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Spring Hunt: White Stag

With spring comes the planting of crops, and the realization on the part of the Rose barons that those deer rebounded AWFULLY quickly. There are quite a lot of deer that need to be thinned out so that the forest and the land can prosper, and rumor says that a black boar and white stag have been spotted in the forest.

With the blessing of Petrichor and the Lodge, houses Grayson and Valardin are sponsoring a hunt. Prizes will be awarded during the feast to those who have the greatest contribution to the hunt as follows:

1st Place: 1 Alaricite Ingot
2nd Place: 2 Diamondplate Ingots
3rd Place: 8 Rubicund Ingots

OOC: The two side scenes (Black Boar and White Stag) are where the rolls will be made. Both scenes will be using the same rolls; we're just splitting it up so that it's easier to manage. We will be using ride and weapon or animal ken, if you are hawking or bringing hounds. There's the chance of minor artfully roguish damage while hunting.

Date

July 2, 2019, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Zara Tikva

Participants

Reese Harlan Miranda Joslyn Silas Evonleigh Cahal Pharamond Lucita Merek Sparte Rowenova

Organizations

Location

Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Gray Forest Outskirts

Largesse Level

Grand

Comments and Log


With the hunt sponsored by House Grayson, there's no surprise that there's a spirit of adventure in the air; of course, given that the other sponsoring House is Valardin, it's also not a surprise that the hunt begins with a prayer calling upon Petrichor's blessings by a godsworn priest. A long prayer.



The hunters are turned loose into the forest under the watchful eyes of Grayson's master hunters. As much as the hunt is for fun and for sport, there's still care taken to be sure that no one is left to wander alone in the dark of the woods. Spring's bright green bursts from the trees as life returns to the forest. It's not long before hunting parties are flushing out and bringing down deer, which are carried back to the feast-to-be at the main camp.



Small hunting parties have had fair to good luck in the past few hours, and the chatter of voices is as likely to frighten off game as the baying of the dogs. A fleeting glimpse of something large and white has sent this hunting party charging to the west. The hounds are on the scent, and the game is on, in pursuit of that luring flash of white bounding fleetly through the shadows of the trees.

1 Saik Guard, Gunther, a Rottweiler, Golden, an Oakhaven bloodhound, Mist Dancer arrive, following Lucita.

Cahal checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 19 higher. Cahal rolled a critical!

Miranda checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 37 higher.

Joslyn checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 11 higher.

Evonleigh checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 8 higher.

Reese arrives at the hunt while adorned in lots of pink! She is in the company of Joslyn. The girl has her hunting hound with her and her war horse. She has ribbon tangled up in her golden locks. She peeks over to Joslyn. "This should be fun, but remember to be very careful. The Count would never forgive me if something happened to you."

Silas checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 39 higher.

Harlan checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 3 higher.

Reese checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.

There's nothing wrong with a prayer to Petrichor -- at least, that's Harlan's thought process. He has less need of the master hunters -- but the horses might be another thing -- Ashford doesn't use horses for hunting after all -- how can you sneak up on something if you have a horse making big clopping sounds everywhere? Luckily, he can manage to stay ahorse in most circumstances.

Lucita checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 44 higher.

Pharamond checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 10 higher.

The prayer is welcome and Miranda's been in a jovial mood, lamenting her likelihood of winning a prize. All the same, she's upon a horse from her House and manages to ride upon said steed like the pro she isn't! Those lessons from High Lord Edain sure did come in handy! She's in armor, which has been covered by cloth to lessen the sound it makes.

"I'll be fine," Joslyn insists to Reese, giving her a little bit of a grin. The bells that often adorn her hair have been left behind, less noise to disrupt the hunt. She's riding her own horse, a far smaller mount than Reese's, and wearing a divided skirt. She doesn't really look like she's dressed for hunting, and a bump is visible beneath her thin silks. She seems determined to just press on as if nothing were wrong. "I'm not going to sit at home until the baby comes, really it's high time I go out and have some fun."

Silas is always in the mood for a good hunt, and he rarely gets the opportunity to do so nowadays! Thus, when he overheard the Grayson-Valardin plans for a hunt, he quickly hurried home and got into his leathers and found himself a spear. He borrowed a bay mare from the Iron Guard stables, but horse and man seem to be getting on swimmingly as Silas trudges through the foilage. His tracking ability is... less than stellar, but that's why he's following everyone else.

