the Rift

Glory [ Mandatory Herd Meeting!]

Paladin the Valiant Posts: 153
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3 hh :: 15 Years Buff: DANCE


[OOC: Okay, so this is where you IC post for new, open positions. The thread in the Foothills that has the rank information lists all open positions. ALL open positions are available! :D That means your character can be very highly ranked! All characters who do not post here and are not in the absence board WILL be demoted. For those like Saisands or others who have one on one Paladin threads, just a short snippet of you being here would be nice ]

Paladin finally parted from Gossamer, and he stood back, looking upon the battle as the victor. Though he was accustomed to winning spars, this challenged had pushed his body and pain tolerance to its limits. The cool, night breeze rustled through what was left of his burnt mane, and he closed his singed eye carefully, a grimace planted on his face. The stallion took a look around at the growing crowd and nodded kindly before resting against a tree.

He exhaled heavily and gazed upon each who stood, waiting patiently for his body to calm down and cool off. That took a few minutes, and he closed the eye that was still good and tried to focus on anything except the pain that was radiating in his shoulder, neck and face. Paladin finally found a sliver of peace in his heart and clung to it tightly, feeling his pain melt into the background.

"Greetings to you all," he said with pain still lacing his voice. "No doubt you are wondering what I am going to do now that I am leading you, but I assure you that not much will change except that I will need you. For those of you who knew me as ruler of the Tides, I stood for equality, and that is a position that I still take." His normally noble chosen words were dimmed down to simple, colloquial speak. Today was not a day for grand speeches, just calm words.

"First of all, I am going to speak to Indy, who I feel will no longer desire leadership after my conversations with him before. Second, I am instating my mate, Soleil, as the leader of the equines. She is noble, just and fair, and I would not have given her leadership if I did not honestly feel that she deserves the position. Many of you have seen and spoken to her, especially since she did a wonderful job parenting my reckless sons.". Paladin grimaced and smile and chuckled to himself, thinking on his four, beautiful children.

"Third, I will be instating a lead to represent the pegasus, as I feel that no species should be left out of leadership. I will handle the warriors, Soleil will handle the diplomats and our pegasus leader, hopefully, will not mind managing the crafters and healers." Paladin gazed around those who had gathered to read their expressions, hoping, praying for a positive outcome. "I hope to lead the Foothills into an active, well functioning enterprise."

The black dun's good red eye sought Mirage out of the crowd. "Also, the Qian will continue to be welcome in the Foothills, as will any open and equal group. I will not discriminate against any who have open hearts and minds to others." Paladin gently shifted his body from where he leaned against the tree and grunted slightly. "Now, I would like to hear if there are any positions in this herd that you would like to fill, as I would be thrilled to honor you with a title." He added this with an attempt at a smile despite his burned face.

"Also, if the healer would not mind taking a look at my burns, I would be grateful," he said with a small, wincing laugh.

Smoke the Wild Rose Posts: 128
Hidden Account
Mare :: Equine :: 15.2 hh :: 10 Buff: SWIFT
Zaffre :: Common Blue Dragon :: Fire Breath Kachie
Dark eyes watched the stallion, thoughtful but not entirely approving. Already she was aware of changes to her own body, small and subtle but undeniable. It made her quiet now, watching the end of the battle and listening to the announcements that he made. Ah, he was reinstating his Triumvirate. Of course. A low snort escaped her, recognizing that she was demoted at the very least. Much thanks she got there. Sacrificing her body to the Sun God's wiles only to have her leadership stripped from her because Paladin couldn't stand on the sidelines. Honestly she'd expected him to ask to lead with her, or at least be head warrior. But no.

It wasn't until he fell silent at last that she stepped forward, tail swishing against her haunches and back warmed by the presence of Zaffre. "And what of myself?" It was a rather loaded question. Indeed, what of her? He'd lifted Soleil to leadership of the equines, instated himself as leader of the warriors. Where did that leave her? But she didn't wait long for his answer before speaking again.

"We had an alliance with the Tuuli, the Throat. Have you plans to firm this alliance again?" She had no idea of how relations stood between him and Kri, and wasn't entirely prepared to volunteer herself out of hand as go-between for him and Soleil and the fiery Kri. That had been her alliance that she'd formed though.

Again she fell silent, having asked all that she wished to. But she didn't step back. Instead she stood with as proud a pose as she could muster. Paladin had to answer for himself.

Archibald the Dauntless Posts: 386
Absent Abyss atk: 6.0 | def: 9.5 | dam: 8
Stallion :: Equine :: 18.3 hh :: 10 years HP: 80 | Buff: SHIELD
Loretta :: Alaskan Malamute :: Time Slip Time
Archibald had stood carefully out of the way, eyes narrowed in concentration as he watched Paladin take leadership from the white mare. His heart was fully content with this new take on leadership. While he lived in the Mystic Woodlands he had known of Paladin's strong leadership of the Tides and was welcoming the stallion to lead the Foothills. Paladin was strong, stood for equality, amongst other things that linked the two black stallions to be very similar. Lifting his chin some Archibald took a step forward, watching the black dun as he addressed the herd.

Paladin spoke of minimal changes, most of then directed at the herd's hierarchy. Archibald's ears perked in interest, as Paladin could probably have guessed by the presence of the male at the last herd meeting and his desire to hold the spot of head warrior. Archibald was a born leader--strong, steady, and calculating. Blinking golden eyes gently the dark monster let his voice rumble, "Paladin, as my interests still remain, I desire to step up into a greater warrior rank, if you deem my skills worthy to protect this land." The great beast locked his eyes with Paladin's one open crimson eye, nodding his head lightly in a show of respect. Archibald moved his head to watch Smoke, his tail swishing lightly as he hid his disrespect and annoyance at the mare. His eyes stayed cold, silently judging what was going to unfold before him and the rest of the herd.

