July 4, 2018, 8 p.m.
Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Gray Forest Outskirts
Comments and Log
Reedy, a King's Own aide, Rosie, the red roan war horse arrive, following Corban.
Barric, Cora and Melody arrive together, "Long hair gets in the way. If I grew it out it would be more trouble than it was worth to try and keep. Besides, I thought you liked short hair." she says to Barric, Melody gets a gring, "See, she likes it!"
Alaric rides in on Thunder, his white destrier. Is Thunder a race horse? Probably not! Is this going to dissaude them from having a go? Also probably not!
Also Cora brings Nibbles McPita with her, her own warhorse, who looks ready to dance he is so excited oh boy oh boy oh boy@
Isabetta arrives in a hurry, looking winded. "I didn't." Huff. "Miss" huff huff. " The race.. yet .. did?" She looks back and is infuriated that despite her head start, she only manages to get there a little before Coraline and Melody and Barric. "Gods." she mutters, "I am slow." Her shoulders hang and she pouts a bit, then after catching her breath says, "Time to make some wagers."
Waldemai hikes down from the city, looking for a race, and maybe some betting action as well. "Who's the favorite?" he asks. "Who's second favorite?"
Sir Corban Telmar, of the King's Own, is not in his trademark armor. On the other hand, he seems to be riding rather close to Alaric on Rosie, his red roan war horse. Is he here to make sure Alaric does not kill himself? POSSIBLY!
"I like you." Barric tells Coraline when they arrive, "Long hair or short, I'd still like your hair. As to what I prefer well... I do like long hair." He admits with a little shrug, "But it's not worth making an issue out of it." He has brought his own warhorse as well, the stallion Windborne. He smiles wryly at Coraline. "Braids, pony tails, various styles. Long hair is just more versatile." He then leans over to murmur something quietly to Coraline as well as they lead their horses down towards the starting line.
Lottie seemed unpreturbed with the interruption of Phillipe, simply smiling as the two men talked. As Caspian mentioned the theme of the ball a sparkleglass lantern came alight in her head. "OH! I'm doing cupcakes for that!"
Confessor Imori, Confessor Warren, 5 Armed Confessors, Kicky, a dappled hinny arrive, following Tikva.
Alaric glances aside at Corban. "It's all right if you ride all out, you know," he notes low-key impishly.
6 House Velenosa Guards, Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting arrive, following Jaenelle.
Melody has no horse in this race. . . So, aftering following Isabetta, Coraline, and Barric to the Gray Forest Outskirts, she'd move off to the side and find a nice place to get settled. Lifting her shoulders to her ears in a shrug at Waldemai's comment, she complained, "I wish I knew! Now I have no idea who to bet on."
"Hm? Yes. Of course, Your Majesty. I certainly will. But since I was coming anyway --" The newest Knight Lieutenant, Corban, was nominated to do that thing where you jump over and grab the reins if the horse gets away or something. Alaric certainly understands.
Philippe standing by his horse, speaking to Caspian and Lottie. His back seems turn to them as he adjusts the riding saddle on his mount. Turning around to face Caspian, the old man studies him. His facial expression the same frozen stern look he always carries.
Waldemai tells Melody, "Well, once the starters are declared, maybe then we'll be able to get some silver down." He looks over the horses with an untrained eye, knowing only that a horse is a horse, of course, of course.
@emit Whatever Barric says quietly to Cora has her blushing, but she huffs, "But it takes work to keep up. However the upside is I could wear hairbeads, the downside is it takes effort. I can wear the beads on my belt too. So, short hair is just less work. However, you give me a really good reason to grow it out, and I will do, until it irritates me again." She grins at Barric then pats her overly excited horse.
Caspian is currently standing by the bonfire with Lottie, chatting away, though when he spies a bunch of people coming he gives them a grin. "Thankfully it seems we will have some racers!" He says with a wide smile given to the group, then steps forth from around the bonfire. "Welcome! Welcome! This is just some random event I decided I want to hold, because you don't see a lot of horse races! If you are participating, please come to me and give me your name and go over to the track. We'll start once everyone is ready. Feel free to place bets."
