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DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Day One Competition - Point to Point Race (all competitors)


Matalina
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Point-to-Point Course

 

The riders start off at the entrance to a lane, there are trees on either side, and the lane is wide enough for one man and a horse. When they emerge from the lane, they enter a series of large fields, separated by three-foot high hedges. Once across the final field, there is a forest, pick up first marker. The forest is on undulating ground and the trail winds through the forest until it emerges on the far side overlooking a small valley. Using a goat trail the riders must make their way down this to the second check point and collect a marker.

 

Once across the stream, at the bottom of the valley, the riders must ride along it for about two miles before finding a trail up the bank. At the top of the bank there is another checkpoint and the third marker is collected. The final part consists of a flat out run along a well-used, rutted, road that leads to a large manor house. Just before the manor house, there is a small path around the outside of the grounds that will eventually bring you back to the start point.

 

Each of you will be receiving an email with information reguarding your place in this event. Please wait for the email to reach you before posting. You have approximately two weeks to post your reply.

 

if you did not get an email please email me at matalina@gmail.com with your characters name.

 

Mat

 

*****

 

The first day of the competition was eagerly anticipated, so much so that the tension almost seemed palpable, although it seemed to emanate more from the spectators than the competitors. Each competitor set off at intervals and had to finish the course and collect the tokens to set a time for the others to beat. Because the ground was hard, Yrean could not remember the last time it rained, no one was at a disadvantage by not being the first to go.

 

Yrean was number ten to go, and while he was waiting, he took his time to observe the preparations the other riders went through. Yrean knew some of them from their time in the Yards, but there were many competitors from other towns and cities, now just Tar Valon. When the rider before him started off down the lane, Yrean moved his horse into position and waited for the starter to signal it was time. Unhurriedly, Yrean ran his preparations through his mind, knowing that any small mistakes could cost him a good placing. Satisfied that he had done all he could, Yrean returned his attention to the starter and focused his attention on the task ahead.

 

Racing down the tree-covered lane, Yrean had to rein his horse in, to stop it expending all it’s energy too early, obviously the horse was just as eager as Yrean to test itself against the course and the riders. The lane soon opened out on a series of fields, that were bordered by low hedges Yrean could just make out the rider in front of him making his way into the forest and this spurred him on, if he could catch the rider in front, then he would definitely move up a place in the standings.

 

As he came to the first hedge, Yrean steadied his horse, then allowed him to find his own way over the obstacle in front. He cleared the hedge with ease, and soon they were galloping across the field to the next hedge. Although the field was slightly rutted, Yrean did not try and slow his horse down, but instead let him find his own way across the broken ground. With the second hedge behind him, Yrean approached the third hedge, his confidence soaring with the speed they had been able to achieve so far. There was a slight ditch in front of the third hedge, and this made it a harder jump that needed the horse to take off earlier, because of this the horse did not totally clear the hedge, but both rider and horse came through unscathed and they quickly made their way over to the judge and gathered the token before setting off into the forest.

 

The forest was an old one, and the trees grew closer together and made the air in the forest feel stifling, but thankfully there was a narrow trail that ran in the direction Yrean wanted. Ducking low over his horse, Yrean tried to avoid the low hanging branches, they could easily knock an unwary rider from their horse. Feelings the branches wiping against the top of his head, and his back, Yrean urged his horse on, shouting words of encouragement to him, all the time trying to guide him around the tree stumps that almost blocked the boat trail. The further into the forest they rode, the more the light took on a green tinge, as the sunlight could not fully penetrate through the, dense, overhead cover. This made it harder on the riders due to the reduced light, but Yrean decided to trust in luck, and his skills, and kept up his pace. Eventually they emerged from the forest, and found themselves overlooking a small valley. Yrean reined his horse in and looked around for a way to cross the valley, the sides of which were also covered in trees. Eventually, Yrean spotted a goat trail that lead into and across the valley. Quickly he guided his horse in the direction of the trail, and they descended into the valley floor. Stationed mid way across the valley was the checkpoint with the second token. Yrean quickly reigned in and without getting out of his saddle, took the token from the judge and then set off again. Yrean knew he could not turn back and use the goat trail to ascend out of the valley, so he decided to ride down the stream, hoping that sooner or later he would see a trail leading out of the valley, at least doing that did not take him out of his way, the stream ran in the same direction as he wanted to go. But, if he could not find a way out he would have to retrace his steps and head up stream. For now though Yrean did not let that bother him and instead concentrated on his riding.

