Luminous Stallion Censored

Finarvi — Luminous Stallion Censored

????, Fire Season, Movement Week


Context

1626, Fire Season, Movement Week, Clayday. Serala has been invited to talk to an important person. [[[s01:session-39|Session 39]]]

Events

Serala rides forward away from the duo who accompanied her. There is a paddock up ahead, and some frankly magnificent horses are being let out for the morning. Finarvi and Varanis are not invited.

Finarvi at least is aware of what these horses are: Goldeneyes. Half a dozen of them are now in the paddock Serala is approaching. That’s the most expensive herd of horses he has ever seen.

“Fin, do you know what this is about?” The Vingan is standing beside Doqeia, holding the horse’s rein and stroking her neck, while staring after Serala.1Scanning around: there is a man on horseback just setting off from behind them, to catch up. It’s a good but not great horse. He’s wearing straps that keep his spine straight. He’s heading in pretty quickly.

“I know no more than you,” Finarvi replies. “That splendid looking gentleman spoke to Serala in the street yestereve, says he is from the Feathered Horse Queen’s emissary. He certainly dresses the part.” Unlike the Vingan, he stays mounted, watching Serala.

“Your Grandfather… does he have connections to the Queen?” Varanis sounds puzzled and slightly worried. Then she turns to see the rider coming up behind them. “Fin? Do you know this person?” Her hand doesn’t drop to her hilt, but her stance shifts slightly.

Doqeia stamps nervously as the man behind them reins in at a polite distance, throws the most preemptory salute of greeting that Finarvi has ever seen, and asks in Pure Horse Tongue, <Did you sleep in this morning, that the infantry had to see me first?> His horse eyeballs Finarvi’s, possibly with the thought of forming a union to get away from all this.

Finarvi can’t match Serala’s cool arrogance, but his silence speaks volumes.

The new arrival looks down at Varanis, and then back up at Finarvi. <Bow, if you can be bothered,> he says. <But don’t strain anything. Are you Finarvi?> For Varanis, it is pretty only the name that is clear.

Finarvi gives a single nod that could charitably be considered a bow.2Pass Grazelander Lore

Grazeland Knowledge: Given the straps around this man’s body, he’s a long-distance rider and probably sleeps in the saddle. And he’s wearing a Yelmic medallion and his spear is… engraved with many runes of the Sun. And horses. And beasts. And his haircut? He’s probably a high-ranking member of a household, but he’s male and yet a messenger and not a warrior directly. So… someone from Luminous Stallion King. Probably with the power to make decisions on the King’s behalf, given the scars where his head is half shaved.

Doqeia stands placidly, for once. Maybe she is planning a sudden panic later.

Belatedly recognising the signs of this man’s authority, Finarvi regrets his haughty reaction to his curt greeting. “<I am Finarvi, son of Benetin Salt-Bringer,”> he offers.

Varanis deliberately keeps her breathing slow and steady, trying to radiate calm to the horse. She says nothing outloud, which is probably wise given the limitations of her Pure Horse Tongue.

<And I am Nargli, lord of Herds. I bear a message from the Luminous Stallion King. Do you want the short version?> The ‘messenger’ does not bother smiling, but he does not cut anybody down on their tracks either.

<I do,> Finarvi accedes, not wanting to waste this man’s time, or bleed on his finery.

<He says ‘Do not fuck this up,’> Nargli says wisely. <Translated, this means help your cousin, but not against him, or there will be the sort of trouble that leads to stories being told in quiet voices.>

Nargli’s voice sounds casual, easy, calm. He is almost conversational.

Finarvi smiles. He glances at Varanis, to see how much of this, if any, she is catching. He hopes it’s a reassuring smile for both her and Nargli. <That is my intention, Lord Nargli.>

Varanis looks between the two men, remaining silent and polite. It’s pretty clear this doesn’t involve her. She tries not to fidget.

<Good,> says Nargli. <There is man’s stuff and women’s stuff. Don’t let her having a lance convince her that she should step into politics when those collide. The Luminous Stallion King will want you to be a man, sometimes. Tell your curious little woman-friend that I was asking about her horse or some shit. I don’t care.> And he gives Finarvi a nod almost as contemptuous as the one Finarvi gave him, and his horse steps backwards before turning.

Finarvi leans back a little in his saddle, stretching his spine. “Well, what an interesting morning this is becoming,” he says in a quiet voice, almost to himself. He glances towards Varanis. “Doqeia caught his eye. I’m not sure if he was jealous or just disgusted that an outlander has a better horse than he does.”

Varanis looks at him curiously. “Why didn’t he talk to me then? And … Fin, his horse is beautiful. Doqeia’s a pretty beast, for a horse, but nothing like that.”

Shortly, the man is obviously out of earshot.

“A high ranking man of the Pure Horse People would never admit such a thing out loud, and certainly not to an outsider,” he winks at her.

“He spoke aloud of other things. He speaks as a messenger from the Luminous Stallion King.” Finarvi turns again to look towards Serala, involved in her own meeting.

Varanis raises an eyebrow at Finarvi. “And you said the other thing because?”

Finarvi grins at her. “I didn’t like his manner.”

“He did come across as a bit of an arrogant <<idiot>>,” Varanis says with a laugh. “We need to work on my insults. My vocabulary is rather limited still.”

Finarvi laughs. “I’ve taught you just enough to get into trouble, not enough to talk your way out of it. And don’t be fooled, his horse is good quality, but not the best.”

“Can you see Serala’s face? What’s going on over there?” Varanis sounds frustrated. “I hate not being able to help her.”

“I’m hoping she will fill us in.” Finarvi falls silent, thoughtful. The implication that the Feathered Horse Queen and the Luminous Stallion King might be politically opposing one another has unsettled him.

Serala seems to be making friends with horses, while talking. The herd has come over to see her and she is talking with someone who has chosen to ride the stallion.

And in the meantime, Finarvi will teach Varanis Serala’s favourite term for people like Nargli: <<giant stallion cock>>