The Beach near Sted Cair
Oren’s camp is stirring about the fringes, with a couple of tables laid out with the remains of a great feast: soup, fish, cheeses, mead, pheasant and some sort of excellent roast as well as a mound of roasted potatoes in some sort of sauce overflow. A runner was sent into town scarce a quarter of an hour before, and any who could be found about at the hour were told they were welcome to partake of the sunset meal. The smell of fat, frying over a fire, wafts into the area, a bit at odds with the style of the elegant meal laid out on the table, but no less mouth-watering.”
Leon had been partaking in an evening stroll, when the messenger found him, and thus now he found himself on the beach, approaching the camp and all that inviting food.
Eimear quickly follows after Leon and comes to the beach with a large smile. She calls out, “I heard there was a feast and it sure smells like it!”
Oren laughs and addresses the fauns. “Not so much a feast as an embarrassment of leftovers, my friends! I had a guest for supper and didn’t know how much to cook, so I asked for extra of everything.”
Leon claps merrily. “My, my, Eimear, doesn’t it just smell divine! Where did it all come from?”
Eimear smiles at Leon and then skips over to the food.
Lanisen comes walking along the beach around sunset with no real sense of urgency or expectation: it may be assumed that the messenger missed him. He slows as the smell of the food reaches him, and approaches more slowly.
Oren says, “Please, partake and enjoy yourselves.”
Eimear smiles at Oren. “Thank you, Sir!” She takes her time to look at and admire all the food.
Leon pours himself a flagon of wine, and looks over the tables to see what may be found. “Did this *all* come from the Castle kitchens? They must work night and day for all this…”
Oren shakes his head. “I had the ingredients purchased in town from my own funds, and lent some of my own people to the kitchens to aid, once we were sure it wouldn’t be a burden. The castle staff seemed eager to have something to do, and to try some new recipes.”
Megren comes down to the beach from the north, a curious expression on her face. She walks sedately enough, but with a purpose that contrasts Lanisen’s. She veers toward him when she sees him among the crowd.
Lanisen stays by the water, hanging back and watching, rather puzzled.
Leon selects a bowl, and starts to serve himself some of the soup. “It all smells divine, Duke, sir,” he says, ladling sauced potatoes on a plate.
Eimear takes some fruit and some meat.
Oren says, “Credit goes to the cooks. I’m not so handy in the kitchen, myself.”
Wethil flies down from the castle, apparently not yet on shift for the night.
Eimear smiles at the food. “I was wondering if we would get to enjoy it.”
Leon carves himself a bit of the roast, eager to try it. “I am most pleased we get to!”
Oren says, “Perhaps if we’re lucky we’ll find some musicians interested in playing for their supper.”
Megren pokes the kennel-keeper in the side.
Lanisen jumps and elbows at the poking hand. “What’s goin’ on?” he asks, indicating the camp with a jerk of his head.
Wethil flaps around above the camp, squinting down to figure out what all is going on.
Eimear takes her food to sit in the corner of the tent.
Megren says, “Some kind of feast thing, I think? Somebody came by the Athenaeum and said food and I said how high.”
Leon sits not too far from Eimear, digging in with gusto. “I say, this is superb. This soup is simply amazing.”
Lanisen says, a little uncertainly, “Hmm.”
Oren asks Leon. “I’m pleased you like it. What is your friend’s name?”
Wethil spies the two humans near the water and swoops down that way.
Eimear swallows hard and starts coughing.
Leon looks at the other faun with concern. “Are you alright?” He responds to Oren, “Why, it’s Eimear… She work in the kitchen of Cair Paravel…”
Oren’s eyebrows raise. “Indeed? Did you assist in cooking this, madam?”
Megren asks, “Hungry?”
Eimear coughs for a couple more moments and then, with eyes watering, nods. “I am sure something…I am there all the time.”
Lanisen lifts his shoulders noncommittally.
Oren says, “Then you have my thanks. My guest enjoyed it, as did I.”
