festival, night 2

Fruited Copse
Lantern Waste
Northwestern Narnia

The Narnian wilds surrounds you in a beautiful, shady tapestry. Fall has woven together reds, oranges, and golds, accented by the occasional evergreen. Even here, where the forest is more open, leaves crinkle constantly underfoot.

Near the walnut tree, a bonfire crackles merrily, warming the crisp, Autumn air. Beasts gather around it, chatting and laughing together. A Dormouse roasts walnuts beside the bonfire, and the scent of cinnamon and honey permeates the air. Nut shells are scattered about the ground as the talkers munch away.

Lanisen walks alone through the orchard, eating an apple. He pauses every now and then to chat briefly with acquaintances, but mostly keeps to himself.

A faun wearing a pale blue scarf (Leon) is himself being kept quite busy with making music, the faun playing a slow, quiet tune on his pipes. He watches the son of adam with some interest, only pausing his tune long enough to say, “Enjoying the evening, stranger?”

Lanisen pauses politely, glancing toward the faun. “Yes, thank you,” he answers. “It’s a nice night.”

Leon nods. “It is. Good food. Good music. Nice weather…”

Lanisen glances up at the clear sky and the stars hanging crisp and bright and seeming nearly close enough to touch. “I like this time of year.”

Leon smiles. “Aye, so do I. The trees turning to reds and golds, the nip in the air, just before winter… It’s been a good year, overall.”

Lanisen asks, “Yeah?”

Leon nods. “Yes indeed! Very good, for myself, at least. I had occasion to visit fair Cair Paravel, on more than one occasion, to visit with Queen Lucy. I believe that is certainly enough to make my entire year quite enjoyable, indeed.”

Lanisen says, “Oh, we’ve just come from there.”

Leon asks, “You’re a resident of Cair Paravel?”

Lanisen says, “Wh– no, no, we were visitin’, is all.’

Leon ahs, nodding. “I understand. I’m not a resident of Sted Cair, either, merely a visitor, too.”

Lanisen says, “‘S a beautiful place. The athen, athenaeum, I liked that.”

Leon nods again. “It is, it is! The gardens inside Cair Paravel are incredible!”

Lanisen says, with a quick fond grin, “My friend who I’m travelin’ with went wild for the roses.”

Leon quirks a brow. “Ah? They were indeed superb. We have lovely roses in Bergdale, but the gardener at Cair Paravel might just have them beat.” The faun crosses his arms. “Did you perchance meet the Kings and Queens?”

Lanisen nods. He seems about to elaborate, but hesitates, a little red-eared, and does not.

Leon claps his hands, grinning. “Oh my, how fortunate for you, Sir! I myself have only met Queen Lucy, but…” He leans in closer, confidentially, “She’s the one I like the best.”

Lanisen says, “Oh, haha.”

Leon nods again, seriously now. “Indeed. That is chiefly why I hoofed it up here to Lantern Waste… Haha, hoofed it…. Anyway, ahem… I am hoping to see Queen Lucy, and perhaps King Edmund, too… But alas, I’ve been so caught up with the merriment.”

Lanisen asks, frowning, “Are they comin’ here, then?”

Leon shrugs. “Possibly. I believe I heard from someone that the White Stag had been sighted not too far from here… So perhaps we may yet be in luck? At least, I do hope so.”

Lanisen says, “Oh, of course. I hadn’t– Of course they’d come for that.”

Leon says, “Most certainly. Maybe tomorrow, even.”

Lanisen pauses, thinking, then nods. “I suppose, it’s been a few days.”

Leon perks an ear. “A few days since what?”

Lanisen says, “Since the white stag.”

Leon ohs, and nods. “Oh yes, of course, heh.” The faun then claps his hands again. “But, look at me, where are my manners? We haven’t even been properly introduced. I’m Leon.”

Lanisen ducks his head politely. “Lanisen.”

Leon smiles. “Well met, Lanisen. I am curious, besides visiting Cair Paravel, have you traveled far?”

Lanisen says, “Um, after the castle, it was– we went through Beruna and the woods, sort of circled up this direction. We’re, we’re sort of slow at travelin’, there’s so much to see.”

Leon leans forward. “A grand tour of Narnia, is it? Ah… You’re not originally from Narnia, I wager?”

Lanisen says, “No, I’m from Anvard.”

Leon quirks a brow. “Indeed? I must say, I know very few Archenlanders. Tell me, what do you think of Narnia?”

Lanisen says, “It’s…” He pauses. “It’s not like anything I could’ve imagined,” he says frankly. “There’s, there’s so much. Everything’s… I haven’t got the words.”

Leon nods, hmming. “I bet.” He chuckles. “Not too many fauns in Archenland, eh?” He laughs, glancing down as he busies himself with storing his pipes in his satchel. “I shall say, then, welcome to Narnia, sir. I’d ask you all about Cor and Aravis and all the others, but it grows late, and I’m sure you must be weary… So perhaps another time?”

Lanisen looks rather startled by the faun’s casual reference to nobility, but he nods and steps away, agreeing, “Maybe so.”

Leon grins a little. “Sleep you well, then, and perhaps we may meet again on the morrow.” He waves, and turns to depart.

Lanisen says, “Evenin’.” He continues down the path.


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