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You are here: Home --> Forum Home --> Free form RPGs --> Fantasy RPGs --> Rylanor -- The Building of an Empire
    Messages in Rylanor -- The Building of an Empire
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Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Zara with Alex and Jason Continued


Zara watches as the diminutive woman's eyes clear of cataracts and bright sky blue irises are revealed and the pupils contract as the eyes gather light and focus on the face of the girl before her. Her gnarled hands and fingers straightened, and sigh of profound relief comes from her as the pain of her infirmatives disappears. Tears coursed down her wrinkled cheeks as she lifts her hands to look at them.

When she begings to speak, Zara holds a hand to her lips. "Your tears are far more eloquent than words. Savor this before you alert the others. We have a duty elsewhere and cannot be detained by the cerebration that will come."

The woman looked to the young girl and nodded. "There is something I would give you."

"No need, Little Mother."

"You deny your need, but it is what I need to do."

"Leanara," bring me my little chest."

A minute or so later a middle aged Terrai woman comes bearing a small chest. The chest was carved of a brilliant golden red wood. An intricate carved design of fantastic animals were intertwined about its sides, top and bottom, some had enlays of other colors of woods in them and others were made of enlaid wood(like Celtic Knotwork) and box was also chased in gold. This she hands it to Zara

"Grandmother?" exclaims the woman. "That is your treasured work and grandfather's box."

"And mine to give." admonishes the Eldest. "You will know why soon." She looks back to Zara.

"Inside is a piece I did many years ago when my hands were swift and and my fingers deft. Then I tatted and this I give to you, for the gift you gave to me. Think of me when you wear it, for I will be thinking of you as I revel in my gift."

That said the Eldest gives them a signal to depart and they head out the entrance under the brightly colored canopy. About 50 from it they hear and great commotion of cheering. Zara grabs Jason's sleeve and waves Alex to close in as she weeds her way through the growing crowd. Soon they are at the fountain, but there is no sight of the Felani. A quarter hour goes by, both peering into the crowd looking for the Felani and finally Zara rises.

Just as they are ready to go Septimus rides up on his big black.

She waves at him to catch his attention. As he gets close she whispers up to him

"I do believe the Felani may be at the stable." Off she goes with Jason and Alex following and Septimus behind them.


Posted on 2007-11-08 at 07:10:15.
Edited on 2007-11-12 at 01:53:27 by Dragon Mistress

DemonDavyJones
Regular Visitor
Karma: 5/2
100 Posts


Jason

OOC: My computer's fixed. Took Dell long enough.

Back IC:

As the group walks over to the stable, Jason looks over the grass, trees, the sky and clouds, all with the glances of someone unsure whether he will be able to see them for much longer.

Thinking to himself as usual, he wonders how a girl such as Zara managed to learn dealings with the Terrani so finely.

"Zara, if I may ask, where did you learn the ways of the Terrani so well?"

He would have to watch her more--she seemed to be full of surprises. The stable drew near, and Jason detoured to call Midnight from his hunting.

They would be starting their journey now or soon. Jason wondered whether that was a good or a bad thing, given the events of earlier. He had already had to dispose of a body and they had not even begun.


Posted on 2007-11-08 at 12:27:19.

Septimus Sandalwood
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 28/6
196 Posts


OCC

(( Septimus is at the fountain already... ))


Posted on 2007-11-08 at 21:19:38.

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Zara


"I learned from my mother, Mother loves Terrani crafts and such, she also loves bright jewel tones, just like they do and so do I."

Zara skips a step or so, "One of her homilies is--A soft voice and politeness can get one further than shouting and a sword."


Posted on 2007-11-09 at 02:10:50.
Edited on 2007-11-09 at 03:46:12 by Dragon Mistress

Brianna
Not Dragon Mistress
Karma: 105/32
2282 Posts


Dae


About 15 minutes later the diminuative dragonette flew quickly out of the sun to perch on her shoulder. "I'vess found Hissss location. Follow me," he whispers silibantly

Dae did exactly that. She moves her mare forward following the tiny creature. It keept above her--well sort of It keep trying to fly straight to wherever it was taking her but her path through town was something much longer. She had to twist and turn through streets and alleys. One time her surprised a man ascending a pipe in the back of a building. Oviously up to no good with a sack on his back and all in dark clothes.

