Closed So the Road Begins (Aladari)

The carvan to Riverfall sets out on Kabrin, beginning the load road ahead

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

So the Road Begins (Aladari)

Postby Balian Martell on June 14th, 2017, 9:48 am

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Summer, 2nd day, 517

Balian sat atop his horse, Athos, clad in the newly bought gear as he observed the formation of the caravan that was to leave for Riverfall that very morning. He was to act as a member of the escort, his Patron and him, along with small contingent of knights, and there was little he could do to contain his excitement. He was leaving. The wider world was open to him. New places, new people, new experiences. These were things that Balian longed for, and finally the Order was giving him that opportunity.

He had arrived early, well before Syna began to rise in the sky, making sure that he had all his gear worn and in place, having packed the night before. His new gear filling him with confidence and a modicum of pride. His new leather armour, still stiff in its newness squeaked softly each time he moved. His bow rested to his right, strung on its nook built into the saddle next to his quiver full of arrows. His sword hung from its place on the left flank of the horse, easily accessible should he need it. Two daggers sheathed at the back of his belt, while his hunting knife and horn hung from the sides. The rest of his gear had been packed into the saddle bags attached; his tent, bedroll, and all the other gear he would need to survive the trip. As he sat there, atop his horse outside the city gates, Balian looked almost professional.

The workings of a caravan were unfamiliar to Balian. Motionless, he was an island in the midst a cacophony of voices and activity. The action was taking place just outside the city gates; people loading wagons with goods, merchants and citizens alike haggling over last minute purchases, dogs and other animals running through the constant shifting maze of legs and wood. Even so, Balian was able to make out the subtle patterns through it all, the seeming chaos marching to some unseen rhythm. In truth, he enjoyed watching the activity as he waited for his Patron Knight to come with their orders. He liked seeing the different individuals that will make up the whole; the merchants in their rich cloth, the knights in their armour, adventurers, craftsmen and citizens taking advantage to migrate to another city. The squire couldn’t tell who was managing all this as different groups attempted to impose order, but slowly the wagons were loaded, and the people herded into what was beginning to appear as long line waiting to set off along the Kabrin Road.

His thoughts were interrupted by Borr Uldrin as he approached Balian on horseback. The knight wore his typical mix of Plate and chain amour, his axe hanging down the side of his mount. Just as Balian had been conscious of his appearance, so was knight; the large man’s thick beard had been recently braided, and his hair seemed less wild today than usual. Balian sat up on his saddle as his Patron cantered to a stop, waiting for Ser Uldrin to relay their orders from the caravan captain. The older man looked over Balian in his new gear, “Seems a bit light fer my’like, but it should suit ye jus’fine” he said giving an approving nod. “Ye get evr’ting ye need lad?” His voice was deep but jovial, the usual tone he took with his squire in less formal matters. Balian motioned towards the packs that his horse was carrying, “Rations, camping equipment, other basic items… I should have everything. Even got myself a new bow and some hunting equipment in case we get the chance!” the part he said with a smile, patting his bow affectionately. “Good, ye seem prepared then.”

The knight maneuvered his horse to draw up alongside his squire. For a moment the two remained there, a Knight and his squire observing the caravan as it formed. Syna had by this time begun to set light upon the sky as she rose out of the horizon. “Our orders from Captain Fildred are to ride next to the column as it moves out, Uldrin spoke, his tone losing its informality, now a knight doing his duty “t’keep things orderly as we start. I’ll ride up a’head. Ye should keep to this position fer’know.” Balian nodded familiar with the tone and knowing that his own duty was about to commence. , “Aye, Ser”. Borr looked over at the young man and grinned, returning to his usual informality before urging his horse forward. A call rose up from the front of the train, signalling for the caravan to move out.

The Journey to Riverfall had begun.
Last edited by Balian Martell on July 26th, 2017, 12:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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So the Road Begins (Aladari)

Postby Aladari Coolwater on June 16th, 2017, 2:29 am

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2nd Summer 517
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Aladari had thought it would get easier. After moving so much in so short a time frame, she thought she would be used to the sight of all her things packed in bags and her life laid out ahead of her on the road. She thought perhaps it would even grow to be comforting, to be surrounded by friendly strangers and the steady sound of horse hooves clopping.

