Show me Your Colors

Val

POSTED: Mon Jul 02, 2018 12:43 am

Grand Lake's vista was not far from Ezra's camp for the night. Three miles south from it's shore was Vinatta's old Marsh Valley Livery. This place had everything Ezra new he needed as far as space, and it only took a few hours of cleaning up and setting the fencing correctly to make sure he had a solid corral to test out his latest procurement. He took the shortcut to the livery and he hopped the fence in one fluid motion. It was only a short jog into the shade of the roofed stable and finally inside, he headed down the stalls. Fantasy was there, in her old stall, happy as a clam and more comfortable than he'd seen her in months. The caramel draft was just beside her and their heads craned over their stalls while they pestered one another. A smile beamed on Ezra's features as he passed them with a pet and onto the stall in which his new charge was.

It took all his paper stores, and a few other things in fact, to grab this beauty of a horse from a man who didn't know what he had. The second he'd seen the gelding, he inquired of it. His previous owner had stated his daughter had passed, of what coarse Ezra didn't ask, and her horse was more work than it was worth to keep it. It must have adhered to the man's better judgement, with Ezra's horse-speech skills and other two animals, because he surely would have given that horse to anyone who would have taken it if the animal hadn't meant so much to his daughter. Now, Ezra could fetch a fancy price with this to the right person, but he needed to make sure the horse could work as he was said to work. The rich browns and whites of it's coat gleamed with sweat as the dirt slid from it's back to it's legs. Once they were done working, he would wash the horse up, but as far as setting goes, the gelding was built well.

Releasing the stall lock, he entered with careful motions. The gelding so far had shone to be a sturdy horse on the trip here from Amherst, following well if not a smidge lazy about it. His gate, so far, hadn't shown to be that of any remarkable sort, but he held it smoothly enough. Lacing the gelding's face with a lead, he directed the hooved beast from his temporary home and led it down the livery mile and to the corral. The other drafts were a little bit too large for him to share the saddle that worked between them, so he'd have to bareback it for now.

Finally at the corral, he latched the fence up and removed the lead. He'd be working the horse completely free, which was dangerous, but if Ezra had anything to say about it, the gelding wouldn't have to worry about anything,” Alright, my friend. Show me how you move with something on your back,” He grinned and moved his legs, a gentle nudge of his heel to coax the tired beast into light work. It took nothing at all. He was delighted.
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Luperci Jordheim

POSTED: Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:51 pm

like amateurs in love's charade

The elfen femme trudged along, feeling much like a pack horse herself. It had taken her some time to gather up the nerve to leave Mistfell Vale, fearing the moment she set paw outside of the safety of the pack lands someone from the Tulaq Tribe would come gobble her up like one of her fabled monsters, but somehow she managed to finally convince herself that if her people had followed herself and Theo this far, then she would have heard about them asking around for her by now. Her people were not known for their subtlety, and would likely expect to walk right up to a pack's borders and try to bargain for her back. If they had come for her, she would have known by now.

It was this fact, plus her growing archery skill, that gave her the courage to go out on the foraging mission – a mission which now led her across this stunning scene. With her back laden with a large backpack, and another supple leather satchel slung over her shoulder, she took a detour from her gathering to search for water... and that was when she heard the beating hooves.

Just a little peek, she told herself as she changed course and padded toward the sounds, for they were different from those that would come of someone simply riding by. It sounded more like drills, or exercise. It wasn't long before she emerged on the scene, eyes peering at a monochromatic Luperci exercising a gorgeous specimen.

Perhaps she should have been more subtle, but she was road-weary and her shoulders screamed from cramping, so she padded right up to the fence of the paddock and leaned on her elbows against the posts.

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POSTED: Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:50 pm

“Good, good!” Ezra praised the animal as he obeyed diligently, despite his sleepy gait from the long walk here. A little coaxing and the beast was at a canter, then a trot, and eventually, the animal had himself a lazy gallop going, nostrils flaring and chest heaving. Bringing the beast to a halt, he ran his fingers down the strong neck,” Fantastic,” The dogman whispered in surprise. With a curious grin, Ezra leaned back and urged the horse in an unnatural direction. The gelding's feet fumbled about for a moment before he finally got the message. Slow, steady steps were taken back, the gelding not entirely comfortable with the motion, but very able and almost willing,” What a treat you are, my friend!”

Finally finished with what the horse could do, it was time to make sure he was completely broken. Now for a small walk out of the corral and to find some lower items the beast might hop over. Just as he turned the gelding about, the brilliant red of a cloak met him at the fence,”Oh! I beg my pardon!” He laughed a bit as the horse interested himself in the ground and anything there that might be worth eating,” I didn't see you there!”