The man took one look at the mounted warrior dropped his bag and jumped away. Dae rode over and looked down and the jewelry and other siver pieces. Dae rapped on the wall with the pommel of her swrord trying to draw the attention of the home owner. Finally someone peekdd out.

"What's going on? Why are you pounding on my walls?"

Dae looks up at the man, "I though you might want to reclaim this loot down here. A thief was climbing down from you place with it but when he saw me he fled."

"Loot? I 've been robbed?" squawks the man excitedly."

"Technically, yes, but it seems to be all here. You need to come down and claim what is yours and give what isn't to the constabulary. Light shine on you this day." she finishes and ride on following her tiny guide.

Finally she was out into a main street. The creature turned to the right and she follow until she could see the town's main square, dominated by a huge fountain.

The creature descends and lands on her shoulder. There he issss," the tiny dragonette points. "Over there."

Zara and Jason, followed by Septimus on his big black were just leaving the fountain area.


Posted on 2007-11-09 at 03:05:23.
Edited on 2007-11-09 at 03:43:28 by Brianna

Oko
Resident
Karma: 12/6
394 Posts


Merrowyn oko Windstrider

When the other players arrive at the Stable, they will see Oko sitting on a horse as massive as he. The horse is wearing studded leather barding; both are in the shade of a nearby tree. As the group enters the yard Oko will turn his head and watch the group. with the calm unblinking gaze of a cat.

****************************************
ooc: you just had a cat scan.....sorry for the pun I could not help myself


Posted on 2007-11-09 at 04:38:35.
Edited on 2007-11-10 at 17:35:38 by Oko

Septimus Sandalwood
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 28/6
196 Posts


Misanthropic


He yawned.

His cold eyes shifted faintly, tracking and recording the reactions of the people that had recently begun to flood the marketplace. His tall dark form seemed utterly out of place in the bustling marketplace, and he was the subject of more then a few curious glances by the masses.

He didn’t care.

Like a crocodile in the marshes, his outward serenity only served to cover up the highly intelligent and deductive mind that seemed never to rest, and never to dream. It was considering at full speed now, thinking not on the outward stimuli of the world around him, but the inner machinations of itself.

He turned and gazed lazily into the fountain, watching his reflection in the rippling water. His visage seemed drawn, the lines that bisected his brow furrowed. His eyes were a dull emerald, like a pair of jewels lost in the abyss, half-obscured by his dark hair. His expression was grim as he combed through his hair with his fingers, vainly attempting to untangle the stubborn snarls that fell to his shoulders. Was it possible that he was losing his mind?

And even the more terrifying question…

His head jerked up as a voice called to him, young and shrill. He peered around alertly, like a bird, shocked from his thoughts. As Jason and Zara approached him, he raised his gloved hand in reply. He did not speak, but his eyes flickered quickly to her at her whisper. Was this a secret? He would not dignify it with speech.

He trailed purposely behind,seeming as if he was making every attempt to ignore the inane chatter, while secretly, he was glad to have it. Fear was crippling him, although even mild discomfort refused to register itself on his features, and the chatter, although idiotic, helped the group retain some sort of normality. His eyes softened slightly, and he turned his head away, hiding a smile.

Thank the gods for children.




Posted on 2007-11-11 at 21:48:42.

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Zara Chooses a Mount


(OOC: Ok, I was not entirely wrong, both Jason's player and Alex's player had computer troubles. Jason is back up and running, so far no word from Alex. I have edited my previous posts to reflect that both of them were with me.)

Zara sprints up to the stable and sees a group of horses out in a corral to the side to the Stable building. She half climbs the fence and looks out over the horses. She wanted first choice of the best. Off to the back side of the corral stood a knot of horses, but one stood out more than any of them. He or she was taller than all the animals in the corral, as tall as Septimus’s big stallion, and loudly marked. The front half of the horse was black, what she could see of it because its head was down in a watering trough, the back end was mainly white. Then on the white rump were big black splash marks and on the black were smaller white coin sized spots.

