Mountainside Trail Ride
The weather's gorgeous, and so Saga organizes the group ride that she promised after the Tourney.
Notes are posted in the Inns of Thelos, and all are welcome!
Saga Brixtien sits just on the outskirts of Thelos, astride the big ol' bull Crete. She's at the meeting spot she appointed, looking out at the wilds rather than towards the city! She's also practically vibrating with excitement.
The Elder Priestess has joined them group for the tra
The Elder Priestess has joined the group for the trail ride. Of course it is MOUNTAIN trails and she is again on a horse that is not her mount, but she made promises and so she is here, settled next to Saga with a soft chuckle. "I don't believe you got me on one of the horses again. You understand they must know I am meant for a different mount. They just like running away.." Starling offers to Sage.
Lyandra made her way along the paths, following the direction she'd been sent. of course, the sight of, well, horses, and other riding beats, well...the expression on her face is clear as day. She may have chosen poorly. Still, she lifted her shoulders, placing her most diplomatic expression on her lips, before she approached the group, clearly seeking out one face in particular.
Even with the largest mount he could find, Karagoth still looked awkwardly tall in the saddle. He swayed slightly side to side as he rode slowly up to the gathering, his face set in what others in his family would call 'Grumpy Thought'. It was only when his ride slowed and stoppoed on its own accord did he glance around at those who were here.
Rivaron is not on duty today it seems and still he spends his day off in Thelos for what is looking to be an enjoyable ride with some strangers and some he might just know too well. The Lieutenant of the Blood Templars has a neutral expression on his face, as he makes his was towards an already gathered group, himself mounted on a black stallion, comfortably so.
Ayalith is sitting astride a sleek, chocolate-hued mount, the horse's long black tail flicking back and forth in muted impatience as the group gathers. The High Priestess of Brundir has set aside her robes for this ride, embracing a leather-and-bones look that is distinctly Thalerith. Combing her fingers through the horse's mane, she spots Lyandra on the edge of the crowd. "Lya!" she calls out, a warm joy immediately radiating from her as she spots the Warlord's daughter. "Over here!"
"You're in the Solaris Order, Starling. You're probably going to get used to riding!" Saga grins, looking over to the priestess and her horse. "What kind of mount are you meant for, then?" Curious, but shifting her attention as Lyandra and Karagoth approach. "Good afternoon! I'm Saga, this is Starling. I.. don't think I know anyone else." Saga's grin is almost impish, her introductions pitched loud enough for Rivaron and Ayalith, too!
Deanna clearly sat in the saddle as if she wasn't particularly used to, or fond of, horses in general. She sat well enough to make it clear she'd been on one of the creatures at one point in time in her life or maybe had just watched someone else do this and remembered enough to pretend like she knew and at least face the right way. No better than that. "..Do all of these creatures have this particular kind of smell?"
Ceres, in the garishly yellow robes of a Brundir initiate that are clearly meant to teach them some lesson about being humble, sits astride a pale gray mare somewhere near Ayalith. Scribbling notes on an ink-smudged scroll, he looks aside toward Deanna. "Unfortunately," he responds. "Still, they're pleasant creatures in their own way. Provided they don't dump you out of the saddle in the middle of the mountains, anyway."
Karagoth cast a side glance towards Deanna at her complaint, but stifled a retort. Instead, he gave a half salute that could be confused for a wave towards Saga. "I am General Karagoth Aynarr," he offered in introduction.
Lyandra, spotting Ayalith, clearly the person she'd been looking for, rather sped her way through the collection of people into the shelter of her best friend's presence, "Aya, you didn't say there would be actual //riding//. Clearly this was not the business, "You remember the last time I tried to ride that krilkar? I never skewered myself." Only one she had delivered this dire reminder, did she turn to offer a word of thanks to Saga, "It is good to meet you. I'm Lyandra. Filinnar. Thank you for having us." Her smile looked a little less distressed when she say so many of her kin, greeting them each with a smile or a wave.
