While unsure how she could ever sleep after such an ordeal, she did feel her eyelids drag. His warm hand against hers somehow only added to the weight on her eyes. Eventually, with the quilts pulled onto her shoulders, her body couldn't stay awake any longer, and she drifted off into a deep sleep. Peacefully she nodded off, turning on her side, red hair falling down her face. The rest of the Narnians fixed the silks and such before they all filed out, leaving the sleeping princess to whatever dreams may come. Surely she could get down to business when she was feeling better...
"Defend thyself!" The small redhead said, waving around the fallen stick like it was a valiant sword.
The tables had turned on the chasing Telmarine Prince, who picked up a similar piece of wood with ease, crossing 'blades' with his 'foe'. The two were mere children, hardly of notable skill, so it became more a laugh battle, and the two dramatically crossing sticks to imitate the warriors. It was really only Caspian who had the true training, and managed to gain the upper hand on Cely fairly easily. While the girl who had stolen various bits from her royal guards did well enough, she was overdone, with her weapon knocked from her hand.
She fell back laughing in the process, eyes rolling up to the sky. As she left the sight of her friend, the sky suddenly turned a frightening shade of white, and the snow poured down in stinging ice pelts. She stood up as fast as she could, no longer sitting in Mraz's castle courtyard, but in the snow of her own kingdom again. She stood up slowly as she saw her own castle, the ice flow covering the castle inches by seconds. She turned around just to feel a cold hand, long cold nails on her shoulder...
That woke her up, forcing her blue eyes open. The sweat was a good indicator that she was no longer cold, but definitely displayed the unease that was still surrounding her. The white witch was still out and free, and would be making her army ready to take Narnia post haste. But if there was something, anything that could stop her...
She checked her face and elbows; better. She'd rested enough, and needed to get on her feet. She swung her legs back onto the floor just as the door opened, the materal badger once again returning with a new cup of tea.
"Princess, you're awake?" The badger blinked. "Oh goodness don't be so rough! You should take it slow-"
"No time," The redhead inisted, pushing herself to her feet. "I need an audience with the king."
He was talking with a tight knit group of humans and Animals when she entered.
Everyone fell silent to behold her; Her frostbite was gone, her cuts and bruises were nearly healed, barely noticeable under the lively glow of her warm pinkish skin. Any doubts of her condition or capabilities were banished by her vibrant blue eyes: She was full of life, and thirsty for action and vengeance.
"Princess Princess Celine of Mathias." He bowed deeply and respectfully. He broke the silence, everyone came to their senses and followed suit, bowing in unison.
"Alas. Let us all be seated." Caspian broke the silence. The assembled moved to a large round marble table. The Narnia gathered were from every region and corner of the land. There were even a few from beyond their own border. The ambassadors and visitors from neighboring and foreign kingdoms, These kept quiet through the proceedings, they would bring the news to their home-lands. Eternal winter threatened everyone. If the white-witch had take mighty Mathias, and was now planning an attack on Narnia, well, no one thought she would be satisfied with only two kingdoms in her grip.
As everyone settled in while the King approached the Princess. "I am glad to see you in good health so quickly. We did not expect you for some time yet. But, it is good that you are here. Please join us." He walked back toward the table, graciously pulling out a chair for her.
(and my knowledge of the kingdoms outside Narnia is small....so let's get creative! )
And her meeting had been granted, along with the request for a meeting by several others. It certainly made sense for all the others to be here; the white witch would not simply stop at the conquest of two kingdoms. Just glancing around the room brought the recognition of several faces; leaders of great importance, and a few ones who looked to have just taken up their positions. She spotted Lord Bryar from Arcanian, the King from the northern hills who would be more effected by the Queen's wrath than an eternal winter. The elder gentlemen was always a brash fellow, with a large, thick black beard, and hair that was both greying, and pulled back in a thick ponytail. He eyed the red-head with his own look of recognition, but she could not say she enjoyed where his eyes happened to wonder...
Another was a new one, Prince Finn from the southern plains of Pernicus. Father had once said Finn could be a noble knight, if he could just get over his own shadow. Indeed, the new prince seemed unready for this gathering of power, and was looking about as if waiting for someone to remove him. Cely almost felt bad for him, but she had other pressing matters on her mind.
"Caspian tells us that the white witch has returned..." Lord Bryar began, voice thick and heavy. "And that you were the one to see it. Do you have any proof?"
Cely lifted her father's sword. "My father would not part with this, lest he parted with his life. The fact that he has fallen, and that my kingdom is now two huge spires of ice ought to be proof enough."
