Duskshire Mustangs Part 1
Ooc: limited to Laurent and on down the vassal line for now. Expect ridiculously high animal ken and ride rolls. Expect chaos and shenanigans.
June 7, 2019, 9 p.m.
Outside Arx - Oathlands near Duskshire - Duskshire Meadows
Comments and Log
And so, the group approaches the expanse of the meadows near Duskshire. The barony has faced many battles over the years, from the big wars to the tiny skirmishes over territory. In that time, many horses have been lost when their riders were slain. A particularly large group of standard destriers that ended up wild some fifty plus years ago is the base stock for this current herd (roughly 30 horses), though there are trace elements of other breeds. One might notice the stockiness of the Blanchard war horse or the long legs of a steed whose ancestry speaks to speed. There's even a few with uncommonly long ears for a horse, which is odd. Anyone with horse knowledge in the area could tell you that the Duskshire mustangs are a ridiculous herd of misfits, they're scrappy, strong and fierce tempered. A few experienced horsemen have tried to capture these for their stables, just to say they have one. But typically what they end up with is a poor tempered, stubborn animal that kicks fences down and bites the other horses.
These are the horses you're here to catch.
May the odds be ever in your favor.
"So, tell me why again, we've decided we should capture these for riding, and not... I don't know, enjoying the taste of good horseflesh?" Kedehern asks to no one in particular as they ride along. From everything he's heard, they're obnoxious pains in the rump.
Baron Norwood Clement pulls up short of the Mustangs, not seeking to spook the creatures by drawing close too quickly. "Old Phil told me that some of his boys came to round them up. They didn't even manage to touch the slowest." Norwood glances towards Kedehern and raises an eyebrow. "They could be beyond valuable if we can breed out some of the wild. "
Truth, Amari is not the best with horses. Her own, Clopsy, is a good natured old mare who mostly just does as she likes and doesn't seem to mind the Keaton company. She's here mostly because she's Norwood's squire, and she wanted to see Duskshire again. So in that regard, she looks quite content and pleased to be looking out over the meadows and the misfit destriers milling around. Kedehern's question snaps her from her momentary reverie to arch a brow, "You can't eat them. They're perfectly good horses, probably. Uncle Baron Norwood will need them to outfit his calvary so needs good stock." Which is mostly the same thing he just said, so she nods pointedly to Norwood.
Frowning. Smiling. Some where inbetween. More smile then frown. Weary. Yes, a weary smile rested on her face as she stood? Sat on her war elk? Picked her nose? No, not that one! In anycase, Shae was watching the the horses. "Horse meat is pretty delicious." Shae comments.
"Because they're gorgeous," Jael chimes, all about the asthetic. "And yes, they'd be a good foundation for a breeding line. Hearty animals." Never at a loss for horses herself, today she's mounted on a bay mare built for speed and looks happy as a clam as they move along. "I suppose we could eat them, but we have plenty of other things to eat."
"None of you," Norwood says pointedly as he looks between the Laurents and Keatons, "Are going to eat the horses on my land." There's a possessive tone to Norwood's voice. This is HIS DUSKSHIRE OKAY. The Horses are OFF LIMITS. His eye skim about the area as he ponders the best way to capture the animals. "We should spread out. See if we can find a tree line or something we can press them against."
"Mark my words," Kedehern intones. "After today, the idea of eating one of these beasts will give a certain feeling of satisfaction, I'm sure." A nod then, and a sigh. Time to play cowboy. This was going to be painful. He starts uncoiling a length of rope for the lasso.
Norwood levels a stare-glare at Kedehern.
Most of the horses don't care at all that the group of Oathlanders is nearby. They're too busy grazing and rolling around in the grass and oh- beating the crap out of each other. A pair of stallions starts to go at, flashing hooves, neighing and lots of biting. Fine animals, so majestic.
"I just said the meat is delicious, not that I am going to eat them." A heavy sigh, as she grumps a touch. Yep. That's right, even sunshine grumps on occassion. Another sigh, this one a touch tired. Watrching the horses some, and then, "Postivie note, they are not Unicorns."
