But at the very first scrape of the fiddles a rocket seemed to go up inside their heads, and the poet sang the great old lay of Fair Olvin and how he fought the Giant Pire and turned him into stone (and that is the origin of Mount Pire - it was a two headed Giant) and won the Lady Liln for his bride.
-The Horse and His Boy
Fair Olvin and the Giant Pire
Written by Silvertongue90
Chapter One: Adventures
The wind blew a steady breeze throughout Archenland making the tops of the trees sway gently. Their leafy branches reached as high as they could for the clouds, as if in hopes that a single drop from the moist water above would cool their fevered trunks. It was a rather dry summer, although the land managed to hold its own and keep its color.
Peace and prosperity reigned in the northern lands of Archenland, due to the Tisroc of Calormen making a treaty with King Jar three years before and everyone was enjoying the time of respite the arrangement accorded them. It was the fervent wish of all that the kingdom remained peaceful for a long time.
So, imagine the unease keenly felt by the king and his noblemen when it reached their ears of unsettling tales of a giant stirring in the borders of Archenland and Narnia; wreaking havoc and mayhem on the gentle folk that inhabited the adjoining lands.
King Jar sent some of his best men to discover if the troubling news had any truth to it and if there were anything that could be done about the giant. His heart became increasingly heavy as months passed and he had yet to hear from his men. Messengers were sent to and fro between King Jar and King Tarvin of Narnia as they each expressed concerns about their missing men and how they should address this problem.
On that fine afternoon a young man, known as Prince Olvin or Fair Olvin of Archenland because of his exceptionally fair hair, lay contently under the trees listening to them whisper to each other.
He knew of no such tales because of late he had been neglecting the morning meetings between his father and the nobles, much to King Jar's consternation and rarely kept up with the doings of the court; preferring to spend all his time outdoors and avoid his personal trainer Kegin, who had become increasingly insistent that Olvin keep a strict regimen in regards to his weapons training.
Even if he had known about the giant he wouldn't have given much thought to the creature as he would have been satisfied to leave the conundrum in his father's capable hands.
There was nothing he liked more than reading away the afternoon out in the open air where he could hear the birds singing and the trees whispering, imagining what secrets his favorite oak tree would have to tell him if it could speak. Sometimes, if the wish became too much for him to bare he would stroll further into the country towards Narnia where he could converse with the dryads. Only a few of the noble creatures ever ventured to the borders of Archenland and he always appreciated the time they took to talk with him.
At the moment; however, he was not doing so much reading as daydreaming about a noble battle from long ago that his father had told him of last evening around the dinner table. Oh, how his stout heart wished he had been old enough to follow his father and watch that glorious encounter. He had been up late the night before attempting to put the wondrous victory to song and had struggled in vain as the words escaped him. If he had only been able to witness the battle with his own eyes he was sure he would have found the words needed, but at the time he was two years of age and could have cared less about such things.
So deeply was his mind contemplating the story that he did not hear the sound of soft footsteps approaching him from behind. Olvin was startled out of his thoughts when he heard a voice like honey say, "Good afternoon, Prince Olvin."
Olvin jumped to his feet, nearly tripping over them in the process. "Lady Liln!" He exclaimed with some surprise and quickly attempted to compose himself. "Pray sit," he gestured toward the soft grass where he had been sitting. It did not occur to him until later that he should have offered something for her to sit on to protect the lovely dress she was wearing.
The noble lady's lips turned upward and she gracefully sat under the tree and he followed suit being sure to keep a respectable distance. His deft fingers picked at the grass nervously.
A moment of awkward silence passed between them, in which Olvin had time to reflect that he did not have much skill talking with women, particularly this woman. "How is your stay at Anvard?" he finally inquired politely.
"Splendid. I am enjoying my stay very much."
Lady Liln, a noblewoman from the courts of Cair Paravel, was visiting Anvard for the summer. He did not dare hope that her arrival with her entourage had anything to do with any affection on her part toward him so much as it had to do with the invitation he had issued to her last summer when he had traveled to Cair Paravel on business.
He ardently admired the noble lady and knew she could never like him in that manner, so he kept silent about his affection. She was perfection itself, while he became even more of a bumbling idiot when she was around.
His gaze took in her appearance as the silence between them stretched. Her long hair hung in ringlets down her back, and a small band of gold circled her head, making a stark contrast in color with the dark hair. Her eyes were bright green, much brighter than he had ever seen before and her face, though narrow, was not unattractive. The full lips and long eyelashes often turned many men's heads admiringly. He thought the lady sitting next to him was truly a divine sight.
Last summer when Olvin had been at Cair Paravel, the governor of the Lone Islands had also been visiting and had been particularly attentive to her. He wondered if they had come to an understanding and wished he could find someway to ask her without appearing to be interested in the answer. He decided it was best to remain silent on the matter.