Evonleigh is most decidely *not* a hunter, but has recently been taking riding lessons. She has a bow on her, but is mostly here for the thrill of the chase. Quite literally. She and her horse sometimes seem to have some differences of opinion when Evonleigh wants him to go one way and he decides he wants to go another. For the most part, she's doing all right, if a little behind the main pack -- which suits her fine. Let the others kill the dinner -- she can eat it just fine.

Cahal thought it might be a good idea to bring his young dog out to the hunt but it really wasnt. The young animal just keeps trying to bound off after the hunters dogs and eventually Cahal sighs and passes it off to one of the assistants. Freed from the needs of controlling his own overexcited dog he finally swings up into the saddle of his borrowed horse, tosses a smile in the hosts direction, and then kicks the horse into the chase. He makes it look easy, that run.

Pharamond gets to show off his new armor as he rides in, the Cardian made by Apollo having finally been finished and as he rides in, on a House stable special, he looks down to the horse that helped him in the Joust back during the Taste of Arx events. "Alright...horse of questionable name..." he says, looking down and riding in with a smile on his features. "Let's show people who's boss....while we stay in the back and watch. It's safer that way." He does give a wave around though to those he knows, with his Duke, Silas, Miranda, and Evonleigh likely getting a wider smile, it's probably hard to tell either way as Pharamond tends to be pretty chipper in general.

Reese is mounted up on her white horse. She peeks over to Joslyn, having a smile for her. she then smiles to Silas as well. She calls out to Cahal. "Greetings Lord Cahal." The girl then takes a moment to try and blow Miranda a kiss." She seems to be a cheerful mood. She rides pretty well, staying balanced in her saddle and in control of her mount.

AND Princess Reese! How could Pharamond miss her! She gets a warm wave as well!

Lucita rides in on Mist Dancer, the horse well familiar with long endurance rides through a variety of terrain and been schooled by Princess Caelis over the Cavalry course makes it relatively easy, at least at first. She glances around at those present. "Lady Miranda, are we getting in to mischief 'again' today? And Lady Joslyn, good to see you again? Are we trying small weapons on this hunt or just keeping company with the hunters? Princess Ribbons..er.. Reese is given a warm smile and Baron Silas and the others when her attention falls upon them.

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

Merek makes his way to the place so he can mount up to do hunting with the others. He has on his longcoat with his bow as well as weapons as needed. He moves with the others to begin also.

Reese peeks over to Pharmond, giving the Sword of Ashford a warm smile. "Greetings, Lord Ashford." The then notices to Lucita and looks happy to see her. "Baroness Lucita. I am glad you are here." She ays softly.

Cahal salutes Reese with his spear when she calls out to him.

Harlan looks nothing but eager to get off the horse and be on with the actual -hunting-.

Miranda blows a kiss to Pharamond and Reese, both! "Pharamond! Ribbons!" To Lucita, Miranda chuckles, "My Lady, I am always up to mischief, but this way, if I have a new scar, I can show it off to my Prince, " she wiggles her brows, "And see how much sympathy I might get. Fun, no?" Did she miss anyone?? Anyone at all? Well, if so, they get waved to and such as well!

Reese waves to Merek as well. "Sir Merek, hi!" She says to him.

Silas slows his gallop to properly address those who greet him. He offers a casual wave, smile a hint more sly than it normally is. "Hello - Lord Ashford, Baroness Saik, and Princess Reese." Another pause, as he notes Evonleigh's unexpected presence. "And cousin! Do you hunt often?"

Joslyn beams over at Lucita when she rides closer. "It's great seeing you again," Joslyn smiles, a hand resting on her belly as she rides. "Well, it's probably not wise to charge with daggers drawn, but if I find an opportunity, I'm gonna take it," Joslyn winks. "Hope you've been well? Business has kept me away, though it is 'Countess' now," Joslyn corrects with a good-natured smile. "We haven't spoken in some time, but I married Count Athaur Rivenshari. I am truly blessed, but it has been a bit of an adjustment period."

"Never," says Evonleigh with a laugh to Silas. "I've barely learned how to ride, so I thought I'd just come along for the fun of it. I hardly expect to hit anything -- I can barely hit standing on my own feet, let alone sitting on a moving animal.

Sparte checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 35 higher.

