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Horse Races

House Velenosa is proud to sponsor the first annual Raconteur Cup Horse Race, to be held upon the beaches of Arx! In a championship that is certain to test the mettle, stamina, and wits of the riders, all interested participants are encouraged to sign up to make their interests known. Both riders and promoters are sought.

Additionally let it be known that any commoner who is interested shall have their entry fee sponsored by House Velenosa. And should those commoners that are adept at horsemanship need a horse? House Velenosa shall provide some of the finest steeds of the lands for those who do not have their own. All will be welcome to demonstrate their prowess upon horseback. The top three racers will win:

1st Place: 100,000 silver and the winning Cup of the race
2nd Place: 50,000 silver
3rd Place: 25,000 silver

They will also benefit from the promotion of Princess Berenice Velenosa and Brewmaster Venturo Thayne for the weeks following the race to help spread their public acclaim!

So too are promoters needed, those who will help rally the crowds in the lead up to the race itself! Fancy yourself able to make a name for anyone? Want to demonstrate that words are just as mighty as the horse in determining the winner? We will set you up with a participant for you to support!

(OOC: Send inquiries to Berenice and Venturo. The entry fee for nobles is 100 resources of any type. If you'd like to promote but aren't certain if you can attend the event, worry not! We will find small ad-hoc things to be done that will help influence the bonuses your rider will get for having the crowd behind them in the weeks leading up to the race itself.)

Date

Jan. 14, 2019, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Venturo Berenice

Participants

Reese Khanne Fianna Harlex Jael Nurie Vitalis Pasquale Corban Jeffeth Beatrice Skapti Alarissa Amari Merek Sabella Agostino Sorrel Ysbail Svoli Theron Cristoph Philippe Elsa Roxana Macda Gilroy

Organizations

Velenosa

Location

Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Beaches

Largesse Level

Extravagant

Comments and Log


Reese arrives while adorned in lots of pink and guiding along her white war filly. She has pink ribbons tangled up in her golden locks. The princess has a smile of greeting for those gathered here. She goes to get ready for racing.

Khanne heads down to the beach, actually on time for once and not racing to get there. She has been looking forward to this event, arriving with a large smile on her face and dressed in a bloom of springtime colors. She heads towards her usual spot, beneath some trees, nodding to the others nearby when she does. "I am so excited," she admits to them easily.

Fianna Crovane is walking alongside her mount, Phantom, a tall ebony war horse in full riding gear. The stallion's ears swivel to take in the sounds around him, but he remains close to his handler as they soon draw to a halt upon the beach. Fianna is busy tugging on her riding gloves while Phantom nudges her arm with his soft nose. She pivots toward him and wraps her arms around his neck for a hug and silent commune. A pep talk, perhaps!

2 Novice Keaton Huntsmen, River, a juvenile Oakhaven bloodhound, Barf, the Bog Dog, Marigold, a cheeky pygmy goat arrive, following Amari.

Alarissa has joined the Yellow Grand Stands.

Along the path leading down to the beach Harlex rides Scout at a slow and easy pace. He's freed up a hand which holds a cigarillo, smoked down in the quietness of the trek. He murmurs quietly to the grey mare, stroking her neck, causing her tail to swish behind. That war horse holding singularly more energy and enthusiasm than rider. Once at the circuit, he finishes off the smoke and flicks it away. Easing back in the saddle, he glances aside more than around, a quick assessment of any competition.

Reedy, a King's Own aide, Rosie, the red roan war horse arrive, following Corban.

Jael leads a fleet-looking bright bay down to the beaches, not her black battle steed but a much sleeker model. She's chatting quietly with her brother as they arrive at the holding area. "At least I probably won't be able to break anyone's arm in this except my own," she tells him wryly.

Various servants and promoters can be seen working the crowds, helping to hand out beverages from the Raconteur and to chat up people about the riders. A handful of earlier amateur races have just finished up, leaving the starting line free for the racers to begin positioning themselves. The course itself is one long stretch, rather than a circuit, and the tall grand stands have been designed to give people a good vantage along a majority of the race. Venturo stands at the base of the tower, seeing to a few last minute matters as the whole affair begins to build towards the hour everyone is looking forward to.

2 Grayson House Guards, Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting, Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting, Clark, an exasperated guard arrive, following Sabella.

Nurie slips in amongst the gathering crowd, the ocean breeze making her long sleeves flutter and dance. Her expression is one of cheerful excitement, even though she has to shove tendrils of dark hair out of her face constantly as they too are caught in the wind, at least on the walk down to where the race will occur.

Vitalis inclines his head to Ysbail and Princess Reese, clambering up atop a boulder to get a good view of where the horses will run. There's energy in the air, and he smiles a rakish smile, pulling the brim of his hat at Lady Fianna as she and her entrant have a moment. There are others familiar and fond, the explorer settles in for the excitement.

Pasquale arrives with an eagerness to his step and something vaguely resembling a smile on his long-nosed face. It is not a usual occurence. He scouts out a place to sit, trying to catch Venturo's eye to offer the man a nod.

Sir Corban -- and, more importantly -- Rosie the roan warhorse, trot in, the knight astride the mare. She seems as pleased as a horse that got a special apple snack for her upcoming ride, because she is. Corban, meanwhile, looks a bit perturbed. But when he comes onto the beaches, he brightens. Show time!

A massive man rides a massive horse. Sir Jeffeth and Friend ride along the beach, the large knight slumped into an easy saunter as he clop clops along on the giant black beast below him. Friend gets a scritch on the side of the neck, the big man rumbling low to the creature as they approach the other competitors.

What a crowd. Smile curving, surprised, Beatrice meanders along the paths while watching people and horses circle the track within and without. Squeezing along benches, Beatrice slows, a look of faint recognition in her eyes as she looks over Ysbail and casts the bench to her side a questioning glance before she sits, murmuring.

Skapti glances Khanne's way as she speaks, a bit of a smirk on his face. "Why, got some coin riding on the outcome?" curious.

