ROGUE WARRIOR CHRONICLES
RWC1: Birth of the Rogue Warrior
The first Just and Magnificent adventure SIDE-SERIES starring and focusing rather wholly on Edmund. DO NOT READ unless you have read Just and Magnificent or you will understand little. This is a side-series that covers the year at the end of Volume 1 of JaM between the Battle for Cair Paravel where Edmund fell and his return to Narnia. It basically covers some of his adventures during that year and of course, his quest to destroy Lejious. If you've read JaM, you already know how this ends, but remember, it's not the destination, it's the journey! It is a very plot and arc heavy story in the JaM!verse as it reveals some rather large hints that already exist in JaM, and hints toward the sequel to JaM, Beyond Magnificent.
Summary: Edmund is saved from death by Aslan and is charged with a mission and a new mantle- Rogue Warrior.
Warnings: Slash, Incest, Love, Romance, Adventure, Mystery, Action.
Disclaimer: Only characters that are mine are the Pretty Eyes People from Shian! All the rest belong to that master of awesomeness, C.S. Lewis.
Author's Notes: If you don't like slash or incest or allusions to Peter/Edmund, then please do not read or reviewthis. Flames hurt.
BIRTH OF THE ROGUE WARRIOR
Edmund the Just. That is what he would have been named had he not died at Beruna over a year ago. Right now he was not a King of Narnia, nor even the King of the Fallen. Right now he was just Edmund.
Edmund can remember falling. He can remember being let go. He can remember seeing the face of love despairing as he fell. The face that was Peter's.
Edmund can remember dying again. He can remember the abyss. He can remember being consumed by despair in an overwhelming darkness. He can remember seeing one … who is many.
Edmund can remember living again. He can remember a lion. A great lion. A great lion that saved him from the abyss and spirited him away from beneath the northern tower before it collapsed. A lion that had carried him north from Cair Paravel for days. A lion named and known the world over as … Aslan.
When Edmund's coherency and consciousness finally returned, he found himself surrounded by trees. The brilliant sun blinded him as he looked up and at first he did not make out the great lion emerging from the trees.
"Son of Adam …" Aslan spoke with a voice as graceful and regal as one could possibly imagine, "… arise."
When Edmund fully took in his surroundings, he was lying on the on a flax woven mat. He was naked save for a small blanket over his middle section that oddly enough was made of leaves and yet it felt as smooth as silk. He was clean and his wounds had all been dressed. Beside him was a platter of fruits and berries along with a goblet of spiced wine.
"The dryad have been kind and tended to you, Son of Adam."
"Where … are we, Aslan?" Edmund asked as he sat up and looked around.
"What do you remember, Edmund?"
"I …" Edmund said, furrowing his brow in concentration, "I … remember …"
EVIL HAD A NAME, IT WAS JADIS
For the first time since Beruna, Edmund felt warm. He felt alive. He felt breath in his lungs. He felt blood surging through his veins. Peter had saved him. Peter had forged a bind of life from his love and used the deep magic to bring Edmund back from the fallen.
As Edmund knelt at the top of the center spire in the north tower, he realized he had been given a gift. A gift he believed he would have never received.
"Peter … I … I feel warm." Edmund said in his own voice, before Jadis spoke in hers, "Thank you, Little King! I live again!"
Slowly Edmund opened his eyes and raised himself to his feet. He knew that Jadis still lingered within him. She occupied his body just as surely as he did himself.
Edmund's head twitched as he fought a battle inside his mind and soul. A battle to drive out the white witch who sought to live again through him. He held his hands to his head and screamed in deafening agony. The pain in his heart and mind were as potent as the pain he felt in his body, causing him to fall to one knee.
He fought to regain control of his own body from the witch. To regain control of his own destiny. He screamed out with all his might, shaking his head with the violent struggles inside his body. Blood seeped freely from his nose, spurred on by the violent shakes that overwhelmed his head.
