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 PR: 13,398 Season of Hot Sun: Midsummer Mustering

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Westering Holt
Holt Mistress


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PostSubject: PR: 13,398 Season of Hot Sun: Midsummer Mustering   Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:31 pm

This is going to start off the Mustering of the Plainsrunner bands at midsummer. All the Plainsrunners are here to celebrate, see family and friends, choose new chiefs, trade, exchange news, hold councils, and otherwise carry on important business.

The place where the Mustering is held is a lake valley. The lake in question is known as the Three Pillars Lake for the three limestone pillars in the center. (For an example, take a look at Mono Lake in California). Have fun!


Holt Administration » 13,398 Season of Hot Sun: Midsummer Mustering » The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
http://westeringholt.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=prrp1&action=display&thread=225
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The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by kris on Oct 18, 2008, 10:59pm

It was a beautiful day, with a clear blue sky etched with horsetail clouds, a brisk wind, and wildflowers in bloom in the tall, brown grass. As the Tavol band rode on their way to Three Pillars Lake, several Plainsrunners gave in to high spirits and started to race, weaving around their more placid bandmates, and calling to each other with whoops and wild yells.

"Oh, quit it!" Sohnji yelled when Astierri raced past her, whooping so loud that her mare, Cloudburst, skittered to the side in alarm. She got Cloudburst under control, soothing her with soft sounds and gentle tongue-clicks, all the while glaring at her lifemate's swiftly disappearing form.

**You oaf! Scare her again, and I'll rip your hair out by the roots and make me a new bridle and rein out of it! Do you hear me?** Sohnji snarled wordlessly as Astierri's laughter filled her head. "Laugh at me, will you? You'll pay for that one, lifemate, if I have to gather every fire-ant and burr in a sack and shove you head-first . . ."

"Woohoo!" yelled a young maiden, racing past her. Cloudburst, calmed, merely snorted at the girl; Sohnji, therefore, only gave her a sidelong glare. The girl laughed. "Come on, Healer! Don't be so gloomy, let's ride!"

"No thanks, we've done all of that we needed," Sohnji threw back, and the tribemates surrounding her laughed knowingly as the maiden blushed and urged her mount onwards. Some of Sohnji's irritation eased, so that by the time Astierri came back, she no longer daydreamed lovingly of yanking his beautiful, golden-brown eyes out of his skull and polishing them for her necklace.

"So did she get that roll in the grass she was hoping for?" she gibed, grinning at him. "Or did you convince her to wait until after we make camp?"

Astierri grinned with wicked satisfaction. "Both," he replied, before kneeing his mare in the ribs and riding off once more.

Sohnji chuckled and urged Cloudburst to a canter until she and Astierri were riding side by side. **Race?** she challenged.

**You're on!**

Sohnji urged Cloudburst to a gallop, and the lifemates hurtled across the plain. Ahead, just visible through the grass, lay the shimmering edge of the lake and its graying limestone pillars. More of their folk would be there. Soon they'd smell food cooking, hear drums and pipes, and join the celebration that was a Plainsrunner Mustering.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by Anna on Oct 18, 2008, 11:17pm

Tevac watched as his lifemates thundered past him. They leaned low against their mares' necks, manes and hair streaming back in the wind their racing created. Through his bond with them, he could feel their exhiliration strumming through them both. The first night of Mustering was always wild with excitement and he knew there would be no sleeping for anyone until near dawn.

He didn't mind.

Soon, he'd see their daughters again, and their mates and children. What need of there was sleep when there was family to hold close?

His eyes followed Sohnji and Astierri as their mares began a long curving loop that would bring them eventually back to him. That was the way of it. They would always race off ahead, reckless, wild and full of life, only to turn and come back to him. They would arrive at the Mustering as they always had: together.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by admin on Oct 19, 2008, 3:20pm

Oreg and Nazari stood and watched from a hilltop as the last of the bands to arrive, Tavol, reached the lake and found their traditional camping ground. The summer grass was thick and lush, ungrazed by any band except at this time of year. The Mustering would last until the grass ran out, and then the bands would again go their separate ways.

*We've been with Mencul's band for two Musterings now,* Oreg sent to his friend, the only other High One still with the Plainsrunners. Only she could accept his sendings, and so that was the only way he spoke to her. Even after all this time, sending came more naturally to him than verbal language and it comforted him to use it with her.

*Yes. It is time to join another. Yeralyn's, perhaps?* Nazari asked, turning her rose-brown gaze towards that encampment. Children ran between tents and Nazari's smile lit her eyes as she watched them.

Oreg followed the gaze and then shook his head. *We traveled with them before Mencul. I think we need to go with Tavol. There is something...*

Nazari's response was wordless, but shared the vague sense that something was waiting, needed, and that it was connected with Tavol's band. *Yes, then, Tavol's. I have worried for the bandleader. The world weighs on him more each Mustering and I think he will soon seek the Home.*

*It is that, and more than that. I will move our tents if you will inform the elders.* He looked at her out of the corner of his eye, his thin mouth quirking in a fond smile. *They like you better.*

Nazari punched his arm. *If you were not so aloof, dear friend, they would like you, too.*

As they bantered back and forth, a conversation silent to all who saw them pass, they walked down their hill and towards the Mencul camp. They parted ways, each with their own task, and by the time Nazari rejoined him Oreg had set up both their tents in the Tavol encampment.

They set their sling-chairs before the tents, brought out the handwork that appealed to them, and waited for their bandmates to stop by for a visit.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by Anna on Oct 20, 2008, 11:51am

Belarah whistled sharply as two children raced by, dangerously close to the cookfire that had only just gotten started. The children skidded to a halt and turned to face her, their faces immediately assuming the innocent-but-guilty expression children everyone mastered as soon as they could wiggle on their own.

"What's the rule?" she asked them, crossing her arms and giving them the level, unblinking stare that always intimidated the young into good behavior - at least while within her sight.

"No running in camp center," they chorused together.

"And where is this?"

"Camp center," was the mumbled response.

"And what were you doing?"

The two looked at each other, then the braver gave her a sweet smile. "Walking very fast."

Belarah bit the inside of her lip to keep from grinning at the response. Cheeky young thing. "Try again."

The other heaved a sigh. "We were running, Belarah. We forgot. But Tavol's here! They're the last band, and last Mustering Astierri promised to take us racing!"

Belarah tucked a stray curl behind her ear and let the two fidget for a long, long moment. At least as long as it would have taken them to walk through camp center. "You may go - walking, mind you! - to meet Tavol. I expect you both to be back for dinner, however!"

"Yes, Belarah! Thank you, Belarah! Bye, Belarah!" The gleeful shouts faded as the children walked - extremely fast, but still a walk - through the center of Ouren band's camp. Once they passed the last tent, the walking became a run and they very soon vanished from sight and hearing.

"Children," Belarah's chuckled.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by viola on Oct 20, 2008, 12:03pm

"Tavol's here?"

Katha looked up as the two kits ran off. Her eyes began to sparkle. Hesitantly, she turned to Belarah. "I know I've promised to help you, Belarah, but do you think I could have a bit of time to throw myself on my sister?" Veruca so wouldn't like that, but she'd forgive her, as she always did.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by viola on Oct 20, 2008, 12:08pm

"So we're here," Veruca spoke up, speeding up to reach Sohnji. The mustering made her feel like coming home. Her parents had died a while ago, and though Katha was a full-grown woman and though they hadn't grew up together, she had always felt the sisterly feelings for her. Katha was so different from herself.

"About time, too," she added after a short while of silence, and she smiled. "I guess we have to hurry. Seems we're the last to arrive... as always." She urged Wildfire to speed up a bit, looking back to see if Sohnji was following.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by Anna on Oct 20, 2008, 1:01pm


Oct 20, 2008, 12:03pm, viola wrote:
"Tavol's here?"

Katha looked up as the two kits ran off. Her eyes began to sparkle. Hesitantly, she turned to Belarah. "I know I've promised to help you, Belarah, but do you think I could have a bit of time to throw myself on my sister?" Veruca so wouldn't like that, but she'd forgive her, as she always did.



Belarah smiled and shook her head at her foster daughter. "Go," she said. "I've got things covered here and I'll start working on the meal soon. Just remember to bring her by to see me, youngling, or I'll have both your ears in the soup pot!"

She remembered what it had been like, when the Musterings were still exciting. Now they were simply bittersweet, rich with memory. Later she'd seek out her children, the ones who still lived, and see their children, too. She preferred not to trace her descendents further back than that. It became too confusing, and they saw so little of each other that it simply didn't matter. Everyone was family, in some way.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by kris on Oct 21, 2008, 1:27am


Oct 20, 2008, 12:08pm, viola wrote:
"So we're here," Veruca spoke up, speeding up to reach Sohnji. The mustering made her feel like coming home. Her parents had died a while ago, and though Katha was a full-grown woman and though they hadn't grew up together, she had always felt the sisterly feelings for her. Katha was so different from herself.



"At last!" Sohnji laughed, throwing her head back. Cloudburst followed suit, her long mane flying back in Sohnji's face. "Oh, you vain thing," the healer muttered, grinning.


Quote:
"About time, too," she added after a short while of silence, and she smiled. "I guess we have to hurry. Seems we're the last to arrive... as always." She urged Wildfire to speed up a bit, looking back to see if Sohnji was following.



"Hey!" Sohnji squeezed her knees to Cloudburst's ribs, and the mare took off after Wildfire.

*Hey!* Astierri sent. *I thought we were racing!*

*Change of course, lifemate--unless you're too slow to catch up?* Sohnji felt him laugh through their brief mind-link, and added, *Come on, let's go back and get Tevac. I can't wait to see our little ones again! They all must be as tall as trees by now!*
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by kris on Oct 21, 2008, 11:42pm

"Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"

Humming to herself, Nalreen almost didn't recognize the high-pitched squeal until something ran into her. Stumbling, almost falling over, the scout let fall an oath most weren't used to hearing from her.

"Nalreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen!" The little screecher wrapped herself around Nalreen's waist, trilling at top volume. Nalreen stared down at the child in amazed amusement. Was it a flying ball of hair, or was there actually a little girl underneath it all?

"Yes, I'm Nalreen! You still know who I am! Now let go of my waist, you're choking me," and Nalreen, chuckling, peeled her little sister off her. Ksiva immediately flung herself at her again, squeezing her ribs, and Nalreen gasped in earnest. "Ksiva! That's enough!"

