I enjoy reading anything, but sometimes they’re so -hangs head to the right- BOring. There’s a time for reading about the history of the Lone Islands and quantum mechanics and the habitats of dragons. AND THEN there’s a time for Mister I-shake-my-spear-at-you! Didn’t you enjoy that one story I read to you? It had a pirate with a hook and heartless kids! Wasn’t it fun?
-pouts- I deserve to know where you go all, you know. It’s getting really expensive to always hire a spy to watch ove— -sneezes- I like Euphemie, MY niece. I want to braid her hair and sing to it. -jumps, almost spilling his tea- I WANT TO COME. CAN I COME? I HAVE MONEY. WHEN ARE WE GOING?
-sits- -adds lots of honey to tea then stirs vigorously- If you’re not addicted, then what do you call it? True lo—“OUR”? You mean “RESTIMAR’S MA” -smiles proudly- MY Ma. -giggles- I never heard of a time she gave in.
The rest? I haven’t seen them too, but… -straightens in chair- Rev-Rev is gone, probably off trying to sweet-talk the Tisroc and convince him Narnia is not arming itself for war with Calormen. Mavy and Octy is at Terebinthia tending to the sick children—sudden flu outbreak and all. RHOOP IS HIDING BECAUSE HE MADE MY HAIR PINK AGAIN. Well, he’s actually trying to find a way to kill efreets, but he really should be hiding. Arg is traveling between Chippingford and Beaversdam, talking about the Lion and helping people move to safer grounds. -sips tea- Need anything else?
-half rises out of seat- HEARTLESS? …I believe they were just the lost boys? And I would have enjoyed it more hadn’t there been such constant interruption. What did you eat that day that made you relieve yourself so often? I haven’t seen such poor digestion of food since the time Rhoop tried to make an antidote for constipation but instead made the best laxative in Narnia. -chuckles- Poor Argoz.
-knew very well that Restimar had a spy on him- -hands him a tissue as he sneezes- I like Euphemie too. -moves quickly, prepared to catch the cup- Yes, yes that is why I invited you. Once this…Jadis regime blows over, we’ll go. I’m sure our presence will only upset the Tisroc even more. -lowers voice a little and pours himself a second cup of tea- King Peridan is planning a journey to Tehisbaan to deliver supplies to the rebel group organized there: swords, food, extra money. He has told me, well, little, of his plan, but it seems faultless. He is organizing volunteers to go. -picks at the thread on his trousers- I don’t know what sort of volunteers he is thinking of, but I’ll mention you to him if you’d like to go.
-caught the “True Love” comment but says nothing- …YOUR Ma, MY Celea. -winks- As I said, she’ll give in eventually. Soon my friend, soon.
-puts his cup down- Thank you. It is almost as if nothing has changed with them. That…pleases me. -sighs, fiddles with marriage ring on his finger- And what about you? What have you been doing? …did you ever make it to the Utter East?
Mia was no longer not in this war. She had to choose a side. As she ran to the balcony, ducking a stray arrow, she watched the conflict from above. Never having seen a real battle like this one, she couldn’t tell who was winning; that dynamic would have little influence on her. Would she stay here, in the castle, and defend herself from the Witch’s minions? Or would she slip away to the other side and make her intentions known to all?
The tumult in her head was making it ache. She pulled on her disheveled hair and leaned against the cool stone wall in one of the passages. She couldn’t list pros and cons, she couldn’t think coherently, she couldn’t think at all. She brought her hand to her temples as a tear slid down her cheek. The viciousness of the Witch’s attack, the cries she heard from the battlefield made the bile rise in her throat. Why did there have to be war and killing at all? she asked herself silently in desperation.
But she knew why. She’d lived among royalty and power long enough to figure this out. And her husband would be in the middle of it. He had asked for her support, her loyalty in his ventures, whatever they might be. And she knew what they would be. Could Mia give her approval and support to the madness that would ensue? Her heart told her only one thing, and she knew which way she would turn.