Sparte has been riding a young mare he still very spirited and curious. She has slowed frequently to look at this or that on the route to the gathering place, and finally has meandered her way towards the others with the gentle direction of Sparte. He smiles brightly at Caspian, not bothering to dismount. "Sounds like I made it just in time."
Isabetta goes over to bug Lottie briefly, "Miss Lottie. You are quickly becoming my very favorite person in the Compact. I mean, mostly it is the treats you bake, but that's not meant to be an insult. I was wondering if you do mint cocoa and more importantly if you brought refreshments for this?" She looks awfully hopeful at the tart queen.
Tikva has her bow and quiver with her even though they are not traditional horseracing accoutrements. Of course, the dappled hinny she's riding doesn't look like a racehorse, either. Kicky is snuffling thoughtfully at the bark of a tree near the root, like she thinks it's something tasty to eat. The tail swishes. "Who all is riding?" she calls as she eases her mount away from the tree and sidles the pair of them towards the track. "Is this going to look silly or what?"
Lottie's smile brightened on Isabetta's approach. "Oh, Lady Isabetta! I sure can make mint cocoa. Just takes a little finesse with a pestle and some extra care of infusing the flavor into the chocolate. As for refreshments? Nah. I just came out to toss a little coin around and get out of the shop. I /do/ have some honeyed figs on me, though!" She pulled a little paper parcel from her pocket, tugging back the folds to reveal a bounty of the treated fruit and offering one to the Gilden woman.
Jaenelle is here to cheer on the riders while also supporting her protege! Both very important jobs. Those she knows and passes on her way towards the seating get a dip of her head and smile in greeting, though she doesnt stop at any particular person to chat with just yet.
Ven's not here to ride himself, today, instead wandering over toward the bonfire to have a seat and watch the riders and horses with a curious eye. "Quite a selection of horses; I wonder where they all came from."
Barric heads down towards Caspian with Coraline, having a quiet conversation with her on the way that ends up with her sighing at him and him grinning at her. Ah. It should be a good race. "We'll be racing Master Wild." He gestures towards himself and Coraline, "Is this just for bragging rights?" He asks, "Or is there a prize involved?"
Alaric directs his destrier up to Caspian at a casual equine saunter. "Greetings, Grandmaster Caspian! Thunder and I would be happy to join this little racing exhibition of yours today as well, if you don't mind!" he declares cheerfully.
Philippe does just as Caspian asked and introduced himself, "Philippe Blanchard." He says before gathering him and his horse, and walking to the track.
Hearing Tikva, Cora waves granted she is on the ground next to her horse and not on it, still she waves all the same. Barric's apparently enjoyment of what has her sighing, makes her sigh all over again then she moves to mount Nibbles, "This will certainly be entertaining."
Corban stops over at Caspian and puts in his name, raising his hand to Tikva as he draws Rosie to the starting line. His giant tower buddy. And then there is Coraline. "Dame Coraline!" Oh. "And Count Philippe!" He waves to the indirect Telmar vassal.
Sparte raises his hand, a bit of his confidence flagging when he sees the crowd. A quick swallow and a nervous smile. "Sparte Fatchforth." Then he rides over to get into line with the others who are racing today.
Isabetta looks shocked and accepts one before telling Lottie, "You are truly a magical woman," She tastes it before looking up to see Alaric near, seeing as Lottie is near Caspian and Caspian is whom Alaric just came over to. She turns totally silent and clamed up. Like it's Alaric! She swallows and tells Lottie in a lower voice, "I'll visit you at your shop later, I have a bet or two to place." She dips a polite curtsey toward the King, probably hoping to be unnoticed before she heads over to Prince Barric. "Prince Barric, lets make a wager shall we?"
"Bragging rights, but if you really want to win something, put a bet on yourself!" Caspian calls out to Barric with a grin his way. He gives a grin to Alaric and nods, saying, "Glad to have you, your highness." As the group begins to set up at the track he calls out to them, "This race will be five laps! First to finish five laps wins! No dirty tricks. No prizes. Just bragging rights as the fastest rider in Arx. Is that everyone? Any other last minute volenteers?"
Carita's arrival is as quiet as the snow is falling, her arm lifts as she waves -- though to whom might not be entirely evident at first. She makes her way towards the non-racing people, her smile warm for those that notice her.
