The other five council members were already seated in their appropriate places when Aiden and I arrived.

In our society, there was a sort of class system, though it in no way separated people based on their level of talent, only their type. No one group is thought any better than the others. The most powerful group, who in turn have the most magical blood, is the Royals, like me, who possess all of these powers like our ancestors before us. Some may be more skilled in one area, or equally skilled in all. There are very few remaining who have nearly pure magical blood, and as they continue to interbreed with those less magical than themselves, their numbers and magic concentration are diminishing. Those with pure magical blood have seemingly disappeared altogether.

The next most magical group is the Spellweavers like Aiden, who have the ability to cast just about any spell, and they may possess just a few of the remaining affinities; for example, Aiden also possesses the ability to heal, though it's not as powerful as Tariana's ability.

Tariana has much magical blood, though not quite as much as Aiden nor I. Her abilities in Healing are extensive, and she controls all the other medical workers. Unusually, she also has a slight affinity for combat. Her squad possesses the unique ability to draw their magic out and into the wounded, healing them on contact. They are also burdened with the skill of sensing pain, so they are not fighters. This was how Tariana was able to detect that she had a new patient earlier.

Fenley's section contains those who can control the elements to some extent. Of course, no one could ever have total control over the elements, but they can use their magic to bend and mold the elements to their whim. Some may be stronger in one element than another, making it the second most diverse group in that regard, behind the Royals.

Rowan's crew can converse with animals, magical or not. The few magical creatures who are not allied with the Shillen join with us because the Animal-affinitys are able to reason with them. They also breed and train our horses.

The Sensory team controls our covert operations, otherwise known as spies, Alynetta being the most skilled of them. Their ability to use their five senses, along with a sixth sense—the ability to sense people's presence and intentions—allow them to be able to sneak up on the enemy, use archery from greater distances, trail an enemy, or sneak into enemy territory with ease. This seems like a lot of magic, but it's really just an extension of their natural senses.

The final and least magically enhanced group is the combat group. They are slightly stronger than normal, and carry an affinity for battle. Katalina's gender may fool some, but she is truly the most adept fighter I've ever known. Her squad's tactical knowledge also is beneficial in their field.

I broke out of my thoughts upon hearing Tariana's voice in my ear.

"Hey, Ella, you awake in there?" she teased.

"Yes, sorry," I replied. "Just a bit distracted, I guess."

"You had something to speak with us about, yes?" Fenley questioned not unkindly, "about this night raid?"

"Yes," I cleared my throat. "As you already know, we're planning a night raid on the Shillen attacking the Eastern walls. It would take place tomorrow night, at dusk, to give us as much time as possible. Are there any objections?" No one said anything.

"Great," I continued. "Alynetta," I said, addressing her, "you will be heading the operation."

"Of course, Ella," she replied, nodding her head.

"Katalina," I continued, "could you get your team together with Alynetta's and come up with a tactical plan to suit their needs? I've already drawn out a rough sketch, but it probably needs to be fine-tuned."

"Certainly, this should be interesting," Katalina conceded, a smile gracing her face, showing her eagerness for this battle.

I smiled back at my friend. "This should advance our progression greatly, especially if it goes well."

"It could potentially end this war," Rowan pointed out.

"Yes, seeing as how most of the Shillen troops are outside the East walls," Tariana agreed. "We could wipe out a significant amount of their troops!"

"Perhaps then we could attack the group at the Northern walls as well," Aiden suggested.

"What if we did them at the same time?" Katalina suggested, her green eyes shining with excitement. "Split up our troops and send half to each side? We'd have more than enough people, since we've gotten so far ahead these last few days." Everyone was getting excited now; Katalina's expertise was infallible.

"Alright, Kat, that sounds like a plan," I smiled, and everyone else around the table soon followed suit.

We were going to win this war; in less than twenty-four hours.

(AN: This is dedicated to my first and second reviewers, ubi-scooby and crimsonrose15. Thank you! :D I've got 43 hits, 23 visitors, and 2 reviews. That doesn't boost my self-confidence. :( But I'm going to keep writing, because I love it. :) I hope this chapter didn't seem too listy, I was just trying to explain a little bit how things work; I'll probably try to explain at least one thing per chapter, but I don't want you to be overwhelmed with information. If you have any questions, just ask. :) This chapter is kind of short; hopefully the next will be longer. Thanks for reading! –Katie)

(PS- Do you like the story text centered, or would it be easier to read if I left-justified it?)