Casimir Posts: N/A
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The blind youngster followed the scent of his brother, knowing that a challenge for their herd's leadership had gone down. Casimir left his nose close to the ground, scenting out Archibald over the scent of blood and burning flesh. The grey's stomach churned in anticipation before his hooves settled restlessly behind the over-powering stature of his brother. Casimir listened intently as the stallion before him spoke. His voice was rough and filled with pain, but his strength persevered despite his...smelly injuries. Casimir let his breathing slow, trying not to take in the scent around him. The tall grey lowered his head further, his soft skin touching blades of grass that tickled his lips and fueled his hunger. He refrained from taking a bite, surely Archibald would be angered and discipline him for disrespecting their new leader. Casi sighed, tail swishing against his legs.

Lifting his head up slowly Casimir let his words come out slowly, making sure he got them just right. "I have been trained as a warrior my entire life, by my brother," He gestured to Archibald, "But, as I am not in my second year of life, what rank, if any, can I call to?" Casimir hoped to seem intelligent by his words. He felt the herd swelling around him and he became steadily uncomfortable, tail and ears twitching oddly.

Paladin the Valiant Posts: 153
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3 hh :: 15 Years Buff: DANCE


Paladin had thought better of Smoke before her words betrayed her, and he stifled a scowl at her pointed, attacking words. With a patient sigh, too tired and pained to be insulted by her lack of tact, the stallion replied. "I have awarded you the position of Head Warrior, as you are well proven in battle. A herd with four leads of the same species did not well represent the community here." The black dun watched her with his single crimson eye, his expression more stern than before.

"I intend to speak to all the herds and maintain a working relationship with each, as was my position in the Tides - which you know," he replied pointedly. "I will wait and see if there are any future diplomats who wish to spread their wings, but you are more than welcome to join them, if you wish." He then watched as a proud, dark stallion, obviously a warrior stepped forth and made his future plans known.

"I admire your goal, Archibald," he said with a nod respectful for a warrior. "If you can prove to me that you are capable of winning more battles that Smoke and then defeat her, then I will award you the position. A warrior should always be on his or her toes, working to better themselves in the art of war. It is an unfortunate and beautiful necessity to have an active and well trained standing army." He explained, smiling gently at the noble warrior. "I will spar with you myself once my burns heal."

A young stallion, barely out of his childhood spoke that he was trained by the dark warrior, and Paladin smiled. "If you can prove yourself in battle, Casimir, then you are fit to be a warrior," he replied, looking into the eyes of the youngster kindly. "I was your age when I engaged in my first true fight, and I encourage you to follow what you desire."

Now, he waited for the words of the others.

Mirage the DragonHeart Posts: 414
Deceased atk: 5.5 | def: 9 | dam: 6
Mare :: Equine :: 15.3 :: Eighteen HP: 68.5 | Buff: ENDURE
Akaith :: Royal Golden Dragon :: Fire Breath Whit
It was interesting, this challenge within a herd that was peaceful. Mirage's initial alliance with the Foothills had been based largely upon her friendship with Gossamer, the pale mare whom she had aided obtain milkweed so many years ago in Isilme. The mare was unsure how to handle this challenge - she was upset because of the feelings she had invested in Gossamer, she knew Gossamer would be devastated by this. The mare loved her herd, and worked hard for it. Her peaceful views were difficult to juggle however, Mirage was not blind to see that even a peaceful herd must fight and squabble, as dominant types would always exist even when beliefs were similar.

The little shadow mare heard news of the fight from her dragon, who was sensitive to the goings on of other dragons, particularly those bonded with her allies, and so she moved swiftly, nearly invisibly across the lands, soon flanked by her brothers. The fight had just settled, it would seem, with the stallion whose mane resembled a young unicorns she had interacted with briefly, perhaps in the Threshold. A member of the Throat? She pondered at the thought of their relations, but put such things on hold for now.

Smoke stood near her, radiating mild disapproval of the new lead stallion's choices, voicing completely justified questions. The stallion saw fit to demote her powers here, even though Smoke had been more than worthy enough to carry the title. This was interesting indeed. The brothers that stood by her sides nodded their greeting to the mare they still considered their military leader, before giving a slightly less enthusiastic greeting to Paladin as well. They had to respect him for his prowess on the battlefield, but they did not know him, nor trust him - both things which took time to earn and learn. The mare's magic dripped away from her now, and she was silently pleased to hear him acknowledge the Qian.

He is happy to step into role of Leader of a strong herd; I wonder what he would have done had the herd been truly failing - does he hold the capabilities to raise it up, help it grow? Leading a herd with solid foundations already in place is all well and good, but I am curious to know what, is anything, he plans on doing differently to make it 'greater' still. The thoughts ran through her mind quickly, chattering away to her bonded, who sat quietly upon her back, thoughtfulness behind her eyes of whirling ambers, reds and oranges. Akaith longed to comfort Lazulli, but they had made themselves scarce soon after the battle. We will seek them out, dear one. We must ensure she is all right.

Paladin spoke now, addressing Smoke's concerns. He made a fair point indeed, and she felt the cogs within her own cranium turning with inspiration and hope for her own future plans. A small sigh was exhaled, and the mare stepped forward to speak.

