A story about the life of Ulyese Ratsherr.
by Jacob Rosenlund
"Ben Zauberer, step forward," boomed the High Councilman.
A tall man with matted, long, black hair, and sunken maroon eyes, was roughly jostled to his feet by two guards at his sides, and dragged towards the speaker and the other twelve men sitting around the curved, council table.
"You have hereby been charged with killing the Head Wizard, Magier. Do you deny it?" asked the Head Councilman authoritatively.
Ben said nothing, for he was a proud man, who did not like to admit his wrongdoings.
"Do you deny it?" the Head Councilman asked for the second time.
Again, Ben said nothing.
"Do you deny it?" the Councilman inquired for the third time.
After a long time, in which nothing transpired; one of the thirteen councilmen, picked up his gavel and slammed it down on the council table, and declared, "The defendant says nothing. I move to have him banished from Grer Baum for thirteen years."
"Very well," said the Head Councilman, "does anyone second Councilman Ratsherr's movement?"
"I do," stated one of the other councilmen.
"As do I," another councilman said.
"I do, as well," another one of the thirteen consented.
One by one, they all condemned Ben to thirteen years of banishment.
"No! No, please don't!" cried Ben desperately, who knew what happened to the men who were banished, "Please, don't banish me!"
"The council has spoken," boomed the High Councilman, trying to talk over the desperate cries of Ben Zauberer, "You have been banished to the forest known as the Grer Baum Forest. Your banishment begins in a tenday."
At that, the two guards dragged Ben towards the double doors of the Council Hall, but the struggling Ben Zauberer managed to break free of the guards' strong grasp. Ben then ran about two-thirds of the way from the guards towards the councilmembers who were still seated at the council table. Just before the desperate man reached the table, the guards grabbed him and started to drag him back to the Council Hall's doors.
"You will pay!" Yelled Ben with the voice of a madman, "Ratsherr! You will pay!"
All of the councilmen were revolted by the madness of the man being dragged off by the guards.
"I will get my revenge on you!" Ben said while he stared at Ratsherr with bloodthirsty eyes, "I will-"
Just then one of the guards placed a gag inside of Ben's mouth before he was able to finish yelling his oath of vengeance at Ratsherr. The guards then managed to drag Ben Zauberer to the open, double doors and dragged him outside onto the busy side street, that ran in front of the Council hall. The guards carried Ben across the town and into a small jail cell where they promptly locked him inside.
The council members were still seated around the table when the two guards that had dragged Ben through the town came back.
"Ben Zauberer has been placed in jail, your honor," announced one of the guards.
"Good," replied the High Councilman, "You may be dismissed," He said with a wave of his hand. The two guards then left the council hall, and when the heavy mahogany doors closed behind them, the entire council relaxed visibly.
"Outrageous!" Bellowed one of the thirteen men, "Can you believe how much more evil there is in this town? This was the ninth trial for murder, this month let alone this year!"
"Quiet yourself, Widerlich," said another one of the other councilmen.
"We can do more good by continuing to do what we are supposed to do, than by complaining about what we are supposed to be doing," Councilman Ratsherr said to the group, "I would rather die than see this town fall to chaos and crime."
With that, Heroisch Ratsherr, left the council table, and walked out the doors into the bustling street that ran in front of the large stone Council Hall.
"Why must there be so much evil in the world?" He thought as he continued down the road, "Why can't everyone get along?"
As he walked down the street, a small group of children ran up to him. Heroisch smiled, kneeled down, and gave them each of them one Copper Piece.
The children all thanked him kindly and ran back off towards their homes, eager to show their parents what they had gotten from Councilman Ratsherr.
As soon as the children left, Heroisch stood back up and continued on his way. As he walked down the street, he realized the answer to his question, "Because without evil, the goodness in this world would not be as sweet,"
"He's late." huffed a short, bald, portly, man, with greedy piggish eyes. He was sitting on a fairly large crate in an alleyway at the back of the Sleeping Stallion Inn.
"He never gets here on time," the man grumbled again.
"Perhaps you are just early, Gavin," said a cloaked figure with a smooth, but cold voice.
Startled, Gavin spun around to face the cloaked man and, upon realizing who it was, became even more aggravated than before and said, "You said for me to meet you behind this beastly inn at about noon, and you said it was preferable for me to not bring my sword? and, I might add, while waiting for you, I was robbed of twenty-three Gold Pieces."
"Silence!" the cloaked man hissed, "I do not care for your petty problems. Have you disposed of the man responsible for my banishment?"
"No. No, I did not," said Gavin clearly fearful of what the cloaked man's reaction would be.
"If you cannot complete such a trivial task as killing Heroisch Ratsherr, then you are of no more use to me," growled the cloaked figure. As the cloaked man said this, he pulled a small dagger out of his pocket.
"Wait!" Gavin exclaimed fearfully, "it wasn't my fault!"
"What do you mean it wasn't your fault, you blundering fool!" With this violent exclamation, the cloaked man lunged at Gavin Who dove out of the way, but not quite quick enough, for the small dagger grazed him, leaving a large red gash on his left shoulder.
Immediately, Gavin yelped in pain, and crumpled to the floor in a heap, he then said through clenched teeth, "I couldn't have killed Heroisch because he was never alone. I would have been caught."
"How should I get rid of Heroisch, now that you have failed?" the cloaked man asked, after cooling down from his initial rage.
