My name is Gianna, and I was once a member of the courier's guild.
I say once because, although I still carry messages now and again, my life is now filled wih so much more than messages and danger and long rides through dark forests and occasionally-moonlit fields.
But even then, I was fortunate. Not many girls in my position won membership to the guild, and even fewer managed to hold onto it. For me, membership brought freedom to move within the five united cities as I chose, not to mention the means to redeem my food rations and purchase the Grengarian daggers I favored for self-defense. It's also how I met Rys. Sort of.
If you were to ask almost anyone in my world, they would tell you that life consists of either working your trade within the safety of city walls or praying that the northern raiders will leave your fields and vineyards alone. The poor would add that they haven't time for anything
else--it's all they can do to earn the coppers required for their food
rations each week. The nobles would add that guarding their gold and
their goods from the raiders is equally tiring, as is appeasing the
never-ending demands of a city that expects you to fix all its
problems if you want to keep your position.
My life was somewhere in the middle, and Rys's life
was significantly different from both of those extremes.
But that's a story for another day.
Both rich and poor would agree, however, that
dragons are extinct (if they ever existed in the first
place), that the old stories of supernatural forces
were nothing more than fairy tales, and that
their worst enemies are the raiders who sneak
over the mountains from the wastelands
farther north. And at one time, Rys and I might
have agreed with them.
We know better now.