"I can not hide my pleasure in your acknowledgement of us, Paladin. The Qian will continue to serve the Foothills as allies, and is eternally grateful to your continued offer of a safe place to rest our travel-weary hides." The little shadow spoke with an honest strength behind her voice, dipping her chiselled tiara to the steed who had, for all intents and purposes, earned his right to stand before them as the new Foothills Leader. She was interested to know whether the Foothills might now offer more military support for herself and the Qian's future aims, but thought better of announcing such queries in the midst of their herd meeting. "When time has soothed your injuries, I ask that we may speak again, Paladin." She simply stated, bowing her tiara and resettling her position between her brothers, who stood silently still.

[ Madyrn and Maskan are with her, I am assuming they are still OK to be listed as Warriors? ]

Ricochet the Incendiary Posts: 133
Stallion :: Equine :: 15.2 hands :: 5 years Buff: BULK

"You didn't tell me the herd would be so, lively," Ricochet mutters under his breath to Smoke. Although his words are light, his tone is heavy with discontent. Ricochet's standing just beside Smoke, clutching to her as a base of familiarity among all this strange. Their walk back from the Threshold had set them to arrive not minutes before the challenge was issued, providing fantastic standing room to watch. In that time Ricochet had scrutinized the black dun heavily, absorbing all knowledge he could of the stallion's battle strategies.

It did not sit well with Ricochet that a unicorn would now be his leader. Smoke had told him in the Threshold he might cross one occasionally here; this would be a frequent torment instead. He couldn't blame the grulla however, she hadn't known of this and really where else would he have gone if not this herd? He wouldn't leave Kimber and Jackal to serve beneath a horn for Nieque's sake!

Hiding his anger as best he could, Ricochet let himself focus on Smoke. Her own disapproval was one he appreciated, although he suspected it was for different reasons. Regardless, he supported her. Although Ricochet and Smoke had fought over titles before, he respected her enough to know her a good lead, he just didn't appreciate losing to her. Either way Paladin had made a mistake in dethroning her, one which only furthered the dunskin's unrest. Perhaps others will feel similar... he thought hopefully. From what Ricochet had picked up from Smoke on their walk back, the Foothills wasn't the Oasis of Isilme. Paladin maintained that equality streak Gossamer had established, and regardless of the king, queen or fool running the place, that was a theory he just didn't agree to. He'd need support though if he planned to change that, and it seemed that while many might not sit well beneath Paladin and his leadership options, they had been fine beneath Gossamer and her peaceful mixing. Was there no one who still stood with honor for their race?

Nieque help me.

Ricochet would need a whole lot of help. Not only in the form of like minded equines, but he'd have to find an inner strength to stomach living here and minding himself enough to avoid premature exile. What was it he'd said to Guns before they left the Threshold, time to put on their shit-eating grins? Between his sister fucking a unicorn and producing a mixed blood equine bastard, his childhood love doing the same and producing a hideous unicorn, and now being lead by a unicorn, Ricochet was becoming rather tolerant rather fast, though not by much choice. If he succeeded in his plans he'd be sure to exterminate unicorns first for all the trouble they'd personally caused him. Pegasus seemed much less irritating today.

Sighing, Ricochet swallowed the dryness from his mouth and stepped forward just enough to be noticed. "I'll take warrior." The stallion paused, lingering for a moment before speaking up once more. "Ricochet the Incendiary, and Guns." The collie at his heels gave a soft bark to his name, well aware now of that garble of words that meant an introduction. Satisfied that he was proper enough, the dunskin sunk back beside the Wild Rose. teal eyes drifting over the crowd.

Paladin had said he'd given Smoke the honor of Head Warrior. The stallion could nearly spit at that. Some honor that was compared to being the military lead that whore traitor Soleil (oh yes he remembered her from his colthood, or rather remembered her deeds) now stood in. Maybe if Smoke slept with the Valiant she'd be re-crowned? Regardless, Ricochet intended to wrest it from his dear friend Smoke in time. He was not satisfied just being Warrior, and although he felt the grulla surely deserved it an more, he had plans to achieve and a better title would give him better notice. That, and he owed her anyway.

For now that, he let such thoughts roll into the dark back of his mind. And he just smile a slight, stupid smile, it would go nicely with his dog's lolling, happy tongue.

to the sound of a time bomb ticking away

Willow Posts: N/A
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.arborun lignea .. .mare. ..23 years. .. .16.3 hands.

[Willow would be interested in the Storyteller rank :3]

Tree limbs shook and wavered and otherwise talked a great deal. Willow winced at the noise they made, all her leafy tendrils sweeping across one another constantly. She was certainly no sneak....

Great hooves left large marks in the earth in areas where it was soft as she passed the grounds. Try as she might to be considerate, she has a certain heft to her frame that she cannot make glide any better. Well, she was certainly found out now, so no sense in trying to crawl up for a better look.

Willow had missed the fight, wandering the scenery, but she was observant to the rising gathering and caught some of the passing words. She was hesitant to approach however, due to the being that she is. Poppy was less than explanatory, a bit rattled in the head she supposed from her fainting. Willow still wasn't sure how everyone here would take a Lignea in their presence, however the lurking she'd been doing as of late gave her hope. For the most part this herd seemed peaceful and they had a large amount of various animals. No better time than now to learn.

Striding forward with confidence now, so as to appear strong, Willow strode into obvious sight. "Good afternoon," she greeted calmly, her words soft and kind, yet firm. If she were to be chased out she would have it with dignity and some amount of effort from their part. After all she was an aborun, not a flossus. From the branches above arose a chattering as Ermine came bounding down, black eyes intent on the crowd as he lingered at the base of the willow tree sprouting from her back. His forepaws touched on her back, tangling a bit in the moss that had taken to growing there. He wanted to be in on the action too, as always.

