Caught in a dilemma of her own making Zara unlatched the gate and opened it wide. The mule stood where she had left him. Then she began to close the gate with a sigh of relief.
Unfortunately the mule began to trot toward the gate while Zara began to shut it. You could hear his hooves hitting the hard dirt of the corral, but he had moved too late to get through the gate as it closed, only he did not stop.
He broke into a canter and then a gallop seemingly to ram the gate, because the fence of the corral was a good 5 feet high. Zara stepped to the side not wanting to be in the way when the mule hit the gate. Two strides from the gate the great beast launched himself into the air, clearing the fence with a foot to spare, his forefeet tucked up to his belly and back feet well out of the way. He landed about 2 strides out from the outside of the fence. Then the loudly colored mule spun on his rear and trotted up to Zara and stuck his nose down into her chest.
Standing at the door of the stable was the stableman, he was shaking his head in disbelief.
"What in the name of the One, did you do to him."
Zara look about, realizing the beast had made his choice, albeit a bit late to walk through the gate. He had choosen her.
"I gave him some choices," replied Zara slipping the halter over his muzzle and starting to put the strap behind the ears.
"Careful my Lady, he looks all innocent until someone tries to halter him then he explodes, he hates his ears being handled."
"He won't explode," said Zara matter of factly, I warned him what would happed to him if he misbehaved."
"And what was that My Lady?" The Stableman was curious to know what had transformed the bane of his existence into a tractible creature.
"I told him I would eat him alive, starting at his tail and ending with his.....ears."
The man started to laugh and did not stop as Zara marched the mule passed him and into the stable. By the time Zara got the mule to where the other horses were the stableman had stopped laughing.
"I must say my Lady that you have gotten yourself one of the best bred mules in the world, and the most troublesome. Can't say that it was all his fault. His dam was one of the finest heavy warhorse in Wexton, she was a Leapard Spotted horse owned by the Earl Marshal of Wexton. After he retired her from fighting she had a number of outstanding foals, then she went barren. He put her out in pasture. Seems his mammoth spotted jack jumped into her pasture and bred her. Lo and behold, the next summer she produced a mule colt.
As soon as he was weaned The Earl Marshal had his chief equerry sell the colt and the poor thing went from one owner to another. His last owner was a carter who overloaded his carts, and when Stomper could not move it, he beat him. At which point the beast kicked apart the cart and spread the contents of it over a 1/2 mile. Then I got him I paid the hacker, meat money for him."
"Well I'm not going to overload him, or never beat him. So now I will ask you for a saddle and bridle for him, and a nice thick saddlepad. And if you have some red barding I want that for him. If you do not have red, plain leather will do."
Unmoving Oko will watch as a group of people arrive, 3 on foot and 1 mounted, he recognized the people as the ones he had eaten earlier with. He will watch the pirate noting that for a “seadog” he rode very well. The big black horse he was on responded well to his rider.
Oko was a bit dismayed that the bulk of the group he was to join, were not very observant. When Dae waved to him, he then rode quietly up along side of her not saying anything he just nodded at her, acknowledging her greeting, he will watch as the stable boy nearly got bitten by the big black wondering why Septimus did not waive him off to avoid any trouble. The big black smelt like trouble.
Most horses fall into 2 groups when they first encounter a Felani, They will either panic or attack. The black looked like it would attack.
When Zara enters the corral insisting on the bad tempered mule (by the grace of the Gods why would she pick a mule??) He is surprised when Septimus rushes in to protect her, (Why save her and not the stable boy?) Oko watches, curious as to what the pirate will do next, and catches the remark from Zara about a Ring of Animal Communication. He then turns to Dae and quietly asks “Do you have a ring as well? One that will let you talk with animals? If so can you please talk to that big black horse and tell him I mean him no harm and to not attack as soon as he catches my scent. I do not wish to start the journey on such a bad note.”
Posted on 2007-11-14 at 05:12:11.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Dae read Septimus's body language and her turned to the stable and his black stallion. She then recalled his words. Oops, she thought to herself. He seemed to misunderstand what she said about his horse being too noticeable. HEethought he was going to have to leave his horse behind, and that was not what she had said at all.
