the nature of gifts

Selale Basin
Lantern Waste

Lanisen sits on the ground outside the cave he’s been camping in, his knees drawn up loosely and his arms resting on top. There’s a letter unfolded next to him, and another underneath, but he’s only staring at them without doing anything about them. He looks tired.

Crenna pads quietly into the basin, nose to the ground. She pauses upon seeing her friend and gives a low bark, “Hello Lanisen.”

Ayla pads tentatively into the basin, halting just inside it, her ears pricked forward, her nose close to the ground. Glancing up as she nearly runs directly into another wolf in much the same position, she yelps, startled. “Oops. Sorry!” Glancing up, her tail begins to wag slightly upon seeing Lanisen, and she yips a quiet greeting. “Lanisen, Son of Adam,” she comments, sitting in the grass and curling her tail around her feet.

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mentors & healers

Gathering Circle
Lantern Waste

Lanisen sits quietly against the bole of a tree on the southeast side of the gathering circle, soaking up the reddish evening sunshine, reading a letter.

Crenna comes padding into the clearing, looking a bit weary though in good spirits. She seems to be heading to the shelter when she stops in her tracks, sniffing a familiar scent. She turns her head and smiles, “Lanisen?”

Lanisen lifts his head at the sound of his name, glancing to either side and behind him. “Crenna!” he says, lifting his eyebrows in pleasure and getting to his feet. “Hey, hi; I didn’t think to see you here.”

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At the beginning of the Great River
Lantern Waste

You stand at the head of the Great River of Narnia, where it flows from the Caldron Pool and begins its southeastern journey toward the sea. Here, the river is fairly shallow and small, and looks pretty easy to cross. As it happens, you also stand at the edge of Lantern Waste, which lies to the east. The trees crowd the riverbank more closely in that direction, but the going doesn’t appear to be that difficult. To the west, you can see Cauldron Pool’s clear waters twinkling in the sunshine, and hear the roar of the waterfall as it crashes over the western cliffs.

Sunlight filters through the trees this afternoon in the Waste, turning everything green and gold. Pheeobe, taking a moment from her patrol, stops to listen to the waterfall and admire the scene. Her ear twitch at every sound and (for once) she isn’t humming.

Lanisen follows the path west along the riverbank, his footsteps crunching softly over occasional dead vegetation.

Pheeobe’s ears flick at the sound of incoming steps. She calls out, “Hello?” and walks through the shallow stream to the other side, supposing it may be an animal passing through.

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laundry day

Selale Basin
Lantern Waste

Here is a wide open space carved in the rock, roughly circular and no more than twenty yards in diameter. The cliffs loom high on every side, providing shelter from wind and weather, but a great opening very far up lets in sunlight and sky. A thin jet of water, perhaps a daughter-stream of the river that pours into Caldron Pool, cascades down the western cliff face and feeds into a deep pool the color and clarity of a well-cut emerald. The ground, except for a ring of vegetation surrounding the pool, is dry and sandy. A single ancient larch tree grows tall near the north wall.

All around, the cliff face is etched and pocked with half-open tunnels and dark holes, entrances to small caves hollowed out years ago by the long work of water on stone. Some are fitted with wooden doors and appear inhabited, but many still yawn empty. Up above, ledges and crevices in the rock provide nesting spaces for eagles and hawks. In the east wall, through a wide crevice like a wound in the stone, the forests of Lantern Waste are just visible.

Lanisen is perched alone on top of one of the rocks surrounding the pool, watching the afternoon light reflecting off the water and onto the basin walls. Surrounding him are several articles of clothing in various states of dampness, spread carefully out on the rocks to dry, including his shirt. The pants he is wearing also seem slightly damp in the got-doused-a-few-hours-ago way, especially on the left side. There’s a letter unfolded on the rock beside him, but he seems to have set it aside.

Ayla pads quietly into the basin, her nose to the ground, clearly following a scent. Lifting her head, she yelps softly in greeting, padding toward the rock upon which Lanisen sits, though pausing several feet from it and settling back on her haunches. She looks rather pleased with herself, perhaps for finding him in his secluded place.

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At the Lamp-Post
Lantern Waste
Northwestern Narnia

You stand in the very heart of Lantern Waste, at the base of the lamp-post that gave this area its name. The clearing here is not particularly large, but there is a strange, almost eerie quality about it. The air is calm — quiet even — as if there is some reverence surrounding the lamp that even the environs respect.

The lamp is lit, casting a warm glow across the glade. Who lit it and how it remains lit is a mystery, but it shows no signs of faltering. To the south, you can hear the distant sounds of flowing water. A faint path leads through the trees to the east and west.

Ayla is seated on her haunches a foot or so from the lamp post, her tail curled around her feet, brown eyes surveying the urban wonder with a sad sort of contemplation. Creatures scurry through the trees around, but the small she-wolf holds her vigil, still and silent, ears pricked forward, no other aspect of her posture displaying any immediate awareness of anything beyond the lantern she has taken up company with.

Lanisen passes through, stepping off the path to enter the forest to the northeast. His eyes settle briefly on the Lamp-post, then avert just as quickly. He slows and stops, catching sight of Ayla, and tilts his head.

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reclusive types

Well-worn Footpath
Lantern Waste
Northwestern Narnia

You find yourself standing in the middle of a fairly well-used forest path. The main of it extends to the north, toward the river, and south toward a fairly large clearing ahead. A smaller branch winds off to the west, disappearing in the trees.

A blur of red-brown fur might be the first thing espied upon setting foot on the path, Ayla pouncing on a squirrel with single-minded determination. Capturing it between her teeth, she growls, biting down swiftly to end the creature’s life as quickly as possible before devouring it eagerly.

Lanisen, coming up the path from the north, comes to a slightly startled halt at the explosion of activity ahead of him.

A wolf with silver gray tipped ears and liquid brown eyes (Ayla) finishes her small meal before wheeling toward the sound of footsteps, falling into a crouch and slinking away from the son of Adam nearing her.

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