When Jaren becomes disillusioned with his position in the army of a Duke who is more interested in conquest than defense, he meets a wandering bard who offers a different path:
“What if you didn’t have to be an invader?” Lucin asked. “What if there was another way—and it didn’t involve pledging your loyalty to a man who’s only trying to enrich himself? Does that appeal to you?”
“You mean become some kind of glorious knight? The kind you believe in when you’re a child, the kind in fairy tales?” Jaren asked.
“Yes… that kind,” Lucin said. “Except it’s not just a story for little children. There’s a real place called Cathedral Valley, and they are looking for people just like you—those who want to fight for something noble and true.”
“You’re suggesting I to just up and leave?” Jaren asked. “They’ll say I’m a deserter.”
“Right now they call you a soldier even though you’re really being trained to be little more than an armed thug, bullying farmers to pay tribute to your Duke. When people are that loose and false with both words and reality, does it even matter what they call you?”