The Ketterley's Attic
The room, for it is a room, is shaped like an attic, but furnished as a sitting room. The walls are lined from floor to ceiling with shelves, which are full to the point of overflowing with books: ancient books, tattered and worn, pages sticking out in disarray. A high-backed armchair rests before the fire, which crackles and pops, spreading warmth and light throughout the room. A clock ticks to one side of the room, but your eyes are drawn to a pile of glowing green and yellow rings, organized in a strange pattern on a tray resting atop a cluttered work desk.
A Boxed Set of Books
The above is what a visitor to NarniaMUSH would have seen. They would assume the role of a befuddled Victorian Londoner and enter the magical world for their first introduction, before eventually selecting a character. The books serve as a good introduction to the world.
This elegant green box, labeled The Chronicles of Narnia, by C. S. Lewis (Concise Edition), contains five short paperback books, as well as what appears to be a handwritten note and two small booklets tucked in to one side, where two more books should fit, as if the set were incomplete. The eight texts are, from left to right:
The two books missing from the above list are The Silver Chair and The Last Battle. NarniaMUSH was set before the events in those books.
In the year 1900, in London, England, a self-styled magician named Andrew Ketterly created magic rings out of dust left over from when the world was new. Fearing to experiment with the rings, he tricked his young nephew Digory and friend Polly into putting on the rings. The children vanished from the world entirely.
They found themselves in the Wood Between Worlds, a nexus of sorts, with small pools leading to many different worlds. They explored the first, and found themselves in the dead city of Charn, under a dying red sun. The Queen of Charn, Jadis, managed to follow the children back to the Wood, and back to London, where she enchanted Andrew and plotted to rule Earth.
As she started a brawl on a London street, armed with the cross-bar of a lamp-post, the children used the rings once more to draw Jadis, Andrew, a cabby and his horse Strawberry into the Wood again, then into a pool leading to a newly formed world, with a bright young sun.
The world was dark, but a wondrous voice began to sing the song of creation, bringing the stars, the trees, animals and birds into the new world. The singer turned out to be a great Lion, pacing back and forth, drawing closer to the children and adults.
Jadis flung the bar from the lamp-post at the Lion, then fled in terror, while the children were captivated the Lion's voice. Aslan, the Lion, called the new world Narnia, and chose two of each animal (including Strawberry the horse) and gifted them with the power of speech. Uncle Andrew was terrified, and became a helpless heap, while Aslan made the cabby the new King of Narnia, and brought his wife from London to be Queen.
Aslan sent Digory and Polly on Strawberry (who grows wings and the name "Fledge") to the Western Wilds to bring back a magical apple. They encountered once more the witch Jadis, who stole an apple for herself, and told Digory that the apple would heal his sick mother back on Earth.
Digory stayed true to his world, and brought the apple back to Aslan, where it was planted nearby the newly grown Lamppost, sprung from Jadis' discarded weapon. Aslan let it be known that the tree that quickly grew from the apple would protect Narnia from the evil Jadis.
Once the tree was grown, and the new King and Queen had been crowned, Aslan gave one of the apples from the tree, already mature, to Digory to cure his mother. The children were returned to Earth by magic, and that apple did indeed heal Digory's mother. The seeds of the tree were carefully planted, surrounded by the magic rings, and the tree which grew there was more one of Narnia than of Earth.
Many years later, when the tree was blown down in a storm, Professor Digory Kirke had the wood made into an elegant wardrobe, which he kept in a spare room in his estate.
In 1940 four brothers and sisters, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie, were sent to stay at Professor Kirke's estate because of the air-raids on London. They played hide and seek to pass the time, and eventually stumbled into a wardrobe, finding it was a gateway into the Kingdom of Narnia, now under the reign of the Evil White Witch and always winter, never Christmas.
The four children, sons of Adam and daughters of Eve as the legend said, were kept hidden by the animals. Their very presence fulfilled a prophesy, and the weather began to change. An enchanted Edmund was drawn to the Witch's castle, and missed Father Christmas, who brought the children magical gifts.
Aslan arrived, and the Narnian forces rallied, but the Witch revealed her hostage. Aslan offered his own life in exchange for that of the boy. The Witch and her loathsome creatures tortured and then killed Aslan in the dead of night. But a deeper magic than the Witch knew brought Aslan back to life, and he and the children defeated and destroyed the Witch.