The things were even worse at the other side of the stairs. Her heart broke when she saw a lot of bodies on the floor, how many soldiers had perished for that horrible war. Aldara took a deep breath and walked through the bodies when suddenly heard a noise behind her. Slowly she turned to see what was and faced a snow leopard. It was such a beautiful creature… It was difficult to accept it was an enemy. Its eyes were locked on Aldara’s, almost hypnotizing her. But then, the leopard showed its teeth growling. The scared girl took an arrow, ready to shoot, but the creature jumped on her, making both fell on the floor. The jaws of the feline went to the neck of Aldara but she blocked its mouth with her bow. The blood was running so fast through her veins, the bow wouldn’t resist, so she kicked the animal and tried to get up. The leopard grabbed her ankle with a strong bite and Aldara screamed in pain falling on the floor again. Her scream alerted one soldier who mortally wounded the leopard and the girl looked at him but the man ran away, leaving her alone.
She was trembling, not because of her fear, but because she was losing a lot of blood. She swallowed trying to fight the tears of pain and cut a piece of her dress with one of the daggers she carried with her. Once she had tied it, she stood up with the dagger in her hand and walked towards the battle again. “You” said an unpleasant voice near, it was another dwarf. He ran towards her with a small sword and Aldara grabbed the dagger tightly. When the dwarf was in front of her, with his sword raised, the girl waited and rolled over on herself stepping aside. With a quick movement, she nailed the dagger in his back. Nevertheless, the dwarf tried to stab her again, but he was weak and Aldara could dodge it easily. The little creature fell on the floor and looked to her. A large amount of blood was around his body and his gaze was empty when his life disappeared. She had taken a life… she had killed, making her innocence be lost forever. The wound of her cheek reopened and the blood fell for her face, but it was warm and it didn’t hurt… It was warm. Aldara raised her head and walked decisively despite the big pain on her ankle. The girl stood behind a column and took her bow, starting to shoot arrows to the enemy.
“I’m not a horse—” was all Onni managed to bark out before water clogged his thoat. He coughed as the naiads and river gods coursed over the field, finding and silencing shrieking hags and cursing dwarves. His mouth was cooled, at least, but his nose burned, as did his lungs. He was worse at swimming than he was at running in a straight line, and he had enough trouble with the latter. When he thought he had found the correct path to the surface of the flood, he ended up staring at upside-down trees and castles—oops. One watery soldier with a tangle of seaweed for a beard shoved the floundering black Wolf aside, and Onni found air just as his back found the stone wall of the castle.
He collapsed in a muddle of limbs, hacking up brine and the rest of the contents in his stomach. The walls were vibrating with shouts and clanging swords and the air vibrated with shouts and cannonshot. Onni yelped as an arrow came down on his paw, but luckily it hadn’t been aimed for his paw, so the Wolf managed to shake off the light scratch. There was death and blood all around, but the blood was sour and nothing like the warm odor of a successful hunt. It was cold and churned up with the mud. The Wolf clung to the shadow of the castle wall, ears flat against his head, his sodden fur clinging to his bony frame. There was death and blood, and it did not smell of victory.
Fear was a primal emotion. His ancestors had always been Talking Animals, but in that bloodline ran the codes for fear, animal fear, and the danger of losing sanity. The pounding of Onni’s heart pumped blood into his brain that was full of fear, pushing aside the Talking to simply have the Animal.
A man from the castle drew too close, prompting a sudden growl from Onni’s irritated throat. He had had an axe to the head and was half-delirious with blood loss. The Wolf lunged out from the darkness that had hidden him, and then the man’s misery was lifted. Fear and slight disorientation lent a sloppy strength to Onni as he lashed out at the next unfortunate soldier. Now that he was in the real fray for the first time, red marks began appearing against his dark pelt. Fear gave his jaws the confidence to bite without hesitation or afterthought, gave his paws a precision that only faltered occasionally when he tripped on the muddied and uneven ground. His eyes were wide with the fear. The queen whom he had seen on the wall, Susan, was without her gleaming bow now. Onni snarled at her, fur bristling. Was she afraid? Did she also feel the same fear that pressed painfully on his sore ribs? His teeth bared in warning, and then he snapped at one of her ankles.