Suddenly Edmund stopped shaking and his screams subsided. He looked down as the Fallen Army turned their weapons to the nameless evil once again. His face contorted from a scowl to finally, a smile. A smile that was completely his own.
Edmund looked up at Peter, his eyes twinkling with recognition. Peter smiled back as if all his wildest dreams had come true. Perhaps Peter could sense what Edmund already knew – he had defeated the white witch in his mind and wrested back control of his body and his destiny.
"I'm alive, Peter. I'm alive! Thank you." Edmund smiled sincerely, "Oh, Jadis?"
"Yes, Edmund." Jadis's voice spoke out through him, "What is it, my prince?"
"We're bound, aren't we? Our lives are bound as one?"
"We are, little one. We are."
"Good. I die, you die?" Edmund said with a tired smile.
"Little one … I can hear your thoughts …" Jadis said sounding almost fearful.
"Good. Can I hear you scream now?" Edmund smirked, "It would make this all frightfully satisfying."
Edmund knew in his mind that he could not allow Jadis to live again. He could not allow Narnia to befall beneath her power once more. It had to end with him.
Realizing what he had to do, Edmund's lips curled into a smile. He would sacrifice his own life just to make sure Jadis was destroyed once and for all. Peter moved to grab him, but Edmund backed away with a steely look of intent in his eyes. Looking down, Edmund realized he was standing on the edge of the spire platform.
"If you do this, you will be bound to me forever! You will never see the ones you love again!" Jadis cried out, "If you take your own life, you are forfeit!"
"I'm forfeit already, aren't, I, Jadis?" Edmund said with a sad sigh, "Once a traitor, always a traitor? Isn't that how it works? So either way, I still lose. I think I'd prefer to lose on my terms."
"Don't say that, Ed." Peter said holding out his hand, "We'll get her out, Ed. We'll find a way. Don't you dare leave me again."
"Fallen Army of Beruna! I am Jadis!" Edmund cried, "She lives in me! Finish your task so you may return freely to your lives here in Narnia! Now!"
"No!" Jadis screamed, her voice angry and distraught, "Edmund, you're going to kill us both!"
"Ed, what are you doing?" Peter gasped, "Stop it!"
The Fallen Army of Beruna began attacking the base of the spire with all their numbers. Giants began climbing up the side, while Griffon began circling in the skies. The stairwells were overrun with fallen centaur and animals of all kinds. Some giants didn't even bother climbing, but chose instead to hurl huge boulders at the platform, causing it to shake violently.
"They're going to complete their task, Peter." Edmund smiled, "But don't be afraid. Just take the girls and go."
"Sod it, Ed!" Peter snapped as he grabbed Edmund and looked down the spire, "Fallen Army! You breathe again! That makes you my dominion! I, Peter the Magnificent am High King of Narnia! You dare make another step and I'll have you myself!"
The force and intensity of Peter's words resonated from the top of the tower down to the base of the spire. Surprisingly, the Fallen Army immediately stopped their movements, but not before one giant hurled a boulder directly at the platform. The marble cracked beneath Edmund's feet and quickly gave way. He smiled at Peter, before pushing him away. Edmund smiled wistfully at both his sisters as the marble platform fell beneath him and he began to fall.
Peter would not have it. He would not let Edmund leave him again. He jumped at Edmund with all his might, grabbing hold of his arm. Peter held onto the platform with one hand, and Edmund with the other. He cried out as he felts his fingers struggling to hold onto Edmund.
"Peter! What are you doing?" Edmund gasped in surprise, "What the hell are you doing?"
"Edmund, shut up! What do you think I'm doing? I'm trying to save you!" Peter snapped, "I know what you're doing. And … I knew what I was doing when I brought you back to life. I was going to … finish you myself. I thought I could do it for Narnia. But I can't!"
"Peter, it's ok. I'm not afraid to die for you. I've done it before. I'll do it again."
"You're so quick to die for me. Why won't you live for me?" Peter yelled angrily, his face red from the strain of holding onto Edmund, "Why is it so easy for you to leave me? If you love me half as much as I love you, the thought of being apart has to be unbearable."
