Mounts and Menaces

3rd of Vhalar 721

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Praetorum
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Posts: 1425
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Ithecal
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: 1020
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Mounts and Menaces


Timestamp: 3rd of Vhalar, Arc 721

"What am I going to do with you two?" Prae sighed, folding his arms across his chest. From either side of him came a chorus of hisses and screeches, and the ithecal groaned, rubbing between his eyes. 


Two mounts, six heads, and one massive migraine, he thought dryly. Settled in the rafters to his right was Sivan, but not as she was. Apparently some of Vielkrontier's strangeness had rubbed off on her, and his kheledzan now had an extra head and an extra pair of limbs. Still, in personality she was much the same as she'd ever been, which was to say, friendly to him, suspicious of others, and prone to biting when alarmed. 


That last part, unfortunately, was the reason for Prae's current headache. Settled in the hay on his left, Erasmus growled angrily, one head nursing the shallow bite on his shoulder while the other three heads glared daggers at Sivan. The bite had barely penetrated his scales, but that hardly seemed to matter to the zahkron. "Yes well, that's what you get for trying to attack her." One of the heads swiveled over to glare balefully at Praetorum, who simply looked back, unamused. "Don't give me that look, you brought this on yourself. She might be an animal, but she's not weak." Another head joined in, looking at Prae in clear disgruntlement. 


He sighed again. "All I'm asking is for you two to get along. I don't need you to cuddle or be flockmates, just to not kill each other when I turn my back. That isn't so much to ask, is it? Is it, Redge?"

Perched on his shoulder, the little dragonet chirped, six little heads snuggled up against Prae's neck.


"Thank you. You see?" Erasmus huffed with all four heads. "I need you two to show me you can at least stand next to each other without fighting, alright. You're the one that can understand me, so I'm telling you—play nice." The zahkron turned away, but nodded. "Good. Thank you." Prae reached out to reward the dragonling with a gentle stroke along one long neck, before turning to Sivan. "Sivan, down." Prae pointed to the ground in front of him. 


The kheledzan visibly balked at that, both heads rearing back. Still, she was well trained, and trusted Prae—so she leaped off the rafters, and glided down towards them. Landing gracefully, Sivan trotted over, and came to a stop a short distance away, one head watching Erasmus intently while the other swiveled to face Prae. 


Not for the first time, Prae wondered what it would be like to go through life with multiple heads. It seemed more trouble than it was worth, although both Sivan and Erasmus seemed to manage well enough. 


"Alright, come on." Prae reached out to pat one of Sivan's heads, gently coaxing her closer and closer until he felt her grow tense under his hand. The two were within biting distance of each other now, but Sivan was keeping one pair of eyes on Erasmus, while the zahkron simply ignored her. Sensing that the two would not get any closer, Prae let them be, simply petting each of them where they stood. "Good girl," Prae said softly, stroking along Sivan's scales. "No fighting now—you're going to have to get used to him." He knew she didn't understand him, not like Erasmus did, but Prae had always liked speaking with Sivan all the same. "You got used to Ricky and Clarissa and Sneabru—you'll get used to him too."

From Sivan's side, it was just a matter of getting her used to Erasmus's scent. Who knew, perhaps she'd even come to consider him flock. The problem was Erasmus's personality. The zahkron was irritable and seemed to dislike everyone except for Prae, Sivan included. He wasn't quite sure why, but given Vielkrontier's own attitude... 


"Come on," Prae said. Stepping towards a nearby stall, Prae picked up Sivan's saddle, and started to buckle it onto her. He didn't bother with the bridle—now that she had two heads, Prae was going to have to either modify it, or adjust to flying without. "Follow me, and I'll show you what she can do. Let's see if we can impress you, shall we?"

Erasmus looked skeptical, but obeyed, following Praetorum as he led Sivan out of the stables. Climbing onto her back, Prae strapped himself into the saddle, and patted the seam where her two necks joined up. "Alright, Sivan. Up!"

The kheledzan leaped into the air, six wings flapping in tandem as she started to climb. Behind, Prae heard a huff, and then the flapping of more wings as Erasmus followed. They were maybe fifteen feet off the ground when the zahkron passed them, zooming on ahead into the sky in a display of superiority. Prae rolled his eyes. "Honestly," he sighed, more to himself than anything else. He didn't urge Sivan to go faster, well aware that the kheledzan was not going to win a contest of speed between them. Instead, he had her climb lazily up, up, up into the cool Vhalar air, until she reached where Erasmus was circling with his heads raised in pride.

"Yes, yes," Prae called out, "you're faster." He smirked. "But I'll bet you can't catch her in the air." Erasmus looked utterly affronted by that, hissing indignantly at Prae. "I mean it," he said, tucking Redge into his shirt for safekeeping. "Come on, give it a go. Let's see which of you is the defter flier."