Gavin hastily anxious to redeem himself, said, "I will go dispose of him as soon as possible."
"No!" bellowed the cloaked man, "You have still failed at killing Ratsherr. So how will you fare any better at it this time?"
"Enough!" the cloaked man said with a dangerous look in his eyes, "I will be the one to kill Heroisch Ratsherr. For I fear that you might fail again at this task just as you have the last time."
"But it wasn't me!" Gavin said desperately.
"No matter," the cloaked man said with a dismissive wave of his hand, "You still failed, therefore your use to me has ended."
"No, please don't." Gavin pleaded, "Please. Have mercy."
"I have already shown you enough mercy," the cloaked figure snapped. With that, the cloaked man dove towards Gavin, but Gavin managed to get away just in time to avoid the vicious jab. The cloaked man swiped at Gavin, Gavin dodged again. The cloaked man, expecting this, swiped at Gavin once more, and this time, his dagger plunged into Gavin's belly. Gavin then let out a terrible scream of pain, crumpled to the floor and lay there motionless.
The cloaked man stood there for a while, thinking about how he should dispose of counselor Ratsherr. After he pondered on how it should be done, he stood up and walked out of the alleyway into the somewhat deserted road in front of the Sleeping Stallion Inn. Then he strode past the Tipsy Bluebird tavern, and onto the bustling main road. He continued down the main road for a while, then he turned onto the street that passed in front of the Council Hall. The cloaked man then hid himself behind a rain barrel in the alleyway between the houses closest to the Ratsherr Manor.
As the cloaked figure surveyed the area he noticed that there was a tall dark-haired man guarding the front, who was wearing a breastplate, a dark red hood, a pair of dark black--worn, but well kept--leather boots, and a pair of dark red pants. In the armored man's left hand was a deadly looking longsword, and in his other was a large wooden shield.
"Since when did they have guards at the Ratsherr Manor?" the cloaked man thought to himself inquisitively. The cloaked man then sat there for some time, wondering what he should do, until a stray cat wandered into the same alleyway. When the cat saw the cloaked figure it immediately started spitting and hissing at the cloaked man.
Hearing the cat's distress, the guard looked in the general direction of where the noise was coming from, but saw nothing, since the cloaked man and the cat were hidden behind the rain barrel. Confused the man started cautiously walking towards the alleyway where the cloaked figure was, to see what may have caused the cat to become so frightened.
The cat upon hearing the guard approach, ran out of the alleyway as fast as it could go. Cursing his bad luck, the cloaked figure drew his small dagger, jumped up from behind the rain barrel, and dashed towards the guard at full speed.
Startled by the cloaked figure's sudden appearance and attack, the guard jumped back. By doing so, the guard hoped to escape the cloaked man's attack, but the cloaked figure's lunge was too fast for the startled guard to dodge. When the dagger made contact with his breastplate, it cut through the metal plating and into the guard's chest. The guard after being stabbed, fell to the ground with the dagger still in his chest and lay there motionless.
The cloaked man then, reached out with his hands towards the manor, muttered something under his breath, and a beam of fire shot out of his hands towards the base of the house. After about three seconds the beam of fire stopped, the cloaked figure went back through the alleyway and onto the road that he had taken to get to the manor in the first place.
"Heldin!" Yelled Heroisch from the stairs inside of the burning Ratsherr Manor, "Where are you Heldin!"
"I am in the master bedroom, with Ulyese!" Replied Heldin with a panic stricken voice.
"Don't worry! I'm coming!" Yelled Heroisch. This time from the top of the stairs.
He ran into the master bedroom to find his wife, Heldin, hugging her daughter desperately, sitting in the corner of the large room.
"Heldin, we need to go now!" Said Heroisch, "The manor is on fire, and will collapse any minute!"
"What?Who did this?" asked Heldin from the corner where she sat, "I thought that our guard would be enough protection from that madman."
"I thought so too, but it seems that Bosen has gotten much stronger after these thirteen years, and has at last come back to get his revenge on me!" Explained Heroisch, "Come on! We need to go!"
Heroisch went over to her, took her hand, and lifted her up off the floor. The two dashed down the hall to the stairs, and down them into the burning entryway. They then ran out of the manor and onto the front lawn.
"Oh no!" Cried Heldin, "I forgot the money bag!"
"No! Heldin Wait!" Heroisch Yelled, but it was too late. Heldin had already put their little baby into Heroisch's arms and had ran back inside of the burning manor.
"Heldin!" Yelled Heroisch, "Heldin!" After about five minutes of not hearing a response, he placed his baby onto the grass of the yard.
"Stay safe little Ulyese." Heroisch said to the baby. With that, Heroisch ran into the burning manor to get his wife, Heldin, safely out. A minute later and they still were not out of the flaming building. Forty-three seconds later, the manor suddenly collapsed, leaving Ulyese all alone on the property that once had held the Ratsherr Manor.
On top of a hill, outside of Grer Baum, stood Ben who, from underneath his cloak, had seen the Ratsherr Manor collapse.
Confidant that the Ratsherr name was blotted out forever, he turned away from the town and walked off into the Grer Baum Forest. Little did he know, the Ratsherr name still lived on. Little Ulyese Ratsherr was the last Ratsherr left alive. She just didn't know it yet; and neither did Ben.