ardent

Freebird



Dandelion

Loner

age
4 Years
gender
Female
gems
46
size
Large species
build
Heavy
posts
8
player
Tea
09-20-2021, 03:02 AM
The sharp clatter of hooves dislodging rock echoed for a moment off the barren andscape as the gold mare made her way up a steep incline before it leveled out again. It wasn't a great place for horses, here, though she'd seen the distant equine cousins, asses, as she had traveled here. It was just so different from the northern lands she had grown up in that she had felt compelled to explore. The freedom she had gained by leaving her home herd generally seemed like a fairly abstract thing to her, until she found herself able to explore on a whim without being scolded back into the group by the herd stallion or the lead mare. She breathed in deeply now, throwing back her head to move her thick forelock out of her way as she gazed around her at the waving patterns in the rock walls, like red water frozen in time. A short way off she could see intriguing formations that she decided she wanted to see more closely, but she paused to pick out the best way there from the plateau she was on.



Taliesyn

Valhalla
Valor

Expert Fighter (165)

Intermediate Intellectual (45)

age
11 Years
gender
Male
gems
549
size
Large species
build
Medium
posts
86
player
Briena
09-20-2021, 03:12 AM (This post was last modified: 09-20-2021, 03:14 AM by Taliesyn. Edited 1 time in total. Edited 1 time in total.)

The stallion had made his way to the lands north of Valhalla, wondering if he might find interesting stones to take home for the wolves to try crafting into trade goods. He clipped lightly across the stony ground, teal gaze scanning across the walls, scanning for loose rocks as well as any danger.

There was a beauty here in the way the colors banded the walls and arches here, and he figured that, if he brought home enough rocks and pebbles the primates would be able to polish them and drill holes for cords to make some wonderful pendants.

His hooves stopped short as he heard a clatter of round hooves somewhere ahead, ears, nestled in thick mane and shaggy winter coat, flicking forward as he listened intently. It wasn’t normal for feral horses to wander alone, and he could hear no other hooves with the set he could hear.

It didn’t sound right to be the young stallion he’d met a few days past, so he called out, nickering softly, hoping to draw the other equine – if it wasn’t just a large deer, though the hooves didn’t sound right for deer – closer to see what he was dealing with. The wind wasn’t right for catching a scent, so he was in the dark until he could spot the other creature.


Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




Dandelion

Loner

age
4 Years
gender
Female
gems
46
size
Large species
build
Heavy
posts
8
player
Tea
09-20-2021, 03:54 AM
Dandelion was pulled from her planning by the faniliar sound of a stallion nickering, the sound rolling softly around the rock walls. She found herself turning to obey the summons instimctively, she was so used to being called back to her home herd when she'd strayed, but she took herself firmly in hand. No, she was part of no stallion's herd. She was free and under no obligation to respond to any demand for her presence. She snorted derisively, blowing her forelock out of her eyes, and heard the sound repeated through the rocks. There. She would just continue on to her exploration.

But her distraction meant that as she stepped out once again towards the outcropping, she had not planned how to do it safely, and the edge of the plateau crumbled beneath her hooves and she slid downwards instead of continuing on the plateau. The rain of pebbles dislodged by her hooves carried her further down and she finally gave up trying to fight them back up to the rim and turned to plunge down the incline instead. Well, she would explore down in the canyons then.

She kept her weight on her haunches, practically sitting as she made her way as carefully as she could, partly sliding, partly bounding, leaping the last few feet to the floor of the canyon with a sharp clatter of hooves and pebbles. She shook herself thoroughly, red dust thrown off her coat in a nimbus around her until she was mostly clean again. Well, that wasn't her preferred method of travel, considering she was now scraped and bruised from hock to fetlock, but the universe would do as it wished and horses could only accept that or go mad fighting it. She chuckled ruefully, then sucked in an appreciative breath at the sight of the walls she was now surrounded in. A natual stone arch, striated in shades of reds and creams in the same odd, wavy pattern as the other rocks, arced over her head as she stepped within its embrace to study it closer, unknowingly just around a bend from the very stallion who she thought she was avoiding, a quirk of the rock walls having made him sound further away.