Hawks and crows, an array of dull colors akin to an autumn night, flew through the open windows, their passage cleared by the river gods and naiad loyal to the rightful queen of Narnia. Their calls echoed down numerous hallways, their wings flapping wildly at faces with mouths agape, and although they didn’t kill or gouge eyes, they taunted and squawked while they forced their targets to leave the protection of the castle and into the fangs of the Wolves waiting outside. One such target was Prunaprismia. A hawk swooped down to peck her arms and back.
Outside and closer to the muddled canvas of watered blood, snow, and lost souls, the white Wolf gulped. The water nymphs from the other side arrived too early. His ears were invaded with rapid waves consuming one another, the river, the nymphs’ home, was torn asunder with every blow. River god against river god, naiad against naiad, any threat from the water was minimized but it also meant they lost a great amount of support. It would dull the impact of their assault but there was no other option. At the very least the archers were picked off from their unreachable position. Howling again, Bai slipped into battle, his teeth instantly finding the foot of a fallen archer. Dragging the screaming Daughter of Eve, her clothes and voice trying to breathe out of the water consuming them, hammered the wet body against a horse. When the horse reared in fright, the knight in full armor crashed in the path of frantic hooves. Bai, his path cleared, crushed both humans and used them to propel himself to a centaur’s face.
A snow Leopard stood, alive and glad for it, but no one took notice. Everyone was too busy fighting for their own lives. The Leopard shook his head, his wound pulsing and smearing his pelt red. The last thing he remembered was attacking a human. Though he limped, though he was weak, he had a fierce loyalty to his queen. He hunted for his victim and once he found her, the Leopard growled and attacked for Aldara’s waist.
Only a fifth of the Queen’s army was prancing around the town of Cair Paravel. Useless, unimportant, and defenseless townspeople were left for the inexperienced. The veterans, the ones who knew how the fastest and most efficient way to kill were gathering near the castle. Ettins fought horsemen. Hags roasted fauns. A young and robust Leopard chased Emerald. In the middle of eternally silencing a giant, a servant of the Lion, Bai smelled for Onni. His stomach dropped. There was the scent of a queen of Narnia. Susan. Onni against Susan. The white Wolf groaned. His alpha was going to kill him for letting such a thing happen. Finishing the giant, the Wolf acted as a target once again, though most of his attention was focused on the black Wolf.
Susan ran through the fray, ducking and dodging. She tried to hide as much as possible until she located her bow. The Queen felt neausous. She wanted so desperately for this to all be a terrible dream that she could wake from.
Susan was barely able to miss a club swung by one of the Ettins. Rolling on the ground, she crawled away, searching desperately for her bow. The Queen screamed as a body fell in front of her. Friend or foe, Susan never knew. In the next instant, she was on her feet and running as fast as she could to get away from the horrible sight. Her crystal like eyes swam with hot stinging tears.
She didn’t stop running until confronted with a large black Wolf. Seeing his cold eyes on her, the young woman froze. Her heart raced with terror. She had no way to defend herself from him, but for the arrow in her hand. The hand twitching, Susan prepared to fight for her life. Suddenly, the Wolf leapt forward and snapped at her ankle. Screaming, the Gentle Queen jumped back. Not in enough time however, as she felt his terrible teeth rip open her leg.
Collapsing on the ground, Susan stared up into his eyes, her own filled with terror. She raised her hand toward her face; the arrow with it. If she was going to die here, she wasn’t going to do so without a fight. And when a white Wolf came to the aid of its companion, the girl hung her head in defeat. She was going to die. This was the end. And with that knowledge, Susan felt her heart fall to the pit of her stomach. She had never set things right with Peter, Edmund, and Lucy.
She had never told Caspian just how much she loved him… She was going to die, and he would never know. Tear filled her eyes and the Queen’s heart broke. She wished that she could see him one last time. Susan tried to position herself so she was still able to run, but stem the blood flowing out of her ankle and pooling around her.
In one last desperate attempt to stay alive, the Queen lifted her arrow with all her might, driving it into the shoulder of the white Wolf.
The armada sailed, soared through the ocean on the peninsula, preparing to land on the cape about a hundred or so meters away from Cair Paravel. Its formation was triangular, with Bern’s ship being the point.
The oars of the sailors and the naiads stopped pushing the boats at his command.
