I will lead you through this wonderland

P. Ezra | Niobara Stables

POSTED: Sun Jan 13, 2019 8:51 pm

Braying with disdain, the donkey stretched her neck out toward the dark wolf and Thyri laughed.

"What's so funny?" he asked her, and the look she saw on his face – all furrowed brows but with the bright eyes and relaxed lips of someone trying (and failing) to be serious – suggested amusement.

"You've made someone jealous, I think," she replied, passing the brush over Baldr's woolly hide. "And it isn't me."

Merlin twisted his dark lips, though the way the corners of his lips curled upwards supported her argument that he was more amused than annoyed. Twisting his head around, he peered across the stables with his light, verdant eyes and met Maggie's dark gaze. In response, the jenny kicked her stall door with her foreleg and bent back her tall ears, as though challenging him to ignore her again. Behind him, Thyri chortled once more after a failed attempt to conceal it.

"She'll just have to wait," he decided with a sigh, looking away from the donkey again to turn his attention back upon the red roan mare he currently tended to. "Ginger deserves attention, too," he argued, picking bits of straw and hay from his mare's flaxen mane while he patted her slender neck with the flat of his palm.

Bending his neck, Baldr nibbled tenderly at the top of Thyri's wheaten head and the Dawnbringer squeezed her eyes with delight, only just managing to conceal the squeal she nearly released. "Why don't you tether her alongside Ginger?" she suggested, scratching her gelding's chin and turning toward her boyfriend. When Merlin did not immediately respond, Thyri felt encouraged to press further. "They get along just fine, don't they?"

"Sure, but..." Merlin pinched his lips together in that way he often did when he was conflicted. "I don't know, I just... I want..." He fell silent for a short time until he forced a hiss of breath out from between his lips, his frustration obvious. "They both deserve equal attention," he explained at last, turning his spring green eyes from ginger's shoulder to the Chambellan's face. His gaze was soft and warm and Thyri was reminded why she loved him so.

[WC — 375]


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Mate to Merlin Ægishjálmr: Helm of Awe
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holy branches

POSTED: Mon Jan 14, 2019 1:24 am

Fists curled on the bones of his hips as he stood akimbo. Charcoal locks were pulled haphazardly from his face, threads dangling loosely in his vision, blown up and away by a frustrated puff of air. This method wasn't working either.

Once alabaster hands were died a pitch black, crumbles of charcoal sinking in the creases of his palms up to his mid forearm. All around him were bits and pieces of things. Several quills, a well of true ink and a pestle with something rather watery in it. It looked black, but every moment he passed it over the page, it was near translucent. White it might work for lighter shades artistically, it wouldn't do for writing.

When it dried? It turned to dust and crumbled off of the page.

“Well,” His soft voice sighed as he turned his head halfway to the other room before his eyes followed,” I don't think this is it, my friend,” Tune traveled through the hill house and absorbed into the walls,” I think I'm going to have to find something else to work with. Charcoal is fantastic for writing on it's own...” Now trailed off, Arrow entered the room looking concerned for his mentor.

“N'uh this'ey?” The collie piped sheepishly from the other side of the room before moving inward, eyes on the project at Ezra's hands.

Not this,” A heavy, defeated series of nods followed his words as he agreed,” I doesn't hold as ink does, it will not last,” Clapping his hands free, sooty black spots filtered to the floor. He crooked his maw half way, knowing he'd have to clean the mess,” Blood is easier obtained and longer lasting,” A quiet chuckle left him as he moved to the newly installed, wide mouthed bucket he'd brought from the river as a wash basin. There was no use becoming frustrated. He still had a long way to go.

“He'a. I'll clean't,” Arrow beamed as he patted Ezra's shoulder,” Y'go'n prance'm hors's, kay?” The muddle speech was certainly a mess, but he'd grown more used to it, and decided that correcting Arrow right now wasn't in good judgement.

“I take your offer, graciously,” Laughing, he shook his hands free of the water, nails still littered with stains for now. He could use the moment to blow off some steam, after all, he'd been working on this project for a while now with little to show for it. A different approach, perhaps, after a little exercise of his own, might help. Bracing his hand on Arrow's shoulder and emitting a courteous,” Thank you,” he made his way out of the sunlit doorway and through the packs lands.

It wasn't a long jog, but it was enough to get his blood pumping and to get him to forget a bit of the defeat he was pent up with. When the shadow of Nobara finally hid him from the sun's rays, he slowed his pace and stretched a bit, shaking off the brief exercise in preparation for much, much more of it.

