"Vengeance is not an emotion, but a frame of mind."

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The primary antagonist and villain in The Prophecy.

Name: Zakrul Karthor Deathblade-Bloodeyes

Species: Rat

Gender: Male

Age: 50

Description: A head taller than the average rat, dressed altogether in black, with a hard-leather face mask covering his moderately lighter black fur and blood-red namesake eyes. He wears a gray leather velvet tunic under a hip-length cloak, and an orange belt that holds a curved blade of an unknown foreign metal. He also owns a set of armor forged of this same mysterious metallic alloy. This has not been explored yet, but rumors and hushed whispers in Zakrul’s army claim that their general has also kept the accursed silver steel sword of his deceased younger brother, Nagrig Deathblade. It is a closely guarded invaluable object, and Zakrul has plans to have it see battle once again…

Strengths: Armed and unarmed combat, having mastership in the sword combat Form VII, Juyo. Juyo requires bold and direct moves of unforgiving brutality and unbridled aggression; though calm and coordinated on the outside, the inside is burning with anger and hatred, waiting for the precise moment to explode and unleash the fullest fury upon the enemy. Zakrul consciously does not use the complex acrobatic styles that the Form naturally calls for, deeming them clumsy, uncoordinated, immature, disorganized, and an overall hindrance. While he may not use the other Six Forms (Shii-Cho, Makashi, Soresu, Ataru, Djem-So, and Niman), he certainly has far more than a cursory knowledge and passing familiarities to effortlessly exploit their weaknesses and use them to his advantage in battle. Skilled in manipulation, deception, and intimidation, all of which aid his combat abilities and increase his chances of gaining back the upper paw when in a serious pinch. A master battle tactician and strategist.

Weaknesses: Pride and an unusual measure of ego. His belief that he is constantly and immovably in the right makes him a constantly forward thinker, and that is eventually his downfall. Not a wrestler or an archer, thus these disadvantages work against him. Can become too consumed in a moment when confronting somebeast that he usually cannot see anything happening behind or around him out of his peripheral vision (Replies #25-28). His ignorance of the gymnastic aspects of Juyo and its technical lack of defensive sequences make him somewhat predictable, however not to an extreme extent where engaging him in combat would be barely worth the time or effort. Zakrul’s pride renders him sporadically self-concerned, caring about nothing but his own survival. His truest respect, care, and genuine attention are limited to extremely few in his army, exceptions being his lieutenants and captains.

Background: Little is known about Zakrul’s past if anything at all. What is known is that Zakrul was born to unspecified parents in a faraway land as the older brother of Nagrig Deathblade. At a young age, he embraced the warrior’s way of life, using it as a means of survival in the hostile land in which he and his family lived. It is likely that the parents were warriors themselves. Together with Nagrig, Zakrul studied all Seven Forms of sword combat, choosing Juyo as his personal preference and gaining mastery in it, as well as some expert-level knowledge of the previous Six Forms. He is also believed to every now and then utilize the dual-wielding technique of Jar-Kai, but only when the situation requires it.

Much of what follows of Zakrul’s life is shrouded in obscurity.

How he came to know the Eastern Islands or its Prophecy is unknown. However, it is more than unmistakable that during Nagrig Deathblade’s invasion, Zakrul would have commanded one part of Nagrig Deathblade’s army at one of the other Islands, while Deathblade focused his efforts on Maraul.

(The Prophecy will mark the first time that Zakrul has visited Maraul.)

Following the invasion of the Islands and the failed attempt to discover the identity of the future King, the two siblings withdrew their forces, returning to their unnamed homeland and going into hiding. After about a half-dozen years of silence and inactivity, they resurfaced again, traveling to Mossflower Forest. Unfortunately, Deathblade encountered Eastern survivors from his invasion, specifically from Maraul. He fell in battle, executed (ironically) by the very same creature for whom he was searching all those years ago: the destined King himself, Jared “Tinarandel” Sandeye. Zakrul, on a far side of the Forest at the time, learned of this from soldiers of Deathblade’s army who had barely escaped with their lives, and took their leader’s sword with them. He inherited his brother’s sword and has kept it all these years. The base in St. Ninian’s was eventually dismantled and abandoned. Minor microscopic traces of its shadowed, secretive, and mysterious existence wrapped in dark myths and hushed whispers can still be found in the Church to this very day.

More years passed, during which Zakrul grew his vengeance and descended further into absolute darkness, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is not specified exactly when he began to grow a new army, but details clarify that he did inherit his deceased brother’s former top officers and soldiers for himself. Soon, dozens to hundreds more joined his cause, until he had eventually amassed perhaps the largest and mightiest army ever seen in the world, to which no warlord today would ever dare contest.

Revenge is the only thing on Zakrul’s mind today. He has read the undeniable signs: the Prophecy of the East will soon be fulfilled. And Zakrul, in the name of his brother, by any means necessary, army by his side and at his back, vows to finish the work…