Not Falling Off Cliffs (Horses Edition)

Berra — Not Falling Off Cliffs 02

????, Storm Season


Berra has spent some time with the clan. This story is a demonstration of accidentally rolling dice very well repeatedly, while trying to work through NPC reactions. [[[s01:session-27|session 27]]]-session 28.


Paddock Gate:

I never did this when I was here. I was fast but I was too young and too small. My mother did, though, and I was watching.

We stand at the gate, and Nastur pulls it open. The horses are frisking. Matila says it is dangerous to get too close. She says a lot of things. She’s pretty and popular, and tall and strong. I am pretty sure I can get to the pastures first. Pretty sure.

She walks forward. We all do. They know the right calls to sing, to keep a tight group through the gate, and then the horses are trotting along a path they all know well. The river is going down and the pastures are going to be muddy, but the horses have to meet the river god.

My walk stretches me as I go. Hard practice has made my running better, but I am used to smooth ground now. Turning an ankle would be terrible.

Turtle Rise (DEX x 5: 13):

The ground swells gently up. Everyone breaks into a run. I am faster than the rest. This is oddly easy, but I suppose it will get rocky soon. Matila looks in surprise at me as I slide past her, running like the ghosts of Storm Season are behind me.

I should have taken my armour off. I’m going to suffer later.

Three Head Culvert: (DEX x 5: 3)

Jemal cuts in front of me. He’s obviously trying hard. I can see the horses cantering off, but they need to slow to get into Three Head Culvert.

Jemal was always kind to me when I was small. Now he still towers above me but he just got in my way and I am not having that. I step right and speed up again. This is far easier than the run up Boldhome. I’m far ahead of everyone else and just behind the horses when I get to Three Head Rock.

Road to the water margin (DEX x 5: 46)

Jemal makes up some of the distance between us, but I am happy because I can smell horse and it reminds me of home, so long ago, I slow down on the half mile slope to the river, so I do not wheel out of control. There is a choice of paths ahead of me now and I cannot recall which one I chose to take.

Cliff-foot: (DEX x 5: 69)

The horses have slowed and I jump onto the rocky path that will lead me down fastest. They are trotting now, and I am still running. My first burst of speed is behind me – but so is everyone else. I get there before the horses and then remember my duties.

I have not been to the river yet this year. I stop to kiss the water, and then I am in front of the herd and things could get tricky.

Mud flats: (Herd: 30/30, Scan: 2)

They cannot eat here yet, but they have all splashed through the shallows, and they follow me, briefly under my control (30, herd) as I keep up the same wolf-lope speed that I use up past the Tribal manor. They do not know where to go, but I do. The far corner of the muddy ground is dry.

I stop, remembering where I am, and that I cannot currently pray to the River. I have been away too long. I whistle a sound I had forgotten I knew, and they turn with me, accepting me, and we move back to where the mud is less hungry.

Jemal is there. He’s fast. He saw me make the mistake, and he saw me bring them back. Bless him, all he does is shrug. We lead them up the incline together, at a walk. I remember the shouts and calls, (herd, 18) and he trusts me to take the left side. We are promising them food, in just a little while. I remember suddenly that my mother could do this in some way that is out of my memory but people here would know.

We turn across the top of the pasture and Jemal says casually, “Race you from halfway across.”

“Loser has to … wait, how did Nastur get there?” A glimpse of his tunic behind the Knife Rocks is enough. Jemal believes me, and we look at each other, and our lips both move in ways that will speed us on.

Vigour, for me. He chooses Mobility. But movement is my Rune and I am good at this.

Pasture: (Movement: 93, DEX x 5: 46)

He beats me by a little more than our combined heights, and we have to peel to either side to allow the horses to trot past, suddenly eager. They know their range, and now we have shown them the new route. Jemal looks at me with something like awe. “I thought you were going too fast, but that was impressive.” He wants to say more, but is wise enough not to.

Explaining Storm Season would be too much. I just shrug, and then nod to where Nastur is emerging from the rocks. “Bet you a clack that he whinges.”

Afterwards: (Herd: 7, DEX x 5: 40, CON x 5: 97)

Later the horses escape on their way back and I help to call them, which does involve a certain amount of running, and I am still much faster than Matila.

Then I am completely exhausted, and Jemal walks me back to my sister’s house to rest and fuss over Haran. The armour was definitely a mistake, and I don’t regret it one bit.