Taliesyn

Valhalla
Valor

Expert Fighter (165)

Intermediate Intellectual (45)

age
11 Years
gender
Male
gems
549
size
Large species
build
Medium
posts
86
player
Briena
09-20-2021, 04:13 AM (This post was last modified: 09-20-2021, 04:15 AM by Taliesyn. Edited 1 time in total. Edited 1 time in total.)

A sassy snort bounced back at him, and he listened, registering the emotion of it. Definitely of the High Kind. However, the snort was followed a beat later by a sudden ruckus—a scraping, clattering sound of sudden descent, and a rueful chuckle that was surprisingly close.

It was feminine, and definitely not a wolf. Still, the tall stallion was cautious as he made his way forward, stepping lightly and craning his long neck to peer around the bend. He didn’t think the other horse – mare – was in any danger if she was laughing, so he didn’t charge in with hooves coiled and teeth bared to attack a predator that could not only hurt a fellow horse, but cause trouble with the pack he called home… family.

His lips twitched in a faint, amused smile. He could understand why his dam had loved Valhalla. Despite his species, the wolves had accepted him with open paws, and taken his intelligence in stride. He felt safe among the pack, and enjoyed spending time among them, watching their different culture and seeing Aurielle’s children grow. It still touched him with an ache, ushering memories of watching his foals, either his own or sired by stallions from bands he’d managed to steal a mare from, growing into themselves, finding their strides.

The mare he clapped eyes on was short, and very clearly of northern breeding. Fjord, he thought. Her rump's dustiness and scraped hind legs spoke of her sudden change from up high to ground level and he winced sympathetically. Those were annoying places to get hurt, especially the stinging, itching feeling of blood welling.

“Are you alright? That sounded painful.” His rumble was gentle, and he remained at a distance. For one it wasn't breeding season, and for another, he wasn't in the market for gathering a band, having a home and different rules to live by now. So he simply regarded her with his usual kind curiosity, though the rest of his tall, glowing, hairy frame was still tucked around the bend out of sight at her angle.

He was quietly glad that he’d brought one of the pouches along that contained a field kit, though the rest of the pouches slung over his withers and lashed into place around his barrel and chest were empty, for filling with pretty stones. Though most of his attention remained on the mare, his eyes did flick down to the rubble, marking that she’d actually knocked quite a few nice pieces into reach. Wangui and Isolde had gone farther afield, but he didn’t doubt either of them would be arriving soon at the sounds of possible problems.


Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




Dandelion

Loner

age
4 Years
gender
Female
gems
46
size
Large species
build
Heavy
posts
8
player
Tea
09-20-2021, 05:02 AM
Caught up in her investigation of the arch, she was taken by surprise at the voice coming further up the bend. She tossed her head and went alert, directing her gaze that direction... and blinked. It seemed that these lands were much, much different from her homeland after all. The horse - or rather, horse head, as the rest of him was still around the bend - was white which while rare in her land wasn't unheard of. That wasn't what threw her off her mental stride though, but rather the pale, seashell-esque horn the stallion bore, and just as shocking, the fact that he glowed. If it weren't for the obvious horse-scent that proclaimed him to, in fact, be a horse stallion, she'd have wondered if he was even a horse at all or some similar species like an onager but horned. The glowing, though, that was something she'd never seen on any mammal species.