Alarissa has settled down in the stands, talking with a lady in waiting as she watches the races. A glance around to look for familiar faces and dip her head to them, the Princess remains otherwise to herself for the moment.

Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants arrive, following Theron.

Amari spots the Laurent contingent as she's making her way to the stands and detours so she can stroll up alongside and wave at the pair. "Best of luck, Lady Jael! I probably wasn't supposed to, but I helped Princess Sabella talk you up. Not that she needed it, of course. You should have a very lively cheering section." There's a polite nod to Cristoph and mildly crooked sort of smile, "My Lord, hopefully you won't break your arm at this event, somehow."

Merek has come to watch the races, while he settles at one of the seats on the benches to watch also. He takes up his flask to sip from it, while he relaxes. He has on his cloak with hood up.

For once, her dark eyes are not drawn to the clothing that others wear, because Nurie is clearly quite enchanted with the horses. Each one is examined in turn, from afar, her smile lighting even more as each horse and rider pair seems perfectly matched in their own way.

"She did!" Sabella comes in a little breathlessly, carrying her slippers in her hand and beaming at Jael, "I think we've turned at least some of the crowd in your favor so listen for the cheers!"

Reese smiles over to Vitalis and even gives a wave. She then smiles to Merek as well. She starts to speaking soothingly to her horse, getting ready for racing!

Agostino looks around curiously as he makes his way down to the beach, walking briskly toward the stands to find a seat. There is a thoughtful expression on his face as he looks for a seat among the other spectators.

Sorrel has a look around at those assembled, leading a small boy by the hand slowly over more difficult terrain. He's very excited to see all of the horses, and he babbles to her a running commentary about whichever horse catches his eye. The princess's entourage follows at the same speed as the toddler, which is ineffably slowly, and then sometimes lurching forward quickly. Sorrel heads towards the Oathlanders, particularly the Laurents. "That's a lovely steed there, Lady Jael," she says brightly.

Reese waves to Sabella too. She jumps up and down a bit to make sure her wave was noticed.

There are a lot of people Khanne knows here, and quite a few she does not. She waves to each person she knows, though some perhaps do not see her. Shaking her head to Skapti's question, Khanne says, "no.. no wager. But I have actually never been to a horse race. Have you made a wager?"

Ysbail converses with those in the stands.

Horses. That is what drew Svoli to the beach. Her own horse, Alban, following the small wild looking woman. A permanent, yet natural, brooding look etched in her face. But well, that look was for the all the people. The horses though, they were given the fondest looks, wandering through some of them, letting them smell her hand, and then petting them. Even some of the more stand offish ones seem to not be so stand offish toward her. Speaking softly to them as she does so. Eventually though she heads toward the trees, trying to pick a place that seemed to have the least amount of actual people. Violet-blue eyes shifting to look at Skapti, and Khanne. Starring at the two of them for a long moment. Before she looks back toward the gathered riders and horses.

Harlex studies the back of Scout's mane and adjusts his gloves. He pulls them taut and fastens the straps at the wrist. Movement catches the corner of his eye and he lifts his gaze toward it, tilting his chin a bit.

Nurie has joined the Yellow Grand Stands.

Jael mounts up easily and once settled in her saddle, waves to Amari with enthusiasm. "He'd have to step out in front of me," she proclaims cheerfully, since breaking Cristoph's arm has become the topic of the evening. "Thank you, Princess Sorrel. And how is the honorary Laurent baby? Princess Sabella, hello! Oh, I look forward to it." Her horse stretches his neck to whorfle at Sorrel's son.

As he tends to those details, the Raconteur brewer tosses a dip of a nod there, a smile there at the faces he sees and that are familiar with. Venturo's hand lifts up to give a small wave towards Pasquale as the Lord catches his eye, and a few of the words Amari speaks to Jael filters to him, causing a small bit of silent laughter to come. Over he leans to whisper a few words to Berenice, before glancing up towards the small, makeshift tower.

Silhouette, a Volkov courser have been dismissed.

A little delayed, but still made it Theron arrives to immediately seek out two things to start. Bet placing, and drinks. The dual-sword wearing man finds he solves the latter issue easiest. Smiling he and that gaze of his practically stalk through the crowd in search.

Agostino has joined the Blue Grand Stands.

Bringing Friend over beside Harlex, the mercenary gets a nod from the knight. Jeffeth glances over to the stands, smiling brightly he waves enthusiastically to someone in the crowd before looking back down to Friend, petting her neck once more and rumbling sweet nothings down to her.

Nurie climbs up and up into the stands, so she can perch at the very top. It allows her sleeves their movement hopefully without snapping anyone in the head--and also allows her to stand, without rudely blocking anyone's view. She can't help but bounce a little on her toes, not unlike an impatient horse, as the riders start to gather at the line.

Fianna finishes her silent commune with her horse Phantom and then gives him a kiss upon his soft neck. The war horse whuffles, clearly eager to get to where they need to be, so she mounts and takes the reins. There's a smile for Lord Vitalis as Fianna sees that hat tip, and a nod in greeting to Rosie and Scout along with their riders, Sir Corban and Captain Harlex. Together, she and Phantom move forward as they approach the sands.

Arriving with his sister, Cristoph can only laugh when Amari mentions the breaking of his arm. "I've been very good and been in any riding competitions since that last time. At least not until Baron Norwood gives me new riding lessons." As his sister mounts up, he gives her a wave and then calls back cheerfully, "Good luck! But not as good luck as Sir Jeffeth! I'm pretty sure it's still my job to cheer him on!" He drifts over to the stands, lookng for a place to set his non-broken-bones down on.

Jeffeth and Friend are given a side-eye and then a brief nod from Harlex.

"Me?" the Salt asks, then shakes his head. "No, don't know a damn thing 'bout horses, an' I prefer not to wager if I can't at least pretend to know the odds," Skapti states. "Khanne, right? Think we met at... The Keatons, few years ago?"