Starling smiles in that way of hers and glances around as others arrive, she dips her chin as she is introduced but answer Saga with a soft chuckle. "Something with horns it seems if my dream is correct. I hope to go and find him soon.." She then glances towards Karagoth and nods with a did of her chin, "A pleasure to meet you General.." When Deanna speaks of smell, she can't help if she chuckles to herself and then reaches into her pack and brings out a flower and nudges her horse towards her. "We have not met, but maybe this will help, the scent is strong and it covers up almost anything.." It's a red poppy like flower without being a poppy.
Deanna knows enough of horses to urge hers forward, riding over to meet Starling half way. "Aren't you just a peach? Kinlessa Deanna Devrien," She reached to take the flower. "And beside me the perfectly charming man who seems oh so happy to be here is General Karagoth Aynarr." She inclined her head towards him.
"Don't worry," Ayalith soothes as Lyandra approaches, and she hands over the reigns of a nearby horse. "I asked for the sweetest, least temperamental horse available," she promises, and indeed the gelding looks quite tame, with bright intelligent eyes and steady footing, a white star on his forehead and a sturdy, sleek frame. "Can you mount on your own you think, or should we get someone strong to help you?" she asks, eyes turning almost immediately to Karagoth, almost subconsciously, before slipping past to see who else is present.
"Horns? Like Crete?" She looks down at her own mount, and then over to Starling! Saga's got bright smiles for literally everyone as they approach! "Of course, Lyandra! I thought it'd be a great way to meet a few more people, and see a bit of the countryside around our lovely city. Shall we?" Waiting a moment or two for any disagreement, Saga turns her bull back towards the wilderness and urges him forward.
A thin forest stretches out beyond this lower bit of Thelos, full of new growth.
If he were amused at some of the others' awkwardness atop a mount, he certainly is good at hiding it behind a mask of seriousness. Spotting Lyandra, he actually cracks a little smile and an incline of his his, while giving his horse a slight nudge to head into that direction. "Good to see you, Lyandra, I hope everything is fine at home." As introductions are made, he inclines his head another time "Knight Lieutenant of the Blood Templars, Rivaron Filinnar."
"Initiate Ceres Geminiel," Ceres introduces himself. "Scholar of words, not horses." Nevertheless, he too urges his mount forward toward the wilderness along with the others. "Are we heading anywhere in particular?" he asks Saga, trying to keep up enough to hear her response if one is offered.
After being finishing taking stock of those present, Karagoth glances down again at Deanna, and his mouth seems to grow even more not amused. He urges his mount forward to follow Saga and Crete. He gives his kin nods as he picks up his pace to draw alongside their host, such as it were. "A bull? That is...an interesting choice of mount. A story is behind that, I assume?"
Mount the horse. She had to mount the horse. Lyanda managed a vaguely horrified smile in Ayalith's direction, "That you, Aya." before she shook her head, as she looked in Karagoth's direction, "I'll manage." The did //have// saddles for the krilkar. How difficult could this be, right? Oh, than Acharon, "Uncle Rivaron. Help." Lyandra was //not// ashamed to ask Rivaron for help as though she were still the toddler who'd begged him to lift her up onto his shoulders. "Home...I think, maybe we should speak on that...not now."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Ayalith before departing.
Starling chuckles softly and answers everyone in a timely manner before the ride beings. "Elder Priestess Starling Brixtien, it's a pleasure.." She says to Deanna as she turns her horse, oh so carefully to start the ride and remarks towards Saga, "No, it's a larger rack, I will be truthful I not totally sure what it is, we will both learn soon.."
"There's a ridge up above Thelos with an amazing view. I thought we'd go up there? The trail isn't particularly challenging, if we start down here. There's a shortcut from the waterfall, but.." Another grin and a shrug from the Brixtien knight. "As for Crete, the story's not as interesting as one might think. I helped raise him from a calf, we bonded. I figured I'd see if he'd let me ride him, and.. here we are." Saga laughs!
After a messenger rides out to the meeting place determined to deliver his message before departing, Ayalith crinkles her nose in mild annoyance. "Kinlessa," she addresses Deanna. "Your brother is afraid of horses. I've decided that's what his declining my invitation means," she says. "High Priestess Ayalith Sedriel," she belatedly offers toward the other, less familiar faces in introduction. "He's a very big bull," she compliments Crete warmly. "And looks much better behaved than a krilkar," she says, showing no loyalty whatsoever to the chosen mounts of the desert.
