Title: Breaking Moiraen
Disclaimer: I do not own The Chronicles of Narnia. Which is probably a good thing.
Note: The answer to challenge 18: Fate. The title is a reference to the Moirae, the Greek Fates, who spun each person's life in a thread, allotted the amount of life they were given, and then finally cut the thread when that person's life was to end.
It wasn't supposed to end this way.
There had not been a large war since the White Witch's defeat all those years ago. However, there had been many skirmishes and campaigns, which meant that Narnia's army and her two Kings were much experienced in the art of warfare. High King Peter, now a broad-shouldered 20 year old was held in high esteem for his military prowess. No less in esteem was his brother, King Edmund, who was slender, yet forceful and a brilliant mind at tactics. Both kings were held in high honor and love among their people, not least for the fraternal love that bound the two in an unshakeable bond.
The battle against the Boggles and Efreeti in the north-west of Narnia started off well for the Royal Army. King Edmund turned to his brother, who stood next to him on the front lines as the enemy army approached. "You will be careful, won't you, Peter?"
The High King smiled and clasped his armored hand upon the younger king's shoulder. "You needn't worry for me, dear brother. We need only to kill or capture the Efreet Chieftain and the rest will scatter. Easy clean up for us, and then back to Cair Paravel by breakfast tomorrow." The two brothers shared a grin at the thought.
It was suppose to end so.
The battle turned ill when the Narnian flank was surprised by Boggle reinforcements which had been unseen by the Eagle eyes of the scouts. Killing the Efreet Cheiftain became not just a goal, but a necessity. Unfortunately it seemed that the Chieftain had the same idea, as he moved towards an unheeding Peter, intent on depriving Narnia of it's eldest ruler. As the High King fought against two Boggles who wielded iron-crowned maces, he heard the Chieftain bellow behind him. Pinned down as he was, Peter could not turn to face his coming adversary.
He did not need to. A quick glance told the High King that his royal brother had barred the way, taking on the great, fiery Efreet with his twin swords. Though Peter struggled to fight his way to Edmund's side, a surge of Boggles and Efreeti cut him off and he was forced to defend himself with no thought to his brother's plight.
A great clamor arose as the enemy line broke. Peter knew in the confusion that the Efreet Chieftain was dead, and he worked with the remnants of the Narnian army to clear away those enemies who remained. A silence fell as the battle ended. Then a great twist of fear ran through Peter's gut as he realized that his brother was no where in his sight.
"Edmund!" he cried out, calling for his brother even as icy tendrils of dread squeezed his heart. "Edmund!"
"Your Majesty, over here!" Peter ran to where a black Panther crouched near the all too still body of the younger king of Narnia. The Panther gazed at the High King with grief-filled eyes. "He had slain the Efreet Chieftain but with that beast's last stroke our king is taken as well."
Peter felt as if he had been struck as he fell to his knees next to his brother. Edmund's breath was shallow and ragged, his face pale as snow as the blood seeped from his opened chest. Peter began to gather his dear brother in his arms. "We must get him back to the Cair. The Queen's cordial…"
A strong hand stopped his movements. Peter looked with dazed eyes at Neirus, the Centaur captain. "Your Majesty, Cair Paravel…it is too far. There is naught we can do."
With a strangled sob, Peter turned his attention back to the younger man. Edmund's blood-soaked chest rose once, twice, then stilled. "No," whispered Peter in a desperate plea. "Edmund, please, no. Don't leave me, please don't leave me."
There was no answer, and the Royal Army watched over their king as he cradled his brother's broken body in his arms, weeping his grief on the bloody field of battle.
It wasn't supposed to end this way.
I do apologize for not explicitly warning for character death, but I made as many inferences as I could without coming right out and saying it. I thought a warning would take away from the story itself.