Mounted Boar Hunt
(OOC: Weapons and/or armor not necessary, hunting will be done via @checks. Riding skill advised, but certainly not required!)
Aug. 20, 2016, 3:30 p.m.
Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Gray Forest Outskirts
Comments and Log
(OOC) Malorie will give a few more minutes for late arrivals before starting.
(OOC) Edain thumbs up!
(OOC) Malorie says: Alright, starting now!
The afternoon sun is shining, though the breeze coming off the open plain is cool and refreshing. Attendants in Valardin livery bustle about, tending to the numerous horses tethered here. Saddles are adjusted, quiver bags are slung, and copious amounts of carrots and apple slices are passed to those in attendance to allow for bonding with their mounts before the event begins.
A small but sturdy wooden pen houses what could only be the prize of this hunt, a massive boar with dark, beady eyes and gleaming white tusks sharpened to lethal points. Little noble boys, too young to take part in the hunt itself, prove their valor by dangling bits of cloth inside of the pen, causing the boar to charge this way and that, to the delight of tiny shrieking noble girls who encourage them to do it again.
Malorie moves away from her horse as people begin to arrive, the young woman in white silk that seems dubiously suited to riding, let alone a hunt, but she moves with a graceful confidence as she explains to an attendant, "Make sure no one that doesn't look like they know what they're doing winds up on a stallion, we don't want any injuries."
It would be easy to mistake the Lady Dawn as an attendant, if one hadn't made her acquaintance before. Bright-haired, yes, with those steely Grayson eyes. But she's still dressed in common garb, plain cotton and dark leather whose black, charcoal and moth-green shades are one of the few things that give her identity away. She arrives on a chestnut mare from her own House's stables-- though undoubtedly of Valardin descent, given her elegant lines-- whose tack is similarly plain, utilitarian, and exceedingly well-used from previous jaunts in the Gray Forest, a match for the bow lashed to the saddle.
Of course, the fact that a quartet of Grayson House guards and other assorted family and liegemen are arranged about her are possibly a dead giveaway. Nevermind the boring nature of her wardrobe; it's clear she's someone. "Grayson's duties to Valardin," she calls from her saddle when Malorie is spied, all of that white silk an easy mark to make in the crowd.
The Prince of Sanctum is near his cousin, he holds the reigns of Sir Arugula. The normally ill tempered horse seems... almost chipper. As if he is looking forward to the hunt very much. "Yes old friend, I know. These boars are no match for you." He smiles then to Princess Malorie, "Also they are delicious."
A seventeen hand smoky grey gelding comes trotting down from the city, Prince Calain sitting comfortably in the saddle as he rides down, slowing the horse once he reaches the gathering, he half bows from the saddle at Dawn, then at Malorie and Edain. "Lady Dawn, Princess, your grace." He greets them all before casting has gaze over the pen. "That is some boar Princess Malorie, I see you don't mess around when it comes to your hunts."
And representing House Velenosa is Duke Niccolo. He arrives with his own retinue of guards, dressed on leathers that of course match the Fox's house colors. The man carries no bow, however his hand rests on his sword. He's also not the only noble from House Velenosa, as he is accompanied by Princess Ophelia. "You'll have to represent us well today, my dearest niece, because I distinctly lack skill with that beloved weapon of yours," he dips his head towards the bow.
Reaching the gathering, he inclines his head to those there already. "Your Grace," he greets Edain, "Your Highness," he greets Malorie next. "My lady," that is offered to Dawn.
Silas plods into the clearing atop of his own bay gelding, whose name he has yet to reveal to the world. He gradually slows to stop behind Lady Dawn's small Grayson retinue, which he regards with a curious quirk of one brow but refrains from remarking on. "Greetings, lords and ladies," the guardsman opts to say instead of an individual greeting for each noble present. There were quite a few! "I intend to eat well today."
Knotted leather reins are held lightly within Ophelia's grasp, her knees hugging against the fawn-hued mare and her violet ribbons bounce amid her curls upon every trotting step. "I do look forward to killing something, whether or not it will be good representation. Well..." Her impish smile is flashed cheerfully to Niccolo, "It will be fun, favorite Duke Uncle! What's the worst that can happen. If you discount the fact that boars are really fearsome and horribly terrible creatures that will gut a man without remorse. Fun!" Instead of adding worded titles, when Niccolo offers them, she lowers her torso in partial, horse-ridden, bow herself.
Oh, look. A Thraxian. A rather somber looking one as well, if one measures sombriety with scowls. The Count Darkwater doesn't come with guards or a horse, just a sword at his side and some black leathers. He approaches with a few looks around, and then offers a bow as a catch-all to all the higher ranking nobles he's surrounded by. "Highnesses, Lords, Ladies, Your Grace," he recites, rising back to his feet while the boar in the pen is spared a glance. "Heard there'll be horses provided here. Came to see how the people who toil hunt."
Dawn's smile and deep nods of respect must serve in lieu of more formal greeting for those of the nobility present. Edain receives his after she's raised that hail at Malorie and Maximilian after that; Niccolo and Ophelia take the capping nod between them. Some are exempted from this ritual, such as the quick deep smile sent to Calain when he arrives, or the nod that Silas receives in spite of his lack of noble blood. "You -do- have to share even if it's you who takes the beast down," she tells the guardsman and for a moment there, steely eyes show a more forgiving shade of grey, bright and amused. "But it does look a monster, doesn't it? What have they been feeding that animal?"
Nothing like a good ride and pursuit to lift one's spirits. Deva and her shadowy hued horse arrive with no fanfare. It's just her, clad in dark leather with a few weapons in tow. The beast's pace slows as they edge closer to the gathering, and comes to a complete stop with an adjustment of the rein. "Good day," the redhead bids those assembled with a bright smile as she dismounts and dusts herself off.
"I have it on good authority that the Boar is well fed on the majestic lowland dogcows of the oathlands." Edain says with the briefest of smiles to Silas. He looks then and sets about greeting people with a polite bow "Lady Dawn, I am glad you could make it. Also Duke Niccolo it is good to see you again." He bows then the Maximillian, "Count Darkwater. Ah Princess Deva, I am glad to see you could make it as well."
A chuckle escapes the Iron Guard at Dawn's insistence. "There will be plenty to go around, no doubt. I mean just look at the size of the thing," Silas muses outloud and inclines his head in the direction of the irate animal charging to and fro within it's confines. He urges his steed towards finding himself a good hunting spear, but he nods in Edain's direction. "Very well-fed, indeed."
"Go big or go home," Malorie laughs lightly at Calain's observation, and she shoos a little boy away from the boar's pen. "They're terribly delicious," she agrees with Edain, touching her cousin's arm fondly as she passes him. "If they don't eat you first," she adds, her expression stoically deadpan. "Well met, Lady Dawn," she returns the greeting with a subtle inclination of her head, and she lifts a hand toward Ophelia and Niccolo when they arrive. "Will you be using a bow, Duke Niccolo? There are so many other weapons, ones in which Princess Ophelia might not show us up quite so easily," she says, the corner of her lips lifting slightly. "And who might you be?" she asks Maximilian, giving him a curious look over. "A sailor, if I had to guess, but from where do you hail?" She wiggles her fingers toward Deva when she rides up, moving toward Edain once more as she prepares to address the hunting party.
