Tempest Brings News of Aslan

At the Base of the Watchtower
The Northern Wood is a dense and varied woodland. It consists primarily of oak and white pine trees, with a variety of other groves growing here and there. Some of the thicker trunks bear black, ribbed scars from some ancient fire, which might help to explain the large natural clearing that has formed here. The trees thin out to buckthorn and gorse bush about a large tower built of rough-hewn stone. The tower is in good repair, and stretches high enough to clear the tree canopy, presumably affording a good view from all approaches.
You can go: Enter the Watchtower <S>
Contents: A wolf with grizzled coat and emerald eyes (Glyn); A wolf with thick black fur and tired blue eyes (Tempest); An unicorn stallion with a marred flank (Petraverd); and Torgin.

Tempest frowns in the direction of the forest. “I’m not at liberty to say. Sorry.”

Glyn shrugs. “Fair enough. Is there any news you could share about the events along the southern border? The reports I’ve heard have been fragmented, and my understanding is that you were very close to them.”

Petraverd nods slightly, accepting this answer for what it is. His ear swivels again at Glyn’s next question, and his glance is, perhaps, a touch keener than it typically is.

Tempest nods. “Drune, Aliyah and I fought in the battle at Anvard. What is it you would like to know, Glyn?”

Caileana emerges from the tree line at an even pace, carrying herself with her usual patrol alertness. She looks a touch weary.

Glyn takes a breath. “I’m not even sure I know what to ask, when I know so little of the story. I suppose what’s uppermost in my mind is how the attack was sprung, and how we can be confident that it is truly put down. Also… whether anyone was seriously injured in the battle.”

Petraverd’s ears twitch, and he glances briefly to Caileana as she emerges from the trees, bobbing her a brief nod before looking back to Tempest.

Tempest brightens when she sees Caileana. “Pardon a moment. I’ll answer.” She zips to Caileana and plants her front paws on Caileana’s shoulders in greeting, touching her nose to her friend’s.

Glyn blinks at Tempest’s sudden movement, and raises his head as he notices Caileana’s arrival. “Caileana! I didn’t see you there. How are you?”

Caileana raises her head in time to notice Petraverd’s greeting and is just about to call out a greeting when she’s intercepted by Tempest. She blinks once in confusion and then grins widely in delight. “Tempest!!” She bumps noses with the other she-wolf and then slurps her tongue sloppily up Tempest’s face. “I didn’t know you were in the Waste!”

Tempest bumps Caileana’s shoulder for good measure. “I just got here.” She explains, leading Caileana back to Petraverd and Glyn.

Petraverd chuckles quietly. “Evening, Caileana.”

Glyn flashes a grin at the she-wolves’ enthusiasm.

Caileana follows along at Tempest’s side, smiling. She finally notices Glyn and grins wider. “Oh good, I’m not too out of the loop, then. Evening, Petraverd, Glyn!”

Glyn grins and gives Caileana’s shoulder a friendly bump as she passes by. “Definitely not. You might be just in time for a story, in fact.”

Tempest peers at Glyn and Caileana before she nods. “Glyn asked to know about the battle at Anvard.”

Caileana flicks her tail at Glyn with exaggerated casualness, which is to say, no casualness at all, in return. When Tempest speaks, she blinks. “Oh! Right.” She peers at Tempest and gives a sniff. “You’re not hurt, are you? We didn’t hear much afterwards. Nobody was hurt too badly?”

Petraverd falls quiet once more, ears continuing to twitch every now and again.

Tempest hehs. “I didn’t get injured but there were some severe injuries. It seems most are healing though. One of the humans was badly injured in the siege and he kept me and Drune company in the barracks while Drune was recovering. I know he almost died but he was doing much better by the time we left. Drune took a sword swipe to the side. We had to stay in Anvard for longer to allow him to heal.” She speaks rather indifferently in expression and tone. “Aliyah had a mild injury, Nimera was injured and had to recover but she looked well when I saw her today. Sigyn was unharmed, their majesties uninjured, Prince Cor and Corin miraculously unharmed and most of the Archenland knights looked well.” She rattles off as she remembers.

Glyn’s ears erect with concern at the list of names. “Aliyah too? Of course, I suppose that makes sense. It sounds like Sigyn and Nimera got more than they bargained for on their trip…”

Caileana frowns faintly, eyeing Tempest a little oddly at her tone. “I…am glad to hear none of your wolves were seriously injured, Tempest,” she says, after a moment.

Petraverd’s ears twitch again as Tempest speaks, and as she lists off the participants, along with their state of health, he pauses a beat, and a flicker of…well, something or another goes over his features, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact thought, brief as it is. He says, after it passes, “In any case, it is good to hear what injuries there were seem to be healing.”