 

The ground on either side of the stream was covered in rocks and boulders that made footing treacherous and also prevent the horse from moving quickly. They had to endure almost a mile of this, before the ground cleared and they could pick up the pace. Here the ground was soft, but almost sponge like, thanks to the deep grass. Another mile passed and Yrean was starting to think he had come the wrong way when he suddenly saw a way up the side of the valley. His spirits lifted at this and soon he was on top of the valley side and heading towards the final checkpoint and the third marker.

 

Once Yrean had collected the third token, he galloped off having realised that the last part of the course was a flat out sprint, and the energy both horse and rider had saved earlier, would, hopefully, now give them an advantage. The track in front of them was wide and fairly smooth, although there were one or two hidden ruts, and it was one of these that caused Yrean’s downfall. His horse put a hoof into one of these ruts, and that was enough to unsettle both horse and rider, so much so that Yrean’s horse threw a shoe as a result of trying to keep upright. Quickly, Yrean realised there was no point in trying to carry on at the pace they had been going, that would only cause his horse to go lame. Yrean stopped the horse and climbed out of the saddle, quickly checking the hooves until he found the one with the broken shoe. Shaking his head, Yrean licked up the reigns and started to walk back to the village, the majority of the other riders had completed the course by the time Yrean walked in, and he was quick to go over and offer his congratulations to the winner before heading off to the local smithy to work on his horses shoe’s.

 

Yrean Stavrosi

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Talyn woke with a start, cheering and rooting where going on outside his room window. He scrambled to his feet and stared out the window. The first race was about to begin. Quick as he could, Talyn stuffed his feet in his boots and worried his way out the door. He thanked the Great Lord for his lack of clothe removal before his slumber the night before. He'd apparetly passed out after taking his boots off.

 

Sandstorm stood in her stall pawing away at the ground, she was eager to be out. Talyn in his haste saddled his own stead and lead her to the starting line. The cheering and hoof beats added to the clatter in his mind. His head was throbbing from the alchol the night before. All he could hear was the rushing of blood through his ears. Pound, pound, pound. Bang! Talyn's head nearly exploded when the gun shot signaled the start of the race.

 

Sandstorm jolted into a run at the sound of the gun, and Talyn fell from his saddle straight into a puddle of mud. Talyn sat up and lifted his hands in disgust. Mud dripped from his fingers as he sighed and got up. Looking at Sandstorm Talyn realized why he'd fallen from the horse, the saddle was off to the side. A large sign eminated from the young man. He'd not latched the saddle well. He hurriedly settled the saddle correctly and mounted Sandstorm again. By now she'd found a clump of grass to much on and refused to move.

 

Today wasn't Talyn's day. His head pounding he got off the stubborn mare and started to pull at her reigns. She wouldn't budge. Then all of a sudden she moved and Talyn fell backwards, into yet another mud puddle.

 

Talyn got up dripping with mud, his once white shirt was now the color of the ground he'd just gotten up out of. He kicked at Sandstorm and she ran. Talyn still had hold of the reigns and was jerked off his feet. His mind was so addled he held on to the reigns as she dragged him throw the mud and over the rough rocks before letting go. Sandstorm kept running.

 

After several minutes of lying flat on his face in the grass, Talyn decided to get up. He found his mare not five paces away muching on grass. He got on the horse and the pace he set was quick, but there was no hope in winning this race, or doing anything but coming in last. He didn't even bother to get the tokens from the check points, he just wanted to go back to bed and sleep the embarassment off. Talyn hoped that his parents were here watching their eldest son demean the name of Rashad by his failure to even finish the race in the top five.

 

Ashamed and embarassed Talyn crossed the finish line and headed straight for the inn. He was glad this was the only race today.

 

Talyn

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Rodrik mounted up on Thunder quickly. He gave a few words of encouragement to the stallion before slowly nudging him up to the starting line. He waited before being given the thumbs up by the judges to start. The moment he had been waiting for had come and he booted Thunder into a canter to go down the lane.

He did not wish to tire Thunder too quickly and waited to see what was ahead before he went to a gallop. The lane was hard and packed hard, good for a gallop, but not this early in the race. He exited the lane and came upon the fields and hedges. He now spurred Thunder into a gallop and let the stallion do his thing. Thunder jumped the first hedge and galloped on. Rodrik leaned forward on Thunder's back and let the wind whip past his face. It reminded him of the times when he was younger, when he just rode around the plains, to get away from the corruption in the village.