"You'rehereyou'rehereyou'rehereyou'rehere!" Ksiva danced back, eyes brilliant in the sunlight. Nalreen couldn't help but laugh at the picture the child made. Wild golden hair bounced with her every movement, its sheen matched only by the brightness of her teeth and eyes. "Mama and Papa and Papa Tevac should be here too! I can show them Summer, and maybe Papa or Mama will race with me!"

Nalreen arched an eyebrow. "I'd tie you down for a nap, but I don't think the rope would hold you," she remarked.

"Oh, silly! Who wants a nap? C'mon, let's go see where the High Ones are! Did I tell you I made a bead-strand for Nazari? It's very pretty, too. Oh, and did I tell you Summer and I nearly walked over a mama white-stripe and her babies? It took forever to get the smell off. Summer hated it. She rolled around in the dirt for days. Let's go get something to eat! I'm starving!"

"You should have eaten already," Nalreen shook her head, even as her little sister pulled her towards the cook. "Hello, Belarah. Do you have any scraps for my sister and I? This is Ksiva, by the way. Ksiva, this is Belarah."

"Hello!" Ksiva hopped once, beamed at Belarah, and then caught sight of something on the ground. "Ooooh, a lizard! Hold it--" and Ksiva dropped to the ground.

Nalreen, blushing, glanced sidelong at Belarah.

"I'm so sorry," she blurted. "Ksiva's . . . a bit . . ." She looked at her sister, who was scrabbling on her hands and knees after a lizard. "Eager?"
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by Anna on Oct 22, 2008, 12:06am

Belarah flashed the youngling a smile. "She's just a filly, not broke to halter yet," she said complacently as she opened a pack. "And, one would think, too full of spring grass to stand still long enough to eat anything other than pemmican." Belarah pulled out several strips of the hardy meat and berry travel food, a mainstay for any scout, hunter, or raider who planned to be away from camp for more than a day.

"Child, leave the lizard alone unless you plan to hunt it for your dinner. I hear Tavol's band is arriving and I'm sure your parents are anxious to see you again." She gave Ksiva a considering look. "Your fostering can't be more than a year or two old."
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by multifacets on Oct 23, 2008, 1:31am

How was it that nearly every time there was a Mustering, things were somehow perfect? Maybe it was because everyone was so HAPPY from having time to relax and see family members again.

The events offered at Musterings also helped: There was gossip, good food, races, shows of skill, competitions, and there was at least one Recognition every year. Somehow, there were still chances for someone to go off alone if need be, and collect their thoughts- or just watch the clouds, like he was doing.

Yes, those all made Musterings PERFECT.

Sei-Ru, called Far-Runner, sighed in pure contentment, and then yelped when Skyracer's muzzle came in contact with his neck. "Ack! Hey, cut that out," he scolded, shoving the palomino's head aside. "That tickles."

Skyracer snorted as if she didn't care, and she probably didn't. "All right, fine," Far-Runner chuckled, and sat up. "You're thinking someone might be looking for me, then? Or would you be thinking of some nice grain and then flirting with the stallions?"

The mare bobbed her head, as if she could actually understand what her partner was saying, and he laughed. It wasn't yet time for Skyracer to be in heat, so grain was likely dominant in her mind. Either way, it probably was time to stop soaking up the heat and get back to the Mustering. Once they'd had their fill of rushing about again, Skyracer would be taken care of, and he'd have a nibble himself.

Far-Runner stood, brushed off his pants, then placed a hand on Skyracer's withers and lightly boosted himself onto the mare's back. "Right then!" He leaned forward and threw his arm towards the Mustering, where the last tribe to arrive had reached the fringes. "GO!"

Skyracer gleefully took off, charging towards other elves who were running about on their horses.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by meimei on Oct 24, 2008, 3:13am

Siyal chuckled to herself as she watched some of her bandmates race ahead as they came near Three Pillars Lake. She, too, felt excited about the days to come. Musterings were always filled with excitement and joy. As they were the last to arrive again, Keyna would already be there, probably helping tend the cook fires at the Avri encampment. She was looking forward to seeing her. There was always so much to share after a year apart.

Then she'd take the time to travel around and see what the other bands had for trade. She'd been saving some of her best weavings just for that purpose. Taking a deep breath, she urged her own mount forward, though she gave no voice to her excitement, her smile grew wide in anticipation.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by viola on Oct 24, 2008, 9:06am

Katha giggled at Belarah's remark. "I will, I promise," she pledged honestly, before walking away swiftly -- she knew all to well that it wasn't just children who would be told by the cook not to run near the cooking place.
Swiftly pacing after the children who'd taken off in the direction where the last band to arrive was to show up, she couldn't take a joyful smile off of her face. It'd been a year since she had seen her sister and they had so much to talk about! At least, Katha had: Veruca usually smiled and let her sister finish her story. Mostly, there was barely time for Veruca's story, but either one was satisfied with it.

~*~*~*~

When several of her band members were ahead of her and Sohnji catching up with her real swift, Veruca felt the contentment of joining the Mustering. Normally the feeling would evaporate when they had finally arrived. She found it too crowded, too many elves bouncing around, too loud. She would probably be happy at the time the gathering was over again, but for now, the excitement of the running horses and the knowing her sister would be waiting were stronger.

She held back Wildfire a bit, and looked over her shoulder. **Come on, lovemate. Our families are waiting,** she told Siyal with affection.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by kris on Oct 25, 2008, 2:51am


Quote:
"Child, leave the lizard alone unless you plan to hunt it for your dinner. I hear Tavol's band is arriving and I'm sure your parents are anxious to see you again." She gave Ksiva a considering look. "Your fostering can't be more than a year or two old."



Ksiva took the strip of pemmican and gnawed half of it away before Belarah even finished speaking. Mouth full, she held up one finger in response to Belarah's remark.

"My parents probably haven't had this much peace since before she was born," Nalreen said, chuckling as she took the dried meat from Belarah. "Thanks, Belarah." She looked around. "I see Katha's gone. Off to find her sister?"

"Who's Katha? And who's her sister?" Ksiva demanded, swallowing the last of her pemmican.

Nalreen blinked slowly. "You didn't eat that," she accused. "You inhaled it!"

"Of course! I was hungry! I want some good soup for dinner tonight. Do you think they'll roast toads with nuts and onions again? I liked that last Mustering. My mama makes a really good soup with wild goat meat and mushrooms," Ksiva blurted out, with hardly a breath.

*How long can she go like this?* Belarah demanded.

*No one's had the courage to try.* Nalreen took Ksiva by the hand. "C'mon, little one. Let's go see if they're riding in. Maybe I'll find Katha and Caryo, and I can introduce you."

"Who's Katha and Caryo? Are they your friends? When can we meet them? Do they have nice horses? Did you know I have another horse? Do . . ." Ksiva chattered as Nalreen led her away, waving to Belarah.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by meimei on Oct 25, 2008, 10:48am

**And neither are going anywhere.** Siyal's sending was tinged with amusement. In contrast to it, she urged more speed from her horse, riding to catch up with Veruca. "How do we always manage to be the last to arrive with so many of our members urging us faster?" She asked with a grin. She glanced over as Sohnji and Astierri headed back the way they'd just come. No doubt to meet up with Tevac.

She sighed in contentment, turning her gaze forward again. It was right to enter together with those you cared about. The Mustering was a time of togetherness - for all the bands. There would be new children fostered to Tavol, and some of their own would be fostered out. She tried to remember what children would be coming of age, but the bands were large, and she could never keep track of them all. Her own fostering was a fond memory. Keyna had been reluctant, but she'd been determined. When she'd finally agreed, she'd been beside herself with excitement when the Mustering finally came. But she also knew that not every plainsrunner felt that way, and though it had been her choice there had been times in her youth she'd felt Keyna's distance keenly. There still were times she did.

'It's good to be here again.' She kept the thought to herself, merely urging a little more speed from her horse as they came closer to their traditional camping ground.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by Anna on Oct 25, 2008, 11:41am

The edge of the camp was in sight and Ghelyn shifted impatiently on her saddle blanket. She couldn't wait to get to camp, get settled, and lay out her leather for trade. She'd been experimenting with a new dye and was very happy with the results. She wanted to see what others thought of it, too.

Thrush shifted beneath her, catching some of her excitement. The packhorse which followed snorted in disgust at Thrush's prancing. Ghelyn laughed and almost, almost gave Thrush the signal to run. But she didn't. They were almost there. They'd come in together, as a band - and then explode amongst the other bands as they sought family and friends. But she couldn't completely contain her excitement. Her voice rose in an old Plainsrunner song.

"Oh, the plains roll on and ever on,
Beneath the sun-blue sky.
The grass grows tall and green-gold
Beneath the sun-warm sky...."
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by Anna on Oct 25, 2008, 11:48am


Oct 21, 2008, 1:27am, kris wrote:
Sohnji felt him laugh through their brief mind-link, and added, *Come on, let's go back and get Tevac. I can't wait to see our little ones again! They all must be as tall as trees by now!*




Tevac watched the two wild ones come at him, and ducked his head to hide a smile. He'd known they find him before actually entering the camp. They always did, just as they understood he couldn't go racing off with them while the herd was on the move. He had to either lead the herd, or follow it, as Bolt's instincts demanded. Bonding to the herd stallion was more a job than an honor, because he could not - would not - force the horse to go contrary to his nature.

Of course, he could choose to ride another horse. But Bolt took that very ill indeed. Soothing him out of a temper was more difficult than soothing his lifemates.

Maybe a few new mares would sweeten his mood. It was time to trade some of the herd for new blood, anyway.

"We're there?" he asked as the two reached him, not having the view that the rest of the tribe did. "The last again, or have we finally beaten someone else to the Mustering?"
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by kris on Oct 25, 2008, 6:15pm

Sohnji tilted her head, grinning. "Us? Beat another band in? Not hardly." She looked over at Astierri, who laughed under his breath. "The foals are probably wondering if they'll have to wait another turn of the moons before we arrive."

She made a noise as Cloudburst's movements became a little twitchy. She was not in season, but Bolt was a whole stallion. The closer Cloudburst got to him, the more she acted like a skittish little filly. Sohnji glanced behind to make sure Cloudburst hadn't lifted her tail . . . and snorted with laughter as the mare trotted sideways, lifted her tail, and dropped a load in the grass.