Tempest nods in agreement. “As for your question as to the danger passing or the danger of a repeat incident, Glyn… The Calormenes were soundly defeated, and they will not return. At least not lead by Rabadash. Aslan turned him into a donkey and made it so he can’t be more than a few miles from Tashbaan ever again once he’s human again…which he might be by now. I have no idea.”

Glyn’s head rears up at the mention of Aslan. “Aslan *was* there? I thought that was just a crazy rumour. He came to fight off the Calormenes?”

Caileana stills. “Wait, what? Did you…did you *see* him, Tempest?” Her voice trembles.

Tempest’s formerly indifferent demeanor changes at the memory and her face softens to the point that she almost looks as if she may burst into tears suddenly. She swallows, and clears her throat, pulling herself together. “Aye…Yes. He was there. Not in the battle, but after. Just for a moment.”

Glyn’s ears splay, puzzled. “Not for the battle? But… he came to change a human into a donkey?”

“Well,” Petraverd says, finally breaking his silence. “It’s not as if he were a /tame/ Lion…”

Caileana sits down heavily, processing this information with a vast array of unreadable emotions on her face.

Tempest smiles a little at Petraverd. “No…he’s not. He…he came to give Rabadash a chance. Rabadash was being wicked towards King Lune and his knights, then suddenly he was there, warning, scolding…something. Then he was being wicked to Aslan, and he warned him more before he finally turned him.”

Glyn tries to still a shiver of excitement. “What… what was He like, Tempest?”

Petraverd returns the smile with a faint one of his own, falling back into his silence with a flick of his tail.

Caileana perks up her ears and listens intently, her golden eyes wide.

Tempest makes an attempt. “He’s…wonderful. Even if you don’t talk to him you just know it by looking at him….and worth every scar, every sleepless night.”

Glyn’s tail sweeps along the ground, his heart beating faster. “Did he give any orders? I mean, did he say anything about what we should do?”

Petraverd looks almost amused at this question.

Tempest just shakes her head. “He only spoke to Rabadash.”

Caileana’s eyes drift to Glyn and she tilts her head, looking thoughtful.

Glyn presses his lips together, looking pensive. “I wonder what that means.”

Tempest offers, “Rabadash was the biggest concern at the moment?

Petraverd says, “Perhaps.”

Caileana offers, “Maybe…maybe it just means he takes an interest in the goings-on of…our lives?” She seems to be struggling to form coherent words to give voice to her thoughts.

Glyn tilts his head as he looks between Tempest and Caileana. “Well, I mean, we’ve fought battles before without his help. And he didn’t come to fight, like Tempest says. It’s not like the stories they tell about the defeat of the witch. I just thought that… if Aslan comes, it’s because the need is great. But he didn’t even speak to us?”

Tempest says, “I think the things he said to Rabadash should be taken to heart by us, though. He may not have looked me in the eye and told me what my next course of action was –though that would have been nice — the things he said struck a chord with most of us.”

You ask, “What…did he say, exactly?”

Petraverd tilts his head again, twitching his ears once more.

Tempest closes her eyes to recall.

Glyn watches Tempest, ears pricked keenly.

Tempest says, “He said… “Take heed….your doom is very near but you may still avoid it. Forget your pride, for what have you to be proud of? Forget your anger, for who has done you wrong? And accept the mercy of the good kings.” Then, Rabadash started shouting at him and he kept warning about approaching doom, then he changed Rabadash. After that…he told him that justice would be tempered with mercy, and then explained that Rabadash would not always be an…a donkey. And the stipulations.” she pauses a moment. “The pride…and anger..and justice. That stood out to me.”

Caileana nods slowly, mulling this all over once more in silence.

Glyn frowns, his ears flicking as he turns those words over in his head. “Hmm. Justice for the enemy, even in his defeat. I suppose… I suppose I can see why few could have done that.”

Petraverd just flicks his tail again, with a small, slow nod, and a faint smile on his face.

Tempest nods slowly, falling silent.

Caileana says very softly, “I did not think to hear of his coming in my lifetime.”

Glyn peers at Caileana a moment. “Well,” he says at last, “perhaps that means he is pleased with our actions. Narnia, I mean, and how we have all been tending her.”

Tempest looks at Petraverd.

Petraverd says again, “Perhaps.” And then, after a beat, “And perhaps, too, to supply answer to a great need.”

You ask, “A great need?”

Glyn looks to Petraverd, head tilted.

Tempest contributes absently, “Many wounded egos…bruised hearts. Could find ease with those words.”

