Tina nods to Gordo in thanks. "Thank you, friend. I will be on my guard against swindlers and the dishonest." And here she allows a twinkle in her eye. "I'm hardly as worldy, but I do know a thing or two dealing with sweet-tongued, charming, rakishly handsome young men."
She turns to Evan and grins. "Sir Blagettal speaks wisely. Love kindles and stokes the flame of life. Love is a many-splendored thing. Love lifts us up where we belong. If I may be so bold to venture suggestions," she cheekily adds, "I would look for love first, and enlightenment after." It was a belief of some learned men that the absence of emotion facilitated reason. The Church would answer that they both walked hand in hand and that rationalism was strengthened by the fire of passion.
The others talk about their goals but Tina remains silent about her own. The house of Alienor is reputable but has never been especially noteworthy. In the twenty years since her parents vanished on Crusade -- unfortunate, but not unheard of -- its fortunes have not much improved despite Miguel's valiant efforts. Her sword and armor are technically Church property, bequeathed to her on condition that with it she will perform great deeds in service to the faith militant and in doing so, exalt the name of the Lady.
What deeds might those be? She thinks about the acts of valor that other great paladins of the church have done in the name of Love. Rescuing men and women from abusive spouses. Defending lovers against the societies that disapproved of their sexuality. Tearing down oppressive tyrannies and oligarchies and raising the flag of Justice high above them. Leading great crusades to crush the Jihad of the Daeshid Khalifat. What can she achieve that will measure up to those mighty deeds?
It is easy to have faith in Luminaria Our Lady of Light. It is very hard to have faith in something as small and fallible as oneself. Guide me, O Lady, she thinks.
She raises a gauntleted hand and gestures to the terrain around them. "A wooded pass, ideal for ambushes. Archers could fire from atop those hills, and the woods will shelter infantry until they are close. If I were a brigand with the means, I'd have stakes or a pit trap ready for escapees, too. Would that I had a company of outriders, to scout ahead and secure the pass for us."