"Phantom! Lady Fianna!" Corban waves to them, raising a hand and waggling fingers. He jockeys for a spot near the two on the sands, murmuring quietly as he does. "I am sorry to hear about Lord Farhairle, my lady. I hope that there can be a measure of justice in all of this." He frowns deeply as he says it. His tone is measured, but it seems to conceal something beneath the surface.

Cristoph has joined the Green Grand Stands.

"Traitor," Jael tells her brother as her horse bobs his head up and down emphatically. "Thankfully Princess Sabella is on my side."

"We'll have you keep you out of your sister's way," Amari grins at Cristoph, moving to accompany him somewhere horses aren't likely to trample through, if only after she's bowed her head politely to Princesses Sorrel and Sabella. "Lovely to see you both! We'll have to find somewhere to sit." She turns then, calling once more to Jael, "Good luck!"

Amari has joined the Green Grand Stands.

Warhorse, a white Oathlands Vanner arrives, following Philippe.

Rebellion, a Graypeak Vanner Stallion arrives, following Elsa.

A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Cristoph before departing.

A large bell sounds off once, twice, thrice to gather peoples attention. A few moments later, after ascending the tower, Venturo Thayne can be seen. Dressed in a casual white shirt and breeches, along with a long, black leather coat left unbuttoned that gives him a rakish appearance, his voice booms out over the race course, "Ladies and Lords, Mistresses and Messeres! Fine folk from all walks of life amongst Arx, we welcome you to the First Annual Raconteur Cup Race! For those of you whom know me, you know that there is nothing I love more than experiencing a grand story that will be retold for years to come. That is precisely why we have a splendid set of riders poised to give you a show you won't forget. But first I'd like to introduce someone which, without her and Velenosa's support, we wouldn't have the race you see before us now. I give you the Princess Berenice Velenosa, The Oleander of Lenosia, and newly annoited Voice of her House!"

Sorrel has the baby in a carrier strapped to her chest. The honorary Laurent princess is asleep, however, and looking to sleep through the horse race entirely. "You can meet her later when you've won, Lady Jael," she offers, and picks up her son so that he can touch the horse. "Gentle," she reminds him, and when he is done getting horse on his little sticky toddler hands, she takes him to go sit down in the stands.

Sabella gives Reese an enthusiastic wave in return an blows some kisses before turning to look towards Venturo, bouncing excitedly on her toes and clasping her hands together, excitedly.

Sorrel has joined the Green Grand Stands.

Vitalis ducks through the crowd, making his way to the stands and lifts his hands to brace lips and whistle a shrill whistle of salute and celebration for Princess Berenice.

Vitalis is overheard praising Berenice: To the races!

Vitalis is overheard praising Venturo: To the races!

Corban is overheard praising Berenice.

Philippe never liked to be late to things but his admission was last minute and it wasnt until just about it was to start that a spot became available for the Count. So he made his way to the beach on his best horse, arriving dressed for a race. Philippe's strud is slow, guiding the horse through the crowd and to the racer's tent.

Ysbail chatters with those in the stands glancing around as though looking for someone.

The bells stealing her attention, Beatrice applauds - once for Venturo and then more loudly for Berenice - from her seat at the stands.

After pulling an apple from one of various pouches hanging from her belt, she cuts it in off as she plops down into the sand. Digging her bare feet into it. "I suppose some of them are fine creatures," she mutters, though it doesn't seem like it is to either of the people there. Her eyes glancing to her horse, Alban, and then toward the gathered horses. "Not as fine as you though. Or Silhouette, for that matter." Her voice a touch rough, and heavily accented. A glance then toward those near by her.

Sabella has joined the Beneath Trees.

Vitalis has joined the Pink Grand Stands.

Jeffeth has joined the In the Water.

Harlex has joined the In the Water.

Elsa has joined the In the Water.

Philippe has joined the In the Water.

Fianna has joined the In the Water.

Reese has joined the In the Water.

Jael has joined the In the Water.

Jael's horse lips at the child quite gently, and his rider grins at Sorrel's comment, then Jael wheels the beast to join the lineup. "Elsa! Hi!"

Cristoph has left the Green Grand Stands.

Echo, an Oakhaven bloodhound have been dismissed.

Corban has joined the In the Water.

Bringing her mount around to join the lineup, Elsa looks relieved to have made it on time, lifting a hand and smiling towards Jael, "Hello Jael! Good luck!"

Salvatore has joined the Wooden Picnic Table.

1 Grayson House Guards, Thalia, a beautiful lady-in-waiting arrive, following Roxana.

When Berenice steps closer to Venturo at the base of the tower, it's with a dark sweep of semi-sheer umbra cloak about her, the hood drawn up to partially obscure her her features. And then the bell is tolling, and they're rising to the top, and she lowers the hood of her cloak to reveal all the drama of a figure-hugging one-piece garment in the sheerest of umbra, the only thing saving modesty the design of gilded velvet vines across it. She wears what might /generously/ be considered riding boots, except they are unnecessarily thigh-high, and with a higher heel than is strictly necessary. It's like -- a fashion interpretation of a riding outfit, and it's certainly /dramatic/. Her hair is drawn back from her face, her features touched with cosmetics, a gorgeous pair of diamondplate hairpins and an iridescite comb doing the work of keeping her hair artfully pinned.



"Thank you all so much for coming!" she calls to the crowd, looking absolutely delighted to see everyone. "House Velenosa is /thrilled/ to have the honor of sponsoring this marvelous endeavor, and we too hope to be a part of its growth and continuation for years to come. I wish all the very best of luck to our racers, although in the end, what I truly hope to see is a display of skill and fierce competition." Her eyes glint with humor. "There's nothing quite like a show of excessive competence from people who are good at what they do, hm? And with that! We invite our racers to prepare for the race's start!"

Berenice is overheard praising Velenosa.

a small twilit kingsnake, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant arrive, following Macda.

Harlex makes a click and moves from the tent toward the starting position, after having spoken some terse words to Jeffeth behind him. He sits tall in the saddle, holding at his reins.

Philippe arrives soon after at the starting, letting his short horse reach the line at its leisure. He adjusts himself on the saddle before looking around at all of the festival's commotion.