“That one’s mine,” she pointed and turned to the others with a proud look, “the spotty one.” She would look magnificent on the back of that horse. She could see it now returning in triumph from The Barren’s with her seated on her prancing war horse, ears pricked forward, neck arched, tail high like a banner in beautiful scarlet-red leather barding accented with sculptured gold rondels, and she sitting straight and tall in the saddle, humbly nodding to the boistress acolades being heaped on the intrepid band of adventurers.

As she is making her choice an older man comes out to greet Alex and Jason,

“Good day, sirs. How can I help you?”


Posted on 2007-11-12 at 02:28:19.

Brianna
Not Dragon Mistress
Karma: 105/32
2282 Posts


Dae


“See? That is him, is it not?” The diminutive dragonette repeats.

“Yes it is. Thank you for finding him so quickly,” responds Dae

“Good! I go. Bye.”

The sun was rising above the buildings and Dae measured times by the length of the shadows. Septimus has his back to Dae and seems to be looking down into the big bottom tier of the fountain. “Wonder what he is looking at or was he looking at anything at all except his own inner visions. “Light, help him to see a better path,” she prayed as she watched him unseen, As she waits a bit more Dae spots Zara, Alex and Jason walking over to the fountain. Septimus turns around as Zara walks up to him. At least he didn’t rebuff her this time. In a bit they all leave heading towards the Livery stables

“Good enough,” says Dae softly. The foursome set off. Dae figured they should get to the stables soon enough. Dae waited a bit longer for the Felani to arrive at the fountain but there still was no sign of the big Felani. He would be hard to miss, Dae was tall but Merrowyn was a hand taller, two time broader and probable three times as heavy as she—if not more. . Dae was anxious to get on the road. She hopes the Felani will be back at the Livery stable or heading that way now. In this crowded town Septimus’s enemies could be any one here. Dae wanted no repeat of last night’s incident but realistically she didn’t think they would totally avoid similar problems. The price on his head would tempt most people both good and bad. Some would think they are being helpful to capture a notorious pirate others were in it for the money alone. . No, Dae didn’t think they could totally avoid them but she was hoping to outrun them for a while.

Now that they were headed to the livery stables there was not reason for her to join them. Let Zara and the others take care of themselves. Dae told herself, that was not her responsibility. Her mother had told her one that sometimes you just let others do for themselves otherwise they will never become independent. Dae was Zara’s half sister; she had to remind herself of that fact sometimes. Dae is not Zara’s mother, just her half sister. Dae sighed, No an easy job being a sister to a teenager in such a situation. She would not have let Zara take on this mission had Zara not had skills and abilities that could be extremely useful. Zara’s age and her inexperience when dealing with people of widely varying dispositions and personalities could be and would be a problem. It already had been. Dae just hoped that Zara would never find out that she had done just that with Selena and with Septimus. Zara might trip, might stumble, and might fall; Dae would be there if and when Zara needed help, but she was not Zara’s mother.

“Not her mother,” says Dae out loud and turns her mare back the way she had come.

By the time she got back the foursome was arriving. The three on foot were slower than Dae and her mount.

As Dae gets close to the entrance of the Livery stables she becomes aware of the big Felani looking her over. She gives him a salute with her hand and then beckons him to join them. Riding up to the others she dismounts. “I am glad everyone has made it. Choose your mounts and as soon as everyone is ready we can get going,” urges Dae and then continues. “I was thinking that we could split up and ride out different gates in twos or threes and meet at Ehlonna’s shrine about a mile outside of town at the edge of the forest I am not good at this subterfuge so if someone has a better idea of how we can avoid followers. I will gladly let them take charge of this aspect of our mission.”


Posted on 2007-11-12 at 05:34:29.
Edited on 2007-11-12 at 07:24:38 by Brianna

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Zara's Choice

Zara jumps off the fence and trots over to the others. She leans close to the Stableman.

"There are some mounts you have for us." She shows him the ring.

"Yes my lady, they are inside all groomed and saddled. enough for two apeice and pack mules."

"But I want the black and white one in the corral."

The man looks at her oddly. "That is not a proper mount for a lady. He is totally unsuitable, he is unpredictable, he kicks and bites, he is nothing but a trouble maker."

"Perfect," pipes Zara as she wanted a trained war horse.

"My choice," she said with a bit of steel edge to her voice. She had made up her mind that the black and white stallion was to be hers.

"Send one of your boys out to get him, and let's look at the rest of the mounts."

