|A Day's Ride|
|Summary:||Isolde takes Ryker out on a ride of the flood plains to the north.|
|Related Logs:||Lord of Stonebridge|
|Northern Flood Fields|
|Through small foot paths north lead to flood fields, some rolling hills but treachours areas where the rivers filter in to create small marshes. The area is hard to navigate if one has not traveled it before. A few scrub trees mark the landscape but on the higher hills stands of majestic beeches and oak offer shade and canopies for weary travelers.|
|Tue July 19, 288|
The man was up for a few long hours of the night, sipping on the summerwine and standing in front of the hearth. Likely he has a lot on his mind as well but he's been quiet to it. Most of his attention and concern seem to be focused on the woman he is to wed. Riding through the day, though, sounded excellent. He set off with her when the ground had been able to dry out a little and they set out. The man is proving himself to be no slouch on a horse, either, riding confidently through the fields on his own thoroughbred. Its clear the rider and his steed have had quite some time to bond and they trust each other.
Leading the way, as the fields are still wet, Isolde sits astride her grey dappled gelding, Dem. The Lady has drawn her hair back from her face and some comfort has been found in the ride, even as silent as she has been. A breath escapes her lips and she slows the gelding at the top of a hill - taking the time to look out over the changed landscape after two days of rain. Water stands in the lower areas and dreadful sinkholes await to be found for the unwary rider. Her divided skirts shift in the warm breeze, the humid air clawing at her face and hair, drenching it to her.
She waits for the Lord to join her at the hilltop, green eyes narrowing.
Ryker lets her lead and probably even insisted on it. Her lands, she guides. The man slowly ascends the hill and stops beside her. Its a conversational distance. He hasn't tried for anything more personal since the cheers last night. Again, he takes his cues from her. His blue eyes slit s he looks over the drenched terrain and takes a long breath. "We laugh. We cry. The lands pass us no attention. I like areas like this. Its a nice piece of humble."
Her head turns, regarding him in silence, "It is home. What the rivers can not keep, the low lands take." SHe tells him.
Her head turns, regarding him in silence, "It is home. What the rivers can not keep, the low lands take." She tells him. Isolde shifts in the saddle, Dem lowers his head to eat at the lush fresh shoots of grass, the tall tassels of the taller field grass brushing against the horses and riders. "Did you care to go down to the low lands or retrace our path? It will be a tricky ride from her northward, but there are some beautiful grottos and smaller streams to rest near." SHe offers.
The Lady waits for her guest to decide, her head bowing.
Ryker listens and seems to consider the options. He shifts in his own saddle and looks back to the way they have come and then back out to the land before them. The crossbow strapped to his saddle creaks the leather. "We've already seen the way we've come and you seem to be a fan of what else lies ahead. Let us follow your suggestion of the ride beyond. It might be nice to give the horses a chance to graze as well without us bothering them." He gestures his hand out before him. "Please, lead the way, m'Lady."
"As my Lord wishes." Isolde intones and with a click of her tongue and a dig of her heels, she turns Dem just before Ryker and down the hill, carefully picking her way as she leans back in the saddle to keep from being thrown forward. Her shoulders shift and body undulates with the movements of the horse. The Lady is very well versed in riding and it appears so as she easily guides her animal about, finding the firmer areas.
THey are hitting the low lands soon as the slosh of the water can be heard filling the air as there is no way about some of it. The horses don't seem to mind and the deepest they get is about knee height on the horses.
"How often have you been to the floor plains, m'lord?" She asks softly, but it is obvious she is distracted today.
Ryker follows suit again but is coming closer to riding beside her as they get into the watery areas. Mutual support, and all, in case one goes down. He's watching the water between his glances up and then shifts his eyes to her quickly with the question. He gives a quick chuckle. "Isolde? We're alone. You can use my name." He gives her a lopsided smile and looks back to the water. "I think I'd surveyed this area once, but not ridden it. There were a few like this out at Riverrun, but the terrain is more rocky because of the mountains surrounding it." He guides his horse around what looks to be deeper water and comes back up beside her. "Though I suspect that's not what is on your mind." He dips his head forward to look up to her face. "Is it?"
Dem sidesteps as the other horse comes up closer again and Isolde is forced to meet Ryker's gaze as he searches for her's. "As I said before, …Ryker.. " She pauses, still not comfortable with uttering his name. "I always have lot on my mind, it is not a unique occurence." She states to try to deflect him. Her chin lifts and a solid dry grotto lies ahead of them, a shaded area with a few trees. She picks up her pace. "There, ahead.." She states, keeping ahead of him as she urges the gelding ahead faster, trying to gain some distance and not heeding where she is going for the moment.
"I know," he allows. "But I'd like to know what it is that troubles you. The more we can be honest with each other about, the more we can build. I wish a solid base, but again, I will not force you to do anything." But as she picks up her pace, the man kicks a bit to keep up. "Isolde," he calls. "Careful." Ryker tries to catch up beside her.
The grotto is close enough that she disregards his warning. "A solid base we will have, but sometimes I will need my own thoughts.." Isolde insists and is still ahead of him. Her head turns about to look back at him. Dem dips his front right hoof in before him and the ground gives, sinking and causing the horse to dip forward, the Lady to tilt with. As the gelding starts to tip to the front fore, she is grabbing at the mane and neck of the gelding, letting out a cry to match the whinney of the horse.
The horse rolls and Isolde beneath it's fore, trapped for a moment as the water starts to rise about her waist and side. She gasps and tries to keep her head up, the horse caught in the sink hole unable to move off of her at first.