She was rather disappointed to find herself just as frightened as ever.

Her eyes swirled a dark concoction within as she examined the caravan. This time around, she was not travelling with the bright Inarta, but rather with the Syliran knights, who were very different in their approach. They still bustled and busied themselves perpetually, but they also had less of a feeling of family, and more of a feeling of a well-oiled machine. Each person did their duty as quickly as the next, and though they passed by each other, each individual moved independently from the group. This sense of independence from the whole left Aladari feeling lost, lonely, and very confused.

Holding the reins more tightly than she really ought to, Aladari led her mare forward to meet the bulk of the rear caravan. There were a few knights there, but also a few squires, who looked slightly more approachable in their generally youthful faces. She quickly decided she would stay there for the day, and hopefully wouldn't be laughed at too hard for her shoddy attempts at riding.

Aladari already feared boarding the mare. The beasts' great eyes glared down at her, deep but unreadable. "You ready?" She asked tentatively. The mare snorted hot wet air in her face- the horse's only method of communication. She would have to take that as a 'yes'.

A Knight had helped her saddle the horse earlier (with minimal mockery) and so it was much easier to mount than her previous attempts at bareback. She held the front notch of the saddle tight, placed a foot in the rung as they had showed her, and lifted herself onto the horse. There, she wobbled precariously before hunching low over the mare's neck to steady herself with the reins held uselessly loose in her fists.

The horse seemed to know more than the Vantha, and so trotted forward leisurely to meet with the rest of the caravan. Beside Aladari, Tar kept his distance from the horse with a suspicious eye turned on them, while Mikkie sat in the nearest saddlebag, already voicing loud, meowing complaints about her situation. Aladari frowned at the kitten.

"I ain't exactly enjoyin' this either." She said pointedly. "But we cain't stay where there's no work, Mik. It's just too crowded here, an' this may be the only chance we get to leave safe all year. Now sit down an' be nice for these folks."

Catching the bewildered and amused face of another traveler, Aladari grinned sheepishly back at him. "Kids, right?" She joked, leaning haphazardly off the side of her saddle to pat Mikkie's furry head. "Ain't the happiest campers, but whatcha gonna do?"
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So the Road Begins (Aladari)

Postby Balian Martell on June 23rd, 2017, 4:00 pm

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The call had been made, but as Balian would come to learn, caravans were large, hulking things that take time to do anything. Stationed where he was, in the fringes of the caravan towards the rear, Balian made his best effort to look knightly. Remember his lessons with his father, he ‘half sat’ in his saddle; the majority of his weight not on his rear but on his heels resting on the stirrups. The result was that his legs gripped his horse’s flank, which would allow him more control. Athos, for his part snorted lazily as he stretched his neck down to chew on some of the grass that surrounded him. Balians own stomach grumbled. In his haste in the morning he had forgotten to eat breakfast, a fact that annoyed him now. Still he ignored his stomach as best he could. The carvan had still not moved, at least not this part of it. He stood up in his saddle to look ahead to see what was the hold up. It appeared that they were on the move, at least some of the forward riders. The ripple just hasn’t reached this far back yet. His stomach grumbled once more.

Well, it’s not like we are actually moving yet he thought to himself. Giving in to his hunger, he reached back into one of the pockets that lined the saddle bags behind him; looking to pull out some of the jerky he had bought as snack. He had hoped that they would have been at least by the forest edge before he had to break into his rations, but hunger is hunger. Besides, chewing on a few pieces of jerky would distract him long enough until they finally moved forward.