One foot in the stirrup, and then Barric hauls himself up onto the back of his warhorse like he's ridden before. Which is certainly a good thing given that this is a horse race. From his now mounted vantage point he looks over at Tikva and Alaric, "Cousins." He calls out to them with a wave and then smiles wryly at Coraline, "Don't have to if you don't want to." He tells her with a bit of a shrug before his attention is drawn towards others. Corban gets a bit of a frown before his attention is drawn towards Isabetta, "What sort of wager?" He asks the woman as he gets both booted feet into the stirrups and comfortable.
Philippe hops on the saddle of his short horse and as he settles in on the seat, he catches his name being called out. He glances over to Sir Coban, offering the Telmar knight a respectful bow of his head. Philippe turns away to lead his horse to the starting line.
"Sure, I wouldn't mind putting down some silver." Melody tells aside to Waldemai as she gathers her coinpurse in anticipation, though she does pause briefly as she spots Lottie sharing a few snacks. So, naturally, she's moving over to the confectioner and, with a sheepish smile, asking, "I don't suppose you brought extra?" At the sight of Carita, the prodigal would beckon her over. "Come here to place a bet or just spectate?"
"Sir Corban, a pleasure to see you and race you today it seems." Cora calls cheerfully, Alaric gets a bow, "Majesty, pleasure to see you as well." Barric gets a grin, "Oh no, now it sounds like a challenge. It will be interesting to see the responses."
Tikva's particularly ornery beast is giving some of the other, larger animals an eyeball. Tikva keeps a tight hold on the reins to ensure that Kicky knows who is boss in this situation. She seems prancey, snorting and flicking her tail. That's the hinny, not the princess, who has no tail. "It seems House Grayson has a fair chance of making very good showing here today," she says with a bright laugh. "I sincerely hope Sir Corban will not have to interrupt his race to rescue me from anything."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Carita before departing.
"Alright, seems we got everyone who wants to race. Gonna count to one, and when I say go, go! Remember, five laps!" Caspian calls out to the racers as he heads to the starting line. "Everyone ready?" He asks those on the horses.
Lottie nodded to Isabetta, folding the figs back into their little pouch only to halt on Melody's question. "Oh, sure! Have as many as you like. They're nice an' chewy." And she offered out the array of honeyed figs to the woman. When the king came into sight the little baker dipped into a low curtsy, but otherwise stayed quiet and pulled her coat tightly around her. With a few paces back her rump was soon warming by the bonfire, though that meant the figs had backed up with her!
Alaric guides his horse over to the starting point. "Best of luck racing, everyone," he declares sociably to those already gathered. "I expect we'll have quite a lot of fun in this little competition!"
Philippe looks down the line momentarily, nodding and silently agreeing with Alaric.
Getting into position, Cora keeps a solid grip on Nibbles, he is FAR too excited by all the excitement.
"Especially if I don't need to rescue any Graysons!" declares Sir Corban, looking from Alaric to Tikva. And then from Tikva and back to Alaric. But that said, he grips Rosie's reins. "First race, girl. Let's see if Lady Fianna was right about you."
Waldemai pats his pouch and tells Melody, "I've a few extra...What do you think of Prince Barric's chances?"
Barric nods to Isabetta in agreement about something but then turns his attention over towards Caspian. He guides his steed over towards the starting line and takes firm hold of the reins. "I wouldn't bet on me!" He calls out, "If I were me!"
Isabetta steps away from Barric over toward Melody, looking rather amused and says to the woman, "So Mel, care to make a wager with me? I'll let you name the stakes, but I am going to wager that.. hmm.. The king beats everyone else."
"Alright then..." Caspian grins, and holds up five fingers.
Caspian says, "Five!""
Caspian says, "Four!" A finger curls"
Caspian says, "Three!""
Caspian says, "Two!""
Caspian says, "One! GOOOOO!""
Philippe checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.
Tikva checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 48 higher.
Corban checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.
Alaric checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 3 lower.
Coraline checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.
Barric checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.
Sparte pats Hyberbole on her neck, urging her gently. "Run, girl. Fast as you can."
Sparte has rolled a critical success!
Sparte checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 65 higher.
