evelle is a country torn by the plagues of war. Once the supreme monarch of the Four Realms throughout the country, King Endrik gripped the lands in the stronghold of his need for ultimate power and selfishness. Passing laws that allowed slavery, poverty and all manner of crimes to go unpunished throughout the country, the king grew a great man supporters who wished not to cross him, as well as those who would do anything to remove him from his seat of power. Among those of the rebellion forces was the noble house of Highlier, who reigned over the golden city of Lunaris in the Eastern Realm. Ever a just and honest man who placed the good of the people before all else, Eddard Highlier's claims against the king were reasonable, and before long he had enough support to launch a full-scale rebellion. Within that time, the people who supported his cause grew accustomed to calling him the "King in the East," and slowly their intentions shifted from saving the nation of Revelle to separating the Eastern Realm from the rest of the kingdom, yearning to become an independent and sovereign state. The war lasted three long years. Battle after battle bathed Revelle in the blood of her people, and while the death toll rose neither side could seem to come to terms. Both were insistent to remain stubborn and lack a compromise. The fighting waged on with terrible consequences until, at the whim of his youngest child and only daughter, King Eddard of Lunaris sent out a letter to King Endrik in the West to discuss terms of peace. The two then agreed to meet on neutral ground to end the war once and for all, and put the land of Revelle to a just rest once more. Our story begins as most do, with a country's fate hanging in the balance, on a summit where East meets West and war meets it's fateful end. Peacemakers, #CC99FF The bitter mountain winds whipped and whistled past her ears and through long, blonde curls that reached out in the directions they were blown. The fresh spring sun hung high in cloudy skies, though hardly enough warmth reached the small party of men and women from the east on their long cross-country trek. Winter had only just come to an end fortnight past, and while spring knocked softly on the door of a weather's change the flowers still clung to winter's chill and the breezes still whispered frigid words. I wish I had worn a warmer dress. The level of elevation they traveled hadn't helped to stop the goosebumps on her arms, and no manner of thick cloaks or furs could shake the cold from her bones. Aurelia clutched the fabric closer around her shoulders and sent a silent prayer to the gods for an act of mercy that would fill her body with warmth once more. Mount Lyren, so named for the conquering Viking queen from days long before civilized time, loomed high above the party as they traveled in her shadow. Though they were at least a thousand feet above the surface of the sea, Aurelia had a beautiful view of each kingdom no matter which direction she looked. To the east across the river was her father's kingdom, a kingdom of rebels and justice and courageous demeanors, and to the west lied Gryphon's Roost and the country's depraved capital ruled by a king of injustice. Aurelia had only traveled so far on one occasion, when King Martyn had thrown a tourney to celebrate the nameday of his eldest son. At the time, she had only been a five year old girl clutching onto her father's leg in fear of the unknown that surrounded her. Ten years had passed and Aurelia, a princess and no longer a little lady, had outgrown such foolish notions of what it meant to be afraid. Her father was a noble man with all the forces in the Eastern Realm at his side. What could I possibly have to fear? The more distance she and her family put between themselves and Lunaris, however, the more nervous she became. Far from home meant far from protection, far from safety. Her father had only brought a small force of five-hundred men to treat with King Endrik, convinced that the opposite monarch would not risk an open battle in such rough terrain and break their promise of a peaceful reception. Aurelia supposed she could see the sense in that. Rocks and mud and tall grasses were splotted about the fields like paint sprayed randomly across a canvas. The princess was only fifteen with no sense for the ways of war, but she knew her father's judgement was sound when it came to where they could and couldn't fight. She would never cease to place her trust in him despite the growing feeling of anxiety, despite all they had to lose. He would always make the best choices for the family, for his people and all those under his kingly protection. As quietly as she could, Aurelia clicked her tongue and encouraged her mare to speed up in the slightest bit in order to catch up to her father's side. The closer to him that she was, the safer she felt. "Father," Aurelia said, "will we be there soon? We've been traveling for hours." "Yes, sweetling. Shouldn't be more than a half hour." The warm smile Eddard de Highlier shone toward his children would always be one she treasured dear. "Why? Are you sore in the saddle? Your mother brought some painkilling tea with her if there are other reasons for your discomfort." "No," the princess replied. "I just...I want this to be over." King Eddard sighed, a deep sigh that let loose the stresses of his position. "As do I, sweetling. As do I." He uncorked a skin of wine and took several long drinks before handing it to his squire that rode at his side, thanking him for the refreshment. "Your brothers are ahead, scouting the area to make sure there aren't any traps. You never know what King Endrik has up his sleeve. He's a slippery one, that king. Hopefully this will be the last time I ever have to see him." "Surely one man can't be all that bad." Aurelia looked innocently to her regal father. "Everyone has good in them, I think. Perhaps King Endrik just hasn't...tapped into it yet." "Tapped into it?" Eddard gave a hearty laugh, though it wasn't one made to mock her and was built solely on admiration. "You speak of goodness as if it's a jewel to be mined. Ah, Aurelia. You are a sweet child. Innocent, but sweet. It is people like you that will make this country a better place, those who can learn to see the good in most every situation, every person. If more people thought like you, perhaps this war might not have been started in the first place." It was hard to imagine a life without war. It had consumed so many of her waking moments that were memorable to the point where picturing the state of things without battle plans or warnings of invasion seemed foreign to her. She opened her mouth to speak, but the words she wished to say hadn't come forth and instead she let her lips seal shut once more. The rest of the ride would be served in silence, in mental preparation for what may or may not lay beyond the edge of the hill, and Aurelia brought the sun pendant around her neck to her lips for a kiss of good luck along with a gentle prayer. As High as Honor, she thought wistfully. We cannot lose here.