Princess Roxana arrives just a bit on the late side, but is able to slink into the crowd of spectators and find a place to watch the rest of the races from. Her gold-green eyes are focused on the green for a moment before she tears her gaze away from the races and takes in the other spectators.

Fianna and Phantom approach the starting line and sharpen their focus upon the stretch of beach in front of them. There's a pat of encouragement given to the charcoal war horse and soon the noble horsewoman is ready and listening for the prompt. She can feel the excitement! And Phantom can, too, the way he grows antsy to begin.

Arriving to see quite the crowd, Macda makes her way into through the sand to the set of stands. She stands trying to get a look at the riders, sharing a short word with the old man who finally catches up.

Venturo is overheard praising Velenosa.

Observers make certain that the riders and their steeds are all present and accounted for, in their right starting spot and without anything suspicious taking place. Of course all is good and clean, and the starting line becomes a low murmur of seething anticipation. From left to right the names of the riders have been spread quite well by those promoting the event: the Lady Jael, Sir Corban, Sir Jeffeth, Princess Reese, Captain Harlex, Lady Elsa, Lady Fianna and finally Count Philippe. Standing at the side is a servant wielding a brilliant flag in the House Velenosa purple, poised and ready to start the race. Up the signal goes for 'At The Ready', the light wind from the ocean sending it fluttering for even those down in the grandstands to see. A count of three takes place, and then down the cloth is hurled, signally the riders that the races have started!

Roxana has joined the Blue Grand Stands.

Corban checked wits + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Harlex checked wits + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Philippe checked wits + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 23 higher.

Elsa checked wits + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 16 higher.

Fianna checked wits + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Reese checked wits + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

It's quite clear Sir Jeffeth is surprised by whatever Harlex says to him. The big man looking more than a little taken off guard until Harlex trots away and the big man's brows are creasing tightly. Frowning deeply, Jeffeth makes his way towards the starting line with a quiet grunt.

Jeffeth checked wits + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Jael checked wits + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.

Sabella has left the Beneath Trees.

Elizabetta, a disapproving lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

Lily, an aloof lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

2 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Clark, an exasperated guard have been dismissed.

Roxana has left the Blue Grand Stands.

1 Grayson House Guards have been dismissed.

Thalia, a beautiful lady-in-waiting have been dismissed.

Rana have been dismissed.

Reese mounts up on her white war filly and gets in line for the racing. She is pink cheeked and seems all into this race.

Echo, an Oakhaven bloodhound have been dismissed.

Cristoph has joined the Green Grand Stands.

Stuck right at the center of the pack is where Philippe did not want to be but where he exactly found himself at the start of the race. He leans forward, trying to break from the pace he was setting. His blue eyes narrow on forward, letting the spring wind rush at him reminded him of the winters which he missed. There was a determination by this rider to show off his family.

Jael whistles to her steed through her teeth and the beast briefly balances on his hind legs and hops forward before daintily landing on all fours in the starting spot.

The crowds tremble with anticipation to see whom gets off the line first, and as the Lady Jael breaks so cleanly instantly from the line to take the early lead, a section of the commoners burst out, "That's it! Break their arms, Lady Laurent!" That same group smiles and waves ever so enthusiastically to Sabella, as if the Princess might well have something to do with this particular rallying cry. But not far behind is Jeffeth, Fianna, Harlex and Philippe, nearly neck and neck with one another just behind the lead. The other riders fall in line from that beginning, the Princess Reese and Lady Elsa. It's Corban that seems to have gotten the worse end on it, but he too seems to have his section of the crowd, "Master Gilroy told us all of your exploits. For the Faith and the Telmarch, Sir Corban!" It's just the beginning, but down the group of racers comes thundering towards the beach itself from that starting line.

It appears that either Rosie was too distracted by the idea of treats or Sir Corban was too distracted by the other matters of the Compact weighing on his mind that he doesn't quite get off the line when the flag goes down. Sure, he spurs Rosie hard when he snaps to. But it is only enough to place him in dead last, the First Captain letting out a frustrated sound.

Phantom /bolts/ from the starting line and Fianna is quick to give him enough rein to gallop amongst the rest of the competitors. She moves with the saddle and his sweeping gait, drawing toward the head of the group.

Harlex clicks once more as they take off, thundering down the track. His neck and neck position doesn't suit him and he leans forward, whipping the reins as he tries to put himself ahead of the pack.

Sabella has joined the Beneath Trees.

Reese is mounted on her white war filly. She takes off when the race starts! The princess seems to be falling a bit behind, but her cheeks are still pink and her blue eyes are still bright. She seems to be enjoying the race. Her pink ribbons are flying about in the wind.

Friend surges forward with, the largest competitors bolting off in Fianna's wake. Jeffeth leans in on the mare's back, patting at her side as hooves pound against the soft sand. The large knight when he's not looking straight ahead he's sending side eyes over to Harlex, looking deeply perturbed or unsettled about something. Eventually the knight is able to redouble his focus and narrow his eyes on the beech ahead. "Alright Friend, a little bit faster now." The big man murmurs down.

No sooner does Jael's horse's hooves touch the ground than they're off like a shot, mane and hair whipping in the wind. When she hears the shouts she laughs, the sound carrying back on the breeze.

Vitalis gives voice to a wild shout from the stands, a whoop for the leaping start of the race.

Elsa has left the In the Water.

Reese checked strength + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher.

Jeffeth checked strength + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

Fianna checked strength + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Corban checked strength + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 27 higher.

Jael checked strength + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

Philippe checked strength + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.

Harlex checked strength + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

Kanean has joined the Beneath Trees.

Ysbail says, "I wonder how well she will ride after the events of the last few days. I'm sure it weighs on her mind.""

