been through the desert on a horse with no name

[CdM Horse Roundup!]

POSTED: Fri Nov 09, 2018 2:32 pm

OOC: No post order; feel free to have your characters take initiative in spotting/rounding up these hosses (though bear in mind we only have 3 to round up between us)! :D
Refer to newspost for details on the horses.

IC:
They had made plenty of stops along the way to ensure the horses brought North by the group were well rested – and now, as a weak sun tried to push its rays through morning cloud cover, Paloma slowed the dapple grey stallion she rode.

The larger group had already diverged into two, with Kalypso leading others while the Ibizan dog was entrusted with organizing those who remained. It was a prospect which strained the dog’s nerves a little; personal missions to gather intel for the Reine were one thing but leading a group into the Northern territories was quite another.

She turned in the saddle and cast a bright, speculative gaze back over the assembly of Luperci. All seemed capable from what Paloma knew of them, with a couple outranking her – but still she was eager to learn more of their capabilities; more of them as people. Alas, now was not the time nor the place for idle chitchat. They were here on a mission, after all.

A hush seemed to descend as they neared the former Krokaran territory and Paloma lamented the fact that she had never visited before the place had been made desolate. From stories, the pack of fisherfolk had seemed to Paloma to be full of good intentions – a shame, then, that it was all but deserted now. Where there were good intentions there so often seemed to be others willing to take advantage.

The dog fought a shiver in spite of the thick cloak and rabbit skin gloves she wore. The North was even more frigid than the South – and Paloma wasn’t naive enough to believe that good company could keep her toasty when there was little sun to warm her bones.

She adjusted her grip on Trueno’s reins and leaned forward a touch, sharp eyes scouring along the length of the river to one side of the group before calling back:

“Are we all well-rested and ready to search?”

[300+]

POSTED: Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:18 pm

WC: 339; OOC: WotD is rococo

IC:
No, Tessa was absolutely not well rested! As if sleeping on the ground in the freezing cold could let anyone get a good night's sleep! Tessa wisely, for once, bit back this comment and chose to respond with a curt nod instead. She was ready to search, after all. The only reason she had even decided to come on this trip at all was because it meant riding Small for a long time. And while she could do that at the court, she decided that some new scenery would be nice.

Next time, she would be saving the new scenery for when there wasn't a biting chill in the air, and for when she couldn't see her breath as it came out in puffs in front of her face.

Small shifted, causing some ornamental bits of her reins to jangle. It was a common sound while they were on the move, and it never occurred to Tessa that her traveling companions might find it annoying. Tessa liked that the sound drew attention to her, and she paid little mind to what sort of attention it was; she liked to feel rococo wherever possible.

Since they seemed to be here, wherever here was, Tessa looked around, searching for signs of the animals they were looking to catch. Peering through the trees, she did not immediately see any signs, other than deer tracks in the dirt or footprints from animals like rabbits and small birds that scuttled through, which was not what they were after. Otherwise the ground was covered in some areas by a layer of russet leaves. Hopefully there was actually something here for them to find so this whole trip wasn't useless.

A sound caught her attention, and for a second Tessa thought that maybe she was hearing things, but Small's head turned as well. Hopefully it wasn't something nasty trying to creep up on them.

"Did anyone else hear that?" Tessa asked, still looking in the direction the sound came from.
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POSTED: Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:33 pm

Fantasy had likely the jauntiest trot among them, the Vahn horse and her well-rested rider accustomed to what it took for a night's rest in the wild while still keeping a watch and Enjoying Thyri's company after having not seen her for so long. Yet, despite Fantasy's chipper attitude, Ezra's maw didn't dare show anything of lightness such as a grin, or even an upturned corner. Krokar was gone, friends and Vinattan's among them. All good people. He'd failed to hear what had happened to them, if anyone of the Court had known at all, but it was the least he could do to ensure what of their livestock could be found was well taken care of.

Paloma lead the group and Ezra followed her patiently and dutifully, aiming to keep near Thyri and Merlin. Not only were they looking for livestock, but this was neutral territory now. There was no telling who or what was looking for Krokar's leftovers, “Aye, my Lady,” Even if the others were well-versed in neutral lands, it didn't make Ezra any less on edge. It was the same as when he's scavenged Sapient, and despite the fact he hadn't met a hostile there, it didn't condition him to think that a recently defunct pack land would be safe from it. Despite their peace, even Krokar might have their enemies.

