mystery fruit

Sted Cair Town Square
Eastern Narnia

You stand in the middle of Sted Cair’s Town Square, the social hub of the township. All around you the citizens of Sted Cair are enjoying the fine weather as they travel through, going about their daily business.

The square itself is somewhat parklike, dominated in the center by a large grey marble statue of Aslan. The lion is seated and looks toward the east where Cair Paravel stands and his own land lies far beyond the ocean. His expression, while impressive, is neither menacing nor sedate. Instead, it simply looks majestic. A plaque underneath the statue simply reads, “Aslan”.

Streets lead in all four directions out of the square. There are buildings at each corner as well. To the northeast is the Explorer’s shop, and the Fruit Market sits under an impressive pavillion to the northwest. The Satyr’s Hoof Tavern lies to the southwest, and Grumich’s Pawnshop is southeast.

Megren walks through the market, stopping at almost all the stalls to examine their wares. Some are not particularly palatable to humans, but a surprising amount are at least comparable to what might be found in an Archenland market.

Lanisen trails along behind her, occasionally getting so side-tracked that he forgets to keep up. He stares up (and up and up) at a towering centaur as she canters by on her own business, accidentally bumps into a hedgehog, apologizes, loses track of Megren briefly, finds her again, and catches up next to a fruit stall.

Megren a little way ahead of him, also gets sidetracked by the centaur, who she watches until she’s almost fully obscured by the crowd. She turns a few circles when she realizes Lanisen is gone.

Lanisen says from beside her, a little out of breath, “Hi, sorry.”

Megren asks, “Did you see that one?”

Lanisen asks, glancing after the centaur, “Her?”

Megren says breathlessly, “Yeah, yeah.”

Lanisen grins big.

Megren says, “Wow.”

Lanisen raises his eyebrows and nods, laughing giddily.

Megren muses, “I wonder what it’s like to be so tall.”

Lanisen says, “And run like that, it can’t be anything like riding.”

Megren’s brows lift. “Running, how do you even run?”

Lanisen agrees solemnly, “It’s a lot of feet to keep track of.”

Megren asks, “What do you do with the human part?”

Lanisen squints. “I don’t know!”

Megren says, “She must have the strongest core muscles.”

Lanisen squints again and laughs. “Whatever it is. Wish I could run like that.”

Megren breathes, “Yeah.”

Lanisen says, “I met a bat in the garden this morning.”

Megren asks, “Yeah?”

Lanisen says, “Wethy? Wethil. She said she’s the nighttime errand-runner.”

Megren asks, “How big?”

Lanisen says, “Mm…” and measures out a height of about a foot with his hands. “Wings, I dunno…” He demonstrates a span of maybe three or four feet. “Little, but enormous for a bat.”

Megren asks, “What was she like?”

Lanisen grins. “She offered me raisins.”

Megren exclaims, “Hmm!”

Lanisen asks, “Did you look at the fountain in the garden?”

Megren picks up an quince and eyes it curiously, shaking her head in answer to him.

Lanisen says, “You should, you should look when we go back.”

Megren asks, “Look what’s this?”

Lanisen hms?

Megren lifts the quince for him to see.
Megren says, “It looks like an apple but it doesn’t feel like one.”

Lanisen blinks. He shifts closer to the fruit stall and picks up one to inspect for himself. “Looks more like a pear to me.”

Megren looks up at the seller, a large lopey Bear. “Hello, excuse me? Is this a pear?”

Lanisen sniffs the fruit curiously. He opens his eyes wide in surprise and delight. “Meg, smell this, smell it!”

The Bear startles a little, as if she had just been drowsing. “Mm?” She eyes the fruit. “Don’t think so,” she muses, sounding confused.

Megren lifts the fruit to her nose, brows drawing together. “Smells like vanilla.”

Lanisen squints. “Vanilla? No, it’s like…” He inhales again. “I don’t know, I don’t know, it’s…” He looks at the Bear. “How, how much?”

The Bear makes a grumbly sound as she readjusts herself to peer at what he’s consider. “Quince? That’s hard to find. Got to be a good offer, for quince.”

Megren pulls out some larger coins and a handful of ginger candies.

Lanisen asks, pulling his own coinpurse out of his pocket, “How much are you wantin’ for it?”

The Bear pulls a few coins from Megren’s hand, as well as all of the ginger candies.

Lanisen passes over coins to Megren to match what the Bear took and cups his hands around the fruit, sniffing again delightedly.

Megren doesn’t take them.

The Bear points a claw. “You want to stew that.”

Lanisen asks, “Stew it?”
Lanisen casually drops the coins into Megren’s most convenient pocket.

Megren butts him away. “Like applesauce.”

Lanisen mmphs in protest.

The Bear muses uncertainly. “Applesauce, applesauce. Could do. Not much of a cook myself. Might ask a Faun, that’s what I’d do.”

Megren glances at Lanisen. “Do you know any Fauns?”

Lanisen says, “All right.” He sniffs the fruit again happily, seeming liable to do this for the rest of the day. “Me? No. Not yet, anyway.”

Megren hmms thoughtfully. “Suppose we’ll have to make friends.”

Lanisen says, “Guess so!”

Megren says, “Confound it. What a turn of events.”

The Bear looks from the Daughter of Eve to the Son of Adam to the Daughter of Eve.

Lanisen says, “Well, we’d better get it over with, I suppose!”

Megren extends a hand to shake the Bear’s paw. “Thank you.”

Lanisen echoes, “Yes, thank you!” and reaches out after Megren has done to do the same.

The Bear says, “Oh.” She watches her wiggling paw. “Thank, ah, thank you.”

Megren asks, “What was your name?”

Lanisen dimples up and backs away, trying not to grin /too/ big at the Bear’s confusion.

The Bear says, “Cheery, I’m Cheery. Who are you?”

Lanisen waves cheerily over her shoulder and says, “Lanisen.”

Cheery waves back at Lanisen. “Hello.”

Megren looks at Lanisen. “Time to hunt for presents?”

Lanisen agrees, “Yeah, all right.”

Megren looks very pleased. “Excellent.” She turns to the Bear. “We’ll see you again, I’m sure, Cheery.”

Cheery nods amiably.

Lanisen sniffs the quince again, closing his eyes in deep appreciation, and waves again to Cheery.


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