"You shoot that thing down, my dear and I'll make sure it doesn't try to run you over if you miss, or if it is some possessed creature ready to skewer us both," Niccolo tells Ophelia, with a hint of a smile. His gaze falls on Silas and he dips his head to the man. "Greetings, Sir Silas," he offers, and greetings are offered also to the other arrivals as the continue to file in.
"I'll let my dear Princess niece use the bow, Your Highness. And I'll just make sure to keep her safe in the process," he notes. "I'm not the best of shots, and I rather not go putting arrows in our esteemed allies," he gestures around then, his gaze resting on Calain briefly.
Fast on the tails of the shadowy steed of the Redrain princess, Nadia closes in the distance upon a black and white stallion with brilliant red roses threaded through its salt-and-peppered mane. And much like Deva, she's clad herself in pitch dark leathers with accents of red gold, her wild curls swept up into a simple ponytail. A tug of the reins sees her stallion slowing down, lips spreading into a brilliant smile as she calls out for her, "Princess Deva, I thought I would never catch up to you. Neither did my men..." Her voice trails off, twisting in her saddle to sling a curious look over a shoulder to find the pathway devoid of aforementioned men. "They'll catch up some time, I suppose. It looks like the hunt is not yet underway?"
Calain walks his horse a little closer to the boar pen to get a better view inside at the creature, turning to nod to the new arrivals, although he seems about spent on awkward saddle-bound half bows for now. "I imagine no-one will fare well if they're too determined to take it on alone." He claims, "This hunt should teach us all the virtues of working together, that or the virtues of being gored."
"Are there really lowland dogcows in the Oathlands, your Grace?" Ophelia's bright eyes turned attentively towards Edain, but greetings steal her away as she yields to joining in among them. Refusing to dismount, she keeps the reins bound enough to ensure the mount doesn't forage, continuing on, "Princess Malorie. Lady Dawn. Princess Deva. Duchess Nadia. Oh! You all know your names. Greetings to you all! Blessings and good hunting and eating and so on and so forth. The weather's lovely, isn't it?" She giggles aside at Niccolo's words, "Does that mean you get to be my guard today, Duke-Uncle? Please look especially fearsome then. But he's right. I have no intention of trying to be the sole one to hunt it down. I just want to shoot it a couple... dozen... times."
"Oh, you know. Darkwater. Of the Darkwater Darkwaters." The Count continues, obviously amused with himself, if a little wryly, "...Lord of Darkwater Isles. I wager my ancestors once called my castle Darkwater keep, the bastards." His tongue draws over his lips briefly, before he sends a glance towards the boar in the pen. "Miserable creature, isn't he?" He does, queerly, approach Edain. "Heard you liked hunting, your Highness. Even brought you a bird, but it bit me so I had it cooked. Next time, I suppose."
"Lowland dogcows." Dawn's own laughter rings out, at least until her mare shifts beneath her and prompts the woman to rein the beast in, control its restlessness. "I wonder what sort of hunting they'd provide," she muses once the horse settles, looping the reins around the pommel. The lady folds forward a little, curling her arms over that selfsame pommel and observing Calain while he takes a better look. Her fingers play idly over the gray-green fletching of the quivered arrows strapped likewise to the saddle. "Wise words from Prince Calain."
"Your Grace," Deva gives Edain a quick smile, accompanied by an overly (for her) polite nod of her head. "Glad I haven't missed it yet." Malorie's finger-wiggle is returned with a curious smile and a wave. Now that her boots are on the ground, she takes a moment to adjust her horse's saddle, check her quiver, all those things necessary prior to charging into a hunt. "To be fair, I think most people have a hard time catching up to me," she gives Nadia a small smile. "They should know better by now," she adds, wagging a finger in the direction of all the poor Nightgold men still on their way. "Princess Ophelia, good to see you again. I hope you'll shoot more birds right out of the sky today?"
"Thank you all for coming, His Grace and I would like to welcome you all to what is sure to be a spectacular hunt. The horses we've provided today are from the Valardin stables, naturally, and each of them has been extensively trained for this purpose, so you're all in good hands. Or good hooves, rather." Malorie corrects herself with a faint smile. "So if you'll all choose a weapon, and a horse if your own isn't trained for this particular sport, the attendants will help you into your saddles if need be, and we can get things underway before we lose any more daylight."
Keeping the speech brief, Malorie offers her hand to an attendant that boosts her into the saddle of a snowy white mare, though its done so gracefully she likely didn't need the assistance. Her weapon of choice for this hunt is apparently a mace, the three smallish-sized heads of the weapon tipped in steel spikes and each one attached to a sturdy chain affixed to the hilt; all in all a very deadly-looking weapon for such a gently smiling young woman. "Mount up."
Ophelia cups a hand about her mouth, whispering with very long form towards the Count at an elevated volume, "He's very particular about his birds. You're not supposed to kill them without some ingenious plan which means that you wouldn't get caught doing it. You're not supposed to admit it. But you win points with me. Shhh. Don't tell."
Nadia breathes a tinkling laugh at Deva's words. "Perhaps you're right," she agrees, a nudge to the flanks of her stallion to keeping him still alongside the prince's own. "But I did a damned good job of catching up to you, in the end, I believe." She shifts in the saddle, fingers plucking at the strap of the heavy blade strapped to her hip, leaning forward to stroke the flat of her palm along her horse's broad neck.
"Thank you for inviting us out to partake in the hunt with you, Your Grace, Your Highness," she calls out toward Edain and Malorie once the princess finishes her speech, a vibrant smile cast aside to Ophelia and Niccolo when she spots the Velenosans in the group. "My lord, Princess Ophelia, good to see you."
Silas plucks up a spear and studies the head up close for a long minute, gauging it's sharpness, before he seems to decide it is sufficent. He peers over to Niccolo and flashes a friendly smile the Duke's way. "Well met once again, Your Grace. Do you hunt often?" A thoughtful pause. "I don't. But I aspire to not be gored." The latter was meant for no one in particular. "Lets not all rush it at once, lest there be a messy jumble."
Isolde makes her way from the city paths, looking about as ready for a hunt as a cat is ready to admiral a navy. She heads toward the gathering confidently, however, looking over the horses, and then the people.
"Oh, my dearest niece, I never thought you would be hunting at it alone. But still," Niccolo muses to Ophelia with a lift of his shoulders. "House Grayson and House Velenosa have a wager over the kill," he points out, with a glance to Dawn. "So I'm putting my faith in your arrows being the ones that finally bring the beast down," he shares.
"Interesting choice," Niccolo says to Malorie of her question, but dips his head respectfully. "Then again, I'm just going at it with the good old sword," he muses. Off Nadia's greeting his way, he inclines his head to her, with a faint smile. "My lady." He looks at Silas and shakes his head. "I don't. Hunting is more of Princess Ophelia's thing. But Iv'e been part of a number of hunts during my life, of course. What about yourself, Sir?" He asks Silas, curious.
Prince Edain selects a boar speark from the rack and lets it rests in his hand, tests the heft. After a few moments he nods, satisfied in his choice or weapons he grabs Sir Arugula's saddle horn and swings up onto it. It is perhaps a testament to the sometimes ill tempered beast that apparantly it is trained as courser, as well as charger. "I think I am ready to roast some boar!"