Petraverd gives a nod toward Tempest. “To let go of pride, of anger, to not let mercy go unforgotten…” He glances toward the two Ulfden Wolves. “Haven’t we talked for a while now about what a boon it’s been to have the herd and pack – and the Guard as well, now – on such good terms with each other? Wasn’t half the purpose in forging the Guard to help… facilitate better cooperation? I’d say that’s something we’ve needed here in the Waste. What’s to say that’s not the case in the larger scale, too?” He jerks his head in an equine shrug. “I could be wrong, of course. Not like he’s a /tame/ Lion, that we can always know exactly what his purpose is.”

You say, “I…suppose.”

Tempest gives a rather listless nod.

Glyn looks downward, studying the snow caught between his toes. At length, he observes, “The work we’ve done to unite the herd and pack, and defend Narnia. The alliance between Narnia and Archenland was tested in this battle too, and it seems that we have held strong. There is that to celebrate, and always to bear in mind–not take for granted.” He shrugs. “Perhaps the lesson is that Aslan does come in times of great need, but we must also save ourselves.”

Tempest shakes her head a little. “Archenland couldn’t have saved herself…we were both saved because we worked together.”

Glyn nods to Tempest. “That’s what I mean.”

Caileana says, in a more firm tone than she has used thus far, “Then these bonds we have formed…those are what is important. What’s worth holding onto.” She looks between the three, gaze lingering on her fellow wolves.

Petraverd nods a bit. “Little value in what we are not willing to work toward…” He regards Caileana for a moment at her words, then nods once, a somewhat firmer motion. “Whatever distance they may stretch across,” he adds, and for a moment his glance too becomes distant, as he scuffs a hoof in the grass.

Tempest looks down at the ground, staring off in thought.

Glyn’s head lifts at the Unicorn’s words and he turns to Tempest. “I only wish I could have stood by your side too.”

Tempest lifts her head to offer a weak smile. “It would have been most welcome.”

Caileana studies Tempest a moment. “Tempest…I would enjoy your company, if you are amenable. And if,” she pauses to glance back at Glyn and Petraverd, “That is all the news the Guard needs to know.”

Petraverd simply cocks his head at a slight angle.

Glyn returns the smile to Tempest. “You know we will always be at your side if you have need.” When Caileana speaks, he clears his throat, “Oh, certainly. Don’t let us keep you. Thank-you for telling us what you saw, Tempest. It is good to have reliable information.”

Tempest exchanges a knowing look with Caileana before she nods her agreement and answers Glyn. “Of course. I will be here for at least a few days, so if there are any more questions you will be able to find me. Good night to you both.”

Caileana gets to her paws and pauses. “Ah, Glyn, if you would…stop by the den in the near future? I know Pheeobe would like your company, cooped up as she is going to be for some time.”

Petraverd dips his head. “To you as well, Tempest. A good eve to you both.”

Glyn’s head cants. “Happy to. I’m only sorry I have not been around more often. Cooped up, you say? Are her duties restricted?”

Caileana says, “Well, yeah, what with the broken leg and all…” She frowns. “Wait, had you not heard about that? You /have/ been keeping busy…”

Glyn climbs to a stand. “The *what*?”

Caileana hurries to reassure him, “She’s okay, Glyn. She was just…” She sighs, loudly and in exasperation. “Climbing trees again, and some squirrel was showing her how to hop from tree to tree, or…something, and she fell and broke her leg. Dragged herself all the way back to the den by herself and didn’t tell anyone for two days, the /dolt/.” The way she says the word is more angry, revealing her level of concern. “But I’ve got her taken care of and had Panacea fix her up. So she’s just recovering now.”

Petraverd blinks, perking his ears slightly in an ‘oh, so THAT’S how it happened?’ sort of look.

Tempest blinks rapidly several times. “Hopping…from tree to tree….”

Caileana looks weary. “Don’t even ask.”

You say, “I don’t get it anymore than you do.”

Glyn’s cocks to one side and stays that way for some time, baffled. “She…” He gives his head a shake. “Well, if you say she’s alright. Thank-you… for telling me. I’ll visit as soon as I can.” His lips press together as he struggles to get his thoughts in order.

Caileana nods. “Thank you,” she says softly. She brushes her shoulder against his, the contact feather-light and then gone. “And…don’t be a stranger, okay?” She then turns to Tempest. “You ready?”

Glyn smiles weakly and gives a farewell nod. “I’ll try. Take care, both of you.”

Tempest gives Caileana a nod. And a perceptive look. “Farewell Glyn, Petraverd.”

You say, “Good night, you two.”

