Disclaimer: Any and all places, people, terminology and such that you recognize, belongs to C. S. "Jack" Lewis. I'm just borrowing them and playing a bit. The rest belongs to me.
Summary: What did Edmund do to become a knight? My vision of what happened, stirred together with some wacky logic.
A/N: I got bored and had a few wacky ideas and theories, revolving around the different Orders of Narnia we have been told of. The key words here are Lion and Table.
Alternative title: How King Edmund Came to Respect the Art of Rhetoric
On the second year of the reign of His Majesty,
High King Peter the Magnificent,
"… high and mighty…"
Lord of Cair Paravel,
Emperor of the Lone Islands,
Sir Wolf's Bane of the Most Noble Order of the Lion,
His Highness' esteemed younger brother King Edmund the Just,
Duke of the Lantern Waste and the Count of Western Marches,
"Now now, Your Majesty, I'm sure you're exaggerating His Majesty's negative aspects. His Majesty has a cold after all. That is perfectly normal during autumn. And if His Majesty could not make this journey to Calormen because of it, you, Your Majesty, as His Majesty's younger brother must make sacrifices for your country and Your King."
Edmund shot a dirty look at his Rhetoric and Diplomacy teacher, Deimos, a faun who was very boring and very proper. Why did he have to come? Edmund pondered darkly. This ambassador's job is torturous enough without him having come along.
"And do not use that look, Your Majesty. It's unbecoming of a King of Narnia", Deimos paused for dramatic effect as he seemed to enjoy doing. "A king must always be courteous and attentive. A king must always follow the proper etiquette and keep their personal thoughts on a matter to themselves. They cannot show their distaste or disgust to dignitaries as this would be very rude…"
Edmund tuned the faun out forcefully. Despite the subject being an extremely boring one, it was still hard to tune out due to his teacher's proficiency in his craft. Before Narnia Edmund had been sure that he would never be able to listen to anything boring no matter how good the speaker.
Deimos had proved him wrong. Very wrong indeed.
The faun was such a good speaker that even the mating habits of worms would have sounded interesting had he been talking about them. And Edmund was sure that the mating habits of worms were the most boring subject in the world. And possibly the most disgusting as well.
Edmund sighed and raised his head, looking over the dunes of sand surrounding them. They were on their way back from Tashbaan, the capital of Calormen, and were now crossing the Great Desert. It would still be at least half a day before they made it to the valley that lead to Archenland.
He would be very glad when they made it there and he would be even gladder when Lucy managed to organize a fleet of ships for Narnia. Then he wouldn't have to deal with this desert and sand that somehow got into the most inopportune of places.
"…the Tisroc hasn't been taught properly as could be seen from…"
Edmund enforced his tuning out to the best of his ability. He was not a good student when irritated and desert-crossing is a very agitating past-time so he didn't even bother to care at the moment that he was losing valuable information.
And valuable it was, as he and his siblings had come to learn over the last two years. At times it was extremely hard to remain polite towards foreign dignitaries. Their young age didn't help either nor their lack of knowledge of governmental things and some more mundane facts of their country and others. That they weren't in an open war with all their neighbouring countries was a miracle. The only reason they had survived for two years without too many plunders had been their excellent tutors.
Edmund glanced at Deimos little guiltily. He had been an extremely big help in making sure that foreign dignitaries didn't try anything untoward with complicated word patterns and such. That was why the faun had joined him on this trip. He was there to make sure Edmund wouldn't make a mess out of Narnia's international affairs. Luckily he hadn't been about make any big mistakes and it was not for the lack of trying on Tisroc's part. Calormene prolix was very headache-inducing.
Edmund peered forward; he could clearly see the mountains in the distance. Though there were still many sand dunes before they would make it there.
As Edmund rode beside a very high dune, something happened.
It moved and all hell broke loose.
Suddenly a part of the dune was pushed aside and over thirty men in white robes and turbans burst out, waving their sabres. All the horses panicked, dropping their riders and most of Edmund's entourage was so surprised they couldn't do anything before they were knocked unconscious. Few managed to pull out their swords and trade some strikes with the bandits, Edmund among them.
"Halt, you Northerners, and you shall not be harmed!" the bandit with the most ornamental sword called sharply.
Edmund let his gaze sweep over his people while biting his lip. Only seven out of fifteen Narnians was still conscious, not counting Edmund himself. Those still standing included six out of ten soldiers who had been sent as guard by Peter and the last one was a Talking Sparrow, who was to act as a messenger if need be. His brown eyes met the Sparrow's bright ones. He flicked his eyes meaningfully to north and frowned, doing his best to portray message; "Fly north when they won't notice." The Sparrow gave a hesitant nod.
Edmund then looked over the bandits, doing a quick head count. Thirty-three came out and only twenty-two were standing. They wouldn't have change against them, not with their comrades out of commission.
But… Edmund's eyes narrowed. At the first glance they seemed formidable but Edmund if anyone knew that looks weren't everything.
After his treachery when he first came to Narnia, he was the one looked upon with distrust. The Narnians didn't really trust him to be a good king for them, and how could he, after selling them and his siblings to the White Witch for sweets.
Gaining their trust was hard but he redeemed himself to some degree in their eyes when he broke the Witch's wand during the Battle of Beruna, saving his brother's life in the process.
Since then he had made sure to be fair to everyone and listen closely everything that was said around him. He also took part in making all the big decisions with his siblings, but he gave them the spotlight. He didn't announce the decisions, unless a part of it was declaring that it was a decision the four of them had made together.
