Disclaimer: I don't own Narnia or any characters you may recognize from the books or the movies, I wish I did but I don't... I also don't own the Narnian Calendar. It belongs to Elecktrum who was kind enough to let me borrow it for my story. Her own stories are awesome and you should go read them too.
Summary: There's danger in the north. Giants hunt for Narnia's Kings and General. Who will survive when hope is eclipsed?
A/N: If you have not read the first nine stories in the A Light in the Darkness main story arc (Awakened, Shadowed, Revealed, Concealed, Rekindled, Refracted, Reflected, Veiled, and Unveiled), I highly recommend you do so for the full experience. However, I have included a quick summary of the previous stories so if you want to give this one a whirl on its own, you can.
What's Gone on Before
Shot entering a courthouse in our world, a stranger comes to Narnia one year into the Pevensies' reign. This stranger, Katerina Alambiel, gains the trust of young Queen Lucy even though others suspect she might be a witch. Still, she is allowed to remain in Cair Paravel as a guest. Oreius begins to earn her trust as she earns his. When the evil sorcerer, Jannes, takes Lucy, Katerina Alambiel is accused of being an accomplice even as she crafts a plan to rescue the Valiant Queen. Infiltrating the sorcerer's lair, Katerina Alambiel leaves a trail for Oreius and the Kings allowing them to rescue Lucy. Katerina Alambiel pursues and kills Jannes with Oreius' aid (Full story: Awakened).
After six months of finding a niche in the daily life and routine of Cair Paravel (Full story: Shields), Katerina Alambiel is counted as a friend rather than a guest by the Four and by General Oreius. She accompanies High King Peter and Queen Susan on a trip, unaware that another sorcerer intends to frame her as the High King's assassin. Just before parting ways with Susan, dark secrets in Katerina Alambiel's past are revealed. A pair of assassins frames Katerina Alambiel in two attacks on the High King's life before she and a badly wounded Peter are captured by the sorcerer, Jambres. As he tortures them, Jambres reveals that Katerina Alambiel is part Human and part Narnian. Katerina Alambiel interferes with Jambres' attempt to kill Peter, taking the brunt of the spell herself before Oreius and the other Narnians rescue them. Aslan confirms to Katerina Alambiel that she is both Human and Narnian, and that her Narnian heritage is that of Nymph and Centaur due to her mother being the Nymph daughter of a Centaur, before charging her with the task of searching for the identity of her birth family, thereby unlocking the forgotten memories of her early childhood. Katerina Alambiel survives the spell with the addition of two white streaks in the front of her hair as souvenirs and Peter decides to knight her into his chivalric order for her actions (Full story: Shadowed).
Two years after being knighted Dame Sepphora of the Most Noble Order of the Lion, Katerina Alambiel is nearing the end of her search for the identity of her Narnian birth family. While her long-forgotten memories begin to resurface, she runs afoul of Count Hendrik of Sisemaal, one of Narnia's allies. Afterwards, Katerina Alambiel discovers that she was born Alambiel, daughter of Lew the last King of Narnia, and the only survivor of Jadis' massacre of the original royal family. Before Katerina Alambiel can decide how to handle the information, she and King Edmund go on a border patrol but are captured by the vengeful disgraced Count Hendrik and his cousin, Heikki, who leads a group of mercenaries employed by the Witch Medea. As Peter and Oreius lead a huge rescue party to find them, Edmund and Katerina Alambiel are tormented by Medea. Peter and Oreius rescue them just after Medea turns Katerina Alambiel over to Heikki and Hendrik and prepares to kill Edmund. Medea is defeated and her forces routed and scattered. Katerina Alambiel swears Oreius and the four other Narnians who know the truth of her identity to secrecy (Full story: Revealed).
Two and a half years after the incident with Medea and the Sisemaalian mercenaries, Werewolves and Hags plot to resurrect Jadis through the sacrifice of royal blood. While General Oreius and the Kings are on a diplomatic journey to Archenland, Oreius is forced to reexamine his feelings for Katerina Alambiel. In the absence of the General and the Kings, Katerina Alambiel and Queen Susan are ambushed by Werewolves and Susan is spirited away to be the sacrifice. Katerina Alambiel and her small party pursue the Werewolves but without the aid of the soldiers led by General Oreius and the Kings, Katerina Alambiel offers herself as a trade. With Katerina Alambiel now prisoner of the Fell, the remaining soldiers and Susan finally meet up with the Kings and Oreius. While the injured Susan is rushed back to the Cair and the healing power of Lucy's cordial, Oreius and the Kings seek to rescue Katerina Alambiel before the Fell ceremony on Winter Solstice and the truth of Katerina Alambiel's royal heritage is revealed to the Four. Oreius and the Kings disrupt the ceremony and aid in Katerina Alambiel's escape. Upon returning to the Cair, Katerina Alambiel presents the Four with an edict resolving many potential issues concerning her heritage, which is now common knowledge, but Oreius waits for a better time to reveal to Katerina Alambiel that he cares for her as more than a friend (Full Story: Concealed).