Dae started after Septimus, but as she did she saw Oko approaching her with a cat-like fluidity and assurity in his walk. Dae slowed down until he was abreast of her.
"I do not have a ring of animal communication, but I do have another way to communicate with them," she states.
Then turning to look at the departing back of Septimus She was going to have to hurry up and tell him that he was mistaken in part of what he had assumed. However politeness kept her heare.
"Why don't you come over and choose a second mount. Watch them. The ones that get still and do not run, those may attack, the one that look up and run, avoid them. Look for an animal that does not seem to care, since we do not have time to train them to get along with you. However if none just stand there we might get the druid to help."
"Now, I have to get to the stable to choose my second mount and clear up and misunderstanding. I am glad you joined us." she says with a genuine smile.
Dae lengthens her stride to match Oko's and to get to Septimus and explain what she had said.
When she is about five feet from him she calls his name. Septimus had his hand on his big stallion and was talking to him lowly. She could catch parts of it and it was clear he had misunderstoof her.
"Septimus, I need to explain something to you. I think you misunderstood part of what I said. Why don't you bring him into the stable with you and I will explain.
"You do not have to leave him here. We are just going to bag him, put him in a bag of holding and stasis until we are well out of the town and this area. He will be fine in my bag until such time as we are clear."
Light, he almost looked like he was losing his best friend. Dae realized that that could possibly be the truth of the matter. Horse sgave ther loyalty/love where they had love in return, food, water, shelter and a peroson who took care of them. These must be that type of relationship. Dae considers this insight and thinks, ((Thank you Light, now I have something to build on.))
She hopes to reassures Septimus, "He will be fine until we bring him out. He won't know anytime has passed since you put him in."
Posted on 2007-11-14 at 06:06:56.
Edited on 2007-11-14 at 07:07:17 by Brianna
His back was turned from her, his gaze unyielding.
He could hear her footsteps as she walked towards him calmly, and shifted slightly at the sound of his name. He glanced up at Dae as she reached his side, his expression terribly weary. He had little use for remorse or explanations and he had locked everything out. The only clue to his emotions was his aura. He had always had a distinctive aura, which cloaked him in an intimidating and dark cloud that covered him wherever he went. Normally his aura would be seen to be a rather impressive and lofty shade of muddled greens and blues, and dull grays, like the lulling ocean. His aura now, if it would be viewed, would be revealed to be an ominous, muddy and violent black in which there floated serenely tiny specks of crimson, like serpentine tongues of fire.
It was not a good sign.
He was getting sicker.
Life suddenly flooded into those flat, expressionless eyes. The windows to his soul had been opened, at those welcome words that soothed his soul like a rich balm. He did not smile, did not give any indication of what that meant to him, but his eyes were shining brightly with happiness and a thin veil of tears. “I have lost so many”, he whispered hoarsely. “I could not bear to lose him too”. He put his hand lightly on her shoulder, and although it was an awkward gesture of thanks, it was a kind and well meaning one.
Without another word, he again entered the corral and found his friend munching contentedly on the oats and grain that the animals had been provided with. The battle-scarred black was alone. The other animals had moved as a unit to the opposite side of the corral, staying as far away from the bad-tempered creature as possible. He took the ornate halter that had been hanging over the rails and clucked gently to get his attention. His horse lifted his head and nuzzled him, looking for treats, or some other handout. While the horse’s attention was diverted, Septimus slipped the crownpiece over his ears and the bit into his mouth. The horse snorted violently, and stared at his master accusingly. He had been tricked.
Septimus only smiled.
He led the stallion past Oko to the stable, watching his friend carefully for signs of anger. The horse’s ears were flattened when he caught the wild feline scent of the Felani, and his neck was held with a certain tension, but he did not attack. Despite his apparent agreeability, his dark eyes never left the face of the fighter and his dislike was apparent.