"Just think, silly thing," Sohnji told her affectionately, patting her neck. "I have to spend several days pruning the boys. Aren't you happy the only thing you usually have lugging after you is your own foal?" She urged Cloudburst back over towards her lifemates.

They rode in comfortable, if anticipatory, silence. Sohnji felt as though her heart were going to lift right out of her. Nalreen was old enough now to either come back to Tavol, or stay in Ouren. She'd be welcome in either band, and Sohnji hoped her daughter would come back. She missed her older girl, so sweet and patient . . . and headstrong in her own adorable, unflappable way. And little Ksiva would have so much to tell them . . .

"They're here! They're heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere!"

"Here they come," Astierri announced, grinning, but Sohnji only had eyes for the two figures who were running towards them from the edge of the camp. One broke away, her hair flying back in a tangle. "Mama!" she yelled. "Mama, Mama, Mama!"

Sohnji hurried to scoop up Ksiva. Her daughter flung her skinny little arms around her neck and squeezed. "I missed you so much, Mama!" Ksiva gasped, and then began to sob. "I'm so happy . . ."

The healer hugged Ksiva back, patting her shoulder. "It's all right, little one," she murmured. "It's all right. We're here now." She set Ksiva on the ground, the better to wipe her face. Ksiva stared at her in joyful eagerness, grinning from ear to ear with tears spilling down her face. Laughing, Sohnji hugged her again. "Go say hello to your fathers," she ordered, and then stood up.

Nalreen stood before her, smiling. "I promise not to cry all over your hair," she joked, and Sohnji reached out to pull her to her.

She was so tall! And so beautiful, with those huge eyes and wild black hair . . .Sohnji could feel the strength in Nalreen, marveled at how much her daughter had changed. She's no child anymore. She's an adult now.

"Oh, Mama," Nalreen groaned. "Oh, come on! Just because Ksiva bawled all over you doesn't mean you have to return the favor!"

"I can't help it," Sohnji sniffled, pulling away. "Look at you! I'm so proud of you." Beaming, she caught Nalreen's face in her hands. "And I've missed you so!"
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by Anna on Oct 26, 2008, 9:53pm

"Hello, haystack," Tevac said, grinning down at Ksiva. "Mind his hooves," he added as she bolted towards him. He leaned down as she leaped and easily caught her in his arm. A practiced swing had her astride Bolt, facing Tevac, as she burst into tears again and started rattling off High Ones knew what at a rate of speed that made the words unintelligible. Her small fingers tangled in his hair as she wrapped the strands around the digits.

Tevac ran a hand over her silk-soft hair, the same shade as Astierri's, and simply let the words flow by without even trying to understand. What she said wasn't important. The sound of her voice was precious. As she talked the tears slowed and stopped, and he wiped away the tracks with a gentle thumb.

"And don't I even get a hello?" Astierri's dry comment broke into her commentary and quick as a flash, Ksiva launched herself from Tevac's horse into Astierri's arms.

"PAPA!!!" she shrieked, full voiced, strangling Astierri with her arms. "It's been so long! It's been forever! Did you know I have a horse? I'm going to race you and mama and I'm going to beat you both! Am I staying with you during Mustering? Is Nalreen staying, too? Are we -- "

Astierri laughed loud and long, covering her mouth with one hand. "If you ask questions, how can I answer if you don't stop asking?"

"Mmpht."

"Yes, you can stay with us. Yes, Nalreen can, too, if she wishes. I wouldn't place any bets on you beating your mother or I in a race, but you're welcome try."

Tevac slid off of Bolt's back and went to rescue his other daughter from Sohnji's waterworks. "Hello, little one," he said, deftly disengaging her from Sohnji's arms and folding Nalreen into his own strong embrace. "We've missed you."

With Ksiva tossed over his shoulder, Astierri joined them on the ground, tugging on Tevac's hair until he released Nalreen to him. "You've grown," he noted, giving her a thorough look over before tugging her close and brushing his lips over her forehead. "Old enough to choose a band," he added with a grin that didn't quite hide the seriousness in his eyes.

Tevac narrowed his eyes at his lifemate. Now was not the time. It was Nalreen's choice, when she was ready to make it. "We've reached camp. I've got to settle the herd; either of you want to come with me?" And while he settled the herd, he knew Sohnji and Astierri would be seeing to it that their tent got set up.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by peachbug on Oct 27, 2008, 12:40pm

Chetta smiled coyly, hands on her hips, as the Tavol band dismounted and sprang joyously to their loved ones and children. Many young males and females who had seemed only younglings a few years before had grown and nicely. When night fell, she would have time for her flirting and play. A twinge in her heart sang as she saw some showing off new infants to tribemates and lovemates, a couple showing joyful pregnancy. The pain passed quickly as she watched the mares run out to join the others and the chatter of the bands filled her ears. She was pleased to watch Nalreen eagerly reunite with her sister and parents.

The arrival of Tavol reminded her of a different pain feeling, as her mother Ki-Nava appeared from the gaggle of excited elves, eyeing her mare and her tribe as they each went their way through the camp. Her mother had always been an intensely attentive elf when it came to her own tribe, but she mostly left other tribes to their respective elders and leaders, as now, when her green gray eyes passed over her daughter's brown ones, and left them with only a small nod of quiet acknowledgement. Chetta was not angry for this aloofness; nor was she happy for it. She sighed and turned away to seek her brother, ever wandering and probably lost amongst the new mares and females.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by meimei on Oct 27, 2008, 10:18pm

Siyal glanced back as Ghelyn burst into song, her spirits lifted even higher with the traditional tune. Though she didn't add her own voice to it, she heard other members of Tavol pick up the song as they finally reached their camping ground. Pulling her mount to a stop, she couldn't fight a grin as she watched the first of the reunions of Tavol with family from the other bands. Her own eyes looked longingly toward the nearby encampments, but she got off her mount with a determined motion. She'd help set up Tavol's camp first, then go to visit Keyna. Her mother would lecture her for being impractical if she did otherwise, anyway. Giving the horse an affectionate pat on the neck, she headed over to where the packhorses that carried their tents and belongings were coming to a stop as well.

Waving at Ghelyn, she started joined the members untieing and sorting the tents and camp equipment. Setting up camp wouldn't take long at all, though they would probably have more visitors before it was completed. It would mean plenty of interruptions to the task, but also more hands to help set up the camp. She found herself humming along with the song still being sung by some of her bandmates as tents began to be pitched around her.

**********************************************************

Taraan glanced over his shoulder as the shouts went up to herald Tavol's arrival. Family and friendships alike were spread between the bands, so the musterings always brought the joy of reunion. More than anything he felt that the musterings were a celebration of all they were, and those they held dear. Seeing he was soon to lose his audience anyway, he ended the tale he'd been spinning quickly - watching as the children he'd held entranced moments before rushed off to greet Tavol. He chuckled as they were called out by Belarah for running, stretching out his muscles as he stood up from where he'd been seated.

He wasn't close to anyone in Tavol, and he'd already had a brief visit with Kren. He grimaced as he remembered his foster brother's sour remark about the new metal earring adorning his ear. Kren didn't take to his continued visits with the Trolls. He knew he'd never be able to put into words what drew him back. Part of it was the adventure, an experience that might make a new tale. Part of it was simply the chance to get his hand on new metal. Metal sung in his blood, whispered to him. And they had so precious little of it!

Noting when first Katha, then Nalreen and her sister left, Taraan stepped over to Belarah. "Can I be of any help?" He offered. "I'm up to any task." Pulling out his dagger, he held it up and the blade shifted shapes, taking on the guise of a spoon, then a ladle, then back to a blade. He offered a proud grin at the brief show of his shaping abilities before sheathing the dagger again.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by multifacets on Oct 28, 2008, 7:38pm

*Ho, Tavol!* Far-Runner sent as he swept around the edge of the camp with Skyracer. *Come to join us at last, eh?* he added, teasing. *Good to see you!*

He gradually slowed the palomino and came back around at a trot, smiling at everyone as he came closer.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by Anna on Nov 2, 2008, 9:57am


Oct 27, 2008, 10:18pm, meimei wrote:

Waving at Ghelyn, she started joined the members untieing and sorting the tents and camp equipment. Setting up camp wouldn't take long at all, though they would probably have more visitors before it was completed. It would mean plenty of interruptions to the task, but also more hands to help set up the camp. She found herself humming along with the song still being sung by some of her bandmates as tents began to be pitched around her.



"Go!" Ghelyn laughed, leaving her own tent to join Siyal. "I'll get your tent set up. I'll have plenty of help. Keyna will be as eager to see you, as you her!"

Batting Siyal's gently away from the ties holding tentpoles and leather in place, Ghelyn deftly displaced her soul and gave her no other option but to leave the task to her. "Better start formulating your excuses, too. I don't think the ones from last year will work. You are getting a bit old not to be lifemated, you know," she added teasingly.


Oct 27, 2008, 10:18pm, meimei wrote:
Noting when first Katha, then Nalreen and her sister left, Taraan stepped over to Belarah. "Can I be of any help?" He offered. "I'm up to any task." Pulling out his dagger, he held it up and the blade shifted shapes, taking on the guise of a spoon, then a ladle, then back to a blade. He offered a proud grin at the brief show of his shaping abilities before sheathing the dagger again.



Belarah reached over and tapped Taraan chidingly on the nose. "It's an immodest elf that feels the need to show off," she scolded mildly. "But an extra pair of hands will be welcome. Dig me a cooking pit, young trader. I feel the need for something more than soup or stew tonight."
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by Anna on Nov 2, 2008, 10:02am


Oct 28, 2008, 7:38pm, multifacets wrote:
*Ho, Tavol!* Far-Runner sent as he swept around the edge of the camp with Skyracer. *Come to join us at last, eh?* he added, teasing. *Good to see you!*

He gradually slowed the palomino and came back around at a trot, smiling at everyone as he came closer.



"Ho, Sei-Ru!" Tevac answered, having already peeled away from his settling bandmates and started herding the unbonded and unburdened horses away. "Our range is further away than anyone elses; only makes sense that it takes us longer. Easy traveling for Ouren?"