Thick and tangling branches hang low over the path that riders forge into the woods; fallen branches litter the forest floor, hazards that would trip up any less canny horse or riders. But the hunters in pursuit of the flash of white hide are blessed by luck, and not a single horse tangles their feet. Some of that might be due to a very well-bred and well-trained horse, it's true, but there are hunters among the pack who make it look _easy_ as their mounts vault over streams. Lucita rides with such skill she seems almost fixed to her saddle, while Reese, Silas, Miranda, and Sparte are quick behind.



They come crashing through the underbrush and into a clearing. Far on the other side of the clearing, the figure they chase stands revealed as a tall and magnificent stag. The many points of his antlers are bleached white as bone, and his hide is a shining, flawless white.



There's a moment's hush as the hunters break into the clearing, and even the dogs go silent in the face of the challenge of a stamp-stamp-rear that -- even from a distance -- intimidates.

Lucita says, "Oh, that is good news, Countess! Another friend has just become a Count not but a couple of days ago." She gives Miranda a wink. "You don't really need an excuse for..." Prudently she cuts her words off and just grins. To Silas she murmurs when he rides near. "I thought about you just the day past when using that recipe book you sent me to make a different variety of tea...." She pauses and then clarifies. "... and they were good thoughts, the tea was an excellent blend.""

Reese looks to the stag and her lips part open in a moment of awe. Her cheeks are flushed pink with excitement and she seems very into the hunt. "Petichor must be with us today." She murmurs softly.

Harlan has been mostly silent as he rides, although smiles are given to pretty much everyone. His attention is on the hunt, and he pauses as the quarry is sighted, a soft intake of breath his only reaction. He's seen beauty before in the forest, many times. Still, wonder is wonder, no matter how often. It is never just 'ordinary'.

Hyb, Sparte's steed, is as spirited and curious as ever. She playfully goes up to a bush and snorts at it, seeing if she'll rouse something to chase before the festivities can properly get under way. It is with some care that Sparte redirects her to the competition, managing to get her mostly focsed on the task with the promise of other horses similarly going haphazardly through the woods. A sure step and easy jumps allow the duo to reach the clearing with ease. Yet, she balks at the sight of the aggressive display of antlers and comes to a complete stop. Oh deer.

Harlan nods and says towards Reese, "Indeed, Princess."

"Thank you! We should have tea sometime and catch up," Joslyn suggests to Lucita just as the noise ahead captures her attention and she begins scanning for the incoming target.

Pharamond catches blown kiss and smiles back to Miranda, a playful wink from under his. "Oh shhhtap...." he says in a playfully drawn out town before giving an even wider grin and a bow from within his saddle. The fondness for the Sword-Voice is apparent. "Sir Merek! Long time no see." He takes a drink from his water pouch, before he sees the beast and just kinda drops it. Still though, he does his best not to get left...be-hind...

"Ha!" Silas barks back at Evonleigh. "Well, if you're using a bow, you don't have to get close." Thankfully. Lucita's riding skills make an impression on the knight, as he gallops close behind her. He readies his spear, just in case they unexpectedly get rushed, but he pulls on the reins and wheels to a stop in the clearing when they are addressed by their prey. His gaze darts to Lucita, when she brings up the tea. His smile widens. "I'm pleased you're making ample use of it. I think you're one of only a handful of owners..." His eyes go back to th stag. He stares, admiringly, unfettered by the beast's attempts to intimidate them. "I almost don't -want- to kill it..."

"Sparte, Pharamond, it is good to see you both," Merek says, while he leans back on his mount, then he nods to them. "How are you all?" he asks, while they move to set up.

Coming up from the back, Evonleigh pulls her black gelding to a stop. She doesn't move, her gray-blue eyes widening as she looks at the creature in all of its magnificence. "Oh," she says softly. Her horse isn't as amazed, giving an annoyed shake of his head and a snort at having to stop in his running -- well, meandering. The horse is a meanderer, a dandelion picker sort of beast, perfect for a beginner. She nods at Silas words, before putting a hand on her horse's neck to calm his little annoyance. "He's beautiful," She whispers.

Drawing up short, Miranda takes the time allowed to look over the amazing stag before them. Did they fall into its trap? She glances about. Hunting is not her sport, but is doable when needed. Usually something smaller and less... well. Impressive. There's no other word for it. A glance to the others as they speak before her honey-brown eyes look back to the creature before them. She draws in a breath, lifts her sword and salutes the animal. "Well played." She smiles, enjoying herself and the company about her. However, she does seem to quiet a bit, this Sword-Voice, as the game's afoot!