Almost six months after having her royal heritage become common knowledge, Katerina Alambiel travels as the Princess Royal with General Oreius on a diplomatic mission to the country of Zelaia. On their last night in Zelaia, Katerina Alambiel comes to the realization that she loves Oreius. However, before either one speaks up, they are captured by slavers and sold into the underground world of the Blood Games. Forced to fight by the man who bought them, Katerina Alambiel and Oreius teeter on the brink of despair. They finally escape with another fighter and return to Narnia. Once they recover from their wounds, Oreius and Katerina Alambiel confess their love to each other and are now courting in secret (Full Story: Rekindled).
A little over five months after Katerina Alambiel and Oreius return to Narnia, they travel with Peter on a diplomatic trip to Telmar. However, due to treachery on part of one of the Lords of the Council of Telmar, the three are forced to end negotiations early and attempt to leave Telmar. Before they can cross the border, mercenaries attack them. Oreius stays behind, allowing Peter and a wounded Katerina Alambiel to escape. Once Katerina Alambiel is in the care of healers, Peter sneaks back into Telmar to discover Oreius' fate. When he finally finds the mercenaries though, he is captured. Tormented by the mercenary leader, Peter is then forced to fight for his and Oreius' freedom. After winning their freedom, the mercenaries once again ambush Peter and Oreius but the fight ends with the mercenary leader dead and Peter gravely wounded. Receiving guidance from an unexpected source, Oreius carries the wounded and, at times, delirious Peter through Telmar and the Western Wilds until they finally return to Narnia. Once he receives the cordial, Peter becomes betrothed to the Beech Nymph, Thalia, whom he's been courting for some time (Full Story: Lion and Flower), while Oreius and Katerina Alambiel choose to wait to announce their courtship until Peter and Thalia's wedding (Full Story: Refracted).
A month after Peter and Oreius' return to Narnia, a diplomatic party sets sail for the Seven Isles to represent Narnia at the wedding of the Governor's son. Soon Edmund, Lucy, and Tarrin Peridanson are separated from the rest of their party including Oreius and Katerina Alambiel who are still courting in secret. The search for their missing charges leads them through storms and into the company of a questionable character. Meanwhile, Edmund, Tarrin, and Lucy are unaware that their situation is not all that it seems. When Lucy discovers the truth, matters take a deadly turn and it is a race against time to defeat their hidden enemy. Tarrin Peridanson sacrifices himself to save his King and Queen, but is revived by the cordial upon their return to Narnia. Oreius and Katerina Alambiel's courtship is forced into the open and then Tarrin Peridanson is knighted Sir Delos of the Most Noble Order of the Table (Full Story: Reflected).
A little under three months after Oreius and Katerina Alambiel's courtship becomes common knowledge, Katerina Alambiel is discovered unconscious and tormented almost to the point of death on Narnia's northern border. When she wakes with no memory, not even of Oreius and their love, the mystery surrounding her abduction deepens while Narnia's enemies plot to use her as the linchpin to destroy Narnia. Oreius and the Kings race to discover what happened to Katerina Alambiel and whether she can still be trusted when she cannot remember them. Oreius also makes the painful decision to conceal the evidence of his and Alambiel's relationship even to the point of letting her go entirely. Eventually Alambiel's memory returns and they rekindle their romance. (Full Story: Veiled).
After Katerina Alambiel and Oreius marry (Full Story: Fireworks), a battle between Narnia and Fell forces results in a sorcerer being confronted by Aslan and losing his magic. As Alambiel and Oreius adjust to married life, the sorcerer Markus must choose whether to turn his life over to Aslan or to continue in his destructive ways. The sorcerer's choice and his presence in Cair Paravel disturb many but Alambiel insists he is needed. As months pass, a threat greater than the former sorcerer comes to light and threatens Narnia's peace. Though Oreius maintains a cautious watch over the sorcerer, Markus gains ground with the Queens and grows close to the Gentle in particular. When the true nature of the threat is exposed, Markus regains his magic for one last time and Narnia is saved. (Full Story: Unveiled).
A Light in the Darkness: Eclipsed
Chapter One: Prelude
"Stop laughing, Peter."
Despite his brother's growl, the High King could not seem to stop. He bent so his face nearly touched his horse's mane, vainly attempting to control his mirth. "But, Ed! They were only out there for three hours. How did they-" He chortled then sat up and grinned, enjoying the way Edmund was fuming. "Ahem. How exactly did the Greybacks manage to dig up the entire western gardens, brother mine?"
Edmund's scowl deepened and his dark eyes flashed with ill humor. "On accident, of course." His brother's new gelding side-stepped, champing at its bit, as it reacted to Edmund's tensing. "It's always on accident with those two. 'We were just trying to get the spy, King Edmund.' 'We didn't mean to dig out a family of seventy Rabbits, King Edmund.' Never mind that I've told them more times than I can count for over four bloody years that we do not have a bloody spying Badger living in the bloody gardens."
