Page 151: Riding Gone Afowl
Riding Gone Afowl
Summary: Riordan and Isolde take Danae riding - horse handling is for the birds! (And Riordan the Horse-Whisperer)
Date: 13 Dec 2011
Related Logs: The Westerling Calls, Do Not Miss Your Mark
Danae Isolde Riordan 
Flood Fields - Stonebridge
Muddy fields!
December 13, 288

The small group is gathering for a quick ride, if not to help the Lady Westerling find some confidence on Tig, the faithful mare that tends to be a sweet steed for those not too happy astride horses. Her own palmino saddled and ready for her, Isolde is checking the stirrups and reseting them to a certain height. She tilts her head and than looks over towards her companions, a smile on her lips as she fixes her riding skirts. "Lady Danae, how are you doing?" For the moment, the groom has given Danae the bridle while he adjusts the saddle for her on Tig who stands patiently awaiting the Lady to mount. "She is a gentle creature and very patient, age has broken her I fear, but I think if you are to enjoy our ride, she is your only choice."

Isolde climbs astride her horse in one sweep of skirts, spreading them out over the back of her mount and adjusting her foot in the other stirrup, It is then she takes the reins full on and clicks her tongue, backing Leyna up and out of the way for the others.

Standing in wait for the groom to finish his adjustments, Danae holds the bridle with what is an abnormal amount of awkwardness for the small blonde. Her other palm is extended with a cube of sugar to hopefully sweeten the mare's disposition further, fingertips carefully brushing her nose. "She seems kind, Lady Isolde." Once the groom has finished his work, she moves to mount and brushes adjust the split brown skirts of her riding garb as she carefully places a foot in the stirrup and attempts to swing herself up and onto the horse. Good horse. Stay.

Leading a rather large, black horse toward the group, Riordan smiles comfortably and calls out, "I hope you weren't planning on leaving just yet, without a certain favourite goodbrother, hmmm?" He chuckles softly. Stopping amongst the group, he starts checking the saddle and all the strings and whistles, as it were, to make sure that they're all set firmly. After all, it wouldn't be fun to start falling off mid-ride!

Patting the side of the horse, Riordan smiles. "Alright, Grishmorb, are you ready for a fun time in nature?" The horse give a little neigh and a snort. "That's what I thought!" He laughs and hitches a foot into the left stirrup and lifts himself onto the saddle, swinging the his right leg to the other side with ease.

Tig is gentle and even loves the sugar cube enough to bump into Danae a little after. But the groom holds the horse as best he can to make sure the lady is secure in her saddle before stepping back. He had been given 'specific' instructions as to Danae's feelings on riding. Isolde turns to look upon Riordan with a faint smile. "Why, you always seem to make your way despite not being told so I figured you would catch up…" She brings her horse about quickly to allow the knight to meet Danae. "Goodbrother, this is Lady Danae Westerling. Lady Danae, this is my goodbrother and thirdborn to Lord Rickart, Riordan." SHe smiles between them and moves to watch Tig a moment, making sure the mare is as sure footed as she usually is.

The affectionate bump is greeted by a nervous laugh, her fingers smoothing along the downy coat of the horse and gently over its mane. Good horse. Once astride and settled, Danae looks towards the enterance of Lord Riordan with a quiet smile that warms her eyes. "Goodday, Lord Riordan. It is a pleasure. Are you to be joining us on the ride?" She wonders, hands anxiously wrapped around the reigns while she turns the mare towards the conversation, but otherwise placid a placid picture in her uneasy seat.

"Oh, I'm told. Just by people who aren't going out for the ride. But you're quite right, I would have caught up eventually…after a bit of looking, perhaps." Riordan gives his horse a little, gentle pat of affection on it's neck. "Aha! So this is the good Lady Danae." He bows his head in greeting. "It is a pleasure to meet you, my Lady. My goodsister has spoken kindly of you." He glances about. "Are you looking forward to the ride, my lady? There is beautiful countryside around here to ride in."

"I am sure you would have found us…you are good at most everything.." Isolde says and brings Leyna up closer to Riordan to not make Tig move at the moment as the sworn saddle up and prepare to attend the ladies. She gives Riordan a quick look and then shifts in her saddle to get comfortable. "I am certain will take it slowly along the countryside, I am not feeling at my best today.." She says as excuse, giving a warm smile to Danae. "But there is a much to see and the knolls in the northern fields are great resting spots for when I grow tired…that is if you two do not mind waiting on me awfully."

