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Samuel adapts to his new life among the Drykas

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Not found on any map, Endrykas is a large migrating tent city wherein the horseclans of Cyphrus gather to trade and exchange information. [Lore]

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Upon the plains

Postby Samuel Longwell on June 11th, 2017, 11:45 am

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9th Summer 517


Samuel gave the command and his Tiaden leapt into a canter. The large man grinned, the stallion seemed to relish the chance to properly stretch his legs and ride fast. He knew that Dan would lose strength if he wasn't worked regularly, so he had made it a habit to exercise the stallion at least every other day. His warhorse could not hope to match one of the Drykas' Striders for speed in the Sea of Grass, but Samuel had no intention of letting Dan fall any further behind. So they had set out from the tent city and once they were far enough away, man and horse rode hard around the outskirts. They stayed close enough that they could reach the city quickly if danger did appear, but far enough out that they would not draw unnecessary attention to themselves. Samuel didn't want to highlight that he was an outsider any more than he already had.

After a few laps the Tiaden was breathing heavily and sweat drenched his flanks. Samuel, noticing his mount's exhaustion, drew the pair to a halt. He eased himself to the ground, rubbing Dan's neck and whispering quietly to him. Taking the reins, the swordsman gently led his mount over to a nearby bush. He slowed to a stop, then took his time examining the surroundings. The sun was beginning to set. He didn't want to spend any longer outside the city than he needed to but he was even less keen on being ambushed by one of the many dangers that lurked within the Sea of Grass. So he watched carefully for any movement. Once he was satisfied he was not in immediate danger, he knelt down and drew his knife.

The other reason he was outside of the city was his need for firewood. The bush he knelt by would give him enough firewood to cook his evening meal, so he set to work. The thin branches snapped off easily, but those that were thicker required Samuel to saw away with his knife to detach them from the bush. Every so often, he would once more scan his surroundings for any potential threats. A flash of movement caught his eye, so he slowly reached for his shortbow. An arrow was pulled from the quiver at his waist, and placed gently against the drawstring. Samuel crept forwards, focusing his attention on the area where he had spotted the movement.


Many thanks to Prophet for the box code.
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Upon the plains

Postby Fiametta on July 23rd, 2017, 5:50 pm

Fiametta felt the sharp wind on her face, as she and her strider raced at his top speed. Her hair whipped behind her, and her thighs trembled from the muscle power it took to hold herself steady on his tackless back. She owned Yvas, but to use the set on Latigo seemed an insult to his natural and magical being. The fading daylight gave way for Latigo's golden glow to make its appearance. The glow of a Cyphrus strider was known by any who made his home in Cyphrus. Still, there was no force in the world to make her become less enamored by it as time passed.

The pair slowed to a halt, and she slid off, the soft grass tickling between her bare toes. She rolled up her green pants, revealing the windmarks on her legs that were earned by bonding with her best friend in the world. Falyn, her white hunting dog, trotted up to her with a loud bark and a small blood stain beneath his chin. Fiametta smiled until the distant sound of snapping branches caught her interest.

She looked at Latigo, who tossed his red and white mane excitedly. She laughed and leapt back onto the stallion, once again taking off at speeds that could have made them fly. As they approached, Fiametta drew her bow and placed an arrow on the drawstring. In her experience, it was much smarter to be overly cautious in the face of the unknown.

Latigo reared up and Falyn barked noisily when they reached the source of the sound. A Tiaden warhorse stood proudly near a man with a shortbow. Fiametta jumped down and drew her bow defensively.

"You are not Drykas!" She said commandingly, failing to hide her nervousness. "Who are you?"
Last edited by Fiametta on August 8th, 2017, 8:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Upon the plains

Postby Samuel Longwell on July 26th, 2017, 9:19 pm

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A rabbit hopped into view, seemingly unaware of the man who watched it with drawn arrow. Samuel inched his way forwards, now even more focused on staying quiet. His legs brushed against a small bush, and the rabbit's head turned at the sound. As soon as it saw the archer, it dashed off. Samuel loosed his arrow, but his prey was moving too quickly and his shot didn't connect. The next arrow followed soon after, striking the ground where the rabbit had been a moment before. Samuel sighed as the rabbit disappeared down a hole, his shoulders slumping at the thought of how well some fresh meat would have complemented his evening meal. In Syliras he had always eaten very well, as a knight he had never really worried about where the next meal was coming from. But since he had arrived in Endrykas his meals had been more meagre. And if he was being honest, having to cook the meals himself meant they tasted significantly worse. He grimaced as he thought of the stew he had tried to prepare a few days earlier.