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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by peachbug on Nov 2, 2008, 2:23pm

Ki-Nava gripped Hornhoof's pale mane firmly as she began to walk towards the camp center, the heart of the Mustering when the day's light began to die. Clicking softly, more for her own comfort than the mare's, she led the way through the thick grass, admiring it's lush green, something Hornhoof admired as well as she strained for a nibble. "Silly girl," The elf muttered. "Get on then." She patted her side, letting Hornhoof wander back to the growing Tavol encampment. "Have to go to all this mess myself."

When Ki-Nava had been a youngling, she had been too shy to truly appreciate the Mustering, the sights, smells, and new stallions frightening her into the nearest tent. Once her parents fostered Hanek, her fears had waned. With his passing, the Mustering left her wary, the old fears poking holes in new experience. She never showed her jitters though, and doubted any of the Tavol band even recalled her old worries. The gray haired elf turned to look over her shoulder at the band's camp.

Ki-Nava watched Sohnji and her lifemates reunite with their daughters with satisfaction; they had waited a long year for the joy of it and it was well deserved. All the band would scatter now, finding all loves and children. Few of her children remained among the tribes and she rarely sought them, if only for the knowledge they were in good spirits and life.

As she turned back, she spotted a familiar face amongst the tents. Chetta looked as lively as ever, her daughter's face rounded with the smile that kept her ever popular amongst the tribes. Ki-Nava gave a slight nod to her daughter and pressed through to the camp center, eager to greet ones who did not arise such a grip on her heart.

**Belarah,** She smiled as she stepped briskly forward. **I pray you've kept your cooking up. I can't bear to see what these young pups want to put on the fire tonight...**
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by peachbug on Nov 2, 2008, 3:00pm

Ti-Len lay back on the smooth, flat expanse of rock on which he sat, listening to the hoofbeats of the Tavol band all the way across camp. He had no particular drive to leap to this coming; he was friendly among the bands on the most part, but he had few ties worth running to for. His mother was likely arriving among the Tavol, but she needed no greeting for herself or him.

Ti-Len admired a lone hawk drifting overhead, dipping slightly. The sky was cloudless, something he partially regretted. His love of the tales of stars and shapes was ever strong with him. Clouds were ever new in their stories, and he enjoyed them much more for that.

Chetta's sendings reached him as a surprise, he was so possessed in his daydream.

**Where's your fun, brother?** She sent sharply. **You'll be sleeping through the Mustering if I didn't say a thing.**
**That'd be well enough.** Ti-Len smiled finally. **You might have to feed me as I lay here though, else I forget.**
A long pause distanced after his sending, and he waited anxiously for her reply.

"I'll leave that to some unlucky girl." Chetta snorted, tapping her foot behind his head. Her brother started, then rolled his eyes back to look at her playfully. "Up, before I break your ankles for making me walk so far to get you."
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by kris on Nov 2, 2008, 4:33pm

"I'll go with you," Nalreen announced to Tevac. She waved to Sohnji and Astierri, who scooped up Ksiva and headed off to set up their tent.

They were passed by Sei-Ru, who called out a greeting to Tevac. Nalreen grinned at Far-Runner and waved as they continued towards the herd. "How many foals has Bolt sired since the last Muster, Papa?" she asked.

"One I thought you might like to see. She's quite a beauty. She'd be a fit mount for you . . ."

Nalreen nodded, feeling a familiar sadness. "I just haven't found a foal that fits me the way Honeycoat did," she admitted. "I miss her still."

"I know." Tevac placed a hand on her shoulder, and Nalreen leaned against him. "It's hard to lose your first horse . . ."

"Ho! Nalreen!" A maiden rode up to them and came to a stop, her short hair ruffled by the breeze. She dismounted and came up to Tevac. "Hello, herdmaster! It's good to see you again."

"Hello, Caryo." Tevac nodded at her mare. "Is that one still spooking at ground-rats?"

"Not anymore, thanks." Caryo hugged him. "Welcome to the Mustering, Tevac. How's Sohnji and Astierri?"

"Have you seen Katha?" Nalreen looked around for her lovemate. "I'll have to find her and let her know you're all here."
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by meimei on Nov 2, 2008, 7:50pm

Siyal grinned as Ghelyn deftly manuevered her out of the way. There was plenty of hands for the task as it looked like more visitors were coming to see them than members of their own band were going out.. Not surprising as they were last to arrive, as always, so the other bands camps were already set up.

She laughed, giving Ghelyn a teasing swat on the arm for the comment. "My excuse is the same as last year and the year before that. It will happen when it happens. I'm content. Since when are you on Keyna's side about that? You were pretty fond of your own freedom until Verrim convinced you otherwise."

**************

Taraan only chuckled at Belarah's chiding. He'd known better than to think he'd impress the band elder with the display, but he hadn't been able to resist. "I never claimed to be modest." He offered with a wink.

He set to the task without a complaint, digging into the tougher topsoil with his knife until he found the softer soil beneath. Then he called forth his magic again, shaping the knife into a spade to aid his task. It was showing off again, and rather a wasteful use of his powers when a wooden or bone spade would have done the trick. Still, his powers weren't called for very often, and his knife was so used to being used in such a way that it welded easily to his request. It was partly the joy of being able to use his powers that prompted him, though if someone watching was impressed it would certainly be no disappointment.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by multifacets on Nov 5, 2008, 11:21pm


Nov 2, 2008, 10:02am, Anna wrote:
"Ho, Sei-Ru!" Tevac answered, having already peeled away from his settling bandmates and started herding the unbonded and unburdened horses away. "Our range is further away than anyone elses; only makes sense that it takes us longer. Easy traveling for Ouren?"




Far-Runner gave Tevac an easy smile as Skyracer finally slowed to a walk, and guided her closer to the herd the other elf was guiding. Not too close, however; introductions hadn't yet been made among the animals, and it was best not to push it. "Easy and made in excitement," he answered, and slid to the ground so he could walk a little closer to Tevac.

"You should have heard Mika and Shunka," he mentioned, meaning a lifemated pair who were both excellent tanners. "They were so pleased by the journey, the first thing they did was take hides to Kwahadi, Zaltana and Kekoa to be painted for the occasion, singing the entire way. All five of them are a formidable team when it comes to their art. Tell me, how did your tribe's journey fare?"
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by peachbug on Nov 6, 2008, 8:29pm

Ki-Nava smiled at the banter between the elder Belarah and Taraan, crossing her arms and watching him begin his arduous digging. "Have your fun, young one, I'm sure you'll have plenty of time to show off later as well. Maybe we can wear down that gift of yours for once!"
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by kris on Nov 8, 2008, 12:40am

"We might get her back," Astierri murmured to Sohnji as they tied the edges of the tent down to the pegs.

"Did she say so?" Sohnji's heart leapt, only to fall when Astierri shook his head. Her lifemate gave her a wry half-smile.

**Tevac wants me to keep out of it. And Nalreen didn't give me an answer.**

**Think it's a lovemate? Though I wouldn't think that would keep her away from us.**

"Mama! Mama!" Ksiva came skipping up, thick hair flying. "Mama, the High Ones are here!"

"What?" Sohnji exchanged glances with Astierri before Ksiva continued.

"Oreg and Nazari are staying with Tavol this year! I gave Nazari a bead-string I made for her, and she said it was sooooooooooooo pretty. And Oreg's not as scary as I used to think he was, but how come he hardly smiles, Mama?"

**You know,** Astierri lock-sent, in Sohnji's flabbergasted silence, **I don't remember you ever talking that much at her age.**

**I don't think I knew how,** Sohnji returned. As Ksiva chattered on, oblivious to her parents' conversation, Sohnji knelt and put a hand over Ksiva's mouth. The child froze, laughing, her eyes brilliant over Sohnji's hand. "Ksiva," Sohnji said quietly, "that's enough for now. You need to know how to be still sometimes, my little foal."

She took her hand away, and Ksiva smiled sweetly back at her. "Yes, Mama. I'll try." She giggled as Astierri swept her up. "No, Papa! Don't hold me upside down, I'll get dizzy!"

"Then let's go dig a new firepit, and stop chittering like a ground-squirrel." Throwing her over his shoulder, Astierri marched out of the tent with his giggling daughter, and Sohnji began to unpack their belongings.

A Mustering, the return of her daughter . . . and now the High Ones were going to stay with Tavol! What next, the Healer wondered, and quickly shoved her thoughts back as she arranged sleeping furs.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by meimei on Nov 8, 2008, 7:17pm


Nov 6, 2008, 8:29pm, peachbug wrote:
Ki-Nava smiled at the banter between the elder Belarah and Taraan, crossing her arms and watching him begin his arduous digging. "Have your fun, young one, I'm sure you'll have plenty of time to show off later as well. Maybe we can wear down that gift of yours for once!"



Taraan shot a grin over his shoulder. "I doubt it. But I'd welcome the chance to try!" He replied. Though it was true that the he would have plenty of chances to show off at the mustering, metal-shaping talent not withstanding. There was his own troll-gotten goods to trade, tales to weave around the campfires. And dancing, of course!

He turned back to the ardous work of digging the cooking pit. "Have this done in no time!" He couldn't resist boasting.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by peachbug on Nov 9, 2008, 5:34pm

"Ey, Sohnji!" Chetta popped her head into the opening of the tent with a coy grin. "I saw Astierri taking that chattering bug off with him. Am I interrupting?"

Ti-Len scuffed his foot to get Chetta's attention as she spoke, an annoying habit from their childhood. Chetta gave him a fast glare with wide brown eyes. **Shoosh! We'll get to center camp in a minute. I swear, you're as bad as the little ones!** With a huff, she turned back to the healer. Ti-Len made a face at her as she turned back. That only cemented her comment, he knew, but it was still rather satisfying.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by kris on Nov 9, 2008, 5:44pm

"Chetta! Get in, I'm just laying things out." Sohnji grinned. "You too, Ti-Len. Ksiva's certainly learned to talk faster!" She reached into their store of dried fruit and nuts. "We can chew on this as we talk. Or would you rather have some meat?"
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by peachbug on Nov 9, 2008, 6:17pm

"Talk faster? She was making little dust whirls just getting the air for more words." Chetta sat with a thump. "It only means she's got brains though, I'll give you and Astierri that. Whatever's here is good." Chetta nodded to the dried stuffs. "Back with your Nalreen as well, I suppose?"

