Isana is a strong and independant young woman, living in a small cottage in a quiet village with her father and brother. Then war hits her country and she is left alone and frustrated, wanting to help her country, until a complete stranger offers her a job spying for the army.
Rain fell from the black sky, soaking the ground and the cloaked messenger as he ran up the steps of the royal palace, his message engraved onto his memory. He banged on the doors at the top of the stairs, yelling to be let in. The door creaked open to reveal a guard dressed in full armour and looking very serious.
'I'm here with an important message for the King.' The messenger blinked away the raindrops, hoping he would be let in out of the rain sooner rather than later.
'Papers,' the guard grunted, holding out his hand. With a groan, the messenger pulled out his identification papers from the lining of his cloak and handed them to the guard, who checked them and nodded, indicating that he could enter. 'The King is with his Council and will not be able to speak to you for a few hours.'
'Tell him it is urgent and regarding the skirmishes along our eastern border with Cumri.' The guard nodded and marched down the corridor towards the King's council chamber. He returned a few minutes later, a stern look on his face. 'His Majesty thanks you but insists you have to wait until he has finished his session with the council before you give him your message.'
'But this is an emergency,' the messenger insisted, annoyance and frustration building up inside him. 'Does he not understand that?'
'His Majesty fully understands that this matter is urgent but-'
'Then he won't object to seeing me now.' The messenger, pushed past the guard and ran own the corridor towards the council chamber.
'You can't just go in there,' the guard protested but he was too late, the messenger threw open the doors and strode into the relatively small room. Every face in the room turned to look at him in astonishment and confusion. The King, seated at the head of the council stood to address the messenger.
'I thought I said we would speak after the council meeting had finished.'
'Excuse me your Majesty but this is too urgent a matter to wait. Cumrian forces have attacked our eastern border.'
'So there has been another skirmish,' the King shrugged. 'What of it?'
'Not another skirmish your Majesty, a full scale attack on our eastern border. All of the guards at my post are dead now, killed by Cumrian soldiers as the claimed our land and it is not an isolated incident. Yesterday a large group of armed Cumrian men attacked the post only a few miles from ours and only two men escaped with their lives. One was so badly wounded he died in the early hours of this evening. The Cumrian's are moving their forces towards this city. This is an invasion.'
The King sat in silence for what felt like an eternity, the only sound was the heavy breathing of the messenger.
Finally the man sitting to the left of the King spoke. 'Your Majesty,' he whispered, 'Jarett. You need to act now or we could lose even more lives.' Jarett snapped out of his thoughts and was immediately on his feet.
'Call in all our forces, any able bodied man will be conscripted.'
'But your Majesty,' one councillor interrupted, 'that's hundreds of thousands of men, not all of them trained, if you send them out to fight then they'll be slaughtered, despite the large numbers.'
Jarett ran his hands through his hair, thinking hard about what to do next. 'Then we'll train them.'
The messenger, feeling that his work was done, bowed respectfully to the King before leaving the councillors to argue the matter out among themselves.