A few of the dogs advance, only for another stamp to send them slinking low, growling on their bellies. The Grayson hunters exchange a few quick words in conference with the Godsworn priests, and after a moment they lift their horns to blow a clear call: quarry sighted.



The hounds are well-trained enough to spring forward at that, and they lunge for the stag. He turns in a smooth and powerful pivot to lunge away from the hunting party and break into the woods. He tears a path behind him.

Miranda checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 72 higher.

Reese checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 22 higher.

Silas checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 47 higher.

Sparte checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 25, rolling 95 higher. Sparte rolled a critical!

Cahal checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 34 higher.

Pharamond checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 93 higher.

Joslyn checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 30 higher.

Merek checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 40 higher.

Lucita goes quiet, looking at the stag. She readies her weapon in case the stag grows near. She hesitates and then says. "I'll try a toss and see if maybe can draw its attention for some of the other weapons to get in closer without encountering those antlers.

Lucita checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 50 higher.

Harlan checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 49 higher.

Evonleigh checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.

Harlan unshoulders Stormbreaker, and finishes stringing it and says, "That is why bows were invented, Baroness." He's half-smiling as he works to line up a shot.

Cahal allows his horse to slow as the rest of the party does so. He gives a low whistle at the sight of the impressive stag but rarely, for him, doesn't add any words. The horn is blown, the dogs begin to move, and the pair, horse and hunter, are off after the animal again.

Pharamond wields Bringer of Dawn, a shimmering alaricite long sword.

Joslyn reaches into the saddle as she begins to charge forward, procuring a slender dagger. With a flick of her wrists she sends if flying off towards the source of the hoofs and antlers. Not the first time she's thrown a dagger, though perhaps the first time she's done so at a fleeing target. "Perhaps I should take up archery," she considers, just trying to keep up with the rest as she's soundly shown up by several others.

Miranda wields Razz, a diamondplate scimitar.

Sparte lifts one hand in a wave to Merek, a wide grin on his face as he gives Hyb a nudge and whispers something into his steed's ear. Then off she shoots with Sparte rising up to stand in the saddle. One hand slides back to loose his staff as he gives chase, though how he intends to hunt in the Wood with wood remains to be seen.

Sparte wields Heartwood - Knothole Stave.

Silas gallops forward again when the beast sprints off, readying his spear... but half a dozen other hunters seem to get a better start of it. He squints - it may be very dead by the time he actually gets to the thing.

Pharamond draws his sword, as he sees the beautiful beast and much like Miranda, he brings it up in salute to the majestic creature. The blade, beautiful and catching the light of the day, seems to almost sparkle a moment as the light plays along its careful edging. He makes his way after those who are riding ahead. The only thing being in the back affords, however, besides excellent company, is a good view of those up front and an idea of the path the stag is going to take as he tries to maneuver into a spot to get a stroke in.

At the back of the pack it's not probably the wisest for a novice archer to be shooting arrows through a crowd, so Evonleigh follows, holding her bow at the ready should a shot become clear -- but she doesn't try to do much to get a better angle, content to watch the others, impressed by both their horsemanship and beautiful weapons -- both her mount and her bow are not hers but lent to her for the day.

Miranda has brandished her beloved Razz and begins her attack! Her riding is well, for the moment, and her focus is upon the animal. Her sword sings in the air as she brings it down to catch the animal! She's aware of others riding it down as well, making sure not to hit anyone but the deer.

Reese is still mounted on her horse and she has her blade drawn. The girl is joining the hunt and doing her best, sprinting off after the deer.

Arrow and dagger, sword and spear and stick: as the hunters pursue, their weapons bite and tear into -- a flock of birds, rising from the brush in a sudden whirlwind of beating wings. Just as they think they have the stag, just as they can picture their blades sinking into its flesh, birds erupt around them. Feathers and pheasants fall, an entire feast-worth of fowl brought down in a moment by a truly mighty effort from hunters whose best efforts -- and they were absolutely some _best efforts_ -- find unexpected quarry. Sparte and Pharamond may have both, between them, taken out an entire branch's worth of birds.