Ti-Len relented with a snort and slipped under the tent poles to sit beside his sister.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by Anna on Nov 11, 2008, 11:25pm


Nov 2, 2008, 2:23pm, peachbug wrote:
**Belarah,** She smiled as she stepped briskly forward. **I pray you've kept your cooking up. I can't bear to see what these young pups want to put on the fire tonight...**



Belarah gave Ki-Nava an eloquent look. “After all my years of feeding the bands, do you really think I’d let some frisky foal near a cookfire without supervision?” Belarah snorted her opinion of that.


Nov 2, 2008, 7:50pm, meimei wrote:
Taraan only chuckled at Belarah's chiding. He'd known better than to think he'd impress the band elder with the display, but he hadn't been able to resist. “I never claimed to be modest.” He offered with a wink.



Belarah chuckled and shook her head. “That you didn’t, my handsome young colt. I’ll give you that!” She watched him dig for a moment, enjoying the pleasure he took in showing off his magic, and the willingness he showed in putting in a bit of labor for her. Not all of the youngsters were willing to do a bit of work during the Mustering – they were more interested in the celebrations. She’d make a point of cooking him up special treat.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by peachbug on Nov 12, 2008, 1:01am

"They'll try, Belarah, they'll try." Ki-Nava laughed and watched Taraan continue with his labor. "Any interesting news from Ouren's travels?" She gave a sly glance to Belarah.
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by meimei on Nov 19, 2008, 11:43pm

"Not too much to tell." Taraan couldn't resist interjecting. "Things were fairly quiet. Though there are a few tales to share. I'd be happy to tell you about them!" With a stretch he stood, nodding at the pit. "That ought to do it." With a simple shake of the tool he held, the spade shape disappeared - the metal molding back to the knife that was it's original form. "All set, Belarah."
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by kris on Nov 21, 2008, 12:41am


Nov 9, 2008, 6:17pm, peachbug wrote:
"Talk faster? She was making little dust whirls just getting the air for more words." Chetta sat with a thump. "It only means she's got brains though, I'll give you and Astierri that. Whatever's here is good." Chetta nodded to the dried stuffs. "Back with your Nalreen as well, I suppose?"

Ti-Len relented with a snort and slipped under the tent poles to sit beside his sister.



As Sohnji set out food and drink, she prepared to sit and rest for a bit. It was definitely a welcome change to sit on soft hides and not have to adjust for a mare's gait. But just as she started to relax and enjoy her company, Ksiva rushed in.

"Mama! Mama, come quick! They're starting the games and--" Astierri came in, and Ksiva exclaimed, "Papa, I told you she didn't hear anything!"

"What's the matter?" Sohnji got to her feet, but Astierri shook his head.

"It's nothing. They've started up the games, that's all." He took Ksiva by the hand. "Out you go . . ."

"But, Papa, aren't we going to go? I mean--oops!"

Sohnji snorted with laughter. "So that's why she came running in here," she remarked, as her lifemate rolled his eyes. "All right, I'm coming. I can't let you and Tevac show off without at least one witness."

"Yay! Who needs Nalreen?" Ksiva whooped, and ran off.

"I'm sorry, Chetta, Ti-Len--" Sohnji paused. "Why don't you join us? There's bound to be better food there than dried meat and nuts, and we can definitely take the waterskins!"
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Re: The Mustering at Three Pillars Lake
Post by peachbug on Nov 21, 2008, 9:53pm

"Of course!" Chetta rolled to her feet, snatching a handful of nuts as she stood, flashing a grin to little Ksiva as she spun out the opening again. "A snack..." She answered innocently at Ti-Len's odd look.

"You'd eat the grass right down there with Blacksnort if you had to go more than an afternoon without food." Ti-Len sighed, shaking his head as he too got up to follow Sohnji.

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PostSubject: Just a friendly little competition...   Mon Jun 20, 2011 1:32 pm

Holt Administration » 13,398 Season of Hot Sun: Midsummer Mustering » Just a little friendly competition
http://westeringholt.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=prrp1&action=display&thread=309
Just a little friendly competition
Post by multifacets on Nov 28, 2008, 7:07pm

It was obvious Skyracer could sense something big was going to happen: She had been prancing about all day, and generally being a nuisance when Far-Runner had to check her legs and hooves, and give them some gentle stretches. The elf finally had enough and quite sternly told her to settle down or he would pluck her tail bald. Of course he didn't mean it, but the tone of his voice made the mare collect herself.

The sun was low in the sky, but not quite setting when elves and their horses started for the wild field that traditionally held one of the Mustering games: For lack of a better name, it was simply called "Charge".

Each partnered pair would run for three targets of rawhide, lined up one after the other from smallest to tallest, and try to shoot as close as possible to the red dot painted in the center of each target. To do this, each elf used three arrows painted with their particular design or color.

After the targets were shot, the partners would have to circle around the last target, try to grab a small flag that had been stuck in the ground in front of the first target, and make it back for the starting line. One elf, usually an adolescent without a horse, was trusted to stand at the start/finish line and count how long it took for the course to be completed.

The desired time to finish the run was around a count of twenty, give or take a couple of heartbeats, but the long-dead Mha-Tak of Shellan had held a record of a count of seventeen for three straight Musterings, giving many competitors a goal to beat. It was unlikely, of course, but fun to try.

The game required fast reflexes, sharp eyes, good aim, balance and agility on the part of the horse, and enough trust in one's horse and riding skills to avoid falling off while leaning off the horse's side to grab the flag.

Far-Runner loved the event: It was a chance to prove to himself how much better he had gotten since the last Mustering, and have fun. He did well half the time, and had actually won once before, which had been a pleasant surprise. Today he hoped he would be able to beat his last time, which had been an exact count of twenty.

He mounted Skyracer to give her a warm-up before the game began.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by meimei on Dec 6, 2008, 1:47am

Taraan strolled over to where the first game would be taking place - watching as Far-Runner and Skyracer warmed up. Though he wasn't inept at riding, he knew he was no match for those who be competing today. Taraan kept his competitive streak to areas where he knew he'd shine.

He grinned as he watched others began to gather. **Going to beat Mha-Tak's record this year, Far-Runner?** He sent to his bandmate as he got comfortable in a spot where he could have a good view of the competition.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by multifacets on Dec 8, 2008, 2:23am

Ah, that was Taraan. Far-Runner looked around for his bandmate, and spotted him among the spectators. **I'm going to have fun trying!** he replied, grinning widely. **Wish me luck, eh?**

He seated himself more securely, tightening his knees, and steered towards the starting line. He always found it best to go first in all competitions, if possible; it did wonders for the nerves. If there wasn't a possibility for that, some time talking with Skyracer helped settle Far-Runner.

Of course he knew it was all fun, but wanting to do well tended to make some people nervous sometimes. Far-Runner was one of them, even if his pride didn't let him admit it.

He leaned over to make sure Skyracer's hooves were an acceptable length behind the starting line that had been cut into the dirt, put an arrow to the string of his longbow, and sent to the timekeeper that he was ready.

"Ready! Set! GO!"

"YEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Far-Runner whooped as Skyracer leaped forward, carrying him towards the first target. He fired and missed the center by a hair, and swiftly nocked the next arrow, aiming a little more to the left. This arrow went true, but the count was up to seven already. Far-Runner urged Skyracer to run faster as he sighted down the last arrow to fire.

The last arrow went just shy of the center as well, and the elf hastily hung the bow high across his chest as Skyracer zipped around the third target and went back to the first. The archer grabbed his mare's mane, slid sideways and snatched up the flag in front of the smallest target, pulling himself upright with a yell of triumph.

The pair shot across the finish line to a count of "Twenty!"Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by meimei on Dec 13, 2008, 2:28pm

*Best of luck!* Taraan sent, watching as Far-runner set himself up at the starting line. The time-keeper gave the shout to go, and he held his breath as the elf and horse raced across the grounds to the targets. The arrows were close to the center, but Taraan could already tell the time was going too quickly. Shouts of excitement went up at Far-Runner's own yell of triumph upon grabbing the flag. When the time shout went up, more cheers followed. There was still room for another pair to beat the count, but it was hardly a poor showing.

Taraan slipping out of his spot for a moment to join others from Ouren congratulating the run. "Not your best showing - last year's was a better tale!" He teased with a grin as a new flag was set for the next runner.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on Dec 14, 2008, 4:15pm

"Will this be your best, Taraan?" Chetta sidled up with her hands on her hips, batting her eyelashes jokingly. "I would like to have some real competition this year, so don't play." She glanced to Sei-Ru with a smile. "Not Mha-Tak perhaps, but just as well. Perhaps celebration later? I doubt anyone will break twenty this Mustering." She teased. As the new flag was set and prepared, she slid back into the excited crowd, winking. *I certainly hope you don't get lost on your way 'round!* She sent to Taraan.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by multifacets on Dec 15, 2008, 2:17am

Yes, last year had been better. He'd actually hit the centers of the all targets then. Far-Runner took the jibe well, smiling and shrugging at Taaran, but he was already resolving to do better at the next Mustering.

Chetta's offer of a celebration helped take off some of the sting, though. "I would like that," he said before she left, and dismounted to hand off the flag to one of the Plainsrunners who were in charge of setting up the flags. He would collect his arrows later; they had to stay in the targets to identify who made which shot.

"Come, Skyracer; I'll rub you down before I come back and watch," Far-Runner told his mare, and lead her away. Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on Dec 15, 2008, 6:21pm

Ki-Nava watched Sei-Ru retreat with a smile. She hadn't competed in the last few Musterings, with a preference to watch and cheer her band with enthusiasm, but a flicker of youth sprung in her at the games this year. If time allowed, she would take her place amongst the competitors of this year's Charge. Her best time even at her prime had been twenty two, with a younger horse and a vibrant spirit, so she chuckled to think what time she would pick up in these years.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by meimei on Dec 19, 2008, 11:48pm

Taraan had had no intention of competing. He was far better at telling stories of the victories at the games than winning them himself. Though Far-runner seemed to take his teasing well, he worried the jibe had hit harder than he meant. But it slipped from his mind when Chetta showed up, obviously ready to ride out on Charge herself.

*You? Compettition? You'll be lucky to make it around at 25!* He sent after her in response to her jibes at him. "Hmph. Maybe Funnel is up to a turn..." He muttered, though he made no move to go find his bond-horse. Still, he found himself too irked to pay full attention as the next set - a pair from Mencul - took their turn.

