• Closed • [The Stormlands] Horse Sense

Beyond the city of Rharne lies the Stormlands, which is home to a number of farms, forests, fields, Lake Lovalus, and the River Zynyx. This subforum also includes the Stormwastes to the south.

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Arlo Creede
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[The Stormlands] Horse Sense

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It was a nice trial for a ride across the Stormlands. To say that there was a refreshing nip in the air was putting it mildly. It was colder than cold. But they were bundled up against it, and while Vega as the daughter of Faldrun tended to run hot as often as not, for Arlo's part the thin layer of orange sand sewn into his clothing went a long way towards protecting him against the cold. Peg on the other hand was loving the weather. Lively step, head up, tail flagging and ears pricked forward, steam billowed from the blue eyed, red and white painted mare's nostrils in the wake of every breath.

He might have chosen instead to bring his Rharnian Thoroughbred Copper along for the ride. But while Copper was fast and seemed to have an endless supply of get up and go in him, Peg's stockier build and maneuverability, along with pure and adulterated scrap, had made her a better choice. She could spin on a dime, off in a different direction, while Copper was better at curves and lines. Besides, Arlo's father had fancied a ride that trial too in the opposite direction, and was as fond of Copper as Arlo was of Peg.

Smiling across at Vega as they rode side by side, he said, "It's not battling pumpernickels for fun and profit, but not bad for a lark?" The outing and it's purpose, that was. The horses belonging to the Lightening Knights had knocked down their stalls, busted through their paddocks and bolted before bolting off into the Stormlands. For trials before then, they'd been nervous and jumpy. They needed to be rounded up and brought back, but first they needed to be found. And in case they found them, Arlo had brought along several halters and lead ropes.

"Horses are herd animals. I figure they'd have stuck together for the most part. All, or in groups." From a horse's perspective, a herd could be as many as a hundred or more, or even just one or two. If there was snow on the ground but not recently fallen, or no snow, there might be tracks to follow. If fresh snow, it would have covered them up. But there'd be other signs besides those. "Unless we come across a sign of them sooner, the nearest body of water might be the best place to start looking," he suggested. Every living creature needed water to survive. And sooner or later, they'd all seek it out.
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Vega
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Re: [The Stormlands] Horse Sense

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One of the very many things which Vega loved about Arlo Creede was his ability to make her smile - to smile himself - even in dark and troubled times. The frogernickels and toadernickels had been battering Storm's Edge and Vega had been working non-stop to beat back the tide. She'd joined the Lightning Knights, signed up with the Wardens and, more than that, she'd worked tirelessly. Ever since the Scalvoris docks incident, where Vega had died and her legs had been shattered, she'd developed a sense of resilience - pig-headed stubbornness some would call it - and she knew that it had always been there. Yet, that experience had changed her, and, she knew it had changed him too. He'd seen it, after all. Pulled her out of there and sat with her as she recovered from the surgeries on her legs. Bullied her, tormented her, pushed her as hard as he had to in order to get her walking again.

In short, he'd been there with her every step of the way.

It had changed them both, that experience, and it had done so in ways which they couldn't have foreseen at the time. "You've got a righ' weird idea of a lark, Arlo Creede," she said, her eyes swirling shades of amusement. "By all rights we should both be exhausted an' sleepin' soundly in our bed like a pair o'oldies with creaky bones." It was true. Arlo had not needed sleep barely at all since Cassion marked him and Vega had grown used to getting a minimum amount of sleep. But here, there was a development to that which she was pleased with, frankly. "I think I've mastered the power-nap, you know." It was true. Twenty bits here, ten bits there, and Vega hadn't been actually to bed for the night in trials. "But I'm not like you. When this is over I'm gonna crash an' sleep for a ten-trial, a'right?"

Xiur help them enough that they got that far, she thought.

"It's well worryin' this. You think that Storms Edge is gonna hold?" Vega asked, then she looked at him and grinned with a slight shake of her head."Don't be daft, Eva, a'course it's gonna hold. You worry too much, Vega, always 'ave." She patted Storm, her horse, and she looked at Arlo with a cheeky, rather goofy, grin. "I tell you what though, half of these volunteers would be more used cooked than they are walkin'. I've not seen a bunch so incapable of makin' up their minds to actually do somethin' an' just get on an' help since I visited the potato farm an' spoke to the spuds. Honestly."