The rest of the flock escapes, beating through the canopy above, which shakes and shivers, sending a scattering lacework of light and shadow to dapple the ground. The stag flees through the brush, and for a moment the hunt is stalled as the hounds dutiful round up all of the fallen birds, which are gathered and bagged to be brought back to the feast. The hunters ask: did you hit him? Did you? That brilliant white hide, when spotted again through the parted trees, is unmarked.

Laudine, a stern middle-aged maidservant arrives, following Tabitha.

Lucita is surprised when a bird comes between her dagger and the stag and falls, wings splayed and the dagger poking out of it. She dismounts, looks around warily and removes her dagger from the fowl, cleansing the blade and then remounting as the dead bird is added to the others for a feast later. "Now that... was unexpected."

Silas stabs some birds along the way. He always likes a roasted fowl appetizer.

Harlan sighs in disappointment as no one manages to mark the stag, but ... that means the hunt continues, so he brightens up and prepares to head towards the trees, although he obviously would be better off moving through the woods on foot in his mind.

Miranda yelps on her horse as birds erupt from where that beautiful stag just was! What the--- She turns her horse, looking for the stag, slicing up a bird or five. "Seriously?!" come her annoyed cry to no one in particular. "Alright... where.. Oh!" She sees the stag fleeing and nudges her horse in that direction, "Come on then!"

"I don't know if this is enough for everyone, but I'm already working up an appetite," Joslyn says, looking at the unexpected quarry. "I could've sworn I saw antlers," she adds with a quirk of her lips, shooting a little smirk towards Reese. "Should probably be a little less jumpy, shouldn't we?"

Evonleigh's eyes gaze at the sudden flurry of birds, mouth parting a little as she stares up at them, then to where the stag escapes their pursuit. Her lips curve into a smile and she shoulders her bow, sliding the next arrow back into its quiver. She won't be shooting at any other creatures today. "Petrichor perhaps has decided we're on a fowl diet tonight," she asides to whoever's still near her at the back of the pack. Her horse has found some clover to chew on.

Merek seems to be managing well enough, not too crazy. He has with him his black spear which he uses for the hunt as well. He then nods a bit, while he calls to Sparte, "Oi, leave some game for all of us," he says.

Cahal's horse neighs as the birds come out of nowhere. Cahal tugs on the reins, trying to control the startled horse and keep it on path, whilst still trying to get a strike through to the stag. With so much confusion he's not sure he hit anything, bird or deer. The sight of the birds flapping away make him frown after the deer for a moment, almost looking as if he might call off the chase altogether, but he quickly decides to keep on going. Heels touch the horses flanks and its once again onto the chase.

By the time they are ahorse again, the stag has widened the lead between itself and the pack of hunters. The Grayson hunters call the pursuit and round up stragglers. A few of the apprentices lope back toward the camp with their bags upon bags of birds.



It's a long and grueling ride to catch up again, as the forest thickens and the ride grows more treacherous.

Pharamond checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 10 higher.

Reese checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 77 higher. Reese rolled a critical!

Cahal checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 4 higher.

Silas checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 0 higher.

Joslyn checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 6 lower.

Sparte checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 2 higher.

Miranda checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 17 higher.

Evonleigh checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 48 higher. Evonleigh rolled a critical!

Lucita checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 31 higher. Lucita rolled a critical!

"I guess they didn't want to exchange...pheasantries..." he says with amusement at the birds and other forest creatures that have now put a bit of red onto the otherwise glimmering blade, his movements practiced and quick. Pharamond has hardly ever been called a 'hard worker' in his time so there's an almost lazy, practiced easy to his slices as he minimizes effort and goes fully for econommy of movement, especially in the cramped forest quarters. There's a bit of perspiration on his cheeks as the hunt continues, adrenaline and all things fun.

5 inflicted and Joslyn is unharmed.

Stojan, the assistant, 3 Thrax Guards, Damaia, the assistant, Lady Snow arrive, following Denica.

Harlan checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 1 lower.

The twirl of Sparte's staff stuns a number of birds for the hounds to collect, but stun is the operative word. He doesn't kill or wound a single one. Who knows if the hounds will be as gentle. "Don't worry Sir Merek. There is plenty of forest left." Sparte gives a snort anda grin to Pharamond, nudging Hyb to continue the hunt.

Silas stops short of going ham on the poor birds. Poor Aiden would be horrified. He looks a -little- worn out already, and his horse is not faring much better. So much for that strong start! He huffs with building frustration and attempts to give chase again. It was a stag in it's natural environment, though - he wasn't terribly optimistic.

