Mar 30, 2020 9:20 AM
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Would 'Oh man, cool!' be rude to say? Yes, yes it would. OK. "Lead the way?"

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"It's so overgrown and fallen down - well, the bookshelf would be this way."

She leads them through the ruins, consulting her notebook's old map of the layout of Cair Paravel, until she finds what used to be the library. There are books in various but unpromising states of disrepair, and shelves for them, and also one short ordinary-looking bookshelf with nothing on it at all.

Isabella falls to her knees in front of it and touches the wood and it is suddenly and totally full of books - a set of encyclopedias, to be exact.

"Okay," she says, "the drawback of this particular present is you have to know what book you want. So if none of us can come up with the title of a book that will tell us how to build a raft, it won't be any help. But it will do any book you do know of, even Earth books, and we are definitely, truly in Narnia, not just a lookalike."
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"The Scout's manual should have something like that. Do I have to know the title exactly?"

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"Touch the shelf and see," Isabella says.

And it turns out that "Scout's manual" is specific enough.

"But we might not have to go anywhere. I'd be a little surprised if literally no one lived here, and we might be able to find the cornucopia."
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"Sure, let's look around," he says, then continues in a slightly mocking tone, "Should we let you lead, your majesty?"

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"If I've been ordering you around, I apologize. Please make yourselves at home inasmuch as you can given the state of the place and collect whatever books you like from the shelf. I'm going to see if there's anything in the storeroom. You may come along if you like."
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"Sorry, I just find it all funny. Also cool, and a little sad, but funny."

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"You have a weird sense of humor sometimes, Art. I'll come along, I think."

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"I think I'll keep looking around up here."

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"As you like." Isabella eventually finds where the door to the storeroom should be. It's covered pretty thoroughly with ivy.

"I don't suppose you've got a knife? I can try the kitchen, if not."
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Suzy checks the pockets of her jeans and finds a small Swiss army knife. "This might work, but getting a kitchen knife might be faster."

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"But there might be none at all. The storeroom will probably be locked, but after this long - long enough to cave in the roof and grow all this ivy to begin with - I bet the wood's rotted and the latch has rusted, so we should be able to get in but it will be less picked over than a freely accessible area like the kitchen, is my best guess." Isabella gets to work cutting the ivy away. Eventually her prediction about the wood is correct; it takes her a long time, but she manages, with the knife, to dig the lock mechanism totally out of the surrounding wood so that the rest of the structure of the door swings free.

It's very dark down there, and beginning to dim outdoors, too.

"Oh, I hope, I hope, I hope my scepter's in here," she mutters, descending the stairs carefully.
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"What did the scepter do?"

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"A few things. I could talk to any allied person over any distance. It lit up, which would be handy right about now, especially for finding anything else down there. And it cured my clumsiness."

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"Should I go ahead of you? If you're worried about falling, I mean."

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"It's only sixteen steps, I'll probably be okay if I'm careful. You wouldn't know any of my stuff by feel anyway."

Isabella makes it to the bottom of the stairs without falling, and feels around until she locates a suit of armor, and pats it down, and then starts rummaging through the shelves. There are clinking noises. She sneezes from the dust. "Holiday dishes - miscellaneous jewelry -" she mutters. "Chess set - boxful of the good linen, probably all rotted now - that'll be my ceremonial sash - my dancing slippers - the ivory set - the nice silverware; why isn't that near the dishes, who put this away last? - my cloak! -" There is a swushing noise as she puts this on. "Oh, if my cloak's here someone did find wherever my stuff fell when I vanished and put it away for me - eugh, embroidered pillows don't hold up well - here's my crown! -" Another pause as she sets that on her hair. "And, come on, come on -"

The room lights up in a blinding flash, and when Suzy can see again, Isabella's in a silvery-blue cloak, holding a brilliantly jeweled staff in one hand, wearing a leafy circlet on her hair, beaming.
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"Wow, you look... majestic."

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"I'll look more majestic when I've found everything else. Although I'll probably have to stick with the jeans and the T-shirt. I doubt anything less sturdy than these boots -" She plucks a pair of boots from a shelf - "has survived. My wardrobe probably was eaten by moths or cannibalized for scraps or both. I should be able to find my belt, though - oh, the cordial, I'm glad to have that but I'm sad no one was using it, I wonder if the berries are growing wild somewhere by now or if the plant died? - it'll last a while on whatever's in it, though - there's my bow!" The bow is gorgeous; so is the quiver of arrows she slings over her shoulders. "Oh I missed it - ooh, my pen - ha! This will serve as a lighter - there's my camera-like thing -" Isabella collects and wears or pockets or bags various objects until she's even more majestic, passing over literal heaps of precious gems while she does it.

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Suzy follows around, picking up various things. Mostly she's goggling at the wealth of it all, even after centuries of absence.

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"It's amazing this wasn't looted. The jewels you keep staring at are more or less the Narnian-royalty equivalent of arts-and-crafts supplies - not that they weren't valuable, just that during my reign everyone was very keenly aware that you couldn't eat rocks. Take a pocketful of them if you like - could even be useful if we meet people who might want to trade with us. But the magic stuff - I don't see the cornucopia anywhere. That's good, more or less, I hope someone got good use of it, even if it means we're going to eat a lot of apples and whatever I can shoot. But everything else was just sitting here, what a waste, however convenient it is -" Isabella puts her hair in a quick braid and attaches it to her head with a jeweled comb. "Hmm, the horn's missing, too." She pulls out her notebook, clips the pen she was so pleased to find to its cover, and opens it. "But everything else is here. Except the bookshelf and my various infrastructural presents, of course, those are presumably where they were put to begin with."

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"I might. I guess this is all normal to you, I must look silly."

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"Not at all. I took some adjusting my first time through, too."

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"I hope I do, soon. I feel like a farmer kid looking at her first skyscrapers."

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"Wait'll you see unicorns."

Isabella trots, brisk and surefooted, up the stairs, cloak sweeping behind her dramatically, and goes looking for the other of their number to see how he's faring.
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Suzy grins and follows.

Total: 202
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