Zara was brushing the mule when Dae, Septimus, and Oko entered the stable and got to the area where the mounts gathered in the Prince's name were stalled. The mule was as tall as Septimus's stallion, and more heavily build that most mules. He had a long neck, well developed hind quarters, and sturdy bones which was untypical of a mule. His face was straight and not overly long, his nostrils were wide, his eyes large, and his ears.....long. His black and white forelock, mane and tail were thinner than a horses, but uncut as was the fashion with mules, mainly because no one could get near him to cut it.
The stableman was busy telling Zara what she had asked of him. "He allows the farrier to do his feet, and anyone to groom him, but he draws the line at handling his ears, I suspect that previous owners had used twisting his ears as a way to control him. The other thing he does not like is bits. When I bought him he still had the carter's bridle on, and when I finally got it off him I found the carter had twisted wire around it and it had sharp points sticking out from it. His mouth was a mess. I had to feed him mashes for a month before his mouth healed enough so that he could eat grass and hay."
One of the stableboys came out with a saddle and bridle, but the saddle did not fit right, and the mule eyed the bit nervously.
"That is the only mule saddle I have, and he is too big for it."
"Never mind, I have a solution for both problems." Zara opens her haversack and pulls out four pieces of Elven Tack. It was made of red leather tooled with intricate (celtic-like) knotwork. with slight accents of purple. Elven "saddles" are treeless, having no wooden tree that formed the base shape of the saddle. No tree meant it could bend to fit the back of any mount, unless it was winged. The bridle was bitless, as all Elven bridles were, in respect of their mounts.
Zara did use the pad that the stableman provided, it was a heavily woven wool blanket, folded and stitched to a partially sheared sheepskin with the wool about 5 to 6 inches long. She then lifted the saddle high onto his back and lightly cinched it. Next she fastened on a matching breast collar and breeching, and finally a she gathered up the bridle. Other than it was bitless it also had a browband that unbuckled. That allowed Zara to open up the bridle and buckle the crown piece over to the cheek piece on the other side without dragging the bridle over the mule' ears to position it and then buckling the browband, and throat latch
"Now, why the browband buckles," the Stableman inquired of Zara, "I mean it makes sense for a mule, but why would Elves make a bridle for a mule."
"Its made for Unicorns and Quorn," replied Zara.
"Oh," was the Stableman's reply
Finally Zara tightened the cinch slowly watching the male as she did, then unhooked the stirrups that were strapped up to the front of the pad. She is now ready with the mule and one of the stableboys has brought up Sunny, wearing a halter for now.
"Dae can you bag all the extra mounts and the pack animals. that way we will look less like we're are going on a long trip."
She hopes the others have choosen their two mounts, so they could get going. She was ready.
OOC:Sorry guys got to do a bit of a catch up.
IC:ALex awoke with a start and dripping in a deep sweat. It had been months since he had a nightmare but the dream that he'd had months ago reappeared. He was standing in the middle of a deseret with blue flashes of magical lightning when something started started growling behind him. Then he heard screams of people as they started to get ripped a part. He would walk a little bit to find a body with it's face down in the dirt. He slowly turned the body over to see him staring face to face with himself and as he stared into those god forsaken eyes he saw something with wings flying. Then he would wake up.
Alex grabbed the holy symbol around his neck. "What are you trying to tell me vecna." He mutters to himself.
Alex grabs a new set of robes and puts it on then heads downstairs to find that the party has already left. He curses and heads for the stables where he finds Zara talking to a stablehand. He waits until Zara is done then asks the stablehand where Vecna's great steed is. The Stable hand shows Alex to his horse and Alex hands him a copper piece in return. Then hopes on his horse.
Turning to Zara, "Well little one are you ready for another adventure." Then quietly to himself " And may all the gods of this world be with us."
Getting the choice of horses settled was going well as Oko, and Jason and Alex had to find mounts the would tolerate them; Oko because he was Felani and Jason because of his companion; Alex just because he was thinking things over.
