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What goes around; Comes around
Topic Started: Nov 29 2010, 09:59 AM (365 Views)
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Cortessa struggled to take each stride; the mare had her left foreleg held up, her hoof kept well away from the ground. A wound to her knee prevented the mare’s limb from bearing any of her weight. The puncture marks still oozed a little of her crimson blood, but the flow had almost been stemmed completely by now. The roan was well aware that the wound wouldn’t heal without being rested, but staying in one place for an extended period of time wasn’t always easy for a Rogue.

Stallions rarely thought much of having mares using up the precious resources of their homeland, particularly if the intruder had nothing to offer. The assets of the more public lands were relatively sparse, and it was highly unlikely that she’d go undisturbed for the season or so that she needed. The Rogue’s options were pretty limited, but there was one more alternative which might still be open to her.

Unlike many of her alliance, Cortessa wasn’t fond of taking advantage of her fellow equines ... but she couldn’t see that she had any other choice at this present moment in time. It was unlikely that she’d willingly choose to venture into this continent otherwise. The Scantland was well known for being one of the most inhabitable land masses on the planet; it wasn’t easy to navigate with all four limbs working, hobbling on just three easily exhausted even the hardiest of travellers.

The mare gave a heavy sigh of relief when she finally crossed the boarder of this chilly territory, though she couldn’t expect to be in the least bit welcome. It was hope which had led her here, but she wouldn’t blame Caradoc for turning her away the moment he laid eyes on her. Nevertheless, she waited patiently at the boarder of his homeland, waiting to be discovered.
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It had been a pleasant day so far for Caradoc. He had spent the morning being drowsy, watching his two young sons playing together, and challenging Morraine to a short race, the impulse for which having been triggered by watching the colts' show of energy. It had seemed to set off something in the stallion's brain, some kind of excitement or perhaps a wish to show that he wasn't all that old himself, as stallions went. The bay had kept in mind though how the Vanner had recently given birth, and kept the pace down from the wild gallop he might otherwise have taken up.

Shortly after that, however, he'd decided to patrol his borderlines, part of his daily routine even with a diminished herd. And in the course of that, he'd soon come across a horse he hadn't expected to see again. Especially since he had once gone to visit her in the land she was temporarily residing in, and the only one who had noticed Caradoc's presence was the dark aligned stallion she had taken up with, who had permitted Caradoc entry, but only barely. Not that Caradoc could blame Viral, he'd be tense too if a stallion wandered in to see one of his mares, childhood friendship or no.

But it had come to naught, and he'd left without a word spoken to or from Tessa, and he'd rather put her out of mind in the daily business of herd life. How the rogue had come to be in Border Springs, he has no idea. His eyes quickly take in her three legged stance, and his jaw quickly opens and shuts in surprise. "Tessa? What happened to your leg? Were you attacked? " His head turns, looking to see how close the nearest healing spring would be, and he tries to usher her towards it. If the waters here had healed his father from the grave injuries he had suffered so long ago from the cougar attack, they could surely help the condition of Cortessa's leg wound.

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Despite her best efforts to immobilise the joint, the mare’s knee was already painfully swollen. The Rogue didn’t know as much about herbal lore as her dam, but she had been able to do enough to keep infection at bay. Nevertheless, the pain and the sheer effort of keeping her hoof off the ground was draining the mare of her energy. She knew she needed to rest, to lean her weight against something or lay down, but she didn’t dare to move from this spot until she was certain that Caradoc had claimed this territory, and found out whether or not she was welcome here. A Rogue might have to be bold to venture into unknown lands, but they also had to know which battles were worth fighting. She was in no condition to defend herself, and would be quick to retreat if she received anything but an amicable welcome.

It had been barely half an hour since the Rogue had breached the boarder of the Springs, but it felt like an age to Cortessa. Her auburn whipcord whisked round her uniquely-coloured hindquarters while her roan-tipped lobes swivelled continuously, listening out for the approach of any equine. Eventually, the mare’s mocha-coloured eyes caught sight of a figure. As it drew nearer, the Rogue was able to identify it as her foalhood friend. Cortessa released a cautious whicker, still unsure of what the stallion would think of her presence, though she made no immediate effort to move either towards or away from the male.