"She speaks true!" Finn hastily added. "I saw the ice on my way here. My condolences on your loss..."
"As grand as it is to find her safe," the eldest of the king's spoke from the left, white beard and hair flowing down his face and chin. "We still have the matter of dealing with the woman. Without Aslan, how are we to properly put an end to this woman's wrath?"
"Without Aslan?" Caspian's eyes clouded. He reminded himself that they did not know him, he must forgive their ignorance. "We are never without him. He freed Narnia from eternal winter, he restored Narnia from my own Uncle, he will help us now weather we see him or not!" He tightened his fists.
"Should we wait for him to show himself?" The Red Dwarf Trumpkin folded his hands on the stone table. "He would certainly know what to do."
"If he is not here already, it means that he relies on our judgment." Caspian responded.
"Aslan is protector of Narnia, will he help us liberate Mathias?" asked a Telmarian.
Caspian's brows knitted, before he could speak another voice answered.
"Of course he would! It is the honorable and righteous thing to do! There is no other course for Aslan, nor ourselves!" The sword-wielding mouse, Reepicheep, spoke loudly. He nearly drew his own sword in his excited state.
Some of the foreigners grumbled at the distracting conversation. The worst of it came from teh Telmarians, who had seen Aslan more than others, yet they doubted him the most.
Caspian brought everyone back on point. "Now, we are already have scouts and small troops on the border. We are preparing to send more." Someone had rolled a map of the Narnian border onto the table before the meeting. Caspian traced his finger along troop routs and key positions.
"Now... do we wait? Or do we cross the sea ourselves?"
In truth, Celine liked neither option. She frowned, leaning back in her chain. She had done so much sitting around as it was, laying back to cure the frost and bring the warmth back in her body. But dashing out to charge at Jadis's forces now would be suicidal at best. The dilemma coaxed a frustrated sigh out of the queen, her grip tighting on the sword hilt. Did they wait for this mysterious Aslan to show, and pray that Jadis would be too busy building her own forces to attack, or strike while she was still building and hope their meager numbers would suffice?
Unable to come up with anything, she opened her eyes to hear...mumbling. She opened her eyes again and darted about the room of animals and three kings. The mouse and dwarf were having their own discussion, but...Finn was mumbling something to himself. His brows were furrowed in deep concentration, eyes closed, as if recalling a deeply rooted childhood mantra. In fact, he was repeating something under his breath verbatim. Cely's left brow rose in inquiry, leaning forward on the table, and gently tapping her nail in frnt of the easily frightened prince.
As she figured, he started from his trace, just a tad. He blinked curiously at her, maybe even worried she would ask him to leave. Instead, she merely gave him an encouraging node, face curious.
"Something that may of use, your highness?" she questioned.
Finn shifted a bit, unsure, before nodding his head slowly. "Maybe...or maybe not. It's simply something I...remember from my studies. I..I wouldn't think..."
"Well, what is it then?" the red head encouraged. "I believe anything now would be useful."
"A-alright..." The prince cleared his throat.
"When frost doth fall, all hope shall pass,
Patience my son, you must hold fast
When white Jade shatters, at courage's call
West shall rise and east will fall."
The prince, finished, slouched back down in his chair.
Last edited by Ravenwoodwitch; 01-07-2013 at 12:19 AM.
"When frost doth fall, all hope shall,"
Caspian stood on the high walls of the castle. Harsh cold wind blew in from across the sea, it tossled his hair.
"Pationce my son, you must hold fast"
He turned his naked sword over in his fingertips, tracing the blades edge carefully with his thumb. He paced around the wall overlooking the sea, muttering the poem or prophecy under his breath.
"When white Jade shatters, at courage's call"
The wind was never so cold as this from the sea, the queen of snow held sway over even the air. Caspian visibly shivered.
"West shall rise and east will fall..."
"...I guess that means we win." he cast his gaze over the wall just a bit to carelessly, fumbled the blade and cut into his own palm. Hedrew his hand to his chest and warm red blood touched the icy air.
"Trying to a lose a finger, Cas?" The princess appeared behind him, a gentle, teasing smile on her face as she applied her old nickname for him "I remeber you being better with a blade then that, mind you."
She was now the picture of health, with a healthy rosy flush to her cheeks along cream skin. Being attended to by the Narnians had been an odd experience for her, but she had enjoyed it rather well. They were curious creatures, but also kind, curious, and hearty. They reminded her greatly of her soldiers at home, and had been just as eager to see her to health. They had done well in the process, having finally preened her rosy tresses into an agreeable twist, and dressed her in some proper clothes. As always, her father's sword remained at her hip, and swayed as she approached him.