"If only a bit of looking, perhaps we should not have denied you the opportunity then, m'Lord," Danae suggest lightly, amusement colouring her observations of their familial interplay. "Tis. I only wish I knew more to speak with to express my own views of your goodsister, the aquaintance has been a delight." She returns Riordan's short bow with a deeper one of her own. Opening her lips to reply to his question, Danae pauses as Isolde's words overtake her own. The full of them leaving her gracing the older woman with a smile of creeping brilliance, one that is shaded with subtle relief. "Not in the least, Lady Isolde. I look very much forward to seeing your countryside and would hate to miss a silver of it for the speed of the ride. It is an excellent day for it."

"You flatter me, goodsister. But thank you none the less." Riordan replies in kind to Isolde, his attention being split between her and Danae. "My goodsister is quite the gracious woman. We are lucky to have her in our family, that is for certain." He offers them both a small smile, while his horse gives a little shake of his head and a whinny. "Oh hush, Grishmorb. You've got no say in the matter." He gives a stern, but slightly amused, look at the back of his horse's head. "Now, where were we? Oh yes. We're about to take a casual trot through the countryside, yes?"

"You both flatter me…" Isolde says and than gives Danae a knowing and yet understanding look. "Let us start, no reason to linger. Much to see and well…should I feel ill. I would like to be back soon just in case." She kicks her heels into Leyna and the mare starts forward. It is then that Isolde brings her up along Danae, clicking her tongue to Tig as well to get the older mare moving as well. She winks at Danae and then looks back over her shoulder to Riordan. "Were you coming, my lord?" she asks him wiht a grin. Unlike her ususal rides, the Lady Nayland does not take off in a hurry, just a slow walk.

"Not many flatteries beyond the truth, Lady Isolde. It is too kind of you to continue with our promised tour, even with your — health," Danae says, thanking the other woman delicately. Even her meager skill is enough to cue Tigg into a steady walk, plodding along next to Isolde as they take to amble off into the countryside. It is unlikely that they shall outpace Riordan in any near time, so she asks, "Grishmorb is an…unusual name, m'Lord. How did you come to it?"

"The good Lady Danae speaks honestly, goodsister. They may on one hand be considered flatteries, but on the other hand they are most assuredly the truth." Riordan bows his head in a nod. Smirking at Isolde, he cues his horse with a slight tap to the side, and they're off to a soft trot, coming alongside Danae. "Grishmorb? Yes. Quite the unusual name, isn't it? It is a name I heard in a story a long time ago, about a little horsy that could. And, despite how my dear friend here appears now, he was quite the runt when I first found him. He was separated from his herd, a wild herd it was that I had been tracking, and I took a fondness to him. He reminded me of the horse in the story, named Grishmorb, and so I named him thus."

"I attempt to make certain only that my family and guests are at comfort." Which to that Isolde gives a long look to Danae, testing Tig for a moment with her gaze. It does however same that the older mare is in great form today and doing just as she always does, follow with the herd. Leyna throws her head with a whicker and seems to want to edge faster much as her rider usually does but the lady keeps her in reserve. The question of the lord's horse does make her lean to listen and look at the steed. "Wild herds…I did not realize that you tracked such things, goodbrother. It seems I am learning just as much about you as the Lady Danae today."

The good behavoir of the mare is not unwelcome by its ridier, her posture easing as they move, along with her death grip on the reigns. Danae returns Isolde's look with a slight nod and a slighter smile, before turning her attention towards Riordan's story. "You would not think it to look at him," she offers, keen eyes appraising the fine horse. "It is a most unique pastime — the tracking of horses, do you much enjoy it?"

"Wild herds. It is something that interests me, yes. More than that, though, it is something I've found myself doing to help in my tournament career." Riordan smiles. "I have, when I have been able, gone out, found the wildest horse in a herd, and attempted to break it. I would then proceed, if I had been successful, to ride that horse in a tournament. It's a unique practice, but I quite enjoy it. I really do."