Deanna chuckled lightly behind a hand. "Oh, I think Bel wanted to spare himself of the shades of red I would make him around both you and Lyandra." Deanna inclined her head towards the aforementioned elf. "Which is a shame because now that means I have you both all to myself to ask about, oh, every little thing." The mischevious smile seemed perfectly imprinted on her lips.
"Elder Priestess Starling Brixtien... Faithful to Lady Gala?" Dee raised her voice in a question though her posture suggested she already knew the answer.
Rivaron, being the warrior is, can easily enough offer the help that his niece needs to mount her steed, all the while remaining calm and untouched, it seems. A nod is given at her words and he responds "Yes, I exchanged messages with your mother, too, but yes we should discuss that privately " And with that he leaves the matter be, the bull catching his attention as well at least for a while.
Karagoth's face cracks at Saga's story, a half smile appears. "Sometimes the most interesting things have humble origins." He actually nods to the bull. "Be a worthy companion, Crete." He nods once more to Saga, and falls back in pace, drifting once again closer to his Kin. For a moment, Karagoth gives Ayalith an admonishing look over her teasing of Belstrom. Then Deanna spoke, and that disapproval was directed towards her. "You really should be more...gracious with your brother, Deanna."
Ceres lags behind a bit once he gets the answer he seeks, favoring balance over speed as he settles in for the ride, remaining close enough to the High Priestess if needed, but otherwise relaxing and enjoying the scenery. "It's been a while since I've been out like this. I feel as if it's been weeks since I've seen the sun," he notes.
Lyandra was, thankfully, trusting enough of her uncle that she did not struggle as he lifted her bodily from the ground and set her on the horse. she even managed to catch the reins, and put her feet into the stirups. Krilkar had them too. "Thank you, Uncle." She did not move immediately, but eventually, fear of being left behind did prompt her to urge the horse forward to catch up with Ayalith. She muttered, mostly under her breath, once she caught up with Ayalith, "If I kill myself, you'll heal me, won't you?" Deanna, she glanced over to before she looked forward, so that she would not ride herself into anyone, "I do wish Alakir had come."
Forests, as everyone knows, are full of life. Small birds flit through the trees, and every now and again there's a rustle in the low foliage. A squirrel chitters angrily when the group move to near to his chosen tree. Calm, relaxing, with the sun through the leaves bathing everything in a soft greenish glow. Even here, evergreens far outnumber the deciduous trees. @r@r Saga glances back with a grin to Lyandra, once more. "If this outting is well received, I'll organize another, and we can make sure all of our absent friends come, yeah?" She's way too happy about this ride. Farrrr too happy. "Thanks, High Priestess! didn't think he'd get this big."
Starling nods towards Deanna, "Yes, forgive me. I follow Gala as one of hers. But I can be seen in a few other temples as I try and remember all those I could have followed.." There is a bounce and her horse really bounces her, her rear comes up and the lady in question winces as she closes her eyes and then sighs as she sits up. She is not sure who mentioned the sun but she offers out to the group. "Anyone is welcome to come up to Gala's Grove to just look at the nature there. We have animals running around along with all the trees and plants. But also the view from the top of the waterful is stunning.."
"A bit of teasing is good for the soul," Ayalith posits cheerfully toward Karagoth, the young priestess slowing her horse once Lyandra is mounted to allow her to catch up. "This isn't as hard as I thought it'd be at all," she says. "And of course I'd heal you," she promises faux-solemnly. "Lord Brundir can't have you back yet, I need you," she assures Lyandra. Deanna's comments cause her to break into a bright smile. "I'm happy to share every little detail, though of course there aren't very many," she warns. "I haven't seen Alakir since the wake," she muses. "Nor Zymandi, now that I think of it."
"What sorts of plants?" Ceres wonders toward Starling. "I'm in the middle of collecting rare herbs for the Brundir shrine's healing stores, for those of us that don't practice Restoration," he explains.
Rivaron says, "No dying young lady, especially when I'm around or I will be in a lot of trouble." Rivaron remarks towards Lyandra, not that he would be eavesdropping on purpose, he is just still closeby. Leaving it at that small scolding though, as soon enough his attention is caught by the beauty of the forest and leaves him gazing. His duty doesnt give him much time to explore and Nasherat was... just Nasherat."