The sound of approaching hooves made Samuel turn, with a speed that could only be attributed to a strider. As the rider appeared, it was clear that she was Drykas so the warrior smiled and moved to greet her. But the young woman's reaction made him change his mind. She leapt down from her horse, drawing her bow and demanding he tell her who he was. He slowed to a stop and, not wanting to appear aggressive in any way, made no sudden movements.

“Ah, hello.” Samuel said in her native tongue, carefully signing greeting. “I am Samuel, I am teacher at Warstorm Pavillion, teaching Drykas to fight. I am not Drykas but I am friend.” While he was speaking, the warrior carefully examined the woman who faced him. She was significantly smaller than him, and a slight tremble in her posture seemed to suggest that she was uneasy. He had no wish to fight her, he hoped that he could resolve the situation without violence. “I am going to put my bow away, will you do the same?” His right hand signed reassurance to the Drykas as his left placed his bow on his back. “What is your name, young Drykas?” The warrior watched her body language for any sign of an attack. He wished he had his shield, but it was attached to Dan's saddlebags and he didn't know what reaction going over to his horse would cause.


Many thanks to Prophet for the box code.
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Upon the plains

Postby Fiametta on July 26th, 2017, 9:48 pm

The man didn't seem to want violence, but Fiametta had always been taught to strike first and ask questions later. Despite his size and the fact he was dressed as a warrior, Samuel seemed to have a gentle engery about him.

She took a slow breath and removed the arrow from the drawstring. She put her bow on her back, just as he had. Her right hand repeated the sign for reassurance, signifying that she had no more desire to fight him than he did her.

"I am Fiametta," she said softly. "Forgive me please. I do not meet new people often."

Samuel had kind eyes, so she just hoped he was not fooling her into falling for some kind of trap. There was too little trust in her heart, especially for those who are not Drykas. Regardless, this warrior was accepted into Endrykas and entrusted to teach Drykas. She had no authority nor reason to doubt him, so she took him at his word.

She lowered her hand, silencing Falyn's echoing bark. Latigo tossed his mane, the young strider showing no sign of distress from the presence of the unfamiliar horse and rider. Fiametta learned to always trust her strider's judgement when it came to meeting new people. "Trewal is Latigo," she said, slowly signing friend. "He is not afraid, so I choose to trust you are friend of Drykas, Samuel."
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Upon the plains

Postby Konrad Venger on July 26th, 2017, 11:21 pm

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Every day fell into a routine, with all parts of it necessary. Food and water, those were the priorities. Everything else was a luxury. The rider cantering towards the pair knew well such a simplified existence. His home had been one of brick and stone, gutters and smoke. But it was no less a jungle, and starvation was as real for one among teeming masses as it was alone on the plains.

Konrad looked up from under the brim of his hat. Eyes squinting a little against falling Syna, but not as much as during the full bright of day. Routine: check the traps before nightfall. Make sure bait was unmoved and the snares properly hidden. The woman girl and the bearded man were just peripherals to his task; he could already tell they weren't close to any of his traps, so...

Mind your business. They'll do the same.

Had they a mind to look, they wouldn't see a man trying to hide anything. Dressed simply in tunic, boots and breeches - gods know it's too damn hot for the duster - he dismounted with the slow, careful movements of a man still unused to riding. His horse was a simple gelding, and simply named.

Yeh Bugger. It's what he most often called him, after all.

The man was tall and lean, fat and excess chipped away by hard living and two full seasons surviving in grasslands more like desert. He'd heard those in his pavilion call it the gods' wrath, Caiyha's punishment, a curse of the earth... he just knew they were tough times. Well, petch it. He'd had plenty of those.