With a smile and quiet whisper of thanks to Lottie, Melody gathered a fig and brought it to her lips. She'd give a pause at Waldemai's question, canting her head towards the smith as her dark eyes studied the horse. "Mmm... Looks pretty good. But if you really wanna win?" She'd gesture out with her fig-holding hand towards Tikva. "Bet on that one." Lashes swept up and she turned to Isabetta and she went on to add, "Is it rude to bet against the king? Or is it --" Oh, everyone's off.
Isabetta is watching the race and starts to pale a little before saying quickly, "I'm sure he'll make up ground. She bites her lower lip, looking like she wishes she didn't make that bet after all.
Tikva breaks readily at the start, and the surefooted hinny bounds forward, a prance and near-leap to her first steps before she steadies into an easier gait. "Hyah," Tikva says, and leans into the saddle, urging Kicky onwards. "Okay girl, let's go..."
Carita's attention is distractedly on the racers until Melody's voice brings her attention around, "Mistress Melody," is accompanied by a smile, "I'm merely a spectator today, lending my support to friends." She glances out at the race as it begins, distractedly asking, "Did you bet on anyone?"
Waldemai doesn't get a chance to get a bet down before the race starts. "Bah. Next time I'll get here earlier." Still there's a race to watch, and Sparte dashes out to a quick lead. "Who'd a thunk that?"
Nibbles is excited, sooooo excited woooo excited! So on Go Cora lets him go. And go he does! Going at a good clip, of course then Hyperbole zooms past and Cora and Nibbles both are coughing at the dust as they struggle to keep up.
There's a reason why Barric said to not bet on him, mainly because it's been a while since he's been in the saddle it seems. He gets off to a late start at the 'Go' shout and though Windborne tears up turf in his attempt to catch up he is clearly not going to win this race unless his horse really has legs on it for the later portions of the race. He gently thumps with his knees on the horses ribcage, "C'mon Wind." He says into the horse's ear, leaning forwards to try and not race with a straight spine or the like. Fortunately, Coraline gets the lions share of the dust, proving to be quite the nice dust break as he rides beside her but, she is definitely in the lead!
Alaric kicks Thunder into motion. "We ride!" he declares authoritatively. Thunder rears up and decides, naturally, that being a combat destrier we ride to go trample some infantry and instead of charging down the course starts they start to head with alarming speed towards some of the spectators. "Thunder! This is a -race-!" he declares with regal composure and a little extra volume, pulling hard on the reins and standing a bit in the saddle to get his horse going the right way at the end of the pack.
Philippe snaps into a charge that puts him right behind another rider with a long lead against the others. He struggles to get pass the one in front of him, keeping a steady chase around the tracks.
Ohhh, dear. Corban was afraid this might happen. So although he was released to go charging down the straight-away, the knight of the King's Own yanks his reins, pulling Rosie to a slow. "You okay, Your Majesty!" he calls out, in the forced calm of someone who is totally sure this is going just fine.
When Hyberbole takes off, Sparte wasn't really expecting her to take off. Not like that. He nearly gets left behind, sliding back to the very edge of his saddle. Any attempt to look like he meant to do that was a lost cause, so he just goes with it. Leaning waaaay forward on the horse and looking a bit silly, but making amazing time.
Caspian was just standing there, on the side of the track, having fun watching the start of the race when Alaric's horse rudely charges towards the crowd! Caspian is scrambling to get out of the wall, laughing, "Your Majesty! You're not suppose to trample the host to win!" He cries in jest to the man.
Tikva has rolled a critical success!
Tikva checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 114 higher.
Barric checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Coraline checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.
Philippe checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 15 higher.
"Wrong way, Thunder!" Jaenelle tells the Alaric's horse, eyes widening as she cups her hands around her mouth to scream at the familiar animal. "You were fine yesterday!" she helpfully reminds the horse, giving Alaric a raised brow look and another shake of her head. There is not much worry to her features though.
Corban checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.
Alaric checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 4 higher.
Sparte checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.
"I was planning to," Melody tells Carita with a rueful little smile, "But they started so quick and it's a bit uncouth to bet mid-way through a race. Though to be fair, I wasn't expecting Princess Tikva's horse to --" Alaric's horse, Thunder, had Melody giving Carita's arm a tug, pulling her off to the side, "I think his Majesty may be trying to kill us."
apparently Nibbles is running a little low on steam and is falling further behind. All she sees is horse butt, as far as the eye can see equine ass is right there though getting further away.