Calain walks his horse over to the weapons stand and reaches down to select a spear a little more suited to boar hunting than the longsword at his hip. With a press of his heels her sends the smoky grey headed back towards the group, nodding to Nadia. "Duchess Nightgold, good to see you again. Do you do much of this sort of thing in the North?" He asks before Niccolo's mention of a bet catches his attention and he glances over at Dawn. "We do? I hope you weren't expecting me to win that bet for Grayson, I'm a little rusty on my noble sports you know."
Dawn lifts the bow from its bindings and holds it loosely, rested against her thigh. Her posture is that of a woman comfortable with both the weapon and this stance; beneath her the chestnut mare shifts with energy but no nerves to mark the same.
"A friendly little wager," she calls back when Grayson's name is heard. A smile goes winging towards Niccolo and Ophelia, warmth offered in a glance for the Velenosa. "May the gods guide our weapons true," is added as she resettles the grip on her bow, then takes up a one-handed grip on the reins and guides her horse forward. "I have used a bow before, cousin. And we've Sir Mercier with us as well. Grayson is well represented," is her claim, while smiling nods go to those whose presence she hasn't yet acknowledged: Deva spied in the crowd, and Nadia, and Isolde.
There's a downward twist of the Count's lip, his signature scowl returning as he watches Edain mount his horse, before his gaze trails over towards Ophelia. "I hadn't given it to him yet, so I suppose I just had a very expensive supper. Your name, then?" He then looks towards Malorie, approaching the weapon rack to grab a short spear. "Never ridden a horse before, your Highness," he shares. "So which of these mares would you reccomend?"
Nadia looks down at Calain when he steers his horse toward the bulk of the group. "It happens to be one of my favorite past-times," she confirms, but to what she loves to hunt so dearly unconfirmed. "And it is good to see you amongst the group as well, Your Highness. I'm curious to see how true the rumors are of your hunting prowess." A gentle tug of the reins sees her steed veering closer to Deva, allowing the young duchess to impart a few whispered words briefly.
When her gaze catches sight of Dawn's acknowledgements, Nadia's lips upturn into a graceful smile in return, fingers raised to flutter in wave toward Silas and Maximilian alike, completeing her greetings.
"What about your guards?" Calain asks Dawn, "Can your guards help too? We can assign them to ride round and round the Velenosians in circles to confuse them." He suggests.
The mention of a bet draws his attention briefly, but Silas continues his conversation with the Duke. "I've been in a few, when I was younger. Now not so much in between my schedule with the Iron Guard and my shop. I think this will be my first in... three years?" He squints in recollection, but it ends with a shrug. "I find spears have better reach that swords, so that's what I use. Can't for the life of me string a bow."
The commoner lifts his chin to the pair of Grayson royals. "Aye, Lady Dawn speaks truly. I will do my best."
Isolde takes a look around and offers a smile and a wave to Dawn, clearly amused behind her mirrored mask. She doesn't look to take a horse. Or a weapon. In fact, she realizes she has... prayers or something. That's it. Prayers.
Isolde is leaving Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Gray Forest Outskirts, heading for Outside Arx - Eastern Approach - Path Outside the Walls.
"Sir Silas, is that Theodore you're riding by any chance? Damascus has much to live up to, if so," Malorie compliments the horse, her silk skirts arranged just so as she seats herself sidesaddle, the hilt of her weapon in her lap. "You're most welcome, Lady Nadia. Best of luck in the hunting." Turning to Edain, she runs her fingers through her mare's mane as she says, "If Sir Arugala doesn't decide to get up to his hijinks, I'm sure you'll do well. Mount up, we want to be ready when they raise the gate on the pen." She looks over at Maximilian. "Well met, Count Darkwater. we'll show you how we land-lovers do it. Though of course I'm no slouch at sailing, either," she notes. "Take this one, her name is Star," she says, gesturing Maximilian toward a black mare. "She's an excellent courser, fast. Her most recent foal is a magnificent stallion, owned by Duke Niccolo," she adds, gesturing toward the Duke in question.
Ophelia brightly smiles towards the Count, introducing with a small adjustment of her reins, "Princess Ophelia Velenosa. I do believe I heard you say Darkwater enough times though Count Darkwater that I shall never forget it! Or at least, not for awhile. A long while. I think." She pauses, looking after him towards the horses and Malories with a curious smile and then pipes up between Dawn and Niccolo, "A wager, Lady Dawn? Yay! Do I get to know what it's for, or only begin praying that all will go well?"
Once her arrows have been accounted for, Deva slings her quiver back into place against her back. Laughing quietly at Nadia's words aloud, she falls a bit silent as the Nightgold woman's volume lowers. She parts with a wordless nod of confirmation. Dawn's smile is returned with one of her own, her expression soon shifting to one more curious. "Lady Dawn, right? Deva," she introduces herself in a terribly informal fashion, making life difficult for all around her.
Silas seems delighted when Malorie reveals she did remember the horse's name! He pats the brown mane of his steed proudly. "Aye, this is ol' Theo." The gelding -does- look well taken care of, with a shiny coat and a hefty amount of muscle. "I'm sure he'll get along with his new brother, though, even if he may remain king of the pasture."
Niccolo looks from Calain to Dawn, and allows a touch of a smile to show on his features. The patriarch of the Fox guides his horse to stand next to Ophelia, offering Dawn a little dip of his head in acknowledgment to her words. Seeing Isolde, he lifts his head and is about to gesture to her, when she sees her hurry off to prayers. The man purses his lips in wry amusement, before adding to Ophelia. "It's back to being up to the two of us. Don't go chasing after Grayson guards, no matter how much they try to tempt you," he points out, with an extended look to his own guards and a side glance to Calain. He looks at Dawn when Ophelia tosses her question at the Grayson, but lets her answer rather than jump in, turning his attention to his own horse and patting it along its neck.
"If riding in circles around them confounded the Lyceum, I suspect we'd have figured that trick out ages ago and shamelessly abused it to get our way in all things," Dawn says, laughing again as she glances at Calain. Which might mean 'no' on the use of the guards to cheat. "No, we'll have to rely on wits and weapons. Fortunately we have plenty of both. I have no doubt, Sir Silas. And remember I would rather have you both alive and unharmed than win a little wager." That last is more quietly spoken, intended for the ears of the Grayson contingent alone.
And then it's into a raise voice to answer Ophelia's call. "Only the best, your highness! Silver, spirits and a well-cooked meal. May the best House win." So saying, she's quick to turn a smile on Deva, unbothered by lack of formality, though there's a hint of the sky about her smile when she has no title to refer to. "That's me, yes. It's a pleasure... your highness? The name is familiar, I admit."
"There are rumors about my hunting prowess?" Calain asks Nadia, "That's intimidating, really the sort of hunting I've been doing recently is vastly different, I'll do my best not to be embarrassed too terribly by you Northerner's though. I wouldn't expect you'd have too many boars up north, they tend to prefer deciduous areas if I recall correctly." He says before frowning at Niccolo. "Well now you're setting out to ruin my cunning plan before it has even begun." He points out in complaint.
"Oh good, Lady Dawn. Thank you for answering!" The toes of Ophelia's boots anxious twitch a bit where they're hooked in the stirrups, with brown eyes finding Deva with a warm, dimpled smile, "Oh! I'm sorry. You mentioned the birds and I should've jumped on it." Biting on her lower lip for an instant, she explains, "I have to hunt the boar today with the wager. Are we allowed to steal you for wager bonuses? I'd kind of like to steal you for wager bonuses." She looks between Deva and Niccolo, mentioning simply, "Also, I can't cook."
