[P] Olympic Game :: Long-Distance Horse Race
#1
Success is where preparation and opportunity meet

Dated June 8th and June 9th - Info Here - You may reply to this thread with either the entire experience of the race for your character, or just how they end the race. Having individual threads of their journey throughout this race is fine! Especially since this is a fairly long distance to race a horse! The race is approx 40 miles long and is expected to take around a full 24 hour day, or just under.

Cedric wasn't in the race himself, and yet he could feel the strain the long distance had put on Ulrich. The old horse was used to trekking across lands, but not usually with such a time limit. The Lune did make it to Clement's Park in time, looking out for the piece of land he and Lucian had marked during their exploration of the area not too long ago. A large structure of skeletal metal would be the finish line, and those taking part in the race had been instructed to look out for the metal pillar and the raising smoke of a fire that Cedric would aim to set up nearby. He reached the area around midday, knowing back in Casa those taking part in this race were about to set out. Cedric would see them tomorrow, giving himself a chance to rest up and enjoy the peace. Ulrich got his chance to rest as well; grazing on areas of growing grass that burst from the hard grey-stone ground. 

The Lune brought supplies to eat, and did so in the evening, his ears moving to the sound of approaching hooves. For a moment he thought in awe that it was a contestant, but looking up Cedric saw the approach of Balti and Levi on two of the pack's communal horses. The Lune smiled his welcome, almost forgetting he requested additional judges at the end of the race; especially one like Levi who knew how to tend to any horses that might have experienced a bad race. 

With the pair now with him, Cedric allowed himself to sleep through the night, waking up on the morning of the second day and going into complete alertness. Any time now during this day the racers should arrive, and so Cedric ordered Balti and Levi to fan out a bit to get different angles on the approach. It was around mid morning when Levi called across to him. "I see 'em!" The boy called, then rushing over on his own horse with a grin. Cedric smiled himself, golden eyes on the horizon to witness the final moments of this epic race of endurance and skill.




Cedric Stryder

A Knight Carries His Shield 
For The Sake Of The Entire Line
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#2
Remus sat atop Vito, his eyes hard with the mixed excitement and nervousness which he tried to hold back behind a steely wall of unfeeling. He had lost the melee competition, it wasn't as though he had expected that he would win for being such a great fighter, but he felt almost slighted that the Lune pitted Remus against the leader's own young daughter, a whelp that practically kept her milk teeth, there was no way Remus could win and risk facing his brother's scorn if he accidentally hurt the girl. The other guy hadn't seemed to share his concerns, leaving Remus to lose the first match due to his apprehension. This time, Remus wanted to win, and by the intensity and seriousness with which Vito conducted himself around these other horses and riders, so did his mount. 

When the race started, the sound of numerous hoofbeats were as thunder over the land, Remus gripped the reigns tight, and he could feel Vito's heaving sides below him as he leaned into the horse, keeping his profile low in an attempt to keep the wind from slowing them down. As the race continued, earth being chewed up and spit out beneath a hundred hooves, Remus grew more and more tense. he had attempted to prepare Vito for this race, and the horse's condition had indeed improved, but it wasn't enough, they weren't where they needed to be. The grey brown male kicked again and again at the horse's flanks, a low and urgent growl escaping his throat as he saw someone begin to pull ahead of the mass that Remus and a few others were keeping steady at the front of the race. "Come on, come on." He spoke only to himself as he saw the finish line come into view. 

In the end, Remus couldn't tell whether or not he had won, or how he had placed, he'd blinked, and he'd missed it. There were at least three mounts with their riders already across the finish line with him, and Remus swallowed, dismounting and patting Vito's neck for a job well done, offering the heaving war horse an apple from his pack and a calming stroke as he waited with alert ears to hear the results.
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#3
Azade mounted Azwer easily and had him step away from the other competitor’s horses. She could see him side-eyeing them, and didn’t want to risk him biting anyone or starting a fight with any of the other horses. She checked her saddlebags again, ensuring that she had food and water, before turning her gaze onto the others. Freddy she was sure would do well, she’d patrolled with him enough to know his skills. Still, she was confident that Azwer would outperform his horse. Azwer was older, with plenty of experience racing away from danger from Azade’s days of travelling across the country with him. And Azwer was smart, even if he didn’t act like it sometimes when he got mean.