Jael gestures to the fighting stallions enthusiatically. "Oooh, I like those." She watches, rapt. At least she's not prancing up to them with a rope.
Amari taps her rubicund breastplate absently, as if making sure it's there and strong enough to keep her from getting her ribs kicked in by an angry horse, like those two stallions trying to wreck each other. She seems worried. There's a glance down at River and Barf, and a word of warning, "Remember that neither of you are herd dogs. Stay with me." With that, she rides out a bit to put some distance between her and everyone else, as Norwood suggested.
"True enough," about them not being uniforns. Kedehern shaks his head, there. "They look terrifying, unicorns." A glance to Norwood, and "I know, I know... No eating." At least not yet. Eventually, he makes his lasso with the somewhat stiff rope and starts to spread out, looking for anything that wasn't open land.
Norwood moves away from the others to seek some place that they might herd the herd of horses. There's uncommonly little luck though, Duskshire's scrappy in this area. Pondering the two stallions for a long moment. "If we could get the winner of that to follow, we might just get the rest of the herd." Don't mind the Baron as he goes to ride his horse next to Jael. There'a glance at her for thoughts. Norwood knows what these thoughts are going to be though.
Norwood checked command + animal ken at difficulty 50, rolling 21 lower.
Kedehern checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 50, rolling 13 lower.
Amari checked perception + animal ken at difficulty 50, rolling 17 lower.
Shae checked command + animal ken at difficulty 50, rolling 23 higher.
Jael checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 50, rolling 15 higher.
Nudging at Carwyn's sides she guides off in a direction away from others. Moving to take up a spot out in the field... Shae would totally know what to do, even if her player has no clue. At all. While River and Barf are not herding dogs. Alix and Daegmund are. So, Shae gets to work using her animal know how and the two dogs to help her with herding and corraling these here mustangs. Yeeeee-ha!
You know, Kedehern had actually practiced this at the Proving Grounds. Riding by on his horse, tossing the lasso at the wood and straw pony target. It had seemed a hell of a lot easier then. Likely because the target pony wasn't actually moving. These were. So far.... His rope has yet to find a neck to cling to.
There's one last eyebrow list at Jael, because, well. Jael. He digs his heels into Steadfast's side and drives him forward. The engaged-in-fight horses should be herdable away from the two fighters, right?
Amari sits back in her saddle and studies the horses carefully from afar, trying to discern their habits and inner horse thoughts before she makes her move. This means of course, that she doesn't move at all. Not yet... It may take her a while yet to fully understand equine psychology and behavior. The way her eyes are narrowed suggests she's having a difficult time of it. Her dogs look up at her and tilt their heads, like, can we chase the horses now or...?
No sooner does Norwood ride up next to Jael than she flashes him a grin and dismounts lightly, a length of rope slung over her shoulders. She does at least have the horse sense (hurr) not to approach the two steeds in battle, but she does spot a pretty mare with a spotted rump grazing nearby and jogs towards her. Before the horse knowns what's happening, Jael has leapt onto her back and is hanging on for dear life. At least she's not whooping like a crazy person. Just acting like one.
Shae /does/ seem to know what she's doing. While the horses are pretty baffled by the appearance of dogs, they start to back up and mosey on away to the treeline huffing and snorting nervously. She's successfully securing maybe five of the horse, while the rest break into utter and total chaos. Kedehern's rope startles several mares that start to rush around the meadow in a panic, while the horses engaged in a fight /turn/ on Norwood and one of them kicks at Steadfast and the other bites his tail. Amari hasn't moved much, so she isn't responsible for much of this chaos. Jael on the other hand, is doing something that really shouldn't even make sense. How is this working? The mare bucks and fights and the Laurent clings for dear life as the animal tries to throw her off.
Norwood checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 60, rolling 25 higher.
Jael checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 50, rolling 5 higher.
Amari checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 50, rolling 21 lower.
"Good Daegmund, Good Alix," Shae calls out to the two dogs as they help her with rounding up the horses. Smiling at her success and then there is Kedehern. Ruining it. All of it. A rathter loud huff as horses start breaking away. Her eyes widening as the Chaos spreads and the crazy happens. Staring at Norwoard first and at Jael. Blinking she turns back to try and calm the horses near her that Kedehern spooked.