"Your Highness," Darkwater says with a firm press of his lips and a brief bow towards Ophelia. "Star," he remarks, looking over the black mare. "Alright." He tries his hand at mounting the beast, which agitates the horse, due to the brusqueness of him and, admittedly, for all his lazy grace, clumsiness in the act. He snatches the horse's reigns and manages to calm it by emulating the way he seen it done moments before. "Is she a pretty horse? I'm not the judge of these things."
"She's lovely," Malorie informs Maximilian firmly. Once everyone is mounted, the attendants untether the horses, allowing them to move freely under the directions of their respective riders. "I'll warn you all," Malorie says, her horse trotting toward the front of the crowd, facing the open plain. "This boar was bred and raised for the hunt. He's mean, and he's fast."
As if he's heard himself being spoken of, the boar throws himself against the gate of his pen, causing the entire structure to shudder. "Ready!" Malorie calls out, and two attendants take hold of the gate, preparing to lift it. "Release the boar," she orders, and the attendants lift the wooden gate, allowing the snarling creature to shoot out, his powerful, stumpy legs a blur as he dashes across the plain, toward a copse of brush.
OOC: Everyone, @check command + animal ken at 15 to get started and then pose heading out after the boar.
As the boar dashes off, Malorie urges her mare forward, though the snowy white creature seems ready for this moment, surging forward after the speedy boar without hesitation, aimed directly on its trail.
(OOC) Malorie says: This check is for making sure your horse heads in the right direction when you tell it to, etc.
(OOC) Ophelia says: Rather than ride?
(OOC) Malorie says: Yes, just for starting, since you're trying to get a horse to chase a big loud creature, not just riding a horse.
Ophelia might know how to ride a horse, but she certainly doesn't get along with them. When the snarling boar is loosed into the bush, her mare immediately takes to a rampaging whinnying, keeling up until attendants can rope ahold of the reins to control the beast. When others head into the hunt, she's left behind, scarcely able to hold on with a quiet curse of 'Fiddlesticks' mumbled beneath her breath.
"Redrain," Deva, thankfully, clarifies for Dawn. "Darren's my twin. I'm the prettier one," she adds for the record, a mischievous smile giving her away. "Nice to meet you," she tells the Grayson, before shifting to hop up and swing a leg over her steed's side. "Steal me? Huh?" The look she gives Ophelia is confused, one brow arching high, but there's still a smile on her lips. "I can't cook either. I think it's okay." As the boar is released, her horse is a bit startled, and she has surprising difficulty getting it to head the right course. "Oh come now, don't be uncooperative -now-," she grumbles, her grip on the reins tightening as she works to settle it down.
Calain is in the middle of conversation when the gate is released, he starts with a blink and shifts his grip on the spear, leaning forwards to whisper into the ear of his grey before his heels press in and it leaps fearlessly into the brush after the boar.
Nadia breaks away from Deva's flank to steer her horse around the fringes of the group, watching the interactios of nobility and comoner alike before Calain's words draws her attention. "Perhaps it is you itself that inspires rumors of legendary prowess, Your Highnss," she calls back to the Grayson prince with good-humored teasing. "But either way, we will see just how good you are today, no?"
Nadia quiets when the gates are opened at the stubby-legged boar thunders out of the penning and off into the underbrush of the woods, but her stallion gets the bright idea to take off in the opposite direction, hooves thundering against the earth as she squeals out her annoyance. "It's the other way!"
"I promise not to tell him you said that, your highness!" Though the fact that Dawn is laughing might put a lie to those words. It has grown increasingly difficult to keep her mare still. When the boar surges off into the brush, Dawn sets conversational niceties aside and lets it have its head. Fortunately the animal is smart enough not to try to shoulder itself into the front of the pack, where things will be tight passing between trees. No, the Lady of Grayson is content to bend over the mare's neck and ride near the rear, conserving energy and ensuring a sightline on those before her.
Silas spurs Theodore forward as the hunt officially begins and the beast is let loose. While the horse seems to follow his command and follows the pack of hunters, he carefully leaves some distance between them, hoping to instead take advantage of an opening should it present itself. It is clear he's not confident enough to be dashing and go in straight for the kill.
(OOC) Silas says: Unlike CALAIN. ;)
And as the boar takes off into the woods, Sir Arugula winnies happily, like a dog that's just seen a squirrel. Edain leans forward and brushes the horses neck, "Steady old friend. Don't over run him, lest he turns on you..." The prince raises his spear as he settles into a pursuit pace, only to see Prince Calain go sailing past him.
(OOC) Calain says: You're just hatin cause I gotta a better brave horse roll :D
(OOC) Silas says: It's true.
The patting Niccolo did to his horse's neck to calm it down seems to have helped, for while his mount seems uneasy about racing after a dangerous looking boar, the beast still follows the duke's command. He brings his creature around, however, when he sees Ophelia having problems with her. Rather than take off, the duke brings his horse back to the princess. "You have it?" He asks both hers and her attendants.
(OOC) Dawn says: You're both pretty. Now win me that bet.
Sheer aggression and a string of loud curses and threats are strangely what moves the borrowed mare Darkwater sits on forward. While unlikely the horse understands, at least one of the curses and breaths taken to shout it is enough like 'hyeah' that it spurts off in a gallop. He's taken aback by the speed, swaying back and forth in an effort to keep his balance.
Edain and Calain reach the boar's hiding place first, their horses charging into the overgrown brush fearlessly, with the rest of the hunting party close on their heels. When Edain slows Sir Arugala in a show of prudent caution, it's Calain's mount that handily flushes the boar out of hiding. Snorting loudly, the boar rears, as if meaning to take both horses and riders out, his sharp tusks gleaming!
As he flushes the boar from its cover Calain wheels the horse around and stabs, his spear is far from the mark however and instead stabs uselessly into a tree, leaving he and his mount open to attack unless Edain can intervene.
Just as the boar starts to turn on Calain's mount, Edain lowers his spear and spurs Sir Arugula into a charge. The head of the spear finds purchase in the boars haunch and forces it away from Prince Calain, but it does not bite deep enough to get a good hold on the beast.
The boar lets loose an earsplitting squeal, blood matting the hair on his side where the blow landed. Still thunderous on his feet however, he wheels and heads for a stand of trees on the plain, zig-zagging between the trunks with a surprising amount of dexterity, for an overgrown pig that is.
OOC: Everyone, @check dexterity + ride at 15 and then pose heading into the trees after the boar!
Nadia has left the game.
Time passes before Ophelia's mare is able to be properly handled, with her remounting closer towards the attendants. Her expression is masked into one of rare seriousness for her as she vaults back up and dips her head to Niccolo with a small smile, "I'll be fine, Uncle. Let's catch up. You put a wager after all." The heels of her boots kick sharply into the flanks, but they're quite a way from the fray itself.
With a grunt of effort Calain rips his spear free from the tree and then nods to Edain. "Thank you." He tells the Prince before wheeling his horse back around, he leans in again to whisper to it and then it sets off after the boar with the others. The grey moves gracefully through the trees, although it does not seem as fast as many of the other mounts.