As he slipped into the stables, what did his marbled gaze find but Thyri and Merlin at task and both seeming to have a good time of it. Were it anyone else, he might not have raised his voice in such fashion, but with Thyri he certainly felt much more comfortable, as old friends always do,” Lady Thyri! Merlin, my friend! How are you!” The last they'd spent real time together, they had been out wrangling Krokar's beasts. Entirely too long to go without word, so he'd take the chance to greet them as it game, without hesitation.

Long, limber legs carried the svelte man through the stables, until he'd come near them. A hand braced Thyri's shoulder as a warm welcome and, taking a step forward, he offered his hand for a good ol' fashion shake for Merlin. He was more than willing to get to know the younger, since Thryi seemed so fond of him,” I've just came to get away a bit,” He explained his reason for having shown up, but truly, Thyri would know that a stable was practically his second home no matter where he went,” What are you both up to this fine day?”


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POSTED: Tue Jan 15, 2019 7:12 pm

For all that he had endured – from his adventures as a puppy to his misadventures as a slave, and the magnitude of everything that had happened in between – it was a miracle to the Chambellan that Merlin had made it out with his warmth and compassion solidly intact. Indeed, as she looked upon him and was reminded why she loved him, Thyri ticked off the reasons silently within her head: he was understanding, but assertive; comical, but kind; nurturing, but strong.

And maybe that was why, as he turned back to continue tending to his mare, she blurted out, "Well, that won't do when we have kids."

He froze, his thumb and forefinger pinching a length of dry, dead grass at Ginger's flaxen mane mid-pluck, and Thyri immediately that blossoming of embarrassment she felt, sometimes, when she said something aloud rather than keep it tucked, safe and sound, within the confines of her head. "If," she corrected quickly, turning her head away from Merlin before he could look at her so she could throw herself, with exaggerated gusto, into Baldr's care. "If."

An awkward silence ensued, at least for one of them for, had Thyri risked glancing away from her gelding and back into Merlin's verdant eyes, she would have seen such tenderness and endearment exuding from them that she might have had her discomposure soothed. "Kids, huh?" he commented lightly, the tone in his voice bright as his eyes hung on the sight of her pale face for a long while before, almost hesitantly, he shifted them back to Ginger. "And here I was, hoping for mateship."

With a flicker, Thyri lifted her pale jade eyes to her lover's face and found him looking back at her. They had just enough time for that before, with a flourish that was pleasantly familiar to the Chambellan, Ezra waltz into the stables and greeted them with a voice that, despite her earlier revelation and embarrassment, made her smile. She turned her head sharply and her torso followed suit, her eyes falling on Ezra's feathery figure before she dipped her head with respect. "Ezra," she greeted, still smiling. "It's great of you to join us!"

Next to her, Merlin mirrored Thyri's sign of respect and beamed at the Seigneur. "Hello, Ezra," he said with a short flick of his wrist.

As he stepped forward, Thyri turned to face him and felt her smile grow as he rested his rough hands over her shoulders, thinking – in a flash of emotion – how much she treasured her friendship with him. Turning, she watched as Merlin held out his own hand in response and reciprocated Ezra's handshake with his usual, friendly grin. Meeting her boyfriend's eyes for only a moment, Thyri looked back upon her old friend again and then gestured to the equines. "We're treating our horses to a little upkeep," she replied.

"'Upkeep?' Geez, you sound like you're talking about a wagon," Merlin commented, laughing gently when Thyri shot him a playful glare, her lips pursed tightly. "We're taking care of our hardworking steeds." From her stall, Maggie brayed and kicked at her door in protest.

"Most of them, anyway," Thyri commented with a smug smile.

Merlin sighed in a defeated sort of way. "You have more than one horse, don't you?" he asked of Ezra, glancing at him. "What do you do when you're working with one, and other one gets jealous? They deserve equal attention, don't they?"

At this, Merlin glanced meaningfully at Thyri, who gave her eyes a quick roll before passing the brush a couple times over Baldr's broad, warm shoulder, listening for Ezra's response.