Isabetta draws back hastily and says, "Not his majesty, his charger. . I'm sure his majesty would not need to be so coy about it." She eyes the horse in question and then adds, "Then again," She pauses, chewing her words then says, 'I'm not sure that was really very coy." She bites her lip as she watches the race.
Given her head and free to run, Kicky gallops at a pell-mell rate, almost as though she is fleeing to escape the pounding hooves of the horses behind her. The little hinny flashes ahead, with Tikva leaning close against her back, leaning into the compact east's neck as she lowers her head and tears over the earth and moss like she's fleeing hot pursuit. Tikva's knuckles are white on the reins. She clearly was not expecting her ask for speed to have such a result, but she's an able enough rider that she can take joy in the freedom of it without true risk of losing her balance.
"We're fine! Haven't trampled anyone yet," Alaric calls ahead confidently to Corban. "Don't stop! You'll never win a race that way!" He pats Thunder on the side of the neck, who seems a little unenthused to run with no foot soldiers to stomp.
Philippe clenches his teeth, watching the rider in front of him leave him in the dust. Still, he has ways to go to get ahead of the other two and those behind him start catching up.
Barric isn't doing much better than Coraline is. Their warhorses are apparently not racers, "What we need, is a line of enemy and lances to charge with. Then they'd get moving I bet." He tells Coraline with a laugh as he tries to urge the heavy mount to put on some speed. "You know, I am beginning to think you weren't very aptly named Windborne." He tells his warhorse affably with a pat to the animals neck, "Unless you're saving it all for now... now's the time." Then he whispers something to the horse like it can actually understand human conversation.
Oooookay. With His Majesty back on track, Corban and Rosie seem more content to turn back towards the rest of the race and take the second lap well, turning in the second-fastest time. Second-fastest, of course, WELL behind Tikva zooming ahead of them.
Hyberbole's initial burst of speed soon flags, the horse's innate curiousity drawing her to slow down to examine the trees and the animals and other things they're running past. Then there are other horses going past as well, more things to marvel at. Sparte uses the lapse in activity to get himself reseated before trying to nudge his steed back on course.
"Tikva! Don't go too fast! The race will be over too soon!" Caspian calls out to Tikva as her hourse sprints off far ahead of the other horses, even Sparte and his strong start. "Okay, yeah, I'm loving this, I need to do this again during the spring time, more orginized and with a prize."
Corban checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 29 higher.
Tikva checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.
Philippe checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.
Barric checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.
Alaric checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.
Coraline checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Sparte checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.
It's true that after the initial mad rush of her gallop, Tikva eases her grip and shifts her weight in the saddle, and the first breakneck charge of her steed reduces to a more sustainable pace. Though several begin to gain on her, Tikva's grin flags not at all, and she lets out a particularly loud and obnoxious whoop as she and Kicky take the curve on the track.
Carita's arm is grasped, and as Melody urged her aside, she's laughing softly. "I certainly hope not," but she tugs Melody over to the side further with her, all the same. "I suppose that's a chance you take at these sort of events, isn't it?"
Nibbles apparently no longer cares, where are the soldiers to destroy? Where are teh enemies to pound into dust? Nowhere! As such Cora is left sitting atop a very sulky warhorse who doesn't want to play no more.
Alaric and Thunder are starting to get a little momentum! "There we go, lad!" he declares approvingly. "I know, I know, it's not really a battlefield exercise, but it's a proper bit of exercise now once you get into the mood, eh? Now let's go win a race!" he concludes motivationally, leaning forward in the saddle. "A race against the next to last rider," he adds dryly.
Philippe focuses on defending his 3rd position by blocking off the pack as they come against him. He snarls at his beast and swashes with the reigns, pushing the horse to close the gap with second.
The whisper is working! Not that it's working exceptionally well, but Windborne picks up some speed as Barric starts to gain a little bit of ground on the leaders. Not a lot mind you, but a tiny tiny bit. At least there is enough space between them that he isn't choking on their dust now! He continues to whisper into his warhorse's ear, sweet nothings about apples, and carrots, and beer... don't judge.
