The Beach near Sted Cair
This stretch of beach is quiet, largely abandoned except for the occasional shorebird. Perfectly clear blue water surges up in rhythmic waves to meet the smooth shore, fine golden sand studded with seashells. The water is gentle and fairly shallow for some distance out, though a darkening in the color suggests an abrupt drop-off of the ground below the surface. The beach is sheltered by a series of towering sea-stacks to the southeast and by the the peninsula to the north, on which the castle of Cair Paravel sits with all its windows glittering in the sun. The beach gets progressively rockier to the south, where smooth sand gives way gradually to tide pools and boulders.
A sandy little-trodden path leads southwest up the slope to the main road, and the beach is clear all the way to the castle to the north.
Lanisen follows the beach along the mainland in the early evening, walking away from the castle, carrying his shoes in his hand.
Wintermoor is standing along the beach, watching the waves and waiting for the sun to set.
Lanisen circles around a rocky stretch, keeping close to the waterline, and hesitates when Wintermoor comes into his line of sight.
Wintermoor turns at the sound of footsteps, raising a hand in greeting to Lanisen.
Lanisen shifts his course to approach the Centaur, ducking his head in answering greeting when he’s near enough. He looks tired.
Wintermoor calls when Lanisen is close enough to hear, “Good evening, my friend.”
Lanisen says, “Evening, sir.” He slows and stops, his bare feet digging into the sand. “I wondered if that was you.”
Wintermoor says, “It is. I have come on your recommendation to speak to the librarian about recording my story.”
Lanisen says, his eyes widening, “Oh! Oh, that’s, I see!”
Wintermoor says, “I have found more than I expected however. He observes Lanisen’s face with some concern. “And you, how do you fair, my friend? when we parted last, I did not expect to see you soon again.”
Lanisen says, “Um,” and glances over his shoulder toward Cair Paravel. “I didn’t– I hadn’t thought to be back before the fall, but it– there was a small party comin’ with Lady Avery, and they were kind enough to invite me.”
Wintermoor nods. “And you are well?”
Lanisen says, “I’m– I’m all right, thank you.”
Wintermoor nods. “You are welcome my friend.”
Lanisen stands near the waterline speaking with Wintermoor, barefoot and carrying his shoes. He doesn’t seem to know how to answer Wintermoor, so he nods and shifts his weight.
Leon appears from the north, approaching the others at a leisurely pace, staring out to sea now and again. “Good day!” he calls out when he gets near enough.
Lanisen startles visibly, his shoulders hunching up, and turns.
Wintermoor takes a several steps closer to Lanisen, laying a hand on his shoulder as he hears the greeting and observes Lanisen’s reaction. His other hand rests at his side, close enough to a weapon if necessary. He however does not seem to view the faun as dangerous. “Good evening,” he greets the faun.
Lanisen jumps slightly at the unexpected contact, his attention split between Wintermoor behind him and the approaching Faun, but he breathes, and relaxes.
Leon inclines his head in greeting once he draws near enough. “And to you.” He regards the son of Adam thoughtfully. “We’ve met before, I believe, although briefly, at the Hunt…” He turns to the centaur. “And I am equally certain we have made acquaintance in the past, as well, though where, I could not say…”
Lanisen bows his head slightly to return Leon’s greeting.
Wintermoor removes his hand, realizing his error, but stays close to Lanisen. He nods to the faun. “It may be the we have met along the river bank of the swift. I have come from there most recently.”
Leon nods, smiling in a relaxed manner. “Quite possibly. I do a fair bit of traveling, here, there, everywhere…” He looks out at the sea, hmming to himself. “You seem tense, sir,” he says rather abruptly to Lanisen.
Lanisen glances rather distractedly at Wintermoor as he withdraws his hand, and shifts his weight. “I beg your pardon,” he answers Leon, ducking his head.
Wintermoor shifts his weights as well, “Perhaps so. I am called Wintermoor of the Council Ring. And you might be, Friend?”
Leon looks at the man. “I said you seem tense. On edge. You should relax, my friend. Let it all go. What you need… Is a good smoke…” The faun smiles at Wintermoor again. “I am Leon, from Bergdale, though of late I spend a great deal of time in Sted Cair.”
Wintermoor’s brow wrinkles at the Faun’s words, “Let the Son of Adam be, young Leon. Many carry burdens which cannot released even with smoke as excellent as that of the Fauns of Bergdale.” This admonition though spoken with authority, is spoken softly and more in the manner of advice than rebuke. He continues, “Yet, the night draws near and the stars will shine bright tonight. Will you gaze with us a while?”
Leon nods. “True enough, true enough,” he acquiesced, “Though, I do find it helps me think…” He looks up toward the sky, then toward Lanisen. “My apologies, son of Adam.” The faun sits himself on a nearby rock. “I should be pleased indeed to gaze at the stars this eve.”
Lanisen shifts where he stands, his face gone flushed. He looks back toward the castle.
Wintermoor turns to observe Lanisen and notes his glance back towards the castle.
Leon peers out at the ocean. “You two wouldn’t mind if I play something appropriate on my pipes, hmm?”
Lanisen says nothing.
Wintermoor puts his hand over his sword hilt, and looks to his companion to see whether he will choose to return or not. At the Faun’s question he replies, “No, I do not mind.”
Leon reaches into his satchel, and retrieves his pipes. The faun plays a few notes, then looks up at the stars, and plays a low, quiet tune.
Lanisen shifts again and looks at Wintermoor. “It’s, it’s gettin’ dark, I should be headin’ back.”
Wintermoor nods, “I will accompany you then.” He turns to the Faun, listening a moment and appreciating the tune. “A pleasant evening to you, Leon. May we meet again.” He stands ready to follow Lanisen at his pleasure.
Lanisen asks, “Are– are you sure? You don’t have to…”
Wintermoor nods, “I am quiet certain, My friend.”
Leon pauses his playing. “Oh… If you both are departing, then good night…”
Lanisen hesitates, then lowers his head and acquiesces with a nod, murmuring, “Thank you.”
Wintermoor turns to the Faun, “I shall return, for the night is young yet and it the work of the centaurs to watch the skies.” He waits for Lanisen to start walking.
Lanisen ducks his head briefly to Leon, then moves toward the castle. His bare feet make very little noise on the damp sand.
Wintermoor follows after Lanisen, one hand on his sword. As they move off, he begins to softly sing an old Narnian song.