A/n : This story is the "sequel" to King Edmund's Crusade. It is a sequel in the sense that it is set after the events of the earlier story, and features some of the characters who are in that story, and their personalities, motivations and actions are dependent on the events of that story.
This story is set in the world of Lewis' "Cosmic Trilogy" and familiarity with those stories, as well as the Chronicles of Narnia and King Edmund's Crusade is recommended.
For those of you who dislike such things, this story is quite "OC heavy" and is somewhat "AU" - just so you know.
There is a webpage and a forum devoted to this story (links in my profile).
The world and characters of Narnia and the Cosmic Trilogy are the creations of C S Lewis . I own nothing about this story but the story itself and any invented elements, which I identify myself as the author of.
Final point; this story uses the device (like the stories of the Cosmic Trilogy) that the author is a real person separate from myself - the "Author's Foreword" below isn't an "A/n" like this - it's part of the tale and is, of course, fictional.
Or is it? :)
The Redemption of Sulva
I was often troubled for a "sequel" to the narrative I have made available to the public in the form of "King Edmund's Crusade", something which both myself and Elizabeth regarded (until recently) with a degree of amusement. The story as published does owe a number of elements - specifically events where Elizabeth was not directly present - to fictionalization and supposition, but, in the main, the narrative is as it happened to Elizabeth.
Of course, such a comment and assertion does rather insist on a conclusion many may be uncomfortable with; namely that the narrative as described in "King Edmund's Crusade" is a truthful account of real events. Some may not believe it, citing the fact that within the piece itself it is made very clear Professor Lewis' "Narnia" stories are fictional. Please be assured this is the truth - Professor Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia are fictional inventions of his (there is no evidence to suggest anything else), but Elizabeth did experience the events as described in "King Edmund's Crusade". Elizabeth and I discussed this and came to the conclusion - after some debate and analysis - her whole experience was simply a dream sequence, hallucination or fantasy. This did not, of course, lessen the conversion-inducing impact of the experience, nor did Elizabeth and I suggest for a second that the experience might have been anything else than engineered by the Almighty to convert her.
The alternate conclusion - that Narnia was somehow "real" - was a little too outré for even her. She felt that she had been exposed to a very sophisticated - and enjoyable - illusionary, participationary parable by God using fictional structures. This was a conclusion with which I was forced to agree, despite a lack of evidence for similar events.
Recent experiences have caused us to re-evaluate this view, and the resulting narrative is the fruits of long labor and research.
I met Elizabeth through the Church shortly before her marriage. She and I swiftly became fast friends, bound by mutual personalities and friendship with her fiancé (and later husband) Thomas. I was her husband's best man at the wedding and - nine months later - I was Godfather to her son Edmund Michael.
The sudden death of Thomas during the tragic destruction of the World Trade Center was a catalyst for what could been seen as a "healing event" for Elizabeth; namely the revealing of her experiences to me. It was in her grief that Elizabeth first spoke of her "Narnian adventure" within the context of her reasons for returning to the Church. It was her suggestion that some form of narrative be set down, a task I was only too happy to undertake. The reception of "King Edmund's Crusade" was an excited one among the chosen audience, and - as mentioned above - clamors for a sequel were made.
Of course, a sequel to a real event is not a matter for an author to engineer - Elizabeth had had no more experiences in Narnia, and was taken up full-time with the foundation of White Witch Enterprises and raising Edmund. I married and moved across the Atlantic to New Coventry. Recently, however, Elizabeth came to me with an extraordinary tale - more fantastical and harder to believe than her previous one. Even placing scientific objections to time-travel completely aside, it is certain that there was never an Oscar-winning actress in the post-war period called Susan Pevensie in "our world". Similarly, an organization known as the National Institute for Co-ordinated Experiments has never been traced, and - in short - the reality Elizabeth appears to have found herself in appears to be nothing of the sort.
Elizabeth and I are at a loss to determine what happened to her; whether her experiences were another hallucination, or if these experiences (and her previous ones) were interdimensional journeys to a reality which appears to have been written about in the works of Professor Lewis, are questions neither of us (nor anyone else) are qualified to answer.
What Elizabeth does state, categorically, is that her experiences (of researching Susan Pevensie on the IMDB, and her newspaper archive investigations into Bracton College and the N.I.C.E.) appeared to her at the time to be revelations of facts everyone else knew, but she did not. It was as if she (a woman from a reality where Professor Lewis' works are known to be fictional, even given the metafictional stance taken by the internal narrative of his Cosmic Trilogy) had been lifted up and placed, without warning or additional knowledge, into the worlds of Professor Lewis.
An important point to note is that the world of "England" in Professor Lewis' work is not ours; this is an obvious conclusion when reading the Cosmic Trilogy given the appearance of the N.I.C.E., but not so much when reading the Chronicles of Narnia. In that, the "England" appears quite normal and quite like ours. It is, of course, not - the Pevensies and Professor Kirke and so forth are not real people, they are fictional characters. This conclusion - while obvious - is an important one. It shows that Elizabeth's interdimensional journey, or hallucination, began at the point she realized her wedding ring was missing. Certainly, she is not within that framework now - an IMDB search throws back the name Anne Popplewell when "Susan Pevensie" is entered - but it is important to realize that Elizabeth's experiences in "England" are more complex than they first appear.
Elizabeth maintains that God (or Aslan, or Maleldil) took advantage of fictional elements to present her with a very sophisticated parable in order to convert her. I agree with her on this point as far as her first Narnian experience is concerned - although I am unsure if it was a vision or hallucination and not genuine interdimensional travel - but as for the second I do not subscribe to this theory.
She did not need to be taught anything new - her experiences did not lead to a substantially deeper awareness or spirituality than she possessed before – yet there is an educational element in what happened to her; an educational element which she maintains I was always supposed to be part of. As the narrative progresses, the reader may be able to see what form that evangelization, catechesis and apologetics is supposed to take – perhaps even before a very particular character within the narrative makes it explicitly clear.
Be that as it may, Elizabeth's actions did - I believe - save the "England" of Susan Pevensie (and probably the world). On her previous "journey", she saved Narnia.
No matter how unreal those worlds might be to others, they matter to me. For this, I will honor her until the stars burn out.
Peter d'Iago, Archdiocese of New Coventry, September 2006