"As you no doubt enjoy a great many other things, goodbrother. Like shooting at my servants.." BUt the way she says it gives the hint Isolde is in jest and she grins a little as the horses and riders reach the edge of the flood fields and begin to work downward into the lower lands that collect the rain waters. She tilts her head to look back at the sworn who are following and smiles. "It seems, my goodbrother enjoys archery, but does not perform as well as he does with a lance.." She tells the Lady Danae with a sort of tenor to her voice. The slosh of water and muck below them adds to their conversation.

"It seems to be an interst that borders on superstition, unless you still ride in the tournament regardless of your breaking of the steed," Danae suggests, looking over at Riordan impishly. "An impressive skill, though." Her attention soon turns back to Isolde, mostly hiding her smile beneath the fall of her hair. "Well, were men all around impressive, we would never dare speak with them. It is good to have a few faults to sweeter the balance and their humors." It is only the fall of the land that pulls her away from the conversation, eyes wide with fascination as she looks over the flood fields. "Are they quite sure of their footing here?" In the slosh of the murk and mud.

"Shooting servants is just one of my many talents, yes. But I dare not advertise it, else I may not be invited to the homes of others." Riordan quickly responds to Isolde. "And no, it is certainly not something I am as good at as using a lance. I'd not be a very good tournament knight if I were horrible with a lance." He grins and shakes his head at Danae. "It's not a requirement for me to enter into tournaments with such a horse. But it certainly permits me to make a noticable appearance should I win a tournament with a recently broken horse." He glances around at the ground at Danae's question. "Do not worry, my lady. Should your horse slip, I shall make to rescue you."

<FS3> Isolde rolls Animal Handling: Success.

Isolde smiles all the more, a soft laugh escaping her as they start to pass through some of the smaller brush. "The horses no the fields best, they are ridden here almost daily so you should have no need to worry." Isolde promises Danae and then begins to semi take the lead to get them turned the right way and towards the grottos. But a pheasant breaks the brush next to Leyna and herself, causing the horse to throw itself up, rearing. Isolde stays astride, but Leyna lands and whips about, side stepping and suddenly picking up her pace to start at a run while the lady gets her horse under control. It's a bit dodgy, but the Lady Nayland ends up a bit out of breath but safe none the less as she looks back to the others…

Tig though, with the surprise of Leyna and the pheasant whinnies loudly and bolts forward with Danae astride as the beating of wings rushes just over the Westerling's head and maybe even a brush across her face or shoulders. The old mare, bad of sight is spooked by the quick movements, rushing forward with all due haste to try to find it's once leader - Leyna who is off to the side and not within sight for the mare to identify.

<FS3> Danae rolls Animal Handling: Failure.

No sooner than are Isolde's words spoken then they are turned around once more by the fowl play of the pheasant and its break from the brush. "I am most gl — " Danae's own are broken by a pitched cry, hands pulling hard at the reigns as Tig abruptly breaks away from the group and crashes into the mire. The floodwaters spray slicking her sides at the mares thunderous steps, unsteady hands and ineffectual attempts at calm only urging the mare harder forward.

<FS3> Riordan rolls Animal Handling: Good Success.

In all the commotion, whatever Riordan may have said to in regard to their current topic is lost. His horse startled, most understandably, but he's able to get Grishmorb under control, quickly. Making sure Isolde is safe, he quickly moves to run go full speed after Danae. A frightened horse on the run can be just as dangerous as any weapon, something he learned many a time. With mud sloshing around he and his horse speed forward toward Danae and her horse, in hopes of catching up quickly and steadying the old mare.

A sound of dismay is made as Isolde becomes aware that Danae is well past and is continuing forward. "After them!" She cries to the sworn who are already in motion. There is a notion of great concern - perhaps fear in her eyes as the lady actually curses beneath her breath. Digging her heels in, she is after them as well, but not even near enough in hopes of catching them, not with the way the old mare is moving.

Tig may have the movement in full tilt at first, but there is no doubt her pace will not keep when another horse is seen. The mare, frantic in her fleeing feels the gut-wrenching clutch of the reins and nearly rears on Danae, throwing her head back a moment in what could very well a horrible head bump for the lady if she is not careful. Riordan is most definitely gaining.

<FS3> Danae rolls Animal Handling: Success.

