The end of time as some knew it, though not everyone was so lucky to have the fate that would end their suffering. You see, people were infatuated with the prospect of power now that the world was leaderless and raw. Crimes took place, and there were none to stop them as people took refuge where they could.
Trust was something that was not easily gained, nor was it to be taken for granted. Within the years, tribes would form. Within those tribes came leadership positions and territories. Naturally, the tribes would grow, and wars for territories would break out. There were no rules, no Geneva Convention, nothing to outline the rights or the wrongs. The world had entered a primal state, people navigated simply by instinct and the will to fight for survival.
Eventually the world came as one, the first time it'd ever happened. There was one ruler, one who deemed what was moral, ethical, a sin or otherwise. He eventually fathered a son, but none quite knew the treachery he was planning with the birth of his child. None knew, but a few conspired.
Zaltana was perhaps one of the few females you'd see around the royal stables. She was young, but artfully skilled in the ways of the equine. As if she knew how they thought, how they'd move and what generally made them tick, as any good horseman would. For some reason, Zaltana was held in high regard to the ruler, as if he favored her.
Being no fool, she knew what he probably had in mind, and she'd have none of it. No, she would not marry his son and become another drone of a robot. She might have been some stable lass, but she at least had her freedom in that respect - and her dignity. Sure, she was rough around the edges, but underneath that honey riddled brunette hair, she was quite a woman. Sarcastic, honest - almost to a fault, but her mind was always running with thoughts and ideas. Something she couldn't seem to control. Every now and again, she would silently wish that the world would just shut up.
Then there was Falk. Falk was a face you never forgot. Tall, dark black hair, with the most piercing blue eyes that could make it feel as if a dagger had ripped through your heart and frozen it. Falk was a hunter and a guard, and also involved greatly in the stables. Zaltana and Falk fought constantly - not so much physically, but they were famous for their wars of wit. Arsenic tongues and venomous insults - without them, the stables would not be the same.
Falk wasn't arrogant, nor was Zaltana - but both knew they were good, and secretly told themselves they could out do one another. They'd never have a chance, most would say. They took too long bickering that the predators would find them and off them instantaneously. That adventure was for another time, and another place.
Rumors were spreading over the land, far and wide about the upcoming ruler. People had their suspicious about biggotry on part of Sebastian - the current ruler. No acts gave supporting evidence, but his son? Oh his son. Plenty of stories rose from the help of his tantrums, his intolerant remarks and other various acts that would support even the slightest story stirred. No one was focused on him it seemed, except one. Zaltana never felt quite comfortabl about the young prince, something just told her that he was no good, so she would observe him.
His heavy hands, his impatience, his remarks to the staff and about various topics. It was perhaps, in his presence, when Zaltana was the most quiet. Not that she spoke much anyway, but she took an extra ear to listen to him. It eventually grew to where she just did not like him all that much.
"You know Z," She hated it when he called her that, "I don't get to hear that chirpy little voice of yours nearly enough."
Her eyes narrowed, as she rode behind him along a thickly wooded path, "Hmm, really? I feel that I hear too much of yours."
"There's the little viper when you need her," his smile was smug. It made Zaltana want to outright punch him to the ground, but she couldn't. Not without consequences. Then again, what were consequences when you had nothing left to lose?