He talked about horses, and Vega nodded. "When we get to 'em, I can play my fiddle, an' that'll calm them down," she said, quietly. "When I were travellin' to Rharne to get reinforcements an' supplies, I tried it with the horses an' it worked - thing was, I did the singin' thing too, an' I could kind o' just ... calm them an' slow down their tempo." Frowning slightly, she glanced around. Somewhere, at some point, the pair of them had grown up. No longer the boy in the tree, and her no more the gangly girl all elbows and knees, the pair of them still, fundamentally, played around.

But this playing around was serious and people were going to die. Good people. Maybe people they knew, or liked, or even loved. Maybe her. Maybe him. Her eyes were torrents of colour as they swirled and she looked at him with an overwhelming sense of love and fierce protectiveness. So much so that it threatened to spill out of every pore.

"Those look like tracks to you?" Vega asked, softly. They were, and she motioned towards where they were head. "Quit lollygaggin', Creede, an' lets get on, shall we?" A brief glance, and then, off they headed.
Last edited by Vega on Wed Apr 15, 2020 12:43 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 675
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Arlo Creede
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Re: [The Stormlands] Horse Sense

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Vega had joined the Thunder Priestesses. But while he might have joined their more militaristic wing, the Lightening Knights, Arlo had not. That wasn't to say that he didn't get along well with others, or recognize the value of numbers with like-minded goals, practices and measures. It was more that groups, clubs and things of that like, simply ran counter to his nature.

When they'd first met, Vega and him, Arlo had been practicing that natural inclination in the extreme, and had been traveling alone through the wilds for some time. Now, he wouldn't have been without her. But perhaps it was also his own Immortal father's influence that guided his inclinations. Rugged individualism, bootstraps, caution to the wind, not necessarily seeking safety in numbers. In that way he was Cassion's son top to bottom.

Of course none of that applied to Vega. Where she was, so was he. But a strange idea of a lark? Arlo snorted and then shrugged, grinning. "I once witnessed Cassion leaping over a canyon, rather than using a perfectly good bridge. Just for the fun of it. Looking for some lost horses, even with all the strange beasts lurking around out here ready to gobble us up or tear us to bits...is just another trial for us, yeah?" As for sleeping, he'd noticed. But after a while he'd taken the path of least resistance, which was often the best way with Vega. If she said she didn't need it, then she didn't. Besides that, Cassion's legacy meant that he could go some time without sleep as well. "We'll sleep after. As long as we like."

As for others not being as up to the task as one would like, Arlo fell silent and considered it a moment while guiding Peg along across the hard, cold ground. Lyova, at the moment, was lounging up on the brim of his hat. "Those who think they're prepared simply don't know any different. They think they've faced diversity until something harder or more dangerous comes along. Hopefully the ones who need improving will manage it, sooner rather than later." Meanwhile, he kept an eye for hoof prints on the ground. And while he took note of the occasional set, if it looked to be a lone animal, maybe with a rider passing by before them, it was less interesting than signs of multiple animals traveling together.

"Peg likes it when you play, for sure," he said when Vega suggested music as a way to calm the herd's nerves. At least when they found them. "Soothes the savage beast.' And his mare, once old but now young again, had never once mellowed where her disposition was concerned. Finally though they came across tracks that were more encouraging. Multiple hoof prints and signs of crushed and broken vegetation. "Looks like they've passed this way. Hard to tell how many. At least four, maybe five," Arlo guessed when Vega pointed out the tracks.

Peg seemed to think there was something ahead too, judging by the way her ears pricked forward and she developed more of a spring in her step of a sudden. And so they rode, following what must be the herd up ahead somewhere. Or at least, some of them if they'd broken into bands. But then after a while, Arlo pulled Peg up short and pointed out another set of tracks that had veered onto the path from the west, and was probably a fresher set than the herd's. "Those aren't horse tracks. I'm not sure what they are but whatever it was that made that set, it's big. A predator by the looks of it, stalking them."

Maybe Peg thought so too. She'd tensed up beneath the saddle, he could feel her sudden jumpiness from his feet and up through his legs, and he choked up on the reins just a little to discourage her from bolting if startled. Just to be on the safe side, as he nudged her forward again, he pulled out his crossbow and made sure it was ready to go if needed. "Keep an extra eye out behind and aside of us." Where there was one predator, there might be others. And it wasn't unlike packs of predators to spread out and take their prey by surprise.
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Vega
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Re: [The Stormlands] Horse Sense

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Once upon a time-long-ago, Vega and Arlo had discussed the fact that they loved each other. They'd loved each other a good long time at that point of their relationship, of course, and Vega knew that they'd danced about a bit - and then a bit more - and that had been what they needed. He talked about Cassion leaping over chasms and she grinned at him. Then, he said that they'd sleep afterwards, and Vega nodded. For a brief moment, she said nothing but her eyes swirled colours in rapidly accelerating shifts and changes. Then, Vega stopped, stood stock still, turned and punched him. Hard. She never meant it, of course, but equally she hit him harder than she ever usually would. He could take it, she knew. "I want to have children with you, you steamin' ass." Apparently, he'd done something wrong there.