The time shout of "Twenty-One!" brought his attention back to the game, and he turned to watch the next rider.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by kris on Dec 22, 2008, 1:34am

"Not bad, for a half-grown foal," Nalreen heard Astierri remark, and rolled her eyes. Astierri loved these games, and she watched as he prepared to select his partner and enter the contest.

Sohnji tossed her hair back and retorted, "Just keep in mind, those arrows belong in the targets, not in someone else's foot!" There were chuckles from those who recalled the year Astierri, caught off guard by a bee-sting, had made an erratic shot that pinned a tribemate by the boot to the ground. Sohnji had not appreciated having to hold the hysterical youngster still, take out the arrow, and heal the wound in front of a crowd.

"Nalreen!" Ksiva raced up to her sister. "C'mon! Let's go racing! I've got a bow--"

"What?" Nalreen caught her little sister by the arm. "Oh, no you don't! This is for grown-ups! You go put that bow back, and find a place to watch."

"I don't want to watch! I can shoot, too!"

"Ksiva," Nalreen warned, just as Tevac walked up. "Papa! Let's go take Ksiva to see the new foals!"

"I already saw them! I saw all of them! I want to play too, Papa, I want to shoot the targets too!" Ksiva brandished her bow and quiver as Tevac drew a deep breath. "Please, Papa? Can't I?"

Nalreen heaved a sigh of relief as Tevac attempted to keep Ksiva from running off to join Astierri. She looked around, wondering if Katha planned to take part as well. *Katha? Lovemate? Want to see how well we'll do in this game?*
Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on Dec 25, 2008, 8:26pm

Ti-Len observed his sister's banter with Taraan with some amusement, but kept to the sidelines, however inching discreetly towards the front. He enjoyed these games, but Charge was never his favorite to actually compete in. Simple archery and racing by itself was enough for him; if he was going to do something, he preferred to devote the whole of his mind to it, not both at the same time. It was still entertaining though. **You are competing, Chetta?** He sent. If his sister intended to take part, he would certainly stick around for it.

Ksiva's shouts caught his ears and he smiled. He loved the young ones of the tribes and their silly simplicity, but the children had never returned the affections as readily as they had with Chetta or the rowdier adults. His quieter manners left him mostly an awkward annoyance to young ones and he had learned to leave it to the parents of the children for comfort and interests.

**Yes, I'm hoping if I can keep my mare's mind on something more than a patch of grass.** Chetta strained against the side of her greatly stubborn Blacksnort, the dark horse straining to catch another nibble before taking a few conceding steps to the side. **This is ridiculous!**

"High Ones, it's not-even-that-far-!" Chetta puffed and gave another shove. Blacksnort stepped away and landed her elf on her belly. She whinnied with approval and continued her grazing.

Ki-Nava passed her daughter with eyes wide and eyebrow raised, but patted her Hornhoof quickly past before Chetta managed to notice.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by meimei on Dec 27, 2008, 10:21pm

Taraan glanced around, watching for the next pair to take the challenge. He heard Chetta's frustrated words, and glanced back in time to see her fall. He chuckled, unable to resist slipping over to where the horses were as well. "You know, it's not so hard if you use the right incentinve." Pulling up a handful of grass, he whistled for his own horse. Funnel trotted over, quickly taking the offering. "See?"

Taraan's reluctance to join the game had more to do with his lack of skill in archery than in riding. During his solo jaunts from the band, he'd had to rely on his bond-horses not to lead him astray or let him down. Funnel was his most reliable yet, and he was more tightly bonded with her than any previous horse. He patted her nose affectionately, waiting for the elf maiden's response.


**************************************

Siyal sat near the back of the crowd, though she'd chosen a spot where she had a fair view of the game. Not bonded with any horse, nor particularly skilled at riding, she wouldn't be participating in the game. Still, she enjoyed the feeling of excitement in the air. Some of the elves took the competition very seriously, while others competed for the sheer fun of it. She watched Ki-Nava with her horse, and wondered if she planned to compete as well. She spotted Astierri choosing his own partner, and she found herself grinning. Far-Runner's showing might be tough to beat, but she knew her bandmates would give it their all.
Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on Dec 28, 2008, 12:17am

Chetta huffed and gave a half-hearted glare as she brushed herself off. "Easy for you. You've got a horse with no spirit." Feeling rather foolish, she dusted her hair as well, and drew it back into a tail. "Sure Blacksnort's tough, but if you put her nose to it, she can outpace the best of them." Chetta sighed at her own words as Blacksnort gave only a faint grunt in reply, nose down to the thin grass. Grumbling, she grabbed up a fistful of thicker grass and shoved it in front of one of the mare's large eyes. The mare's nose followed and Chetta mumbled something that might have been a swear or thanks as she led the eager horse towards the Charge slowly.


Ki-Nava drew up ahead of the crowd, giving a good rub to Hornhoof as she watched the last pair fly around the targets. She watched intently as the young male slowed slightly past the last target, a common flaw she herself was guilty of. It was immensely hard to stay so focused, especially with the increasing difficulty of targets and the intimidating scores already set. Despite the drawback, he flung round at a fine cry of twenty two. Probably one of his first years at the Charge, Ki-Nava noted from his young face as he dismounted. Even she threw in a few enthusiastic shouts for him as he pulled his mare away.


Sylfis wandered out to the Charge warily, only just woken a few minutes before by the ruckus. He was prone to daytime naps, especially after Tavol's long ride and gorging on the sweet dried meats he had traded off a couple from Kahlen. Each tribe had their own seasonings and methods, and he was a professional of tastes.

Yawning, he casually approached a maiden from behind, standing back from the crowd. She looked familiar from behind in his sleep drawn haze, and he quickly recalled. "Ah, Siyal!" He smiled at his fellow Tavol bandmate as he walked up beside her, not intending to sound so loud. He blushed at the surprised glances from a few other elves.



(OOC: OMGOMGOMG Sylfis is finally here everybody...I hope he actually becomes a character. Check out his thingamajig in the place where we do that and tell me what you think. Sorry. I'm tired.)Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by meimei on Jan 4, 2009, 6:17pm

"No spirit?!" Taraan sputtered, though Chetta was already gone. "Funnel has plenty of spirit! She just knows when to use it! Hmph." He turned back to stroke his mare's nose. "Nevermind her."

*********************************************

Siyal didn't cheer, but she clasped her hands in excitement as the youth raced across the line. Twenty-two! What a tight competition this year! She gasped when someone all but shouted her name - glad to notice others turning in surprise as well. Sylfis's abashed look made her giggle, though.

"Sleeping the day away, Sylfis? You're missing a fine Charge! Far-Runner is in the lead with a time of twenty and two near-center arrows. Our bandmates have yet to ride, though."Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by multifacets on Jan 4, 2009, 7:19pm

"In the lead so far," Far-Runner reminded as he approached the spectators. "There's always someone better than you; it's just a fact of life. Mha-Tak is a fine example." He sat down and made himself comfortable nearby as a serious-looking young woman from Avri mounted a shockingly red gelding to approach the starting line.

"One of these days, I will win," Far-Runner said with a shrug. And he would be very pleased, perhaps even a little smug, when it happened.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on Jan 4, 2009, 9:37pm

Ki-Nava smiled at the young woman preparing to take her run for the Charge, despite her serious demeanor. None from Tavol had rode yet, perhaps she would be the first, if Astierri didn't sidle up before this run was over. She had started a bit iffy, but Ki-Nava now itched for the challenge. Perhaps she would have a go at a few other games, perhaps not. She always enjoyed cheering on Tavol, either way.


Chetta slunk the best she could behind her mother, tugging a reluctant Blacksnort behind her. Competition was turning out to be fierce, and she looked forward to the chance to show off, but she worried about taking a tumble in front of her mother, not to mention Taraan. That wouldn't hold her back of course. At least a fellow Ouren had made probably the finest scoring this Mustering.


"Twenty? Very fine score, very fine. Perhaps a win this day." Sylfis winked at Siyal and sat down as well. "Are you taking a run, pretty weaver?

Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by meimei on Jan 10, 2009, 6:56pm

"True." Siyal acknowledged Far-Runner's statement quietly. Thinking of the weavings from some of the other bands she'd seen yesterday when she'd wandered the camps. She offered a smile to Sylfis' words and wink, but quickly shook her head at his suggestion. "I? Certainly not. I wouldn't embarrass the band so. Riding has never been my strongest skill."

She turned to watch as the signal was given and the Avri rider sped down the course. The horse was fast, and the audience gave a cheer when her first arrow hit center.

"This might be your challenger." She mentioned to Far-Runner.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by multifacets on Jan 12, 2009, 1:29am

"Oh High Ones is she," Far-Runner said to Siyal as the second arrow hit the center of the second target at the count of "Nine!" "She's been practicing. I'll have to ask how often."

Depending on the answer, she was probably taking it too seriously.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on Jan 19, 2009, 9:11pm

Chetta watched the girl fly round, eyes wide and bright. Could she ever race! Her first instinct was to cheer as the girl's third arrow hit only slightly off, but she gathered herself to remember it was Ouren band she was really rooting for. She smiled anyways and hopped lightly from one foot to the other in excitement as the elf swung round on the red gelding.


Ki-Nava held her breath without thought as the moments were called, rolling her mare's mane between her fingers. What a showing this year...


"Twenty!" The time was called as the girl streaked across the finish line in a blur of red, small flag clutched in hand. The crowd of elves from all bands hollered with glee, surprise, and admiration.


Sylfis lay back with a thump and grinned. "There's your time, Far-Runner! It seems you and her will be butting arrows at the next Mustering. She doesn't seem the type to settle for a tie." He turned his head. "And neither do you!"Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by multifacets on Apr 6, 2009, 4:04pm

"I am not," Far-Runner admitted, chuckling. His pride was a known fact in his tribe; it was why he insisted on being called "Far-Runner" instead of Sei-Ru. There was nothing wrong with taking pride in a skill that was well honed, or in a job that was done to the best of one's abilities, naturally, but when pride became arrogance, then trouble started.

Thankfully, Far-Runner had his tribe to keep his ego in check.

"Who's next?" he inquired, glancing at Sylfis and Siyal to see if they had any clues, and reached for Sylfis at the same time to play with his hair.