As the riders get closer and closer still, more visible to those in the grand stands, the dull roar begins to pick up even more. The spot where the beach truly begins is a tricky thing with the sands, requiring riders to be poised and strong in staying up right while encouraging and directing their steeds. It's in this first light turn that the races jockey for position, the spots shifting as fortunes turn: the Lady Fianna, followed by Sir Jeffeth right upon her flanks. Lady Jael followed next, with Phillipe, Harlex, Reese and Corban all seeking to make up ground on those who have had a brilliant start. "Let that monster eat their legs, Captain Harlex!" Comes the shouts from one section of the crowd rooting him on, all while flashing stares down towards the Lady Amari.

Reese continues to ride on, the princess still falling behind in the race. She seems to be trying to catch up.

Maybe it's just a bird. Wind. A rustle in the tall trees nearby. Harlex snaps his head to the side and his features tense, briefly, for no particular reason. It happens fast. Just enough of a distraction to his gait that he starts to fall behind, the hooves kicking up sand on the course and the rider just not pushing his war horse fast enough. His attention shifts back toward the race as he shakes it off and rides on.

Phantom is bolting down the sands like a shadowed wraith as Fianna directs him around some of the horses in front of them. She nudges him onward and can't help but grin as they draw forward and past those in their way. The stallion's hooves dig into the sandy beach and propel him forward as they maintain their position for the time being. They're focused and sharp, eager to keep this up.

Jael loses some ground in the next section of the race but doesn't look back. She touches her heels lightly to her horse's sides, urging him forward.

With distances being created from the riders, Jeffeth leans in against Friend and pushes forward, the black hooves storming against the sand as they near Fianna's flank. The large knight glancing up to the woman ahead of him, murmuring some more encouraging words to his steeed. Strength doesn't seem to be much of an issue with Jeffeth is there is any difficulty staying upright it's not displayed in the big man urging for more ground.

If Theron has chosen a favorite, he hasn't shown it. He seems to be cheering them all on for the sake of the horse-riding itself. A drink is finished and a new one quickly retrieved so he isn't missing too much action. Occasionally he stops cheering long enough to look around at the crowd for various face before looking out at the horseflesh and riders once again.

Tikva has joined the Green Grand Stands.

Corban comes on stronger in the next stretch, his strength able to move Rosie forward. But while he does well, the others also manage to keep up, so he remains at the back of the pack. At the same time, however, he is cheering for Phantom and Lady Fianna at the front of the pack, since he doesn't seem to be among them.

Focusing on the triangle in front of him, Philippe slips through an opening, jumping ahead. He raises his body in a disciplined posture before looking over his shoulder to who was behind him before turning back forward. Warhorse was no stranger to beaches, no White Dragoon was. Launching off boats and riding up the heavy terrain to carry their knights to combat. A salacious snarl sounds from the horse as Philippe continues to press it through.

Corban checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

Harlex checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 57 higher.

Jael checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 36 higher.

Philippe checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.

Fianna checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

Jeffeth checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 38 higher.

3 Last Watch Sentries, 3 Redrain Guards arrive, following Donella.

Reese checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.

Agostino has left the Blue Grand Stands.

Cecily, a coy secretary, Omero, a hulking bodyguard leave, following Agostino.

Harlex reclaims his focus and it shows, immediately, as masterful rider and war horse weave through the pack like a lancet--cutting their way to the front. He's an incredibly precise blur, dashing on ahead to the front. But he doesn't look back, he's forward set, low and close to Scout's wild mane.

Phantom is keeping pace for a good stretch until he falters and is now further back than expected. He's now alongside Rosie, perhaps to check on her! Either way, Fianna is nudging him forward and keeps her focus fixed upon the stretch of beach in front of them. Already they're attempting a new strategy to work their way back to the front.

It's the middle stretch of the race where, at high tide, the beach frequently shifts, requiring the riders to be not just attentive, but quick on their reflexes to adjust their course and angle to cut off their competitors. It's here that the group of people who had been rooting for Harlex begin to shout louder as the Captain pulls just by a horses nose into first, barely edging out Jeffeth in the middle ground. Yet the middle seems to close in tighter to the front, with Jael, Fianna and then Philippe. It's the Lady Crovane that has stirred some of her fans, seeking to edge her on back into the lead with calls of, "Fia, Fia, Fia!" And then comes the Princess Reese and Sir Corban, still seeking to find a way to gain upon the pack.

Warhorse did not like that. The large beast snaps its neck to the side, glaring back at Philippe who gets caught up in the turn, ending up at the rear. The old man groans, adjusting on the saddle to give the horse a moment to recuperate its pace. Perhaps it was all the time spending in Arx getting soft, instead of out there fighting. Perhaps it was all about getting old, unable to keep up with the younger generation. After the moment, Philippe spurs his horse to try and get back ahead.

Reese is behind the pack of riders, but she still seems to be giving the race her all and really trying. Her cheeks are still pink and her ribbons are still blowing about. The princess is rather focused on the race right now.

Donella has joined the Yellow Grand Stands.

"C'mon, Aster," Jael calls to her horse, leaning low over the bay's neck as he stretches to catch up with the horses in front of him. They swerve a little over a small heap of sand, hope those kids don't mind losing their castle.

Finally pushing past Fianna, Jeffeth murmurs encouragement to his steed, pulling the reigns ever so gently to steer around any crabholes or troublesome shells that might be in the way. "That's a girl. It's all easier from here." Is it? Maybe. Then Harlex is pulling ahead on the flank and Jeffeth lets out a grunt, urging Friend forward with his heels.

Jeffeth checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 20 higher.

Harlex checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 18 higher.

Fianna has rolled a critical success!
Fianna checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 90 higher.

Philippe checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

Reese checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 53 higher.

Kanean has left the Beneath Trees.

"Yay, horsie!" Kyrios, the toddler prince of Thrax cheers, though it's really quite difficult to tell for whom he's cheering, although Lady Amari is pointing out Jael and her steed to him. He's very excited about this race business, and bounces on his toes in the stands.

Tikva has left the Green Grand Stands.

Jael checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 25 higher.