It would be a lie to say that Dawn didn't feel a flash of anxiety when she spies the boar rearing and targeting the men in the front. The sight of Calain's grey so vulnerable leads the Grayson lady to touch heels to chestnut flanks, prompting her mount to surge forward. By the time she arrives, Prince Edain has already neatly handled the matter which leads to a call of, "Nicely saved!" as she steers her mare around the menfolk. Grey eyes flash at Calain and maybe she's smiling faintly, but it's difficult to see because she's there, then she's gone, charging ahead and deftly reining the agile mare in a weave through the trees. Her bow is still held at her side, unnocked.
Silas watches the exchanges Edain and Calain with some concern, but Edain manages to wound the boar and his worries seem momentarily allayed. He pulls his reins to direct his steed in the direction where the boar charges off to, still being more cautious than aggressive and giving the others plenty of berth. He hefts his spear and narrows his cerulean eyes, stare fixated ahead but alert.
Nadia has entered the game.
Nadia leans forward in her saddle, legs tight against the flank of her stallion as she manuvers her way through the thick of the underbrush, a leather-clad arm knocking away low-hanging branches from her face with a puff of breath expeled. She gazes ahead, relief touching her features briefly when Edain intercepts the boar from managing to cause damage to Calain and his horse. She looks then towards the other riders, but her attention is on making sure she gets through the trees and on the trail of the fleeing beast.
Malorie steers her mare out of the brush, thundering across the plain again in pursuit of the boar. She loses some speed as she enters the copse of trees however, her horse crashing through the low branches with abandon, though she has to duck leaves and steer her horse over fallen logs, her mare leaping gracefully, if losing some speed in the endeavor.
"Just sharpen your aim, my dearest niece," Niccolo says to Ophelia, turning his horse around, "We'll catch up soon enough," he assures her, making sure her horse is back in business, before turning his toward the direction the boar and everyone took off, trying to catch up with them.
After some readjustment, Deva and steed charge forth at a much faster pace, in an effort to catch up with all the rest. "That's more like it," she smiles breathlessly and confidently, vividly red ponytail whipping behind her in the breeze.
Edain bows his head to Dawn and says, "It is what I am here for Lady Dawn." He spurs his big steed into following the trail of the boar again, falling in alongside Prince Calain, as other riders catch up to them. Sir Arugula is not the fastest horse here today, but he has wind for days and doesn't seem as if he'll tire anytime soon.
Only barely does Count Darkwater keep up, and he naturally falls into the rear due to his inexpertise. He lets out another loud curse in the back while his eyes stray about, looking for the boar. "Quick little bastard, isn't he?" he asks no one in particular.
Malorie has left the game.
Malorie has entered the game.
(OOC) Malorie says: So my kid came in and unplugged my computer, I am very sorry, I missed any poses after my last emote.
(OOC) Dawn can page them all to you. Sec.
(OOC) Malorie says: Thank you so much.
(OOC) Dawn <3
As the boar zigzags through the trees, it's Edain and Niccolo at the head of the pack from the first hiding spot to the second, and the swift creature does his best to lose the riders. As the entire hunting party converges on the trees however, a massive flock of pheasants rises from the roosts high in the branches, blotting out the sun momentarily.
OOC: Archers, @check dexterity + archery at 15 and take a shot at the delicious birdies.
In the feathery confusion, the boar gives the riders the slip, dashing into the brush under cover of darkness as the archers prepare to lessen the numbers of the flock panicking overhead!
Ducking through some of the branches, Ophelia was making strides on catching up with the rest of the party before the grandest distraction ever for her caught her focus, reins tugged sharply to try to stray to the side with the distance between them. Unwilling, or maybe willfully unable, she'd knocked her bow with the arrow from the distance, tugging upon the string if only for the careless chase of trying to impale one of the feathered beasts from afar. The shots didn't quite strike true, missing twice before she was able to clip one upon the bottom side for it to falter.
It's a shame the wager was for boar only: when that explosion of shrieking feathers makes for the skies, a grey and green fletched arrow flashes into their midst, sending a bird plummeting to the ground. The Lady Dawn doesn't pause to fetch her kill, however. Whatever mental rein keeps her behaviour under check and within the bounds of proper, it has been slipped. There's something wild about the way those grey eyes flash as she reins her horse about and then slips another arrow to her bowstring; the lady looks exultant, struck by some deep-seated and passionate enjoyment of the moment. "Where's it gone!" she calls out to those who had been closest.
While Niccolo finally catches up and passes the other riders even, he seems unable to find the board. By now, the duke has unsheathed his sword, holding it in one hand while the other holds the reins. "See anything, Your Grace?" He wonders towards Edain, narrowing his eyes. He does spare a glance behind them, seeing the birds go down. There's a little touch of amusement.
Birds. Deva's face skews into an expression of deep concentration as she aims her bow high, managing to say astride her horse in the process. One shot zips through the air, sending a pheasant plummeting back to the ground. Another one follows rapidly thereafter, feathers flying. She's quick, and her aim isn't half bad today. Satisfied, she grins wider as she tries to keep pace with the other archer ladies. "Good question," she echoes Dawn's sentiment, straining to see ahead.
As the feathers fly, or fall as the case may be, the birds make for less lethal pastures, flying off and leaving their wounded behind. Hunting attendants tend to collecting the felled birds, stringing them to sticks for them to be carried back for the feast along with the boar, eventually. As the forefront riders search for the boar, Niccolo turns back to regard the birds, and in that moment his horse rears in fright! A snake hisses from the ground, his sleeping place having been disturbed! Edain on the other hand finds the boar, who snorts and charges - thankfully in the opposite direction, heading off into the plains once more, leaving the others behind with dead birds and a very, very live snake.
OOC: Anyone, @check perception + survival at 20 to attempt to identify the snake type.
Silas gallops to a stop when he can no longer see the boar and it becomes evident no one else can either. The sudden explosion of surprised chirps and feathers startles him momentarily and he turns his head to watch the bird massacre. Then there's more startledness when Niccolo's horse freaks out. "Ah, snake!" And that's about all the useful information he can provide, beyond the fact that he was very much not a snake person.
With her hands tight on her horse's reins, Nadia keeps the mid-rear of the hunting party as they maneuver through the trees, the corners of her lips upturned with pride as Deva unleashes her arrows upon the birds. "Good shot," she shouts, booted feet nudging into her beast's flanks and quickening her pace, her strawberry blonde ponytail caught in the winds in her efforts to advance forward, eyes searching for signs of blood and hoof prints of the escaped boar. "Does anyone see anything?"
EVERYONE but Nadia and Edain now assumes there is a highly poisonous snake about to attack Duke Niccolo Velenosa.
@check composure + <weapon skill> at 20 to attempt to slay it.
(OOC) Maximilian argues against his roll that he'd still probably not know what kind of snake it is -- oh, yeah, you got it.
(OOC) Dawn says: The deadest snake.
(OOC) Malorie says: the absolute deadest.
(OOC) Calain says: If it's secretly a hydra that grows a new head every time one is chopped off we're going to be in trouble.
(OOC) Malorie says: So much trouble.
Edain shakes his head to Duke Niccolo as he falls instride with him, "Not as of yet.... Snake!" he says suddently and then clears his throat, "I mean um, There is a snake over there," he says as there is suddently an avalanche of blades attacking it, "You know that breed is actually quite tasty.."