"Peter, I'm doing this because I love you. Because I love Susan and Lucy. Because I love Narnia. I told you your love couldn't save me. It could bring me life … but it couldn't save me. It could only save Narnia. Because only by bringing me to life with her inside me, could you kill her again." Edmund sighed, "Being alive … it makes it easier for me to keep her inside. But she's still there. I can't fight her forever, Peter. She can never be allowed to rule Narnia again."
"Why couldn't you tell me before? I could've saved you! She couldn't have gotten inside you if you were alive first!" Peter cried as he used one arm to hold Edmund, and the other to grip to the platform.
"Let me go, Peter. Before you kill both of us!"
"No, Little King! You only have one chance at a miracle! Are you so eager to throw your miracle away?" Jadis's voice screamed out of Edmund, "Let him live! Save him and I will spare your family!"
"Don't listen to her, Peter." gasped an Edmund struggling to keep control of his own mind, "She speaks through me, she does not speak for me. Let me go."
Edmund felt utter despair as Peter cried the cry of the heartbroken, tears streaming down his face. Peter struggled to hold onto him and Edmund could see the frustration and confusion in his brother's eyes. He could see the despair and desperation. The unwillingness to do what Edmund believed had to be done.
"No, Ed. No!" Peter insisted, "Please don't do this. Don't give up on me, Ed. We'll figure it out. Oerius! Help me!"
"I never gave up on you, Peter." Edmund smiled, "You're the best of us. You're the best of me. As long as you live, the best part of me will too."
Edmund could see that Peter was contemplating his words. Peter had to let him go. Finally perhaps Peter accepted that this could not be avoided. Or at least he accepted why it must happen.
Peter's tears overwhelmed him, his sobs shaking his body. Peter still refused to let go of Edmund, even though Edmund knew Peter couldn't hold on much longer without falling himself. Somehow Edmund knew Peter would prefer that to letting Edmund go of his own volition.
Edmund's face was also awash with tears. However, Edmund's tears were more hopeful and resigned than Peter's. Peter's eyes met Edmund's and he knew in that moment, Edmund was going to fall whether it was by Peter's release, or his own letting go. One way or another, Edmund was determined to make sure the white witch that lived inside him, would die inside him.
"Peter, I can feel you. My tears are warm, Peter. I'm not afraid." Edmund cried, "I'm ok."
"Ed … I love you so much." Peter cried with heartbreak in his voice, "Forgive me."
"I love you, Peter."
Edmund used the last of his strength to pull himself up so his face was next to Peter's. Their lips met finally in their first real kiss. Neither Edmund, nor Peter had any idea that such a simple gesture could fill them with so much hope and despair at once. Edmund let his lips linger with Peter's for an eternity, for Peter seemed in no hurry to part their kiss. A kiss that represented everything they'd denied each other, and then were denied of each other.
Finally, there was nothing between them. Nothing stopping them from sharing their first act of physical love. For Edmund, it was the realization of a dream. The realization of a love that he could only dream of. A love that truly knew no bounds. A love symbolized in this one act of a kiss. A kiss that was over all too soon.
Edmund could still remember the vision of Peter's face as he fell. Fell down through the chasms beneath the northern tower. Now as he sat in the middle of a forest, staring up at Aslan, he wondered why he hadn't been able to stay with Peter.
"Aslan, why can't I see Peter?" asked Edmund, "Doesn't he even know I'm alive? Why are we here?"
Aslan did not answer. His gaze fixed on Edmund and immediately Edmund's brow furrowed in contemplation. Edmund studied his own memories to try and find the answer that Aslan seemed to silently indicate.
"I … I … fell … I … what happened?" Edmund asked in confusion.