"I am Willow, a Aborun Lignea. Ermine, upon me, is my companion. I am an ancient type of creature, though not well known. I hail from Prim'sylvia, and have traveled here in the hopes of learning more of your civilization, as I have traveled to many places in my long lifetime. I hope to learn much and provide understanding to my homeland in an eventual future." She hoped she was not dull or overly talkative, but she needed to get some things very clear from the beginning. She was here in peace and on a mission of knowledge, and although she eventually intended to return home, she would live here for many years if they would have her. "I followed Poppy here, if I need a name for protection." Again she paused, gold eyes steady as they upheld those present, trying to gauge them, muscles bunched in preparation to flee if it came to that.

"If you'll have me, I serve well as an herbologist and historian. Though I know little of your land at present, I intend to learn much and remember all, and to teach what I know of and will be learning, if minds prove interested." Willow decided to leave out the fact that in Prim'sylvia she was part of the guard. It was not a fitting position for her, merely the normal rank for a Lignea of her breed. Truthfully her interests had always been in healing, whether it be with the properties of plants or those of an ear willing to listen to a troubled mind. She hoped eventually her learning would develop magical healing, as yet unsprouted within her. Then of course, one can heal just with understanding and the eradication of ignorance. That was how she hoped to heal her home. That was why she was here.

Ink Posts: 121
Hidden Account
Stallion :: Equine :: 16.2 hh :: 6 years

I wander here more or less in the shadow of Rishima. Though it took me some time from our original meeting in the Meadow, I felt too weak whenever I abandoned the stream during that Tallsun season, I am here now. I've begun to gain new perspective on life, namely a brightening attitude. I have actually made something akin to friends in the past seasons I've resided here in Helovia, and that's only made me aware of my crippling solitude. I am not a lonely creature by nature, rather I've been forced into my own companionship by the mere lack of others.

I have tried this before, the herd life, and it never went well. But I am more confident with my age and my new friends, and I think that even if it fails again I'll be able to hold strong rather than splatter on the ground like tossed ink again. So, dragging my nose across the sweet grasses, sweeter even in their sun blazed state than those of the wild foods that I've been surviving on, I happen upon the herd in the start of a meeting.

I pause, hesitant to intrude. After all I'm mainly here for the...what did she call it again? The Khan, the qean, the swan? ...Qian... Ah that's right! Someone just said it. Hmm, perhaps then I can walk up, if the Qian is being spoken of? I glance back at the way I'd come, still wondering if I should just leave. I've already come though, I might as well accomplish something even if all that something is ends up being a fool. Nothing I'm not use to anyway.

Resigned to my fate I approach the gathering, looking in vain for Rishima. Small and quiet I stick to the outskirts, my long tail dragging limply behind me. Though I don't mean to, my thoughts have wandered to the flora here, namely the sweet grasses, and the ink that flows ever so from my tail tip begins to draw my mind's words.

Tag me only if starting a new thread.
Magic or force permitted any time, aside from death.

Query Posts: 48
Hidden Account
Mare :: Equine :: 15 :: 7
Query watched the fight with a slight disgust. She never approved of fighting, and was naturally peaceful in nature. But it wasn't really the fight that disgusted her the most. It was this stallion challenging Gossamer of all horses. Although she didn't know a lot of Gossamer she took a liking to her when she was first greeted in the Threshold. Then again Gossamer welcomed her with a warm greeting after she had spent a few months just roaming around the land not sure what to do with herself.

The unicorn was now speaking to all who had gathered. He was assuring all that things weren't going to change much. Though his talk of equality among the 'races' did impress her. She might not of known of these other 'races' before she found Isilme and then finally meeting some for the first time once in Helovia, she already didn't see them as any different from herself.

She listened halfway as others made their cases, not really paying attention to who was talking, just trying to observe all that were there. There were a lot of faces here that she didn't know.

Then a somewhat familiar voice had popped up. She recognized it from her time in the Threshold. She knew the voice because this other mare had followed Torasin in. She was speaking of this other group that the new lead unicorn had mentioned in his speech, this Qian group. She still wasn't quite sure of all the details behind this Qian group, but figured that she could always find out more later, at a bit more opportune of a time.

Then this other stallion spoke up now. He had arrived with the first mare to speak, that grulla with the scars. He asked for warrior position while introducing himself and he companion.

Query did take a moment to make note of the companion. This was something that was familiar to her, having grown up on farms she had seen her fair share of dogs, the majority of them of course being collies.

Then something else came up that Query didn't know what to make of this. It appeared to be a tree that had rooted on the back of a horse. She was completely memorized by it's slow and steady movements.

Then the 'creature' introduced herself. Willow, Query echoed in her head. Fascinatin'. This Willow mentioned wanting to be a herbalogist and historian. The historian part really peeked Query's interest. She had always wanted to know more about other lands ever since she stumbled across Isilme, and now here was someone from another of those distant lands also wanting to learn more.

"Hello there good sir," she bowed her head a bit as she addressed Paladin. "I'm still new in this heard, and have no interest in fighting, but much like Willow here, I would love to learn more of this land, and others as well."

Kimber Posts: 82
Hidden Account
Mare :: Equine :: 15.2 hh :: 4 (Ages in Tallsun) Buff: NOVICE
Kaiden :: Common Kitsune :: Electric Kachie
For once, there was no evidence of the boisterous, irrepresible filly that was so commonplace for her. Instead, Kimber stood close beside Ricochet, muzzle tilted toward his shoulder while her blue eyes peered with wide-eyed anxiety at Paladin. It wasn't so much the fact that he was a unicorn that had her worked up, but the fact that he'd knocked the balance of the Foothills askew, the very balance that had made her life so simple and easy. And she wasn't entirely sure what to make of it.