Becoming a judge had been hard because then he was alone before their subjects. He had been accused of being a traitor quite often in the beginning and he always admitted to being one in the past. That brought him a lot of respect when in court.
But that didn't help now… as he was the only one of the Four Sovereigns present and the decision was his to make.
So Edmund straightened and lowered his dual swords. The Narnians followed his example, clearly with great reluctance.
Edmund turned his gaze to the bandit leader and asked coldly; "What can we do for you fine gentlemen on this warm day?"
He was rather proud of the effect he had on the bandits. They shivered; clearly they weren't used to kind words when they were said with such coldness.
The bandit leader squared his shoulders, quite clearly collecting his thoughts.
"You shall leave all your money, valuables and weapons here", the leader said confidently. No one had clearly ever said "no" at this point, especially not a twelve-year-old foreigner.
"And why, my good man, would we poor travelers on the road do that?" Edmund asked. "For weapons and money are the shield and shelter of a traveler."
Edmund could just about make out the leader's raised eyebrow. Good, keep them confused.
"That is as true as the Moon that follows the Sun, and as true as the tides following the Moon", the bandit agreed.
The young King sensed his subjects' confusion. Luckily Deimos was among the unconscious. Thank Aslan for small favors.
"But", the bandit continued. "the possessions of the travelers' are the same for us. They're our shield and shelter as well as yours. So I must ask you once again to leave them here."
He had shaken the bandit. Point for King Edmund.
"But how are we supposed to make haste without them?" Edmund asked. "We must pay taxes on the way and we wouldn't want to get in trouble with foreign governments. We may also be attacked, how are we supposed to protect ourselves without the aid of weapons?"
He caught the sight of the Sparrow flying north from the corner of his eye. Another point for distraction tactics.
Now the bandit also seemed to be unsure. Clearly no one had started a deep discussion with him while being robbed. All the Narnians even had their weapons, still.
"You see", Edmund continued. "we live in far north and as it is, we must travel through Archenland and in the spite of His Majesty King Lune being friendly according to rumours, we would rather not find them to be untrue. I'm quite positive that the dungeons in Archenland are cold, it's a very hilly land with high mountains after all, and I and my comrades would rather not spend our time in dungeons with winter on the way. Especially as we wouldn't know how long it would take for us to be freed."
Now the bandit was clearly uneasy.
"And if we were extremely unlucky, as you can never know these things with Kings, after all, they're as unpredictable as poets upon inspiration; we'll be locked up for so long a time we cannot make preparations for the upcoming winter. Then, we might die of hunger or cold."
Edmund was actually ready to invent more excuses why robbing them was a bad idea. These bandits didn't seem to want to kill anyone, as they hadn't really threatened their lives. He didn't quite believe them to be bandits at all.
"I see", the bandit leader said instead. He seemed defeated. "I understand that our slight upon you might endanger your lives and we do not wish that." He bowed to them. "Keep your belongings, guests from north. I now see how our thoughtless actions might have caused discomfort for other people. Go and give us your forgiveness."
Narnians were quite shocked by these words, but after glancing at their younger King they moved to gather up their unconscious comrades. While they did this, Edmund watched how the bandits gathered together, looking like a rather sorry bunch.
"You're farmers, are you not?" he asked then. He was almost sure.
The bandits' eyes widened quite comically as they all turned to stare at him.
The leader recovered quite quickly. "You must have seen wrong, for the desert wings tend to trick one's eye into seeing things not there."
Narnians were also looking at the bandits, really looking. The edges of their robes were frayed and what could be seen from their faces was heavily tanned. They didn't look like bandits living off of their treasure which meant that most of it mmust have been used for something.
"No need to try to lie"; Edmund said. "I'm not going to go back to Tashbaan and turn you in; I have no wish for such things. I saw the trade rates in Tashbaan and I'm sure it's not easy to make a living here. It's quite logical for one to take up robbing foreign travelers, taking them by surprise so no blood would need to be shed in order to gain some more money."
The bandits kept exchanging looks with each other. They clearly didn't know where this discussion was going. Edmund ignored everyone's gazes as he moved to stand beside his horse. From the saddle bag he pulled out a small pouch of gold. As he jumped into the saddle he turned to the bandit leader and threw the pouch to the surprised man.
"That is for you to do with as you wish and it's my thank you for letting us through", Edmund's face was serious as he turned to another faun, this one a part of his guard, named Cernunnos. "Is everything ready?"
"Yes, Sire", Cernunnos answered. "We're ready to move on."
Edmund nodded to him. "Let's go."
"For your bravery and sharp tongue and forgiveness in a strenuous situation, I name you Sir Edmund Silver Tongue of the Most Noble Order of the Table."
A/N: Let's explain a little; in this fic I made the Most Noble Order of the Lion more combat and fighting oriented, an order where you are knighted for fighting proves. On the other hand, the Most Noble Order of the Table is more proving oneself capable of brave words and then backing them up with actions. Verbal aerobatics, in other words. Chivalrous words and other such things.
And why this? Peter was made a Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Lion for killing Maugrim and saving his sisters. This happened in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. In Prince Caspian, Caspian, Reepicheep and Trumpkin join this Order as well, for their bravery and so on. While we're told these things about the Most Noble Order of the Lion, we're not really told anything about the Most Noble Order of the Table and the only thing we know about it, is that Edmund belongs to it. And we're not even told what he did.
Edit: Grammarstink pointed out that we actually were told why he was knighted... I checked it and am now feeling very embarrassed! Sorry for confusing everyone! But anyway, this can be my little alternate-world-thingy.