She cleared her mind with a shake of her thick mane. Right. Horses here were strange, she could get over that. "No worries. I've had worse scrapes than this. I let myself get distracted, so of course I got hurt." She shrugged. "It is worth it to see such an unusual place, and I learned to watch my footing better on this particular terrain, so it is fine. Do you live here?" She had not seen nor smelled water since she'd made her way into the rocks so she doubted anyone lived here, but she was wary of having possibly run into a herd's loosely defined home range. Having a newfound freedom, she wasn't keen on having a stallion force her into a band because she'd come too close. She wasn't much interested in fighting, but she'd put teeth and hoof to that white hide if he even considered trying to claim her. Forcing hersd to appear fairly relaxed, she nevertheless stood with forelegs slightly splayed head raised, as she peered through her forelock at the stranger.



Taliesyn

Valhalla
Valor

Expert Fighter (165)

Intermediate Intellectual (45)

age
11 Years
gender
Male
gems
549
size
Large species
build
Medium
posts
86
player
Briena
09-20-2021, 05:23 AM (This post was last modified: 09-20-2021, 05:26 AM by Taliesyn. Edited 2 times in total. Edited 2 times in total.)

The mare heard him and turned, and he recognized the doubletake. The trailing of her eyes over the proud, sharp-tipped spire sprouting from his brow, over the coat that glowed. To her credit, she gathered herself quickly to respond and he chuckled softly, muzzle dipping in a brief nod at her self-assessments.

A brow lifted at the abrupt question, but he took it in stride, head tipping as he noted her stance, and altered his own, stepping fully into sight, but leaving the avenue wide open for her to leave if she wished and letting himself relax hipshot, a hind hoof resting as he half nodded.

“In a manner of speaking. I live in the plains and the moorland south of these rocks. And you need not worry, I’m not gathering mares.” Not unless they wanted brought in, and she was clearly not receptive in the subtle ways of the horse. His assurance was tinged with amusement, but no mockery.

A flutter of wings above heralded Isolde as the hawk dropped from the sky to his back, large eyes flicking about the area for danger before she preened her curved beak through the thick, glowing mane. Wangui dropped from the ridge above to the stallion’s rump and he turned his great head to regard the two creatures with a large eye before turning back to the mare, nodding to each creature in turn as he introduced them to her.

“I am Taliesyn, this is Isolde, and that is Wangui. If you like, we can clean and treat those scrapes. Having friends with nimble hands has its uses.”

The lemur feigned indignation, but patted his rump as she walked along his back to his withers, digging through the pouches for the kit, one large eye peering around the stallion’s muscular neck at the mare for her response.


Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




Dandelion

Loner

age
4 Years
gender
Female
gems
46
size
Large species
build
Heavy
posts
8
player
Tea
09-20-2021, 05:55 AM
"You wouldn't get this mare even if you were looking," Dandy said sharply, pinning her ears and baring her teeth for a moment, stamping a hoof in punctuation. But her point made, she made no further threats, relaxing further from her wary stance. The familiar sight of a primate companion perched on his - much taller - back made her smile. She'd not brought any companions of her own when she had left her homeland... they were needed to care for the bands there, not be wasted on a mare who insisted on leaving the safety of the home range alone, so it had been some time since she had seen the like. Maybe, if the custom was the same here as in her northern home range, she could find companions here to act as her hands. It would be nice to have someone to help with grooming. She wasn't a vain mare by any means but a nice clip would keep her mane out of her eyes...

His offer of medical assistance brought the scrapes and bruises to mind, and she couldn't help but shift uncomfortably despite her earlier declaimer. "If it wouldn't be too much trouble," she said directly to the lemur, bobbing her head to her in greeting, "it would be greatly appreciated."

She took a beat to study the much larger stallion now that he had stepped out, and couldn't help but shake her head. His height made him seem almost moose-like to her, used as she was to horses nearer the size of large ponies. Oh, there had been horses other than Fjords in the home territory a time or two, but the genes they and their offspring passed on had been long ago buried by the far greater number of Fjords in the bloodlines, and it was rare to see those traits surface for long, so she had never seen a horse so tall. Rather than making her feel small and insignificant, though, for she wasn't a mare to be rattled so, she viewed it as another anomoly like his horn and glowing to be at turns studied and amused by. So strange! Were all the horses here so unusual?