Wethil reaches Megren and Lanisen. “Hullo, hullo!” she calls, flying around them once. “Did you, mm, did you come for the food? I, mmm, I was just told, yes yes.”
Leon offers to hit Eimear on the back. “Feeling better?”
Lanisen’s eyes track after Wethil for a moment before she reaches them, brightening up. “Hey!” he answers. “I just, I just came walkin’, I didn’t know there was food.”
Megren exclaims, “Hello! Yes, I did, and curiosity.”
Eimear coughs once more before nodding again. “Yes. Thank you.” To Oren she adds, “I am glad they did. Nothing brings me more joy than making people happy with food.”
Aliyah makes her way from the direction of the river, her nose sniffing quickly. She’s thrown all caution to the wind at the smell of the fat and other foods. Plus, her patrol has been forgotten as well. Since when can a wolf resist food after all? She comes closer to the small gathering and offers a quiet wuff in greeting.
Oren asks, “What brought you to work in the kitchen?”
Leon looks at Oren now. Wordlessly. “I say, Eimear, you *really* outdid yourself!”
Wethil lands on the sand and cranes her neck up to look at them. “Mm, mm, I’m glad you both came, I, mm, Volne couldn’t make it, and I didn’t, mmm, didn’t /really/ want to go alone, no.”
Eimear shrugs, blushing a bit but it is hard to tell with her dark skin. “I was raised cooking with my mother.” To Leon she shakes her head, “Everyone helps everyone.”
Leon eats his serving of soup. “You always live in Sted Cair, Eimear?”
Eimear nods. “Yes.”
Aliyah makes her way over to Lanisen, megren, and Wethil. She nods to them.
Lanisen starts to grin as the Wolf approaches, and then he recognizes her. He averts his eyes.
Leon asks, “Ah, have you ever visited Bergdale?”
Eimear shakes her head and looks at Leon. “I have never left here.”
Megren says, “Eating with other people is always better.”
Leon looks shocked. “Oh, oh dear, that simply WON’T do, my friend! ALL Fauns should see Bergdale at least once…”
Wethil nods. “Mmm, mmm, shall we?” She sees the Wolf and lifts one wing to wave, tipping way to one side for balance.
Aliyah grins down at the little bat. “How are you?” she purposely avoids Lanisen’s gaze for the moment, only managing somewhat of a sheepish look.
Eimear smiles. “Someday…maybe.”
Wethil bobs her head. “I, mm, I was going to get some breakfast, and then, mm, then I was told about this! How are you?” She glances between Lanisen and Aliyah, confused, but doesn’t comment.
Oren asks, “Bergdale…that’s south of the river, isn’t it?”
Leon nods. “Yes, about a day’s journey south of the river… More like two day’s journey from Sted Cair, though.”
Aliyah tilts her head. “Doing well. I’m skipping out on part of my patrol for this, but oh well. I’ll make it up to the rest of the pack.” her tail waves slowly.
Oren says, “I think my son and I passed through there when we travelled the country”
Leon perks up at that. “Oh? What did you think of it? We welcome all visitors!”
Oren says, “It was enchanting. All those fruit trees. And such beautiful music.”
Lanisen watches the goings-on at the camp, and the people eating.
Eimear continues eating. “Are you going to play music, Leon?”
Wethil looks up at the humans, then takes off, flying around them. “Shall we, yes yes?”
Oren asks, “You play?”
Leon nods to Oren. “Ah, I am pleased you enjoyed it.” The faun offers a big wave, and calls out, “You lot ever gonna join us, or just stand there watching us eat it all? Come on!” He nods at Eimear. “I believe I could be cajoled into it, yes…”
Aliyah laughs. “I take it you’re starving after your day of sleep?”
Eimear smiles at Leon. “Oh please do. It is lovely.”
Megren grins at the faun and grabs Lanisen’s hand to pull him that way.
Leon says, “Yes, Oren, sir. I play the pipes.”
