A Pyrrhic Victory
When the arid country of Northfire is invaded by marauding foreign forces, jealous of the thriving metal industry that is enabled by its profusion of dynamic volcanoes the Folkaners, its proud people, immediately revolt.
Chieftain's daughter Skullah, of rusty hair and stubborn disposition, is jolted into awareness of her latent patriotic feelings and her loyalty to and love for her country and, as a result, her previously aimless, hedonistic lifestyle is suddenly endowed with purpose and meaning.
Youth being no barrier in this culture, she enlists as an army general, but initial enthusiasm and idealism soon give way at her realization of the utter barbarity and desolation of war. Yet her natural tenacity - her indomitable warrior's spirit - is ultimately what sees her through, although Skullah could never have foreseen the extent to which a mere teenager might come to be involved in the war; how important one seemingly small, insignificant person can be.
Sometimes, in the heat of battle, an immense sacrifice is called for in order to win, however costly, however terrible that sacrifice may be...