Narnia was a beautiful land. To the West were great mountains, to the East was the sea and vast wild forests and plains covered the land. Many creatures knew Narnia as home: centaurs, fauns, Minotaurs, and many beasts. Narnia was not always a wild country: it had kings and queens of old who fought battles with the Narnians and built a great kingdom. Many prosperous years were celebrated by the Narnians but unexpectedly, the last kings and queens of old vanished and the land was left unprotected for many years. Soon the kings and queens of Narnia became legend and the Narnians lost hope of regaining their great kingdom.

But others wanted Narnia as well. Narnia was invaded by the Telmarines, a people from across the sea. They made their home in Narnia and created a new kingdom. The Narnians were driven away to hide in the forests and hatred for the trespassers grew in their hearts. They wanted to fight for their home but the Telmarines' Kingdom grew and they became too great.

The Telmarines were a dark people: their skin was tanned and their hair was dark and their voices were accented. The Telmarine kings were ruthless and greedy, seeking more land to conquer as their kingdom spread across Narnia.

Soon the once feared creatures of Narnia became the creatures of fairytales. They lived in fear of the strange people and some thought they disappeared. The land grew darker; more shadows seemed to fall, and the once beautiful and prosperous land became cruel under the rule of the Telmarines. All except for one king: Caspian the IX.

Caspian IX was a kind king, unlike his forefathers who had conquered the land with greedy hearts. He sought prosperity for the kingdom and he was very merciful. He listened to the opinions of his royal council and he made decisions for his people, not for himself alone.

But Miraz, Caspian IX's brother, did not agree with his ruling. Miraz wanted a stronger kingdom, for the Telmarines to have an army feared by all, and to rule the land with an iron fist, the way he thought a kingdom should be ruled. But the king ignored his brother.

Many prosperous years passed under Caspian IX and the kingdom was thriving. The people adored Caspian IX and they were jubilant when his son, Prince Caspian X, was born. But Miraz's eyes darkened with anger and as Caspian IX planned the future for his son and the Kingdom, Miraz began plans of his own. He became more involved in the royal council and proposed plans that the king saw as promising. The king and his brother grew close and Miraz was pleased.

But the king would not live to see his plans for the kingdom realized or see his son grow into a strong prince. He died unexpectedly one night and the kingdom mourned for the beloved King. The royal council was left to rule the kingdom until the prince was of age to become king.

Miraz did not seem to mourn his brother; he saw a kingdom that needed guidance. He took the high seat in the royal council and thought that since he had been the brother of the king, that he was the one to rule the council. The council members were careful but they ruled that the kingdom will be ruled by the council until Prince Caspian come of age.

The kingdom seemed to be at a standstill, waiting for their king.

Miraz however, was not waiting.

He made plans for the royal council to observe and some members agreed with Miraz's ideas. The council became divided and Miraz worked to gain the trust of the members. One member in particular saw the promise in Miraz's plans.

Alvarez was a loyal Telmarine and had been devoted to Caspian IX. He was a kind man with a strong will and he was a great general of the Telmarine army. But above all, he loved his wife very much.

Her name was Lily and she was the most beautiful woman in the kingdom. She was not a Telmarine but from a different kingdom. She had lighter skin than the Telmarines and had blue eyes, a rarity and striking feature in the Telmarine kingdom. Alvarez adored Lily and brought her to Narnia after meeting her on a Telmarine voyage. Lily adored him and was a good wife.

But As Alvarez grew closer to Miraz, he became cold and distant. He would stay away from his and Lily's chamber and would not return until morning. He met with Miraz every day and every day his heart darkened. His loyalty to Miraz grew and his love for his wife seemed to whither. His wife was heartbroken.

Lily gave birth to a son and she was thankful to see that Alvarez was happy, like he used to be. The boy had dark black hair and dark brown eyes like his father. Lily named her son Leland. Alvarez was proud to have a son and Lily hoped that Leland would bring her husband back to her.

But Leland did not make things better for the small family. Though he grew into a strong young boy, he brought displeasure to Alvarez. Leland in Alvarez's eyes was disrespectful and disobedient. Lily kept Leland away from Alvarez. Even though he was very young, Leland grew protective of his mother especially when Alvarez came home after a meeting with Miraz in the middle of the night. Alvarez was angry that his son did not please Miraz; Miraz wanted strong obedient soldiers, not insolent brats. When Lily became pregnant again, Alvarez hoped that it would be a loyal and obedient son.

The night of the birth, Lily became very sick. Every nurse in the castle was running in and out of her room, trying to save the baby and the mother. Lily's screams could be heard in every wing of the castle and Leland was afraid. Alvarez stayed away from his wife's chambers.

When at last Lily gave birth, she stopped breathing. Leland heard the wails of the newborn child but he could not hear his mother's screams. When the door opened, he saw a nurse carrying a baby and inside the bedchamber, he saw the other nurses crying.

Alvarez stormed into the room and froze in the doorway of his wife's room. Leland watched his father with curiosity. He did not understand why Alvarez looked as if he had seen a ghost.

Alvarez yelled at the nurses to leave and he closed the door behind him, locking him and his wife away.

Leland looked to the nurses who were gathered around the small cradle, murmuring to each other and glancing at the locked door nervously. Leland went to the small cradle and looked at the small child. It looked like his mother.

Alvarez spent hours in the room, not a sound coming from it. Near dawn, the door opened and he walked to where his son slept next to the cradle. He looked down at the baby and hate colored his dark eyes.

A nurse hastily apologized to the grieving man and told him that he had a daughter. The fearful nurse proposed that the baby should be named after her mother.

