Hey Guys! Just a quick note. I revised this chapter a little bit so it made a little bit more sense and I'll probably be uploading a revision of the second chapter very soon. I'm going to continue writing Chapter 5 though and that should be up sometime by the end of the week.

The number of stars next to the chapter number will indicate how many times it has been revised since it was first updated. The content is probably not going to change very much, but the grammar, diction, and that kind of stuff will be improved upon.

Enjoy!

Anya of Isen

It had been decades since the Royal Guard had come to Isen. As the horses stormed past my house, I rolled out of bed. For a moment I considered waking up my Aunt and Unclein the next room, but I decided that it might be easier to investigate the situation on my own. I pulled on an extra coat over my dressing gown and stepped out into the dreary night.

The rain pouring down made it hard to see far ahead, and the dirt below my feet was already sticky. Despite this, I was far from alone. Our neighbors on either side were already trekking towards the Town Center, their footsteps squishing in the mud. I slogged after them, watching the white puff of my breath in the chill air.

When I reached the square, I discovered that the other townsfolk were just as clueless as I was. Our village was on the western edge of the kingdom of Astrania, far from the conflict with Terriluce in the East. It had been said that the guard arrived now and then to recruit soldiers but no one had come by when the war had escalated a few months ago. Besides, a visit at this time of night pointed towards other intentions.

Within moments Town Center filled like the marketplace at noon. The villagers from the town stood in a circle suspiciously eying the small group of horsemen. I was close enough to hear the huffs of the seven horses over the murmurs of the crowd around me and the pitter patter of rain on the surrounding wood houses. As the townspeople began to settle, a lone horsemen stepped out from the ranks.

The man's breastplate was battle worn and slick with rain. The insignia of the Royal Guard, a black eagle upon a red shield, lay across his heart. His face was rough with stubble. Curly brown locks fell gently in front of a pair of crisp green eyes that appeared more vivid in the storm. Bringing his horse around in a circle, the rider began to scan the crowd. As he did, the rest of the horsemen backed away making him the center of attention.

My body was shivering from the cold and the thunder, and the harsh rain stung my eyes, yet none of these things seemed to affect the horseman. As his eyes passed over me, my heart sank. His expression was terrible. It was as though he was the last man standing as the pillars of the world crumbled around him. If a strong commander of the royal guard could be brought so low, I worried for myself.

"We are messengers from the King. We demand council with the mayor," said the soldier.

There was a roll of thunder and some whispers from the crowd before a chubby old man pushed himself out. He was wearing a round leather hat pulled down over his head to prevent the wind from taking it. He moved up to the soldier, lifting his head up and sliding his arm along the top of it. "I-I-I a-am the m-m-mayor."

The soldier looked down with concern. "Perhaps we should find some place sheltered from the rain."

The mayor gave a short nod and the crowd opened apath to Town Hall. Another thunderclap officially ended the congregation and the crowd dissolved into the night.

I, on the other hand, decided to give chase to the fleeing mayor and horseman.