Far and wide, near and narrow, the news went to one and all. The brave pilgrims of cheesedom had failed in their holy quest: to visit and nibble cheese from the Holy Cheese Land-the cheese factory of Hemlin. In every sewer and ceiling, little caves in the prairie and wall rats of the city, there was wailing and gnashing of teeth. The world is doomed, they cried out, for the Holy Cheese has gone from our lives.
Why? Oh why?! They beseeched the heavens. The end of Holy Cheesedom has come!
Far and wide the messengers went, far and wide the dire news spread. The Holy Church of Cheese knew not what to do, for the Holy Cheese was the basis of their cheesy faith. And now…it was as good as gone from this mortal realm… Or so every rat of color and stripe and creed thought.
As the wave of bleakness swept the kingdom, and with it the chaos of disorder, one rat was not affected.
He was the Great King Nim, ruler of all of Ratdom: the sewers, the caves, the walls, the attic and the ships; where ever a rat be found, thus his writ ran straight and true. A veteran of the Border Wars with the neighboring Kingdom of Mouse and the distant barbarian Clans of the Frogs, he kept his cool while all about him chaos ran.
He dove into the ancient records of his forbears, and searched and searched for a clue that will lead him to the salvation of his kingdom. For days he searched, while his Royal Guard and personal armsrats strove to maintain order in the kingdom.
Where ever there be chaos, whether it be in the world of man or the world of Rats and the other races of the Underworld, there are always those who live off of the turmoil of a simmering land. Thus wild bands of Rats and other dark creatures have begun to roam the land, spreading far and wide the chaos that would destroy the Lands of Holy Cheesedom.
As Great King Nim searched for his kingdoms salvation, far away to the distant West a Council of War was being held in the attic of the King of England’s home. Around a circular table with twelve high backed seats, ten mice sat, each with a sheathed sword belted at his waist and a helmet laid out before him. Each mouse wore an arm band on their right arm in the colors of their Order. Thus the Lord Knights and Captains of the Order of Martin met to decide the fate of the Underworld: the silent but courageous Benji, he of the swift blade; to his side sat the bulking figure of Charlz of the Yellow Fields, first cousin to the ruler of the Kingdom of Mouse; Sandar, he who once sailed the seven seas and fought against sea rats, who tried to model his adventures off of the legendary human adventurer, Sinbad; Tauras, a mice who was unusually small compared to other mice, but made it up that lack with his great heart; Min, a deep thinker of the highest order, who would zealously believes that explosives is the best possible solution to any problem; the hulking Oleg, who was if anything even bigger than Charlz, and could take on any soldier rat in a bar room fight; Vik, who was the rapier to Oleg’s head on approach, who often think of angles to a solution; Estevan, a scarred veteran who served in the Border Wars against the rats and frogs; the energetic Yami, an unrepentant prankster whose crooked grin hides a sharp mind; and the leader of them all, Edward the Second, brother of the ruler of the Kingdom of Mouse, and who once was second in line to the throne. Whoever they once were, once they took the Oath of Martin, they foreswore all previous oaths and loyalties to king and country, family and blood. Now, their loyalty belonged solely to the Order.
There they sat, ten of the twelve most powerful mice of the Order hierarchy, gathered in haste by the recent events that have wracked the entirety of the Underworld. The two who were not present, one eyed Frans and the weathered Hein, were away on the Orders missions and so could not make the meeting.
The lands and territories of Ratdom teeters on the edge of chaos. With those words and a fierce gaze to his assembled Lord Captains, Lord Captain Commander Edward the Second revealed his plan.
At first the others could not believe the depth of Edward’s ambitions. However, when they thought over, they saw that it had merit.
And with fierce grins on all their faces, the assembled Lord Captains agreed to Edwards plan. Thus, in the attic of England’s Palace, begins the beginning of a new conflict, or rather the continuation of an old, a conflict that shall shake all the lands to its very foundations.
The Rats have failed in their Crusade of the Holy Cheese, so now the Mice will have to pick up where they left off. Great armies of the Order began to move, while forces of the Clans of the Frog poised on the borders of the Ratdom, waiting for the inevitable collapse.
And all the while, as forces far removed from his study, Great King Nim searched for an answer in the annals of the past.
Hours turned to days, days turned into weeks, and weeks finally turned into months. All the while, his Royal Guards and personal armsrats valiantly did their best to uphold law and order in the land, and to prepare enough forces to balk the Frogs from invading too soon.
From the highest ranking Guard Captain to the lowliest of the spear carriers, they firmly believed that the land was doomed to chaos by internal forces. However, till that end comes, they would make sure that no external force would have a hand in the demise of their beloved kingdom.
Thus the land remained in a stalemate, while the doom of Ratdom edged closer and closer.
At the hour of need and in the dark of night, the solution came to the Great King. A message he found, of a hero who once live in the land.
The Speaker of the First Crusade of the Cheese had left a message, up and down the world spread to all of Guard. Its contents, however, no rat knew.
The Great King ordered his Captains to assemble, and thus asked for volunteers to seek out the new Speaker, he who was now heir of that ancient bloodline.
All volunteered, but only one was chosen: young Niles, the youngest of the Guard.
Seek the Speaker in the North at Mountains of Mist, in the Great Land across the Seas of Atlantis, and bring him. For his return would mean our salvation.
The grave words of the Great King echoing in his mind, Niles embarked on his quest, a quest to save his land.