He had been chewing on the dried meat for a few chimes when he heard a yelp next to him, almost a bark, but not quite. Looking over, Balian found that he had attracted a visitor, a medium sized, black dog, no doubt drawn to the smell of the jerky to hands. The canine had kept a slight distance between it and Balian, but it was sitting on the ground with its nose up in the air. It barked a second time, not harshly, but definitely seeking Balians attention. With a wry smile Balian looked on towards the furry companion, his graying fur indicating its age. “You hungry too, huh?” he asked it with a wry smile. It wagged its tail in response. He had always liked animals, but dogs had always been his favorite. They were great companions, he thought, giving their loyalty to you while only asking that you care for them in return. They had no expectations of you, accepting you as you are. Growing up he could never have one, on account of his mother claiming to be allergic, however he did always find the time to play with some of the dogs of the outpost.

He broke off some small pieces of jerky, sharing it gladly with this temporary companion. “Here you go, friend”. With a few light tosses, they landed by the dogs paws, and soon enough it was happily sharing in his meal. “So, will you be traveling with us as well?” he asked it, not really expecting a response.
Last edited by Balian Martell on July 26th, 2017, 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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So the Road Begins (Aladari)

Postby Aladari Coolwater on June 28th, 2017, 5:19 am

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2nd Summer 517
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"Yeah," Aladari continued, "They's like my chil'ren. Don't know what I'd do with...out..." Her voice faded off as she noticed that the familiar snuffling and grumbling of one of her "children" was absent. A look around confirmed her fears; Tar was no longer by her feet.

"Tar?" She asked nervously. She guided the mare's head to the side, rotating the horse in the space they were left with to make a full sweep of her visual field. The man she had been talking to previously wandered closer. Though he wasn't particularly interested in her affairs, he was a good citizen at the least, and hated the panicked look on Aladari's face.

"Need any help, Miss?"

"No, no." She brushed off the offer. "I'm good. I just...need to go now."

The man half-laughed, spitting air out his nose. "Alright then. Good luck."

Aladari didn't even bother to press her feet into the mare's flanks- she was already raring to go. Instead Aladari simply gave her a small amount of reign to work with, and the mare surged forward. They maneuvered through the bulk of people together, stopping just behind one of the wagons where a kinghtly man on his horse nibbling on some jerky. The man tossed some meat down to the ground and following the path, Aladari was relieved to find her oldest companion.

As Tar happily took to the food, Aladari moved just a little closer to keep an eye on him. The man feeding him seemed kind enough, and was probably trustworthy enough to share some time with her pet. It had always been true for her that every man taken to by a dog was a good man at his core.

Well, either that, or his food was good.

"So, will you be travelling with us as well?" He asked.

"He will, if 'e can keep up." Aladari answered with a slight wave of one hand to draw attention to herself. "Name's Aladari," She introduced herself. "And that big boy is Tar. He's pretty old for the journey, but I just couldn' leave him behind. He seems to be fairin' just fine for 'imself so far, though."

As she spoke, the caravan began to move forward in slow, jerking moments, reminiscent of a large caterpillar inching across the ground. Hopefully as they got moving, it would be faster. For now, it was almost painful. They managed to move less than a few steps before stopping again behind the wagon.

Aladari rolled her eyes at Tar's friend. Can you believe this? She asked with her dull brown eyes. Out loud, she made polite conversation. "So you must be comin' along for the ride. What made you wanna leave Syliras? Or are you on your way home?"

Even unprompted, she began to share her own reasoning. "Me an' the pup are on a trip to fin' someplace we can settle down an' start ourselves a food business- I'm a fisher. But it looks like we got to Syliras at jus' the wrong time with the lack of rain an' food an' all."

Self-conscious at the mere implied idea of Morwen, she situated the turban wrapped around her head to cover more of her auroric hair. She would hate to be kicked from the caravan for being Vantha, and even though she had been well-received by the knights she had spoken to so far, it wasn't worth the risk.

"Real too bad." She shrugged. "Oh, well. On we go."
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So the Road Begins (Aladari)

Postby Balian Martell on July 6th, 2017, 12:26 pm

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“He will If ‘e can" keep up”. The slightly accented response came unexpectedly, however a slight movement had caught his eye and he was able to connect the voice to its source; another traveler with the caravan, if her garb and horses equipment were anything to go by. It was a woman and a not unattractive one, her face appearing slightly younger than Balian. What was as most striking, however, was her eyes; an exotic shade of green and something else, almost swirling. Iis that pink? he thought. The young woman continued introducing herself and the furry fellow that had approached the young squire. He spared a glance down at Tar, the canine happily chewing away on his snack.

