Chapter 11 - The Telmarines Arrive
She woke up the next day earlier than she imagined she would. Her entire body the previous night's battle. The stiffness in her arm wasn't surprising and neither was the pain. She avoided using it as she set up on her bedroll, yawning loudly. Next to her was an empty bed roll. Caspian had left sometime in the night. She vaguely remembered grabbing his hands before she fell asleep and then later on feeling his hand leave her alone. She sat there for a while, allowing her body and brain to wake up fully.
"Good morning, Drisana." At her door Cornelius was standing there watching her.
"G'morning. Have you seen Caspian?" she asked as she stood and stretched.
"I have not. I was actually just liking for him myself." the old man replies. Based on the dark circles under his ryes she could easily guess that he hadn't slept much. "Shall we go find our Prince?" he smiles at her and she miss, following him out the door. They ventured through the How looking for Caspian for a while before she realized that she had a clue as to where he would be hiding out. Sure enough they found him sitting on one of the terrace edges with his feet dangling over the edge and his hands folded in his lap. She sat down next to him without a word and the Professor followed her example. They sat there for a few minutes, not saying a thing to each other but the Prince finally broke the silence.
"Why did you never tell me about my father?"
"You were better off not knowing. You were the one who found your parents and we didn't wish to unbury the memory. “She tells him, hopping that he would understand.
"My mother was a black dwarf from the northern mountains." Cornelius began. Caspian looked at him a look of bewilderment across his face. "I risked my life all these years so that one day you might be a better King than those before you." he finishes. She smiles, knowing that they both had risked their lives for the boy that sat between them now.
"Then I have failed you." Caspian replied and she scoffed at him. This comment saddened her. She knew that he hadn't failed. Not even close. She grabbed is hand in comfort, giving it a squeeze. He returned the gesture, the corner of his mouth turning up slightly. She smiled a little and put her head on his shoulder.
"Everything I told you...everything I didn't, it was only because I believe in you. You have the chance to become the noblest contradiction in history...The Telmarine who saved Narnia." Cornelius finished and Caspian looked like he was agreeing with the old man.
"You will have friends by your side the entire time, Caspian. Those who would do you wrong would have to go through us first. You will be a great King when all of this is over, you just have to believe in yourself, or else no one will." she told him. He looked over at her and hi eyes shone with gratitude. "Come on; let us go find something to eat." She stood up and helped the other two up before heading into the How for breakfast.
30 Minutes later
They had just finished eating when she heard it; the warning horn. The feeling that surged through her body made her get up and bolt to the entrance of the How without a word to either of the men she had been eating with. Whoever was approaching was innocent and someone she knew. Upon exiting the How she saw a woman standing there, with her arms up in surrender. Drisana rushed forward out of the arch to catch the attention of the guard who was prepared to shoot her fellow Guardian.
"Wait! Don’t shoot! She yelled putting her hands in the air and waving them around in hopes that he would see her before he shot the arrow. He put his bow down and nodded at her in understanding. “What on earth are you doing here Nerissa?” She asked turning to face the woman.
“The Telmarines are on their way. I must speak with you alone. “Nerissa said in an urgent yet hushed tone. Dris nodded and they walked a little further away from the How, arm in arm.
“What is it?” She asked lowering her voice out of precaution.
“Your sister is among their leaders. I came to warn you of her plans.” Nerissa explained looking concerned. Drisana groaned and threw her head back. She hated that her sister’s goal I life was to mess up all her hard work. She pinched the bridge her nose, feeling the stress headache coming.
“What is she up to?” she asked hesitantly, not really wanting to hear the other woman’s reply, but it was necessary for the upcoming battle.
“She plans to join the battle to protect Miraz. She has sworn to protect him at all costs.” Nerissa informed her. Her anger flared and she put her hands to her hair pulling at it. This was one of those times when her appearance changed she was so mad. Imagine this; golden blonde hair becoming a flaming red and her eyes only adding to the mix, becoming bright orange gold.
“That little…” she yelled, pacing back and forth. She held her anger in, saving it for the battle, but she wanted to hit something. “I’m going to be the only one who will have the strength and ability to take her on. If she dies, we both will.” She stopped in front of Nerissa. She turned to the other woman realizing her sisters’ plan.
“She plans on it. You must be careful.” Nerissa warned. The woman stood there watching her friend pace back and forth as her brain processed what she had told her.
“Do you plan on fighting?”
“No Aslan has ordered us to stay out of it this time.” Nerissa responded.
“Of course.” Drisana scoffed. The guardians were meant to protect the Narnians but they had to b allowed t fight their own battles if they weren’t too devastating.