Peter grinned over at Oreius. The Centaur so far had managed to keep his expression devoid of mirth although Peter swore there was just a hint of laughter lurking in the General's eyes. "Aren't you glad Philip wasn't around for this, Ed?"
His brother groaned. "Philip going off to visit his herd is only a temporary respite. He's still determined that the Greybacks aren't any good for me."
Edmund abruptly leaned over and gave Peter a hard shove, making him sway in his saddle. "And you are the reason I have them! Every single thing they have done since you gave those green pups to me rightly lies at your feet, Pevensie!"
Peter laughed. "You mean you don't want them anymore?"
His brother's lips compressed into a thin line but he didn't deign to accept the offer to reassign the Wolf twins again. And, despite all Edmund's grumblings and sometimes rants about the inconveniences caused by his Wolves' enthusiastic if not always wise endeavors, Peter doubted his brother would ever willingly part with Romulus and Remus Greyback. No more than he would willingly part with his Tigers.
He met Babur's grin and chuckled again. Then he tried to smother his mirth as he turned back to his brother. "Well, since we only have one more village to inspect, how much work do you think the Greybacks will have accomplished by the time we return to Cair Paravel?"
Edmund snorted. "If they didn't get completely distracted, maybe they've helped with an acre. If I'm fortunate." He looked around then turned to Oreius. "Are you satisfied with the patrol schedule for this section of the northern border recommended last night, General?"
Peter had to bite his lip to keep from snickering at Edmund's rather blunt change of subject. Oreius, of course, managed to maintain his composure just fine. The Centaur gave a curt nod. "Increasing the patrols from monthly to every fortnight will strengthen our presence on the border sufficiently. I will also send additional troops to aid in the villages' work to restock their provisions since everything points to an early winter this year."
"And we'll be home in plenty of time to meet the Calormene delegation that Susan's all worried about with . . . What is this chap's name, Ed?"
"Prince Rabadash, the latest crown prince of Calormene son of the Tisroc (may he have badger-infested gardens forever). Honestly, Pete, he doesn't have that many sons."
"Only seventy," Peter muttered.
"Seventy-three. He acknowledged two toddlers this spring as princes. And you always forget the seventy-first son."
"Exactly how many children does the Tisroc have?"
"No idea. He doesn't bother to count the girls except the one he tried to give you for your birthday last year."
Peter grimaced. What a mess. And worse the Tarkaan assigned to escort the girl had specifically mentioned his and Thalia's lack of sons (because girls wouldn't have been viewed as the blessing they truly were in Calormene thinking) only a few months after Thalia had been terribly hurt by that fool Terebinthian lord who had insinuated only her barrenness could explain their lack of children. The only thing that had stopped him from saying exactly what he thought about the suggestion he should get started forming a royal harem with the Tisroc's daughter promised to give him the "much-needed" heirs in a position of high favor, of course, was Thalia grabbing his shoulder while Edmund skillfully thanked the Tarkaan for the offer but Narnian law prohibited the suggested match.
And then Edmund burned the hotly worded letter of indignation (as he had called it) Peter had penned to the Tisroc the next morn after spending all night comforting his hurting Flower. "We agreed we weren't going to talk about that anymore."
"So we did." Edmund frowned then turned to Oreius. "Kat's not going to try to stab Rabadash, is she?"
The Centaur flicked his tail. "I have not inquired as to her intentions toward the Calormene crown prince."
"Blast. All right, just try not to leave her unsupervised this time. I don't think Kat's scary enough to terrify this particular Calormene into not including how she tried to stab him or shoved him down a hill or pushed him into a fountain." Edmund made a face and Peter knew he was wondering how many visits to the points of the compass Oreius would assign for telling him how to control his wife. "Umm, she usually listens to you."
Oreius' impassive expression did not change even as he raised one eyebrow. "Does she?"
Edmund cleared his throat. "Yes?"
Peter grinned and glanced down at Babur. The large Tiger had paused, his ears flattening against his skull, as he bared his teeth. "Blood and smoke, Sire." The Tiger inhaled deeply then growled low. "And something else."
Edmund and Oreius were both listening, the General looking grim as he signaled the troop to halt. Peter's hand went to Rhindon. "What?"
A whistling sound cut through the air and then Peter clutched at the reins as his horse reared. A boulder the size of a man slammed into the ground just in front of them, flinging up dirt and rocks as it tore an ugly gash through the grass. Peter struggled to control his mount. He could see Edmund having similar troubles. The horses were unused to combat. Oreius was shouting orders.
Then a horrible cracking sound filled the air as trees were shoved aside. Four leering, cruel faces peered down at their party. Peter kicked his feet free of the stirrups and jumped just as one of the Giants swung his club. His poor horse never had a chance to flee.
Peter staggered to his feet and drew Rhindon. "For Narnia and for Aslan!"
A/N: Please Read and Review! Muwhahahahahahaaaa! I'm baaack with the TENTH main entry in my A Light in the Darkness series! Trouble, trouble everywhere. :D Leave a review and let me know what y'all thought about this one.
A/N2: I will be alternating posting days after this so I can still work on Sea of Deceit. :)