“Balian” he began, introduced himself. “Well met Aladari. And he may be a few summers older, but I imagine he’ll manage just fine.” He flashed a smile. The Caravan would be slow to gain its momentum, having only begun inching forward at a snail’s pace, and he would be glad of some company.

He chuckled at her glance as the caravan inched forward slowly. His grip on the rains was relaxed, yet he kept his knees firm against his horses flank, and as the caravan drudged forward, so did Athos. She spoke on, first asking him why he was on this trip, then continuing on with her explanation. He nodded in agreement at her comment about the situation in Syliras. There was talk of drought, something to do with the lack of winter. All he knew was that the farming community of the Mithryn outpost, where he had grown up had been having a difficult time of it.

“I’m a squire of the Order,” he finally said when she had finished, pointing towards his sword “ a part of the escort for this caravan, though if I am to be honest, this assignment feels less like a mission and more of a gift.” He smiled at her, a gleam of adventure in his eyes. “I’ve wanted to explore the world outside of Syliras for a while now, and this caravan gave me the perfect excuse.” He reached down and patted his horses neck, the leather of his new bracers creaking slightly. It was polite conversation, however it was welcome. The agonizing crawl of the caravan had finally reached their section of the train and slowly they moved forward. Left at his own devises, Balian would have been bored.

He realized that he still had some pieces of jerky in his hand, and offered some to woman. “Why choose Riverfall,” he asked in turn, “was there not another Caravan heading towards a northern city? Ravok I heard it called.”
Last edited by Balian Martell on July 26th, 2017, 12:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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So the Road Begins (Aladari)

Postby Aladari Coolwater on July 12th, 2017, 2:36 am

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2nd Summee 517
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Out to explore the world, he said. His eyes glittered when he said it, as if he could see his dream in the stars every night. Aladari remembered when her own wanderlust had been so great. She had been so ready to see the world, so eager to find her own niche. To Mura, to Sunberth, to Avanthal, and beyond! Now all she really wanted was a bed to lay down in and a safely locked door.

In Morwen's name! She thought, I'm too young to be so old.

Bemoaning her own early dotage, Aladari eagerly accepting the offer of meat which she may not have otherwise taken. Chewing a bite off the end, she thought about Bailan's question. Why Riverfall? She hadn't researched it too much besides asking about for which caravans were arriving, but there were always a few reasons, no matter how simplistic. She swallowed, wiped the salt from her mouth on her sleeve, then finally addressed him.

"Well, I am a fisher." She began. "Even with the dryness, I figure a place named "Riverfall' better have plenty of water to fish in."

"But I guess Ravok is perfect year around, so that wasn't really it. I went to Mura when I was-"
She stopped, ready to say "little" but remembering it had only been about 3 years ago. "Well, younger." She conceeded. "I love the Konti girls. They are beautiful, and carin', and myster'us. I heard Riverfall has lots of 'em."

There had also been word of a strong race of colorful men there called "Akalaks". They had been present in very small numbers in Zeltiva, but Aladari had yet to meet one of them she liked so she chose to ignore that fact. Instead, she focused on the positives.

"I's also hopin' to learn abouts cookin' and the local foods. I hear it's good stuff there- it's very fancy- and there's lotsa good wines too!" Aladari grinned at Balian. "You a drinker?" She asked."Maybe we can find somethin' when we get to Riverfall together. Or, at this pace, when we stop for the night somewhere, I guess."

As if disturbed by the Vantha's insult, the caravan's lurching, slow pace began settling into a steadier, slightly quicker pace forward. Aladari hugged her horses body with her legs, praying silently that she might stay upright the whole trip. Does Priskil do travellers?
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"The sea always filled her with longing, though for what she was never sure."
- Cornelia Funke
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Aladari Coolwater
Rock the boat.
 
Posts: 478
Words: 267715
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