(OOC: Psst, peachy: The girl's red horse is a gelding. Just thought you ought to know)Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on Apr 19, 2009, 11:38pm

Sylfis sat up slightly and nodded to Ki-Nava, who approached the start with a relaxed expression. *Ki-Nava of my Tavol...* He sent, even as several similar sendings were shared casually through the audience. "I don't remember her competing much at all, and I've seen half again as many Musterings as you." He frowned, leaning back again, then glancing up at Sei-Ru. "Not much competition for you, oh great runner, I'm sure." He chuckled, glad to rub in Far-Runner's victory.

Ki-Nava mounted easily and leaned in, preparing for the signal.

It was given and she sped, preparing for the first target. She could feel with her experience her first mistakes; she sank too heavily into her horse's flanks as she steadied herself, and confused her old mare slightly as at her unsteady weight shift. Even so, these details were small and likely lost to the crowd.

Ti-Len cheered for his mother as she started, surprised at his own loudness and feeling quite a bit like a young one. It was rare to see her in the middle of the games, rather than cheering, or prodding and guiding around the sidelines and the youngsters, or assisting with the elders.

Chetta was flushed with excitement now, literally jumping for joy even as her mare gave her a look saved for truly mad elves. She didn't shout, just clasped her hands and squealed to herself.

(OOC: Darn my inability to keep facts straight! Thanks for being patient, I tend to miss details like that when I'm imagining the scene, thanks for being patient. Also, if you think my character's actions are not quite in character, feel free to tell me. I'm trying to do some adjustment to what I expect for them and how they act.)Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by multifacets on May 7, 2009, 9:21pm

(OOC: I can't tell you what's OOC for your characters, hon. They're yours.)

As soon as Ki-Nava took off, Far-Runner whooped and hollered and applauded with the rest of the crowd. Ki-Nava was riding beautifully, and making very good time. It was a fantastic sight, and the prideful elf felt glad to be witness to it. Such fun!Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by kris on May 10, 2009, 12:25am

"Ki-Nava might win this one," Sohnji remarked to Tevac, craning her neck to keep the rider in sight. Tevac grunted in response, and the healer raised her eyebrows. "What's with--Ksiva!"

"I WANT DOWN!" Ksiva insisted from her perch on top of Tevac's shoulders. Grimacing, Tevac shook his head and tightened his grip on her wrists. With a toss of wheat-colored hair, Ksiva fixed her mother with an expression Sohnji had seen too often on Astierri's face when they'd been growing up. "MOTHER!"

"I--oh, Ksiva!" Sohnji gritted her teeth as cheers rose up for a shot made by Ki-Nava. "Arrrgh! If you don't be quiet and hold still, I'll tie you to the biggest rock I can find!"

"I'm already ON the biggest rock! Papa!" Ksiva's face reddened with frustration as she tried to wriggle out of his grip. "This isn't fair!"

"When you try mounting an unbroken colt just to join a game for grown-ups, 'fair' is no longer my concern, little one." Tevac couldn't move his head, but his glance upward should have made things clear. Should have, Sohnji thought sourly; yet this was Astierri's youngster they were trying to rein in.

"Nalreen's not a grown-up! How come SHE--"

Sohnji gritted her teeth, and jumped a foot as a hand fell on her shoulder. "Why, Healer," came a warm, soft voice, but the faint, pleasant scent should have warned her who it was. Nazari smiled from her height down on Sohnji, who swallowed hard. "Is the little one here eager to see the race?"

"No," Ksiva said flatly, in a tone that made her mother vow silently to have a long talk with the child about manners. Tevac looked sufficiently aghast to make it certain that the two of them would be able to impress such a thing on Ksiva. Yet Nazari laughed, and easily took Ksiva from Tevac's grasp, settling her on her hip. To her credit, Ksiva didn't fight; she merely frowned up at the High One.

"I want to join the race," she told Nazari.

"Well, why don't we walk together, child? You can tell me about it." Nazari headed off through the crowd, and Sohnji could just hear Ksiva's voice before the High One and her child disappeared.

**Lifemate?** She glanced at Tevac, who scratched his head. **She . . . she wouldn't--**

Tevac looked back at her, then put a finger under her chin and closed her mouth. **The High One isn't Ksiva, beloved. She'll keep an eye on our reckless foal, not let her loose.**

"And I missed the end of the race!" Sohnji erupted, as the cheering around her grew louder. "Oh, I could--I--ARRRRRRRGH!" She spun on her heel and stalked away from Tevac as he chuckled softly at her.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by kris on May 10, 2009, 4:33pm

"Look, I'm ready to race," Caryo remarked, tightening her belt. "We can go if you want."

Nalreen slid her quiver over her shoulder and checked the strap. "I hope you like looking at Dust's hindquarters," she joked, striding towards the corral. Tevac had presented her with a new filly, one of Bolt's siring, and Nalreen had a feeling Dust could easily beat Caryo's Fleetfoot.

Caryo snorted derisively. "In your dreams, girl."

"I'll bet you a new pair of boots I'll beat you."

"Oh?" Caryo grinned. "You're on. A new pair of boots and a belt!"

"Make it a nice belt," Nalreen warned. "And the best pair of boots we can find!"

"You're so vain!" Caryo laughed, as they mounted up and joined the other players.

Astierri rode up to Nalreen, concern clear on his face. "Is that the filly Tevac trained for you?" he asked.

"Yes, Papa. Isn't she a beauty?" Nalreen felt her high spirits dim with Astierri's expression. **Papa, what's wrong?**

Astierri paused. Nalreen followed where his eyes went--to Caryo--and shook her head. **Papa, Caryo's a good rider. She's one of the best among our agemates!**

**Just take care,** Astierri warned, taking her chin in his hand. **Don't get yourself hurt. Your mother would set the Lake on fire if anything happened to you.**

"Especially before I choose a band, right?" Relieved, Nalreen hugged Astierri. "Don't worry. I won't break so much as a fingernail."

As Astierri drew away to confer with his partner, Caryo said, "Is everything all right?"

Nalreen smiled at her soul-sister. "You know Astierri. He can ride the whirlwind if he pleases, but he'll worry himself to pieces if someone else tries!"

Caryo chuckled. "Just wait till your little sister comes of age." She paused. "Speaking of coming of age . . . "

Nalreen shook her head. "I haven't decided yet." She reached out to take Caryo's hand. "What about your offer from . . .?"

"Haven't decided yet either. It's tempting, though." Caryo gave her a wistful smile. "We've all known each other since we came to Ouren. It'd be a perfect three-mating."

"But you don't want perfect."

Caryo slid her hand free and nudged Fleetfoot forward. Her small, striking face was set.

"I want to live, and not know what every morning breeze will bring. I want changes. I don't want to spend my life knowing that every day's going to be the same as yesterday." She shook her head. "I don't want love that's just comradeship. I want more."Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on May 10, 2009, 7:44pm

Ki-Nava leaned back as she aimed her last shot, quietly pleased with her time so far. She steadied her bow with an experienced eye, but gasped as Hornhoof skidded slightly beneath her, almost loosing the arrow in what would likely have been a very unfortunate mess for Sohnji.

With a few breathless reassurances to her startled mare, she quickly re-aimed and pinned an arrow halfway to the center, then sped to the finish at the call of twenty two. The audience cheered despite the finish, laughter sprinkled among it. Ki-Nava smiled as elves from all tribes congratulated her as she stepped away. "You're too old for this game," She patted her mare's nose appreciatively. "Were you and I any younger, we would have been a pair! Should've raced you earlier..."

--------------------------

Ti-Len had made his way down to the front rows of the game, pleased to see his mother leave with a fine time under her belt and his sister mounting behind her. He cheered as Chetta sped off, making several arrows barely on the target, but riding well on her large mare. She was not a tremendously skilled rider and hardly one for the bow, but she made her way round in barely twenty three.

**Only a few moments faster...** She sent to her brother, along with her excitement. "I could've had just a few less.**

**You did well. Blacksnort has always been best for power, not speed.** He reassured, but turned his attentions to the next rider.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by kris on May 20, 2009, 1:45am

Nalreen and Caryo drew up to the post and waited for the signal. It came, and Dust flew down the course at the merest pressure of Nalreen's knees. Gasping, Nalreen nocked an arrow to her bow and prepared to shoot the first target. As Dust hurtled forward . . .

. . . and then skidded sideways, screaming, and reared.

Her hands weren't on the reins. Nalreen felt Dust rise up, up, and terror froze her through. And then she was in the air, falling down, and she met the earth with a crack that bled all the light out of the day . . .Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by kris on May 20, 2009, 1:51am

"We thought you'd be in the race," Sohnji exclaimed as Astierri strode up to her and Tevac. "What happened?"

"That happened," and Astierri pointed to the two maidens who rode up to the starting post. Sohnji stared at Nalreen, whose smile was as bright as the sun above as she urged her new horse beside her partner's.

"I never knew she liked this!" She turned to Tevac. "Is that the filly you've been training for her?"

Tevac nodded, looking resigned. "I can't blame her. She's watched Astierri run this race too many Musterings . . ."

"Don't you blame this on me," Astierri warned. "She's going to get her neck broken."

"No one's blaming anyone, and Nalreen won't get her neck broken," Sohnji declared. She shook her head as Astierri muttered under his breath. "You make me die eight-eights times eight times during this stupid--" The healer caught her breath as Dust reared and Plainsrunners around them began to shout--was it a snake? A bird? What happened?--and Nalreen was thrown to the ground headfirst.

Overbalanced, the filly tried to get her feet down on the ground, and fell instead--landing on top of Nalreen.

Sohnji had no idea if she said anything. One minute she was standing beside Astierri; the next, she was beside the distressed filly, pressing her hands on the massive gray shoulder to try to keep Dust from crushing her daughter.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by multifacets on May 20, 2009, 2:03am

(I apparently did a lot of misreading. I'm sorry.)Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on May 20, 2009, 6:23pm

Ti-Len started forward at the horse's scream, even as Nalreen was only starting to slide from Dust, her hands grasping at empty air. It was instinct, some naiive belief he could catch her, or halt Dust mid-rear. It was dreamlike too, as though Nalreen wouldn't land as hard as she did, him hearing the crack, and the dust kicked by the mare clouding around them. Others rushed forward, cries all around.

