It was a conversation I had been dreading for days, but also, one that I knew could be put off no longer.

Calimba_on_Fire_small

I came in straight from the field, blood and mud and grime streaked, not sure if that would help my case, or hurt it.

Velociryx was not in Cerilon, but had set up a command post to monitor the situation in embattled Calimba, and was currently in a hastily constructed camp on a bluff that overlooked the city, some six miles from it.

As I entered his tent, I saw him slumped at his desk, head down.

It was the only time I had ever seen him weeping, and it stopped my heart.

“H-How?” He choked out. “How could this have happened?”

I shook my head grimly. “I do not yet know, but I swear to you I will find out, and we’ll make whoever is ultimately responsible pay.”

He stared at me for a very long time, and I saw him calculating. Assessing.

In some of the possibilities that flitted through his mind, I saw my own death, and I can’t say I blamed him for thinking it.

Had our positions been reversed, I’m not sure I’d have been so gracious, patient, or understanding.

At length, he merely said: “This was supposed to be a simple transfer of cities from me to you…grow your holdings on the western side of the peninsula, so I could focus on the east…we need to find out who doesn’t want to see this happen…find out and crush them as they have tried to crush us.

He let out a long, ragged sign. “Calimba…my beautiful city…”

“We’ll get it back.” I vowed. “I can fix this.”

He nodded and I left him quickly, lest the conversation be drawn out any further, but my words echoed inside my head.

I can fix this.

I wanted to believe that, but honestly, I didn’t even know where to start.

Calimba_Map

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