Tired and beat-up Relaf and Camilla strode through the streets of the small town of Sal Dreka, The Hall of Dragons. Relaf barely heard the excited chatter from his companion. Rather he focused all his attention on finding an inn or tavern to rest at. He hadn’t had a proper meal in a long while and was looking forward to one. What he saw left him rather unimpressed by the town. Most of the buildings were in dire need of repair and there was a strange odor in the air.
“Are you even listening, Relaf,” a Camilla asked, breaking into is thoughts?
“Aye,” he replied still looking around for a tavern.
“No you aren’t. What have I been talking about since arriving here?”
“Ok you win,” Relaf gave in. “I haven’t seen a single tavern since we’ve arrived. I’m starting to doubt this city has one.”
Camilla grinned. “It doesn’t.” Her grin grew into a smile at the crestfallen look on Relaf’s face. “If you were listening to me you would have learned this is the holiest sanctuary of our order in all of the Lands of Mythron and they don’t tolerate drinking, well overdrinking that is. So they don’t have a tavern and there’s not too many visitors that come here.”
Relaf was taken aback. He hadn’t realized this group of mercenaries, as he thought them to be, was actually some sort of cult. “Oh, well is there at least somewhere to sleep tonight,” his spirit sinking at the thought of being part of some religion he knew nothing about?
“Now what kind of a place would this be if there’s no place to sleep? Of course there is. I’ll show you to the barracks where we’ll be staying after we meet with Lord Goran at the citadel.”
At that moment they rounded a bend and both fell instantly silent. The citadel lay in front of them, a white and black marble building with multiple arches over the front entrance. Relaf had never seen such a beautiful building before. Camilla too was in awe but not because she had never seen majestic buildings before. No, her father was a lord of a city in Mythron. She had seen many magnificent buildings. She was in awe because of her devotion to her order. This was the headquarters of the Eldur, the Order of Fire.
At the bottom of the stairs in front of the citadel there stood a familiar figure but dressed more regally than in any of their previous meetings. A day late but with a bit of a swagger in their step for having completed their first mission Camilla and Relaf approached him. Relaf tried to focus on his mission, but he was still bothered about joining this religious order. He pushed all thoughts aside for later because they were now standing face to face with their instructor, Goran. Camilla pulled out the relic they had just recovered and handed it to Goran. Relaf eyed her in surprise. Last time he checked he had the relic. Camilla gave him a look that said, “later.”
“You have done well my students,” said Goran his usual frown showing a hint of pride at the duo’s achievement. “You may rest here tonight for tomorrow you have a long journey ahead.”
Camilla was crestfallen. She was hoping to explore the city the next day. “We are we going,” asked Camilla not hiding her disappointment.
“Don’t worry, you will be back,” said Goran in a comforting tone which surprised Relaf. “But tomorrow, you two will be placed on our only warship and on which, you Relaf, will be captain.”
This hit Relaf like a thunderbolt. He stared in silent disbelief at Goran. His throat suddenly felt dry. All thoughts about joining this sect accidently were gone. He felt he must say something. Somehow he managed to whisper, “Thank you, milord!”
Goran chuckled. “I can see that are surprised and very happy.”
“Yes, milord,” said Relaf getting his voice back. “But can I ask, why me?”
“You remember the day I asked you to join?”
“Aye, I’ll never forget it now.”
Goran chuckled. “Right from that day, my superiors had this in mind. You see, no one in our order is a skilled seaman, or trustworthy, and we have needed one as our main enemy is a guild of pirates. One day one of our men had a mission on the island where you live and heard about you and how skilled with sea-craft you are. We then watched you from afar and decided to recruit you into our order. If you could make it through our training and your first mission you would be named captain. And here you are.”
After a moment of stunned silence Relaf asked, “What about Camilla, milord?”
“She will be your first mate.”
“Thank you, my lord,” said Camilla respectfully. “I will not disappoint you!”
“I know you won’t,” said Goran proud of his two students. “Now get some rest as you will have a busy day on the morrow.”
“Yes, my lord,” replied Camilla. Camilla bowed respectfully and Relaf followed suit. She then led him to the barracks.