Lucy's gift from Father Christmas, a magic cordial, healed the wounded, then Aslan lead the Narnians and the children to the castle of Cair Paravel, where they were crowned the Kings and Queens of Narnia ever after.
For fifteen years they ruled the lands, but during a hunt for a fabled stag they found a lamppost growing in the woods, and discovered a path through the woods back into their world through the wardrobe, finding that they had not aged a single day, nor had any time passed.
During the reign of King Peter and the other Pevensies, far to the south in the strange land of Calormen, a young boy named Shasta discovers that the man he calls father plans to sell him to a Tarkaan, or great lord, as a slave. Shasta discovers that the Tarkaan's horse Bree can talk and the two escape their bondage and plan to flee to Narnia and the north.
During their flight, an encounter with a lion brings them together with a young Tarkeena, and her horse Hwin, who is also Narnian, caught and enslaved as a foal. Aravis Tarkeena tells Shasta and Bree her tale - promised in marriage by her father to the Vizier Ahoshta, an old man. In disgust, she planned to kill herself, but Hwin interceded, and they are now fleeing to Narnia as well.
Aravis treats Shasta poorly, but the four head north to the city of Tashbaan, home of the Tisroc, ruler of Calormen. A party of northerners traveling in the city mistake Shasta for the missing Prince Corin of Archenland, and he is hurried off the street, while Aravis encounters her flighty friend Lasaraleen in a precession of her own.
Shasta finds himself dining with King Edmund, and Queens Susan and Lucy. The son of the Tisroc, Prince Rabadash, plans to take Susan as his wife, by force if need be. The Narnians plot to escape, mentioning a possible path across the desert before deciding to escape on the Splendour Hyaline, their swan-prowed galleon. Before the confused Shasta can explain who he is, Prince Corin returns and helps Shasta escape back to the street to meet with Aravis. The two boys look very much like twins.
Aravis, plotting her way out of the city with the help of Lasaraleen, discovers that Rabadash plans to attack Archenland first, then Narnia, to force Susan to be his bride. Aravis, Bree, Shasta and Hwin manage to escape from the city, and start a journey north across the great desert, taking the secret path mentioned by the Narnians. Knowing that they have a slight lead over Rabadash's invasion force, Shasta races ahead to find King Lune of Archenland and warn him, while the horses and Aravis Remain behind with the Hermit of the Southern Marches, a kindly man living just inside the borders of Archenland.
Shasta manages to find Lune, who also mistakes the boy for his son Corin. They race back to Anvard castle, but Shasta becomes lost and only an eerie encounter with a lion along a mountain trail saves him and his dumb horse. He emerges in Narnia, where a stag bounds off to deliver a message to Cair Paravel. Soon, King Edmund arrives with Queen Lucy and Prince Corin, along with a powerful force of Narnian creatures.
Aravis and the horses watch through a magical pool as the forces collide at the gates of Anvard. Rabadash is eventually defeated in disgrace, and mocking the Narnians, is punished by Aslan whom he fears, being turned into a dumb ass until he returns to Tashbaan and remains in the city for the rest of his life.
Soon, Aravis is surprised at the arrival of Shasta dressed in royal garb, who explains that he is truly Prince Cor, Corin's twin, who was stolen from Archenland as a child to prevent a prophecy that he would one day save it, which he has. Many years later, Cor marries Aravis, and becomes King of Archenland.
Just one year later, the Pevensie Children found themselves called by a horn - Susan's hunting horn, left in Narnia. The horn drew them to the island upon which the great castle of Cair Paravel stood, abandoned and overgrown by hundreds of years of neglect. They found a dwarf, who had come to Cair Paravel searching for them. He told the story leading up to their summons.
The young Prince Caspian, tenth of that name, was under siege. His uncle Miraz was trying to seize the throne. Since the time of their reign, the humans had forgotten the animals, which lived in fear and hid. But Caspian's tutor was a half dwarf, and taught Caspian of the old ways. When he became aware of Miraz' plan, he gave Caspian word to flee for his life.