The other horses she wasn’t sure about. She didn’t know them, and she wasn’t ready to judge them from this short interaction. When told to line up, Azade brought Azwer up and still tried to leave plenty of room between them and the next contestant. Azwer was keyed up, ears swiveling around as he took in the scene. She blocked out the other contestants and focused only on the trail ahead of her, the judge who was giving instructions, and Azwer.

She rose in her seat, taking the weight off of Azwer’s back in preparation for start, and Azwer stomped the ground in anticipation. The judge began to countdown, and at go, Azade shouted and leaned forward in her seat. Azwer responded, flying into a gallop that put them at the head of the pack. Zealous and competitive, Azwer didn’t slow once they surpassed everyone else, and only gained speed as he fell into a rhythm. Azade knew his limits, she knew she’d have to slow him down in about seven seconds, six, five. . . She pulled gently at the reins and he reluctantly slowed to a canter.

They were about a mile and a half away from the starting line, and a little ahead of the others. She didn’t look back, but rather listened for them, not wanting to look away from the trail. They stayed in the lead, and the race was grueling. Constantly on the lookout for the pack behind her, Azade and Azwer stayed at a canter. If there was anything Azwer was good at, it was finding his rhythm and saving his energy. Even as others passed them, Azade forced him to keep his pace, and was rewarded when they passed them again. Azade just tried to keep herself off his back and keep him comfortable, including pulling him off the trail to drink whenever the opportunity arose.

As night fell, Azade slowed him to a walk. She wouldn’t risk him being injured in the dark. They took a long break to eat and relax, and Azade only mounted him again after he seemed completely relaxed once more. Together, they walked under the slivered moon, and Azade wished that it was fuller and provided more light. As it was, they couldn’t do much more than delicately walk along the trail, and eventually Azade was forced to concede. She dismounted and led Azwer along the trail, moving as quickly as she dared.

At some point she found herself exhausted, beyond exhausted, but the adrenaline coursing through her kept her up through the night. And once the sun broke the sky, turning it pink and orange, she mounted the stallion again. As the world brightened again, they sped up, and this last leg of the journey was faster than the first, with the end nearly in sight. She didn’t know where the rest of the contestants were, she hadn’t seen them or heard them in a long time, but she wasn’t going to wait for them.

The sky had nearly reached its peak when she saw the finish line. A thrill coursed through her and she encouraged Azwer into a gallop, the buckskin stallion complying gladly, happy to take any excuse to run freely. She hardly noticed any of the canines at the finish line as they thundered along, slowing to a halt well past it. She threw herself from Azwer’s back and searched for a water source for the stallion to drink from, eventually leading him to a creek near where the judges stood. A weary but excited smile spread across her face slowly as she realized what this meant.

She’d won.
(745) | NPCs: |

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#4
[Image: sRbxdBk.png]
“Well, are you going to impress me?”

"Yeu'll see."

He could hear her voice in the wind that whipped passed him and whistled in the hair braided by his ear. He could see the scrutiny in her eye and expression that came over her face that was stoic to anyone who did not know her better. The upturn of her lip, the abrasion in her voice; they had always been competitive, but it seemed, in her own way, she was rooting for him. To become a victor, to make something of himself, and more importantly, to prove himself to her.

With that fire in his heart, such fancy free melody that resounded in his mind of the woman he'd left at the starting line, he was weightless. You could see it in his posture, in his high howling call to bring his father's stallion through to the finish line. Wolfish tones sang high and a wide smile painted the pale of his flush face, even as the image of another barreled through the finishline ahead of him.

Podarok, however well trained to long distance traveling, was not a lead creature. The beast of a stallion was beginning to lose his vigor as ground was lost ahead and gained from behind. It was the equines way of showing his weariness, and Pushok was bound to listen only after that line was crossed. He pressed the horse just a little harder, for just a little longer, and the great gulping breaths of the animal were not enough to satiate his need. From beside him, he could hear the hooves of others catching up.

That grin wiped off of his face as he leaned low on the horse and gave one last kick of his heel to get him across the finish line.

He allowed Podarok to bring himself to a slow and walked the big boy in a wide circle before eventually hopping off of his back. Where the Ashen had gone to water her horse, Pushok did the same. Poda drank in gulps while mismatched sights of blue skies and verdant greens reached to Cedric to hear the call. It was so close, that it would be so easy to misjudge, and he didn't want to celebrate before it was his time.

[+385]

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