Ryker is bowing her head to her in reply when she glances back. "As yo-" He doesn't get to finish before her horse begins tumbling. "ISOLDE!" he bellows. His own horse shies away from the other's flailing, beating its hooves into the water. It doesn't much matter to the man, though. His boots are out of the stirrups in the blink of an eye and he lunges off the saddle, a boot propelling him into the mire right after her. He flops into the murky mud-water mixture and scrambles over. The man tries to get his hands under her to hook around and use his strength to pull her up and keep her head above water. "NO! Nonono!!!"
Coughing a moment as the murky water enters her mouth. Dem struggles, not wanting to be caught in the mire as much as the Lady. She presses a feeble hand into the gelding's neck to try to get him off her, to unpin her. She sinks a little more and panic starts to set in, her eyes widening as she tries for a quick urgent breath only to find water. Strong arms drag at her shoulders and upper back, her head drawn up out of the expanding hole, the grasses and like caving beneath the weight. She coughs raggedly and dark hair sticks to her face, a few leaves too along her skin as she tries to shift her hips and rise up.
Dem is too heavy and the poor horse, shifts, grating its strong front shoulder muscles into her leg and hip, causing her to wince, eyes closing as her back arches, trying to relieve the stress from her lower half. Dem finally frees his leg and slams his hoof into the side of her shin as he turns about and struggles, beating his legs heavily to finally rise up, dripping. The gelding is fine, but the Lady, now relieved of his weight gasps, for air and from pain.
Ryker never lets go of her, his own head dipping below the surface for a moment in his fight to keep her from drowning in an unnamed flood field. But as the horse rises and moves away, he still holds his arms around her as he settles back onto his rear in the water, it nearly reaching his chest. "Gods," he breathes. The man looks wild behind her, pulling her up into his lap to keep her head as far above water as he can. "Isolde, are you hurt?" Its a very direct question to her, but one that very obviously is drawn out of concern.
Her shin screams in pain, but she can move her leg as she tries it. Isolde winces tough, lets out a breath. "I think I am okay…the horse fell on my hip…but there was give beneath me." She pauses for a momet, eyes closing as she allows herself to lean back against his chest. "But the horse slammed his hoof into my leg…I can move it, I think." She thinks.
"I am sorry.." She says, the warm muggy water not helping to cut the heat of the summer that lingers everywhere. SHe hisses as she tries to move and push herself up, finding her leg to be seering with pain.
Ryker leans his head around hers, the movement close to but not quite resting his head agaisnt her. His eyes move over her looking for injuries. "Do not apologize. Just please be more careful." Though as she tries to stand he gives a quick "Tch!" to her attempt. "No. Rest for a moment. Make sure it is only your leg. I'd hate for you to realize too late something else is injured. Be slow, my dear."
The tch makes her still almost instantly and she grows quiet. Her lithe frame is easily cradled back against his and her eyes close. Her head falls back and rests beneath his chin and near his shoulder as she focuses on testing her limbs. Finally she wets her lip, "I think..it is just my left leg.." She admits and trembles, the pain like a burning sensation that is slowly making her stomach churn. For now she feels only bruised along her hip. "We can not wait here all day…"
His arm still around her, the other braces them up in the muddy bottom. He's eternally patient with her testing, even smiling as she lie against him. When she seems satisfied, he smirks. "No, likely not. But we'll have to do this again sometime but minus the injuries." He slowly shifts. "Stay. I'll get you to your horse, Isolde." Moving out from under her, he moves to slide his arms beneath her and cradle her.
There is something that crosses her face when he lifts her like that. Isolde does not fight him, in fact she lifts an arm to brace around the back of his shoulders. THe water drips and splatters from her heavy dresses now soaked through. Her eyes slowly close and she lets out a long breath. Finally, her head turns and she reaches out her other hand with a sharp whistle to bring Dem with a whicker towards them. "I can ride…" SHe insists, still bracing herself against him.
Ryker stands slowly, the man quite a bit stronger than he looks. Though with plenty of practice lifting his now-passed wife.. He adjusts his hold beneath her knees and cradles her back, arm and hand coming around low so as not to go grabbing anything inappropriate. He winces at the loud whistle, smiling. "I trust you can. I only hope Dem is up for the task." He begins slogging through the water towards the approaching horse. "You know if you wanted to get out of the marriage so bad, there are less painful ways to end it all than flipping over your horse," he jokes, trying to bring some levity as he lifts her towards her saddle.
There is a worn laugh from her lips, "If I was trying to, I think I would not mess it up.." Isolde says, some seriousness to her tone as Dem moves over, pressing into her outstretched hand. He backs up a step as Ryker brings her closer to the horse. She focuses on the mount and not on him, leaves and bits of decaying plant life clinging to her everywhere. A few strands of hair cling to his cheek from her own mass. "Shhhshhhshshshhhhhh, there's a good boy. Come Dem…" She grits her teeth, shifting causes her shin to brush and make contact with the other leg and a shudder runs through her, effectively stilling the lady a moment. Catching her breath, she grabs the saddle and directs the horse closer.
"I would hope that is the case. Botching something like that? And risking the horse? He looks like too fine an animal to bring him into it." Ryker smiles again, doing his best to help her up as he can. His arms stay up in case she needs more help or just a steady hand to hold on to. "I'll wait until you are ready."
Realzing that her leg won't move the way she wants, she will have to ride side saddle. She mutters something and fixes herself into place. Isolde takes a moment to make sure that the offended leg will remain unirritated, at least mostly. Sighing, her green eyes lift from smoothing her riding dress to looking at him. Silence. It lingers, studying his face before she draws from her thoughts, "Thank you, m'lord." Her words genuine before Dem takes a sidestep away from him. "I am okay…we can go." She says and furrowing her brow, concentrates on guiding the horse with increased experience.