The man looks up to the adults of the group with a sort of pained expression on his face.

"Gentle Ladies, sirs please follow me."

The stableman leads the group inside the stable and down a corridor to the right. As they pass a stable boy and the Stableman says nothing, Zara pauses.

"Please bring me the black and white animal from the corral."

The boys mouth drops open, "Master Brodel, you want Stomper?"

"I want him," says Zara looking somewhat pleased with herself. "And what sort of name is Stomper, I shall call him Sebastion."

The Stableman pauses also and looks back to the groom, "Do as the lady says. Take a bucket of grain with you." The boy takese up a halter and moves off muttering something under his breath.

Moving on they come to some standing stalls where a number of horse stand saddled and haltered, with bridles waiting on hooks to be put on later.

"All of them are of high quality breeding and they are well trained in battle. Three of them can carry heavy riders with ease, and he points to the three on the end. A dark bay stallion with a white star and no other white, a dappled gray gelding with white mane and tail, and a dark red chestnut mare with 4 white stocking up to her knees and hocks, and a wide white blaze. Then there were 8 slightly lighter mounts, 2 bright chestnuts with no white-a gelding and a mare, a deep red blood bay stallion with a white face and 2 with socks in front, there was a ivory buckskin gelding, a palomino mare with a odd star on her head, a red dun gelding, a grulla stallion, and a blue roan mare.

He expounds on the traits of each mount, and they are all pretty equal, except for 4 of the lighter mounts were amblers, with smooth fast walks, the palomino, the buckskin, bright chestnut gelding and the blue roan mare.

Once again, Zara immediately asks for the palomino. "I want her, what's her name."

"She's called Sunny, my Lady."

"A fitting name," said Zara walking up to the mare and rubbing her head and nose. On a closer look, her star was exactly that, well more like how people depict the sun with rays coming out of it.

Just then the boy return with halter in hand but no horse. "Ol' Stomper got the bucket and the back of me pants," to prove that he turned about and pointed to the missing section of his pants.

"Never mind, I'll get him and with the Zara grabbed the halter from his hand and jogged back outside and immediately climbed the fence and jumped into the corral.



Posted on 2007-11-12 at 07:55:01.
Edited on 2007-11-12 at 08:19:21 by Dragon Mistress

Septimus Sandalwood
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 28/6
196 Posts


A Question of Motives

Septimus had little need for a new mount; the great scarred beast below him had proven his loyalty. Like his master, he was aloof and unpredictable.

His liquid eyes shone with black fire and shimmered like opals, his mane was in constant disarray, long, half-healed scars from previous battles laced their way through his thick glossy coat. He was of the kind that knights rode in battle, huge and powerful, differing from the light, pale-coloured steeds that were typical on the coast, and that power was a terrible danger considering his temperament. He was notoriously bad-tempered, and prone to biting.

As a foal, he had been feral and vicious, and as a result marked for slaughter. But a young man had pity on the creature, back when pity was still in his capacity, and saved his life. They had a silent friendship, tempered in steel and blood and the hot-blooded stallion, with Septimus alone, was as gentle as a babe.

A young stable boy made his way out of the stable wearily, going about his rounds. Noting Septimus and his stallion, he approached them. “Do you wish to change horses, sir”, he inquired, unease upon his face. Master and creature both looked distinctly untrustworthy. Septimus shook his head, and looked away. His thoughts were someplace else.

The stable boy shifted nervously. “You have a fine animal, sir”, he remarked, trying conversation. “What is his name”, he added, reaching towards the horse to touch his soft coat. Septimus glanced towards him with some interest as his war horse laid his ears flat upon his skull. “His name is Sindal, Riverfoot”, he answered smoothly. The horse curved his neck, as deadly as a viper and moved forward quickly. His enormous hooves stopped a centimeter away from the stable boy’s foot. The boy glanced up to him, eyes wide. “And I would not suggest touching him”, Septimus added, indifferently.

His eyes were cold as the boy made a quick excuse and rushed away.

Septimus patted the great broad neck and crooned to him gently in a language of woods and waters. Although man, the softness of his tone served the Elvish tongue well, and soothed the savage beast. “I am not leaving you here, my friend”, he murmured. “You and I will fight together, and perhaps”, he whispered, with his eyes far away, “and perhaps even die together. It is as it should be”. He smiled as his old friend’s ears pricked towards the source of his voice.