"I don't want to mess around, Arlo." Tears stood in her eyes, but the reason for them wasn't entirely clear, she knew. "An' I know you're jus' bein' fantastic an' wonderful an' supportive an' not bein' pushy, but I need to.. I want to..." Vega flung her hands in the air and turned away. "I want you to feel as Immortals-damned much about it as I do, you dweeb." She turned on her heel, spinning to look at him suddenly and she regarded him carefully. Then she nodded. "Well, why didn't you jus' say so?" And , just like that, the conversation was done - at least as far as Vega considered.

There was a situation unfolding and Vega knew they needed to focus. The fact that the volunteers were useless (in Vega's eyes) prompted a conversation between them and she nodded. "We jus' need to try an' make sure that as many of them as possible live to realise that they're idiots," she said. That was the best thing that could happen, as far as Vega was concerned and was the most positive outcome possible. Although, she figured, she had to be fair. "Maybe some of them'll manage to because a little bit less useless too. Who knows." It really wasn't likely, as far as Vega was concerned.

Arlo spotted some other tracks, then. The ones beside the herd, and Vega jumped down from Storm to get a closer look. "I reckon there's todernickels an' frogernickels, you know." She was entirely serious with the names for these creatures - and in fairness, it had mostly been adopted by those at Storm's Edge. Immortals help them. She glanced up at Arlo as he suggested keeping an eye around them and she nodded. "Yeah. They're slippery suckers, that's for sure." Vega got back up on to Storm and she glanced at Arlo. "You know, don't you? All the stuff I don't say an' all the things I don't tell you." He did, she was sure.

Good job, too, all things considered.

They continued moving and then, as Arlo had suggested or thought might happen, just as they got close to the herd - and they could just begin to hear them, over a slight rise in the landscape, there were three of the creatures on each side of them - three for her, three for him. Vega leapt down from Storm, drawing her sword as she did. "Back to back?" She shouted and then, stepping backwards so that there was minimal distance between them, so that they wouldn't get attacked and split up - and so that they were near each other, Vega began to sing.

Which, of course, sped the married couple up. "Come on, yer pumpernickels!" Vega called, her voice raising in song as she used the words of taunting in her song, "We're gonna skewer you good!" He knew her, of course he did - these things scared her.
word count: 654
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Arlo Creede
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Re: [The Stormlands] Horse Sense

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Any other time, Arlo would have pointed out that now, while they were tracking down a herd of stray horses and being stalked by some sort of unholy, unnatural and ghastly beasts through the forest, wasn't really the time to be conversing and opining about their collective hopes and dreams for the future. But the whole I want to have children with you threw him completely off his mark.

"You want....What?" he'd asked, and glanced over at Vega like she'd grown a third eye in the middle of her forehead. This was before the unholy beasts had leaped out from the undergrowth. "Children? With me? I mean, didn't we...? I thought it was most likely you couldn't?" At least that's how Arlo remembered that conversation going. "Oh." Oh, as in he understood what she was feeling, because he felt the same way as her. Not oh, because he wasn't sure whether or not something had changed in that regard, so far as her being able to. "Well of course I feel the same," he'd said. "I want them too. If it didn't seem like it, it was only because I didn't want to bring up what I thought couldn't happen."

Stumbling over his own words here was quickly becoming trickier than ever before. So it was probably for the best, that if the unholy creatures were going to leap out at them from the bushes, they'd choose just that moment to do it. Then there was nothing but for their survival instincts to kick in. Peg's were probably more developed than Arlo's own. As soon as he slid from the saddle weapon in hand, the mare bolted and left him behind. Probably off to join the runaways just over the hill.

So there they were back to back. Before reaching for his sword, Arlo had drawn his bow, knocked an arrow and taken aim with what might have seemed like single fluid motion. He'd gotten much better at this over just a few arcs and was as quick at readying his bow as as a blade. Six. Three for her, one for him though they were coming from several directions at once. Arlo took his shot and his aim had improved along with his speed. The bolt found it's mark, dead center of one creature's eye and pierced deep. The thing howled. A terrifyingly shrill and deathly sound as it began writhing before it crumpled to the ground.

