Dramatic Question: What if you had to choose between Duty and Honour?
Premise: Blood is thicker than water
Story Message: Dignity is more honourable than Duty
"The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb"
Interestingly, the saying, "Blood is thicker than water," is oft misconstrued. Currently, it means that family is more important than anything else. But, in earlier times, it meant you should be closest to those with whom you'd shed blood, rather than to whom you were born. Many clans around Europe would bring people into their tribe and give them a family name that permanently identified them as members. Our notions, then, of where our allegiances should lie have shifted throughout the generations.
In the narrative, your principal character should be faced with an impossible, high-stakes choice between conflicting loyalties.
Their loyalties are divided by impulses of love and duty to multiple, deserving parties: friends (friendship), family (kinship), culture (ethnicity), community (society), nation (patriotism), and to the preservation of higher moral values (humanity). When these obligations are at cross-purposes, it can be soul-destroying.
The only way to navigate such tough choices as these is to choose the path that preserves self-dignity.
Self-dignity is that which makes you worthy of respect, which, in turn, requires integrity - not compromising principles for convenience; keeping to your moral code, even if it means you must die for it.
The ones who compromise their integrity for expediency, advancement, or self-preservation have a low self-esteem, which makes them corruptible and untrustworthy in the long-run. Instead, we shall learn through the narrative how integrity encourages us to have courage in the face of adversity, to act bravely even when we're scared, to have the self-possession not to choose the easy way out.
Integrity is the ability not to cross certain boundaries, no matter how tested - not even for blood. For loyalty without dignity is dishonourable and not worthy of respect.