The last part of the race is pure endurance in measuring both rider and steed, the heavy sands taking their toll on competitors not used to such. It's a group that surrounds the Duke Cristoph Laurent that scream out to encourage Jeffeth, "Come on big guy! Just run them all over!", all with enthusiastic nods and smiles to the Duke of Honey. It's from the Pink Grandstand - of course! - that a contingent of the group cheers and chants, "Let her run, Princess Ribbons!" Pent up energy, grueling endurance, it all adds up to quickly shift the landscape: the Lady Fianna surges well ahead, with Jeffeth just so barely edging out Harlex stretching forward just an inch in the saddle could make all the difference. And Reese, from seemingly nowhere, is right behind them both! Philippe, Jael and Corban round out the final grouping as they all head towards the finish line, where two judges stand, now looking quite nervous at just how tightly bunched some of those racers are.

Vitalis surges to his feet with a wild whoop for Fianna and Phantom.

Corban checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 32 higher.

Harlex squeezes on the reins and Scout being tired just doesn't seem a good enough excuse to him. He grits his teeth so hard he has to shakes his head loose to let out a breath through his nose. He murmurs something, pushing himself as hard as he's pushing that war horse toward the front.

From her spot beneath the trees where Khanne is enjoying conversation away from the more boisterous crowds, she watches the horses with wide-eyed interest and a hint of glee.

Reese charges on forward and seems to be doing much better now. She has a good deal of energy for it being near to the end of the race. Her filly seems to be doing well too. She is still flushed-cheeked and cheerful.

Jael and Aster are losing ground. Sand castle karma, perhaps. "Come ooooooonnnnn," Jael calls to the horse, slapping him encouragingly on the shoulder.

a small twilit kingsnake, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant arrive, following Macda.

Fatigue starts to set in, Jeffeth's head sags a little bit as he blinks towards the ending line. He may be able to run on all the hills carrying armored knights all day but this fatigue is mental in part. And the big man is straining to focus as he just starts to burn out. At the call of his cheers there is a little smile, glancing over as Fianna flies past. Jeffeth blinks. "Alright Friend, let's go get her. Come on now." The big man grunts, urging Friend forward once more.

Philippe struggles to catch up and unable to do so he loses his focus, shifting on his saddle to try and finish the race strong.

Phantom /sees/ the competition drawing ahead of him and with Fianna's help, he bolts from the group and thunders down the side with a little encouragement. It's a swift and focused gait that moves the Crovane stallion by Friend, then by Scout, then back in the lead with a powerful snort from flared nostrils. The war horse is given plenty of rein and Fianna is all smiles. Yet, she remains focused out ahead of them when she can see the last stretch coming up.

a small twilit kingsnake, Thistleton, an elderly and devoted manservant leave, following Macda.

Ysbail shouts from nearby, ""come on Phantom, get the lead out.""

"Come on, Lady Jael! Break some arms! But not yours! And only metaphorically in that you will win!" Sabella shouts out, cupping her hands around her mouth so her voice carries.

Harlex checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 64 higher.

Gilroy comes running down the beach. "Shit! I completely forgot about this thing!" He looks around desperately, then jumps up onto a handy bench and starts pointing at audience members at random. "Ladies and gentlemen, listen to me for a moment and I will offer you the opportunity of a lifetime! An opportunity for a better life! An opportunity for a better time! The Grayhope Miracle Elixir is the sure thing to put a spring in the step of anyone who takes it, offering-" Gilroy stops and shakes his head. "Wrong rousing speech! People, there are no greater Knights, greater living heroes, in the Compact than the King's Own! And one of those heroes stands above the rest! Sir Corban Telmar, First among Captains!, is the man for whom you should all cheer!" He turns to look at the racers and says somewhat doubtfully, "Which one is Sir Corban? Is he the one in first? I've never met the man, to be honest. I hope he's worthy of my incredible praise."

Philippe checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.

Corban checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 31 higher.

Jael checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 40 higher.

Fianna has rolled a critical success!
Fianna checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 115 higher.

Jeffeth checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 44 higher.

Vitalis shouts himself hoarse from the stands!

Reese checked stamina + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 24 higher.

From the yellow stand there is a piercing two fingered whistle that would do a shepherd or a carnival barker proud, as Harlex picks up speed from his momentary distraction. Nurie hops up and down inbetween whistles, apparently this being meant for encouragement.

Through the finish line the racers come thundering, with those line judges having nothing to worry about in the end. Fianna isn't just ahead, she is links ahead from the others, some secret reserve of energy carefully managed from her horse... or maybe she's completely lost all control and will end up in the ocean soon! Either way, the Lady Crovane crosses, and soon there after comes the Captain Harlex. Sir Jeffeth is a respectable third, and then Lady Jael 'Metaphorical Arm Breaker' Laurent. The Princess Ribbons made up ground indeed following in fifth, with Sir Corban just barely edging out the Count Philippe in the very end. Cheers and shouts come from the roaring crowd, shoulder clasps and boisterous noise from all around.

Sitting up on her knees to get a better vantage, Beatrice clasps her hands in front of her mouth and bites down on the tip of a thumb. The instant Fianna crosses the line, a smile breaks across Beatrice's face. She leans slightly into Ysbail's side, teasing, "And to think you doubted me." Then, more loudly, "Bravo, Lady Fianna!"

Reese is overheard praising Fianna: Yeah, rides super fast!

Aaaaaaaand Corban is -- not last! That, it seems, pleases him, as he manages to overtake Phillipe and get across the line before the Chavelle rider. But he is then trotting after the big winner of the day, looking to throw arms around her for a quick moment. "Phantom! Finanna! What a wonderful job! Bravo!"

Reese is overheard praising Venturo: Yeah, great races!

Vitalis shouts from nearby, ""Go Phantom!""

Reese is overheard praising Berenice: Great races!

Beatrice is overheard praising Fianna: Magnificent race!

Cristoph is overheard praising Venturo: Nicely organized! Great fun!

Philippe is overheard praising Venturo.

Beatrice is overheard praising Berenice: Scintilatingly perfect.