Starling glances over to Ceres and smiles brightly, "You are welcome to visit then, that is something a few of us grew up using. I find such reminders help healing work best. Sometimes magic isn't needed or isn't wanted. I am working on a greenhouse to grow plants and herbs from all the kinships here in the city so they can be shared. Maybe I can help with the stores you need for Brundir's shrine?" She looks from novice to High Priestess and back.
"So long as I'm about, I think it unlikely my dearest daughter is apt to be." Deanna sighed as if over some trifle, shaking her head. "So much like Bel, you know. But, she's well. I saw her the other day attending a prayer at the shrine of her goddess. I wouldn't be a proper mother if I didn't pop in unexpected to make certain things were all just so." The smile took a playful glint that carried across her eyes as she looked over her shoulder to Starling. "I've never been one for particular piety, but, as I've become fond of saying perhaps that ought to change." By contrast there was a certain casual.. acceptance of the forest. The sight seemed to wash over Deanna without much change to her expression save for a mimicked gesture to look around at it all as others had done.
"I will do my best, Uncle. I am still trying to get mother to stop frowning in your general direction." That, spoiler alert, was not really working. "everyone's seemed a bit absent since then, Aya. I saw Zym last night, but she seemed terribly distracted." She did flick her eyes toward Deana, before she looked back ahead, needing, clearly, to keep her eye on the path ahead. "At least its back's straight, so I don't feel as if I'm going to slide off the back end."
Ayalith's smile is one of warmth and pride as her initiate talks shop, and she offers a nod of enthusiastic approval toward Starling without infringing on Ceres' moment. "Not even a little dying?" Ayalith wonders of Rivaron, holding two fingers a miniscule bit apart. "I feel like the only person that comes to me for healing on any regular basis is Lord Heir Rigoth, as his training partner, whoever she is, manages to slice him up something terrible on a fairly regular basis," she laments, laughing slightly. "Are you feeling a calling toward the gods?" she wonders of Deanna, no doubt drawn by the words of possibility. "It'd be hard not to, lately," she opines.
"I've heard that several of the gods are angry with Baridon. I can't imagine it's easy to figure out which god calls to you most, if you haven't already chosen." Saga glances back to the group, not seeming particularly worried at watching the path.
The discussion of family members was starting to wear on Karagoth, so he maneuvered his mount alongside Rivaron. He gave the Templar a chest high salute. "Lieutenant," he said in greeting, then looked through the forest they were riding in. "How easy do you think it would be to move an army through here?"
A pause as Deanna considered how to phrase her words. "I freely admit that when it comes to this sort of religious thing... I cede to the greater wisdom of my brother. A luxury, perhaps. Indulgence?" She asked of Aya before letting the question of phrasing airly flit off. "He certainly thinks I'm better off leaving such things to him, I think." The Kinlessa chuckled behind a hand then, shaking her head. "One thing I've learned is that the gods all have their way. To expect them to behave in a fashion that is not their nature is folly."
The bright expression was turned onto Saga then. "Is that so? Well, if it isn't too personal a question may I ask how it is you came to follow who you do?"There was a slight pause at the end of the phrase before Deanna seemed to decide that her typical familiar tone might be slightly ill-placed just yet.
Lyandra seemed content to simply keep herself upright, occassionally glancing over at Ayalith to see if she was actually 'doing it right.' Wel, she was still //on// the horse. Though as Karagoth moved over towards Rivaron, she leaned in to whisper to Ayalith.
"That sounds like a decidedly worthy undertaking," Ceres voices his approval of Starling's greenhouse plan. "I'd be happy to help however I could, especially if you'll help me sort the weeds from the herbs, as I don't want to mix anything up, but healing isn't exactly my area of expertise," he explains. "Your own knowledge would be most valuable."
"Your brother is quite knowledgable, but you must follow your heart in matters of faith," Ayalith murmurs toward Deanna, but she doesn't drag the conversation far down that road, instead sidling her horse close to Lyandra's so the pair can whisper on horseback, no easy feat. "If we pass a river will we stop to water the horses?" she wonders aloud, afterward. "And also to stretch my legs," she admits. "I feel like I'm going to wind up bow-legged after this."
