Legacy of the Castanean Crown
1 – The Anthill Kingdom
Another forlorn, dismal night has fallen on the Anthill Kingdom… The worker ants continued to do their jobs with sad, hollow looks in their eyes… All except Antonio...
“I think I’ll finally ask Antina out…”, Antonio was thinking out loud while carrying a large crumb him and his best friend, Tan, found. “What do you think, Tan? Should I do it?”, Antonio asked his friend, who was slowly walking next to him.
Tan answered in a sad, dull tone: “What’s even the point of it? What’s the point of doing anything… when we are all doomed to die soon…”
Antonio turned to face his friend and said enthusiastically: “The Five Great Knights will save us!! Just like they did the last time Ozara attacked us!! It’s in the prophecy, Tan!
‘Every twelve seasons, when the Castanean
Orbs form on top of the Holy Kingdom, the
Grand Menace known as Ozara will strike,
but the Great Knights, the strongest warriors
in all of Castanea shalt stop him, for as long
as the Castanean Kingdom exists…’
Do you doubt the holy prophecy, Tan?”, Antonio asked his friend, who looked at him in disbelief.
“The prophecy has expired, Antonio! Open your eyes!! Castanea has fallen!! Nothing is like it was, let’s say, 10 seasons ago!”
“What do you mean, Tan? Castanea hasn’t fallen!!”, Antonio foolishly said in denial, “We’ve witnessed it when we were children, Tan! Did you forget? Did you forget how Caesar, the cunning, could follow Ozara in the sky, even with Dan, the mighty, and Diablo, the heavy, on his back!! How Motheas, the shiny, blinded Ozara while Lucana, the sharp, stabbed Ozara in his eye with her legendary feather spear!! Did you forget the joy we felt – no – the joy entire Castanean Kingdom felt when Ozara had dropped dead!”
Caesar, Diablo and Dan
Motheas, the shiny
“Of course I remember, Antonio! But things have changed! Look around you, damn it!! When was the last time you’ve seen someone from the Mantisian Tribe? Someone from the BeetleField or the Webpit? Heck, even the Hornest folks are nowhere to be seen in the past 6 seasons!!”, Tan tried to make his friend see the harsh, unfortunate truth that surrounded them…
When Tan saw Antonio’s tearful eyes he felt bad, as for he did not intend to make his friend cry. Yet, Tan knew that someone had to tell him the cruel truth, so he continued: “But let’s not even take that into account… Ask yourself this, friend: ‘When was the last time I saw any of the Great Knights? When was the last time I saw Motheas, the shiny or Caesar, the cunning up in the sky? When was the last time I saw or heard any news about Diablo, the heavy or Dan, the mighty? When was the last time I’d seen the beautiful Lucana, the sharp?’ Ask yourself, Antonio, and you will know why everyone in the Anthill Kingdom and beyond has lost all hope for the future of Castanea…”
Tan’s sharp words struck Antonio’s heart harder than Lucana’s spear struck the last Ozara’s eye.
Tears formed in Antonio’s eyes. Antonio was a really emotional, honest and a little too optimistic ant. Through his tears, Antonio screamed with his cracked voice: “YOU’RE WRONG!! YOU’RE ALL WRONG!! AND I’M GOING TO PROVE IT, TAN!! I’M GOING TO PROVE YOU ALL WRONG!!!”
Antonio repeated those words as he dropped the crumb he was carrying and started running towards the Palace.
“Maybe I was a little too harsh…”, his friend said to himself in a sad, regretful tone…
* * *
The Antlantia Palace was in the centre of the Anthill Kingdom. It was the place where all main tunnels from all of Anthill intersected.
It was named after Queen Antlantia. The First Ant Queen since the Castanean Kingdom has formed over 100 seasons ago. The new Queen, Queen Elderanta, inherited the throne 37 seasons ago after the old Queen Antlantia passed away.
The Palace was more like a giant storage room where all the food and materials that the worker ants gathered were collected; that just happened to have a giant closed off room where the Queen resided.
The Queen’s Chamber was guarded by two soldier ants. The position of the Queen’s Guardian used to be held only by the two of the strongest ants in the entire kingdom. To decide who the strongest ants were, all soldier ants were free to participate in the so called Ultimate Showdown. It was a tournament held all throughout the Castanean Kingdom, and bugs of every kind were participating in it. The ants who would make it the farthest would end up becoming the two Queen’s Guardians.
Sadly, this tradition, along with all other events of similar kind, the types of events in which all of Castanea participated, were cut off for the Anthill Kingdom by none other than the new Queen herself 10 seasons ago. A few seasons later, the gates of the Anthill Kingdom shut down for all other races of Castanea.
This was Elderanta’s desperate attempt at saving the Anthill Kingdom from The Grand Menace once it inevitably returns to Castanea.
The Queen hoped that, by isolating itself, the Anthill Kingdom would be a less… admirable target for Ozara’s attack…
It was a hopeless attempt to save her little nation; a desperate last resort… The Queen had sensed that the Great Knights were missing a long time ago… And, by making all those moves, she indirectly told the news to the residents of Anthill.
The ants did not take the news well.
They became more and more depressed as the seasons went by, and now, when The Grand Menace is less than a season away, every ant in the Kingdom has lost hope…
Every ant except the one ant who had just made it to the doors of the Queen’s Chamber…
In front of Antonio were the two current Queen’s Guards: Nanthan and Bobant.
Bobant, a lazy, fat, old ant was asleep on his duty, as usual, and Nanthan was pissed because of it, even tho he got very used to it by now. Nanthan was a young, tall and strong soldier ant who was the last ant ever to participate in the Ultimate Showdown, thus he was very serious about his job. He also loved his job, even tho nothing eventful had ever happened, it was his way of putting away the depressing thoughts of the unavoidable doomsday that was about to come…
Nanthan’s attention was drawn by someone rushing towards the Queen’s Chamber. Could this be it? Could this be the day when someone finally decided to try and kill the Queen? Could this be the day when Nanthan would finally have a chance to show the skills he learned in the Ultimate Showdown? Could this be the day he was waiting – no – striving for all his life??
As soon as Nanthan saw the bug who was running towards them was just some worker ant his hopes and excitement died down.
“What the hell are you doing here?”, Nanthan asked in an angry voice. He was pissed that there wasn’t any action needed…
“Please, let me talk to the Queen!”, the worker ant demanded.
“And why do you want to speak to the Queen, young lad?”, Nanthan asked in curiosity. He did not expect this sudden request, as no ant dared confront the Queen directly. His curiosity got rid of his bad mood from earlier.
“I want to go find the Five Great Knights!!”, Antonio enthusiastically said. His eyes were filled with an undying hope, one which Nanthan hasn’t seen in a long time.
Was it the way he said it? Or was it the madness of his foolish request? The string of hope that his voice emitted? Nanthan was not sure, but for one of these reasons, or maybe even all of them, Nanthan let Antonio enter the Queen’s Chamber…
While all of this took place, Bobant was still sleeping calmly, without a care in the world…
 Castanean Kingdom comes from the latin word Castanea, which means Chestnut; the kingdom is inside a chestnut tree, thus the name Castanean Kingdom