He dug his arms under the hard muscles of the horse now crumpling on top of Nalreen. Another elf did as well, on the other side, he could feel another's hands, but the dust made his eyes water and Ti-Len simply pulled with all the strength his lean frame could muster. Dust's legs pummelled the air near his shoulder, but the closest hoof missed him by a near hand's width.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by Anna on May 20, 2009, 6:29pm

"I told you she's break her neck!" Astierri shouted as he raced beside his lifemates to reach their daughter. Nalreen was all but completely hidden on the thrashing bulk of the mare and the hunter's heart alternately raced and stopped dead as the gathered bands descended en mass around the maiden and her horse. Sohnji somehow managed to get through them all just as Dust regained her feet, but the crowd blocked Astierri and Tevac out.

"Get OUT of my WAY!" Astierri shouted, resorting to shoves and kicks to force a hole through.

Tevac's approach was more simple: he just picked up whoever was blocking his way and tossed them aside. The shouts and protests died half-uttered when the assaulted realized that the two elves abusing them were the fathers.

Tevac spared just enough attention to notice that Sei-Ru was trying to calm Dust. Tevac merged with the young mare's thoughts just long enough to soothe her and make her managable, then focused on his daughter.

"Back up!" Astierri said, now in the middle of the circle and pushing people back.

"They need room and air," Tevac added, leaving the clearing to Astierri, who needed the active outlet. Tevac knelt beside Sohnji, ready to assist her at the least indication she needed help.

Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by kris on May 21, 2009, 1:54am

Sohnji fell to her knees beside Nalreen, and shuddered as she laid hands on her oldest child. The pain hit her like a hot summer wind, and Nalreen's sobs of agony cut her to the heart.

"Get a litter," she rasped.

"It's coming," and the voice made Sohnji look up to see who had gotten past her lifemates.

It was Ti-Len. Of course; he'd helped Sei-Ru get Dust on her feet. Sohnji started to nod . . . and then froze as she met his eyes. She'd seen him all his life, and never before had she looked so deeply at him.

Into him.

"Sohnji!" Someone grasped her arm. "Sohnji, Nalreen is bleeding!"

Shaking, Sohnji fought to clear her head so that she could enter the healing trance, but the fearsome urge seized her like a wolf, sinking its teeth into her vitals. "No," she moaned, suffused with her child's pain as well as the undeniable force of Recognition. "Ti-Len--" She met his gaze once again, and saw he was as stunned as she was.

She could feel Nalreen writhe beneath her hands.

**Later,** she told him firmly, as she forced herself to her feet. Several of her bandmates laid the litter next to her daughter. Tevac and Astierri moved Nalreen as gently as they could, but still she screamed as they placed her on the litter. As they carried Nalreen off the track, Sohnji followed on legs that felt almost as crushed as her daughter's body.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by meimei on May 21, 2009, 3:55am

Siyal lept to her feet, but was frozen in place. Even her gasp seemed to stick in her throat as Dust toppled ontop of Nalreen. She saw Far-Runner dash forward to help get the horse off the elf maiden. When the crowd began to merge, she backed up - not wanting to get in the way. She was glad when others stepped forward to control the situation before it got out of hand.

Watching, not moving, she saw when Sohnji and Ti-Len froze upon meeting eachother's gazes. As Nalreen was carried away, followed by her worried fathers and her healer mother, the crowd began to break into groups.

She heard rather than saw Taraan approach one group loudly discussing bad occurances at previous musterings and began to spin a tale of an accident at a previous mustering that had ended well. She didn't listen to the story itself, though it sounded vaguely familiar. The young man's voice sounded subdued and serious. He wasn't seeking attention now, merely trying to distract the distraught bystanders.

She debated about approaching the other elf, but hung back - uncertain what to say.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on May 21, 2009, 8:10pm

The agony of watching Sohnji move away rather than closer, as every nerve told him it should have been, was unbearable. She had to heal her daughter, his tribemate, but the bare core of him protested violently. Ti-Len felt every sensation imaginable as he tore his eyes from hers and stumbled away. Her eyes had torn through him. Recognition. He hadn't even considered the notion, no more than a passing thought. Where did he go? How long? What should he do?

**Brother?** Chetta's frantic locksending was dull noise to what had seized him. She emerged from the tangled crowd of elves and grabbed his arm. *How is Nalreen? Is she healed? Where is her mother?* Despite the fact Nalreen's mother was truly the only thing on his mind, Ti-Len stared blankly at her. "Where is Caryo?" Chetta demanded impatiently, confusing his daze for shock. "Did she see--High Ones, are you all right?"Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by kris on May 21, 2009, 10:20pm

Ksiva clung to the High One's neck as Nazari hurried after her fathers and mother, sobbing. "She's not dead," she whimpered, clutching Nazari's rose-brown braid. "Please don't let her be dead, High One."

"She will be all right, little one, I promise you," but Nazari's firm, cool voice did nothing to soothe the twinges of fear that stabbed through Ksiva. Fresh tears poured down her face as the High One stopped in front of a tent and set her on her feet, and Nazari laid a hand on her cheek. "Ksiva. All will be well. Wait here, and you'll see."

"I want to come in," Ksiva forced out through a tight throat. "I want to see Nalreen. Please?"

Nazari smiled and took her hand. "Be quiet, now," she murmured, and led Ksiva inside.

The tent was dim, but Ksiva jumped in horror as a scream erupted--Nalreen on a pallet, their fathers on one side, Sohnji in a healing trance on the other, her hands spread upon Nalreen's bruised and bloody body. Ksiva saw a bone jutting through her sister's thigh; Nazari quickly turned her towards the wall of the tent, and Ksiva bit on her fist to keep from whimpering. Not that anyone would have heard her. Nalreen's cries as Sohnji worked her will drowned out everything.

Nazari put her arms around Ksiva, and the child leaned hard against the High One. She could feel her mother even in Nazari's embrace; Sohnji's power filled the tent, made the air feel about to crackle. Gradually, Nalreen's cries became little gasps, then subsided to soft groans. Ksiva peeped over her shoulder and saw the bruises fade as Sohnji made one last pass over Nalreen's body.

Her mother got to her feet, her hair falling around her like a cloak. And just as suddenly she collapsed, and Tevac and Astierri caught her up in their arms. Nazari advanced, leading Ksiva by the hand as her fathers laid Sohnji on the pallet beside a sleeping Nalreen.Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by kris on May 21, 2009, 10:29pm

She wasn't sure how she'd made it to the tent, but Caryo found herself surrounded by bandmates who wanted to know what happened. As if I knew, the young scout thought resentfully, wincing at Nalreen's cries of pain. She wanted to go in, but dreaded the reaction of her friend's parents--quiet Tevac might not blame her, but Astierri hadn't wanted Nalreen to race. And Sohnji might not want any reminders of what had happened after having to save her daughter's life.

**I'm here, soulsister,** she lock-sent, and flinched as Nalreen shut her mind to her. It was rejection, but Caryo knew why--her friend wanted no one to share what she endured this moment. Gritting her teeth, Caryo snapped at the next bandmate who came up to her. "No! I don't know how it happened! Why don't you go ask the horse? She's the one who fell on Nalreen!"Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by meimei on May 22, 2009, 2:06am

The crowd was slowly dispersing back to their own camps. Seeing Chetta approach Ti-Len, Siyal decided not to say anything. She allowed herself to follow her own bandmates back to Tavol's camp. The mood was subdued. Everyone spoke in hushed tones, waiting for news.


Finished with his tale, Taraan glanced around at the diminishing crowd. Small groups hung around, apparently unsure of what to do. Some of those who witnessed the accident were filling in late comers who had heard the commotion. He turned his feet back to Ouren's camp - the feeling of apprehension and concern was almost palpatable from the moment he stepped inside. He noticed Caryo where she stood stock-still. Trying to send to Nalreen, he wondered? Fetching a waterskin, he approached her slowly in an attempt to not startle her, and was instead surprised himself when she snapped out angrily.

"I can go do that. But I doubt she's as worried as you." He offered the waterskin. "Nalreen's strong. And Sohnji's got her now. She'll be fine."Re: Just a little friendly competition
Post by peachbug on May 22, 2009, 9:07pm

**You've gone and RECOGNIZED?**

Chetta's sending belayed all her swarming feelings: confusion, horror, delight, and more confusion. After dragging her brother to a more private location from the site of Nalreen's fall, she'd extracted the source of his odd behavior. Very odd behavior.

Ti-Len was now face down in the grass, head on crossed arms, stretched out. "Leave me alone." He mumbled miserably.

"Don't be so dramatic!" Chetta's voice now betrayed delight. She swung a leg over his back and tugged a lock of his hair firmly. "You're going to have a cub! You'll be a father, and Sohnji will be a mother...again." She paused and crossed her arms. "Speaking of which, what will Tevac and Astierri think of all this Recognition business? It's not as though they're a bunch of dried meat in all this!"

"Who cares?"

"They care, I'd suppose. No matter though!" She sat on his back with a thump, making him choke. "Not like they can tell the High Ones any which way about it. Though I suppose Nazari wouldn't have much to do with it at all-"

"What's wrong with Ti-Len?" Ki-Nava's distinctive voice broke Chetta's chatter, as she strode quickly over the grassy hill they were using for privacy. "I saw you down in all the mess. Were you injured?" She directed to her son.

He barely mumbled. "What?" Ki-Nava demanded. "Don't talk to me with a mouth full of dust."

"Oh, mother, he Recognized! He Recognized Sohnji, Tavol's healer!" Chetta couldn't contain her spirits now.

Ki-Nava's expression didn't change, but her mind felt like it was all sparks. She didn't speak for several long moments, long enough for Ti-Len to turn his head towards his mother in waiting.

"Perhaps it's better sooner than later."

It took a very, very long set of moments before Ti-Len registered that his mother was making a joke, or at least trying to be funny. A very bad joke. He thumped his forehead into the dirt.

"I assume the healer is with her daughter." Ki-Nava stated plainly. "Don't tear yourself up more than this already will, one of you will find the other. Until Nalreen and Sohnji are both recovered, I recommend staying out of her hair. You'll both survive, even if it's a whole day and night." She turned away. The huntress considered saying more, but continued her leave.

Ti-Len didn't respond, just lay limply on the dirt.

"Dramatic." Chetta muttered.
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