Not wishing to be caught staring at her for longer than would be considered proper Olvin turned his attention to fingering the book in his hands. Lady Liln noticed the gesture and her entire countenance lit up as she caught sight of the book. "May I inquire what you are reading?"
"Yes, of course," he muttered, thankful that she had spared him of thinking of something else to say. Rather than tell her directly what he was reading, Olvin handed her the book.
"The True Accounts of Archenland and the Northen Lands Beyond," she read aloud. "This truly sounds interesting. Does it mention Narnia?"
"A little," Olvin smiled.
"What is your favorite adventure in here?" she gave him back the book.
Olvin's eyes lit up as he began to talk of his favorite subject. "I like the story of King Gale of Narnia going to the Lone Islands to battle the dragon."
Lady Liln nodded approvingly. "I love that story too. I do wonder what he would think of becoming a legend."
"I imagine he would like it," he answered. "I too would like to have an adventurous tale to pass on to my sons when I marry. However, we live in a time of peace and while that is good for a country, not so much for the lads who wish for excitement."
"You wish for excitement?" there was a twinkle in her eyes.
"At times," he replied. "Then I think of how happy I am under this oak tree." Olvin fondly patted the trunk of the tree his back rested against.
"You are lazy, sir," she giggled at his expression of mock hurt.
"You're right, my lady," he finally admitted. "Though I think content be more the word to describe me. I yearn for battles and adventures as much as the next man, but think it folly to try finding it. When adventure is sought it is usually found where it is not wanted."
"Too true. Though I think if any adventure is found it is because the Great Lion has sent it your way."
"Perhaps, I do think even Aslan would want us to exercise caution all the same."
It suddenly came to his head that he was arguing with his honored guest and did not really have the slightest notion why they were arguing. He could see Lady Liln coming to the same conclusion and she smiled shyly even as his face flushed.
"Well, adventures or no, we can thank Aslan for the time of peace he has bestowed on us."
Lady Liln started to rise and Olvin rushed to his feet to help her. "It was a pleasure talking with you, Prince Olvin."
"Same with you, my lady. Shall I walk you back to the castle?"
"No," she smiled. "I shall leave you to your tree."
Olvin couldn't help smirking at her departing words as Lady Liln walked down the knoll toward Anvard. She did not turn around to catch him watching her and for that he was thankful since he felt his smirk turning into a dreamy smile that he would forever deny if pressed.
"She's exquisite isn't she, brother?"
He nearly tripped again as he turned sharply to face his sister, Lana. She lounged against his oak tree with a smile on her lips and fiddled with a branch that had blown down earlier.
"Where did you come from?" the prince asked once his heart stopped pounding in his chest from the fright she gave him.
Lana's mouth turned upward once more. "I have been nearby the whole time. You were too occupied to notice."
Lana was not as fair haired as Olvin, something that she would forever be grateful about. She secretly thought his hair resembled a torch in the dark that could be seen for miles and her mind shuddered at the idea that she might have inherited such a monstrosity. Her own hair was shoulder length and tousled from the wind; a nightly battle occurred in her chambers as she struggled to be rid of all the tangles she had accumulated throughout the day. If it were up to her, she would have chopped off her hair a long time ago and kept it short like Olvin's, except her father refused to even consider her proposal.
She did not enjoy dressing in finery or going to parties that required her to act as a lady of the court. Instead, she preferred to ride her mare or watch the men joust and even sometimes persuade them to let her join in. Unlike Olvin, she sought adventures and usually found them.
"You were spying on me," Olvin accused.
"I did no such thing," she replied indignantly. "Though, I couldn't help overhearing. Tell me, do you like our guest, Lady Liln? I heard that you met her when you visited Cair Paravel last summer."
"Of course," he muttered. "She is good and kind as well as interesting to talk to."
"Will you pursue her hand in marriage?"
"Don't be absurd."
His sister detached herself from the tree and started to walk down the knoll where Lady Liln had previously gone, intending to go to the stable grounds and groom her mare. "Too bad you do not like adventures, dear brother. Otherwise, you could go on one and win her heart."
Olvin bent over and picked up a stick to throw at her and she easily dodged it, laughing. Lana ran down the hill with her arms outstretched, as if she were trying to catch the breeze and fly.
He could feel his face heating up as he wondered if his admiration for Lady Liln was not as secret as he thought. Cursing his affliction to blush so easily Olvin was glad that no one else happened upon him as he knew the nickname some called him in jest would start up again at the sight of him.
Olvin the Red.
He blamed his mother for inheriting her light skin.
Olvin went back to his former seat and took up the book again. He opened it to the first page and dismissed everything from his mind as he once more dived into the words. Adventures were better left on the page and in stories, he surmised. Let others become heroes and go on adventurous quests.