As each passes the horses some react strongly. When Oko getse the the Gray at the end of the line, she stands solidly and gives off a couple of snorts, but there is no immediate reaction of aggression. The wolverine was another problem as the horses reacted immediately to it scent by backing away, pawing, shaking their heads, pinning their ears and alike.
Well, a wolverine was not the most pleasant of creatures, in temperment and smell. In fact they had some filthy habits. One of which was urinating, or deficating, or spraying on a suppy of meat, so that other meateaters stayed away from it. Then they were muscilids, have musk glands that produced a smell just a bit less than a skunk. With this they marked their territory and there meat.
"Jason, perhaps I can help. Would you bring you wolverine over here."
When he does come over she will cast clean and fresh on on the wolverine. The second time Jason walks by, some of the horses do not show as much reaction as the first time. The two bright chestnuts are completely unreactive to the wolverine.
"There you go," said the Stableman, "brother and siser they be, and sensible. The mare ambles and really so can the gelding, but he must be prodded to do so, she does it easily and naturally."
Now only Alex and Dae needed a second mount if Jason took the two chestnuts.
Posted on 2007-11-16 at 01:12:13.
Edited on 2007-11-16 at 01:57:36 by Dragon Mistress
When The Big gray just snorted at him, Oko will slowly raise up his hand to let the horse sniff at him. He will pet the horses’ nose and give her a bit of an apple he had cut up earlier and announce “I’ll take this one as my spare.” Oko will then make sure that both the saddle and bridle fit the gray correctly and question the Stable master as to what the horses name was and any habits she had. At the same time he was noting that although this is a very good horse she was a little bit smaller then his Horse, Shadow Runner.
Posted on 2007-11-16 at 15:28:56.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Now that the sun is higher more towns people are around conducting their daily business. The sun in climbing in the sky and the shadow are deeper further back in the stable. The buzz of a few flies attest to the cleanliness of the stables. Otherwise they would be swarming about.
Dae follows Septimus into the shadows of the livery stable until they are quite out of sight. From anyone standing outside the stable doors, It is not very large looking about 2 feet by three feet well made of some canvas-like material with a drawstring top. Dalyndra pulls it open and moves next to Septimus and his stallion. As the stallion nuzzles Septimus’s hand she reaches out but does not touch the scarred stallion yet. “With your permission I will put him in now. This is a bag of holding and stasis. Once he is in he will not remember anything until he is called out. “What do you call him?”
After Septimus giver her the stallion’s name, She stroke the big black;’s face, warm from the sun in the corral and smelling of molasses sweetened oats and corn. “Bet that grain was good wasn’t it.” she say, calmly rubbing the stallion’s face with gentle finger tips of her left hand while holding the bag in her right hand.
“Septimus! Listen carefully. The words to call him out will be his ‘name’ out,” she states as she takes a hold of the end of a bit of the stallion’s forelock. “(Name) In” she commands and the big stallion disappears. Motes of sust seem to be sucked into a votex centering on where he had been, “Remember, to get him out take the bag, open the top and say his name plus out,” repeats Dae. “Now I have to pick my second mount.” She walks outsideto the corral and wonders what is left. She hopes the less able riders were helped to choose mounts suitable to their riding capabilities.
Outside she daw the horses that were chose, “These are a really fine horses,” observes Dae. Zara mentions to her to bag the horses. Dae just turns to look at her. Yes, I will,” she says calmly. Of course Zara could have done it for herself but instead she just hopped up pn her horse without oa thought of what she could do to help. AL well it was nothing new, more a part of the self-centeredness of youth. Turning to the others she announces “Mount up you the ones you want to ride now and be ready. Alex and Zara you are one group go out the West gate,. Jason and Oko get going go out the North gate. We will meet at Ehlonna’s shrine, on the north road in 1 hour.
“Stable Master! Would you please take these others horses into the stable? I will be right there.” Dalyndra tells the man, as she looks over what is left. Choosing the best of what is left she leads that one into after the Stable Master and bags each one by name, writing its names down on a parchment as she does. Dalyndra hands the man a sealed letter, “Would you give this to you master as quickly as possible and tell him, many thanks. Then I think you and everyone here today should go on a vacation. A long vacation or be changed to a new place. I have written the Prince to consider just what he can do. Silence about this day’s activities will be appreciated and I want to make sure that you will not be forced to mention anything. This includes your stable boy too.