Ayalith mutters, "Could ... imagine trying to ... ... army ... ... portal though?"
Rivaron nods his head towards Lyanna "I know our relationship is strained, but it was my decision and I still stand for it." he says, expression still all serious, also when he turns towards Ayalith "The Warlord might be my sister, but yes I will be in trouble." At the mention of Baridon his mood darkens a little more and he focuses on the nature again. And then Karagoth luckily offers some distraction and after some thought given, he responds "Well, obviously you can't go with much of a cavalry in such a dense forest. Infantry would have to walk in loose formation, too. So probably not too many, a few hundreds at most."
"I follow Loran, though I'm not one of her priests. I'm a knight of the Solaris Order, though. I just.. Always felt at home with Loran." Saga gives a little shrug, glancing at the scenery around them as the trees thin out even more, and start to give way to lower ground cover and bare rock. "We should be near a little off-shoot of the river, soon."
Their whisper conversation might have occasionally necessitated Lyandra to lean far enough over that her hand rested on the pommel of Ayalith's horse, risking disaster, but at least it did not last long, and she was tipping herself back upright.
Starling can't help one of her more beautiful smiles to Ceres, "I would be happy to. SImply send me message and I will come and see what you all have at the moment and bring you a few samples to plant. Princess Leda is helping with the Greenhouse as well as Chef Zedmir, so I will get us all together and show the plans I have so for..." When Sage mentions the Order she glances her way and then back to her conversion. It might be noted she has been slipping treats to her horse from time to time as she speaks to other, so she doesn't go tumbling. She does call out to Sage, "Maybe next time, we can do this on foot with a pack horse so I can pick up some of the flowers and herbs Im seeing?"
Karagoth nodded at Rivaron's assessment. "Seems it would be difficult to properly defend, as well, given that massed archers would be almost useless," the General noted. He turned in his saddle to look back in the direction they had come. "If I were defending this route, I'd let the attackers have the forest, and wait for them to emerge from the cover of the trees. Possibly set the forest alight." He straightens himself again, and steers his horse around a fallen tree. "I wonder how large this river is...that could change things..."
Whatever it was Ayalith responded to her with, Lyandra only shook her head, her words soft, before she leaned back, wobbling a bit, but managing to seem to be, mostly getting the hand of things. between trying to stay upright though, and looking ahead, she was more that content to just let the others talk around her.
Ayalith nods firmly at Lyandra before helping her companion upright in her saddle. "I want to try racing ahead, feel the wind on my face, but I also don't want to fall and die. It's really too bad that all the most fun things in life are so potentially painful," she laments.
"I have room in my saddlebags for some, Starling! You could always organize a foraging stroll, though!" Saga grins back at the priestess. She can't help but laugh at Ayalith. "I doubt you'd die, just get a scrape or three if you fell."
Starling calls out and chuckles. "None of you hear this. But as long as you don't break your neck and stop your heart before I can get to you. You can race on to your hearts content.." She then chuckles and nods to Saga, "Go along with her, I'll stay back here with those who would rather walk and stop to pick up a few things..."
Rivaron seemed a bit more relaxed now that the more personal matters had dropped and he idly rubbed his chin with one hand, feeling comfortable enough to control his own stallion with one hand. "Well, the basic problem would already be..." he starts to muse "That the City of Thelos is neutral ground and as such has no proper standing army. We Blood Templars are only there to enforce Baridon's judgements."
Overhearing Ayalith, Ceres brings his horse up alongside hers, without getting between her and her whispering partner of course, the other side. "How about," he suggests, "You take some riding lessons before you go attempting anything too dangerous? As talented of a Restorationist as Lady Starling no doubt may be, now isn't the time for you to be wearing yourself out," he reminds her with some seriousness in his tone. "Think of the shrine, think of the children," he adds, shamelessly attempting to guilt Ayalith out of having her fun.
Lyandra laughed, as she heard Ayalith's lament. "There are many good riders here who could keep you safe, Aya. Ride ahead if you like, I will catch up to you eventually." She even made a shooing gesture, as if to urge Ayalith on.