Cristoph is overheard praising Berenice: Well organized, very entertaining!

Gilroy cheers loudly for the winner, then shouts down to Cristoph who he recognizes from the rally. "Did Corban win? Did I inspire him to victory?!"

Beatrice is overheard praising Venturo: An empassioned performance.

Harlex dashes in after Fianna and whips the reins to the side, turning Scout in a circle to curb the momentum. He sucks in a breath and exhales it and there's a nod toward Lady Crovane. "Nice ridin'."

Cristoph is overheard praising Jeffeth: That very big guy with his very big horse can ride really well!

Cristoph is overheard praising Jael: Thank you for not breaking my arm!

Cristoph is overheard praising Fianna: Excellent win!

Pasquale is overheard praising Fianna.

Pasquale is overheard praising Venturo: A magnificent event.

When the race comes to end, Reese can be heard cheering. She climb off her horse and is quick to start checking to see if her filly needs some extra care after that.

Pasquale is overheard praising Berenice: A magnificent event.

Phantom is ahead and he doesn't give up his position as he remains in the lead. He does not falter or lose footing in the sand and he brings Fianna to the finish line with every last ounce of stamina that he can give his handler. Once they cross that finish line, Fianna lets go of the reins and /cheers/ for her war horse! "You did it, you did it!" And once the stallion slows to a canter and then bleeds his momentum into a trot, Fianna leans forward to /hug/ her boy. "Oh you did it!" Phantom gives a snort from his flared nostrils and finally the Crovane lass straightens to direct him where he needs to go.

Ysbail grins to Beatrice, "Never let it be said the Crovanes don't have their own fire." Louder she shouts, "Well done Lady Fianna! Well done!"

Ysbail is overheard praising Fianna.

Sorrel is overheard praising Fianna: Quite the horse race!

Pasquale gives Beatrice a look that seems to convey, 'Well done' and stands as the race draws to a conclusion. His applause for Fianna is sharp and firm. "I should get your opinion on the flank leaders for our cavalry sometime, my cousin-in-oaths," he says to Beatrice.

Sorrel is overheard praising Venturo: Quite the horse race!

Sorrel is overheard praising Berenice: Quite the horse race!

Jael breaks no arms, metaphorical or otherwise, and finishes a respectable fourth. She waves to the crowds with enthusiasm, then sticks her fingers in her mouth and whistles shrilly. "Fine riding, Lady Fianna!"

Khanne is overheard praising Venturo: Brilliant Horse Racing Event!

Khanne is overheard praising Berenice: Brilliant Horse Racing Event!

Sorrel is overheard praising Jael: No arms were broken!

Jael is overheard praising Berenice: A fantastic event!

Jael is overheard praising Venturo: A fantastic event!

Ysbail is overheard praising Venturo: Thrilling Race!

Vitalis roars as Fianna crosses the finish line ahead of the others. He hollers between hands braced around his mouth, "Lady Crovane!" and "Phantom!" He claps, thundrously and then takes a deep breath, taking the hat from his head and, giving it a sad look - heart-wrenching even - flicks the feather and dusts the brim, a look of farewell in his eyes. Still, his face splits into a broad grin and, hatless, he bounds over the edge of the stands to find the victorious pair.

Ysbail is overheard praising Berenice: Thrilling Race!

Khanne is overheard praising Fianna: Holy Hannah in a Handbasket, she's an amazing horse rider!

Jael is overheard praising Sabella: Best hype woman! She /gets/ me.

Thundering to the end, Jeffeth pulls up the reigns smiling warmly over to Fianna, bowing his head to her. The big man pats Friend's neck and trots around a bit letting the steed walk it off as it were.

Venturo checked luck + alchemy at difficulty 9, rolling 36 higher.

Sabella is overheard praising Jael: You'll always break arms in my heart. This metaphor may have gotten away from me.

Donella is overheard praising Fianna: Fast! And the horse was pretty speedy too.

Sabella is overheard praising Berenice: Great event!

Jael is overheard praising Fianna: Amazing riding!

Sabella is overheard praising Venturo: Great event!

Fianna dismounts from Phantom and throws her arms around his neck for another hug. "You did so good! I'm so proud!" She can hear congratulations from her fellow riders and to each of them she gives a cheery, "Thank you! I'm honored to have raced with you."

Vitalis has left the Pink Grand Stands.

"That was quite a horse race," Sorrel says brightly to Duke Cristoph as she holds the back of her son's tunic to keep him from running underfoot of some horses. "The winner pulled ahead, but place and show were up for grabs until the very end!"

Beatrice lounges back against the bench behind her once again, smile unrepentant to Pasquale. "I have the perfect hat for the occasion. Unfortunately, my methodology is unrepeatable: an eye for attractiveness and bold-faced luck."

From above, Venturo steps forward once more, his voice ringing out above the crowds, "And there, my friends, you have a story to tell for years to come! However the Lady Crovane could be /that/ fast is a moment of such deft talent and fate that one rarely witnesses in a lifetime! We will be giving out the winnings shortly. Please do send your congratulations and praises to our fine racers, and to the House Velenosa that has helped to make such a spectacle possible!" With those words given out, the showman once more steps back, looking nothing but so utterly pleased at the enthusiasm of the crowd.

Venturo is overheard praising Velenosa: For Sponsoring the races!

Khanne is overheard praising Velenosa.

Philippe and his horse come last. Still, the Count arrived with elegance and did not let his position in last bother him. He hops off the horse, unbuckling the saddle and checking underneath before setting it back and leading the horse by the hand. Securing his horse, Philippe turns to the announcers to listen to the results. His gaze looking at the others with a judging glance.

Venturo is overheard praising Fianna: A feat of racing never seen before!

Venturo is overheard praising Harlex: A hard earned second plae at the races!

Venturo is overheard praising Jeffeth: Third in the Raconteur Cup!

Garibaldi, the Lycene swordbearer, 2 House Mazetti Aspirants leave, following Theron.

