it goes back a hundred years

POSTED: Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:25 pm

(300)

Once, Salsola had been a small kingdom, though no less prosperous for it; with the news of those leaving and other, more consequential announcements, had come the word that they would be expanding into the shadow of the Halycon mountain range. It was a momentous occasion, for Salsola hadn’t expanded since their conception in the dark halls of Anathema, at least in outward practice.

Since the earliest days when a Revlis had ruled, her mother’s bright golden glow had come to touch upon everything. Now women ruled — ruled and were held suspended over the men below them for all to see how glorious they were.

More changes would come soon; she knew now what she hadn’t known before, for it had merely been an inkling of thought, but recent developments she kept secret were less of a whisper and more a roaring crescendo.

So, she wore her ermine fringed cloak over the tyrian purple frock she always sported and clasped it tight about her slender neck. Nergüi watched this from a shadowy alcove within the stables but made no comment; why her slave would think that now, of all times, she would become a slugabed, she couldn’t fathom. Salsolan Law ruled before all else, and any desire the green-eyed blonde may have held out for lounging about in best was cast aside in favor of other, more productive things.

Mounting the fastest black horse Salsola had to offer, Osrath guided her expertly from the stable and swiftly to the easternmost realm of Salsola’s new lands, looking deliberately toward the Blackwoods as she passed them. In the dusky umber light of pre-dawn the white-maned horse looked ethereal, as did her rider.

Turning north when they reached the mountains, the Apprentice began a long and winding trail that would take them all along the northernmost border.

Salsola
The Gamekeeper (NPC)
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Lorraine
Luperci Cavalleria, Vaquera
vitriolic

POSTED: Wed Nov 18, 2015 4:45 pm

Desert of snoW

As he was still new to the Thistle Kingdom, Urho had yet to delve into the inner workings of Salsola and how ambition ruled the rise and fall of the ranks. Urho was ambitious, but not in a sinister sense. He sought to grow more in his skills and as a person, but he didn't find solace in usurping and clandestine backstabbing.

But he didn't know about this things quite yet. In due time, he would find them to be a unfortunate asset.

Donned in his traditional shirt, Urho had ventured out into the Blackwoods with his bow, finding places to build blinds for him to make hunts much easier in the winter months. Without the ability to scale the trees, he had to mask the ground for him to get the element of surprise on his prey. That or traps worked fairly well, but traps were harder to use when the snows often covered them up and rendered them inoperable.

Hearing the thundering rhythm of hoofbeats, Urho's ears perked up and away from the shrubbery he was arranging, peering through the trees to find the swift shadow shifting from behind tree to tree, steadily growing closer and showing the blonde figure atop its back.

Leaving his blind to investigate, Urho looped his bow over his chest and waddled out into the clear, waving down the pair with a fat hand and a curious look on his face. Horses were something always out of his reach, so seeing great specimens who could achieve such great speeds always caught his attention — and even a dash of jealousy. "Ranger!" he barked excitedly. "Is that you?" It had to be, of course. He knew she was familiar with horses than himself, though that wasn't much of a stretch to say, but he had yet to see what the horses of the Thistle Kingdom had to offer.

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Salsola
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Titmouse
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POSTED: Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:06 pm

(300)

Her progress was slow even with a fast horse. Here and there she checked her mother’s markers or those left by her mate-to-be, but their recent expansion meant that their attention to detail was exquisite. They would leave no room for question should a loner stumble over their border into land that had once been neutral ground.

Bodies had been found along their easternmost border, mostly women with concave stomachs and coins tucked away somewhere upon their person. This was news she’d cultivated herself out of self-interest, because one body may have been overlooked, but the numbers were quickly climbing into double digits. She could read and write as her station called for, but the importance of such numbers usually escaped her unless it was applied to cattle or other such herds; this development did not.

Somewhere behind her the Mongolian slave was present; developments in her personal life had made the brusque slave undeniably protective of her owner, for whatever reason. It was as much in her design as anything else, for there was no room left for true loyalty in their master-slave dynamic. Sometimes Osrath wondered if the overly tall woman would merely play the part of witness should her death come upon her, or whether she would actually intervene.