"My name is Dandelion," she offered to him in return after a long moment. "This continent is new to me. I admit I did not expect the... unusual sights here." Unusual geography, unusual horses. It was far different than she'd expected with her own limited experience.



Taliesyn

Valhalla
Valor

Expert Fighter (165)

Intermediate Intellectual (45)

age
11 Years
gender
Male
gems
549
size
Large species
build
Medium
posts
86
player
Briena
09-20-2021, 06:14 AM (This post was last modified: 09-20-2021, 06:16 AM by Taliesyn. Edited 1 time in total. Edited 1 time in total.)

The stallion’s teal eyes twinkled in unoffended amusement at the mare’s tart statement. “I gather only the willing, Lady, rest your worries.”

She seemed pleased at the sight of Wangui, which suggested she came from a place where such companions were common, though if her lands matched her breed’s native environment, he hoped those primates dressed warmly. Wangui hated the cold, having been born in Madagascar and been there her entire life before the storm that swept her out to the mercy of the ocean. She gamely endured the cold seasons for the stallion that had taken her in, but she did so with much dour shivering and huddled hiding under pelts.

The mare was accepting of his offer of assistance, and the lemur dropped from his back with the kit in hand, tripoding her way to the mare’s back hooves and setting to work, cleaning the wounds with cloths soaked in a cleansing solution that probably stung—no, actually, Taliesyn knew it stung, having had the same stuff applied to his wounds after the raid.

The lemur finished off with slathering an ointment over the wounds, judging that they’d heal just fine without any bandaging. The stallion lowered his great head, nose brushing the stony ground as Wangui made her way back, letting the lemur haul herself up with the kit and climb her way up his head and crest to his withers to tuck the kit away again.

Taliesyn raised his head and nodded to the mare, both at her introduction and to her assessment of the lands. “These are the Redwater Rocks. The Plains south of here are Vericona Plains, and the Moorland directly east of them is known as the Druid’s Moor. Wolves dominate the continent. I’ve only met three other horses of our kind directly since coming here myself, sadly.”

His lips twitched in a faint smile, both sad and accepting. Since the possibilities with Kamilah had fallen through, and probably been a false hope regardless, he accepted that his last band, lost in the landslide, would be the final band he ever led. At least if it was horses. It wasn’t common for two stallions to lead a very limited number of mares, and he was content in his home with Valhalla.

“What brought you here, if you don’t mind me asking.”

He shifted forward, nudging through the rubble she’d scattered, nosing out stones that looked like they’d make good beads and pendants, though he made it clear he was paying attention to her response, an ear angled toward her as Wangui dropped back to the ground and helped sift through the rocks.


Walk ---- "Speak" ---- "Hear" ---- Think




Dandelion

Loner

age
4 Years
gender
Female
gems
46
size
Large species
build
Heavy
posts
8
player
Tea
09-20-2021, 03:48 PM
Dandelion stood docilely as the unfamiliar primate scampered up to her hindquarters to inspect the scrapes. She was hardpressed not to kick back out of instinct at the sudden sting of antiseptic, but she had learned early in life to control that instinct so as to not injure wellmeaning companions, so she simply twitched and pawed with one of her forelegs to dispel the need.

Injuries seen to, the companion returned to Taliesyn and climbed deftly back to his back. Dandelion shook herself violently and sighed in relief as the discomfort faded. The stallion was describing the lands south of them and she made sure to pay attention, as it was her intention to explore all of the lands on this continent eventually so she would do well to know more about the layout. "Wolves dominate here?" she asked with some amusement. "I suppose they always have been more numerous than the bears and pumas, and dominant to the coyotes and foxes. I am just surprised that another primate hasn't taken up where the humans left off."

He asked her what brought her there, and she paused. "Here, as in the rocks, or here, as in this continent?"