5 inflicted and Harlan is unharmed.

Stojan, the assistant, 3 Thrax Guards, Damaia, the assistant, Lady Snow leave, following Denica.

Sir Floppington, the soulful hound arrives, following Rowenova.

Rowenova checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 0 higher.

Miranda checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 43 higher.

Rowenova checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 15, rolling 26 higher.

Rowenova checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.

Miranda checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 42 higher.

Joslyn tries to keep up with the group, but Joslyn has always been a woman that is most at home on her own two legs. She doesn't tend to ride any harder than absolutely necesary, and so as she rides through the brush, she pushes through the branches and feels herself scratched and her HAIR IS RUINED. Other than that she's fine, but not particularly happy about it.

"Lord Pharamond, you are killing me, here!" Miranda offers to Lord Ashford. Pheasantries. Gads. Still, she returns her focus to the chase and the hunt, hurrying along. She lowers herself over her horse, giving it its head, but only leading it when necessary to keep their quarry in sight!!

Merek checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 31 higher. Merek rolled a critical!

Perhaps not worrying about having to shoot anything, Evonleigh finds the ride back a pleasant challenge. Maybe it's because her horse hasn't exerted himself all day, so he finally has some energy left. If anything, she's more invigorated after she returns to the start than she was before, and she and her horse seem to have worked out what seemed to be irreconcilable differences after all. "Good boy, Beauregard," she tells the black gelding as she trots him up to Zara, offering the princess a bright smile.

On her grey mare (with the black points, including dorsal stripe), the Halfshav Scout tries to keep up with her lovely patron, but Baroness Saik is really moving along today! Sir Floppington seemingly keeps pace witn Nova.

Harlan really doesn't like to hunt from horses -- there's no need in his mind. And he gets whacked by a few branches and scowls, "Stupid horse." It's all the horse's fault, after all!

Reese seems to be full of energy. Her cheeks still pink and her eyes still bright. She looks over to Joslyn with some concern, checking to make sure that the Countess is okay.

The pursuit turns harder now as the forest closes in on the hunters. The ground is a mess of fallen logs and snaking vines that reach up to tangle hoof and foot alike, while the low-hanging branches seem almost to reach to tangle in hair and snatch at weapons. The air is thick with the scent of moss and damp, while the bright-and-dark of the leaf-dappled shadow dazzles the senses. There's a moment of almost-confusion, and then Reese, ahead of the pack, spots that flash of white they've been chasing, moving into the older forest, where the groundcover thins and gives way to a soft blanketing carpet of lichen, moss, and leaves. Just behind her, Evonleigh and Lucita are next to spot the stag.

"Aiiii," Merek goes crazy with the hunting at this point, leading the horse while he moves with that spear, looking for things to find as well.

Lucita capably manages to keep up with the hunters. Glancing over at some of the others she says. "I've been riding with Lord Mirk, getting used to long hours on horseback. I've some diplomatic missions that am supposed to attend. They are inland so knew would be riding a lot on them and tried to ready for them." She says th to Miranda as the two ride along. A close eye is kept out for the others, her intent to keep close to the group.Though she spots the stag, she waits for the other, more capable hunters to catch up, just readying her dagger.

A smile is offered to Lucita, "I should be leading cavalry units with the time I've spent on a horse in the last couple of years." Miranda chuckles, "Don't tell Lord Salvatore I said that. Lord Blanchard's been instructing me!"

Nova catches up after some time then takes aim with her recurve bow, but while the aim is true, she does not let loose the arrow, holding back because the magnificent stag is just so majestic that she cannot truly harm it now.

Silas is not the most perceptive knight, and it shows. He keeps up with the group, but barely, and seems increasingly distracted by the light-dappled forest. And preoccupied with making sure his inexperience horse doesn't break her leg. Wasn't worth the bragging rights. The spear is still out and readied, but he's going slower now.

Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 2 Ashford Archer, 1 Ashford Scout arrive, following Lisebet.

Ramona - A Guard in Ashford House Colours, Bigsby - A Thoughtful Looking Young Man in Nondescript Clothing, 2 Ashford Archer, 1 Ashford Scout leave, following Lisebet.

Harlan checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 41 higher.

Cahal checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.

Pharamond checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 9 higher.

Silas checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 19 higher.

Miranda checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 31 higher.