Shae checked command + animal ken at difficulty 50, rolling 2 lower.
"Look, I... I just need to learn their movements!" Kedehern shouts over the din, to Shae. He pauses, thinks a moment. "...Or I'm just not very good at this!" That option was probably more accurate. Still, Duke Arn didn't train no quitters. He tries again, attempting to ride alongside one, and snare it...
Kedehern checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 50, rolling 4 higher.
Let's be honest, this almost certainly isn't the first time Jael has leaped onto a wild horse. She does somehow seem to know what she's doing; managing to loop her rope around the horse's neck and use that as an extra grip. Despite the beast's desperate attempts to shake her off, it sounds like the Laurent is speaking to her in soothing tones.
Steadfast is a GOOD HORSE. The best horse. Except that even the best horses start to to act up when they are getting MOBBED. Norwood swears artlessly as he give sup on trying to herd anything and instead focuses on staying on Steadfast's back despite the jostling. For a moment He's just going to disappear in the maddness until he breaks from among the group with poor Steadfast looking way worse for the wear. That's totally blood on the stallion's shoulder from where a wild horse dug its teeth into the creature. Norwood rides away from the herd to a moderately safe distance to dismount and check on his horse.
Before Amari can deduce the secret key to horses, the chaos the others have set off rushes at her in the form of HORSES everywhere, all galloping, kicking, making scary horse noises at her. Her response is to try and wheel Clopsy around to get away, probably, or make space or who knows - maybe she even intended to leap from horse to horse and that would have been so awesome. She was trying to move, at any rate, and suddenly she's out of her saddle and landing in the long meadow grass with a heavy thump. Clopsy, spooked, takes off towards the treeline while River pursues as if she still thinks Amari's with her. Barf meanwhile starts licking her face helpfully.
Shae really is doing her best, while she can't do much about the /other/ horses that are panicking all around due to the antics of literally everyone else, the five she has stay with her. They're sequestered and if she can just get them tied up, they'll be okay! Kedehern, manages to actually rope in a dark blue roan that promptly starts to lose its mind at the feeling of a rope around its neck, reacting in a similar fashion to Jael's horse. However that mount is starting to kick less and is mostly side-stepping in a quiet panic as it snorts, tail whips and shakes its head aggressively. Norwood escapes the grasps of horse thunderdome, meanwhile Amari is ON THE GROUND APPARENTLY and horses are rushing all around her. So far... they've avoided stepping on her.
Kedehern checked strength + athletics at difficulty 50, rolling 14 lower.
Amari checked luck + dodge at difficulty 30, rolling 10 lower.
Norwood checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 60, rolling 11 higher.
Shae checked command + animal ken at difficulty 50, rolling 17 lower.
Jael checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 50, rolling 13 higher.
No one is more surprised than Kedehern as his lasso actually loops around the majestic beast's neck. He sits there, almost stunned, and starts to cheer, when.... Oh. Whoa! Well. Things just got interesting, as the horse is now losing it's shit, with Kedehern on the other end of things!
Norwood checked strength at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Norwood checked strength + athletics at difficulty 40, rolling 6 higher.
Jael clicks her tongue softly as the horse she has just freakin' jumped on starts to calm ever so slightly. "Shhshhshh, it's all right. Shhh." She hangs on to the rope with one hand but uses the other to rub the horse's shoulder gently. "That's good, you're doing really well."
Steadfast is more or less out for the rest of this, but Norwood isn't about to give up quite so quickly. Turning back to the herd he sees the moment that Amari goes off her horse. This is where he's going to pull a Jael and run towards the fighting stallions. The one on top preferably. Grabbing the hair of the horse the Baron pulls himself up onto the creature and then leans down an arm to Amari. "Squire, here!" Because pulling another person onto a wild horse is going to work well in the long run.
This was... oh like at Kedehern, this is hilarious! Snorting loudly, Shae starts to laugh at the look on Kedehern's face. The laughing though, easily turns to coughing. And then she is having a coughing fit. And she is now trying to not cough up a lung, thanks blood curse. You're the best.