With Alaric and Thunder pointed solidly in the right direction (and actually getting some speed going on the track!) Sir Corban is able to let loose a bit and settle into the saddle, turning in (this time) the fastest split time on the route. It's not enough to make up for the initial stumble, but it is enough to put him solidly in the middle of the back.
"That I don't know about," Melody says through a half-laugh as she watches Thunder finally pick up speed. "I've never had anything similar happen to me before, but I suppose I should put that on my list of things to watch out for. It's an ever growing list, really."
Sparte has gotten Hyberbole running at a more moderate, controlled pace. He is learning the horse as much as she is still learning her rider. "There you go girl, a nice steady pace. Won't win the race but won't lose me in the bushes either, and I'm happy enough with that."
Alaric checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.
Tikva checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Barric checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.
Philippe checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.
Corban checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Coraline checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 7 higher.
Sparte has rolled a critical success!
Sparte checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.
Tikva's lead continues to shrink, but she seems heedless, riding with her head thrown back and the breeze of their passage fluffing her short hair. Kicky zags rather than riding in a straight line, which does not improve her speed, but she certainly seems to be enjoying herself.
Thunder's a closer, apparently! Alaric grins brightly and urges his destrier forward. "The race is on, lad! Ride, Thunder!"
Yup, Nibbles isn't going to care anymore. Nope, a lot of screw you human, in horse is what this speed is. Cora shrugs and enjoys the ride.
Ven watches Sparte's steed with interest; that's quite a pair of sprints! "So, did anyone bet on the guardsman?"
Corban seems pleased with how Alaric and Thunder pick up the pace. "Well done, Your Majesty! Turned in a better time than Rosie and me, here!" There is a genuine cheer for the Sovereign of Arx as the King's Own prepares for the last lap.
Windborne starts picking up speed, gaining on the others and even passing Corban, Barric continues to whisper because it's working! By all the Gods his warhorse is picking up speed! Of course, it's nowhere near enough to catch the leaders, not entirely. He is closing in on Phillipe though, and third place. Just to place is nice of course, but being closer to the front is nicer. "Come on Wind." He gets up off the saddle slightly so that his knees can flex with the galloping warhorse and the animal gets into a stride.
"Lord Barric the horse whisperer!" Caspian calls out as he sees Barric's whispering working, thrusting up a fist! "Whatever you're pomising it, it's working!" He looks over to Coraline next, laughing, calling out, "I don't think your horse likes you very much!"
"My horse has decided since I haven't given him anything to trample that I am not worth running for." Cora calls back with a laugh.
Philippe feels the pressure. The hair on the back of his neck stands up and he can almost feel the breathing of Barric's horse behind him. the old man focuses to the front, trying to put himself in second.
"That's right girl, nice and steeeaaaa-" Sparte again has to steady himself as a bird fluttering past the horses catches Hyberbole's attention, and she chases it. Right off the race course and through a series of low hanging branches and bushes. There is at least one that cracks, unseen, before the bird flits back towards the racing course and the horse and racer return right behind it. Sparte now holding his head with one hand, a few loose leaves here and there stuck to his clothes. Hyberbole gains quite a bit of ground before losing the bird when it simply flies above the trees.
Corban checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.
Tikva checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Coraline checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 6 higher.
Alaric checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Philippe checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 33 higher.
Barric checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 12 higher.
Sparte checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.
The last wheel of the track, Kicky's surefooted and no great splendor in time, but her earlier push has left enough space between her and the horse nearest her that she closes past the finish and then, blowing and snorting, begins to slow to a walk. Tikva murmurs and soothes her as they walk almost another quarter round the track before she dismounts.
Waldemai cheers for the hard-riding princess, and for all the hard-riding, er, riders. "Good race," he calls.
Nibbles isn't going to go one bit faster than he had been, nope. But at least he is moving, slowly, in a forward direction and Cora just goes along for the ride.
Thunder seems to have decided a four-lap race was good enough all things considered, and Alaric rather sanguinely allows him to trot to a comfortable finish. "Well, you're a charger, lad," Alaric observes good-naturedly. "We'll just have to figure out what your racing motivation is, I suppose."