He knelt down and brushed the grass away from the snare he'd set. A wire noose, tied to tighten in a twinkling the moment something caught it. Wire fixed firmly to a wooden stake rammed hard into the ground. A deer or a coyote might be able to yank its way out, but a rabbit, a vole, a skunk, a ground bird or a hilariously lost squirrel... there were all manner of prey to be caught.

Konrad sighed and issued a short, silent prayer to Caiyha that it proved to be true. They'd gone too many days without meat; even the bounty of slaughtered pigs they'd brought in a few days before wouldn't last long, not spread out over meals and days and hungry mouths.

Food. Water. Priorities. Everything else was second.

He straightened back up and took off his hat, wiping his face with his sleeve. They might have been close enough to see his scars: see the way half of his jackal-lean face was handsome in a hard, animal way... and the other half was ruined beyond any desire to look for any longer than a few ticks. He turned to them briefly, coolly eyeing them up like he'd done ten thousand times before.

He didn't nod. He wasn't their kin. Wasn't their friend. He was another traveler with the Horse Lords, accepted into a pavilion that was awash with dregs and walahks. Even from that distance he could tell one was a Drykas; her Strider stood out like a longsword in a woodpile. The other... was more like him, far as he could tell. Another outsider.

Konrad blinked, and got back on his horse. Two more to check. Then back home.

Don't Make Me Repeat Myself.

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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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Upon the plains

Postby Samuel Longwell on July 27th, 2017, 10:27 pm

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Samuel sighed in relief when Fiametta put her bow away and introduced herself. He guessed that if a fight had begun then he would have had the advantage, but wounding a Drykas would put him in a difficult position. The fact that he was an outsider would weigh against him in any dispute, so he was particularly glad violence had been avoided. He smiled at the young woman, signing his forgiveness casually.

“Do not worry.” he replied, “Cautious is good. Cannot trust everyone.” He watched her make a sign he had never seen before, and his forehead creased slightly. “What is this sign?” He made an approximation of the sign for friend, having only seen it once, then looked at the Drykas as he signed unsure.

The large man glanced over at the dog that Fiametta had by her side. The sight of the animal got him thinking, maybe it would be a good idea for him to get one too. He had seen hunting parties taking them out, the Syliran could use a useful companion out here. He made a mental note to look into it the following day, he was sure someone at the Watstorm Pavillion would know where to purchase a hunting dog.

A man rode into view, dismounting slowly. The tentative way he dismounted brought a small smile to Samuel's mouth. He had seen plenty of squires acting the same way, a simple of product of their inexperience in the saddle. He stands even more than I do, thought Samuel. When the man set his feet on the ground, one of Samuel's eyebrows lifted slightly. Comparing the newcomer's height to that of his horse, Samuel realised that the other was tall. Probably even taller than the Syliran, which was no mean feat.

The taller man stooped down, paying no attention to either Samuel or Fiametta. It seemed like he was checking something on the ground, but Samuel could not tell what it was from where he was standing. As the other man stood up, the Syliran finally got a good look at his face. Scars criss-crossed one side of his face, giving him a savage appearance. Samuel nodded in acknowledgement as their eyes met, but the scarred man simply stared before turning away and returning to his horse.

“You seen him before? Samuel asked Fiametta. “He's not so friendly, no? Perhaps when he is further away we see what he was looking at?” He signed curious to her, pointing over to where the scarred man had been.


Many thanks to Prophet for the box code.
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Upon the plains

Postby Fiametta on July 27th, 2017, 11:58 pm

Fiametta made the friend sign again with a smile. "Friend," she said, making the sign once more. "Means I choose to trust you are friend." She knew it was not the most common of signs within the Drykas, so she was not shocked when Samuel was unfamiliar with it. Her father, before he died, taught her to treat others well and they would do the same. In turn, her hand signs were often used to show acceptance of people.

Falyn sat down beside her, ears perked upright at the conversation between the two. He was a friend and hunting companion to Fiametta, as well as a wonderful and unjudging ear to speak to. Meanwhile, Latigo walked over to Samuel's Tiaden. The strider was dwarfed by the size of the warhorse, and Fiametta released a breathy chuckle when he tried to mimic the prideful stance of the larger horse.