“I give you this advice. If you can manage to kill Miraz before the battle she will flee.”
“Thank you for the warning, Nerissa.” Dris said before stopping to watch as her friends’ eyes turned a bright crystal clear blue as her magic flared up.
“Good luck.” With a bright blue light Nerissa was gone, leaving Drisana outside the Hoe on her own. Not moment later the Telmarines began marching out of the forest line and she stood there facing them. There were too many of them for the Narnians to defeat. They were going to need help but only she or Lucy could call upon Aslan to help them.
The army came to a halt and she turned around to see the royals standing on the ledge of the How. They looked intimidated. She sighed as she walked back in. She made eye contact with Caspian and pointed to the lower level, signaling that they needed to talk. He nodded and ushered the others inside. She met them in the “council room”. She waited for all of them to enter and took a seat on the steps where she was soon joined by Cornelius and Caspian.
“This doesn’t look good.” Cornelius commented.
“At the moment it does. I have an idea.” She said to him as the other finished walking in. Peter looked as though he couldn’t process what was happening.
“We are going to need help.” Lucy said as she walked in, the last of the group.
“Yes and there is only one option. We need to find Aslan. Lucy and I are the only ones that will be able to find him but he will not listen to me if I ask so it is up to Lucy to find him.”Drisana explained to the people in the room.
“Cakes and kettle drums. That’s you next big plan? Sending a little girl into the darkest parts of the forest alone?” Trumpkin exclaimed looking at her like she was crazy for even thinking it. She didn’t blame him. It was a risky plan but it was the only plan they had.
“It’s our only chance.” Peter piped in. She looked at him, a little shocked that he would support her.
“She won’t be going alone, Trumpkin. Susan and I will make sure she gets through unharmed and hopefully unseen by the enemy.” She tells him. Caspian was beside her and he took her hand in his giving her a source of comfort. She was stressed about all the different aspects of the battle and the last thing that she wanted was to see one of the siblings get hurt during the fight.
“Haven't enough of us died already?” Trumpkin asked looking to Lucy.
“Nikabrik was my friend too, but he lost hope. Queen Lucy hasn't. And neither have I.” Trufflehunter reassured the dwarf.
“For Aslan.” Reepicheep said, drawing his sword.
“Then I am going with you.” Trumpkin said.
“No we need you here.” Lucy told him, putting her hand on his shoulder.
“We have to hold them off until they get back.” Peter said looking to Dris for suggestions. Caspian beat her to the punch though.
“If I may...Miraz may be a tyrant and a murderer but as King, he is subject to the traditions and expectations of our people. There is one that I know of that could buy us some time.”
“Well?” Peter asked, impatient.
“In the old days the leader of the Telmarine army would purpose a deal to their enemy. The tradition was for the Telmarine King to fight the leader of their enemy in a death match. The last one standing would accept the total surrender of the deceased leaders’ army.” She explained to the impatient King.
“As king now, Miraz would look like a coward to refuse such an offer to avoid bloodshed.” Caspian added. Peter looked between the two before his eyes settled on their entwined fingers. She only gripped Caspian’s hand tighter.
“I will get working on the challenge document then.” Peter said stiffly before exiting the room. The others soon followed, leaving herself and Caspian alone. She sighed and put her head on his shoulder. It was only about mid day and she was already exhausted. The stress of the battled was hitting her full force.
“I’m glad I have you, Drisana.” She was pulled from her thoughts as Caspian broke the silence. “When Miraz had you flogged as Amelia, I remember being so scared that I would never see you again. And I didn’t. At least not that I knew of. You came back to me with two years every time.” She smiled at the memories. They had had so many memories together. Though she had taken care of him for his whole life it felt more like they were childhood friends rather than older sister to a younger adopted brother.
“I thought that if I couldn’t save my people when the Telmarines first invaded then I could try to save my people from within the problem. I abandoned my people for almost a thousand years. In that time I was beaten to death, hung, starved…you name it, but I came back with the hope that one day I would get the chance to raise a first born son to be a better King than his ancestors.” She sighed, remembering all the times she had died and returned to her murderers.
“Died?” Caspian inquired.
“Another long explanation for another time I’m afraid” she said standing up and turning to him. “Come on. We should get prepared for tomorrow.” He stood up and took her outstretched hands. He then smiled down at her before pulling her into a hug. She inhaled deeply; taking in his scent as the heat from his body also warmed her. His chin rested on the top of her head and she felt him relax; the tension easing away.
“You give the best hugs.” He told her. He let out a sigh before pulling away and kissing her forehead. He walked away before turning back to see the blush on her cheeks as she stood there frozen in place.