There seemed to be some general peace with her horse as Deanna rode along, no longer looking at the horse with general askance, petting the creature on the neck before deciding to loop the flower into its mane for now as if a ward against the scent.
"Lieutenant," Karagoth started, cracking a half smile at Rivaron. "A lack of armies is no reason to stop thinking about strategies and tactics. After all, most battlefields did not have standing armies tied to them either." He looked back to his Kin. "In fact, because there is no standing army, is all the more reason to think about such problems."
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Karagoth before departing.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Deanna before departing.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Lyandra before departing.
"What's the worst that could happen?" Ayalith asks Ceres, clearly reassured by Starling and Lyandra's encouragement, and with a nervous but excited woop, she urges her horse to surge forward ahead of the pack, her dark hair trailing behind her as she sets off. "How do I make it stop?" she calls back toward the others, long past the point where she should have asked this question.
Ayalith checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 24 lower.
Saga looks about to speak to Karagoth and Riven, but then Ayalith happens. She laughs as Aya flies past, and urges Crete to chase after her.
Dee looked to the messenger and then at the thing given - studying the object for a moment and then looking up to Karagoth and smiling before tucking the object away. Her attention turned to Lyandra, next. "Have you and Ay--" Well, whatever else she was going to say was cut off by the subsequent catastrophy.
Ceres pinches the bridge of his nose. "I saw the High Priestess climb a tree once recently," he shares with the group. "When she fell out of it? She hit every single branch on the way down. I have personally never met a less athletically-gifted elf, but she certainly is enthusiastic," he adds, watching the disaster unfold.
"Yes, you are probably right, it's always good to be prepared for the worst ca.." Rivaron is about to respond, when one of the younger ones of his kin seems to want to test her limits and it goes wonky "Holy ..." he mutters, before driving his thighs into his mount's flanks trying to catch up and avoid the inevitable.
Rivaron checked stamina + ride at difficulty 30, rolling 13 higher.
He frowned. Perhaps because his interesting conversation was interrupted. Perhaps because his Kin possibly was about to injure herself in a foolish attempt to have fun. Either way, Karagoth sighed, and urged his mount after Rivarons.
Starling is not stupid enough to stay on the horse and race after the others. She gently touches his side and slides down to the ground and starts to walk her way in the direction that Ayalith yelled back, on how to get the horse to stop.. It will take her awhile, but she calls aheard of her, "You sit on the rump!" Of course that will not be very helpful by the time the worse has happened.
Karagoth checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 15, rolling 13 higher.
Lyandra had only the bear chance to catch Deanna's start of a question, before she heard Ayalith's cry and she nearly tumbled out of the saddle herself. Not to fall, but to manage to get to her feet to start a mad dash run in the direction she'd last seen the High Priestess.
Half in the saddle and half no longer in the saddle, Ayalith has a grip on the horse's made and one foot in a stirrup as it merrily speeds along. "Off! Stop! Cease! Help-help HELP!" she shouts when the horse does not seem to readily obey her reasonable demands. "What do I do?" she calls out, sounding more frustrated than afraid.
Lyandra checked mana + prestidigitation at difficulty 15, rolling 14 higher.
The first emotion was relief, as Lyandra managed to run fast enough that she could see Ayalith galloping off along the trail. So...not dead. The stitch in her side...not good. But at least she could stop running, as she clutched at her side with one hand, and sent a wave of her magic with the other, finding the reins she could still see in Ayalith's hands and tugging them gently in an attempt to get the horse to slow. So far away was Ayalith, that perhaps on; she would hear Lyandra's voice, speaking as if she were standing just at Ayalith's shoulder. 'Whoa..easy now."
Saga checked dexterity + ride at difficulty 20, rolling 25 higher.
Rivaron lets out a havy breathe, while he urges his horse on to go even faster so he can catch up and catch up he does. Reaching for the reins of Aya's horse he tries to aid in Lyandra's soothing effort, well, actually he doesn't really seem to be aware of it. "Speak to your horse. Tell it to calm down. And gently pull the reins."
Starling rounds the corner and notices everyone is way in front of her. With narrowed eyes, she taps the horse once more and remounts with alot grunting and petting for the horse. Finally the Priestess is up and now riding towards the group, it's just faster than her own walking and as none are yelling for it, it would seem Ayalith is fine for the moment.
