The Curse of the Orthana by Nick Tamboia

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Khol himself, with several other knights had been dispatched to the village to deal with this Grass Man, and after a few failed attempts to hunt the beast down, Khol had decided to set a trap and let the creature come to them. He had his knights along with a blacksmith from the village construct a huge cage with heavy iron bars, which he used to create a deadfall trap, and used a goat to bate the beast. Once the creature came to get the goat, as it was known to be fond of devouring farm animals, it would trigger the trap, the heavy cage would fall from the tree canopy above, trapping it within, and they would be able to deal with it then.

On the night they set the trap, the Grass Man, who they were not able to fully see in the dark, arrived and went for the goat, triggering the trap which fell down and caged it. However, in the confusion that had followed, by the time Khol and the others arrived at the cage, they found it destroyed, the heavy iron bars twisted or snapped in half as if they were twigs, and the cage itself torn apart as if it had been made from cloth. Both the goat and the beast were gone.

Khol had tracked the beast the rest of the night. By dawn he found himself approaching the cliffs that overlooked the ocean, and there in the dusky light had seen not a huge beast, but a small child like figure, standing atop a rock, looking out toward the growing light on the eastern horizon. Because of the light he could not make out much detail of the figure, and explained as he and the others drew closer, this small, childlike figure suddenly transformed into what looked like a bird, leaped into the air and flew off over the sea, heading out toward the rising sun.

In the time that had passed since that day, neither the small shape-shifting shadow figure nor the Grass Man had been seen again. But there was a fear that sooner or later one or both of the mysterious beings would return.

Jadis had assured the brothers that she knew of no such Narnian creatures as Khol had described, and assured them that both of the beings Khol had encountered were not of her making, and that she had nothing to do with them, which I myself am certain is actually true.

They were something else.

Khol and Piter were going to sail back to their country on the day the old blind hag had been caught and after the story she had told Jadis, she had asked the brothers to come to her study, knowing the Calormene were explorers, especially in the northern regions of Narnia, and so had wanted to hear what they might have to say about this Lonely Island and Gray Ice Sea.

Both men now stood before her desk, looking down at the huge map Jadis had spread out on the table. She herself sat in her high back ice white chair, looking from the map to the brothers and back again.

“I assume,” Khol said in his deep bass voice. “This Gray Ice Sea is the north western sea. The ice there has a gray look to it, but if there is an island there I cannot say. Most of that water is unexplored.”

“The further north you go in that sea, the darker it gets,” Piter added. “Eventually it becomes night eternal.”

Jadis glanced up at him, thoughtful. “So there could be an island there?”

Piter hitched his shoulders up and down in a helpless gesture before remarking, “anything is possible, my lady.”

It was at that point Iron Boot came into the study room, with another servant, placing trays of food and drinks for Jadis and the others to have.

Jadis glanced at him as she took up a goblet. “Did you do as I asked with our failed spy?”

“Yes, My Queen,” Iron Boot replied. “It was done a short while ago.”

“Took you long enough,” Jadis remarked in an annoyed tone.

“I am a Dwarf, my lady,” Iron Boot said as he spread his arms wide and bowed slightly to her. “I am not very big. I needed to get someone bigger and stronger than myself to carry the statue of Mister Ferret up all those steps to the tower.”

Jadis looked down at the wine in her goblet, and thought that made sense. She nodded her head asking, “and?”

“And I tossed him over the railing as you said,” Iron Boot went on to explain. “I reached the count of three before he struck the Minotaur on the top of his head. Unfortunately, this killed him.”

Jadis thought that over for a moment. “He was the Minotaur the old hag warned to be careful where he stood on guard duty.” That was true. Jadis did vaguely remember the old woman saying something of that nature to the Minotaur guard as they had escorted her out of the throne room. If the old woman had predicted his death then . . . “there may be more truth to what the old woman told me than I am willing to believe.” Her eyes lifted from the map to look at Khol. “I need a ship.”

Khol smiled as he spread his arms wide to his sides. “I have a ship, my lady. And a crew.”

Jadis smiled.

In fact Khol had two ships, The Rising Moon and The Endermen, and within a month from that meeting, Khol took The Rising Moon and sailed north in search of the mysterious island where the hag had said the Dragon of Darkness dwelled, while his brother, Piter, took The Endermen and sailed down the coast back to their country.

Khol and The Rising Moon were never seen again in Narnia, and I can only guess as to what became of them.

Over the next Narnian year the conflict between Jadis and the Goblin King started up once again and the two traded attack and counter attack with each other.

It was during this time that we Narnians began building the Northern Watch Tower. A fortress just on the Narnia side of the border with Jadis, which it was decided should be built after she had sent the Stone Giants south in an attempt to attack us.