The great lion finally spoke, breaking the silence with a calm assuredness, "Remember, Son of Adam …"
ONE WHO IS MANY
Edmund, King of the Fallen fell. Fell up, fell down, he could not tell. He could see nothing but darkness around. He could feel however that he was not alone. He could still feel hands grabbing at him in the darkness. He screamed out at them to stop, but they only increased in number and ferocity. Again he heard that voice. That voice who was many and yet one. That voice who taunted him with its presence and power.
"Come to us." The voice boomed in both a whisper and a hurricane, causing Edmund to scream out again, "Your taint, it binds you. You are one with us."
"Who are you?" Edmund gasped, fighting off the hands that forced their way over his mouth, "What do you want from me?"
"I am the one who is many. I am …."
Edmund then felt the hands fall away completely, before one single gloved hand pressed over his chest. He could feel a burning heat from the hand as it pressed ever more into him, melting away his armor and causing him to scream out in pain. He believed it would soon burn through his flesh like butter, as if the hand was going to reach in and wrap his heart in its hands. Then the voice spoke again, sounding more like one voice than a multitude.
"I … am … Lej…"
Suddenly, like a bolt of lightning streaking through a black sky he heard a mighty roar. A roar that broke the voice before it could finish revealing its name. A roar so intense it shook the fear from his soul. A roar so great it could only come from one lion. The great lion himself - Aslan.
All at once, Edmund found himself blinded. Blinded by a light so brilliant it lit up the darkness and for an instant, Edmund could see what surrounded him. Thousands upon thousands of fearsome creatures, all falling with him. Some he recognized, some he did not. One figure stood out from the rest. One figure that did not seem to be falling at all, rather, everything else seemed to be falling around it. One figure whose hand still burned against Edmund's skin. One hand that seemed to burn through to his soul. And that one hand belonged to the voice that had taunted Edmund. A voice that now had form. A dark knight that wore armor not unlike himself. In fact, it was almost exactly like himself. If only he could see the face beneath it.
Just as quickly, he was shrouded in darkness again. He could hear shrieking cries all around him as Aslan's roar shook the darkness. The hand released him and Edmund found himself falling all over again. The darkness was broken by flashes of light and soon Edmund was forced to cover his eyes for he was blinded by both the darkness and the light.
"He is mine!" The voice boomed.
"His sacrifice has freed him of your taint!" Aslan roared in the darkness, "Release him!"
Edmund felt overwhelmed by a cosmic battle that seemed to rage all around him, and yet he could see none of it. He felt as though he was being pulled apart by both a damning cold and soothing warmth. He screamed out as he felt himself dying a second death. He could not comprehend the battle that took place around him. When finally he succumbed, it was to the warmth of a familiar breath on his face.
"Breathe, Son of Adam …"
Finally Edmund opened his eyes and felt the bitter awakening of breath filling his lungs. He realized now that he was alive. But for an instant, for one brief instant, he was not. He realized now that he was face up in a huge body of water, deep in the chambers below the north tower. He could see light flickering in from above, just faintly.
His body was weak, but he was alive. And yet he barely had the strength to move. He coughed and spluttered up water as he tried to pull himself atop rocks nearby. It was then that he saw the great lion. Aslan lay on the rocks, gasping for breath and struggling to stand up. Edmund had never seen Aslan so weak before. He looked as though he'd been run a gauntlet, and it was unsettling for Edmund to see the great lion looking so weak.
"Aslan?" Edmund gasped, dragging himself along the jagged rocks, "Aslan?"
"Edmund …" Aslan said breathing heavily, "We must hurry. The tower will soon collapse and fill this chamber."
"How? How am I alive?" Edmund asked, as he remembered what was happening above, "Did we stop her? Is Peter ok? Can I go to him now?"
"I'm afraid not, Son of Adam. Our battles are not yet over."
Suddenly, Edmund felt himself begin to falter. He found his strength was barely enough to drag himself closer to Aslan. His eyes grew heavy and he began to fear that perhaps death was still hunting him. Without a word, Aslan rose to his feet and seemed to shake off any fatigue he felt himself.
"Climb aboard my back, Son." Aslan said as he breathed on Edmund, "Hurry."