Her water-ferrets were sitting on her back this time, their bodies more corporeal than they had been in the Threshold. The greater supply of water here provided them that, and they were somewhere between liquid and vapor. One scampered up her neck to sit between her ears, leaving damp footsteps, while the other huddled in the curve of her back.

Her ears twitched as she listened, absorbing information and trying to make sense of things. The leaders had changed entirely, her mother was now General. There was a leadership role for the non-existant pegasi population. She wondered at this, even as Ricochet stepped forward to volunteer for a warrior position before stepping back between herself and Smoke.

Her thoughts were interrupted by an entirely unfamiliar voice, and her gaze flickered briefly toward the source. Only to come back again with startled surprise at the sight of an enormous mare with a willow tree growing on her back. Now she'd seen it all! Or at least assumed so. But her curiosity could only be held for so long, before she looked back to Paladin.

Gathering her courage, Kimber stepped from the shadow of Ricochet's side. "Excuse me, Paladin. But why are you leaving open a spot for a pegasus when they all choose to live in the Throat or with Mirage, except for Xenos? And we didn't have any unicorns until Archibald brought his family here, and then you." Her voice gained strength as she kept going. "We had equine leaders because none of the unicorns expressed interest until you, and now you've changed everything."

Saisands Posts: N/A
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frozen faces can always melt, push this echo in the outside world

Saisands stood on the sidelines of all the commotion that was the meeting. It was almost like glancing upon organised chaos, she thought bitterly. Nothing having seen the challenge that the new leader, Paladin had forced on the former Gossamer, she was unsure of what to make of him. Yet not having known Gossamer all that well she pushed doubts out of her mind. He was her leader, and the beautiful young femme knew better than to hold grudges before any sort of judgment was fit to be made. So she waited patiently, listening to what he had to say. Her superior was singed, and the smell of burning flesh brought an unsavoury feeling to her. It was almost sickening. But she prevailed, and began to take pity on him. Injuries of the magnitude were only sustained when a true fight had taken place, and this was something that she silently admired.

The charcoal tawny brute reacted slightly to his injuries, but continued to address the herd members. And with this she dipped her pretty golden crown to him. She approved. It wasn't that her flirtatious, innocent manner was deceiving her better thoughts, she simply thought that a magnificent brute as himself deserved to be given the benefit of the doubt. Let's give him a chance, and see if he proves his worth. Talk of him having already led a herd was fairly comforting to Saisands - she understood that experience was key, especially in the plans that he was following. The thought of having separate leaders for the separate races of the Foothills herd was slightly odd, but respectfully, she did not voice this opinion. Remaining silent was on her agenda, waiting patiently for her new superior, Paladin, to come to her. She wanted a rank that possessed possibilities and meant little fighting, and this was what she did. She waited.

Poppy Posts: N/A
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[ ooc || Rishi can be standing by Mirage and MadMask please ^^

I'll get a real Poppy post up in a minute ]

Solstice Posts: 93
Mare :: Equine :: 15 hh :: 8 (at time of death)

Solstice & Aaron
No bond is ever stronger, than that of a Mother and Child

The mother and son pair had been looking on as the battle between the two had begun. The call from the once lead stallion of the Tides had slightly unerved the dual colored fem. Gossamer had been like a mother to her. But things within the herd had not been how they should of been. Hazel eyes looked on as attack after attack was taken by each. The end result, Gossamer and her bonded left and Paladin was the new lead. With a heavy sigh she listened to the call. What were they in for now. Together the pair moved forward, hazel eyes of the mother looking to the chocolate eyes of the son. What did they face now? The pair moved to stand on either side of Smoke, Ricochet and Kimber. Anger was in Solstice's eyes. After all Smoke had done for the herd, he made her head warrior? Oh of course.... Soleil got the equine lead position in his tri leadership. Then again.... what did any of them really expect.Soleil always slept with the one who could advance her position no matter the feelings other had for her.... As others spoke up of taking positions of rank, the dual colored fem sighed and looked to Smoke for guidence. If she was going to be head warrior, Solstice would stay and remain a warrior under her. "I will stay as a warrior." She simply said. Solstice wanted to say more but a look from her son quieted the fem. Softly she whispered to Rico "After this meeting.... We need to talk." Her hazel eyes then turned back to those around her. Query was also there. Softly she whinnied a hello to the fem, concerned. Gossamer had brought her in.... Now what would half the herd do?

Aaron on the other hand was surprised to find it was Phi's dad and mom that now ruled the Foothills. He watched as Mirage came as well, glad to know the Qian was still welcome. It seemed like every day now he was more inclined to leave and just be a member of the Qian. Now with this turn of events he dared not leave his mother here on her own. His eyes looked to the brother on either side of Mirage. His trainers. Now fully grown, his body was stronger than ever before. He needed more training in ways to fight. It was only when Kimber spoke up that Aaron did as well. "She's right. What would you like us to do, go talk a stranger who has no interest in this herd to become a new leader?" Aaron stepped to stand beside Kimber then, showing his support for what she was saying. A warning look was thrown from his mother's eyes but he ignored her this time. "You've changed everything to how you had it in the Tides.... Who's to say that will work here."

"Solstice speaks"
"Aaron speaks"

Xenos Yaro Posts: N/A
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There were many voices and scents floating through the air that Xenos had decided to stay a bit on the distance when he arrived to the meeting. Not too far away, close enough to look part of the group, but the distance was enough to not get in anyone's way when there were so many around. He tried to sort the sounds and smells out, focus his ears on the voice of a stallion who appeared to be their new leader. Xenos had not really met the leader he had defeated, and wondered if the former leader had done something bad.