Up in her (not actually ivory) tower, Berenice steps forward, applauding enthusiastically for the end of the race. "Gods! What an absolutely thrilling presentation for this first annual race." Her smile flashes bright and wide, looking so tickled to have been a part of it. "House Velenosa is honored to present the prizes sponsored for the winners of this year's race. In third place, we honor Sir Jeffeth Bayweather of the Knights of Solace with 25,000 silver." She gestures most particularly to him, giving the crowd time to appreciate him and for him to accept the pouch of silver with his winnings.

Merek is overheard praising Fianna: Great!

Berenice is overheard praising Jeffeth: Third place in the First Annual Raconteur Cup Horse Race!

Merek is overheard praising Venturo: Great

Merek is overheard praising Harlex.

Merek is overheard praising Jeffeth.

Vitalis hurries to Fianna, waving his hat in the air as he goes.

Merek is overheard praising Reese.

Dismounting Friend, Jeffeth pats her neck once more in appreciation before stepping forward and going in a deep bow to the crowd. Standing up he smiles brightly to Berenice and bows his head, stepping forward to accept his winnings.

Salvatore is overheard praising Velenosa: Supporting races and riders!

Fianna finishes hugging Phantom and gives his soft neck a kiss with a grand smile to follow. She pivots and removes her riding gloves, stuffing them into her back trous pocket as she's met by Lord Vitalis' sweeping embrace. "Thank you!" And she has treats to give Rosie and Scout, and for the other horses should they draw near for them -- she's never without a piece of carrot or two!

Salvatore is overheard praising Harlex: Excellent riding

Salvatore is overheard praising Fianna: Excellent riding

Salvatore has left the Wooden Picnic Table.

"And in second place, I am /particularly/ pleased to congratulate Captain Harlex Valtyr of the Crimson Blades," Berenice says, absolutely and entirely biased, "with a prize of 50,000 silver." The winnings are presented to him next, offered in a pouch, and Berenice's smile is most certainly the /most/ warm for him. MAYBE SOMEONE OUGHT TO CHECK THE WEIGHT ON THAT POUCH. (Not actually.)

Rosie may have come in second-to-last, but she is a winner in her own mind because she gets treats! Rosie trots over to Fianna, leaning down and nipping at the carrot. Mmmm. Carrot. Corban smiles warmly at Fianna, waiting for her to be announced to get her prize.

Merek has left the Pink Grand Stands.

Harlex has been /quite/ a storm during this whole thing but as he hears his name from Berenice, he angles his gaze toward her and it's all too pleased with a smile at the corner of his mouth. He offers a most /gracious/ bow of his head before he accepts the pouch of coins. Weighed in his palm. All that gloominess certainly fading if briefly, or churning for the moment to hold less threat.

Berenice's eyes and smile linger for a long moment on Harlex before they finally turn to Fianna. "And of course, our very first champion of the Raconteur Cup Horse Race: Lady Fianna Crovane! We are pleased to honor her with the grand prize of 100,000 silver -- as well as the first place trophy for use in all associated bragging rights." She flashes a wider grin.

Down from the tower Venturo descends as the Princess Berenice dolls out the praises and awards, and it is at the base that he awaits for the first place announcement. Held in his hands is the first place trophy, which fittingly enough is a quite fancy looking beer stein! "I thought this should be something memorable," Comes his offering towards the Lady Crovane, a glimmer of amusement in his pale gaze, "but had I known /that/ was coming, I'd have had the artists incorporate the wind itself upon the stein. The best part of your trophy, in my judgement," Out it is held for her to take, "is the fact it is functional, and should you bring it to any Raconteur's in Arvum? Your first drink shall always be on me."

Berenice is overheard praising Harlex: Second place in the First Annual Raconteur Cup Horse Race!

Berenice is overheard praising Fianna: The very first champion of the Raconteur Cup Horse Race!

Pasquale has left the Blue Grand Stands.

Vitalis eases back from an enthusiastic victory greeting for the champion, raking crooked fingers through his hair and lifting a wordless shout for the victors again! He claps and recedes as the hosts come to bear prizes to Fianna.

Berenice is overheard praising Velenosa.

Pasquale sends out some more applause, and makes his way down from the stands. "This was, indeed, entirely divering. Lady Beatrice, I shall see you at the Tower." And off he goes, with that.

Svoli has left the Beneath Trees.

Looking up to Pasquale with a smile, Beatrice touches a hand to her mouth and blows a playful kiss in his direction. "So you shall, cousin."

Pasquale is overheard praising Velenosa.

Phantom stands near Fianna as a piece of carrot (or two) is shared with the pretty red roan. "Good girl, Rosie. You were /amazing./" A hand reaches out to pat the mare's neck and she then draws back to give her war horse another pleased pat just before Berenice approaches with a pouch and praise. A respectful curtsy is given to the Velenosa princess as well as to Brewmaster Thayne, "Thank you for having us and thank you for hosting such a grand race. I'm truly honored!" The pouch is collected with a grateful nod as is the /exquisite/ beer stein. "Oh, this is stunning! And practical." she says with a laugh. "Thank you /so/ very much!" Phantom, of course, tosses his head and snortshis own response soon after.

Leaving her place from beneath the trees, Svoli wanders toward Philippe.

Reese smiles over to Fianna. "Congrats, you are amazingly fast." She says softly in her direction. She then has a wave for Beatrice.

Philippe standing at the side of his horse, he watches Svoli as she walks towards him and when she approaches, he bows politely. He straightens and speaks softly to the Lady of Fidante.

Venturo gifts the Lady Crovane with a crooked, rakish smile, his features all full of delight. "No, thank you! I expect you to be back at these races next year to defend your well earned title." With those offerings given up, it's on towards both Harlex and Jeffeth, each of whom gets an extend hand towards them, "And you two! Captain Harlex and Sir Jeffeth! You did not disappoint either. The inching back and fourth between the two of you all race was riveting to see whom would get the last say in it. Well raced!"

Corban has left the In the Water.

Reedy, a King's Own aide, Rosie, the red roan war horse leave, following Corban.



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