Wethil says, “Aren’t you, mm, hungry when you wake up in, in the morning? There’s no real, mm, difference, no no.”
Lanisen says, “It makes sense to– oh, oh, we’re movin’, all right.”
Oren says, “I’m sure you’d be doing a great service if you’d humor us.”
Aliyah moves to the side of Wethil as the two talk. “Not really. I’m not much of a morning wolf anyway, so I supposed that makes a difference.”
Wethil flies towards the tent, circling back in order to keep pace with the others. “But, mm, even if it /isn’t/ morning, mm, most Beasts eat when they wake up, it’s, it’s natural, it, mm, helps me wake up and feel good, yes yes.”
Leon pulls his pipes out of his bag, and starts to play a cheerful tune.
Oren takes a seat and sits back, enjoying the music. Sometime in the midst of it, one of his people comes over and speaks in his ear. He nods and smiles and approaches Eimear.
Oren mumbles “… … … says the … balls … ready. … you … … … … … with … … or apricot … … … … beng pulled away for … little …”, to Eimear.
Megren says, “This looks lovely.”
Eimear looks to Oren. “Raspberry. I will tell them. Thank you again.”
Lanisen’s attention is more on the people around than the food, especially the people already eating.
Oren exclaims, “Thank you. Hopefully I won’t be long.” With this, Oren waves to those assembled. “Please enjoy!” Then he turns and strides towards his ship.”
Eimear goes around to everyone, listening to Leon play while telling them about the batter balls.
Leon continues to play as the others come in.
Wethil sticks close to her initial companions as they head in. She breaks off to do a sweep of the tables, flying overhead to scout out where the tastiest things are laid.
Lanisen slows and hangs back rather than approaching the tables.
Aliyah stops near Lanisen, carefully looking over the food from a distance.
Megren pokes Lanisen in the side.
Eimear walks around, finishing her rounds. She then goes to Leon and gives him a wave and a smile and walks out of the tent.
Lanisen jumps again, taking a dancing step back and guarding his sides with his elbows.
Leon waves to Eimear as she departs.
Wethil circles back to them after her scouting is done. “Mm…?”
Aliyah muzzle twitches at Lanisen’s reaction to Megren’s prodding.
Leon waves over Megren. “Hello, daughter of Eve.”
Megren says, “Are you going to make me fetch you some and taste it first and then bring it to you.”
Lanisen flushes. “No, no, I’m just– I had, I had dinner.”
Aliyah says, “Call it a midnight snack then… Or a sunset snack.”
Leon exclaims, “Lanisen!!! How good of you to join us!”
Wethil flies after Megren, though she circles back to Lanisen. “Mm, mm, sit with us, maybe? There’s, mm, plenty of room, yes yes.”
Lanisen says, “Um,” and shifts, glancing from Megren to Aliyah, and then to Wethil. “All right,” he answers, and follows the Bat. When Leon addresses him, he raises his head and offers a smile of greeting.
Megren says, “Leon, when did you learn to play? You seem to do it so naturally.”
Leon smiles. “When I was very young, actually.”
Aliyah shifts, eyeing the food. As she is about to move for a piece of meat, a bird swoops down and lands on her shoulder. She tilts her head towards the little creature as it speaks and then nods. “Tell her I will be there as soon as I can,” she says softly. When it resumes its flight, she looks at the others. “Apologies, but I am needed at the den.” She hardly waits for a goodbye before running from the beach at full speed, tail fanning out behind her.
Megren’s eyes follow the Wolf with surprise.
Lanisen halts, watching her go with concern, and says to Wethil, “I hope everybody’s all right…”
Aliyah follows the footpath southwest, toward the road.
Wethil blinks after the sprinting Wolf. “Mhm… Their den is, mm, not /close/, I hope she’s alright, mm, with all of the running…”
Lanisen says, “No, it’s– unless she means where they’re stayin’ while they’re here, maybe. I got the impression from Layavin that most of the pack is here…”
Megren asks, “Should somebody follow her?”
