Title: Petros Basileus
Disclaimer: I do not own the Chronicles of Narnia, etc.
Important Note: This is the answer to challenge 21: Tragic. While I could have just written another story with a sad ending, as I am wont to do, I decided instead to expand my horizons and try…an actual tragedy. In this case, I wrote the fic in the form of a Classical Greek Tragedy. If you recall your Oedipus Rex, Greek tragedy is a genre all its own. I have attempted to follow many of the main characteristics of the ancient tragedies: In any one scene there can be only three speaking actors in addition to a chorus lead by a choregos, or chorus leader. Pretty much all action happens off-stage and is referred to by the actors. There is minimal stage direction: again, the dialogue is what matters. I have also tried to use a few classic tropes which anyone who has studied Sophocles will recognize. There are quite a few deviations (I am sooo not writing this entire thing in meter, only the chorus is in a meter of 11 syllables), but those are some of the basic facts.
Also please note: this is movieverse. I say this because I found it necessary to use the personalities given the Pevensies in the movies to give this even a semblance of canon. In particular, I tried to transplant the characters' personalities from Prince Caspian to the Golden Age rule of the Four Sovereigns.
Time: 10 years into the reign of High King Peter and his siblings.
Scene: Outside the doors of Cair Paravel. A group of old centaurs stand nervously near the double doors, glancing occasionally at the sky that is just beginning to brighten with the rising sun. The choregos, STARSTORM, wisest of the centaurs, steps forward from the group.
Morning comes to the castle on the sea, and the Narnian night has passed in trepidation. The Sword shone brightly while Hylassa, Lady of Light, has dimmed nearly beyond what mortal eyes can see. What more, my friends, the moon had blocked the light of the smallest star in the Compass, and the north-point shone blue with ice.
Alas for these portents bode ill for us all.
The smallest of stars binds the Compass in balance.
The anchor of the north-point, light of the east.
Oh greedy moon, why do you eat the small one?
What ill fate does this mean for the Four enthroned?
We must to tell the High King of these omens!
PETER from the doors of the Cair. Golden-haired and proud, he holds his crowned head high. Beside him is AGISTO, a Narnian human who is Peter's chief advisor.
Hail, cousins! Has there been news from my royal brother and sister? When King Edmund, Queen Lucy, Lord Agisto, and I rode forth to battle evil in the north, word came to us from Agistonian scouts that forces threatened us to the west. Though my heart was unrestful, my brother, the Just King, went with a portion of our army to the setting sun and Valiant Lucy rode with him. No word since has come, but my dreams have been troubled. What say the skies before Aslan's Hour?
My king, fair of face and whose heart holds the strength of a lion, the stars speak of a great darkness, a long night falling over Narnia. Strong comes the light of the Hound in the west, but behold! A red sun wakes in the east after Hylassa grew weak of heart. And alas, the compass broken!
Ah, strong light comes from the west! Surely this means the Just and Valiant return as conquerors. I must call Queen Susan and tell her…Agisto, your face is pale. What troubles you, faithful advisor?
Sire, you order my tongue loosened and so it shall be, though my heart forefends it. Is not the west the realm of your brother, the King Edmund?
Yes, for Aslan gave to him the Western Woods, as I rule the North.
And your sister, sweet Queen Lucy, holds to the east?
It is as you say. What mean you by these questions? The answers are well known.
Sire, forgive a troubled soul, but could not these signs foretell that the east is lost to darkness?
Even so we have feared that this be the truth.
Ill omens belong to the sky of sun's birth.
At expense of the east, the west grows strong. I fear the actions of your dear brother, and what they mean for dearest sister.
I should call you mad, friend Agisto, but for the recent behavior of my royal brother. Often you have told me how he follows you with dark eyes, and I myself see his jealousy of your place in my affections. Not just a week before we journeyed north he dared to question the loyalty of my most trusted advisor, questioned the authority Agisto holds in my name. His judgment of Agisto impaired by envy, just so has Edmund begrudged my sister the love and confidence I share with her.
Always has the youngest queen been your light and guide, my lord.
You speak truly. Light of my eyes, but Edmund resents her brightness. I fear the actions taken that may grow from this bitterness. Cousin, do the stars follow our counsel?
Sire, though you are wise among men…
Ah, dear cousin allow this interruption. For look, your majesty, the army returns to Cair Paravel. King Edmund, noble knight, leads the legion.
EDMUND enters left, his face grave.
