Some people have commented that Galena,
Patrik the innkeeper's younger daughter, was a
Patrik the innkeeper's younger daughter, was a
bit of a "wimp" in the first two books of The Land of Betrovia trilogy.
Here's what she looks like in book three!
“You asked for me, sir?” Galena said as she closed the door to the commander's office.
“Yes, recruit, I did,” Leitser replied without looking up reading a document that was spread out on his desk. “I have a job for you. I need you to deliver some reports to General Demirain.” The commander then pulled a stack of papers off the left side of his desk and stuffed them into a leathery pouch. “Before you ask what they relate to, suffice it to say that these will inform the general of the groups of rebels who continue to roam the forest between the Plains of Dreut and our little village,” he said.
“Rebels? But Uncle Markus said there are no – ”
“The general requested this information months ago, Vellein,” Leitser continued, “It is imperative that he gets it as quickly as possible. I want you to leave for Lycentia immediately. And take two of the others with you.”
“I … I don't understand, sir. I have only been a part of the militia for a few weeks. Why make me the leader of this mission?”
“Vellein, are you refusing to obey a direct order?” Leitser responded softly but sternly.
“Are you giving me a direct order, sir?” Galena replied just about as sternly but slightly softer.
“Indeed I am, recruit,” the commander replied. Galena continued to stare at the man who appeared to be quite engrossed with the piece of literature that was on his desk.
“Which ones, sir?” Galena then asked with a look of feminine consternation on her face.
“Which ones?” Leitser repeated as he finally looked up at her. “Now what are you talking about?”
“Who should I ask to accompany with me?”
“Does it really matter who you ask, Vellein? This is your mission, recruit, and part of your task is deciding who would be best to accompany you,” the commander replied softly.
“No, sir, it does not matter at all. I suppose if this really is my mission, then it is my duty to make the decision on my own,” Galena said as she grabbed the pouch and exited the sparsely-decorated office. Within the hour, not only had Patrik's younger daughter enlisted the help of two of her fellow militiamen, but she was leading them south out of Noran on their way to the capital city. Galena didn't have to think long about who to pick: the two she selected were older men, long-time members of the Noran militia. The younger of the two went by the name of Breatok while the other, a father of one of the newest recruits, had grown up with the name Slatern but preferred to be called Joktean.
On horseback, the journey from the mining village to Lycentia would take slightly more than a day. So, around dusk the day after receiving the order, Galena and her two companions were about to ride into the city.
“Have you been here before?” the older militiaman asked as they came into Lycentia through its western gate.
“First time for me,” Breatok said.
“Same for me,” Joktean replied. “What about you, Vellein? You been here before?”
“After we closed up The Lonely Fox Inn, Father and I moved here to Lycentia,” Galena offered.
“Oh yes! Of course! Why stay in that musty old inn out there in the forest when you could live here in the big city!” Joktean said. “And did then you move into the palace with your sister the queen?”
“No!” she responded angrily. “And I would appreciate it greatly if we could talk about something else!” At this, her companions looked at each other and shook their heads. They rode quietly for a few blocks until Galena cleared her throat.
“It appears that since I am the only one who's been here before, I suppose then that it's up to me to find out where the General's office is located?” Galena asked.
“Over there is a Lycentian officer,” the Joktean said as he smiled and pointed to his right. “I wager that he might know.”
“That is a great idea!” Galena replied. “Since I'm the one in charge here, I should then be the one to ask him,” she added as she hopped off her horse and jogged towards the man clad in the dark-blue of the Lycentian militia. Their conversation was short and to the point, and in less than five minutes, Galena was back on the horse and all three Norans appeared to be back on their way to Demirain's office. That was the case until a different problem arose.
“You know,” Breatok mused playfully, “We haven't had a thing to eat since this morning. How might it work to hitch up the horses over there and find us some food? My nostrils are have suddenly become filled with the aroma of something rather exquisite coming from that general direction!”
“A spectacular idea, Breatok!” the other militiaman chortled. “All I had for breakfast was a small, stale piece of apple cake!”
“But … but the officer,” Galena stammered. “He just said that the compound is only a few blocks away,” Galena replied. “Why can't you two wait until after our mission is complete before you stuff yourselves? Why must men always be thinking about their stomachs!” Before an answer was given, both militiamen had tethered their mounts and were heading for what appeared to be the source of the scintillating aromas.
“Vellein, you can't make me believe that you aren't hungry!” Breatok said. “And don't tell me that you aren't smelling the same thing we're smelling!”
“I should have known something like this was going to happen,” she whispered. “Here's what I propose then!” Galena then shouted back as she rode past the opened tavern door. “If you two haven't eaten everything before I come back, I will gladly join you at that time!”
“That sounds like a good deal to me, Vellein!” Breatok replied from just inside the tavern doorway. “But don't be gone too long! I can't make any promises about keeping this Joktean fellow from eating it all!”