Lanisen asks, “Who could keep up?”
Wethil asks, “I could, yes yes.” She glances back at the castle, then nods once, decisive. “Mm, mm, save me some of the honey mead, yes? If you can?”
Lanisen says, “Sure, I will.”
Megren says, “Oh — yes, of course we will. Thank you, I’m sorry to worry.”
Wethil shakes her head and takes off, starting to fly after the speeding Wolf. “No no, it’s smart, good night!”
Lanisen watches her go.
Megren asks, “What instruments do you play?”
Leon says, “Ah, I mainly play the pipes, but I can also play the lyre.”
Lanisen asks, “Lyre?”
Leon nods. “It is a stringed instrument, not unlike a lute… Surely you’ve heard of it.”
Megren asks, “Do you play the pipes because that’s what you learned or because that’s what you like?”
Leon smiles. “Because it’s what I like. I like pipes much better than the lyre, actually, but Mum wanted me to learn it.”
Lanisen listens, frowning slightly. “Is it, do you play it with a bow, like a fiddle, or is it like a harp?”
Leon says, “More like a harp. You pluck the strings. I’d demonstrate for you, but I haven’t one handy.”
Lanisen says, his face clearing, “Oh, that’s– I’ve seen a drawin’, I think. I wasn’t sure what it was called.”
Megren says, “You should teach Lanisen.”
Lanisen gives her a sidelong, rather wry look.
Leon looks at the nervous man. “Hmm… Is he musically inclined?”
Megren says, “We could find out.”
Lanisen says, “She’s jokin’.”
Leon hmmms, nodding. “I see… In all truthfulness, son of Adam… You need more music in your life.”
Megren says, “I have to admit, that one is a lie.”
Megren says, “I sing at him all the time.”
Lanisen says, lifting one eyebrow, “Music and smokin’, huh.”
Megren says, “Ew.”
Leon looks at Megren, and says something in a low voice.
Leon mumbles “Tell me, … … Lanisen … … tense? … acts … … an … …”, to Megren.
Lanisen catches enough of this, and looks away rather resignedly, his ears turning red.
Megren squints up an eye and muses in her normal voice, “I feel like I would be on edge most of the time if people were always telling me how on edge I was?”
Leon looks between the two. “I see… You sons of Adam and daughters of Eve just aren’t nearly as laid back as we fauns are…”
Lanisen looks uncomfortable.
Megren tilts her head to the side, lifting her brows as she considers this diagnosis. “Can’t say I’ve ever been accused of being apprehensive before.”
Leon says, “Well, I will concede you don’t seem apprehensive, Miss Megren. ”
Megren clicks her tongue. “And I was trying so hard.”
Lanisen rubs the back of his neck. “Excuse me,” he murmurs, and moves away.
Leon laughs. “Tell me, have either of you ever been to Narnia before now? Or is this your first trip?”
Megren’s expression flickers as Lanisen leaves her side, but she doesn’t disengage from the conversation immediately. “We came once before, last year around this time.”
Leon hrmms. “Really now? I hope this trip has been just as fruitful as that last one no doubt was? After all, Cair Paravel is not quite… Itself, anymore… Naturally…”
Megren squints an eye. “Their majesties disappeared on our last trip, so I’ll have to say I hope the two do not correlate too strongly.”
Leon frowns. “Ah, yes, you were at the Hunt… I had forgotten. Hard to believe it’s been nine months or more since then.”
Megren says, “It is.”
Megren pauses. “–Forgive me. I had better go see where Lanisen’s got off to.”
Leon frowns a few moments longer, before brightening again, abruptly changing the subject. “Ah, yes. See you around, Miss Megren.”
Megren says, “Nice talking to you. I’d love a lesson some time, if you were interested in giving one.”
Megren warns, “I’ll be terrible.”
Leon exclaims, “Ah, I take that as a challenge! I shall take you up on that!”
Megren grins. “Next time, then,” and disappears after Lanisen.