There is a great deal of commotion over there by those who'd been leading the pack. A great deal of writhing, hissing, potentially deadly confusion. And, just one of many, another grey-green fletched arrow sprouts up from the unfortunate creature. It's going to look like a porcupine wandered into their midst once the archers are done with it.
Ophelia was caught up in relishing the shower of bloodied feathers when the sound of Niccolo's panic-stricken horse caught her focus. "Uncle! Kill it! Quick!" Steering her horse around, she'd adjusted her bow, grip intent upon it as she sought to guide her mount mostly with her knees alone, leaving it dancing in place. But she lowered it rather than take her heroic shot.
When the snake causes Niccolo's horse to rear Calain frowns as he leans in to study it, seemingly completely forgetting to consider it's possible deadliness. Fortunately half the party seem to converge to end the threat and he straightens back up in his saddle, casting around for any sight of the boar instead.
Dangerous serpents ready to bite? Not while Deva has anything to say about it. Or shoot about it. She fires an arrow, but she's still a good distance away from all her bird skewering. She hits it, once, and barely, but at least it hits. "Everyone okay?" she calls out, voice clear and loud.
His horse's reaction takes Niccolo by surprise. Or does it? He is no stranger to riding in the middle of battle, and the man finds himself immediately trying to regain control of the creature. While also leaning down off Edain's and Ophelia's warnings, and swiping his sword to try and kill the vicious seemingly deadly creature. "I'll live," the duke calls out to Deva, with a small salute to his niece. "That boar, not so much, where is it?" He asks, firm.
Nadia tugs on the reins of her horse, a glance flickered over the aggravated serpent hissing and coiled back to strike Niccolo's horse. "I don't believe it's poisonous," she attests with some certainty to her statement, a hand smoothed through her steed's rose-twined mane to soothe the riled beast. "Did anyone see which way the boar went?" she asks aloud, her blade drawn in efforts to lance that snake straight to deadedness with a swipe of her arm.
"...Good shooting," says the impressed Count Darkwater, who's made no move against the snake or had anything to say in it's defense, either. He is more focused on getting the mare to cooperate. He's been zigzagging behind the party thus far most of the hunt.
The deadest snake in the history of Arx is barely recognizable as one of the gods' creatures once all of the simultaneous killing blows have landed. Malorie covers her mouth, no doubt hiding a smile. Eventually she nods at Deva. "I think everyone is good." She looks toward Edain then. "Which way did it go?" it likely being the boar. And attendant dutifully collects the mangled snake, trotting over to return the arrows to the heroic ladies that fired them, with the lovely addition of a little gore.
His spear shoots out, angled downward, and successfully skewers the reptile. It is uncertain if this was truly what kills the critter, or the several some arrows which suddenly embed themselves into it a split second afterward. He blinks... and stabs it again just to be sure.
(OOC) Silas puts his name in that.
"Really? What kind is it?" Deva cranes her head to peer in Nadia's direction. "Looked nasty to me, but I can't see a whole lot from back here! And thanks," she adds with a belated, breathless smile now that the immediate danger has subsided. "Great. Let's find it!" is her cheerful reply for Niccolo and Malorie, and she nudges her horse onward to join the rest of the group.
"You do the Guard great honor," Ophelia says towards Silas, with the utmost seriousness, after that final stab had ensured it was beyond dead. She urges her mare to trot on ahead a ways and then pauses to redirect her attention around the area. After the death of the birds and with spirits rekindled, she chirps back towards the Count, in some effort to be helpful, "Just pretend that it's a boat!"
Dawn accepts back her arrow, paying the streak the arrowhead leaves on her thigh when she wipes it off once, twice, and then back into the quiver. This is possibly why she chose to dress down for this occasion. "It looked snakey to me," is her idle remark as she urges her mare forward and its course leads her near Deva and Nadia. Count Darkwater is tossed a small salute with her fingers, a smile, but she's soon back to scanning the underbrush for any sign of boar.
Sir Arugula's nostrils flair, as he stomps the ground impatiently. The war horse's blood is up and it wants to be chasing. Prince Edain scans the area around them. Look for traces of the boar. Finally he stops, his eyes narrow and then he calls out, "I have the trail!" and he spurs his horse forward.
"A bullsnake," Nadia calls out in answer to Deva, readjusting in her saddle to regard the princess and now Dawn as her horse draws nearer to the young duchess. "Nasty things, but they're not of the venomous variety." Her sword is resheathed, allowing her a free hand to steer onward after Prince Edain as he launches forward on the trail of the beast.
Silas replies to Ophelia with a solemn, equally serious salute. "All in a day's work." He wipes his spear off against some nearby foilage before reeling his horse around to follow Prince Edain.
And the hunt is back on, as Edain catches sight of the rapidly fleeing boar. Heading out onto the plain, the creature doesn't have anywhere to hide this time, but through sheer determination it keeps running anyway, attempting no doubt to make it into the Gray Forest in the distance.
OOC: Everyone, @check dexterity + ride at 15 to race after the boar!
Calain stands up in his saddle when Edain calls out, looking in the direction he indicates before settling back down and spurring his horse in that direction, the grey gracefully leaping a fallen log as it heads through the underbrush after the Prince of Sanctum.
Niccolo looks at everyone from the gathering that jumped in at trying to save his life from the non-poisonous snake with gratitude. "Go get it, dearest niece," he calls out to Ophelia, once Edain announces he has a trail, urging his own mount forward. He offers Nadia a small salute as he rides by, trying to place himself ahead of the members of House Grayson.
Dawn's posture echoes Calain, heels turned down in the stirrups as she lifts up and looks around. A cry is given, something simple and wordless and pleased, as the hunt is taken up again. And onto the plains! A good omen that. Pressing to the neck of her mare, she urges her mare over that fallen log and into the race. Behind the Velenosa, it's true, but with her legs clamped hard against the chestnut's barrel, she proceeds to nock an arrow while watching for the first available shot.
Someone has a competitive streak.
Putting himself in the middle of the pack this time with some more cursing and shouting down to Star, the Thraxian Count begins to trot forward, after the riders still ahead. Other then his shouting at the horse, he's a poor conversation partner astride one.
Prince Edain and Sir Silas thunder ahead of the pack, though in truth everyone is gaining on the tiring, injured boar. Flanked, the boar bucks and rears, swerving to the side and heading in another direction, attempting to juke the pursuers!
OOC: Edain and Silas, @check strength + weapon skill at 15 to attempt an injuring blow to the boar as it runs past.
Ophelia flashed a dimpled smile towards Niccolo, but she didn't head much faster than he, keeping to a steady pacing to gallop swiftly through the underbrush, breaking branches in her wake until the eventual freedom offered with the terrain. She'd followed dedicatedly behind the pathways carved by those even more fleet-footed, bright eyes trying to catch a glimpse of the forward commotion through the open pasture itself.
"Archers, get ready! He's got nowhere to go!" Malorie calls from where she's seated on her horse, the snowy white mare straining forward in an effort to catch up with the boar once it turns, her mace in hand as she looks for an opportunity to take a swing at the tusked menace herself.
Edain levels his spear again, and again, finds the boars haunch. The beast snarls angrily and starts trying to turn. The prince pull his horse to a full stop trying to hold it back with the boar spear and keep it vulnerable to for other's to attack.
