In the Great Woods
Lanisen is walking along the side of the inn, his head tilted back to see into the trees. It’s not raining, but it feels as though it might soon, and it hasn’t been very long since the last drizzle. Everything is damp and rather chilly, a little fog rising from the creek, and sounds are strangely muted under the trees.
A wolf with a white forepaw pads along the forest ground, sniffing this and that. Every so often, she pauses to dig up some of the dirt, sniffing at the ground. Her paw steps are light and to a human’s ears, it may be hard to pick up.
Lanisen keeps moving. When he reaches the north face of the building, he turns right to walk west along the path, in no particular hurry, his hands in his pockets.
Crenna pauses, her nose twitching. She follows her nose toward the inn, looking for the source of this new scent she has picked up.
Lanisen steps off the path, meandering closer to a very old oak tree. He reaches out to gently shift a low-hanging spray of leaves out of the way, his hands coming away damp with raindrops, and moves on.
Crenna spies the source of this scent, finding the man wandering. She watches him curiously for a moment before barking out, “Hello there.”
Lanisen halts and turns, his eyes searching the forest at his own eye level first. It takes him a moment to find the wolf, but he turns more fully toward her when he does, his eyes lighting with surprise and delight. “Hi,” he answers after a small, half-cautious pause. “Sorry, hi.”
Crenna gives him a warm smile, “Hello.” She pads closer to him, “Are you visiting the Woods? We don’t get many sons of Adam here.” Her tail swishes lazily back and forth.
Lanisen shifts as she approaches, not afraid, but still watchful. His eyes flit briefly to the motion of her tail. “Yeah, we– last night, just last night we came in. Is this, you live nearby?”
Crenna looks interested, “Oh visitors! I love visitors. Are you from Archenland? I have always wanted to go there though my time of traveling is done with.” She chuckles, “Welcome to Narnia regardless.”
Lanisen rubs his elbow, then drops his hands to his side. “Thank you,” he answers, ducking his head and shoulders forward slightly in a tiny polite bow. “From, from Archenland, yeah, we’re from Anvard.”
Crenna perks her ears forward, “Oh I have heard that name. The King lives there, right?” A moment goes by, “Oh my, I’m so sorry. I forgot to introduce myself. I am Crenna, Healer of Wintereden.”
Lanisen’s face flickers with recognition at the mention of Winterden, and he looks at Crenna with interest. “A pleasure, miss,” he answers. “My name’s Lanisen.”
Crenna dips her head in greeting as well, “Nice to meet you Lanisen. So what brings you to Narnia?”
Lanisen says, “We’re, I’m travelin’ with some friends, it’s– we’ve been meanin’ to, I been wantin’ to since the battle last– sorry, two, two years ago now. Visiting, we’re just visiting.”
Crenna tips her head at him, sniffing him out, “It is quite alright. There are no wolves here that will eat you.”
Lanisen lifts his eyebrows in surprise, and then winces a little, his face breaking into a quick self-chastising grin. “Sorry, I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to– I’m not– I met Wolves before, I’m not, I’m not /afraid/.”
Crenna ohs, looking also embarrassed, “My apologies. I know that some Sons of Adams and Daughters of Eve hear made up storied about us Wolves. We are perfectly fine and safe.” She nods her head to emphasis her point.
Lanisen assures her, a little red-eared, “I’ve never, I don’t know any stories like that.”
Crenna chuckles, “Oh good.” She sits down which ends up getting her fur all wet so she stands back up, “So what places are you visiting? I have done some traveling all over.”
Lanisen says, “Oh,” and grins, lifting his shoulders. “Um, we talked about goin’ down the coast a bit, maybe, see the castle and the town.”
Crenna gasps, “Oh I love the water. Especially the beach area north of the castle. It is so peaceful and you never know who you are going to meet.” She points to the East with her muzzle, “We have a overhang to watch the water and stars a few miles to the east. If you have time to visit.”
Lanisen looks that way, raising his eyebrows. “Yeah?”
Crenna nods, “I was just on my way towards there to look for herbs. I can show you if you like.”
Lanisen hesitates, glancing toward the inn. “Can I leave a message so my friends know where I’ve gone?”
Crenna nods, “Of course.” The wolf smiles at him, “And you don’t have to go now if you don’t wish it.”
Lanisen says, “I’d, I’d like to come, I think. I just, they’ll worry if I don’t–”
Crenna nods, “Please, go let your friends know or even invite them if you wish. I can give you a tour of the area.”
Lanisen promises, “I’ll just be a minute.”
Crenna nods, “Okay.” She walks with him to the Inn’s door and waits for him outside.
Lanisen asks, “You said a couple miles east? Is it, is there a path, or…?”
Crenna explains how to get there.
Lanisen listens, asks a few questions to be sure of the way, then nods and disappears inside. He’s only gone a moment.
Crenna waits for the man, already liking him.
Lanisen steps out again. He looks oddly apprehensive, and he wipes his palms on his shirt. “I shouldn’t– I shouldn’t be gone too long, prob’ly,” he says, glancing at her cautiously.
Crenna shakes her head, “I mean, it will be however long you want to stay there.” She stands to her paws and stands next to him to guide him along the way.