[WC — 624]


Cour des Miracles
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Mate to Merlin Ægishjálmr: Helm of Awe
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trouble is a friend
holy branches

POSTED: Wed Jan 16, 2019 4:08 am

In all the years he'd known her, he could never tired of watching her face alight when he arrived. Not only that, but it gave him great life so see that Merlin was just as warm to him, showing a respect that he'd not earned, but was grateful to none the less,” Now, now, No need for that. As a matter of fact,” Ezra, after stepping back from Merlin and Thyri both, a grin on his face, he offered the wheaten woman a bow. A true courtesy that she earned in her title in the Court,” Your Grace,” A curtain of black threads piled before his eyes, but not for long. Bright marbled gaze peeked back to her, with an upward tilt of his head, his grin still present.

They passed a look between each other before Thyri chimed into answer his question. Merlin didn't miss a beat in correcting her, and Ezra couldn't help but let a hearty laugh escape him, followed by her boyfriend's adjustment,” Aye!” He balled his fist and brought it from his chest to his stomach in solidarity, teasing Thyri just a bit more until Maggie made herself known. Brows lifted as he looked back unto the stall, his face appearing like a child who'd heard their brother curse in front of their father. Thyri rapped up his expression back into a smile as she commented with a contented grin.

When Merlin inquired him directly, he folded his arms and nodded politely, listening to what the young man had in store for him,” Absolutely!” The latter question answered first and again, mirth overflowed from him in laughter,” I have found myself, many times with not enough hands to go around. All of them seem to get an itch in their whiskers at the same time,” Shrugging his shoulders, he lifted his hands up in playful defeat, though features were still charmingly warm,” Four horses is no easy task. It is knowing them that helps, however.”

Letting the curiosity of the two take them for a moment, he paced a few steps back and offered a hand gestured at Fantasy. The rotund Indigo mare made a nose and peeked out, looking from Ezra to the others and back,” Silly and timid at times, but patient,” Another few paces brought him to Magni's stall. The caramel stallion stationed there stuck his nose out wide, looking for Ezra's open hand and hoping it was somehow filled with food,” Lazy, always hungry. He works very well with a carrot dangled over his head,” Chuckling he moved on, Magni narrowing his eyes at the man for mentioning a carrot, but not providing that carrot. Oh, the humanity! Next on his list was Cresum, the spotted mare he'd traded with Shaamah for. The mare didn't even bother to look over her stall as she munched on the hay within,” Hard working certainly, a little uneasy, but doesn't give a lick for anything but this one,” Another few steps back lead him to Scottish, another spotted grade who was coming into her feathers quite well as she grew into her adult body,” If I only had one word to describe her, it would be... Spirited,” A chuckle came from him as the young philly stood up in her stall and turned a bit, landing with a thud as she walked a circle. Distracted by the sudden memory that water was there, she dipped her lips into the cold liquid and took her fill.

Without having introduced them properly, they might not really get what he was trying to convey,” You have to know what their interests are, just like a friend. Some of them just want to be first for everything. Some of them just want to help” He recalled how Scottish liked to brush her mother while he bame back to where he first stood beside them, Magni and Fantasy both watched him, for very different reasons. One hungry, the other curious,” But, if you really want to know what my secret is...?” Leaning in very closely to Merlin, and Thyri should she be so interested. Inhaling deeply, he let the dramatic reveal build tension until he finally let it slip,” They tell me what to do, more than I tell them.”

Standing at full height, his laughter came from deep within his chest, the youth having never quite left the aging man. Wiping a tear from his eye, he sniffled and shook his head,” The truth is, I simply- I just listen to them,” Settling back into his warm smile,” For instance...” Craning his head over his shoulder, Ezra called Fantasy's name gently, with a curious tone. The horse perked up bobbed her head up and down, small noises crept from her mouth as well. All the time, Ezra's eyes remained on the beautiful beast that Merlin brushed,” Alright, my friend, come on out,” He spoke back into the stalls.

Fantasy didn't waste any time and reached her lips over the stall, fiddled with the latch for a bit, and let herself out. The heavy-set, pregnant, dark pointed mark sauntered to the group as Ezra brought himself to meet Thyri this time. The mare took the opportunity to stick her face right into Bauldr's for a long awaited welcome, that was, without being attached to a cart this time,” A special one, that horse. I've worked with her long enough, and she knows me like the back of her hand," Putting his hand to his chin, he looked to Thyri, then returned to Merlin," I mean not to offend of course, but perhaps, there is something that you are not hearing?” An eye traveled back to the stall that Maggie had knocked about.