Silas decides, with Calain and Dawn being aggressive, that he ought to up the ante too. In spite of having lingered in the back for most of the hunt - and in part due to the distraction the snake provided - Silas and Theodore manage to catch up to the front and settle a few paces behind Edain. Edain, unlike the guardsman, actually knows where to go!
The Prince's path proves to be the correct one, and the beast is soundly cornered.
When the boar charges at him, the knight nimbly moves his horse out of the way prior to launching his attack. His spear punctures the boar's side, though it angrily carries on, heavily wounded but still not quite dead.
OOC: Everyone, @check strength + weapon skill at 15, best three rolls get a hit in on the boar.
Nadia quirks her mouth at NIccolo in faint humor as he rides by, the duchess content to thunder through the grass fast on the heels of the riders behind her, booted feet tilted in her stirrups to support her forward shift as her stallion gallops forward and past the last of trees into the clear of the forest.
It's not easy but when Malorie's call rings out, Dawn manages to check the momentum of her horse. The mare swings around, chewing frenetically at the bit, tossing its head. The woman astride ignores these antics, controlling the animal with her legs and nocking an arrow. The string is loosely drawn, the bow raised. She takes aim and watches for her opportunity... adjusting when her horse's shifting makes it necessary. Which is often, and means a delay and then an arrow that goes wide when she does finally fire. Though, fortunately not so wide that those requiring close range combat are struck. Go team Grayson, no friendly fire incidents!
Calain is a true bane of the trees of the Grey Forest, his spear once again stabbing straight into one of the old trunks instead of striking particularly close to the boar. The prince frowns deeply as he tugs hard on the weapon to pull it back out.
Edain releases his reigns so he can grasp his spear in both hands. Grimacing as he tries to hold it tightly, Sir Arugula seems to know what he needs to do. Circling the boar and trying to make it tire as Edain holds the spear tightly trying to give other's an opening to attack it.
The freedom inspired by the open grasses sparked Ophelia and her mare both into action, picking up to an unchecked canter to secure a point to the side in completion of a partial semi-circle. She fluidly draws one of the arrows, nocking it as she creatures slows and firing the violet-fletched projectile when the boar threatens to streak free and scoring a blood-drawing shot in the flank for her efforts.
Silas pulls away when he hears the thundering of hooves behind them nearing, evidently giving the others a chance to finally slay the boar. It would be quite dismaying to arrive so valiantly and it was already dead!
While Niccolo tries to land his blow as well as any others, and spares Dawn a glance when he does, he remains true to his words to Ophelia. The duke skillfully positions his horse on any intercept courses that might lead the boar to charge his niece, but outside her field of aim against the animal.
Finally catching up with the group yet again after their next charge, Maximilian's horse nearly collides with the boar. That is the only reason why he's even near it enough to drive his spear into one of its fore-legs, at a joint, perhaps, and he pulls it out clumsily, more due to his elevated position on the mare then a lack of skill.
Hot on the heels of the boar and others leading the charge, Deva steadies herself as best she can while readying another arrow. Instead of shooting toward the sky, this time she's completely set on striking the boar. Everything else, both sight and sound, is little more than a blur to her as one last arrow is knocked. Luckily for all involved and close to the beast, her aim is true. The Redrain arrow zings through the air and sinks deep into the boar's side. It's a hard, likely fatal, shot. Only then does she allow a small, proud smile.
The squealing, snarling, bleeding boar fights viciously against the spear, but the expert circling of Sir Arugala keeps him off balance, and the screech loosed when Princess Ophelia Velenosa's arrow strikes true into his flank is the stuff of nightmares, if one dreams of high-pitched screams, anyway. The second spearing by Count Maximilian Darkwater disables the boar, who wobbles before crashing to the ground, thrashing in his efforts to get free, the whites of his eyes huge as he struggles to regain his feet, but the speared foreleg makes that impossible. An arrow flies from Princess Deva Redrain, piercing the boar through the abdomen and likely straight into the heart, for the screeches mercifully cease abruptly, the boar giving one last heaving, shuddering twitch before conceeding ultimate defeat.
A victorious cheer resounds from Nadia as she watches the boar's demise by the hands of her peers, she herself circling around the final resting place of their meal to be with gentle tugs of her reins, soothing noises and clucks of her tongue made to calm down her excited stallion. "Good work," she calls out to Ophelia and Deva, then twists around in her stool to cast a well-humored smile across to Calain. "Your Highness, did you have a good time spearing those deadly trees? I almost feared they'd knock me clear off my horse were it not for your bravery." She struggles to maintain her vibrant laughter, riding closer to the prince as she looks to the collection of deaded birds, snakes, and the like slain on the hunt.
"Victory," Malorie pronounces, as attendants hurry forward to cart the prize off, back toward the city gates where a plume of smoke can be seen from a newly started fire. "Last one back to the fire has to pluck feathers from the pheasants," she claims, wheeling her horse in that direction. "Unless you're all too tired to race?" she asks, her expression one of absolute innocence, despite the challenge in her tone.
Silas carefully maintains a safe distance as the boar begins it's death thrashing, until they abruptly halt once Deva shoots it through the heart. He shoots the Redrain an impressed glance. "Nice shot, Your Highness." He then wrinkles his nose and looks to Dawn. "Does this mean we both lose the bet? I'm not sure how the scoring works."
Calain applauds when the boar goes down, and walks his horse a little closer, he shakes his head at Nadia. "Those trees were plotting something." He announces in his most serious, doom and gloom portending voice.
Dawn wheels the mare around, lifting in her stirrups again to try to see through the scrum that's developed around the dying animal. Hearing its cries so abruptly end is reason enough for the lady to raise her voice in a call of celebration. Nevermind that that gurgling death had absolutely nothing to do with the arrow she'd shot. Grayson is pleased and Dawn's voice raises high in a simple cheer as she holds her boar up. "Well done!" she thinks to call out not long after, tapping the mare forward into prancing disorder near Silas and Calain. "Well chased, well held, well killed... I believe we are both losers, yes. But cheers to Redrain, that last shot was magnificent."
"...Think I enjoy you land-lovers' version of hunting," says Darkwater, grabbing onto the reigns of the horse to pull himself more upright still. "Like whaling in a ploughing storm, it is." The horse walks back and forth as he speaks, the Count unable to keep the beast still. At Malorie's suggestion of a race, he doesn't linger, trying to spur the beast back to where they came from.
"Thank you," Deva smiles at Silas, a glimmer of mischief in her eyes. "It means you should always bet on a Redrain," she points out brightly. "That was fun. We all make a good team," she glances from hunter to hunter before nudging her horse back onward toward the city.
OOC:Everyone racing, @check stamina OR dexterity + ride at 15 twice to race back to the fire.
(OOC) Nadia shame-faces.
The Valardin Prince grunts as he tries to hold the boar as spears strike and arrows fly. When Princess Deva looses her arrow and makes a thick 'Kathunk!' and ends the beasts squealing, "Amazing shot Princess Deva" The prince congradulates as he slides out of his saddle, and calls some Valardin attendants forward. "Alright lads! Lets get this this beast on a skid and get him cleaned for roasting!" And that said he starts directing traffic to make sure the boar is properly prepared for transport, and from there prepared for eating.
(OOC) Malorie says: Niccolo apparently teleported back.
(OOC) Silas says: Usain Bolt ain't got nothing.