Crete is not as fast-- or not able to kick off with such speed! as such, it takes a bit for Saga to get him running, but she does manage to cut infront of Ayalith, and cut off the horse's escape routes! "Woahhh there. Easy, easy." Crooning to Aya's mount, not her own.
Obediently, the speedy horse comes to an abrupt stop at the multiple tugs on the reins and properly enunciated commands - promptly disloging Ayalith's tenous grasp and dumping the High Priestess onto the ground, where she winds up with twigs in her hair, a scrape or two, and an impressive gash across the bridge of her nose where it got caught by the saddle's buckle. "Ow, ow, ow," she moans on the ground. "Lya. Please tell me no one saw any of that," she says, speaking to Lyandra as if she thinks the other girl is right by her side, despite her being nowhere nearby.
When a large group of fearsome and well armed Thalerith warriors led by Warlord Sylindra Filinnar herself approach the portal in Nasherat, those around it take the hint. It's time to scramble out of the way. Merchants that were in the process of traveling back and forth take their goods and just leave the area, and those that were waiting for their turn to walk in and be transported to the Holy City of Thelos also make a point of disappearing. Soon, the room where the portal from Nasherat to Thelos sits, holds only its guardians and the warriors. Sylindra leads the way, as the warriors approach the portal guardian. Their attempts to remove the guardian are met with no results at first. The portal guardian just remains there. As more warriors get involved, something changes...
Suddenly, the portal guardian lashes out with its sword at the group, forcing them to fall back, all but one. Sylindra's scimitar meets the guardian's sword with a loud clang, stopping it from beheading a nearby Thalerith warrior. Soon, she's forced to drop the weapon low to block an incoming attack. The portal guardian comes at her furiously, scoring a cut here and there, and fighting with a skill that goes beyond that of a non-divine creature. And while the warlord fights and defends herself with an impressive amount of skill, it's not enough to stop the flurry. Her scimitar soon flies off her hand, forcing her to reach for her two-handed axe, while taking a step back, lifting the weapon to try and block the whistling blade of the guardian that is coming down on her hard and fast!
Ceres heads over at his own pace, not attempting any heroic speeds on an unfamiliar mount. He misses most of the shennanigans but does watch Ayalith hit the ground with a slight wince in sympathy. "I hate to say I told you so," he saysas he approaches, sounding as if he really loves to say I told you so.
Aalas, Lyandra was not close enough to hear Ayalith's plea, the young woman's form only now coming into better view of Ayalith, now on the ground, bruised and a little battered. Clear enough sign as the rest of the party rode up or in her case ran up to her, that everyone had indeed, saw that.
Sylindra takes another step back, the large axe up high and just as the guardian's blade is about to clash against it, it stops. Just when the warlord made that move to put further distance from the portal guardian. Without a word, the portal guardian steps back, sheathing his blade and returns to his former position by the portal, offering no attacks even when approached, but making it very clear he is not budging from where he stands.
Rivaron readily brings his own steed to a halt as the expedition makes that now needed break.He briefly glances over Ayalith and there might be a hint of disapproval in his eyes, but he says nothing and instead turns towards the others' direction "I think a healer is needed."
".. I'm afraid quite a few of us saw that, High Priestess." Amused but also concerned-- Though Saga remains mounted and just backs off as others get near.
Ayalith takes horse damage. 20 inflicted and Ayalith is harmed for minor damage.
"I'm fine," Ayalith claims groggily as she sits up on the ground, her horse calmly grazing nearby. "I don't need a hea-" She winces as she gingerly touches her nose. "Okay, that actually does smart a bit," she admits, looking up at Sage ruefully. "I interrupted your ride with my antics, my sincerest apologies," she says with a genuine, if pained, little smile. "It was worth it for the few seconds it was going well though," she enthuses. "It was like flying."
Starling finally makes her way over towards the group and slides off the horse once more, she sees all the people frowning or amused and clears her throat, "I don't think the frowning or laughing is helping. Save that for later.." She arches an eyebrow at Rivaron and shakes her head at Sage before she moves to kneel down next to Ayalith and gently takes her hand in her own. "Well, you didn't break your neck and your heart is beating so you should be just fine.." She says in that soft voice with a smile as she let's her own magic flow with Ayalith's own.