Others were introducing themselves and ranks were talked about. Did he want a rank? Most of it seemed to be warrior and he knew how fighting turned out for him. Diplomat? That would probably require a lot of traveling and Xenos did not feel like travel anymore in a while. He was content with just having a home.

Slow and carefully, he walked a bit closer to be able to make himself heard, stopped and directed his nose towards the direction of which Paladin's voice had been coming from. "I am happy if I am just allowed to stay here, sir. Not sure what else I can do than to keep others company and greet newcomers." It seemed calm and peaceful enough for him, at least until he felt like moving outside the borders again. He would certainly not go further than the Threshold.

Paladin the Valiant Posts: 153
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3 hh :: 15 Years Buff: DANCE


Paladin's eyes landed on the black and golden mare, and he listened to her words. The stallion was pleased that his decision to keep the Qian was acknowledged, since the others, primarily equines, seemed to be picking him apart already. The black dun ached, and he was quickly running out of patience and energy to deal with nonsense. He wished that Soleil were here at his side to help him shoulder the brunt of this madness, but she was busy herding their children.

"As the Foothills will serve you as an open band should you require," he replied gently to Mirage, the strength of his booming voice fading as the pain continued to burn. The fact that a new, dun stallion strode up closely to Smoke in her moment of chiding him incited the stallion's deeply seated paranoia, and he narrowed his good eye carefully. Still, he said he wanted to be a warrior, and Paladin admired Smoke's abilities. If he was anything like her, then the dun was welcome.

"I have made note of your rank, Ricochet the Incendiary and Guns, and I will put it into effect immediately," he replied firmly, hoping that by pleasing some of these irritated equines that he would finally get some measure of peace. The next to stride in made Paladin's eye widen with curiosity, intrigue and awe, and he could do nothing for a few moments but stare. An equine carried a tree upon her back, and a small, woodland creature moved about on her boughs.

"Greetings," he replied. The way she spoke reminded him of a tree, and he smiled kindly. "A lignea you say? I have never before hear of your kind, but I am fascinated. The Foothills will be eager to learn of your tales as well as your methods in herbology, particularly with winter approaching," he said, his voice carrying an awestruck tone. He quickly tried to return his voice to normal, and he took a moment to mull over her abilities. "Would you be interested in serving this herd as the Storyteller?" he asked. "You would be responsible for maintaining the chronology, relaying tales of importance about distant lands and Helovia, as well as any other tasks suit your purpose."

Another equine mare spoke up and Paladin looked at her, nodding. "I encourage you to also gather tales of Helovia from the others and return them, and I give hope by your desire to learn. Not many desire such an admirable goal," he told Query before hearing Kimber. A complainer. There were right ways and wrong ways to go about bringing up matters, and only a few of these equines seemed blessed with tact.

Paladin watched as a mother warrior and her son followed in and the black dun stallion nodded in response to her wanting to be a warrior. Then, he listened as she seemed to want to speak privately with Ricochet and Smoke; based on their attitudes, this entire development was proving to be quite worrisome, and he grimaced before listening to a strong, pinto colt. Was that not Aaron? The one who had enjoyed Ophelia's company?

He turned to Kimber. "As I previously explained, an open, equal herd can only be properly represented if all species are in leadership," he replied, his voice strained with discomfort. "Many pegasus prefer also to live in the Throat because they were not openly invited here, or perhaps they were concerned by the over abundance of equine leads. My daughters currently live in the Throat, and I will speak to them and the diplomats about how to best invite our winged friends into our open midst."

"To address your other statement, you are false. I have expressed interest in joining the ranks as a lead through being a warrior. In a spar with Smoke, I emerged victorious, and I had assumed that my prowess in battle would prove that I was worthy coupled with my era of peace in the Tides. I am not interested in maintaining a system that does not reward those who actively work to better themselves in the system." Paladin explained this as calmly as he could, but his patience for these incessant questions was growing thin.

His crimson gaze leveled on Ophelia's friend. "The system in the Tides worked. For the longest time in history, the beach was open and free for all who wished to join. Economics forced the Sect to invade because as a group of racist unicorns who held emotional ties to the sands, they had no other choice. Obvious choice, anyway. They could get themselves burned by the equines in the Lush Oasis, the largest herd. Or they could have invaded the Woodlands, a land which held many secrets and was primarily mixed from the beginning, or they could pick on the open group of the Tides which had unicorn history as well as less herd members," he said and looked at the colt pointedly. "Which do you think they would choose? Now, the unicorns have the Edge, and I intend to make sure that Mauja does not have his sites set on expansion. As for the Throat, Smoke has forged an important bond. Unless a group of racist equines decides to throw a wrench in this entire operation, the future is clear."

Paladin's crimson eye settled on Smoke as he spoke this, as well as Solstice and the newcomer who all seemed keen on meeting in private. "I intend to invite more pegasus to live among us and have you all as a collective vote on which you believe would make the best leader."

Another pegasus strode in and he smiled. "You must be Xenos Yaro," he said kindly. "You are more than welcome to stay, and as a member of this herd who will perform the important duty of inviting newcomers in, you are held in high esteem."