Niccolo brings his horse to a brief stop by Ophelia's. "That was a very good shot, my dear niece," he tells the Velenosa princess, sounding suitably impressed. "You as well, Your Highness, my lord," he then adds to Deva and Maximilian respectively. He looks from Malorie, to Silas, to Dawn. "It was a magnificent shot by Redrain," he agrees with the lady from Grayson. "Race, very well," and the duke wastes no time, urging his beast forward, lowering his body as he takes off.
(OOC) Dawn says: 'e's a witch!
(OOC) Maximilian says: T.T
(OOC) Malorie says: Thank you Edain! <3
(OOC) Edain thanks everyone very much for coming, but I am afraid I am going to have to bow out, I'm fiting a fever and I think I need to lay down for a bit! Thanks for putting up with me! Edain will be in the background helping to clean the boar and make certain it gets prepared and yummy!
(OOC) Deva says: Feel better!
(OOC) Silas says: Get better soon, Edain.
(OOC) Silas says: Gogogo Zicam.
"That was very-very fun. You're remarkable with that bow. Amazing. Phenomenal. Please slaughter birds with me!" Ophelia emphasizes this to Deva with the utmost comfort, but the last syllable is ripped from her lips when she laughs and tries to coax her horse back into action to join in those racing. Her mare rebels with a comfortable trot, stubborn through some sharper heel kicks until the Princess sticks to an idle, but moving, pace towards the back.
Edain has left the game.
Malorie is apparently the one that is worn out from the hunt, as she lags behind during the race, though she urges the other riders forward gamely. Still seated sidesaddle, she trots up toward the fire in dead-last.
Ophelia is overheard praising Deva for: Her shooting is phenomenal! If only she would hate birds!
Ophelia is overheard praising Malorie for: Excellent Valardin Hunt!
Ophelia is overheard praising Edain for: The Prince was the epitome of heroism and boar-seeking prowess.
Ophelia is overheard praising Silas for: Three cheers for any willing to ensure dead things are dead! And he's good with his blade too!
"I'm always up for a race," Silas retorts and spurs his horse ahead.
Theodore, unfortunately, is an old horse... and an old horse who just went on a hunt and is completely not into this race.
Silas is overheard praising Edain for: The great bane of boars everywhere in the Gray.
Silas is overheard praising Malorie for: Great hunt, great memory!
It might not help Dawn's performance in a race to be laughing as she hugs her mare's neck to streamline things. But. She is laughing, giving the animal its head and letting it decide if it wishes to win. The answer to that is apparently a no, but still, they hold their own-- though the lady is quick to call for a groom upon arrival, to see the little chestnut is brushed down thoroughly and pampered for her performance.
Calain is caught a little off guard when Malorie announces the race back to the campfire, but that doesn't stop him from participating, he wheels his horse around and charges off into the underbrush, arriving back to camp somewhere in the middle of the group, but definitely not coming in last or accidentally running into any trees or anything. He trots the horse over to put the boar spear back in it's rack. "That was quite enjoyable, even if you all were not nearly appreciative enough of my saving you from the dangerous trees."
"So are you! I'd like that very much. Birds are fun targets," Deva tells Ophelia, grinning excitedly at that thought, her voice rised high as she chases after.
Maximilian is overheard praising Malorie for: A land-loving woman introducing land-lovers' hunting to a sailor.
"This has to be one of the best hunts I've had the pleasure of attending, Your Highness," Nadia praises to Malorie as she brings up the rear alongside her, content to keep her stallion at a relaxed trot back down the paths to the fires. "We're so very grateful for your courageous acts, Prince Calain. But next time, you could try aiming for the boar," her words of praise turn into soft, harmless teasing as she draws to a halt. Swinging a leg over, she dismounts and drops to her feet, sheathing her weapon and strapping it to her horse's saddle.
Calain is overheard praising Malorie for: She arranged a very well organized and enjoyable hunt.
Niccolo is overheard praising Malorie for: Princess Malorie helped put together a hunt that will not soon be forgotten.
Come the end of the race, which is handily won by Duke Niccolo Velenosa, the hunting party returns to see the boar neatly dressed and trussed up on a spit, being turned and basted and plastered with chives over a low fire. Attendants relieve the riders of their horses, who are fed and watered and brushed down as befitting such noble creatures. The boar, notably is missing his tusks, and away from the fire, a man with a shock of red hair hammers away at something or another. "Thank you all again for a glorious hunt, I knew it would be wonderful. I am told the boar will be ready shortly, and of course you're all invited to stay and enjoy the spoils." An attendant leans in to whisper, and Malorie adds, "I'm also being told the snake is beyond salvage, we'll have to enjoy that delicacy some other time."
Niccolo is overheard praising Edain for: Prince Edain's support of the hunt sponsored by his family speaks of a good family man and House leader.
Arriving most certainly as one of the people in last place, Maximilian nearly falls off the horse after a moment, yelling at it obscenities the whole time. He mamages to dismount it after a while, staggering and placing his hands on his knees to catch his breath. "Ploughing thing doesn't know how to navigate," he complains.
Dawn has left the game.
Niccolo is overheard praising Deva for: Princess Deva's skill with the bow is impressive her aim true, be it boar or really, anything else.
(OOC) Nadia slips out for dinner! Thank you for hosting such an awesome event, Mal!
Nadia has left the game.
Malorie accepts a small parcel from the mysterious red haired man who quickly makes his way away from the gathering, and she gestures for everyone's attention again. "Well it seems a memento has been forged from the tusks of the boar, and with everyone's blessing, I'd like to present it to Lady Deva Redrain, for her merciful and expertly fired killing blow." And so said, she offers the woman a smile, tossing the token toward her.
(OOC) Malorie actually drops it on the ground so people can see it, because she's a show-off.
Malorie drops an armlet of vicious boar tusks mounted in pale silver.
(OOC) Ophelia says: It's very pretty!!
(OOC) Malorie beams.
(OOC) Niccolo says: It is!
(OOC) Deva says: Nice!
Silas arrives at the roast somewhere in the middle of the pack. He whistles softly and dismounts with a huff. "I think I saw the Duke for about... two seconds." He offers his horse a sugar cube he was hiding in one of his pant pockets, then turns and moves to join the rest of the gathering. "Ooo, nice!" He comments, blue eyes lighting upon the boar tusk display. "That ought to be a quite a conversation piece."
Calain swings out of his saddle and pats his grey a few times, leaning in to murmur a few times to it before leading it over to where the other other horses stand, although he doesn't tie it in place as he moves back over to the fire. "I commend your craftsmen Princess Malorie, that's a lovely token."
Having arrived ahead of the pack, Niccolo remains mounted on his horse and circles it to meet the rest of the new arrivals. He glances at the token that Malorie presents to Deva, dipping his head in approval and allowing hints of a smile to touch his features. "A very nice token, Your Highness. Princess Deva is quite deserving," he adds with a small incline of his head in the direction of Deva.
"I've never really liked the taste of snake, but who knows? Maybe it wasn't the right kind," Deva chimes in. She helps get her horse settled in post-hunt, giving a grateful nod for the assistance offered. Turning to listen to Malorie's announcement, her expression is surprised as the memento is presented. She catches the tossed armlet with a laugh. "Oh, wow, thanks! For this, and a spectacularly fun hunt."
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