A little persuasion brought the horse to a slow walk, meeting the edge of the fence. The horse wasn't thoroughly interested in the woman, but more the grass that snaked it's way in from the surrounding area,” My name is Ezra Vahn,” He spoke warmly, taking a whiff in. Mistfell Vale. The pack was one of his stops on his last venture,” Might I be able to help you with something, my friend?” Pleasant and pure, the merchant chuckled. He hadn't expected a visitor today, but this was a great opportunity to see how the gelding worked with a stranger around. Surely Amherst was plenty of crowd to ensure the horse just about bombproof, but he wanted to cover all of his bases before he offered sale of the beast.
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POSTED: Wed Jul 18, 2018 3:25 pm

like amateurs in love's charade

The horse and rider were so engrossed in their exercises that it was some time before she had been noticed, standing there like an eager pup peering at a sideshow. That creature... the beauty of its movements, its willingness to obey and to learn... there was something glorious about it. There were plenty in the Vale who rode horses, but Valeria's people did not, and so she did not understand the spiritual symbiosis that could grow between horse and master. The way this man moved so fluidly with his horse... it was a thing of beauty.

But now she had been seen, so now it was time to be embarrassed about gawking. But she couldn't be, she wasn't. It had been an enrapturing show and nobody could have been expect to just trample on by and ignore it. She gave the monochrome stranger a warm smile, chuckling softly at herself. Sorry, I guess I'm nosy today, she began. I'm Valeria Redpaw of the Vale. I was just passing through and feeling a bit tired, so I decided to watch the show. Adjusting herself, she plucked the satchel off of her neck and slid the backpack off her shoulders; both met the ground with a heaviness that told of whatever it was she had secreted away inside. She rolled her shoulders – what a relief.

Your creature is absolutely stunning, she breathed, nodding at the animal. It's like he was made for you. You two must have been together for a long time. It was an erroneous assumption – she did not understand the effects of a good trainer on a good horse. I never had the pleasure of knowing such a relationship. My people... they thought it was perverse, she said, wondering why she was spewing this to a stranger, who could care less. They thought that it would promote feelings between wolf and prey, that our hunters would no longer be able to do their jobs because they would begin to think of all prey animals with the same reverence and majesty that these beasts deserve. Her eyes were trained on the dark, silky sheen of the horse's flank. Perhaps her former leaders had been correct.

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POSTED: Mon Jul 23, 2018 7:01 pm

The wonder in her eyes changed as she had been caught watching, thought her features melted into a friendly beam and bubbled mirth. With her apology, Ezra couldn't help but laugh alongside her, his brows lifting with surprise and delight as she spoke the Vale as her claim. He dipped his muzzle politely at her introduction and followed suit with a palm on his chest,” Ezra Vahn. It's a delight to meet you, Lady Valeria Redpaw,” He was as cheery as a spring day for the unexpected visitor, hoping to make her feel more welcome, but when her packs met the earth, he couldn't veil his surprise,“ You've been carrying quite a lot, Lady Valeria. May I ask, what could possibly be the occasion?” Certainly, it wasn't his place to pry, but with that much weight on her back, it surely must be something of great importance, likely to the Vale. He wondered if she might need an escort and a cart to ease her bones.

Her words on the horse beneath him were charming enough and she seemed lost in the beauty of the beast. The grin that painted Ezra features couldn't help but widen,” He is, is he not? A remarkable, patient horse,” The jovial tune broke with another laugh, and her assumption came to him as a great compliment,” Oh, my no, but I thank you for your kind words. His owner didn't know what he was worth, so we bartered and struck a deal. I've just brought him from the Market and was seeing how he fared under saddle. The one that owned him must have shown him great affection. He'd be the perfect mount for even a beginner. He is a dream to work with so far, and a joy to talk to,” He'd forgotten how crazy that might make him sound to those that didn't know much about low speech when it came to horses.