Dalyndra mounts her big red mare and turns to Septimus. “Let’s get going. You and I are going out the East gaet and sneak around in the edge of the forest to get to the shrine.” Septimus this sort of deceptive behavior is new for me. If you have any suggestions please help me out.”
Septimus had sauntered into the stable with the rest of the party, his temperamental friend in tow, when he noted Zara’s choice of transportation. No words past his lips. It was well known that many people thought that he had no inner censor, but the truth of the matter was he too often held himself back. His only reaction was a quick, incredulous glance to Zara’s sibling. ‘You are a much greater fool than I ever could have fathomed’, his cold green eyes seemed to seethe silently, ‘if you have actually led me to believe that you, in good conscience, will allow your sister to ride out on that…thing…’ His eyes spat emerald fire, but his expression remained carefully tranquil and like the serene crocodile that floated calmly within muddy waters, so his viciously logical, reptilian nature kept his temper in check. He floated innocently, dreamily, and kept his glimmering fangs well below the surface.
Not so did his stallion.
When Oko passed him, the great black beast drew his ears back flat against his skull, and his great, sharp-edged hooves drummed the packed earth in nervousness. He was not afraid of the metallic, predatory scent, like many prey animals in the situation would find themselves to be, he was spitting furious at it. Oko was occupied at the moment with the big grey mare, and not paying attention to his secret enemy. The scarred equine snorted and launched his long dark body towards him. Acting by instinct, Septimus looped the reins about his left hand and gave a sharp pull, cutting the bit into the tender flesh of the horses’ mouth by accident. His warhorse was too big for him to control effectively in this state, and in his anger, Sindal simply dragged his master with him. The animal felt an extra weight behind him, and in his sudden, wild fear, he whipped his broad neck around and crushed his master’s hand in his strong jaws.
That was enough to surprise the creature as he recognised his master’s voice. He stopped pulling frantically, and was almost comically shocked. By the comic nature of the encounter ended as one looked at Septimus. He was collapsed on the earth, one hand still looped around the reins, the other clutched to his chest. His eyes were half-closed and he was breathing heavily from the exertion. He forced himself to his feet and glanced at his wounded hand, muttering quiet obscenities. Any other man would have screamed in pain, or perhaps beaten the horse, but Septimus was a man, one would feel, that was accustomed to pain. He looked calmly at his right hand, thanking the gods that his sword-hand was unharmed, noting the way his ever-present leather glove was soaked with blood. Gently, he removed the glove and groaned quietly at the crimson liquid that poured freely from the deep, swollen lacerations. He stared at his own blood as it poured, fasinated.
He unclenched his hand and hissed through gritted teeth as a wave of exquisite pain flew up through his arm. It was almost certainly broken. “Put him in the bag of holding”, he said quietly. His voice was not loud, nor was it angry but it was laced with pain. He closed his eyes, and when he opened them, the stallion was gone. “Never hurt him”, he muttered softly. “He didn’t know any better”. He grimaced. “I have been…too lenient with him”.
Without another word, he drew his sword and cut off a piece of his shirt and dropped the weapon, wrapping the piece of fabric around his wounded hand. He inhaled sharply as he tied it tight, holding one of the ends in his teeth. He watched the fabric become bright crimson. Again he tore a strip off, binding his own wound calmly until it was swathed in fabric. A thin trickle of blood oozed from beneath the makeshift bandages. With a faint nod, he seemed to agree with Dae that he could use a bit of help.
He sheathed his weapon and mounted the already outfitted bay carefully, clutching the horse’s dark mane in his uninjured hand. In spite of the incredible pain that read in his eyes and roared through his body, he sat straight and tall in the saddle. He turned the stallion effortlessly, and despite everything smiled almost bitterly at Dae`s request. “But my dear”, he inquired lightly as the two horses left the darkness and pranced into the sun,” how would I know anything of deceptive behaviour?”
