The Lion’s Fold Inn
Oren enters the inn and glances about with interest. He then approaches Cheepiteek, who listens to his request before hurrying off to find one of his guests.
Wintermoor returns shortly thereafter, the mouse innkeeper scampering ahead. He notes the Duke waiting for him in the Anteroom. “Good day, My Lord.” He greets, bowing.
Oren returns the bow, placing his hand over his heart. “Wintermoor, thank you for seeing me. Is there someplace private we might talk?”
Wintermoor nods, “I have a room here at present. Will that be suitable, Milord?”
Oren says, “Quite suitable, thank you.”
Wintermoor nods, and turns to lead the way to his room.
The Lion’s Fold Inn: Room 1
Wintermoor leads the way through the Anteroom and back towards the private rooms of the inn, he opens the door and opens the door so Oren may enter first.
Oren says, “Thank you.”
Wintermoor nods, before entering the room himself. He shuts the door solidly, and turns to Oren. “What do you wish to speak to me about, My Lord?”
Oren says, “What we spoke of the other day. I did not feel comfortable speaking of the matter further at the time, and so publicly, but I would like to know more. My great-great-grandfather was king of Narnia, you see. I am descended from his second son, who was uncle to Narnia’s last monarch.”
Wintermoor listens as the Duke speaks, nodding slowly when he is finished. “This explains much as well as the resemblance I noted in your face.”
Oren says, “Yes, I…suppose it would.”
Wintermoor is thoughtful, raising a first to rest his chin on. “What is it that you wish to know more of?”
Oren looks both nervous and excited, like a child on Christmas morning. “What were they like? What was Cair Paravel like when they were in it? Were they warriors, poets, scholars?
You say, “They were good and brave and steadfast even to the last. I was much younger then, but there was no great honor I could think of than to follow my father in their Majesties’ army. Cair Paravel was not so very different from when her majesties were still with us, save perhaps that it was even more alive and full of movement and motion, both with sons of Adam and daughters of eve and with the creatures of Narnia. Activity hummed within it’s halls and Great Embassies came from Calormen and from across the water as well as poets and philosophers. ”
Oren’s eyes light up at this description. “And you, what did you do in their service?”
Wintermoor’s face fills with pride at this question, other emotions linger at the back of his eyes but they are less well defined. “I was a Captain their Majesty’s troops before the winter.”
Oren finds a chair and seats himself, facing the centaur with rapt attention. “How did you survive? Surely you must have been a target.”
Wintermoor’s face takes on a fare away look he replies to the Duke’s attention. “There was nothing like them till the Four came. Even after the winter came we held hope that a victory might be achieved. Those of us that could went underground, we met in secluded woods. Struck out in feints, and false attacks. Harried and destroyed our enemies stores when we could. But She was clever as she was beautiful and cruel as the winter’s night.” He takes a breath, his head bowing as he pauses. “They were waiting for us. We had a band of refugees with us that we had hoped to smuggle over the border before the passes were closed completely by her patrols.”
Oren nods sharply. “Go on.”
Wintermoor says, “She was there. A wicked smile on her face, and her wand in her hand. She had known our movement and had anticipated our move. We lost many that day, more I do not know…. A stone has no understanding of the passage of time.”
Oren’s face clouds in confusion. “A stone?”
Wintermoor says, “Her greatest weapon was not the terror She and her secret police inflicted, nor the winter she brought with her but her wand, and with it her ability to turn those who opposed her to statues. Still as stone in her courtyard of Ice. ”
Oren gapes. “I heard stories as a child. A servant had escaped to the islands in the last days before the winter cut Narnia from the rest of the world. He brought tokens, but also stories. My family wanted to go back, to bring aid from the islands, but the way was shut.”
Wintermoor nods. “It is well for that they did not. For Her’s was a war of magic and even some of the trees had taken service with her.”
Oren looks troubled. “Why?”
Wintermoor shakes his head, “I do not know, perhaps she promised the nymphs within them great powers above their own, or perhaps she ensnared with her magic.”
Oren shakes his head. “How long were you…?”
Wintermoor shakes his head, “I knew nothing until Aslan breathed on me and He led their Majesties, the Queens to the great battle at Beruna.”
Oren asks, “That’s how you woke up?”
Oren’s face falls as a new thought occurs to him. “My family…none of them survived…that way?”
Wintermoor looks truly grieved as he answers. “I am sorry, Milord. There may yet be some yet some in Archenland, I do not know.”
Oren nods slowly. “I had not thought of that. I know we have a relationship with the royal family of old, of course, and I seem to recall there have been marriages between the two lines, but it had not occurred to me that others might might have fled to the south.”
Oren asks, “Did you see the wedding? My great-grandfather’s, when he married his
Terebinthian bride at the Cair?”
Wintermoor nods, “I was only a young foot soldier at the time.”
Oren says, “I want to hear all about it. Would you be willing to visit me in Cair Paravel? You can show me things I’ve missed and tell me what it was like.”
Wintermoor nods, “I would be honored, My Lord.”
Oren rises. “Wonderful. I’ll begin making preparations at once. Thank you again for seeing me.
Wintermoor nods, “You are welcome My Lord. I am glad to be of service again to their Majesty’s kin.”
Oren bows again and departs.