Edmund felt himself fill with just enough strength to pull himself aboard Aslan's back. He slumped down and felt safe at last as he rested his head on the lion's mane. He held on tight as Aslan broke into a mighty sprint.
"Peter …" Edmund moaned as he struggled to stay conscious, "Peter …"
"I'm afraid our journey will take us far from here, Edmund. But you have saved Peter. You have saved Cair Paravel. Rest now. For you will need your strength. Our battle is just beginning."
As Edmund's vision began to blur, he looked up to see huge chunks of rock and marble begin raining down into the chamber. He thought of Narnia and his Fallen Army of Beruna. He thought of his sisters. He thought of Peter. He wondered if he'd done enough to save Narnia, and yet as he Aslan spirited him away from the chambers he feared that perhaps he had not. Most of all he wondered if he would ever see his Peter again. For he did not know where Aslan was taking him, he just knew it was far away from from the one he had died for, and would've died for again.
THE ADVENTURE BEGINS
For the first time since he had been rescued by Aslan, Edmund had a clearer understanding of the events that had taken place. Yet for all he now remembered, there were so many questions that needed to be answered.
He had encountered something in the abyss. In the dark place that none wish to go except those who crave damnation and despair. Something … someone. Someone who he now believed had followed him back. Something that was grave and powerful enough to bring down the great lion.
"What … was that, Aslan?" Edmund asked with a shudder that ran through his body, "Who is he? What is he?"
Once again Aslan did not answer. In many ways there was no need for an answer. Edmund knew it, could feel it in his bones like the coldest chill in winter. A chill even greater than the one he felt when he first entered Narnia and betrayed his family.
"Recover, Son of Adam. We have a long journey ahead of us. You have been given the gift of life to save those whom you love and to save those whom you should have been serving as King Edmund the Just." Aslan said as he approached Edmund and nuzzled him affectionately, "You were never lost to me, Son. Now we have work to do, Edmund the Just."
"Edmund the Just?" Edmund said with a smile, "That's … interesting."
"From this point on, you must not reveal your identity to anyone. From this point on, you are my champion. You are the champion of light. You are a warrior, Edmund. The Rogue Warrior."
"Rogue Warrior?" Edmund asked as his lips curled in slight mischief, "I like that."
"I thought you might." Aslan said with a light chuckle, a rare thing from the mighty lion, "It is not merely a title. It is a mantle of responsibility." He spoke, his voice becoming somber and serious, "Our world is in threat, Edmund. A threat greater than that of Jadis. An old threat. A dark threat."
"And you think I am capable of defeating this … threat?"
"You are the Rogue Warrior."
Without saying another word, Aslan turned and disappeared through the trees. Edmund was left alone with his thoughts. He rose to his feet as dryad began surrounding him. He was handed back his armor and sword by the dryad, along with a forest green cloak.
Edmund thanked the dryad and they departed from his sight. He slowly changed back into his armor, before adorning his cloak. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. As soon as he closed his eyes, he witnessed his family. He imagined them safe back at Cair Paravel and he used their memory … used Peter's memory, to inspire him to complete this task. He had no idea what would be required of him, but he was prepared to do whatever had to be done.
Edmund was no longer King of the Fallen. Now he was the Rogue Warrior. Now he was charged with a mantle of responsibility. He slipped his hood over his head and took a deep breath. The time had come. The future awaited. The Rogue Warrior had been born.
- To Be Continued -
RWC2 - Into the North
Edmund sets out for the north and begins his life as the Rogue Warrior. He trains and fights
A/N: I hope you enjoyed this! As you can see, it ties in heavily to JaM, which should be no surprise since it is a JaM side-series. Adventure heavy, and if you read JaM, you will know that not a lot of action of the romance kind will take place here. I'm not sure how long it'll be, but don't expect to be anywhere near as long as JaM. It should end up smaller than a volume of JaM. Don't forget it takes place between Chapter 6 and 7 of JaM.