Lanisen hesitates a moment, then sets his jaw and follows after her.
Crenna senses his uneasiness and moves away from him. She just chats with him as they walk to the overhang, asking him about his family and such things.
Lanisen remains uneasy, though he seems to be working hard to overcome his discomfort, and it doesn’t seem directed at the wolf. He answers politely and responds with questions in kind.
The Beach, at Stormness
You stand on a jutting peninsula that overlooks the sea. Below you, a low, rocky cliff angles downward at odd angles into the water, where waves crash on jagged spars jutting up in all directions. It’s a pretty view, but not much for diving.
To the west, the dense forests of the Great Woods of Narnia rise up in a great, leafy mass. You almost cannot see any way into it.
As the two finally make it to storminess, the waves upon the rocks can be heard. Crenna says, “We are here, watch your step.”
Lanisen has slowed several times on the way, looking back as if uncertain of his decision to come out alone, but each time he has straightened his shoulders and faced forward again. As they step out of the trees, he draws in a long, slow breath of wonder at the view.
Crenna looks at his face and smiles, “It is one of the best views around in my opinion.” She notices his slight limp, “Oh goodness, are you hurt?”
Lanisen glances at her quickly at this and turns slightly red. “Sorry, no, it’s, it’s old, it’s not that bad.”
Crenna smiles at him again, “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that. If it is bothering you, just let me know. I can give you some herbs though I guess you won’t like them raw.” She gets her thinking face on, “Though you could probably boil them and put them in a tea.”
Lanisen says, “I’ve, I’ve got a tincture if it’s bad.”
Crenna’s ears perk up, “Oh, do you mind what you take for it? I just know Narnian remedies. I am quite curious about Archenland remedies.”
Lanisen says, “It’s just willow bark.”
Crenna nods her head, “I see. Do you make it in a tea?”
Lanisen says, “Um, there’s a, there’s a tea they give me sometimes with it in, but it’s– Adrian says it works better in a tincture, and anyway it’s less swallowin’.”
Crenna nods, dropping the subject. She turns and looks at the ocean, “I love watching the water.” She pads closer to the edge, “Drune and I have had many a wonderful talk here.”
Lanisen follows her, careful of his footing, but he glances at her at this. “Drune! That’s, I know him! Or, I mean, I met him. He was in Anvard.”
Crenna looks back at him, “Yes, yes! He was there at the battle, along with Alpha Tempest. I was only a scout at the time and still a bit new to the pack.”She lets out a breath, “I am so glad that Aslan keep everyone safe and mostly unharmed.”
Lanisen says, “Tempest, yeah, her too! They were– everybody who got hurt was stayin’ in the same place and they were there.”
Crenna looks at his leg, “Was, was that a result of the battle?”
Lanisen turns rather red. “Not, not the battle exactly, there was– the night before, there were some arrows. I wasn’t in the battle.”
Crenna’s eyes widen, “Oh my goodness. I am so sorry, Lanisen. That must have been terrifying.”
Lanisen doesn’t really look like he knows what to say to this.
Crenna lapses into silence and lets the waves and the sounds of the forest fill in for noise.
Lanisen shifts and ventures after a moment, “We’d’ve, we’d’ve been– if it weren’t for folk from Narnia who came even though it wasn’t their land, it was– if, if we’d won at all it would’ve been…” He stops.
Crenna nods her head, “I am very glad that we were able to aide in help. I just hope that it won’t happen again.” She frowns, “I would hate to think that more attacks like that would happen again.”
Lanisen pushes his mouth to the side and finds a place to sit. “I don’t think it will.”
Crenna watches him, still giving him space, “I hope so. Though Aslan protects and guides us always.”
Lanisen asks, “Do you see him often here?”
Crenna’s eyes widen, “Oh heavens, no. I would /love/ to see him though. I heard he appeared at the battle. Er, after the battle anyway.”
Lanisen drops his eyes and nods, disappointed.
Crenna watches his face, “Though I am just a simple Wolf. He may be too busy to reveal himself here to me.”
Lanisen lifts his shoulders, glancing back at her.
Crenna looks up towards the sky, “Well, I better be on my way. Would you like me to guide you back or do you want to stay here for awhile?”
Lanisen gets to his feet. “I’ll walk with you, if that’s, if you don’t mind.”
Crenna shakes her head, “Of course not! I can give you a tour if you would like? So you know the surrounding area?”
Lanisen shakes his head a little ruefully. “Everything looks the same, I’m a little afraid to go out of earshot of the inn, to tell you the truth.”
Crenna starts to lead him back, “Oh, if you get lost, just call on one of the birds. They will either help you or go find someone to help you. Though, don’t trust anything that they say.” She chuckles, “They like to gossip.”
Lanisen says, a little startled, “Oh. Of course.” He shakes his head slightly and laughs under his breath. “Ask the birds…”
Crenna grins, “Oh you can ask the squirrels but they are even worse gossiper.” She leans in to whisper, “Your best bet is asking one of the bigger beasts, like a deer or even an otter.” She leads him back towards the inn.
Lanisen laughs again, overwhelmed and a little giddy. “Thank you,” he adds, following her back to the inn.