Shandra didn't wish to be a warrior but when the people of the Geven needed a heroine - she was there.
Shandra surveyed the men who stood before her with pride, "Warriors of the Geven, today we struck a blow for our freedom. No longer shall the Ghoron thieves raid and pillage at will, for now, they have felt our wrath, and it is filled with their blood."
The Geven and Ghoron tribes have been sworn enemies so long, nobody knows or cares what started the feuds. The lands of the Kaladrian Forest have been fought over for centuries, and tales are told of warriors capable of blending with trees, so as not to be seen, but few believe such stories.
Holding the sword of Altanus high, she called out, "We, who are here, salute you. Altanus, Lord of the unknown and bringer of peace!"
The warriors roared in reply, "Shandra, Shandra, Shandra," and the woods rang to the noise of joyous celebrations all night. There was much drinking, singing, and telling stories, but Shandra knew this was only the beginning of the war. She left the fires of her people, and walked slowly to her tent, Shandra enjoyed the thrill of the battle as much as any warrior and enjoyed celebrating even more, but on this night, she had something more to think about - the future of her people.
A war that was destined to change Kaladria, for she had seen the future on a vision quest. Shandra had no doubt the tribe would be victorious, what she doubted was the cost; would the loss of lives be worth the victory? This war needed to be fought on many levels while the Geven were more than a match in the woods, could their forces overcome a fortress? Shandra was worried, as her men and women cheered this victory she couldn't help consider the future of her tribe, Let them have their moment, she thought, we might not see many such times in the future.
The men drank of the Mead as the women of the Geven danced around the fires. The stars lit the sky with everlasting beauty, and peace reigned in the forest - at least for now - despite the victory the guards remained vigilant. Life on the run enforced the Geven folk to be ever vigilant, even in times of joy their weapons were close at hand.
Her tent stood on the top of the rise overlooking the plain of Cardocan, below her lay the vast barren lands populated by mystical beasts and their Lord Flamendor, the great dragon. Flamendor was once the greatest of all the firebrands, but now his realm had passed to the lesser beings. The brave dragon had grown old beyond his years, and was unable to fight by the side of his friends, but spirit dwelled in their souls, and this made the warriors as fearsome as ever.
Two things were certain to the warrior queen; the first is that to cross the plain, she needed the trust of Flamendor, and the second was to attack the fortress at Elfenmere, she would need all the troops and dragons the brave dragon could spare.
Elfenmere's strength as a fort was that it could only be taken with by an enemy with force with a frontal assault - high cliffs protected the rear of the fort - but this was also its weakness. A small force had the ability to hide on the cliffs and mask their attack.