She brought her attention to the man in the distance. It was all too clear that the man was minimally experienced on horseback, but everyone has to start somewhere. Fiametta squinted slightly, trying to identify the man. He seemed to be rather tall, though it could have been an illusion from the brimmed hat he was wearing. When he crouched in an extremely visible location, her interest was peaked. On the Grasslands, it was not smart to let yourself be without defense. Though she couldn't tell if the man had weaponry, she was curious what he needed to examine so closely in the middle of the field. Fiametta was always a curious girl, wanting to know everything about anything. When a strange man with unusual height and a scarred face came into view, what could a young girl do but want to know more?

He was not Drykas; that much was clear. The horse he rode was not a strider, and though much of his body was covered in clothing, there were no visible windmarks. Plus, he carried himself differently than a Drykas would. Drykas of course came in all shapes and sizes and personalities, but this was different.

When the man remounted his horse, Fiametta watched his uneasy seating with each step taken. "No," she said. "Never seen him." She signed Non-Drykas to him and nodded her head with a smirk. "I'm happy your curiosity matches mine, Samuel." Once again looking to where he had been, she watched the man disappear. Fiametta swung herself onto Latigo's bare back, and Falyn barked excitedly with his tail wagging. She knew that there would be no possible way Samuel's warhorse could keep up Latigo's racing speed, but there was no reason she needed to let him run. Trotting at an easy speed, Fiametta started toward the place where the mysterious man had been.
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Upon the plains

Postby Konrad Venger on July 30th, 2017, 2:14 am

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He practiced, as often as he could. Not necessarily things he enjoyed, but skills he would need. Back home, it was gutter fighting and intimidation, tools of the trade for men who lived and died in shadows. But in the Sea of Grass? Hunting. Tracking. Living off the land and reading it for threats.

Riding. Always riding. Especially among people for whom the horse was not just a means of transport, but an avatar of the gods.

That, and how the hells else are we meant to get anywhere?

Once the traps were checked, he gave Yeh Bugger a gentle kick in the flanks and the beast broke into a brisk trot. A hair away from a run, he'd guess. The Sunberth boy who'd rarely even been on a horse his first three decades - hells, we ate the damn things more than rode them - gulped and gripped the reins harder, then jerked them up and down with a harder kick and a-

"Yah!"

The gelding whinnied, somewhere between surprise and alarm, and suddenly Konrad's world became much bumpier. He gripped hard with his thighs, like Sedon had showed him. Didn't want to come back to the pavilion walking bow-legged, with his crotch a mashed ruin against the saddle. He ground his teeth and felt the still, stank air become free and flowing against his face.

It was cool, even as Syna warmed him. The sweat seemed to cease, and the man whose real name was alien to Endrykas smiled.

"Aye... good boy... more petchin' like it..."

But he wasn't one to overdo it. Seasons of practicing magic, fearful of overgiving, had taught him to take his small steps and minor victories. He eased back on the reins, pulled until they were tight... and Yeh Bugger eventually took the hint... slowed down to a trot again.

The world returned to its slow, fetid state. Nothing but humid air and burning grasses, and-

Hooves. Behind you.

Konrad jerked his head around and his hand was on his sword with the same movement. Two approaching him, made hazy by the glare of Syna but still... yes, two riders. The same ones he'd spied before? Maybe. He licked his lips and pulled the reins to the side, so when the riders arrived, they'd find him sitting sideways to them. The right side of Yeh Bugger facing them, the left side facing away...

... along with his left hand, nimbly sliding the throwing knife from his boot and flexing his callused fingers around it. They'd have to be close, for it wasn't his finest weapon... but it would be a distraction, if nothing else. But him a tick to get among them, lay about close with sword and kukri, the very body of his steed if he had to.

But only if you have to, the cool, careful voice in his head said. The one that had kept him alive for decades. This isn't the Berth. Can't leave bodies laying around all over the shop. Probably just want to talk. So let them.

