Life Rivals

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by vassaloftales, Sep 19, 2015.

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    • The story of rivals set in a fantasy medieval world.
      More info to come...
    • Name: Dov Bearclaw
      Age: 25
      Eyes: Dark green.
      Hair: Black, down to his shoulder blades, a bit wavy..
      Build: Medium leaning towards bigger build, around 1,75m tall.

      More about his appearance: Olive skin, inherited from his family. When groomed, his hair is combed back and braided, and he wears good quality clothes that aren't flamboyant, and no jewellery. Refuses to wear perfume or anything along those lines.

      When out on a trip for luxury or a job, he's almost unrecognisable, his hair in a messy ponytail, his clothes in layers to keep him warm but light enough to move comfortably, most of the time dirty and ripped due to the weather conditions and the trip's hardships. Always smells of pine, wet grass or ground, those kind of aromas.

      Bio: Comes from a family of animal tamers. Him and his family raise animals to be sold and rented as entertainment, exotic pets or work animals. They work with horses and the like, but they're specifically trained to work with rarer animals. All of them can speak with animals. Dov's previous generation bought a relatively humble noble title, and this nobility allowed Dov to become a knight. It's a little known fact that him and his family are now nobles. Everybody who doesn't know they're animal tamers think they're just nomads or eccentric people, since him and his family members travel all over the realm to do their job.

      Name: Logan Blackwood
      Age: 28
      Race: human
      Eyes: light brown with copper around the iris.
      Hair: blonde-brown, shoulder length.
      Build: 1.78 m lean but has defined muscles. His arms and pectoral muscles have more mass due to wielding swords.

      More about his appearance: peachy-toned skin with deep tan on all normally exposed skin, making for tan-lines on his upper arms and at his clavicle. Smells like lye soap, sweat and leather. Always groomed. Stands tall and struts rather than walks.

      Bio: Blackwood has grown up as a noble, it was only to be expected he would become a knight like his older brother had. He has always trying to overcome his brother, but in the end it was no use. His brother died a martyr in a skirmish where defeat was inevitable, but he had stayed and protected the wounded. This left Logan desolate, he has continued the motions, but no longer seeks to steal the limelight from anyone.

    It had taken a Blackwood a mere 3 days to reach the tiny town of Ironthal. The tiny village was nestled between two mountains in the largest mountain range in the kingdom. The land was fertile and a little river even ran through the center. It would have been a very profitable location, if only there was a mountain pass. The cliff face was so sharp that there was no way to scale it safely. That fact made the town out of the way for travelers and useless to the military. The knight had would have dreaded coming here just a few years ago, but now it was a relief.

    The mission was simple; protect the town from the strange set of bandits that had been ransacking Ironthal. The king had sent one knight, Blackwood himself. In his glory, the king had only been able to spare another. With a sigh, Blackwood ran a hand through his honey-brown hair. The tresses were lined with dust from the road that stuck unpleasantly to his hand. The horse shied and he had to place both hands on the reins to steady himself. He inwardly groaned that he had gotten so distracted.

    He was not old enough to be making mistakes. This was not where he thought he would be at twenty eight. He reminded himself that even on this minor mission lives were at stake. When he reached the edges of the forest, and houses began appear, Sir Logan Blackwood was sitting tall in his saddle. While he wore only chainmail for comfort on the ride, he still tried to be the picture of what was expected of a knight. His calloused hands pulled the reins to stop his mount when he reached the village center. Some curious villagers peaked out from their stalls and houses. There were quite a few around for a rural mid-day rush. They wanted to get the last of their needed supplies long before dark set in.

    "Hail!" Logan called lifting a hand in greeting.

    A brave looking man carrying a hoe approached the knight, "Hail! Sir knight, are you here to help us? Did the king finally hear our pleas?"