Danae did not learn her previous lesson: that yanking on the reigns only leads a horse to rear. Those reigns, ill used as they were, are lost as Tig pulls up back panic. The blow solidly catches her in shoulder, nearly unseating her. Her hands scrabble for the pommel of the saddle, gripping it in a clutch to keep from sliding off the frantic horse and into the mired waters.

<FS3> Riordan rolls Animal Handling: Good Success.
<FS3> Riordan rolls Animal Handling: Great Success.
<FS3> Riordan rolls Reaction: Success.

Urging Grishmorb on, Riordan finally gains on Tig and Danae. Grabbing hold of reigns from the other horse, he pulls a tricky move where he pulls the two horses close enough together so that he can hop on Tig behind Danae and start to direct the horse in the opposite direction. "WHOA! Whoa, whoa, whoa." Before long the horse is successfully calmed and, taking a deep breath in, he sighs in relief. "Well, I think that about does it. How are you doing, Lady Danae?"

Isolde is at a dead gallop behind them, rushing to join the two. The sworn with her as well as she holds her breath at Riordan's foolish attempt. However, when he succeeds, there is a slowing of the group so as not to startle Tig again and the Lady Isolde comes wide around them so the mare may see Leyna and her rider. She is quite wind blown but otherwise much more untouched than the Lady Danae. Tig side steps a little but remains calm under the hands of the young Lord. "Danae, oh my….oh goodness…" Isolde is at a loss for words and brings her horse closer. "Are you well…is she alright?" She looks up to Riordan at that, her gaze wild with worry. SHe is near to looking like she might hop from her horse, her own skirts wet from the furious ride.

Riordan's horsemanship is observed through terror-wide eyes, glossy with fright as the small blonde keeps her death grip on the pommel of her saddle. As he seats himself behind her, he can feel that quiver of muscles and perhaps even the hammer of Danae's heart in her breast. It does not steady itself as they slow. She sits very still in the fold of his arms, afraid of any movement that might startle the horse again. "My thanks," she whispers in thanks for his aid. Swallowing thickly, she manages a shaky smile to the Lady Isolde as her court face slides back into her countenance. "I shall survive, Lady Isolde." It certainly /sounds/ steady, but the shuddering of her carriage against Riordan speaks otherwise.

<FS3> Riordan rolls Animal Handling: Great Success.

With a few sharp clicks of his tongue and a little whistle, Riordan seems to have commanded Grishmorb to come to their side, and even to nuzzle the neck of the older horse in a seemingly soothing manner. It's cute, in a way. Riordan ties the reigns from Grishmorb to the reigns of Tig, so he can direct the both of them at the same time. Glancing over to Isolde, he says, calmly, "Lady Danae shall be fine. But perhaps we should get back to the town. I can get us a nice cup of tea and we can all get calmed from this, understandably, nerve wracking experience?" While he speaks of being through a 'nerve wracking experience', and he can obviously feel how scared Danae seems to have gotten, he doesn't seem in the least bit shaken by what just happened. Though he does, perhaps, seem relieved that no one was hurt.

Isolde wears a smile for Danae's attempt at recovery and then nods to her goodbrother. "Yes, we should return. At once." There is not talk of her being ill or otherwise. She turns her horse about, Leyna seeming suddenly calmer for the chance at getting to run full tilt for at least a little bit today. Yet her gaze lingers over to Riordan and then make a quick study as she pulls up beside them, opposite Grish. The sworn take up their positions and Leyna relaxes easily into that slow walk, having lost her own anxiousness. "I had meant to show you the beauty of the land, not give everyone such a fright. Do forgive me, Lady Danae."

The horses are cute in their own manner, but Danae is no mood to mind them at the moment. She watches the ground as the move, steadily trying to calm her breathing and keeping her fingers in a firm clutch on the pommel. If she leans back a little against Riordan as adrenaline and terror fade to exhaustion and relief, there is no one to say but the lord himself. Startling slightly, she looks up at the lady with a smile. "You should not be asking for apologies, more that I should be thanking you Lady Isolde and you, Lord Riordan. Were it me alone touring, I should guess that I would be halfway through your waters and on my way to the ocena beyond," she admits, pretty words slightly wan with fatigue. "Your land shall just have to keep for another day. It is quite good at that, land."