It seemed the challenge was all the encouragement that the zahkron needed—veering sharply to the side, Erasmus broke out of his circling to shoot directly at Sivan. The kheledzan had no hope of flying faster, so Prae didn't even bother. Instead, he pressed down on Sivan's necks, and sent her into a sharp spiral downwards, managing to get under Erasmus just as he reached where Sivan had just been. With three pairs of wings, it was childs play for Sivan to break out of the spiral and zoom away. The chase was on. 


Erasmus recovered quickly, turning in a tight circle to try and cut Sivan off—he was a clever one, that was for sure. But Prae had meant what he'd said. In the air, he didn't think anything could match a kheledzan's deftness. Shifting his weight, Prae steered Sivan sharply to the right, just passing Erasmus by a hair and forcing him to do another full turn to try and catch up to them once more. 


The next twenty bits of what Prae could only describe as play followed much the same pattern. Erasmus would get close to them, Sivan would evade, and Erasmus would have to spend precious trills turning around to try and chase after them again. The dragonling came awfully close a few times, mostly taking advantage his long necks to try and grasp Sivan's tail, but he didn't quite manage it. Finally, as the sun started to set, Prae called for a stop to the chase, gesturing for Erasmus to follow Prae back to the ground.

When they landed, Prae saw that both mounts were breathing heavy, so he had them trot in a circle to cool down instead of stopping entirely. If it worked for mortal exercise, it should work for animals. "See?" he said, unstrapping himself from Sivan's saddle. Swinging his leg over the side, he dropped off the kheledzan, and padded over to Erasmus. "She can keep up with you, in her own way." Prae cast his mind back, remembering how Vielkrontier had spoken. "She deserves to share in our future."

Erasmus seemed to consider that for some time, before huffing with one head. Praetorum smiled, taking that as acknowledgement. "Good, good." He pet the closest head, rubbing just behind his horns. "Now, lets get you settled into your new roost, shall we?"

Until now, Erasmus had been stalled on the lower floor of the stable with the ground bound mounts, since he and Sivan hadn't been getting along. Now, with Erasmus promising to behave, Prae wanted to move him up to the roosts, where the flying mounts would sleep. Clicking his tongue at Sivan, Prae started walking back towards the stable, trusting the two creatures would follow him. Once inside, he quickly unbuckled Sivan's saddle, and laid it over a stall door.

The stables were big enough for the two mounts to fly up into the roosts, but Praetorum led them instead up a nearby ramp, not wanting them to exert their wings too much after that long chase. Sivan went immediately to her nest once she was upstairs, ignoring Erasmus as she nestled into the patch of cloth and hay she'd claimed as her own. Letting her go, Prae guided Erasmus to the opposite side of the stables. "Alright," Prae said, hand settling on the dragonling's flanks. "Which corner do you want?"

word count: 1535
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye
  • A firey glow in the back of his mouth

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over each of Prae's wrists
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand
  • A ring of light around his left forearm

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist
  • His body temperature is uncomfortably high

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
  • The area around him is slightly more static-y than normal
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Doran
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Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:43 am
Race: Mortal Born
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Re: Mounts and Menaces

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Praetorum:

Knowledge:
Animal Training: Mounts and Menaces [1/3]
Animal Training: Mounts and Menaces [2/3]
Animal Training: Mounts and Menaces [3/3]
Mount: Mounts and Menaces [1/3]
Mount: Mounts and Menaces [2/3]
Mount: Mounts and Menaces [3/3]

Loot: -
Lost: -
Wealth: -
Injuries: -
Renown: -
Magic XP: -
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.
Points: 10
- - -
Comments: Haha! This was an entertaining thread, and a great way to get some Animal Training and Mount knowledges. I loved the beginning of the thread where Prae’s very unusual mounts hissed at each other and Prae asked them to get along. In my opinion, Sivan is pretty brave for biting an actual dragonling. I agree, she may be an animal, but she’s not weak!

I really enjoyed the interaction between Sivan and Erasmus and between Prae and his mounts. I smirked more than once throughout the thread. I can’t help but wonder what it would be like to go through life with multiple heads as well now. When Erasmus and Sivan eat, do all heads eat at the same time?

I was wondering how Prae would convince Sivan and Erasmus to get along. That race was a very clever and exciting way of doing it in my opinion. I wonder if anybody saw Prae and his many-headed creatures fly. They must have been quite a sight. There is only one thing I’m curious about now: Which corner did Erasmus ultimately choose?

Enjoy your rewards!
word count: 245

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Ring of Reversal
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