Kedehern's stunned reaction followed by cheering gives the horse enough time to figure out that hey, it can just ride away. WHICH IT DOES. Assuming that Kedehern has a strong enough grip on the rope to not lose it, it begins to drag him and his horse wildly around the meadow since he doesn't get the gumption in to figure out how to steer straight off the bat.
What Jael's doing shouldn't even be working and yet- well, she can just rub it in Cristoph's face later how great she is with horses. Her new friend stops trying to buck her off and can even be steered toward Shae and the- two remaining horses. Three of them break free and take off, rejoining the herd. But between the ladies, they've managed to snag THREE.
Kedehern goes flying past as both his horse and the wild horse are now sprinting together.
A couple of hooves clip Amari, but then there's Norwood, lifting her up onto... the back of a wild horse? This is going to be fine, just fine.
Amari checked composure at difficulty 10, rolling 8 higher.
Norwood checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 60, rolling 5 lower.
Kedehern checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 50, rolling 10 lower.
Shae checked charm + animal ken at difficulty 50, rolling 1 lower.
"Grab onto his mane," That's direction from NOrwood to Amari. Good direction considering the horse goes wild at the weight on his back and starts bucking. Norwood does a good job of it, for the most part, until he's not doing a good job any more. Woops.
Whoops, darn blood curse strikes again, letting three horses free. Yep, it's totaly the blood curse's fault, it untied them and let them loose. Stupid blood curse. But no really, the coughing fit finally ceases and she frown as the horses get away. "Hey Jael," she murmurs as Jael and her new hooved friend join her. "Umm, maybe we should help Kedehern..." Pointing towards where Kedehern is being draged about in the field. A clap and she sends the dogs to go help him. Yay doggos!
Kedehern was.... Not exactly in control of where he was going, right now it seems. He tries to get his own mount under control, wrapping his rope around his saddle horn (That's what it's for!) but.... "Thiiiis! Was noooooot a goooood ideaaaa!" he calls, as he's sort of taken for a ride around the meadow, at full gallop.
Clipped is close enough to trampled as far as Amari is concerned, the first hit convinces her to struggle up onto her knees but she gets hoofed again before Norwood is there and she's just following instructions in wide eyed shock. How did things go so wrong for her? How is getting atop a wild horse going to improve things? If she was thinking clearly, she might have balked, but instead she grabs Norwood's arm and up she goes, still gasping for the air she knocked out of herself in the fall.
Barf, angrified and not invited up with her, starts to bark and chase the other horses in earnest, his deep bass voice sounding much like his name, "bbbARF! bbbARF!"
While 'steer' is a liberal term, Jael is able to get close to the other secured horses. "See? We're going to be friends." Patpatpat. It's only then that she takes in the rest of the scene around her...Kedehern tearing around with a wild horse on a string, Norwood and Amari riding a wild stallion...and her eyes go wide at Shae. When the dogs head off after Kedehern she dismounts, quickly and deftly tethers her slightly-less-wild mare near the others Shae has corraled, and mounts her bay to take off after Amari and Norwood with absolutely no idea what she's going to do.
Jael checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 50, rolling 44 higher.
Kedehern checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 50, rolling 24 lower.
While his intentions were good, Norwood and Amari both end up back on the ground. Shae's dogs go forth into the chaos, where they're nimble enough to escape being stepped on by rampaging horses but also not quite able to get a track on Kedehern as he continues to fly around the meadow with the horse on a leash. While he's not in a great position, he hasn't been thrown off yet or injured. He could always let go! But technically, he's still got the horse. What will he choose?? Will Shae's dogs help him in this next round? dun Dun DUN. Jael is able to effectively got a path through the pissed of equines and steer through to Norwood and Amari so that one of them can get on board.
Amari checked dexterity + athletics at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.
Jael checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 50, rolling 1 lower.
Shae checked command + animal ken at difficulty 50, rolling 15 higher.
Norwood checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 60, rolling 3 higher.