The sound that beckoned Tessa heed, as well as her equine, brought Ezra and Fantasy to the same sequacious reaction. Marbled gaze peered quietly outward of the river, nodding politely but without word to Tessa's inquiry as Fantasy altered her footing, ears back, neck arched. The rope that was rolled neatly over his shoulder slipped to his hand with a quick jolt and Ezra settled the line into a lasso and opened it wide. Taking the initiative, he offered a glance to them both before having Fantasy move on down the river bank with nares testing the air and pricked ears seeking sound, mottled eyes seeking movement.

A moment of silence passed before there was movement in the trees. Ezra's canine instinct had him crouching, even atop his mare, eyes static to the equine shadow that lingered among the trees. He knew of two ways to go after this shadow, one risking Fantasy, the other, risking naught much else if it worked. Tossing the lasso high and swinging it wide, it curled above his head like a whirlwind waiting to meet it's mark. Slowly, Ezra's lips parted and dropped to an Equine low-speech with the fluency of a life-long language. If he could get this beast to calm, at least, they'd make good work of taking him home.

Before the Krokaren horse dared to part the trees, two other shadows peered back at them through the low slung boughs. It seemed a few of these beasts had banded together to wait out the cold and make something of their new freedom. Ezra's eyes turned to their posse and offered a silent question. What did they want to do? With more than one creature, Ezra's convincing might only go so far to coax the horses out. Even then, there was only one lasso in his hand between them. Thyri he knew had rounded horses before, but when it came to the other Courtiers, he was a bit at a loss of what to ask of them without crossing boundary or making assumption. He'd hold the horses attention, at least, until the others hashed a plan among them. Low speech emitted from his mouth again, the horses beyond the trees craning their necks out for what was, at least, a proper headcount.
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POSTED: Fri Nov 16, 2018 9:03 pm

Overhead, the silhouette of a feathered crucifix wheeled gently in the November sky and Thyri hated how fitting it seemed. Abandoned and silent, Krokar smelled of smoke and ash and decay.

This, she knew from Vinátta, was what a dead pack looked and smelled and felt like.

Thyri lifted her eyes to the lithe dog and let the look on her face speak for her. Turning her head, she caught the same sound as Tessa and stared into the skeletal forest. Baldr blew a cloud of mist from his pink nose and tipped his dark ears forward. Nearby atop his own mare, Merlin watched Ezra take initiative and fingered the rough fibers of his own rope. Before he could lift his own lasso high above his head, however, the sounds passing between the Seigneur's lips stopped him.

Merlin's bottom jaw drooped open and the look of incredulity on Thyri's face told him (with some petty satisfaction) that not even she had known of her dear, old friend's abilities with equine low speech.

From the treeline, eyes stared back at them. Thyri caught Ezra's inquiring look and, with a brief glance around her at her pack mates, she asked, "Can you tell them of our intentions to offer them safety and food?" Maybe it wouldn't be enough. Maybe horses couldn't reason like wolves could. Maybe they liked their freedom.

Instinctively, Thyri reached out a hand and patted Baldr's warm, thin neck.

Freedom didn't guarantee safety.

"If that doesn't work, splitting into smaller groups might be best. Ezra clearly knows his stuff about horses, but I know my share, too. We could have two teams," Merlin suggested in a soft voice.

Thyri met her boyfriend's eyes, then looked at the dark shadows that stared back.

[WC — 305]


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POSTED: Sun Nov 25, 2018 3:51 pm

OOC: Just keeping this going! Didn't want to advance things too quickly/make too many assumptions so it's mostly reaction, derp.

IC:
Paloma’s lips pressed together, a short sigh pushing from between rosy lips. Evidently she had misread the mood of her party – but no matter. They were out here for a reason and while Ezra’s courteous response was appreciated (she offered the elegant-looking man a smile tinged with genuine warmth) the dog could get by just fine as long as the group cooperated. They didn’t have to be all smiles – indeed, it was a trip steeped in solemnity for some of them.

Palo couldn’t begin to guess at what memories the others had of Krokar; she only knew that Thyri had been born somewhere close by in the North and that Abigail had mentioned having family up here. Paloma didn’t need to know a great deal to be of firm mind that taking on some of the Northern pack’s livestock would benefit them all: those who had ties to Krokar could feel that they’d done their bit and those who didn’t could make good use of them.