Caradoc’s stare of surprise was to be expected; they hadn’t seen each other in years … Cortessa wouldn’t have been overly shocked if he hadn’t been able to remember her at all. The Rogue waited, still holding her hoof well off the ground, her gaze shifting away from the stallion momentarily before flicking back to his still-familiar face. It was almost comical, how his jaw opened and closed without a word being uttered … but then the stallion came to his senses and started fussing over his childhood acquaintance. The Rogue couldn’t help but heave another quick sigh in relief, though Caradoc had already started ushering her away from the boarder, before she could say a word in response to his questioning. She gave him a grateful whicker before taking a couple of difficult steps alongside the stallion. “Sort of.” Cortessa doubted that the male would want –or needed- to hear the entire story, but decided that, since he’d been hospitable enough to worry over her, then he deserved more than a dishonest ‘I’m fine’. “I stumbled across a wolf … I-I don’t think it was hunting though.” The Rogue knew that she hadn’t been followed by the creature, and had no intention of allowing Caradoc to believe that the mare had lead a hungry predator straight to his family.

A sharp intake of breath was the first auditory sign of any discomfort that the Rogue had expressed. She halted, curling her hoof away from the ground again. Even the slightest jolt had become agonising, but Cortessa had been coping with the pain for a good while now. She took a moment to rebalance herself before stepping forwards again. No Rogue would ever willingly betray signs of weakness; the injured or infirm were always the first to be preyed upon and equines, such as Cortessa, didn’t have the advantage of ‘safety in numbers’ that the members of a herd could enjoy.
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We have nothing to fear but human stupidity and the squirrels.
The grulla mare was tired of roaming. For the the last four years of her life she had more or less wandered. In that time she had gained and lost so much. She was ready to settle down and live the life of a happy herd mare. But she was afraid of going to the Homeless Grounds. She had been there once when she was quite young at her mothers hip. It was shortly after he father disappeared. She was taken from everything she had loved. Her half-brother, her father and even the other mare in the herd was more like and aunt since her mother had been so fond of her. Sighing. She kept thinking back at her early life. She had spent most of her first two years being ill all the time. Her mother had resented her for it. So when she found a new stallion to birth healthy foals too she had been forgotten.

Life moved on. She had seen so many exotic places in her travels. But she would never forget the love of her life. They only knew each other a short time. But she would never forget him. She had been happy to give him his only child a handsome son. After his death Zelda had spent some time living among a large herd with a kind leader. When her son was old enough to fend for himself she took up wandering again. She now had found herself in familiar places. She had visited the place where she had briefly reunited with her father and brother...after her little blackout. She smiled lightly at the thought. She missed them both dearly. She didn't know if her father was alive. But she had heard rumors that her brother was now the proud owner of a land. She had to find him.

She paused at the border of the territory. She had been told this was where he lived. Sighing she wondered how he would react to see her. How would his mares react? Her nostrils flared taking in the various scents. A few feminine and young scents came ot her. He had foals. She smiled as she walked in a little further. The grulla mare soon spotted her handsome brother with a mare. The poor mare appeared injured. She wondered if now was a good time to intrude. Caradoc woudl be preoccupied with her. Well, she was already here. She walked slowly towards the duo. Looking around for other equines she hoped they wouldn't be hostile. Her ears surged forward as she listened to the mare speak. A wolf..there was wolf nearby. She looked behind her real quick. Looking forward she stopped a few feet away from her brother and the other mare. "Caradoc....its been oh so long. Sorry to intrude at such a bad time." She looked at the mare with concern etched all over her dark colored face. But she didn't say anything. She backed up a little bit and woudl wait for a response from either equine.
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"The only predictable thing about life is its unpredictability." Remi, from Ratatouille
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Cortessa explains the source of her injury, a wolven attack, and the stallion feels more than a touch of concern for his small family, especially for little Oskar, who would be easy prey for any lupine. He lifts his head up to sniff at the air, and only when he realizes that the air is clear of any threatening scents does he relax again. Hoping that the waters of the Springs will at least take help to take pressure off the Rogue's swollen limb, he slowly continues to guide her towards the water, but a new voice stops him in his tracks.

With a quick but gentle nudge to Tessa's shoulder to indicate that she should keep going if she is able, Caradoc turns to see who else has come to see him. Once again, his jaw drops open. It was becoming a routine thing, this act of surprise. Oh....could it really be his little sister, whom they'd all worried about so much when she was a filly, when she'd been so ill with Pneumonia? Zelda! She looked so healthy now, all grown and a beautiful young mare. "Zelda, it's not a problem, don't be silly. Do you know how glad I am to see you again? " Recalling his other guest, he moves his muzzle towards her in a pointing gesture. "Do either of you remember each other? Zelda, this is Cortessa, she and her mother guested with Father's herd for a short while when we were all foals.....Tessa, this is my sister Zelda. "
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