Kedehern checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 50, rolling 24 lower.
Norwood's going to do his best to try to protect Amari from the flying hooves because it's just a thing he does. The Laurent Children's propensity for getting into trouble makes it second nature. "Get on that horse Amari," Norwood orders when he sees Jael riding in. For his part he rolls to get under the hooves and then gets to his feet. The stallions are both out of the way, but there's one of those long-legged, floppy-eared creatures nearby. Norwood reaches for the mane to pull himself up again, sure that Amari's going to be TOTALLY SAFE.
Jael's bay, Aster, is better at running than field maneuvers and despite their best efforts the horse is more inclined to shy at the addition of a new rider than a warhorse might be. Still, this doesn't stop Jael from trying to haul Amari into the saddle, leaning down and reeeeeeaching as they thunder past.
Kedehern might technically have a horse, but... At this point, it really seems more like the horse has Kedehern. He's too damn stubborn to let go, however. He'll be damned to be outsmarted by horse. This probably has negative effects on his immediate health.
Shae stares at the whole meadow the the continued chaos that was going on. "Careful, Kedehern! Not get hurt!" Sadly it was too late to say that to Amari, instead Shae frowns at that thought and looks extremely upset. And then a tried sigh, as she glances toward where Norwood, Amari, and Jael are watching them for a moment before turning back to Kedehern and calling out the the dogs, to try and get them to focus more on the job.
But Norwood, Amari is cursed! She gets tossed from horseback again, but luckily this time she lands feet first and is able to stumble off and nearly into the side of Jael's bay as she thunders in. Her expression reads all regret about this whole misadventure and if she'd stop being thrown off horses for like two seconds she might start crying, but is probably too scared currently to have emotions. Maybe later, when she's not being hauled again up onto another hoofed death machine at Norwood's orders.
[025 Wow. The horse with the overly long ears DOES NOT APPROVE of what's happening. He starts to kick up and out and buck and drag Norwood around on the field, though the baron is able to barely cling onto the raging creature. Kedehern is eventually thrown from his own horse, but he's blessedly far enough away from the others that he doesn't have to worry about getting trampled. He'll be really, really sore tomorrow (as will everyone except Shae). Luckily, Shae's dogs rush in at just the right moment to corral that blue roan before it can bolt away to freedom. It joins the other three. Four horses! Jael and Aster are able to get Amari up, but just barely and there's a frightening and precarious moment where it looks like they'll both tumble off the horse. But Amari clings on tenaciously and they're able to unsteadily make their way to the edge of the field.
Currently there's just Norwood, riding the world's most dubious looking mixed breed horse around the field. Steadfast looks on in disappointment.
Norwood checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 60, rolling 4 higher.
"Hang on!" Jael shouts to Amari, unnecessarily no doubt, as she steers Aster back towards the captured animals and eases the mare into a canter and finally a walk. She should probably do more to help the House Sword, but all she can do is stare fish-mouthed as he tried to gentle a /very/ weird-looking animal.
It's okay Steadfast. Norwood loves him the best, enough that's he's going to cling to that totally-part-donkey-part-horse so that he can ride Steadfast again at a later date. "Calm down," Norwood is testy at his floppy-eared- companion. "The stables at Duskshire have lots of food. Hay. Comfortable stalls. Bushes." Norwood absolutely knows that the Horse doesn't understand, but he's going to talk ANYWAY.
Ow. Kedehern was pretty sure he broke his cocyx there, or something. Ooooowwww. Still, he manages to make it to his feet, where he glares a moment at the blue roan. It looked delicious. Alas, twas not to be, however.
Amari clings to Jael and Aster like the clingiest clinger to ever cling to avoid eating dirt for a third time. Her hair, which had been up in a neat bun is wild with flyaways and the bun itself mostly unraveled, while her face is splotchy-flushed with color and eyes wide. Maybe calm down, that's what she should do. Calm down while she's hanging on. Like Jael, she stares at Norwood but she's staring at everything, and probably not seeing much.
Woo! FOUR HORSES! Shae moves to help secure the Roan. And then moves to help Kedehern up, "Are you alright?" Glancing toward Jael and Amari, a concerned look there as she looked at her cousin.