Now, Saga can't help but laugh! "You didn't ruin anything, I swear. Falling is a part of learning, after all." She grins to Ayalith. "If you want, I could teach you how to ride better. It truly can be like flying."
Lyandra //finally// made it all the way to Ayalith, collapsing to her knees being her, a hand reaching out to pluck a few twigs of Ayalith's hair, "Still alive, Ayalith?" She lifted her eyes, looking to all of those who had rushed to Ayalith's aid, especially Rivaron, "Thank you all."
Through the wonder that is Restoration magic wielded by a skilled practitioner, Ayalith looks practically good as new in no time, though a bit tired from the effort. She reaches out to hug Lyandra, getting dirt all over the other youg woman. "Yes, thank you all," she echoes. "And I'd be glad to take you up on that lesson," she tells Saga. "Especially before Initiate Ceres starts up with his 'I told you so'." She gives Starling's hand a squeeze, then struggles to her feet. "If it's all the same, I think I'll walk the horse back," she laughs, her natural good cheer not dampened by the fall or any disapproving looks.
Rivaron can't help that frown either, but it soon enough fades into a more neutral expression anyway. Still seated on his own horse, he pats it gently on the neck, soothing. "You're welcome" is his response to Lyandra's words, while otherwise he remains silent.
A messenger arrives, delivering a message to Deanna before departing.
"Who says I haven't already started up with the 'I told you so's?" Ceres wonders from his high horse, literally. "Just one riding lesson, maybe two. That's all I asked, but no," he complains without any heat. "You make me wear this beacon-colored robe, then ignore me. How does that even work."
looked over at the second messenger that arrived, greeting them with a smile before their serious expression made the expression fade. The seriousness remained as she took the letter and was gone completely. "...I am summoned. Forgive me, darlings. This was an enjoyable time out but duty calls." She found her smile for the group as a whole, placed a hand at her heart with a slight bow.
Lyandra returned the hug, seemingly caring not at all for the dirt and twigs that now settled on her clothes. As for her own poor horse, it was still where she had left it far back on the trail, "I'll walk back with you, Aya, the others can go on if they like." As Deanna announced her departure, Lyandra offered her a farewell as well.
Starling looks up at Ceres and chuckles softly, "It works because she is a High Priestess and you are not as of yet?" It's pointed out but warmly as she makes sure that everyone is up and where they need to be and then she dusts off her skirts before moving to steal a bag off Saga's horse with a wink and going back to the side of the trail and nudging on Ceres's horse, "There are herbs here you'd needed.."
Starling also waves to Deanna. Really.
Karagoth observed the...gathering of experienced and inexperienced riders before turning his attention to the distance. When Deanna mentions her summoning, he grunted. "I'll ride back with you."
"Oh, but I didn't even get to tell you what your crafty brother said," Ayalith sulks at Deanna. "Thank you for coming though, I'll hopefully see you soon?" She hides a yawn behind her hand as she rests her head on Lyandra's shoulder, waving toward Deanna as well.
"I'll make sure to invite you next time!" Endless cheer from Saga, as she waves off Deanna. Crete tolerates Starling as she takes a bag from Saga's saddle, but still snorts at the priestess.
Saga is overheard praising Ayalith: The High Priestess is such a good sport! I can't wait to ride with her more.
A sad expression over the regret. "Ah, we'll have to speak again sometime soon. But, when my lady calls I like to answer with haste." She nodded agreement with Karagoth. "Ta, darlings. Be good, now."
Ceres is overheard praising Ayalith: She's got enthusiasm and charm enough to make up for the tragic clumsiness, almost.
Starling gives Crete treats as she takes a bag, maybe that is why she is tolerated!
"Is that what it is?" Ceres asks Starling, looking wounded. But then she offers a bag of herbs and he can't feign hurt any longer. "Oh, thank you, that's amazing you have some so quickly." He asks then, "Perhaps when you have some free time you can come by the shrine and help me catalogue them? Or I can come to yours, I'm happy either way."
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