Traitors Arc: Loyalty
Disclaimer: Own nothing, want to though.
A/N: Yay! Second story in the mini series. This one is going to be slightly different in that l will be writing it from Peter's POV as well as Edmunds. For this story, and the next one this is going to be pretty important. It will make sense, I promise. In case I don't make it absolutely clear in the story (because I have a tendency to overlook matters such as time etc), about six or seven months have passed since the first one. And I looked it up, wolf cubs begin to help with the hunt at around 8 months old, so my little Bright-spark is nearly all grown up. (I shouldn't like an oc this much, really, but then, I like Maxus too... hmm. If I start focusing too much on them bear with me, I promise I will probably have a good reason to.) Excessive use of the words 'Fell creatures', but I can't come up with anything else to call them as a group. So sorry if it's a little jarring.
Traitors Arc: Not everyone is as forgiving as Aslan, Peter, Susan and Lucy, and Edmund struggles to prove himself to the Narnian people, and tries to become a truly Just King. His first ac of Justice was offering some Fell beasts to prove not all of their kind are evil, and ex soldiers of the Witches army a second chance. Now, When something happens to Edmund, Peter is about to learn the level of loyalty these beings have for his brother.
Traitors Arc: Loyalty
Edmund was trying his best to stifle his laughter, but was obviously not doing a very goo job if the looks Philip was sending over his shoulder at him were any indication. Walking beside him Maxus was watching proceedings with a furrowed brow, the Minotaur equivalent of a bemused raised eyebrow Edmund had found in the months since Maxus had become the head of his personal guard.
It had taken some time for Edmund to convince Peter that he was perfectly safe with the Fell creatures that were now under his command. But had given in when Peter demanded he at least have a few of their more conventional warriors in his guard, just in case. Edmund had chosen the two centaurs and the faun very carefully; he refused to have anyone in his guard who would not tolerate working with the Fell creatures.
The faun, incidentally, was the one who had cut him that fateful day he had dived to save a wolf mother. The faun, Filionus, had apologised profusely, and begged his forgiveness. Edmund had shrugged it off, embarrassed by the attention, and had redirected the conversation towards the newly freed Fell creatures, asking if he could put aside his hatred of them enough to work with them. Filionus had taken some time to consider his proposal, but had returned to him and pledged his allegiance to Edmunds guards.
The two centaurs had in fact been pointed out by Oreius as the most open minded, and Edmund had accepted them. He kept a careful watch on proceedings, but over the six months since he had set this up, everything was going surprisingly well.
He reached down to pat Philip's neck; he had been worried that his horse friend would refuse to bear him when he discovered who he would most likely be travelling with if they went t battle. But Philip had surprised him, telling him plainly that it was an honour to bear the King of Narnia, and that if Edmund trusted them, Philip did too.
They had set out from Cair Paravel the day before on a training exercise; it was the induction of some new members. Over the past months word had spread, and he had started getting a small, but steady trickle of those who wished for a second chance. Some came only to secure safety for their families to live and work; others came to prove themselves in Edmunds guards. For those, Edmund had devised the training exercises, as a way to make sure they could be trusted without endangering anyone at Cair Paravel. Peter didn't like it, but accepted that Edmund was not to be swayed from this path.
His guard was now a rather motley looking lot. Maxus was the head of the guards, and did his job admirably, and Edmund had no complaint about him. Maxus accompanied him on every mission, no matter what. Two of the dwarves had stayed on as permanent guards, the others agreeing to join up to form a fighting company should there be a war, or big fight. Yarren the snow Tiger had pledged his services. He also had an Ogre, Clob, who was slow, but friendly enough for one of his kind. Filionus the faun and one of his two Centaur guards. Everyone else remained at Cair Paravel, the second Centaur left there to run interference should it be required with Edmund gone.
Those being inducted into his guards were an Orkney, and Bright-spark, who had reached his eighth month, and declared himself old enough to join the guards. Edmund had wanted to refuse him until he was at least a year old, but Swiftwind had told him that eight months was the age all wolves learnt to hunt and became proper members of the pack. So Edmund had reluctantly agreed, intending to keep a sharp eye on the young pup. He had grown very fond of the fun loving wolf since they had met.
Bright-spark, was at this moment listening avidly to one of the dwarves telling him all about the last training Exercise they had gone on. The dwarf was embellishing on what had actually happened, and the wolf pup was lapping it all up, growing more and more excited, but trying very hard to hide it. He had been trying so hard to act like a grownup, very serious, following every order he was given as best he could, but seeing the way his face was slack with wonder, and his eyes were filled with apprehensive excitement, and the way his tail, the perfect indicator of the wolfs thoughts, start it's quick swishes that sent the white flash on the end blurring.