Lots of food you say? Hay? Comfortable stalls? It's hard to tell if this cantankerous animal that Norwood rides actually believes any of that. It continues to buck and sidestep and try to fling him onto the ground. But it looks like it's getting tired. The rest of the herd finally wises up and starts to flee, galloping off into the trees and down the hills to a place where crazy people aren't trying to ride them.
Norwood checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 50, rolling 4 lower.
"...I've been better," Kedehern grunts. "Been a lot worse, too."
Jael spares a glance over her shoulder at Amari even as Norwood is having his butt handed to him by a donkeyhorse, worry limning her sharp features. "How're you holding up?" Aster is nice and still, at least.
Norwood was doing really well until Mr. DonkeyHorse gets right to the edge of a small corpse of trees. It's the branches that undo the Baron as the smart creature takes Norwood right under the trees and Norwood gets his ass handed to him. Off the donkey-horse's back Norwood goes to land on the ground sprawled out.
Amari belatedly remembers her manners, which suggests she's more or less fine, and murmurs a 'thank you' to Jael for rescuing her from a trampling. "I'm alright." She assures her before dismounting awkwardly and pointing off after Norwood who's just been removed from DonkeyHorse. "Uncle Norwood might need rescue now." A whistle is given then, but River is off in the woods baying, and Barf has chased one of the mustangs to the trees himself, so both are slow to notice.
Jael waves off the thanks with awkwardness but nails the dismount, immediately striding off across the field towards Norwood
The donkey-horse, which most people would call a mule, neighs wickedly at Norwood and for a second- one shining and terrifying moment, it looks like it's going to bring its forehooves down onto the baron's head. Then with a disdainful wicker, it turns and gallops off with the rest of the herd. This isn't the last you'll see of him.
All in all, for amateur horse wranglers, they capture four in total. Which isn't so bad, they'll be better prepared next time.
Jael waves off the thanks with awkwardness but nails the dismount, immediately striding off across the field towards Norwood. She pauses, wide-eyed, when the 'mule' nearly brains him, then scampers forward to offer him a hand up.
Kedehern watches as the mule trods off, and Kedehern looks to Norwood, curious. "...Why were you trying to wrangle the mule?" It seems Kedehern has... Not caught most of what was happening around him, during his own fight with the blue roan.
Norwood is laying stunned in the dust and doesn't move. Even when Jael reaches out a hand to him he just lays there and stares at it. "If that thing can breed - we're going to have some tricky horses." Finally he reaches up to grab Jael's hand and pulls himself to his feet. "Because he's smart. Very smart."
"Mules are sterile, I'd not worry," Kedehern states.
"One can only hope it isn't a mule then. Just... has some nice long ears."
"And a very dinkey-like face," Kedehern adds, nodding as if in agreement.
"Oh, is that what it is, a mule?" Wow Shae, what do you do with that animal ken five, again? "Mules are not donkeys... right? Mules are from a donkey and horse mating, right?" Her nose wrinkling some as she glances off in thought. Looking like she was really struggling there. And then something Norwood says gets her attention. "What? Horses don't have long ears..." Now a touch confused. "Amari. Horses don't have long ears, right?"
Amari spends a little while with her hands on her knees trying to catch her breath, and when she has enough to travel, she walks over to check on Norwood with everyone else. On the way, she counts heads, and smiles when she finds Kedehern and Shae have both survived too. Norwood's up by the time she gets there so has nothing to do but gently rub her eyes and field a question from Shae. "Horses don't have long ears. I mean they do, but not as long as a donkey has."
Finally hauling Norwood to his feet, Jael brushes some dust off her clothing and tries to wind her hair into a messy knot. "Uncle Kedehern's right. It's a mule and it's sterile which, with a temperament like that, thank the gods." She starts futzing around with getting the newly acquired horses ready to go.
Chalk Nowood's stubbornness to being thrown off multiple horses today. He's going to just hang an arm over Jael's shoulders. "Alright. We should... get back to Duskshire. STeadfast could use some healing."
Norwood gets just a random bone.
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