[OOC: Skipped Saisands because of other thread. All other ranks will be maintained. :) ]

Smoke the Wild Rose Posts: 128
Hidden Account
Mare :: Equine :: 15.2 hh :: 10 Buff: SWIFT
Zaffre :: Common Blue Dragon :: Fire Breath Kachie
Disapproval was slowly growing, morphing into other emotions. Irritation, anger. But they were kept tightly leashed, heat altering into something cold, something dangerous. Yet it would be hard for an observer to realize just how much her dislike had escalated. She was still, ears tilted slightly back, muscles tense but not the slightest twitch giving her away. Not even Zaffre displayed anything out of the ordinary to the casual observer. Jade eyes had narrowed, and the flaps on the sides of his head were more brightly colored than usual, but even he didn't move.

She listened to the others, aware of their words of actions, but her thoughts whirled. Mentally weighing the pros and cons of the decisions she could make from here. Paladin had granted her the 'honor' of being General, stripping her of leadership when it had been Gossamer he had challenged and beat. And in the next breath encouraged Archibald to strive toward the very position he'd oh so kindly gifted to her. That very thought irked her to no end, knowing that the stud would have plenty of time to prove himself and strive for excellence while her belly swelled with the Sun God's child.

When she spoke, her voice was even and cool. Almost icy in her deliberate politeness. "I appreciate the... honor you have offered me, Paladin. But I must refuse. All that I have strived for when I came to Helovia has been accomplished, and there is no further need of me here. Those who have followed me are safe, and others who came later are as safe as I can make them."

She stepped back, backing out from between Ricochet and Solstice and turning to walk toward Mirage. "I do not expect anyone to share my decision, but I choose to follow Mirage back to the Deep Forest." Unspoken was the fact that she did not intend to return anytime soon. Falling in beside the ebon mare, she turned her dark eyes back toward Paladin and the rest of the Foothills, drawing up every speck of quiet dignity she could muster. But she could feel Zaffre thrumming with repressed energy at this point, and her own anger simmered beneath the icy exterior she put forward. The Foothills would be burnt beyond recognition without her selfless actions, and what thanks did she get? None. She could barely stand it, but still she stood motionless beside Mirage, even if she wanted to stalk away until she came to the outskirts of the Foothills, and then run until her legs would carry her no farther. Not yet, not yet.

((Just FYI, this is entirely Smoke's decision and has nothing to do with my views on the leadership change. In case anyone thinks to read too deep into the post. Likely Kimber will stay, but that's a decision she'll make based on the reactions of others to Smoke's outcasting herself.))

Paladin the Valiant Posts: 153
Stallion :: Unicorn :: 16.3 hh :: 15 Years Buff: DANCE


Paladin hurt. He could feel blood sliding down from his shoulder and around his legs, and the top of his crest was getting crusty with blood as well. The side of his face was beginning to grow dark with scabs of ooze, and he was more than just a little uncomfortable. Why were they pressing him for answers he was still working out while he was standing before them, a bleeding statue of wounds while their former lead escaped with scratches and bruises? He grunted in irritation.

Then Smoke spoke with such ice in her tone, putting down the high position he had given her, and the Valiant furrowed his brows in deep confused. His crimson eye danced between her and a few others, absolutely at a loss. "I do not understand," he said simply. "The position I gave you is honorable for a warrior, and I meant no disrespect." The black dun stallion took a weak step forward, limping on his injured leg. His head was cocked to the side in a gesture of odd confusion.

Though Smoke's secretiveness with the others incited his paranoia, he had often thought highly of the mare. She was the first he had seen upon arrival, and he had deeply enjoyed their spar. Smoke was no nonsense, to the point, and a damn good fighter. "If you do not like the title I gave you, why do you not speak to me about it personally? You have known me for years. Am I that unreasonable in your eyes?" he asked, his good eye seeking honesty. "Do you think that I would force you into a position in which you are unhappy?"

Smoke said that he would follow Mirage to the Qian, and he nodded once, trying to deny the fact that his heart sank a little. He had assumed, obviously foolishly, that she, with a warrior's heart, would appreciate the structure. "If that is what you want, I shall not deny your exit," he replied quietly. "However, if you wish to discuss other options, I am open. I will be here." Paladin grimaced, pleased that his pain was keeping his true feelings on the matter at bay: sadness.

"You are always welcome back. I have always thought very highly of you." Perhaps it was because she was pregnant. Even Soleil got moody when she was pregnant.

Archibald the Dauntless Posts: 386
Absent Abyss atk: 6.0 | def: 9.5 | dam: 8
Stallion :: Equine :: 18.3 hh :: 10 years HP: 80 | Buff: SHIELD
Loretta :: Alaskan Malamute :: Time Slip Time
Archibald watched as the herd swelled around him, all the while pressing his hip into Casimir's shoulder to give the young stallion something to calm him. Evers had not yet shown, and disapproval swelled in the warrior's chest. Archibald knew Casimir would grow quickly uncomfortable, but stay because of duty. The black stallion offered no comfort except the touch, wishing that Evers show himself quickly. His other brothers had not come either, something he had expected. Even so, his face frowned as he dwelled on his family. They were falling see-through at the seams, and the warrior wanted to hold it together with his own hooves. Archibald sighed, tail swishing as he focused his attention back to the meeting.

Listening carefully as each member asked what they wanted, a special character caught the black's golden eye. A warrior. Ricochet. Archibald had herd rumors of him while living in the Woodlands, as the warrior had done daunting things in his lifetime, it matching Archibald's minus one year. Archibald carefully watched Ricochet's movements, taking in the scars and evidence of his legend-title earning past. He had no doubt that Ricochet would want power in this herd, and with the look in the dunskin's eyes Archibald doubted he would think twice on how to get it. With twitching ears, Archibald looked around the rest of the herd.