This was What Edmund liked so much about the little wolf, this wonderment, innocence. His eagerness to know everything and to please. This was why he had been reluctant to take Bright-spark into his guards just yet, but the look of disappointment would have eaten away at him even worse. But he would not smother the wolf, he would give him exactly the same chance to prove himself as everyone else, and he would try not to interfere. After all, it would hardly be very fair.
Milrina had stayed behind on this exercise, though she normally joined them as the official healer, but one of the families that Edmund had helped find a home had had an illness, serious enough to require she remain there for a few days.
"Sire, we're coming up to the clearing." Yasha, the female centaur in his troupe told him.
Edmund nodded his thanks. "Please check that it is secure."
She nodded and galloped ahead, sword in hand to check the area they normally used. Bright-spark turned excited grey eyes up to Edmund, his question silent, but easily understood, and Edmund smiled at him. "Are you ready for this Spark?" he asked, he had taken to shortening the cumbersome name down when he spoke to the wolf informally.
Bright-spark nodded eagerly. "Oh yes Edmund—I mean sire."
If there was one consistent thing about the young one, it was that he was never formal. Edmund liked a lot of his guard to be informal with him, but for most of them this meant calling him 'Sire', which he could admit was a sight better that 'His Royal Highness, King Edmund the Just', which he had been regaled with too often in the beginning.
It was a surprise when they rounded the next bend in the forest trail to be suddenly faced with a group. Edmund, who found it suspicious anyway that they should be here, blocking his guard's path, would have cautiously spoken to them, and then have ordered everyone to a new area, just in case. But in this case, there was no need to be cautious or suspicious. Their intentions were quite obvious.
Yasha's body lay, blood pooling out from a slit in her throat, which explained why they had not heard a cry of warning.
"Maxus." Edmund said softly.
"Sire." The Minotaur snorted in response.
This was normally all that was needed, Maxus knew his intentions, over the months they had worked closely together, and Edmund had found that Maxus normally knew what he meant without him actually having to say it. It was good, and gave them a slight advantage over potential enemies.
"Why have you killed my guard?" Edmund asked voice clear, as biting as any steel. He was not pleased.
One of the figures. A hag moved forward, she ignored Edmund's words, instead speaking to those who were with him. "You have done well to bring him to us. We thank you brethren."
It was obviously a ploy, and it would have worked, with anyone but Edmund he suspected. He had a connection to the Fell creatures that had joined Narnia's forces under him; he trusted those with him implicitly, except perhaps the Orkney.
"What are you talking about?" Bright-spark demanded to know, teeth barred.
"Will you answer me, r shall we just let the battle commence?" Edmund asked, giving Maxus a slight nod, and the Minotaur shifted, moving one big hand to the shaft of his axe.
The Hag grinned, chillingly. "Oh, let the battle commence!"
"Behind us!" Edmund yelled, cursing himself for not realising the obvious.
It was a fight that was quick, and brutal, and bloody. Edmunds small group was grossly outnumbered, and there seemed no end to the enemy. It was an unspoken order to fight their way free and run. Edmund had been dragged from Philip's back, and he could hear the horse bellowing angrily as he tried to get back to him.
He could tell he was being herded away from the rest of his guard, but could do little to prevent it. They were not trying to kill him, so he suspected that they must need him for something, so he made a decision.
"Maxus! Take the remaining men and get back to Cair Paravel! Get Peter!" he yelled.
He could see that Maxus was unhappy, but one thing he knew was that Maxus would follow his orders. So the manbull, with a mighty roar, lifted an injured and unconscious Filionus, and called for a retreat. Only the Ogre responded to his call, and Edmund was sickened to think that Bright-spark had been killed.
The creatures attacking paid the retreating figures no mind, all eyes turned to him. Though he did not want to, he threw his sword to the ground, there were too many for him to fight his way through, and besides, if he was reading the situation correctly they would keep him alive.
All he could do was hope Peter would not let his distrust of the Fell creatures stop him believing Maxus.
There we go, first chapter/prologue done and dusted. Impressive aren't I? Lol. I know it's a little vague, but I did need to leave an element of mystery in there, I hope you will all be waited eagerly for the next part, which will be from Peters POV.
Traitor Arc (In Order)
King Edmund the Just