Audra is the daughter of a wealthy stone mason in the vast, walled trade city of Hilden Maar. Her father is publicly an influential member of society in the only free and independent city in all of The Kingdom of Argoss. Privately he is a member of a secretive society that alone acts as the keeper of The Gate; an ancient thing of barley imagined power and forgotten origins.

She has been sent as an envoy to the King of Argoss, who is Emperor over many lands including the free city of Hilden Maar, in a desperate plea for military aid.

Some dark force has organized the tribal Helam. Their hideous humanoid bands and their evil allies have been assembled into a massive army, now running rampant, all but unchecked West of The Yole River. They drive refugees, or slaughter and devour them on their approach to Hilden Maar to the north. Fear and panic fill the city as tightly as those coming to seek refuge inside the cities three concentric walls.

The eldest son of the King; Prince Robert Barius and his Battalion of Light Cavalry is the only answer for the Helam. He and his men are the only remaining soldiers alive to stand between the hordes of hobgoblins (Helam) and Hilden Maar. The Emperor is at present powerless to answer, as the Kings Armies cannot cross the Yole River until the early winter finally chills just a little more and ices over The Mighty Yole River. Until then The King has no way of engaging the enemy, or saving his son, let alone swinging far to the north to relieved a well fortified, garrisoned and walled city.

Audra does not yet know it, but she will have to find another way to bring relief to the city of Hilden Maar; her home, her family and all that she loves.

Deep inside her, Audra longs to leave Hilden Maar, and see the world, even capture it as a maker of maps. She longs for a different kind of adventure in a world where women have never been cartographers, and in a world that seems to be pulling her back to the one place she has seen enough of, and yet still loves more than her own life.

Without another option left to him, Audra's father sends his daughter, whom he has never seen as less of a person because she is a young woman. Having her father's trust and love, and for the pressing irresistible need, she goes to the most powerful man in all the lands she has any knowledge of to ask for military aid.

She finds herself an envoy without station, authority, experience or even the simple benefit of being a man. But for the love of her father, and from the desperation now gripping her home, and all that she knows, she does as she is told with a willing heart.

Audra, The Gatekeeper's Daughter, must save her city, her family and her friends, and she has it in her mind to do just that, whatever the price or path.


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