I am going through my thought process as I rework this chapter. There may not be anything earth-shattering in this blog. It just helps me to think and plan.
Instead of having the two valetins Dreck and Antoni Phillipi already inside the champion’s tent, accepted as it were, I am going to have them approach as the champion is trying to figure out how to approach Birrigat. They will inform him of the nearness, size, and speed of the Teilarata army, all information that he does not want to hear, and demand answers about what he intends to do. This dealing with politics will be the champion’s first challenge.
As he tries to decide how to deal with them, Romal al–Hashimi will ride up on his hemiau (like a llama) with the Celestine arm. (I use arm instead of army, hand instead of company, and thumb instead of platoon.) At that point, the other two valetins (generals) will turn their attack towards Romal al–Hashimi. They see him as a threat to their “inside track” with the champion. When Romal al–Hashimi puts them in their place, it lets the champion know that the Celestine is his true ally.
This is an important moment for the champion. He has to sort out who is loyal to his cause and who is merely trying to use the cause for their own ends. Romal al–Hashimi is the established leader of an important force. Even though he has been loyal to the Teilarata, his shifting allegience is not for personal gain, it is because he has examined the problem and decided that it is time to turn from the Teilarata for the good of Malvada. Romal al–Hashimi is an effective and capable leader, and he will turn out to be the champion’s most important ally in the pages to come.