her out of the library. She exited the big metal doors and squinted in the daylight. Outside, from her vantage point on the castle she could see the entire kingdom. Below her, the Mayhem Calvary and Brigade were assembling for training. Not far from there, the Mechanical engineers were working on siege weaponary, the great wooden machines on wheels built for maximum damage. The Northern town of Lutia was at work, people moving in and out of their houses that dotted the rugged mountains and part of the lush green grasslands. Away from the mountain was more of the Mayhem military, guarding the city from outside the stone wall separating them from an empty expanse of grassland. Beyond the near uninhabited patch of grassland, Ann saw the Forbidden Forest, which is what people here called the land of the Anthros. The tall trees spread far and wide, and shrouded the presence of the animal-like creatures. Ann followed the courier down the stone steps, descending lower and lower. She looked up at him "Sir, why do I have to learn how to fight? I am royalty, is that not my duty?" The gray whiskered man grunted "It is now. The King Vancouver has decreed every citizen must have basic military training, regardless of position or rank, or even if you are not in the Mayhem. Even I must learn, and you must learn as well". They were silent as they finally reached the base of the castle passing the legions of military men, standing at attention and brandishing weapons. "Why is that?" she said, looking up at him. He sighed "The king wants an advantage against those brutes to the south. They do not benefit from such intensive training as we do, they have...other benefits" Ann remembered from her reading what he must mean, she had read that the Anthros possessed all abilities of the animals they resemble, as well as the ability to use magic. She didn't know if that was true. She frowned as they passed the gallows, where the body of a recently captured Anthro prisoner swayed. The fox creature's once lustrous orange fur was dull and defiled by blood. His eyes remained open, wide eyed and staring into nothingness. Ann winced and looked away from the creature. Finally, the courier led her to a wooden building, sliding the door open and ushering her in. She gripped her sword and the trainer instructed her as she fought. "What's wrong Ann? Doing worse than usual it seems", the trainer had always praised her in her lessons at how gifted she was using the blade. She muttered "Oh, yeah, I'm fine." ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Wane awoke to a commotion below, his eyes snapped open, looking up at the leafy canopy that filtered the light above, he rolled over on the hammock, looking down at the figures chattering below. He rubbed the sleep out of his eyes and got in a crouch, he jumped down to the ground, landing without injury and standing to his feet. A wolf girl and a ferret girl were talking to a group of other Anthros, waving their hands furiously and speaking quickly. Wane pushed through the wall of furred bodies. "Alright ladies, now what's this all about? He crossed his white furred arms over his chest, lashing his tail impatiently "Must be pretty damn important if you were interrupting my slumber". The ferret scowled at him "This isn't funny Wane, Crimsonpaw is dead!" Wane's eyes widened letting his arms droop to his side "Wait! Are you serious?" The grey wolf placed a paw on the ferret's shoulder as the ferret cast her gaze to the dirt floor, she then bared her teeth at Wane "Yeah we're serious! He left last night to hunt in the grasslands. He must've ventured too close to their side of the land" she said defeatedly. "We saw them capture him, we tried to stop them, but it was too late. They were gone by the time we got there" Wane heard her thoughts as she spoke, of course she was telling the truth, and they were distraught. Especially Rose, he could read it in the ferret girl's eyes as well as her mind that she had a fondness for the fox. 'Note to self' Wane thought 'Don't hit on Rose for awhile until she cools off'. He felt a hiss growing in his throat and then he slashed a tree with his claws, ripping into the bark! "Damn humans! Why does this always have to happen to the best of us?" Crimsonpaw was a quiet, easygoing fox, Wane loved him, as did everyone else who knew him. Except the humans, and that was just another reason to despise them. He walked off in a huff, the fur on the back of his neck standing on end. He meandered through the tree forest, passing by many hollowed out trees and stone dens that the Anthrokind called home. He made it to the forest's edge, leaning against a tree. Far far away he saw the northern mountain kingdom, looming on the horizon. He glared at it angrily "I will kill them all. Someday"