Part Four, or, the Epilogue.
When you are old enough, your father will give it to you, and you and all your sons must keep it for him when he comes again," my grandfather had told me. And I, Tarian, have kept the sword Rhindon for the High King Peter, as he asked. My sons after me kept it, and their sons after them. I am a man long dead, awaiting the return of the Emperor of Narnia along with all my forefathers, but still we keep a watch over the sword as our fathers asked of us. The day is close when he will return to us, and bring with him the High Kings and Queens of old High Narnian days, but we are patient; three thousand years we have waited for this, and a thousand years more we will wait if it means their return is assured.
See now, the earth rumbles and the ground shakes, and the living are turned from their houses as the dead are turned from their graves, and the Narnia that is becomes the Narnia that was mean to be. He is coming there, amid the turmoil, Aslan himself, Son of the Great King, and behind him come three of the Four High Kings and Queens, with their parents behind them. Not more than children, really, but as any of our ghostly company will tell you it is not really age that matters, only strength of heart. We are all here now, all the kings and queens of Narnia- the six Franks, Gale, Swanwhite, the ten Caspians, Rilian, Tarian, Ossian, Gabrian, Aubrian, Erlian, and Tirian, the last of my bloodline.
After all are judged, they are before us now and Aslan stops, turning to greet them. "Once a king or queen, in Narnia," He says, "Always a king or queen in Narnia."
We nod as the children laugh and smile; have we not been watching and protecting Narnia as Kings and Queens are meant to do, even in death? Aslan smiles too. "Is not the way home the easiest of all?" he asks them, and they all nod, except for Peter, who has heard those words before from another tongue. Aslan turns to him, and looks deep into his soul. "Are you ready to return here, Peter?" he asks, and the boy who is almost a man nods sincerely. Aslan's voice deepens, becoming more serious. "Are you ready to return there?"
Peter's face falls; he knows of what Aslan is speaking. He cannot decide, his face fixed in confusion. "The road home is easy, but the road to love is hard and rocky and set with many foes," Aslan cautioned. "Are you ready to take that road?"
He beckons forth my progeny, the last of the Narnian kings, Tirian, who brings forth the sword. We have kept it, all of us, for you, King Peter. Take it from my many times great grandchild's arms; feel the power you once felt in it! He does, and sense of happiness and warmth fills me, the warmth I never felt when holding it. Blood was not spilt on it in love for me, but for him. He can feel the warmth now too, and it fills his face with a sad smile.
"I do not know the way," Peter finally admits, and Aslan understands.
"Then I will travel it with you, Son of Adam," Aslan says, and, letting Peter place his hand on his mane, they begin their long journey into the mountains, back to the castle of the Mountain Queen.
What was done there is well known, how Aslan battered down the mountain and released his sister, the Mountain Queen, from her enchanted palace there, the palace her father had built to hold her in and make her remain the Sun, allowing her to return to her father, the Emperor-across-the-Sea. Then he made Peter into a Lord of the Dawn, so that every morning, with his Lady, after a call from her Gilded Horn, he leads the Golden Hunt across the Sky, his mother-in-law following after all her company in her fiery chariot. At night, the feasting still continues, though no one who drinks of the wine is bound now to stay forever.
It is a place of joy, true, unchained joy, as joy is meant to be, and of laughter and story-telling. But of all the tales that are told in that place (for travelers who venture there say they tell a great many, most as old as the Mountain Queen herself) there is none loved better by the Lord and Lady of the Dawn than the tale of the Naming of Rhindon Wolfsbane.
Yes, the terrible secret's out; I, Mercury Gray, am a sucker for happy endings. I tried to fit this in with both the biblical and Narnian version of the Eschaton (fun word meaning end of time I learned in my Theology class) and it kind of worked and kind of didn't. The reason this is here is because I felt like the story hadn't ended in the last chapter and I wanted Peter to go back to Rhiainwyn. At his coronation (in the movie, anyway) he's given to The Great Northern Sky, and I thought he could rule that any number of ways.
To all of you who accepted my conjecturing and conjuring with Narnia's canon, and stayed along for the whole ride, thank you. Your reviews made several very bad days this semester a whole less bleak.