    "I come in the name of the king." Logan asserted. He lifted himself out of the saddle. "Please, good man, tell me everything you know about these bandits." Before he continued he secured his bastard sword at his hip. Despite being armed he tried to smile reassuringly at the peasants that were surrounding him.
    #1 vassaloftales, Sep 19, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 9, 2016
  1. He wished him and Freckles could take turns carrying each other, but Freckles assured him carrying him was no trouble. Dov had enjoyed most of the trip, not minding having to go out of his way, evading roads, so the people they passed by didn't try to harm Freckles for thinking he was a monster, but the oversized goat had dreaded most of the trip until they made it to the mountains. He was a special breed, raised by Dov's family, carefully manipulated until they reached a good size, making them able to be mounted, without consuming outrageous amounts of food and water. Without needing their horns for anything, since their mates were assigned and they lived peacefully, Freckles' horns, as every other of his breed, were small in proportion when compared to a normal goat. He knew the Bearclaw family had sold a couple of those goats to the small town he was going to. He hoped they were doing alright.

    Dov smiled when they reached the top of the cliff with some difficulties, and the town of Ironthal came into view. He frowned when he noticed some imprints on the ground. Or rather, not imprints, since the ground was too hard for that, but being a good tracker, he noticed the small fragments of rocks in fixed distance intervals. Too long for a human, and the source should be heavier. Horses? He hoped those weren't the bandits coming with animals now. He told Freckles to hasten his pace, so they got to the town sooner.

    By the time he came into Logan's view, on the other far side of the dirt street, Dov had already many curious eyes on him. The habitants knew how the attackers looked like, so they weren't alarmed, but sadly, Dov looked like a bandit himself, or something worse. He mounted a strange, big and furry white goat with black little spots on his face, and small horns. Dov's face was covered in dirt, just like the rest of him, and his hair was a mess. His clothing pieces weren't of the same colour nor seemed to follow a fixed style, and by the state they were in, they seemed stolen. He had a sword on his waist and a hunting knife on his waist, a hammer on the other side of his waist, a dagger in his boot, bow and arrows on his back. He was armed to his teeth. He didn't have anything that signalled some kind of nobility or proof of being a knight at sight. He had a couple of bags, hanging from the side of his goat's saddle.

    Dov raised an eyebrow when he saw Logan. He didn't need to hear the man's previous statement about being sent by the King to know that was the case. He had "knight" written all over him.

    'Doesn't the chainmail make it uncomfortable to ride?' Freckles asked him, but only Dov could understand his words.

    'No idea. I've never worn one.' Dov replied, imitating the sounds goats made, gaining him even more strange looks from the town habitants.
  2. A figure riding up interrupted Logan's thoughts. A beast like he had never seen was trotting up to the villiage. It appeared to be some kind of mount-sized goat. He blinked in confusion trying to make it come into focus. Surely it was a horse and his eyes were just playing tricks. Almost as shocking was the man atop the creature. At first he would have assumed he was a bandit come to raid, but the mount through him. When no one said or did anything Blackwood took it upon himself to greet the stranger.

    With a hand held aloft he called, "Hail, friend! What brings you here?"

    One of the villagers children pointed at the mount, "That looks like Dolly!" The little girl turned and tugged on her mother's dress. "It's another Dolly, isn't it?" The girls brown eyes filled with instant trust.
  3. 'Dolly?! Do I look like a doll to--' the goat kept bleating, and Dov had to make an effort to ignore him and pay attention to the knight before him. He dismounted, and as soon as his feet were on the ground, Freckles trotted up to the girl, bleating a monologue about how his manly figure clearly didn't make him look like a goat, but seeming friendly and cute to the girl. Dov sighed, a bit tired of the goat's prideful nature.

    'Greetings, stranger.' He said turning to the knight, his hands on his waist. 'I'm here because I heard the town's been having trouble with bandits, and I wanted to help out. They're such nice people, after all...' Little did Dov know that after he left for the town, a document was written that officially sent him to the town to ensure its safety, to make it seem like more effort had been put, and more people had been sent to protect the place.

    'I take it you're here for the same reason?' Dov asked, raising an eyebrow as he examined the man. He looked like an average knight. If he was one, now he'd probably say something along the lines of "go away, I can do it alone", since most knights didn't believe Dov was worth their time.
  4. The little girl put out a hand for him to sniff. "Your a good girl too, aren't you? Just like our Dolly! I bet you'll be the best of friends once you meet her!" She turned to her mother, "we should get Dolly!"