Alvarez's eyes met the nurses and before she could back away, he drew his sword and killed her.

Leland woke when the other nurses began screaming and he quickly took the baby into his arms and ran into his mother's bedchamber. But Alvarez did not come after him; Alvarez sheathed his sword and left without a word.

Leland looked at his mother's still face. She looked like she was sleeping but he knew she would not wake. He looked down at the little baby and watched her sleep. She was beautiful, like their mother. Leland knew what he must name her and he knew that his mother would want him to protect her. He would protect her with his life.

Years passed and Leland grew into a strong willed, handsome young man. His hatred for Alvarez grew with each day but what kept him strong was his sister, Lily.

She was as strong willed as he brother and as lovely as her mother. She had the same creamy skin, dark hair, bright gray eyes like a cold sea and she was beautiful. She was sad that she had not known her mother but Leland reminded her every day that she had her spirit. Lily loved her brother dearly.

She shared her brother's resentment for their father and she was just as rebellious. They played childish pranks on him when they were young but as they grew older and as Lily saw that his heart was truly corrupted, they chose to leave him alone.

Alvarez fought with Leland almost every day, their loud booming voices echoing through their chambers, and he never showed Leland any sort of affection; only irritation and anger. Alvarez thought Leland was selfish not to join the Telmarine army but Leland said he'd rather be banished.

But as for Lily, Alvarez did not speak to her. He did not even look at her. Lily wondered why their father could not stand to be in the same room with her and Leland often replied: "It is your face: you look like her."

With the anger that grew between Leland and Alvarez, it was a wonder to Lily how her brother was not like him. But Leland was never angry with Lily, only loving and understanding. Their bond was stronger than anything anyone in the castle had ever seen. Leland was very protective of his sister.

And as fate would have it, the young girl met Prince Caspian.

As if by magic, the two children bonded almost instantly. They were happy to have found each other and they wondered why they had not met before. They spent hours with each other and snuck out at night to watch the stars from the highest tower. Caspian told her the Stories of Old that his nurse told him, they played games and laughed, and they played tricks on the guards. They were drawn to each other and were inseparable.

Alvarez took another wife who was cold and not very beautiful. The marriage had been Miraz's doing; said that his most loyal servant should not be without a family. Leland and Lily were not pleased with the marriage and were more displeased with their new mother's daughter, Viria. She was Leland's age and she was fierce and almost as cruel as Alvarez. And Alvarez favored her over his own children.

The small family was not healed by the new marriage, only torn further apart. Viria was cruel to Lily and did not like the relationship she shared with the young handsome Prince. Viria watched them from afar, bitterness clouding her expression as she watched them laugh and smile together.

Leland liked Caspian. He thought the prince was good for Lily to distract her from Alvarez and Viria's cruelty and he was happy to see her laugh. Caspian was almost as protective of her as Leland was.

Caspian and Lily spent almost every day with each other as they grew into their eighteenth year and as their relationship developed, Miraz began to pay more attention. Viria was no longer the only one that disagreed with their relationship. Miraz's suspicion grew into detestation and he knew that the bond between Alvarez's rebellious daughter and the prince must be broken.

Miraz discovered that the young girl had been spending every day with his nephew and as he watched their relationship grow, he became paranoid that she was putting thoughts into the Prince's head and that he would become rebellious like her. He also had other worries…

Miraz confronted Alvarez and ordered him to forbid his daughter from seeing the prince. Miraz did not want the girl to corrupt the king to be.

Alvarez confronted his daughter that night, one of the only times he ever spoke directly to her, and accused her of displeasing Miraz and corrupting the prince.

Lily was astonished that anyone would think that her relationship with Caspian was bad but she was even more surprised that her father was speaking to her. She argued that her feelings for Caspian were none of her father or Miraz's concern.

Alvarez became livid. He yelled at Lily, forbidding her to see Caspian. Lily shook with anger and she screamed that he could not control her as Miraz controlled him.

Something flashed in Alvarez's eyes and Lily could not understand the hatred that she saw in him. But as he drew his hand back to strike her, Leland burst into the room with his sword drawn.

Stunned and heartbroken, Lily ran to her room and locked the door. For the rest of the night, Leland tried to soothe his sister, the only time he had ever heard her cry.

Lily tried to see Caspian but her attempts were fruitless; Caspian was guarded and watched at all times and Viria kept a close eye on Lily and told Alvarez of her attempts. Viria was pleased with Lily's tears; as she was in favor of Alvarez and Miraz, no one would protest a relationship between her and the prince.

Miraz had won and Lily was heartbroken.

Alvarez continued to meet with Miraz daily, carrying papers and maps with him into his room, and the royal council members seemed to lessen in numbers.

Lily tried to talk to Leland about the strange things that were occurring but he had secrets of his own. He often stole into Alvarez's chamber for hours and then sneak back out when Alvarez returned from his council meetings. Leland did not discuss these things with Lily but he told her that one day they would be free.

Miraz's plans of gaining loyalty from the royal council were slowly becoming a reality. And one night, his wife gave birth to a son. The news was spread throughout the kingdom but it was overshadowed by Prince Caspian's disappearance. Chaos erupted in the castle and the grounds were searched carefully for the prince. But he was nowhere to be found. The prince was missing.

The news spread like fire throughout the kingdom, everyone frantic to find the beloved prince, and when Lily heard the news, she was distraught. Leland reassured her that there was nothing to fear and that everything would be alright. Though Lily was frightened for her and her brother, he told her that he would protect her with his life. And so he told her his plan for their escape.

….