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POSTED: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:30 am

Thyri was aware of the way that Merlin had shifted his gaze to her face when Ezra offered the respectful honorific but she did not adjust her own sights to meet it. Your Grace. It was still strange to hear others utter such a title toward her, though she was gradually getting used to it. Most of her pack mates seemed to prefer referring to her by her rank, however, or by simply calling her "My Lady." But she would have expected nothing differently from her dear friend. After all, Ezra had been calling her "Lady Thyri" for as long as she could remember. This only felt like a natural progression to her now that they were both members of Cour des Miracles.

When Ezra agreed with Merlin's argument that every equine deserved equal attention, the Knight turned his head slowly to offer her a crooked, complacent smile. This was met with a gentle puff of exaggerated exasperation and the fleeting roll of her soft green eyes, though there remained an amused smile on her dark lips to show that it was all in good fun. Or, most of it was, anyway. Thyri would have preferred to be one with whom Ezra had validated, because she could still be a bit competitive despite her age and maturity, but she could not have it all and she was accepting of this.

Maggie banged on her wooden door again, releasing another bray that drew all three pairs of eyes toward her. When Thyri looked at her old friend again, there was an expression on his face that made her both curious and amused at once. She meant to ask him what it was that the jenny had said but Merlin had not caught the expression and she thought it better that her boyfriend not know. She would ask Ezra later, she decided, and returned to brushing her own sweet gelding while Ezra answered Merlin's question.

"You've got four?" Merlin gasped, shaking his head. "It's not easy task with two, let alone four." Ginger nickered and the Knight man glanced briefly her way, pushing the flat of his palm along her broad nose while he considered Ezra's suggestion that knowing each horse helped to make the task of caring for them easier. He thought that he knew his own equines well enough. But maybe there was still a great deal he could stand to learn. He had not realized, after all, just how jealous Maggie would get while he cared after Ginger.

Looking up from Baldr's solid body, Thyri watched Ezra as he identified each of his four horses in turn. When Fantasy made a sound, the medicine hat gelding lifted his dark ears and offered a gentle nicker back – a greeting from an old friend, she liked to think. Merlin watched quietly as well, thinking hard about the traits and preferences of his own pair of equines. Both of his girls were sweet-natured and hard-working, though he got the impression that Ginger was more willing to go with the flow and allow a more assertive mare to take the lead.

Maggie was like this too, for the most part, but not to the same degree. She had a stubborn streak in her sometimes, and she was less accepting of situations that she did not like. Another bray from the donkey's stall had Merlin contemplating her more carefully, his lips pursed and tilted crookedly. Like this one, right now. Maybe it was the fact that he had not taken care of her first that had elicited such a reaction. He wasn't sure why he had done it differently today, but in thinking back, he did usually get Maggie taken care of before Ginger. Was that why?

When Ezra leaned in close to the pair, Merlin glanced up at the man's marbled eyes while Thyri smiled knowingly. "Yeah?" he asked, waiting for the dog to reveal his secrets. Once it was provided, he considered it with a thoughtful gaze down the hall to Maggie's stall. "Huh." That seemed simple enough, perhaps even more so for someone who understood equine low-speech. But horses and donkeys had their own language, same as wolves and coyotes and dogs, that they displayed by the subtle cues in their eyes; ears; mouth, or by the movements of their tail; legs; neck, or by the various sounds that they could make. And Merlin thought he could understand these well enough. He just needed to listen to them better.

Both Thyri and Merlin watched as Fantasy unlatched her stall door – the action generating a hoot of laughter from Thyri and a broad smile from Merlin – and joined them. The pregnant mare wasted no time in greeting her old friend and Baldr appeared equally as delighted to have her join them. So mirthful was the Chambellan's smile as she watched the horses greet one another that her cheeks began to ache.

"No, you're right," Merlin said with a nod. "Maggie and I go back a long way, too, and she had always been the only one in my life before Ginger." With chagrin, the Knight rubbed the back of his neck. "I've never started with Ginger before," he said, glancing at Thyri and then up at Ezra to explain. "I usually take care of Maggie first, and then Ginger. Maybe that's why she's so upset."

The way he glanced down at his jenny's tall again made Thyri think that Merlin felt terrible. "Why don't you put Ginger back in her stall and bring Maggie out?" she suggested, glancing at Ezra.

"Gah, but then I'd feel bad for Ginger," he whined. "Although, she is a lot more forgiving. And if I give her a few treats..." He looked at Ezra for guidance. "Do you think that would be fair enough?"

[WC — 988]


Cour des Miracles
Chambellan
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Mandi
Mate to Merlin Ægishjálmr: Helm of Awe
S K J A L D M Æ R
trouble is a friend
holy branches

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