Trueno’s ears swivelled first, the herd animal hardwired to pick up on the slightest of noises. It was Paloma’s eyes rather than her pointed ears which honed in on the figure watching them from the trees. The dog drew in a steady breath as one hand reached back for a length of rope.

Even Paloma knew not to rush in all guns blazing where horses were concerned. They were flighty enough as it was without a band of carnivores bearing down on them. The seat the dog maintained on her own horse was relaxed; all her intensity was confined to her pale eyes, carefully observing.

Ezra spoke in a language which almost catapulted Paloma back in time. Her own Mother had had the knack of low speech with the horses on the farm. Paloma had always preferred to do her talking with body language and her memories of low speech were foggy at best but she listened keenly to Ezra with a strange sense of familiarity.

She caught Thyri’s eye, then Merlin’s, and gave a quick nod.

The leggy shadows’ ears were pricked and their eyes were soft, Paloma noticed – that was preferable to wild and whale-eyed beasts. Paloma nudged Trueno forward a horse’s length, maintaining her loose seat and looking just past the gathered strays.

“Tell them we will not separate them,” the dog suggested, aware of the safety-in-numbers essence of herd animals. Her mouth twisted and she kept the rest of that sentence to herself: unless they force us to. Even Paloma would much rather a willing horse than a threatened one.

[447]

POSTED: Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:11 pm

But the more I try to move on, the more I feel alone
So I watch the summer stars to lead me home.

Hibiki was used to laying around anywhere that he could find when he was traveling from place to place. To be honest, what he had been doing before was much worse than the current situation seeing as he would walk to all the places he was getting to rather than on the back of a horse. Though, that didn't mean this wasn't coming without its fair share of problems. Soot was still relatively knew to his new rider, and the rider was no so confident when it came to keeping up with the rest of the group. In that regard, perhaps it was better to leave his fate in the animal's hand, just following along at their speed and path.

The dark male's head rose up, listening to the area around him. The silence reminded him much of Sapient, how quiet the place had become once many of the members had already moved one before he had made his own choice to join the Court. There was no telling who, or what, was still lurking around here from Krokar's own disbandment.

Light blue gaze followed along with the others, spotting the small group in the distance. Ezra seemed to have what was going on under control, though others in the group had spoken up about what kind of action to take. Though he had wanted to come along with this group, he was no horse expert. If anything, he was just an extra set of muscle or some kind of assistance here. He saw no reason to speak up on a matter he didn't know much about. Even so, he turned his attention to the dog leader of this small group, "Let me know how I may be able to assist. I am afraid I don't know enough to add my own suggestion."

Sorry for my lateness to this thread. Figured I'd go ahead and join in. +300 words.

Hibiki

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POSTED: Wed Dec 19, 2018 6:52 am

The sighthound mutt's tune held true to keep the equines calm at their distance, and as his marbled eye rested on the Thyri as her expression took him. While the others certainly had the excuse of surprise, having not known him until his time here for the most part, Thyri had known him in her younger years. He would have pricked a half-grin, delighted by her expression in reaction to his low-speech, but there were more pressing things.

The Dawnbringer woman offered words that he heeded well to in fear of frightening the creatures that lingered in the trees. In their language he spoke fluidly, that they were here to aid them, to shelter them and feed them. At the sound of something to eat, at least a few of them pricked their ears and seemed a little more amiable. One that claimed to be their leader for this small time snorted, and their kind held their footing thereafter. Merlin's rope caught Ezra's eye, and his comment was taken with a small, careful nod.

Paloma then offered her own wisdom to bestow the beasts and Ezra translated as exactly as the language would allow. Their equine leader seemed to take some solace in that, and the others tested the boundary by moving a little bit ahead. Now into the light, their beauty could be taken in, and Ezra's eye swept over them with a dazzled expression. The man was certainly enamored, but didn't dare to make a movement from his mark until the notion had been spoken.

Hibiki from the back, mentioned with a bit of hesitation his lack of experience, but offered his help in any way he could manage. Ezra's pricked ears took his notes to mind, just in case they might need some extra muscle in the round-up, but all was permitted only on Paloma's call to bring them in. The willowy dog chose not to move from his position, still as the lasso sailed above him with featherweight appearance. Ezra would hold them there better than the others, but the moment that the chaos might ensue, he's was primed for the nearest target his rope could grasp, to preserve Fantasy and the young she carried.