“A shame, that,” The edges of his lips turned down as she explained her family's believe system when it came to equines, or any sort of pet, it seemed. While Ezra was no stranger to souls that thought owning prey was simply food on the go, he'd not heard that the boundary between hunter and prey graying,” Though, I wouldn't have one argument to their reference and majesty, I can say that a wild horse and a pet horse are a different breed,” A warm smile graced his features again as he put one finger toward the bag's she left to the earth,” But one can carry quite a bit more than you. Crucial for me, a merchant.”
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POSTED: Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:05 am

like amateurs in love's charade

Oh, I'm just doing a little light scavenging, she replied casually, the 'light' part obviously being a joke. I'm growing flax back at home. It's maybe six weeks or so til harvest time and I'm really... unprepared... both for harvest and then for processing and weaving. She winced as she admitted it out loud. It hurt to admit, but these kinds of tools were in very short supply. It was entirely likely that she wouldn't even be able to drum up the tools until well after harvest – which, to an extent, was ok, because the plant had to have time to dry out before it could be stripped and soaked (it was a rather contrary business).

Their snaking conversation found its way back around to the horse, and the fae gasped when he'd said her instruction was wrong. Valeria cocked her head. So, this was a horse he had just traded for? They worked together like they had been mount and master all their lives. Her eyes narrowed at the possibilities. Well, quite the ideal beast he is, then, she said, admiringly. She couldn't help but draw parallels with her own work, and how much an obedient horse would ease things for her. So much more would be possible.

The merchant expertly shifted the atmosphere of the topic, gently easing out a subliminal message which made a bee-line for the thoughts Valeria was already forming. It's true, she nodded, looking thoughtful. It could help me exponentially... and make scavenging missions go by faster. With a horse to carry myself and supplies there's no doubt that I would be away for less time... or would at least be more productive... Yes, just the same as the way the horses helped Ezra so much... aside from bringing in much needed revenue.

Valeria drew inward for a second, ruminating on the prospect of becoming a horse owner. She knew nothing about the creatures, but surely someone in her pack would teach her. You say he'd be good for a beginner? So, just curious, she affected an air of nonchalance. What kind of trade does a beast like him fetch you? Surely she could not pull together enough to buy the beast.... could she?

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POSTED: Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:01 pm

Her light hearted jest was taken with a grin as the banter between them was both myrthful, and friendly, but there came a spark as the word flax left her lips. Ezra, being the tailor to himself that he was, desperately needed something to replace the white, linen shirt that was becoming something of an artifact as it hang from his shoulders. It was dirty, well worn, and didn't make him look much the part of a merchant of the quality of his paper trade. He'd have to replace it soon, and flax? Well flax was a perfect material for the job. Already the merchant was running through the mills of what he could get for the horse, should she shoulder the idea. Yet, flax alone wouldn't be enough, and it would still be a while off until she could harvest and make it into something, a textile, he could use.

At the very same time, Ezra had the tools she needed to process such textile and it would certainly do her more good than he. Not to mention he had all the time in the world to make new ones while he waited for her crop to become less burden and more profit. He mulled over the pieces his could afford to lose, and it came simply down to, all of them. From the break, to the ripple, to the comb, he could make it all with wood he found, especially since summer was here to do all the drying for him. The horse beneath him, having eaten all the grass, suddenly realized that Valeria was certainly there. The question of treats came to his equine mind as he craned his neck over the fence to nose at her.

“Indeed. Not only that,” A merchants words sold his product, even before she knew if she might want it or now,” Horses are simple beasts, really. Treat them kind, feed them and give them your affection, and they will work for you. Some faster than others,” He laughed as the horse didn't waste any time in digging around her for something that even smelled like food. It seemed the gelding was either taking a liking to her, or really didn't mind a stranger at all, either way, great selling points.

“How much, you ask?” He pondered a bit. Well, a lot, certainly, but how could he work this in his favor,” I would suppose that topic might be discussed better if one knew what was being offered in trade?” He spoke amiably of her, but rather than digress atop the horse, he slid down the side of the beast on a dismount and gathered the reigns in his hand, guiding the side of the horse to the fence for an easy mount should she be inclined,” Would you care to try? If you are not sure how to ride, I can give you a short introduction?”

As she chose whether or not she was willing to take the chance, Ezra's grin hadn't faded and it's warmth hadn't grown cold,” Though, you say you work flaxen, correct? Well a good bit of it, plus a few other things would sweeten the deal. I'm in need of a few things, myself. A bow, some finer arrows. Meats, of course. Making my wares doesn't give time for much hunting. I've also a few sparingly used tools perfect for the task of processing flax that I could let go, if you are interested?” He spoke on to fill the order of her question, letting her know exactly what he had on the table and what he needed out of them. The bow would make for less meat trade later, and if he could get all the items save the flaxen from her, then he would be better off still. Even so, should she not provide, he wasn't not a stranger to reclaiming a horse. Despite his friendly nature, more often than not, the ball was in his field if he was willing to talk trade.
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