    "Sweetie, Dolly is on the other side of town. Dolly will have to meet...this large goat...another time." Her smile was indulgent as she crouched down by her daughter.

    Logan tried to smile, "thank you for your help then. Are you a warrior?" It was a dumb question with how many weapons the stranger was carrying. Still he had seen farmers wielding stolen weapons. He had to determine if the man had training under his belt.
  5. 'Me? A warrior? Depends on what you mean as "warrior".' Dov replied now crossing his arms in front of him. He could feel the other analysing him, and got a bit defensive. 'I'm mainly a nomad, and I work with animals and herbs and everything nature related. I learned to defend myself just fine during my trips, but my training comes from fighting bears, fat goats--'

    "Hey!" Freckles complained with a distressed sound.

    '--and my family members. I've never trained under a knight's eye or anything along those lines.' After a couple of duels to examine him, his higher ups considered him well versed for fighting. His style lacked beauty, it was rough, and Dov didn't care if he had to kick some man in the balls and throw honour out of the window when in a serious battle, but he was brutal without being sadistic, and useful in battle.

    'What about you? Do you know the surrounding areas? Can you even breathe, with that chainmail and how high up on the mountain we are? You look like you could use being away from the sun for a couple of hours.' Dov retorted back, wanting to see if this man before him was as much of a city man as he looked.
  6. Blackwood narrowed his eyes, "apparently you believe yourself to be a adapt enough warrior to pick fights with people you haven't even introduced yourself to." He walked over to the other man, getting within a foot. It was a dangerous position to take with a fighter who he knew nothing about. A voice in the back of his head said it didn't matter, but his eyes flashed with the beginnings of anger that he hadn't felt in awhile.

    "I am Logan Blackwood." He introduced stiffly, without the usual bow. "I am a knight of the white rose order." He stood a little straighter making those few centimeters he had on the other man count. "And you are?"
  7. Dov frowned and a dangerous glow appeared in his eyes when the man stepped up to him. He had said that out of genuine concern, both over the town's safety and the man's safety, since a trip around the mountains wasn't easy for people who weren't used to it. Now that the man said he was picking a fight, he suddenly felt the need to smash his hammer on his head. But his hammer was a tool, not a weapon, and he just huffed annoyed.

    'The name's Dov Bearclaw. I am a knight of the Wandering Oak Order, if you're interested in that sort of things.' He spoke as if the Order wasn't that important for him. The peasants recognized his surname, and knew right away he belonged to the family that sold them those goats that were the same as Freckles. The fact that he was a knight came as a surprise though. 'But I prefer to be known as a beast tamer, as people call me, or an artist.' Being far more interested in animals than in people, Dov's gaze that had been locked with Logan's, moved past him to stare at the man's horse. He wondered if the horse had such an awful temperament as its owner.
  8. Blackwood was taken aback that Bearclaw was a knight. He had heard very little about the wandering oak order, but if they all were something like the man before him they were a unique group to be sure. Before he could stop himself his mouth fell agape. At the inclusion of Dov being a beast tamer, Logan nodded mouth slowly shutting. At least that made some sense. "Well that explains...your mount." Logan commented under his breath. His brain completely refused to contemplate what the other man meant by claiming he was an artist.

    "Then you must be here to help." Blackwood took a step back, giving the man some space. "I'm glad to see that our lord has seen fit, in all his glory, to send more assistance to this town." He saluted this time, a sign of camaraderie and acceptance of Dov's less than obvious knighthood.

    The little girl had not lost her excitement over Freckles. Her new plan seemed to be to pet him, and she sent seeking fingers towards his soft fur. The girls mother seemed content to let her try this with only a halfhearted warning of, "If you get bitten, it'll be on your own head."
  9. Dov didn't care to repress a half smile when he saw Blackwood's expression after finding out he was a night. He title didn't satisfy him, but making people swallow their first impressions of him being a homeless eccentric specimen instead of a civilized human being, sure did. He was about to respond to Logan's salutation, but he lowered his hand, looking a bit confused. 'What? Nobody sent me here. I came here on my own. I heard about the place's troubles, and since no one was doing anything about it...' He said, shrugging his shoulders.