(Posted the reply. Post away. )
Posted on 2007-11-18 at 23:00:16.
Edited on 2007-11-19 at 03:09:27 by Septimus Sandalwood
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
The black's sudden attack caught even Dae by surprise. Septimus hauled back on the enradged stallion's reins, with little effect, aas it charged at Oko and his stallion. Dae w not sure whether it was the horse or the stallion the back reacted too.
Septimus tugged back hard on the reins. Dae winces and the bit cut into the horse's mouth as evidenced by the pinkish foam form the corner of its mounth. The stallion reacted to the pain of the bit cutting into his tender mounth. He lashed out biting with crushing force right on Septimus's hand. Septimus did not cry out in pain, but to Dae's senses the flash of sharp pinkish red that dulled quickly told the truth, Septimust had felt significate pain as Dae heard the sickening crunch of small bones grating when the stallion chomped down hard. Setipmus's voice suddenly put an end to the stallion's rampage.
"Bag him" Dae heard hin say and she reached out and did just that. When she was finished Septimus had cut a piece of cloths off and was trying to wrap the wounded hand up with one hand. Not a very easy thing to do.
"Just a moment Septimus. Let me take care of that before you hand is impaired. I don't think you want that."
(Septimus's when post your reaction to Dae request to heal you. I will post.)
Posted on 2007-11-19 at 02:38:19.
Edited on 2007-11-19 at 23:21:19 by Brianna
Upon hearing the snort and drum of hooves. Oko quickly turns around, his sword suddenly in hand as if it had been conjured. He sees the big black coming at him. He will bare his teeth, and readies for the attack. When Septimus manages to stop the horse. Oko will not relax but will continue to watch the unfolding scene with the unblinking stare of the cat. When the horse disappears he will put his sword away. He will not say anything because nothing needed to be said. The black will not have another opportunity at his back and if he gets within reach while attacking, then one of them will not see another sunset. He will turn back to the mare and after she is tacked up Oko will have her bagged with the rest of the horses, mounts up on Shadow Runner and waits for the ranger and his buddy.
As she rides up to Dae she is mounted on Sunny and the mule is nowhere to be seen. She reaches over and pulls off a ring she is wearing, gives it to Dae and then flips up her hood.
"See you at the Shrine," she nods to Septimus and then rides on to join Alexds.
"Are you ready?" she asks the priest.
Posted on 2007-11-21 at 00:10:03.
Edited on 2007-11-21 at 02:21:16 by Dragon Mistress
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Dae deftly catches the ring, Moving her mare closer the the big bay stallion she passes Septimus the ring.
"Let us at least be honest with each other, well as least as much as you can. I, in turn will be honest with you. I do not say you have deceptive behavior but I feel you know more about it than I do at this point in time. Let's see what you can come up with as a disguise."
Dae adroitly turns her big red mare around with a slight leg pressure and a twist of spine. Well trained mount that she was she wheeled about and stood waiting for Dae's next cue. "Suprise me," she says over her shoulder then she quickly clasrifies what she means, "...with an good disguise that is."
Dae mentions nothing more about his injury but notices he is avoiding using it much. She sighs. Let it be on him for now. From what she had seen so far he was his own worse enemy, though she was also quite sure he had plenty of others and one of them had him running, not that he would ever admit he wss, but he had the look of a man on the run. He was haunted and hunted she was sure.
Dae had dressed simplly in a fine leather jerkin over and soft cream fabric shirt. Her pants are of darker green leathers fitted well to her form. Dae's boot are of soft saddle tan and a broad belt with a pouch was fastened around her waist. A cloak of green wool was fastened on the back of her saddle and a basket covered in a white napkin hung from the pommel of her saddle. She looked like she was going out for a afternoon picnic with a friend. Her hair was gathered into a hat that set at a januty angle on her head. A bow case and a quiver of arrows hung on the pommel of her saddle.
Posted on 2007-11-21 at 02:36:33.
Edited on 2007-11-22 at 03:09:08 by Brianna