Konrad grunted like a man who'd heeded advice he'd rather ignore, and glared out from under his hat, waiting for his new friends to arrive.

Don't Make Me Repeat Myself.

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Note: As of Fall 517AV, Konrad is known only as "Hansel" in Endrykas
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Upon the plains

Postby Samuel Longwell on July 30th, 2017, 7:50 pm

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Samuel nodded, smiling as he returned the sign friend to the young Drykas. He then shifted his hands to shape thanks. He was glad when he found Drykas happy to help him improve his Pavi, his grassland sign in particular needed work. But he was getting there, bit by bit.

Fiametta made it clear that she too was curious about what the scarred man had been doing. So the pair mounted up, Samuel making sure that his firewood was secure in Dan's saddlebags before getting into the saddle. Once they were both seated on their horses, he towered over the Drykas even more than before. The Syliran ran his hand affectionately along the Tiaden's neck, who turned his head expecting a treat. Samuel chuckled, he had nothing to give to his horse. As soon as Dan realised that he turned away, huffing loudly.

A wry smile on his face, Samuel squeezed firmly with his calves. Dan moved off, then picked the pace up into a swift trot as his rider maintained the pressure on the Tiaden's flanks. The pair of riders made their way over to the area of interest alongside each other, the swordsman scanning the horizon for any threats.

Dropping down from his saddle, Samuel started to search the area for what had attracted the scarred man's attention. Could he have found animal tracks, Samuel thought, if so then perhaps they could look for the prey together. He shook his head, the man had walked straight here. He had known the location of what he was looking at already. Which meant the scarred man had probably been here before. Pushing aside a clump of grass, the Syliran found what he was looking for.

“Fiametta,” Samuel said, “it's here.” He pointed out the trap, ready to snare a small animal and signed catch food. “We must not stay long, we scare animals away.” He gestured for Fiametta to follow him as he moved back to where their horses were standing. He glanced back at where the trap had been set up as he mounted Dan once more. “That was a good trap, better than I make. Mine always fall apart, never catch anything.”

Samuel pushed Dan into a trot, trying to synchronise his movement as they headed back towards the tent city. He decided that he should try and put together some traps once he got back to his tent, it would be good practice and after a while perhaps they would actually start catching things.


Many thanks to Prophet for the box code.
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Upon the plains

Postby Fiametta on July 30th, 2017, 9:32 pm

Fiametta was honestly beginning to admire Samuel. He rode his Tiaden with authority, though she could tell he did not feel the back of a horse was his home. Even so, in Fiametta's eyes, his commitment to her culture and respect for his horse made him well worthy to ride beside Drykas. She found it exciting when those who are often considered outsiders are welcomed into Endrykas and treated as one of them.

She and Latigo rode together as though they were one spirit, which she sometimes believed they were. To be bonded with a strider was an experience she was saddened not every man was granted. Latigo was her wings, giving her the freedom she had always so desperately craved. They knew each other better than her late father had known her.

As Samuel watched for any hidden dangers, Fiametta felt the ability to let her guard down. The feeling was more unfamiliar than being far from her traveling city, but she still liked it.

The warrior dismounted from his horse and looked for what the man was attending to. Fiametta stayed atop Latigo, feeling it was her turn to stay alert to impending threats. At the sound of her name, she looked at Samuel, who was bent down. There was a trap hidden in the grass. Fiametta never had been particularly skilled in traps. Tracking was a handy skill, but she preferred to let Falyn do most of her hunting.

Samuel confessed his lack of skill when it came to making traps, and Fiametta smiled. "I do not make traps," she said, shaking her head. "Falyn hunts for me."

As Samuel began trotting toward Endrykas, Fiametta looked out once more. She saw the silhouette of a man in a hat atop a horse. Glancing ahead of her, she noticed Samuel was already a decent distance. Latigo lunged forward, quickly closing the gap between the two riders. "Samuel," she said with a slight frown. She made the sign for Non-Drykas, then pointed in the direction of the silhouette. "He watches us."

A small grin spread across her lips, and Falyn barked. Latigo started trotting in the direction of the man. She glanced back and made eye contact with him. She shot him a smile, then sped up slightly.
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