Smoke was oh-so angry, her fire spitting for everyone to see. Archibald had a slight pity for her--as any creature would. The mare watched as her rank got stripped to a step below its glory, a leader that was not challenged taken down. Juxtaposed with his pity was understanding. Paladin did what he though best, if it had been Archibald in the black dun's position he would have demoted Smoke completely due to her pregnancy, but Paladin overlooked the growing foal inside of her. Archibald knew her growing foal was an act to save this herd, but it still did not over-write warrior tradition. Turning his golden eyes back to Paladin he listened. Calm by his side, Loretta took a more comfortable position and laid down, her chin resting upon her toes.

The black stayed quiet, eyes hard on Paladin, waiting for a verdict. His heart thumped with anticipation, however his outside remained calm and collected, a true demeanor of a warrior.

Ricochet the Incendiary Posts: 133
Stallion :: Equine :: 15.2 hands :: 5 years Buff: BULK

A few strangers arrived, namely the tree-horse. Ricochet openly gaped at her, horrified beyond belief. What he knew in the hideous features of unicorn and pegasus paled in comparison to this thing. She, it rather, was a truly disgusting creature, which naturally the unicorn hippie was more than happy to invite in. Ricochet had to feign an itch on his foreleg to hide the revulsion settling on his facade.

The child beside him moved forward, drawing his attention. She spoke well-thought words and her lesser age and retained innocence, for Kimber had clutched to it dearly, only bolstered the worth of her query. Ricochet's head nodded in approval of her voice, although he could not know the truth behind it, being so new to arrive.

A mare, Solstice if he remembered right, slid into place near him. He chuffed a low greeting to match her smile. As she dipped her head low to him, something he mistook for large manners until his ears snagged her soft voice, he did the same. An interested spark lit in his teal eyes as he turned them to her, gauging her for a moment before nodding but slightly. Perhaps he had more support here than he first considered...

The boy at her side, another Ricochet felt he recognized but did not know as well, spoke in turn after Kimber. He had his own points and Ricochet watched him with the intent of a hawk. This young stud would need proper guidance, perhaps Ricochet could gather him astride Jackal as his latest crop of apprentices. Speaking of Jackal where was the boy? Teal eyes cast about, suddenly anxious to spot him. Would Ricochet know him if he saw him? He thought he might. Smoke had mentioned something about a dragon...

More words passed and Ricochet took them in stride. Paladin was suffering meanwhile, that much Ricochet could tell. The face was burned and bloody, the only thing in which Ricochet could sympathize with the Valiant. So focused was he on studying the wearing patience and waning strength of the battered stallion, Ricochet did not sense Smoke's rising temper or her move forward until she was already speaking.

His head turned to eye her now, curious, and quickly despairing. For the first time Ricochet noticed the round swell of her belly and her anger was better justified to him, not that it needed it. Her decision to leave however, struck him like a cruel blow to the face. He tensed beside her, mind whipping into a frenzy. He was old enough now to hold his own and he'd certainly never looked to her much before in his past, their views were far too conflicting for him to name her a friend, yet her involvement in his life with Gunslinger and his sister Kimber were too much to brush off easily. In many ways, Ricochet needed Smoke, and he depended her on more than even he realized. Particularly now when so much was unknown to him, he needed her for a form of support and information. And what of Kimber? Would she leave with her mother, would Ricochet really have anything worth staying here for if she did?

Ricochet would have been content to drown in his confusion and loss, if not for the words of the black dun cutting across the air. Paladin's refusal to see clearly, to understand the slight he had given the proud and worthy mare set Ricochet's teeth on edge. His rage, simmering just beneath the surface of his skin as he was forced to convene amongst all these species and their disfigured bodies, had the stallion ready to burst. He strode forward suddenly, the dust behind him popping and igniting as he moved.

"Isn't it obvious?" Ricochet began, his voice thick with tension. "It's because you gave the title you know she damn-well deserves to your pale whore you idiot! What fucking HONOR is there in being demoted when she has not earned such punishment? A better question rather, is what has your precious Soleil done to deserve the rank, huh? " Ricochet seethed, a fore hoof striking the ground with the physical need to wreck. At his side Guns bristled, teeth bared and a low growl tumbling from the dog's throat as he suddenly surveyed the herd as opponents. "Where is she now? Where is Soleil the Traitor?" Ricochet tossed back his head and laughed. It was not a gleeful sound. "SHOW US THE TRAITOR. PROVE HER WORTH!" Foam now dribbled from the stallion's lips as his head shot down, neck bowing with muscle. Teal has had turned to daggers as they bored into Paladin, glinting in the light with obvious malice.

"I CHALLENGE SOLEIL FOR HER RANK, THE RIGHTFUL RANK OF SMOKE THE WILD ROSE!" Ricochet the Incendiary shouted at the tops of his lungs, haunches quivering as he burst into a half-rear, striking the air as though it would soon be Soleil's head. Beside him Guns barked violently, forepaws dancing as the collie lunged at the air.

So much for self-control. Maybe he hadn't matured as much as he liked to think. Yet this was a true act of honor, for if Ricochet had any sense in him he would have chosen the ragged Paladin as an opponent. Certainly he wouldn't have minded killing the unicorn. This was a matter of principle however, and Ricochet intended to prove how worthless of a lead Paladin had chosen over Smoke. If he arose victorious, which he naturally considered he would, the rank would go to Smoke.

Eventually, Ricochet would come for Paladin, and that rank would be his.

[Hum, so I literally have no control of this character xP He is challenging Soleil for leadership, and if he wins does intend to pass the rank to Smoke. This was not an intention of mine until reading these last couple threads so once again, this is nothing personal.]

to the sound of a time bomb ticking away

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