Closed Desperation (Amunet)

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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Desperation (Amunet)

Postby Roland Eir on May 1st, 2016, 2:00 pm

32nd of Spring, 516

Roland was a depressing sight. Torn and unwashed clothes, dirt-streaked face, unkempt hair tied back to keep it out of his eyes. His sitting form leaned against a shaded wall, keeping out of the Spring sun. Whistling tunelessly, his eyes scanned the crowd of people passing through the marketplace. Weary travelers from far-away lands mingled with the fierce-looking Akalaks. Plenty of Drykas, and he thought he might have seen a Konti in the crowd. That brought back some memories.

Lurching to his feet, Roland's eyes snapped to a trail of red cutting through the crowd. Hastily slinging his bag over his shoulder he took off after retreating figure. It's not possible, he thought to himself. My luck's never been this good. Pushing past a walking couple with a muttered apology he finally got a good look: a Drykas with long red hair the color of blood and the mark of Rak'keli on her face. The man could hardly believe what he was seeing. This had to be the one!

Amunet, according to the man who'd hired him--a foreboding figure Roland had distrusted immediately. A couple of years ago he would never have taken the job. Whatever the man wanted her for it couldn't be good. But the money was too good to pass up, and Roland was tired of working untrained labor. And besides, he had told himself, he would probably never even find this girl.

Serves me right, Roland thought to himself as he followed her through Rivefall's streets. Old lessons resurfaced in his mind. "Keep your distance. Don't act suspicious. Stick to the crowds if they're there, the shadows if they aren't. You want the mark to feel safe..." Roland pushed the thoughts away, swallowing feelings of guilt. He wasn't going to steal from her. Just watch.
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Desperation (Amunet)

Postby Amunet on May 1st, 2016, 2:18 pm

The petite frame was dressed in her leather form fitting pants that was well worn for riding and moving around. The camisole peaked out of an oversized tunic that fell off of one shoulder. It was belted around the little waist with two daggers a couple of leather pouches and a slingshot entwined and tied firmly to the belt. The girl was carrying a grooming kit for animals as she made steady progress through the market and towards the stables. The woman was humming a little soft tune as she made her way. The mass of curly, wavy red hair had braids on each side of her face and then tied back in a ponytail at the crown leaving the rest of her hair to cascade down to her bottom like a blood red waterfall. It swung and feathered across her backside with the breeze.

She stopped at one stall to get carrots and apples for her mare. The poor strider was hemmed in by a corral and she didn’t like it too much but tolerated it. The girl bought and paid for the produce with little to no haggling. Amunet didn’t seem to mind the weight of her burden as she made her slow procession towards the stable. A Benshiran family had passed and one of their younger children tripped and skinned their knee. Amunet stopped as well as the whole of the family was upon the poor child. The Benshiran recognized the grace of Rak’keli on the child of the wind as she tended to the child. They spoke of little things as with a little water, a clean rag and a dose of grace the child was good as new. Her only payment was a hug from the child which was well. Amunet hugged the child back waving to the Benshiran family. She picked up her things and continued to the stables, humming away with a lovely melodious tune.

In a few chimes, she made it to the stable as she passed the stalls and went to the corral. The mare absolutely refused a stall. She spoke in pavi to the mare as she went into the corral of the seemingly wild looking strider. She called her Shetanae. The mare was a sixteen hand dark dun full bred Strider and Drykas trained. The mare was like a puppy around the little lady. Amunet only stood five foot four and the mare towered over her. The big head lowered as those little arms wrapped around the mare’s head. She gave the mare an apple before starting to curry her down.
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Desperation (Amunet)

Postby Roland Eir on May 1st, 2016, 2:40 pm

She seemed wholly unremarkable as she went about her business, and Roland began to wonder why anyone would want her shadowed. He made a show of perusing some antiques at a market stall while she purchased produce. Carrots and apples? Hardly newsworthy. "She's pretty, eh?"

Eyes wide, Roland looked at the smirking merchant. "Excuse me?"

"The girl you watch. Pretty." Maybe he wasn't as subtle as he thought. Roland blinked for a second before nodding and excusing himself. Moving back into the crowd he swore an oath under his breath. The girl had moved on and it took him a moment to find her. She was kneeling next to a child, passing her hand over a bleeding scrape. Roland stopped in place, ignoring a man who bumped into him from behind. In less than a chime the boy was good as new. A fresh pang of guilt impaled his heart as the little boy embraced her and the parents gave their thanks.

