a riddle, a riddle... IP: 188.8.131.52 Posted on July 8, 2011 at 10:29:06 PM by Ranimara & Neraza
The two paint mares are together often, now. As if by some unspoken accord they have drawn even closer after Flintfoot’s departure, and can usually be found near one another. So when Aelina calls them, they come together, the younger sister just a step behind the elder, two sets of bright blue eyes gazing curiously at their Queen, two pairs of black-tipped brown ears pointed towards the words that are spoken. Those same bright eyes regard the magician-woman, but their reactions are very different. Ranimara is suspicious, her expectations of magic-users tainted by knowledge of those who don’t do good. Neraza is intrigued, and quite sure Aelina would not bring someone here who would harm any of them. So when the invitation is issued, the younger girl leaps eagerly through the portal. The other sister hesitates, and then follows out of loyalty to Neraza, with a last careful glance back at Aelina and Evrae.
On the other side, it is dark. The darkness seems to press in on them, and the two sisters draw together, silent until the magician appears again. And then they listen, and then they are alone. No longer together, and it makes both of them uneasily. Ranimara has lost too many people she knows, and Neraza is shy in the face of the unknown. But now there is no turning back, so they must go forward. Or fail, which neither prideful woman is interesting in doing.
Ranimara regards her new surroundings with displeasure in every line of her body. She does not like things that she does not understand, and she does not like to be manipulated. She feels that Evrae has done both of these things, and is rather unhappy to be separated from Neraza. None knows better than Rani how afraid her little sister still is of so much. Her childhood was shattered and the girl is still recovering – and Rani is tired of how much Neraza is pushed all the time. But the only way out seems to be forward, so she regards the two guards for several long moments. One lies, and one tells the truth. So, she supposes, the answer only requires one question, asked of one guard what the other will say. In this question, either of them will tell her that the wrong door leads forward. If she asks the guard who tells the truth what the other will say, he will lie to her (because he is truthfully telling her what the liar will say). If she asks the liar what the truthful one will say, the liar will lie to her. Then she steps towards the first guard. Nodding towards guard two, she asks, “Which door would he tell me leads onward?”. And then she waits for an answer.
The other sister is panicked for a moment, dropped into a new world by herself. Without the comforting presence of Rani, or the stolid presence of their Queen, or even Flinty or Ensie, she is so very much alone. And she fears magic – the reason she was uneasy in the Deserts, and unwilling to be the delegate to the Amazons. Because those with magic are so able to hurt others, to tear apart her family, to do things she cannot even imagine. Unlike Pevensie, who is intrigued with all things magical and mystical, the painted girl would rather things stay safe and constant. So for several moments she is still and quiet, staring at the doors. After a while, though, the doors demand an answer. The guards talk, asking her whether she’s going to ask them their riddle, or not. Startled out of her frightened reverie, Neraza steps towards them (but not within reach). And then she listens to the riddle and gives them a nod, considering. No answer comes immediately to mind, so she decides to use both questions. Another few moments later, she turns to the first guard. “Would the other guard claim that your door leads forward?” After receiving an answer, she turns to the other guard. “Would you claim that your door leads forward?”