Windborne has given what he could, the stallion made a bit of a comeback but when Phillipe starts pulling away again the horse just... can't. "It's alright." Barric tells the animal with a smile and a pat on the neck and shoulder, "You did your best. You'll still get the apples and beer." He says as he at least holds his position... in the very middle of the pack.
Philippe shows a schooling in riding with his posture as he finishes 3rd, unable to pass 2nd. At the finish line, Philippe relaxes his posture and rallies his horse back to the side-lines. A deep exhale escapes him. His cheeks pink with the rush and cold. Turning to personal breathing techniques, the old man calms his pumping heart. The count doesn't approach anyone, instead he watches them from a distance, nodding respectfully.
Isabetta looks thoughtful then heads over to congratulate Cora and Barric. "Well you two did pretty well." She shifts pensively and heads then puts on a rare smile and shrugs, like whatcha gonna do. Guess her bet didn't go very well.
Sparte sputters a bit to get the taste of leaves from his mouth, making a reasonable pace across the finishing line with Hyberbole. He carefully brings her to a pause and gets down, craddling his head with both hands for a moment and just crouching down. He doesn't seem ready to actually walk anywhere. A sharp eye might already see a nice knot forming.
Sir Corban is able to stop worrying about the Monarch and start loving the race and -- he does fine. Not too good. Not bad. Fine. "Well, Lady Fianna did say you were a jousting horse," he praises the roan mare. "It was good to have you out racing, though. Glad to have you, girl."
Caspian claps his hands as the riders being to pass the finish line, well, most of them, people probably have to wait for Coraline and Alaric's horses, which have said 'fuck you' to their riders. "Good show everyone!" He cheers for them, looking to the crowd, "Everyone give it up for the racers! And for Princess Tikva, who hands down is the fastest of this bunch!"
Tikva spends a few more moments babying her steed and then hauling her head out of a patch of probably inappropriate greenery to feed her a slightly squashed carrot instead. She turns aside from Kicky with a bright smile and sketches an elaborate bow for the least sign of cheering. "Huzzah! It was a lovely run, thank you for throwing this together, Master Wild."
Jaenelle stands from her place and claps for the racers before turning towards Caspian, "good show, Master Wild, I am very impressed! Perhaps next time I will steal a horse and participate myself. It looked enjoyable when we werent about to be killed by the Royal warhorse. I am going to write a strongly worded letter to Tristan" this direction to Thunder himself.
Alaric and Thunder casually saunter around, waving and offering congratulations to the other riders and the occasional apology to a spectator that still looks a bit spooked. "Well done! Dreadfully sorry about that. He's used to war exercises."
Caspian gives a grin back to Jaenelle, dipping his head to her a few times, "Please do! I'm probably going to wait until spring to try this again. But I had fun. It was exicting!" He says to his patron with a wide grin. He turns back to the riders, claiming, "Next time, I'll try to have a prize, so y'all have something to race over!"
Barric smiles at everyone when he crosses the finish line, neither in the top, nor is he in the bottom. Square in the middle. He laughs and seems to have enjoyed the ride regardless, patting his horse's neck solidly, "You did good for an old Warhorse, Windborne. No complaints." He tells the animal and then waits for the rest of the riders to come in. "Indeed!" He calls out over towards Caspian and Tikva, "That was fun! Maybe next time when it's not so cold though! I still can't feel my ears!" He grins wryly and then looks over towards Isabetta when she comes over and he chuckles, saying something quietly to her.
Finally arriving at the finish, Cora grins, "Well raced Princess Tikva, well done indeed." She pats Nibble's neck and shakes her head, "I don't know that I would win even if there was something to race for but it was fun." Nibbles snorts in disgust that there was nothing to trample.
Sparte is overheard praising Caspian: Ow ow ow ow thanks for ow organizing this gah my head
"You're free to hang out here amongst the fire, settle any bets, maybe even do another race if you want a rematch. I'm satisified though! Been wanting to see a race for a while," Caspian annouces, waving to the track he had dug out.
"It /is/ brisk today, isn't it?" Tikva scrubs her hand over her neck. "Kicky probably picked up the pace just to get to her stabling faster," she adds, and waves over one of her confessors to bribe her to start walking Kicky back. "Brrr."
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