The young prince was taken in by a badger and two dwarves, who gave the other animals word that a proper king had returned to the land. They would support the young prince against the scheming Miraz, whom Caspian learned had killed his father years before.
The four kings and queens were brought to help Caspian, and launched a battle against the Telmarine forces of Miraz. It ranged far across the lands, and the war was won at the Battle of Beruna Ford. A particularly courageous fighter was Reepicheep, the Chief Mouse, who became a steadfast friend of the Pevensies.
Aslan appeared, and let it be known that the humans were not those of the ancient times, but the descendents of pirates from Earth, who had slipped through a crack into Narnia. The great Lion offered those of Telmar who wished to return to Earth passage through a doorway, and many indeed took that path. Subsequently, the four children returned once more to Earth.
The next summer, back in England, Lucy and Edmund were staying with an aunt and uncle, and their dreadfully obnoxious cousin Eustace Clarence Scrubb, who almost deserved that name. Through a magical painting, the three were drawn into the great Eastern Ocean of Narnia, and were hauled aboard King Caspian's ship, the Dawn Treader. It was sailing east across the ocean, seeking the seven Lords, friends of his father, driven away by Miraz years ago.
They come to the Lone Islands, wherein Caspian, Lucy, Edmund and Eustace, along with Reepicheep (who was voyaging with the King) were taken captive by slavers. Lord Bern, one of those they were seeking, manufactured their escape, and Caspian replaced the despot governor Gumpas with Bern, newly named Duke of the Lone Islands.
The ship sailed on, and the next island taught Eustace a lesson. His greed, combined with the magic of a bracelet once belonging to the Lord Octesian, changes him into a greedy dragon. Only after many harrowing days does Aslan appear and set things right.
At their next stop, the crew discovered a magical pool, which would turn anything that touched its waters into the purest of golds. Their sudden greed was driven away with the realization that on the bottom of the pool rested the golden remains of Lord Restimar. When Aslan appeared to stop their bickering, they named the island Deathwater, and continued on.
At the next island, voices without bodies took them captive, and Lucy was forced to enter an intimidating dwelling belonging to the magician Coriakin. She was made to read a spell that would remove the invisibility from the creatures, which were revealed to be one-footed creatures known as Duffers.
The next island they encountered was a place of nightmares, the Dark Island. A terrified man was brought aboard, and identified himself as Lord Rhoop. With the aid of strange white albatross, which Lucy knows is Aslan in another guise, they escape.
They soon come to an island, where they find the sleeping forms of the Lords Revilian, Argoz, and Mavramorn, gathered around a stone table heaped with the foods of a banquet. They meet Ramandu, who was once a star in the heavens above, and his daughter, with whom Caspian becomes enamored. To wake the sleeping lords, they must continue on to the east, and leave one member of the crew behind at the edge of the world before returning.
The crew sails on, passing through the Last Sea, home of the sea-people. They almost lose Reepicheep overboard when a man beneath the waves shakes a spear at him, and find that the water has become sweet. At last, the ship must turn around. Reepicheep and the children continue on in a small boat, until the waters are to shallow even for that.
Reepicheep continues on in his tiny coracle alone, while the children explore on foot. They come across a lamb, which once again turns out to be Aslan in another guise. He sends them back to England through a doorway in the sky.
(On the state of Narnia during the reign of King Caspian X)
Truly, Narnia is in its second golden age.
Narnia trades with Archenland, the mountainous kingdom to the south, and the Calormene of the farthest south, who worship the strange god Tash under his appointed Tisroc.
To the north, we trade with the good giants of Ettinsmoor, but not those of Harfang, who often roast men, talking deer and other creatures we love and cherish.
The Lone Islands are our protectorate to the east on the ocean, and beyond there are further islands, with strange rumors. Many have gone that way, seeking adventure, and opening new frontiers of exploration and trade.
The Kingdoms and Lands of Narnia's World are:
Humans are found everywhere but Ettinsmoor, Harfang and Bism.
Talking Beasts are found in Narnia, Telmar and Archenland, but are known and respected in Galma, Terebinthia, and the Lone Islands.
Calormen is populated almost exclusively by humans, although a few talking beasts may be found there as slaves or in hiding.
Humans (of Narnian, Telmarine, and Calormene stock)
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