She reached into a small pocket and pulled out a cotton cloth (best they could give her for a handkerchief) and offered it.
"Joking aside," she finally said, drifting to a rather Nostalgic look. "It is good to see you again; it's been so long. Since we were children, I mean."
Indeed it had. She could still remember the slightly scrawny, dark-haired boy who would take her on a merriment of adventures, most of them with him as the hero. That boy was now a strapping looking man, or close to, with the same dark hair and skin, but with two very rich eyes to follow, and a friendly expression as well.
"I had heard of the war..." she said, looking over the high wall. "With your uncle, and the other Narnians. Father wanted to send help, but we had a small incursion of our own at the time."
The Prince, shamed, held out his red hand. "I was distracted." He tried to explain. It took him a few moments to deliver his answer, he was stunned by how well the Princess had recovered. Her skin was warm and pink, she was calm, desperation was gone from her expression, proper rest had finally drove the weariness out from under her eyes, warm nutritious food filled in her sallow frostbitten cheeks, not all, but some of that sadness had left her as well. It was good to see her smile, it was so much like the one he recalled from childhood.
He accepted the handkerchief with his good hand, and began to bind the sore one.
"It is good to see you." He responded, "Though, I do wish it were under different circumstances." He tied a knot in the small white cloth, he painfully opened and closed the palm of his hand to test the bandages integrity, then held it in the air before the girl for her inspection and approval.
"It is... I... understand." Memories of the war stirred in his mind. Good Narnians and good Humans died in that quarrel. He remembered the battle with his uncle, he remembered the Kings and Queens of olde, he remembered Aslan. "I also understand that Narnia needed to battle itself, or rather, needed to work it out for ourselves."
He raised his blue gaze to hers. "You were attacked? By whom? Please, you must tell me of your life since our childhood. You fended off your enemies then? You carry your father's sword, did he teach you to fight? What else have you learned? Do you..." He realized he was about to ask if she had a suitor. His voice trailed off, what a rude question it would have been. Surely if she had one they were frozen and she would not like to be reminded of it, and if she did not... it was still an inappropriate question for him to ask. He should ask her father... He closed his eyes, remembering the state of that matter.
"I Apologize, if I wish to listen I must allow you to speak."
For once that day, a laugh left her lips. It wasn't as strong as it could have been, given that she had yet to fully recover, but it still bore an almost bell like tone. She let him talk, going forward to gaze out over the ocean, slowly starting to freeze over by itself. Snowflakes continued to fall on her warm, Mediterranean kingdom, and frost continued to seep over every inch. The phrase When Frost Doth fall had a bigger meaning then. Perhaps this really was the prophecy that prince spoke of.
"That's generally how it works," she teased, turning to look at him again. "I understand though. I have quite suddenly materialized back into your world, I imagine. The least I can do is fill in the blanks."
She turned her back on the sorry scene of her kingdom, ready to let some more happy memories fill the gap. "I think I would better answer most of your questions at once, since they all meld together a bit. I do actually know a good deal of swordsmanship, much to my mother's chagrin. wasn't her fault, she just preferred the traditions. But, anyway, I had a fascination with sword play; entertained it by watching the guards in their practice yards, and occasionally sneaking in there. I would find myself in there, and refuse to leave until they taught me one trick.
"As for the incursion," she started. "That was....harder, to explain. We had a small invasion from the southern side. We've always had a favorable spot, since the ocean provides a proper defense. I suspect it wore my father out, though, hence why this-" she gestured to her ice covered kingdom again, "-came on as such a surprise."
"To myself as well." Caspian whispered, his expression became grin as he set his eyes across the sea. "When I had first heard of her, she was only a myth. When I learned that fairy-tales were real, I thought nothing of her. I had no fear of her, I was assured the kings of olde had banished her forevermore."
"Then I saw her. She appeared to me, the King Peter. She asked for our blood that she might become strong once again. She offered an end to this war, promised an eternal frozen peace... I admit shamefully that her words sounded wonderful, she used her charms and ancient magic. Even without a body she had power over men." He shivered to shake off the memory.
"A Hag once told me that she was immortal, having once eaten the fruit of the tree of life. Whatever that means or weather it is true, we can not underestimate the fortitude of evil. Foolishly, I thought we were done with her then. I never imagined she might travel to another land, over the sea even! I suppose we can never be so comfortable in our victories great or small." he stated grimly.