Sparte checked dexterity + huge wpn at difficulty 40, rolling 37 higher.

Merek checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.

Joslyn checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 21 higher.

Lucita checked dexterity + small wpn at difficulty 30, rolling 5 higher.

Reese checked dexterity + medium wpn at difficulty 15, rolling 79 higher.

Pharamond cackles as he looks to Miranda. "My Lady, I've only just begun. For example..." he calls out, pausing as the horse has to take an abrupt turn before they get back into it. "Do you know what kind of residence a deer lives in?" He cackles, as he calls back, "Hind quarters...of course. I can do this all day!" He continues to ride, but apparently his telling jokes is not helping his swordsmanship any.

Evonleigh checked dexterity + archery at difficulty 30, rolling 6 higher.

Nova slowly eases the tension of her bow string then puts away her arrow and slings her bow at her back for the time being. She reaches down and pets the Good Girl (the grey palfrey) while the Good Boy (Sir Floppers) follows along.

There are no bushes to conjure a flock of birds: there are only the rolling hills of the forest, gentle and dark and deep, and the cut of the streams criss-crossing the woods.



The stag charges a rise and leaps, with arrow and spear and dagger thrown after it. Hunters pursue, ahorse and on foot, attempting to bring the great beast down: some for the kill, some for capture. They crest the rise in a rush only to find the ground fall away before them, checking them in a scramble of pivoting horses. One of the hounds slips, and goes tumbling down the muddy slope and into the stream. He rises and shakes off great clumps of mud in every direction. He's fine!!



In the chaos of the sudden halt, it's not clear at first if any of their blows landed -- but Reese is the one to lift her blade and find it bloodied, and then look into the hollow of the stream and find a great beast of a stag laid low by the hunt.



But it's hide is a softly dappled brown, it's crown _impressive_, but not so unworldly and magnificent as the beast they'd been chasing.



It's some of the hunters in the back of the pack: Joslyn, Cahal, Evonleigh. They are the ones to look up, look over and across the far rise to where a great white head looks back at them -- and then bows, out of sight, and disappearing into the forest as the hunters are left with the great prize.

Cahal is overheard praising Zara.

Sparing a glance to Pharamond, Miranda can't help but smile at him. She then focuses on the kill and her sword is in the air, singing once more! But wait! There's all sorts of chaos and ack! ravine?! Miranda pulls her horse up short, making sure not to fall in. She sighs and sheathes her weapon and gives a whistle, "Ain't that a beaut!"

Hickory, a young sighthound have been dismissed.

Russel, a discreet assistant have been dismissed.

Sir Floppington, the soulful hound leaves, following Rowenova.

Evonleigh's gazing not at the stag felled by Reese, but off into the distance. A small smile curves her mouth, before she turns to look at those around the fallen stag. She smiles and turns her horse to head back toward the camp.

Predictably, the other hunters get to their quarry first, but Silas is still eager to see the hunt finally conclude. When he arrives at the kill by the stream, he trots over merrily to get a better look... only to realize that it isn't the stag they initially went after! Nevertheless, he whistles. "Nice swipe, Your Highness," Silas compliments Reese, as he wheels back to begin the journey back to camp.

Merek makes his way from the place when he's finished with the hunt as well.

Dash the Guard Corgi, 2 Iron Guardsmen, Lady Fairfeather, a white gyrfalcon leave, following Silas.

2 Whitehawk Guards leaves, following Evonleigh.

2 Rubino and Zaffria guards, Brenlin, Aide-de-Camp, Jewel, a Maelstrom Forest Cat leave, following Miranda.

Elena, a solemn knight attache, Alette, a discreet lady's maid, Isabel, a calm diplomatic aide leave, following Zara.

Relic leaves, following Harlan.

Lucita gives a soft gasp as the dropoff nearness has her mound rearing up and spinning to avoid sliding down as the hound did. A glance given the fallen stag has a hint of sadness in it. She retrieves her dagger and heads toward the camp.

1 Saik Guard, Gunther, a Rottweiler, Golden, an Oakhaven bloodhound, Mist Dancer leave, following Lucita.

Leporis, the silent handmaiden leaves, following Joslyn.

1 Grayson House Guards, Peaches, a lovely white war filly with a peach saddle, Deliverance, an albino falcon, Stormy, a silvery gray hunting hound, Rascal, a hyper terrier, Rosalie, a lady in waiting, Joslyn leave, following Reese.



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