Hopefully they would never discover the true depths of their codependence.

When a man emerged some ways ahead, the young Eternity woman thought such a thing had finally arrived; that is, until his identity became more or less known to her. She’d met the northern man once before while on a pleasure jaunt, but little more than names had been exchanged — to her recollection, anyway — and it was slow to rise from the mire of titles and other such nonsense that Salsolans clung to like badges of honor.

Osrath included, who’s eyes turned catlike when called Ranger instead of Apprentice. It tickled her to death, that insinuation.

Of course it is, And for all the teasing laughter in those words she eyed the bow slung across his chest, one finger uncurling from the reins that kept Iskra in place. How fares your hunt, Urho?

Salsola
The Gamekeeper (NPC)
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Lorraine
Luperci Cavalleria, Vaquera
vitriolic

POSTED: Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:25 pm

Desert of snoW

Accompanying the Ranger was a woman of massive height, the kind that Urho usually only saw in men, to which he eyed with some awe. This woman, despite being armed with a bow, was adorned with a single gold ring in her nose, one that the Finn saw among a few within the borders of Salsola. He'd realized that they were slaves, not normal members of the pack. Not members at all, actually. Property.

He had yet to figure out how he felt about this. While he never really owned a slave and hadn't really worried much about the concept due to the projected usefulness, he found that not everyone deserved to be a slave. It was a fitting punishment for those who tried to control others but... women? Children? The thoughts swirled in his head before deciding to focus on the Ranger Apprentice instead.

Osrath gave him a bubbly response, inquiring about the hunt, to which he laughed and offered a shrug. "Not really a hunt," he admitted with a chuckle. "I'm just seeing to ground blinds for myself. Making sure they work out and whatnot. For someone like me—" He gave his gut a smack of his hand. "— Who can't beat anything in speed, as you might guess."

Carefully sneaking forward, he made his way closer to her and the horse, but found himself rather way of the hooves that could do damage. "What a fantastic horse," he admired, reaching a hand out tentatively, but pulling back instead. "I don't think I've seen one so fast." That also wasn't a far stretch to say — Urho hadn't been around very many horses to begin with. Even the rest of his father's family never really had the genes for working with horses. This doomed him into the same pigeonhole, but he hoped that at some point he could maybe work away from his predestined inability.

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Luperci

POSTED: Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:07 pm

(300)

The opinions of Outsiders — which Urho still was, and would continue to be in her eyes until he had climbed a respectable way up into Salsola’s central caste — were not something she considered often, and his drifting gaze was the only real thing she thought about for a moment until she realized to whom he was looking. For a man of his stature (for he seemed nearly as broad as he was tall to the blonde princess), it surprised her a little that even Nergui’s height would startle him.

Nergüi’s nose ring glimmered slightly in the peach-and-red light of the early morning, a symbol that even a newcomer could recognize. Her status was that of a lesser being, one hardly worth mentioning let alone paying any real attention to. Sometimes Osrath indulged the Mongolian woman and entertained her religious zeal (she had allowed her to hang her scraps of blue fabric all about, after all) but didn’t care much beyond that.

Salsolan horses are infallible, She stated this as though it were fact, when it wasn't; not quite. Their worth was determined from many months of training as much as their unique coloring, for Salvia saw impeccable breeding as being important. The heir apparent saw need where others saw need, being an opportunist eager to drive the worth of their horses up. and Iskra has been well-trained. So has my own horse, Lowe. A golden palomino for a golden girl. She'd trained her own mount to become immune to any efforts to spook her, and in turn turned this skill toward another horse, Altan.

Peering curiously toward Urho, Osrath's arms drifted by her sides until coming to rest across her waist. I don't imagine it would be easy, finding a horse to suit a man of your... She trailed off slightly, looking for a precisely the right word. Size. Her smile was barbed by a thousand jests.