Then dropping his bow, he pulled his sword just in time for a mighty sweep of the blade as another leaped right for his throat. Not as deep as the bolt when he made contact but it was enough to result in a disembowelment of sorts. Slow, grotesque, torture like really, and it meant that though the thing would die sooner or later, it wouldn't be a quick death. But it wouldn't be leaping at him again any time soon. And so he turned in search of another, always remaining close enough to Vega so they couldn't be separated by the things.
word count: 531
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Vega
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Re: [The Stormlands] Horse Sense

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"You thought right. I can't," she said when Arlo pointed out that he thought that having children was an impossibility for her. "That don't matter, Arlo. It's jus' about... oh, I don't know. Shurrup." But, of course, he put things right when he said that of course he felt the way she did. That was all she needed and the expression on her face told him so. As the whole situation turned on a copper nel and Vega realised that they were being attacked, she drew her sword as she said, "Saved by the pumpernickels, Arlo Creede!" Who'd have ever thought it, she considered and, even as the things attacked and the married couple moved together in unison, she couldn't quite help but grin.

It might be madness, but Vega enjoyed a good scrap and, in her mind, there was no doubting that she and he would be victorious here. They'd beat the pumpernickels in this fight but, also, they'd save Storm's Edge. Of course they would. There was no alternative for them because it needed doing and they were here. As they moved, close together and back to back, the creatures moved in. Vega knew that Arlo would take care of his three, no doubting it. She and he moved in unison, and one of the creatures fell as she skewered it with an arrow. From behind her, she heard the twang of Arlo doing the same and Vega smiled to herself. Two each, now. His creature howled, though hers expired more quietly. Either was fine with her - the only good pumpernickel was, after all, a dead one.

"I never thought I wanted kids, you know," Vega said as she dropped her bow. Rather than pull her sword, though, she closed her hand around an imaginary hilt and, as she did, a sword of pure light appeared in her hand. She was already moving as she did so, slicing at the maw of this creature, "But I didn't wanna get married, neither," she sliced and her opposing creature screamed a high-pitched, howling scream.

"An' I didn't think," she reversed the blow, cutting it clean across the top of it's head. "That I'd ever fall in love, neither," the creature dropped and Vega turned to the last one with a grin. "Specially not with a short boy," he had been, of course, shorter than her when they met. But then, they'd been little more than children themselves, eighteen arcs old and just trying to make sense of the world; or at least, that was what she'd been doing. Vega had changed, there was no doubt, in the time since they'd met - he had too, of course. But alongside all the changes in personality, in confidence, the physical and emotional growth, she'd discovered who she was and that she was happy to be that person. Her movement with the sword in her hand was beyond graceful, these trials, and she moved so fluidly and quickly, that she seemed to be dancing slowly.

The third creature, or the third one she had to deal with, leapt forward at her and Vega simply dropped to the ground, spinning as she did and slicing, almost casually, across it's stomach. It seemed like she had barely touched it and her movements might be too gentle to hurt it, but it fell into two pieces on the ground. Somewhere along the line, Vega's ability with the sword had become better than she could have dreamed and she was currently on the edge of getting better again.

"You a'right?" she asked, turning to him to check. He would be and was, she was sure. But still. It was always nice to ask.


word count: 639
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Vega's skin has a reflective metallic sheen with a red glow. Her eyes still swirl biqaj colours, but one colour is always bright red which glows like fire. She has a bright red glow in her chest, situated directly under the mark of a heart (Daia mark) in the middle of a glowing silver dragon on her chest (Xiur). She's unnaturally warm to the touch
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Re: [The Stormlands] Horse Sense

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Arlo:

Knowledge:
Sword x 2
Animal Husbandry x 2
Mount: Horse x 2

Loot: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 5, for fighting nickels.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 15

Vega:

Knowledge:
Mount: Horse x 3
Hunting x 3

Loot: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: 5, for fighting nickels.
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 15

- - -
Comments: Clothing with orange sand (the Scalvoris kind?) sounds very useful when it comes to coping with the Cylus cold. I really like the relationship between Arlo and Vega. Their interaction is quite entertaining to read. And when Vega told Arlo “I want to have children with you, you steamin’ ass” – oh my. That comment made me smirk quite a bit!

My only point of criticism is that this thread ended a bit abruptly. I wanted them to reach the horses and bring them back safely. Was this thread abandoned, or will there be a sequel?

I enjoyed what you wrote either way (and I love the names that Vega has for those monsters)!

Enjoy your rewards!
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