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POSTED: Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:08 pm

Catching his marbled eyes, Thyri's dark lips quirked marginally and she made a mental note to talk to her old friend about his secrets when they returned to the safety of the Court.

When he spoke back to the equines, his voice familiar, and yet altogether alien, Thyri turned her pale head toward the small herd and watched. A couple of them pushed their sharp ears forward and appeared hopeful, curious. But the one who mattered the most did not appear to share in the others' positive outlook and, with a small but definitive snort, the trio of stray horses stood firm.

Merlin, too, watched the reactions unfold, flicking his olive eyes to catch Ezra's when the long-nosed dog glanced his way. His comment acknowledged, the Roturier looked back upon the equines and rolled his thumb over the rough fibers of his rope in a slow and thoughtless rhythm.

Paloma's suggestion, after it was sufficiently translated to the trio of horses, appeared to generate a more positive response. Merlin slowed his repetitive motions and Thyri held her breath, both of them wondering if it would be possible to bring the horses back to Cour des Miracles without the use of force. With Ezra's lasso primed and ready for the taking of the trio, Merlin glanced at the piebald sighthound and waited while Thyri gazed upon the horses, willing them to accept their offerings of safety, community, and food.

[WC — 243]


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POSTED: Fri Dec 28, 2018 10:06 am

OOC: Moving things along a bit more :D

IC:
With palpable tension in the air, Paloma was more careful than ever with where her sharp eyes rested. The trio of equines never left her peripheral vision but she was scrupulous in making sure not to fix them with a stare of any kind. Sighthound by nature, this was something of a challenge for the Rovira woman; it showed in the strain of her seat, leaning slightly forward with lips forming a rigid line across her muzzle.

She listened to Ezra’s voice – focused on it, in fact, because it seemed to be the only sound stirring in the vicinity. And when her pack mate finished translating into low speech, Paloma counted the leaves on the nearby bushes - counted and waited as the tension mounted. She knew others would be reaching for ropes and tethers now, but now was the most delicate of moments.

The two flanking horses, the two that did not seem to be leader of their little band, moved forward into the light and again Paloma’s wide-eyed gaze flicked over them, never resting for too long. Though slightly soot-stained, the horses seemed physically in good shape – they hadn’t been out in the wilds long enough to encounter many predators. In fact, Paloma’s band of rounder-uppers might have been the first canines they’d seen since Krokar.

The stance of the lead horse changed, an infinitesimal shift in posture – but Paloma recognised it as the equine relaxing.

Deciding she would try her luck, the Rovira dog eased Trueno forward. Her lips made soothing sounds not unlike the gentle murmurs of horses at rest she’d heard from within the Court’s stables – though it was nothing compared to the low speech Ezra had pulled off.

The leader of the trio of strays stretched a long nose forward, nostrils flaring to take in the scents of the looming canines. One foreleg lifted, a hoof teetering on its edge for a moment before the first of the three ambled forward – toward Ezra and the rope that waited.

“Bueno,” Palo breathed.

[346]

POSTED: Sun Dec 30, 2018 11:37 pm

OOC: moved the other horses forward, too :) WC: 322

IC:
Although Tessa spoke to her horse often, it was always in high speech and she never assumed that the mare understood more than a few commands. She had never come across someone who could actually speak with the horses before. That was so cool! ...Not that she was about to say so, even if she was internally having a bit of a fangirl moment. On the outside, she continued to observe the others with a detached expression while trying not to shiver. At least Small didn't seem to be too cold.

Her eyes went to the others as the spoke and gave suggestions, and she couldn't help but wonder why Hibiki was here if he did not know how to help with the horses. At least the rest of them had at least some experience.

Tessa turned her attention back to the new horses as the lead one appeared to give in after being told they would not be separated, and she nudged Small so that she could intercept if either of the other horses decided to bolt. Tessa would at least be able to try to turn it back around towards the others. In her experience, herd animals tended not to want to break away from the rest of the herd, though.

She was not too surprised, though, that they did not appear to want to run. They had been taken care of by Krokar until recently, so they were likely used to seeing Luperci.

After a couple of moments, the other horses seemed to decide that following their leader seemed like a good idea, even if they were a bit hesitant about it. Their steps were slow as they neared Ezra behind the first horse and Tessa moved forward slowly, keeping her wide arc so that she would not appear threatening or manage to spook any of them. She didn't really want to have to do that.
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