He barely made an effort to hide himself as he followed her to the stables. He didn't need to. His pace carried him faster than she, and he overtook her in the stables. Passing her without a second look, he stopped at the last stall, reaching up to stroke the nose of the waiting gelding. The poor thing looked almost as bad as he did. He shushed the horse softly, watching the Drykas girl out of the corner of his eye. "Bet you wish she took care of you, huh?" he whispered to his steed. The horse nickered and tossed its head. "Sorry, no apples today." His eyes remained fixed on his target, still weighing the pros and cons of getting paid.
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Desperation (Amunet)

Postby Amunet on May 1st, 2016, 3:06 pm

The curry went in small circles over the neck firmly, loosening up dust and dirt. It loosened up any remaining winter coat as the warmth was sloughing off that coat from the horses. It was a steady continuous motion . It went from the neck and down to the shoulder when she stopped to break a second to roll her shoulders before beginning the belly and back. This she spent more time on as its more area to cover. She had to put her arms up in an awkward position to get the rump but she persevered. The rump needed the most attention as the mare took to rolling in the loose sand and dirt in the corral.

“Really, did you have to roll after the rain?” The girl said to the mare with a mock look of irritation. Of course she had to. That was clearly etched in the horses expression. Striders were intelligent horses. Playfully the horse moved her rump just out of reach of her tiny rider. “Hey!!”

The chase was on as the horse nickered and Amunet made chase giggling a little. The horse trotted and could have well over taken the little rider, but this was a game they had played many times before. The girl darted this way and that in the coral as the mare tried to get the carrot from her. A stream of red hair would fly behind her as they played there little game of tag. After several chimes, Amunet pretended to fall with exaggeration onto her back and had the carrot presented tip side up as the mare descended on her to take the prized carrot. The affectionate red head rubbed her nose and cheeks before she got up. She then took her over shirt off to just the camisole underneath as it was getting hot to her.

Amunet re-positioned the mare where she had her without halter or lead. It may seem uncanny as with a few hand pressures and hand signs the mare went to and backed up to where the grooming kit was at. The curry of her behind started in earnest again to loosen up the dirt. “You may need a bath at this point, girl. “ The horse she knew had a gorgeous summer coat. The girl spoke all Pavi at the moment as well that is her home language and no one around her needed her to speak common. It was blessedly quiet and calm there with a light breeze.
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Desperation (Amunet)

Postby Roland Eir on May 1st, 2016, 3:22 pm

It was almost painful to watch the girl play with her horse. The two of them enjoying the breezy spring morning, laughing it up while he lurked in the shadows of the stable like a criminal. "Gods above, it's not like you're going to murder the girl," he muttered under his breath. And the money he'd been offered could get him back on his feet. Perhaps he'd leave Riverfall, look for work back east. Syliras perhaps. A light chomp from his horse reminded him that he was staring, and he focused his attention back on the animal in front of him. It would look awfully suspicious to just stand here with his horse. "C'mon Castle," he said, guiding the horse into the corral.

The horse seemed to brighten up in the sun, merrily neighing with a shake of its mane. For his own part Roland tried his best not to look too shady, nodding politely to the other rider as he passed. She was speaking to her horse, Pavi, if he wasn't mistaken. Definitely Drykas then, though he didn't see any sign of the tell-tale tattoos. Only one way to be sure.

"Lovely weather, innit?" he suddenly spoke, loud enough that she would no he was speaking to her. "Good day for a uh, a ride. I'd say." He wasn't very eloquent at the best of times. When shadowing a likely innocent girl for a certainly nefarious man? Even less so.
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Desperation (Amunet)

Postby Amunet on May 1st, 2016, 7:16 pm

At first she was concerned when the other horse came in, but Shetanae nickered to the other horse. It didn’t take her long before she realized that the male horse was gelded. Amunet relaxed as she curried the mare vigorously on the other side loosening up hair, dirt and whatever else was in the horses coat. Next came the stiff brush. This would be stroked all over first in long strokes then in stronger short strokes to both slough off what the curry brush loosened up and to groom the hairs. Her smile was kind and gentle to the man who came with the horse. The horse minded his manners so she didn’t mind the company.

Shetanae laid her ears back as the man came close to her rider. A restraining hand from her little rider and she snorted her disdain at that as she thinks her rider didn’t have her senses. Amunet glared at her. “Be nice Shetanae.” The red head spoke to the Strider like she would a person.