"Frights do seem to happen, my goodsister. You shouldn't fret yourself. There is no way you could have known that this would happen." Riordan speaks softly, not seeming to mind for the moment whether or not Danae leans back. She's gotten quite the fright. It's something they all go through a few times when not accustomed to riding horses. Or, at least, not accustomed to having their horses go on frightened runs and the like. "We shall all return and calm ourselves and feel better shortly. I just know we shall."

Isolde keeps the group moving and takes the head, allowing Riordan the room he needs to manuver Tig and his tied mount. The lady leaves them to speak if they will as well. Was this all a ploy? Most likely not. But Isolde is issuing orders to one of the sworn who is riding ahead now to secure stablehands as well as let the kitchen staff know the group is returning in need to tea, change of clothes for all and some good warmed bake goods and possibly spiced wine. Once he is gone, Isolde remains at the fore, wanting to startle well ahead of the two behind.

Danae reminds quiet for a mark more as Isolde pulls away from them to issue orders to the sworn ahead, the fall of her hair and her forward seat on the saddle blocking the shift in her expression. Terror slipping away to something more thoughtful, her nails picking at the leather of the pommel as she gathers her words. "Thank you," she murmurs slowly. "That was…above and beyond."

Well, dealing with horses, having a lovely young woman to talk to and help, and not having to actually give all the orders to the servants? What more can Riordan ask for, really? "Just take deep breaths for now, Lady Danae. No thanks are needed by anyone. That you're safe and sound is thanks enough." He states, trotting the horses along on their approach back to Stonebridge.

Isolde pauses and smiles. "I am going to ride ahead to make sure everything is ready, I am certain my goodbrother will see you back more safely than I ever could. I will see you both.." Is that a grin? But Isolde is on the move, quickly too with one of the last two sworn, the last left with the two riding together. Soon the Lady Nayland is well out of ear shot and will most likely not be present when they arrive at the stables.

The young woman is not much help, but she likely does make a pretty picture seatedo n the horse with Riordan. At the Lady Nayland's decision, she opens her mouth to demur — but alas, Isolde has already ridden off with her retinue. "M'lord, had I already forgotten my breaths, I can assure you that I would have already fallen from this horse and into the floodlands," Danae manages with a hesitant laugh. Still, she does carefully inhale and exhale as instructed by the young lord. "I am afraid my well being is little enough, Lady Isolde had gone through such pains to plan the outting."

"But…Iso…Isolde!" Riordan sighs. He thought that was what sending the servants ahead was for. Sometimes he does not understand his goodsister one bit! "Well, let's be thankful, Lady Danae, that you did NOT fall into the floodlands. That is something none of us would have wished for." He chuckles softly. "I would not worry. My goodsister understands, I would think. Safety is first, always." For a few short moments, there is silence, and Riordan clears his throat. "So, my lady, what brings you to Stonebridge in the first place?"

"It would have been a noticibly damper walk back to Stronebridge." Walk. As there was no way in the seven gods or the drowned that she would have been getting back on the horse. "On the lighter side, I am a better swimmer than a rider so it is unlikely that you might have needed to sodden your leathrs, M'Lord," Danae offers softly, encouraging that chuckle. "Ah , but I do not think even your goodsister's precautions were prepared for this…" Trailing off, she releases one hand from the pommel to rub at her shoulder with a wince for its ache. The silence settles of them both. "Oh. It is on the business of trade with the Riverlands, especially Stonebridge. The Lady Isolde has been kind enough to offer me a stay in the Tower during my venture."

"Well, one way or the other, you didn't fall off, and we're here now. All safe and…well, mostly in one piece, I suppose." Riordan chuckles as Stonebridge's outer walls come into view. "And look, we're practically completely back. Soon we'll be comfortably back inside and we'll be safe and there will be no frightened horses to think of. Won't that be nice?"

The lord nearly earns himself a swat to the leg for his pandering, until the sodden lady thinks better of chastising her rescuer. At least for now. Instead Danae dips her head in a tight nod, "I do believe the lack of frightened horses shall be a welcome change, yes." The conversation trains off as they reseach the walls of Stonebridge, although she continues to lean against him comfortably. It will be nice.