Edmund, royal brother, by your banner you are victorious. Why now are your eyes wet with unshed tears?
To my king I bring news of triumph. The foul creatures that threatened our country from the west are destroyed, to the last breath. To my brother I bear grievous tidings, to wound the heart. Our sister, our dear Lucy, has fallen.
What? Fallen how?
In the thick of battle, it was noticed that near all weapons pointed to our sister. I begged her retreat, but she fought still, not willing to abandon my side. Would that Aslan never gave her the name Valiant, for in her bravery an arrow struck her heart. No healer could save her, nor cordial's drop revive, for her light disappeared as swiftly as a strong wind blows a candle.
Weep, oh Narnia, for your queen is ever lost.
The smallest star of the Compass is eclipsed;
do not let the fate yet revealed unfold.
Aslan, Great Lion, receive your servant now.
To His country, with golden wings, our queen flies.
But weep, weep oh Narnia clothed in blackness!
Weep for the empty throne in Cair Paravel.
AGISTO advances on EDMUND
How now do you dare return like this, who failed your sister?
How now do you dare speak so to a king of Narnia? Speak rather of the creatures that slew my sister, speak of how they bore weapons forged in the fires of Agistonian smithies.
What slander do you heap on an innocent? Even bathed with the blood of your blood, your jealousy slithers falsehoods to the ear of the High King. See, my lord, how he places his failure at my feet, using your grief to tear from you the one you trust most in Narnia after sister newly slain. A dog I call him, who howls blame at the moon for the maiden whose throat he tore.
Enraged, EDMUND moves to draw his sword, only to be stopped by PETER's sword at his neck.
You who wears your shield on your back and not your arm, you dare draw swords on the High King's advisor? You bring me my sister slain, and seek to slay my dearest friend. Your hurled, empty accusations do not befit the title Just. Craven, Faithless should you be called who lived whilst my sister died.
Brother, your words pierce my heart as surely as the arrow that slew our sister. My guilt I plainly admit, that it was not I who died in her place; would Aslan that it were! If living in the stead of a worthier life is craven, so call me a coward. But do not name me Faithless; I swore an oath to follow Aslan and his High King, and never faltered in that charge.
It were not always so, winter-born.
He who is born in winter may yet thaw with the breath of the Lion. This Lion you swore also to obey, and yet you have forgotten his will: that the thrones of Cair Paravel be filled with Four, and Four alone. Yet despite this admonition, you advanced a fifth whom you heed above your siblings and their warnings. That advance has already claimed the best of us.
Enough! You are one to speak of Aslan's will. As you betrayed us before, so now you have betrayed us again in your angry jealousy, with the price my sister's life! That you would see her fall for envy of our affection, reveals you unworthy of kingship. Thus with the power given me as High King, I hereby strip you of your crown and throne.
PETER slaps EDMUND across the face.
So also I banish you from the land of Narnia and all her possessions, else you would hang for a traitor.
EDMUND, heartbroken, kneels before the High King.
Please, brother, your grief has stolen your mind. This power was never given you by Aslan, for it is He alone who holds authority to bestow or remove a crown. I will bear the name Traitor, wrongly given, if you would but rescind this edict that claims your throne above the Great Lion. Peter, please, my heart begs you repent!
AGISTO (to PETER):
A traitor's plea seeks to imbue terror, but the terror is only cowardly lies.
My word stands firm. Remove your worthless self from my sight, and leave me to grieve a sister wrongly taken.
EDMUND stands to leave.
A brother wrongly exiled does not return a stolen sister. My life and loyalty are ever yours, my king. Call on me and I shall return to your side.
May your grief and unjust anger abate, Peter, that you may see my love for you. Aslan guide your path, dearest brother.
EDMUND exits left
It is well done, my lord. Two may rule as well as four, and I will ever be your loyal servant. Come, let us prepare your sister for her royal funeral.
AGISTO and PETER exit right
Would that our eyes failed us before this sight!
In anger for sister slain, a sword unsheathed.
Brother set upon brother, evil discord.
Surely a Just King is wrongfully accused.
But the eldest is known for his bright wisdom.
Narnia, do not seek to choose between kings.
We must wait for stars' nightly revelations.
To the southern mountains now we go in grief.
Return then to the Cair when again skies speak.
Aslan, show us the truth
Aslan, guide our paths
Aslan, speak through the stars
Aslan's will be done
CHORUS exits left. End Act I.
All three Acts have been posted if you still want to read more.