At the Lamp-Post
You stand in the very heart of Lantern Waste, at the base of the lamp-post that gave this area its name. The clearing here is not particularly large, but there is a strange, almost eerie quality about it. The air is calm — quiet even — as if there is some reverence surrounding the lamp that even the environs respect.

The lamp is lit, casting a warm glow across the glade. Who lit it and how it remains lit is a mystery, but it shows no signs of faltering. To the south, you can hear the distant sounds of flowing water. A faint path leads through the trees to the east and west.
You can go: East <E>, To the River <S>, West <W>
Contents: A Lamp-Post {lit}.

Caileana wanders through the woods quietly till they near the Lamp-Post. “All right, spill,” she says, coming to a stop.

Tempest says, “You first.”

Caileana rubs a paw at her face. “Oy. You sure you want me to get into that? It’s a looong story.”

Tempest asks, “Well, I guess just…you and Glyn?”

Tempest looks at her for confirmation.

You say, “We’re not a thing. Not…exactly. Not yet? Maybe not ever? I don’t even know right now. I messed up, Tempest.”

Tempest hehs. “Oh dear…”

Caileana says, “He’s got…feelings for my tenderfoot. Or I thought he did? Does. Ugh. But right after Drune left, and I mean /the night/ he left, it came out that he had – has? – feelings for me, that I’ve apparently trampled all over repeatedly with Drune, and…” She shrugs emphatically. “I didn’t know! I thought he only wanted to be my friend! If I had known a long time ago…I don’t know what would have happened. So…there we are. We’re cleared it up, mostly, still good friends and all. The best. But I don’t know…if he still wants that or if he wants Pheeobe now or what. She would be good for him, probably better than me if I’m completely honest. And, Lion, I was practically /matchmaking/ the two of them before this all came out. And if I break Pheeobe’s heart in the process…” She sighs. “It’s a mess.”

Tempest says with vehement bitterness, “I. Hate. Men.”

Caileana flops onto the ground. “Tell me about it,” she says tiredly. “I don’t know about hate, but…some days.” She hehs.

Tempest slides down to the ground and presses her nose into the dirt. “I’m swearing off them for good. I’m done.”

You ask, “So what happened with you?”

Tempest asks, “The long version, or the short?”

Caileana waves a paw in the air. “Lay it on me.”

Tempest releases a heavy sigh. “Drune and I are over.” She finally says. “We were arguing…and he told me that he loved me but he couldn’t bear to hurt me. This was months after one brief conversation about still having feelings for each other, so basically he’s just doing the same thing he’s been doing. And I didn’t even really feel anything anymore when he told me, I was just like well okay then. And the next day he came after me and was all confused and I got so angry at him and we were arguing and he started to leave, and I told him..I told him if he left, that was it. I just couldn’t take it anymore, Cail. I can’t stand the back and forth and the guessing games. And he walked away. So it’s done.” she says, her words clipped.

Caileana is silent for a while before replying. “He said…he said that he loved you?” Her voice cracks slightly on the word ‘loved’. She exhales. “Well. That…sounds rather familiar, doesn’t it. Sounds like exactly the way things ended between me and him. Well. Mostly.”

Tempest nods dully. “‘S’what I was thinking….I just…wanted to be done. One way or the other.”

You say, “I think you did the right thing. I don’t…I don’t understand his problems with commitment. If you love someone, you should want to be with them, right? And be willing to do what’s necessary to make it work.”

Tempest nods, finally allowing her completely dejection to show through. “You’d think.”

Caileana looks over at her and frowns. “He’s an idiot to let you slip away, Tempest,” she says rather vehemently.

Tempest shrugs a little. “Oh well.”

Caileana pushes at her with a paw. “You deserve better.”

Tempest says, “That’s what everyone says.”

Tempest says, “Everyone says I’m making the right decision.”

You ask, “Do you not agree?”

Tempest says, “I don’t know what I think anymore. I’m tired of the whole thing.”

Caileana nods. “Maybe that’s a sign, I don’t know. I know I got to a similar point with Drune – I just couldn’t put up with the not knowing anymore, not to mention the ever-present thought that it was never going to work out /anyways/.” She sighs. “Still hurt though.”

Tempest nods slowly. “Think so too…but I’m too tired to feel much of anything at the moment.”

Caileana hehs. “Well, you’re here for the moment, so rest up and try to forget about it, hm? I’m here to distract you, after all.” She grins faintly.

Tempest returns the grin, getting back to her feet. “Thanks. I think it’ll be good being here for a little bit.”

Caileana stands as well, tail sweeping. “Well, I’m always glad to see you.”

Tempest says, “And I you. Have a good night, Cail. I’ll see you tomorrow.”

Caileana dips her head. “You too, Pest.”