Archers lined the rims of each ship, and there were canons on the deck ready to be fired. Soldiers either reached into their quiver or lit a match.
A wind drifted by, stirring the old lord’s beard.
Like a swarm of Pitohuis, arrows with poison in the heads zoomed toward a colony of Jadis’ fleet. Like a swarm of Andean Condors, canons swooped to another colony of Jadis’ fleet.
And the armada sailed, soared on, killing more and advancing quickly to the beach.
Bern’s graying blue eyes smiled approvingly at the fallout. But the pleasure soon disappeared as he caught onto Queen Susan running on the beach, without weapon or way of defending herself. In a swift movement before the anchor had dropped, Bern had tossed one of his legs over the edge of the ship.
“Capitán!” panic clogged the voice of the young boatswain, ”Where are you going?”
“I’ll be back,” Bern yelled over the waves, sounding very certain. He gave a kiss (rough in action but tender in emotion) to the boatswain’s cheek and thew himself overboard the deck. The old lord’s heavy body disappeared in the conflagration of white foam with an even louder clap as the ocean beat against the sides of the ship. Unsuspectingly, a wave came and he hit his head against the boat. Deftly the robust frame of Lord Bern fell further and further away from the light as he drifted further and further into darker, deeper, and richer blues. In such a moment of sinking, one would expect the eerie quietness, the sound of death’s breathing, to engulf him. But there was no such silence. The naiads spoke too loudly for there to be silence, and these female naiads sailed and flew in a furry of bubbles and formed a strong tide to push Bern upwards, toward the sun. A few onlookers on the his boat released a relieved sigh when their leader’s gray hair (colored in a bit of red) resurfaced.
Though his limbs and muscles were slowed by age and moments before he nearly drowned and was possibly concussed, Bern remained a strong swimmer and vigorously moved, like one of his boats, toward the beach.
Once out the water he called, “Queen Susan! Queen Susan!” Then in a series of animalistic hollers and grunts, Bern attempted to scare off the wolf. He had no weapon with him, just his fists, but that was all he needed. Water and blood dripped off his skin and came against the wolf’s fur as Bern threw himself against it.
Oh — Bern — *her eyes go wide and her mouth falls open as he picks her up, but she can’t help from laughing* Oh, goodness, Bern, let me down. *still laughing* I’m fine, I eat enough, I mean. *is shifted about* Oh! Please don’t drop me, Bern —
Oh! Wonderful! …Bern, could you let me down?
-pretends to be struggling- Oh Lynn wait, you’re too heavy. -smiles- … … … -pretends like he’s going to drop her but catches her at the second to last moment-
*shrieks as he drops her* Bern! *is caught again* Don’t do that!
*finally stands back on solid ground, but can’t help the smile twitching around her mouth* In any case, we’re here… *her façade breaks, and she takes his hand again with a laughing smile* And all in once piece.
-explodes into laughter at her shriek and tries to cover his face because he know he’s laughing way harder than he knows he should-
-tries to catch his breath- Yes…yes we -coughs, the chuckles slowing- are. -takes her hand- I thought you were gon’yell at me or somethin’. -pokes her side- You like how I tease.
-walks into the florist and lets her look around a bit-
-sees one of his crew mates passing by-
… -tries not to be obvious about hiding behind a large vase-
It’s a water lily, sweetheart. It was Aslan showing us everything is going to be fine. The water can’t freeze completely long as He’s around. -hands her lily and sits across from her- What’s that there? Mending something?
*slowly takes it from his hand* It’s beautiful. Do you think? It’s a brave little thing then, peeping its head out all by itself….. What’s that? Oh! Yes I am….Euphemie rubbed a hole in her stockings again, and it needs a good fix.
Indeed. Doesn’t quite measure to you, though. -winks and chuckles-
-peers over at what’s she doing- Ah. Eu is doing well with her training. I’m glad that she’s taking an interest but she will not join me in the ensuing battles… -sighs, rubbing hands on trousers- She is upset at me for telling her so.
Mi’lord! -curtsies then smiles- I’m sorry, but I was talking about my horse.. Her name is Destiny.
Well then, please, forgive this old man for misunderstanding.
Where have you last seen her?