“As good a plan as any”, he replied quietly to Dae. He did not know the terrain well enough to offer any hints. He would improvise, he considered grimly. That was all he could do. He glanced at her curiously. Septimus had not known of the many prayers she had said for him or the time that she and her sister had stood guard. Deep in his rogue’s heart there was fear, and fear glinted strangely in his green eyes as he understood that after the steeds were chosen, the mission would be begun.

He watched Dae closely.

Unlike her sister, she had a strength and sense of authority. He decided quickly that should they be split up, travelling with her would best guarantee safety. But again, he wondered, as the price on his head was considered so tempting, why did it not tempt her? Why did she not slay him while he slept that night at the inn, or before, when his grief caught him off guard? He had been nothing but unkind to her.

His thoughts were broken again because of that high childish voice. It sliced through his dark dreams and fears like an arrow, and a look of displeasure unwillingly crossed his features as he discovered that the source of the fuss was nothing more then a horse. He listened silently as the stable-master argued his case. Zara would be thrown, she would be injured, and she would distract the party. He said nothing, but simply ground his teeth and looked away.

Because his choice had already been made, he was left outside while the other adults and the wayward teenager went to choose their mounts. No matter. He had found a cheap sort of entertainment in watching the poor stable boy attempt to bring back Zara`s stallion.

So caught up in the fun was he, that he was caught terribly off guard when adolescent in question grabbed the halter, left the stable, and leaped into the corral. He abandoned thought. Moving in simple pure liquidity, like a jungle cat, he dismounted and scaled the fence after her, adrenaline and worry forcing him into the corral. He could not have felt more concern for the girl’s safety if they were trapped in a tiger cage. Making his way to her side, he shot her a glance of pure anger and masked loathing. “What the hell do you think you are doing”, he fairly snarled.

“Don’t you ever think?”


Posted on 2007-11-12 at 15:03:51.
Edited on 2007-11-12 at 15:16:46 by Septimus Sandalwood

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Zara


Zara, turned at the sound of the voice, "Oh, its you." She paused, "I heard what he said, but I have a ring of animal communication, so I can talk to the beast. See he is eating peacefully and I will just speak calming words to him and walk up and halter him."

Indeed the animal's head was down where the bucket was spilled out. Other animals tried to get close, but a threatening rear leg kept them back.

Without heed to danger Zara walked up to the side of the animal, seemingly in communication with it. It continued to eat even as Zara put a hand on its shoulder. The big beast pinned his ears back and suddenly curled his body and move his rump to cow kick at Zara, but as he lifted his foot and held it up seemingly daring her to halter him, he half staggered and put it down with a thump. His head came up and he turned his head to Zara and fixed blue eyes on her small form. And his ears came forward with a snap, ears the went on forever.

The great white and black beast was a mule. His long ears that started out black and ended in white around the upper edge of his ears and the tips.

Zara was stunned when her dream mount had ears a long as her forearm, almost. All her fantasies suddenly came to an abrupt end as her eyes followed those ears up from their black base to the white tops.

The long earred beast was standing stock still now and staring down at Zara, and much to her chagrin she was staring up at it. Finally she took her hand from its shoulder. She fought to keep from looking around to see who might be watching other than Septimus.

She took a deep breath and remembered one of her mother's many homelies, "Don't let your imagination run wild, or you will find reality slapping you in the face." and it did.

[[Well, I picked you]] she communicated to the beast via the ring, [[The Light gives all choices, so you can choose to stay here and who knows who will buy you, and how they will treat you, or you can follow me out of this corral and have a different and better life with me.]]

With that Zara turned and walked back passed Septimus to the gate with the halter still in her hand.



Posted on 2007-11-12 at 19:21:52.
Edited on 2007-11-13 at 02:27:35 by Dragon Mistress

Brianna
Not Dragon Mistress
Karma: 105/32
2282 Posts


Dae


Dae watched without comment and Zara hurried to choose first. So typical of the quickness of youth. She looked over to the animal that Zara declared she wanted even though it was not amongst the animals that had been presented to them to pick from. Of course she wanted something that was not offered and yes it was the flashiest colored animal that she could see. Dae smiled and shook her head as her prediction of Zara's choice turned proved true.