    He saw by the side of his eye the interaction between Freckles and the little girl, just in time to notice the mount getting ready to carry out the mother's warning. He bleated loudly, telling Freckles to pull back, and look for an opponent of his own size if he wanted to fight. Taking the words to heart, Freckles went to annoy Logan's horse instead, attempting to push him with his tiny horns.

    Dov sighed loudly. 'I'm sorry. It's been a stressful trip for him and he's grumpy.' He apologized for the goat. 'Do you have any specific orders, or have freedom to act as you see fit?'
  10. Logan blinked at the man's explanation that he wanted to help out the villagers. "Well that's unexpected, but commendable." Logan admitted reluctantly, "What would you do if you the king needed you elsewhere? Did you at least alert him to your whereabouts." On the one hand Blackwood was pleased that he wasn't expected to defend the town his own, but on the other he was concerned. He had assumed that this was a suicide mission. The king had sent him here to be killed by bandits. It would be an honorable death, if it came to pass. If he somehow overcame the odds he would be a hero, and maybe that would get him to forget. What should he do now that this man was before him able and willing to help.

    The grey and white mare that was being bleated at shook her head at the goat. At the question from the beast master she easily replied in her own soft whinny."This one does as it sees fit. Why does the beast master ask?" She replied in third person. Logan looked back and forth between the two, shocked that his own horse was no involved with the discussion with the stranger.
  11. 'Oh, no ill intentions, I assure you. But too often I see men disrespecting their horses and pushing past their limits, or making them take part in acts they don't want to. I'm glad to see you're doing alright. And if you let me say it, you have a fantastic mane.' The language of animals being different to those of humans, Dov's stream of words came out as a single neigh.

    'Don't be a flirt. Or at least stick to your own species.' Freckles added, refraining from annoying the mare further.

    'Wha-- Why would I flirt with a horse?!' This time he let out a louder bleate, and he sighed heavily before turning to the man before him and stepping closer to him, letting the goat now he wouldn't pay any more attention to him for now.

    Dov cleared his throat before speaking. 'Sorry about that. I didn't tell any higher up about coming here, but I commented about it with a couple of other knights trying to get them to come with me, so I guess people know where I am.' He replied to one of Blackwood's questions. 'And it'd depend on the weight of the mission they tried to push down on me, but right now, these people need me the most, so I'd probably not go.'

    He looked around briefly, and then up at Logan. 'They sent you alone?'
  12. The mare shyly tossed said mane, and made a sound that would be a laugh if she were human, 'thank you, your words are kind. This ones's friend brushes it often.' She jerked her head to indicate Blackwood.

    Logan felt abashed at the other man's noble intentions. "At least things were well taken care of then. I apologize for insinuating anything to the contrary."

    Trying to stand taller, Blackwood confirmed what Dov had said. "The king must have great confidence in my skills."
  13. 'Or maybe the King is just too irresponsible.' Dov added in his mind, but not that the man wasn't looking at him as if he was a bandit, he refrained from saying so. His face showed he pulled back his words though.

    'Well, we should go to a place where we aren't in open sight, should these bandits suddenly attack, where someone can tell us what's going on, fill us in with the events.' His words where directed at Logan, but he gestured towards the man Logan had been talking to before, bowing his head in apology for interrupting them earlier. 'And so we can tell each other what skills we can offer for this work. Being able to take a bath would be nice too.'
  14. "There is a small inn." The man from before offered, gesturing with both hands toward a building just barely in view. "I am sure it will not be as grand as what knights are used to, but the rate is cheap."

    Blackwood bowed to the villager and began to make his way to the inn. Outside it was a sign with a crow perched in on a wine cask. Several villagers followed behind the knights, both out of necessity to explain the situation and pure curiosity. Just outside the shack-like inn was a older woman wearing a green shall over her white hair. Her weathered hand waved at the newcomers.

    "Welcome to the Crows Drink." The women's voice was breathy, barely audible despite the quiet countryside. "Since you have come to help us, I will do anything to make your stay more comfortable. I will even lower your rate to only one copper piece a night for the room. Food and drink are a separate cost of course."
  15. Dov nodded in response, and gestured towards his mount so he'd follow. He walked alongside the goat, giving the other knight some space, and let his gaze wander around him while he walked. He didn't see a lot of animals. But the animals that lived in the mountain tended to be strong. Maybe he could recruit some mountain birds for his cause.