Salsola
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Lorraine
Luperci Cavalleria, Vaquera
vitriolic

POSTED: Wed Nov 18, 2015 8:20 pm

Desert of snoW

As soon as his attention was drawn away from the large woman, it was stuck on the black horse and Osrath's words. He would have to see what made these horses so special compared to others. Maybe they were strong enough for himself... maybe. The notion was highly doubtful, but still a possibility nonetheless. "Well, these horses certainly deserve quality gear to match their prowess, hmm?" Urho chuckled. "Maybe I can throw together a few saddles or maybe some shoes for them, if you need any." As far as he knew Osrath was in charge of the care for horses, she would know what they needed and maybe would be willing to work with the Finn for essential supplies.

She pointed out his size, being the biggest factor in his inability to ride, and he let out a loud guffaw. "Oh yes, my size," he chortled. "You may say I'm portly, fat, big-boned — none of it insults me." He took another tiny step closer to the horse, still refraining from touching it and keeping clear of the hooves. "But yes, I've always been afraid of crushing any horse I try to ride. Poor things don't deserve a fate like that," he joked, though there was a slight bit of truth in how he felt.

"The only horses I saw that looked strong enough were neither belonged to my family, nor meant for riding at all." They were regular beasts of burden, forced to pull ploughs and and equipment rather than carry riders with the speed of the wind. They were often as portly as himself too, but the reason for that was unknown to him. Horses were just out of his reach of knowledge for such a long time, just like that of scholarly pursuits. Maybe it just wasn't for someone like him.

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POSTED: Sun Nov 22, 2015 10:09 pm

(300)

Perhaps a horse could be found for you elsewhere, She spoke with the accumulated knowledge and authority of her mother and deceased grandfather, thinking of the Salsolan trading post near Freetown. If a horse fit for Urho was to be found anywhere, the trade routes would be the place to look. if that's something you might want.

The way he was eying the powerful haunches of her temporary mount, there was no question in her mind as to whether the tall man might want one of himself. Then, she remembered that he'd spoken of outfitting their mounts with gear worthy of their pedigree, and her teeth glimmered brightly in the peach-toned light, her golden fur awash with purples and reds. Unless I'm mistaken, proper shoes and decorative — but practical — saddles and bridles would not be unappreciated.

Gathering Iskra's reins in one loop, she tied them loosely to the pommel and swung down in a single bound, landing quietly on the hard ground. Once, he'd claimed that this weather was not cold for him, but a bitterness was flowing down from the tallest peaks at their eastern border, and Osrath's doggish feathering did little to keep her warm.

She was thinking now, of horses and their care; of Urho, too, and his skills. Many Salsolans could ride, and it was her understanding that once before her brother had attempted to procure armor for her horse... for others too, she supposed, but it had fallen apart. They had decided together that the crazy man they'd encountered on a bison was one in the same, and though she'd fought him tooth and nail they had done only moderate damage to each other before forced to limp off and tend to their respective wounds.

Where did you learn your craft? She questioned, honestly intrigued. It was a rare skill, and Salsola was lucky to have two trained blacksmiths in their midst.

Salsola
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Lorraine
Luperci Cavalleria, Vaquera
vitriolic

POSTED: Sat Dec 05, 2015 3:06 am

Desert of snoW

He almost blushed at the idea of someone getting him a horse that could withstand his weight. "Oh, I would be very grateful if you could," he smiled. "I truly would be." Not only that, it would be amazing that such a horse could even be found around these parts. That seemed to be part of the prowess of Salsola, however. Getting even the most elusive stock from just about anywhere. A merchant would most certainly be at home here, he would think.

"Of course," he nodded. "Practicality above all is something I shoot for. Maybe I can work with someone who can sew for designs that don't hinder the material in any way." If he couldn't ride the horses, at least he could give them that in place of anything else.

There were often questions about his skills, his lineage. Many of the other members were often curious as to where he was from, his accent strange and his mannerisms even stranger. "My father's family, back across the ocean," he answered, now looking down at the woman instead of up once she dismounted her horse. "Nearly every member knew how to smith, so it was only natural that I learned too. I also got familiar with bartering and how to be a good salesman from there, too — though not from the same family members." He gave a short guffaw, readjusting his weight so he wasn't putting so much of his weight into his knees.

"Smithing from the men and salesmanship from the women — it evened out pretty well for me."

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