After the boy was sent off to get the animal in question Dae turned her attention to the horses saddled and ready in the stable. and moved forward to watch. Dae heard that two mounts were being offered and so her attention moved to the remaining horses as Zara moved to the horses to make her second choice. Zara hadn't even considered letting others choose there first before she chose her second. Dae would have to talk to her later about that, now was not the time. Her second choise was rather obvious too. The golden palomino mare was as bright as Zara's hair.

Dae moved up closer to thestalls and looks over the remaining mounts. She would wait to make her second choice last. As she waited she thought of the various pairings they could make. Zara and Alex would be a good combination; Youth and wisdom together, Light knew she needed some, perhaps it would rub off on her. Jason and the big Felanii were a druid and a fighter so that made perfect sense that they could be together. That left Septimus andd herself as a pair.

Dae looked over to Septimus, who had again kept himself apart from the others yet again. But she noticed he suddenly paid attention when Zara declared her intention about getting that animal herself. Dae moved in closer. She wanted to be close in case there were problems. Zara had the bit between her teeth and was tugging on it. She would not take kindly to being reined in so Dae choose to wait and be ready. Zara would have to learn her lessons herelf if they were going to sink in.

Dae moved closer to the corral intent on Zara. SHe was aware of a flicker of movement that she had not expected. Septimus had moved forward.

"Dont you ever listen" Septimus asks Zara.

To herself Dae answers his question, No, not every often."

Zara, unphased by anything he had said steps into the corral towards the splashy colored black and white animal. When it lifted it head Dae was not sure who was more surprised.

"Oh,my" escaped her lips and then she chuckles as she moves up towards where Septimus stood. The beast ears were like signal banners flicking back and forth.

Dae chuckles more at Zara's apparently stunned reaction. "I couln't have planned a better lesson, if I had tried to."

Changing the subject so that Zara does not see Dae's reaction of Zara's faux paux, she acknowledges Septimus words to Zara, "Thank you, Septimus for your attemped intervention, Zara is unfortunately, very like a force of nature. A falling boulder, and sudden flash flood, a bolt of lightning or a clap of thunder. You never know what you might be confront with." comments Dae lowly.

"By the way, did you think about my idea of splitting up? I have a few thoughts and would like to discuss them with you. Zara could gow with Alex, Hopefully he can be a steadying influence on her though it won't need to be for long. The big Felani fighter, Oko, and Jason,, would problably make the most sense together. And if you don't mind, I would leave with you. Though I think it should be on a different horse until we get well clear from here." I could bag him for you and you can choose an second mount to ride out on. Also, if you don't mind my saying perhaps we can alter you outfit to be just a bit less piratish looking. Zara has a disquise ring we could use long enough for you to be an unremarkable traveler."

Dae hopes she can get Septimus to take another horse. The big battle scarred black stallion was certainly memorable and that is what she wanted to avoid.


Posted on 2007-11-13 at 19:14:17.
Edited on 2007-11-13 at 20:03:28 by Brianna

Septimus Sandalwood
Veteran Visitor
Karma: 28/6
196 Posts


A Reluctant Fool

Two immovable personalities met and locked.

Ignoring the anger that flared in his eyes like a brushfire, Zara ambled over to the creature contentedly. Septimus turned his face stubbornly away. He did not take kindly to be rebuked, and was less than pleased that his rare instance of caring had gone unthanked and unnoticed. He crossed his arms in front of his thin chest, all worry gone from his features. His brow smoothed and his eyes hardened. The ruddy beast could go to hell, aye, and the brat too, for all he cared. He had his own life to worry about and swiftly reminded himself that he was in this little misadventure for purely selfish reasons.

Chivalry was never his forte.

But in spite of his stoic manner, he winced slightly when she put her hand on the animal, imagining all the horrid things that could happen. He had seen the mangled injuries that resulted from horses’ hooves, the crushed limbs that resulted from evoking his own stallion’s fear. He closed his eyes, waiting for the scream. Silence. Odd. He opened his eyes reluctantly. The animal kept on eating, its tail swishing contentedly as it gorged itself on oats and grain. Finally it raised its head and a pair of comical ears was revealed.

Septimus was absolutely livid.