When the gentleman spoke to her, her expression softened, mentioning the weather. “It nice day. “ she would say in common in agreement. Her common was passing alright, but there was grammar and diction tells that this was a second language to the Drykas woman. “It good day be on The Grass.” The grass was emphasized as there was an unconscious eagerness for the freedom being out on The Grass presented. “Stick to shorter grass, midday most predators not hunt, good time. Morning good for foraging, less pests. Evening must find shelter or build fire or both.” The woman had some experience out on the Grass and she certainly didn’t think this unassuming man should be out in it.

“I, Amunet. Nice to meet you.” The ingratiating girl held out her palm freely and with no thought of danger or any reluctance. Her practiced eye went over the horse. “Horse, What age?” The gelding seemed happy to be out in the sun and as happy to have company. “Shetanae likes him so he must be good horse.” Her expression was gentle as she returned to brushing the horse down for another chime or two. The smooth brush came up, this brush was a finishing brush that smoothed the coat out.
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Desperation (Amunet)

Postby Roland Eir on May 2nd, 2016, 1:58 am

"Oh, I steer clear of the Sea of Grass," Roland assured her. Even keeping to the road he had yet to travel the area without coming out of it injured and half starved. A Drykas would know how to pass unscathed, if anyone did, and he listened to her advice with an appreciative nod. It didn't help his conscious however. What he knew so far about this girl was that she loved her horse and was helpful to strangers. Even dirty, suspicious strangers like himself. If you asked Roland, her trust bordered on naivete. Unless she knew something he didn't. His eyes passed over the blades on her hips as he reached out to shake her hand.

She confirmed his suspicions with her name.

"Roland." A half second later he berated himself for not giving a fake name. He scratched his beard absentmindedly as she turned her attention to his horse. "Age? Oh he's--" It struck him in that moment that he didn't know. The animal had looked fully grown to Roland's admittedly untrained eye when he stole him three years ago. "I don't know, actually." That was suspicious. "I mean, the man who sold him to me kept changing the story, I never actually got the, uh, actual age." Gods he was out of practice. "A good horse though. Like you said. We've... been through a lot together."

That, at least, was true. He'd hated the horse for a long time, but their trials had brought them closer together. Even if Roland still didn't know a thing about horsemanship.
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Desperation (Amunet)

Postby Amunet on May 3rd, 2016, 1:03 am

The young lady chuckled as she put her hand out to the gelding as she came closely in slow even movements till she was petting the horse gently with long strokes. He spoke nervously but the Healer remained calm and pleasant. It was curious he was so nervous but she chalked it up to his personality. Her blades here clean and neat, well kept. One had her initials on it and the other was utilitarian. The slingshot was a standard basic slingshot. Her hands where firm as she shook his hand. Her demeanor and movements spoke nothing of violence or even thinking about it. The girl looked into his eyes as she wondered if he felt well. He was a bit scrawny but she didn’t hold that against him. The red head was underweight herself.

“That is just as well you dong go out into the Sea of Grass but if you know how you never go hungry out there. You should eat more. There is a tea that can improve appetite. “ The helpful girl offered freely. Those lovely light blue eyes were open wide and inviting. It was Skyard’s worse fears about her. That simple naivete and acceptance of people in general as Rak’keli taught that the gift was to all people.

“Roland. “ her silken voice said with a smile. “It’s not uncommon for some people to not know the age or their horse. “ The girl lifted the horses head gently and pulled the upper and bottom lip apart to look at his teeth looking at the shape, length and configuration. He was an older horse. “For an older horse he is in decent shape. Looks to be about 12 years old maybe? “ The girl might be off by a couple of years as a veterinarian could confirm it, but knowing the physiology of a horse over the years of living amongst them, you picked these things up. “The growth habits of the teeth gives indication of the general age of a horse. A veterinarian can confirm the age. “

It never crossed her mind that he was lieing as she took what he said at face value. “it is good your horse has black feet. White feet are horrible to deal with. “ The girl went to get the hoof pick as she lifted the geldings feet without saying a word and picked the hoof out as she looked at the hoof. “Yeah. Lot of travel this guy has had recently. He needs more rest. “ The girl put the hoof down as she moved around him and scrutinized his feet. “He needs a trim too. He isn’t standing too badly but at his age you really want to pay attention to his feet. “ This was said in absolute innocence as she looked at him and put a hand on his shoulder gently.
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