    When the woman came into view, he smiled at her and waved back. 'Nah, it's okay.' He replied with a dismissive gesture. 'On top of the bandits getting their ways, lowering he prices for us would be bad for business. Charge the usual prices.' After all, the town's location made it so it didn't get a lot of travellers, even less of them tourists. He didn't want the woman to have less money to accommodate those who could pay for the service just fine.

    He gestured towards Freckles, who now was as calm as a lake. 'And if you'll let this one into the inn, I'll be renting two rooms.'
  16. Logan nodded along as the other knight explained that they didn't need special treatment. "I can afford to pay for my stay. Your offer and kindness are greatly appreciated." He bowed low. His left hand scratched at the collar of his chainmail. Normally, the soft cotton padding protected him from the metal rings, but somewhere along the ride the cloth had fallen from his neck. Now his skin was red and raw from the exposure.

    "Good to hear. I'll charge you double then." She nodded at them. "Your goat can come in if he doesn't eat anything that isn't food, and uses the chamber pot." She disappeared inside without another word then came back with three keys. "Dinner is in a few hours, if your interested." She handed out the keys.
  17. Dov glanced at his mount when the woman said Freckles was allowed inside, and they smiled at each other. Despite the evident differences in their species, one of the many reasons the Bearclaws were able to handle animals so easily was the fact they treated them as equals. And as his equal, Freckles deserved a room of his own.

    The beast tamer took two of the offered keys, and walked inside alongside the goat. He turned to look at the other knight, and gestured waving his arm near him, used to doing that with animals, the habit sticking to his conversations with other people. 'Are we listening to what the villagers have to say now, or during dinner? If people come here to eat, then we'd have more input than just from this handful of people.' He suggested.
  18. Blackwood nodded curtly, "I think collecting many here to discuss is a great idea." He waved to catch the attention of the innkeeper and walked over to her side.

    She was standing behind a large wooden bar. The surface of which was covered with mugs just waiting to be filled with drink. "Would you like something to warm your belly while you wait?" She asked shakily, already reaching for a stein and bottle.

    "Not at the moment, ma'am but I was wondering if there is a way to call the people to this place? So that we might discuss the bandits?" He leaned onto the bar, but immediatly regretted it as his chainmail bit into his neck once again from the movement.

    The wrinkled woman leaned in near him as well, a smile splitting her face. "I have a way to bring all of the townsfolk here. We would be turning people away from tables to eat in the streets."

    Caught off guard by her coming up with an answer so quickly he nodded for her to continue, "Please, tell me your idea."

    She got in close as if to whisper then shouted so that all could hear, "PAY FOR THIER DINNER AND BUY THE TOWN A ROUND!" She pulled back laughing.
  19. Dov left one of the keys between Freckles' lips, knowing the goat could open the door to his room by himself, and let him go before catching up with Logan. He arrived at his side by the time the knight was asking the inn keeper for a way to gather the town there. When she said she knew, a little smile appeared on Dov's lips, as he wondered if they were thinking of the same thing. He burst out laughing when he saw that was the case.

    'Oh, my! I was about to suggest the same thing! I love this woman already.' He said, wiping a tear from his eye. 'That'll get the men talking, and if they were weary of us, it'll probably get us on their good side. I don't know about treating everyone to dinner, ma'am, but I'll gladly pay a round or two for them.' After all, Dov was way wealthier than one would guess from his looks. The family business was good, and him taking place in both raising animals, taking missions as an explorer for his family, and a knight for the realm, he had made a fair fortune for himself, and didn't know where or how to spend it, since his hobbies and interests weren't expensive. He didn't even have a family he could spend the money on.

    After offering that, he noticed the damaged skin of Blackwood's neck. He frowned, thinking that looked painful. 'Hey, do you want a salve or a small cataplasm for that?' He asked, pulling at his own collar so Logan would get the idea that he was talking about his neck.
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