Another man would have found the situation funny, the rash decision of the maid, the expression of confusion and surprise on her visage when her beloved steed revealed its true nature. But even though he did not know in what capacity, Septimus understood that he had made a fool of himself. “You were stabbing at shadows, and fist fighting the wind”, he whispered quietly to himself, remembering a particular line from an ancient poem. “As no man can tame the sea, no man can go against his own nature”. His hands curled into fists at his sides.

It fit grotesquely well.

He heard Dae`s footsteps and turned his head slightly to regard her. His gaze was flat and reptilian, unchanging. He winced slightly at her words. Her thanks was like a dagger in his heart.

“It was wrong of me to do it”, he replied quietly.

He had thought of the idea of splitting up, a decision that he was at once uneasy and comfortable with. He was an iconic loner, a creature accustomed to a life of danger, and without the possibility of aid. It fit naturally to his nature to travel by himself, or perhaps with one other person. However, in a smaller group, they were more prone to dangers, and without the resources to battle the dangers, the likelihood of death rose considerably. Septimus grimaced.

He was looking a few days ahead and into a black hole.

He listened to her list the pairs without much enthusiasm, nodding when he thought it was appropriate. He hoped to whatever gods were watching over his wretched soul that the girl Zara would not be left in his care and let out an auditable sigh of relief when she was paired up with the cleric. He noted that Jason and Oko were paired together, a logical choice, and waited patiently to hear his placement. He glanced over to her sharply in surprise. “You wish to leave with me”, he muttered in mild astonishment. He weighed his options, and saw that she was by far the safest choice. “I agree”, he answered curtly.

He turned to go but her next sentence caused him to pause.

He glanced over at his battle-scarred stallion and a visible expression of sadness suddenly flooded his emerald eyes. Sindal. His Riverfoot. The creature was pawing nervously, eager to be on the road again. He understood for he knew inaction always made him restless. He forced back the emotion that suddenly washed over him like a bitter wave. He had saved the stallion’s life when he was only a colt, and the stallion repaid him twenty times over. He had carried his bleeding master from screaming bandits; he had escorted him safely through hails of arrows, and past murderous swordsmen. The creature had braved battle, had been wounded himself, but had fought valiantly despite.

He was his only friend.

Ignoring her other words, he excused himself from the corral and went with a heavy heart to where Sindal, the valiant war-horse was tied. Septimus reached up with a gloved hand and tenderly stroked the rare white marking on the creature’s brow, the sliver of white that seemed in likeness of a blade. The creature snorted his shimmering eyes lively and curious. “I cannot keep my promise, my friend”, Septimus murmured, his voice soft and sad, the kindest anyone alive had ever heard it. “And knowing you, you will never forgive me for it”. He smiled as the stallion bumped his shoulder playfully with his nose. “We’ve been through much, yes? And we are friends. So I ask you only one thing, behave yourself when I am gone". He glanced over to the corral where several mares were grazing.

“Do not leave me too many grandchildren to see when I get back”.

Somehow the animal sensed the threat of death. His dark eyes were solemn and Septimus saw the fire in his eyes reflected in his own. “I will return”, Septimus said firmly, sounding much more certain then he felt. He playfully pushed his stallion’s nose away.” You believe me don’t you?” He patted his broad neck and turned away as a stable boy approached. It was the same nervous lad with straw-coloured hair that he had spoken to before. Septimus untied the stallion, and with a nod, gave the boy permission to take his friend into the corral. The stallion followed, strangely obedient.

He understood.

He strolled up again to where Dae stood, and made an unconvincing attempt at a smile. “I have made the decision to change mounts”, he stated simply. “You are correct in believing him too memorable, and I have chosen the dark bay stallion with the star marking, as I have much heavy equipment, which he should be able carry easily.” He paused. “I also agree to the disguise ring, although as always, I will lament my individuality”.

If Zara was a flash flood, Septimus was a mountain.


Posted on 2007-11-13 at 21:24:16.
Edited on 2007-11-14 at 01:12:43 by Septimus Sandalwood

Dragon Mistress
Not Brianna
Karma: 68/55
1764 Posts


Zara


Caught in a dilemma of her own making Zara unla GATE


Posted on 2007-11-13 at 23:34:28.

   


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