He pushed those thoughts away and brought his mind back to the race. Thunder had already got across the first field and automatically jumped over the hedge. ‘Smart horse,’ he thought. They raced across that field, and the next, and the next, blocking out everything else but the sensation of riding something so strong and beautiful. Finally they jumped over the last hedge and rode over to the judge to collect his marker.

Rodrik rode on into the forest and slowed Thunder down on the winding trail. Not being able to see anything ahead of him, he thought it would be wise to not rush into the unknown that was curving and twisting ahead. He cantered Thunder down the trail, not liking how the trees were getting closer together. He continued riding along, and was almost knocked out of his saddle, but at the last moment, he saw a large branch that hung lower then the others. He immediately slid down the side of Thunder, and onto the belly, his hands grabbing the stirrups, and his feet hooked around his saddlebags. He waited for 30 seconds; to be sure that there weren’t any more low hanging branches in the immediate vicinity, and swung himself back into a sitting position on Thunder’s back. He looked ahead and found a large opening ahead.

The opening was the one that led to the valley. He quickly spotted a goat trail and walked Thunder down it. Navigating the sharp turns and abrupt stops easily. He quickly got to the bottom and collected his marker from the judge stationed there. He looked around for a trail and couldn’t find one so he rode downstream and booted Thunder to a gallop as the area was flat and he wished to make up some lost time. He had ridden about 1 ½ miles before he let Thunder slow down to rest for any other gallops that he would need to do. He rode on another ½ mile and spotted tracks leading up the side of the valley. He looked around for a trail, and sure enough, there was one buried behind some bushes.

He rode up to the top of the valley and found a judge sitting there, he collected his last marker, and kicked Thunder into a gallop down the road. Rodrik’s heart was beating fiercely, with the thought of the race’s end. He lowered himself on Thunder’s back to help cut the wind resistance. He whispered into Thunder’s ear, “Not much longer my friend. We are near the end. Make me proud.†The wind was loud and Rodrik was unsure if Thunder had heard him, but there was a sudden burst of speed, as they rounded the corner onto the side path around the manor. They raced on and finally came in sight of the finish line. He raced across it and started to slow Thunder down to a canter, not to fast, as that could injure him, but at a nice pace.

When Thunder finally came to a stop, Rodrik dismounted and led him over to a trough. He tied the reins around a post and went to congratulate the winner, on his performance. Rodrik walked back to Thunder who was still drinking thirstily. Rodrik began to undo the straps that held the saddle. He got everything undone, and Thunder stopped drinking the water. He led the stallion to his stall and placed an oatbag over his head. He patted Thunder, and walked away, to the inn for a nice mug of ale.

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The first day of the competition Shawn woke early, anxious to get started and see what he and Blaize were capable of. He made his way over to the stable he'd found for Blaize and spent a few minutes talking to the colt. He let the soft soothing tones of his voice wash over the young horse, trying to settle the natural restlessness he usually faced with the spirited beast.

 

Shawn was glad he'd awoken early as it gave him the chance to groom his horse in relative peace before the other competitors came around. In fact, he was the first one to arrive saddled and ready at the starting point. On the other hand, by arriving so early Blaize would have that much more time for the energy of the crowd to affect him. Soon he'd be wanting to run, and when Shawn didn't let him go right away he'd get stubborn and irritable. If Shawn had his way they'd wait long enough for the both of them to feed off the crowd's excitement, but not so long to cause problems.

 

As one rider after another set out on the course Shawn began to worry about the timing, and Blaize's tempermental attitude. Then, just as he thought there might truly be a problem, his name was called as next in line and he made his way up to stand by the judge. When he saw the judge give the signal he kicked his heels and they were off. Blaize wanted to gallop but Shawn held him back somewhat, he knew they'd need the energy as the race went on.

 

Soon enough they made it to the end of the tree-lined lane and to the first of a series of fields. Across the first field Shawn let Blaize have his head and run. The young colt, so full of energy leaped the first hedge with room to spare. On the next field Shawn held back a little, once more fighting to conserve the strength they would need later in the race.

 

They alternated speed this way through the fields and Shawn leaned low in his saddle to pluck the marker from the judge at the end of the last field. Unfortunately his aim was a little off and he missed the marker. Blaize did not want to go back and they wasted several agonizing moments in the forest before Shawn got him turned around to go back and get the marker.

 

Shawn reluctantly held their pace back as they went through the forest. He wanted to run and try to make up some of the time they'd lost but he worried over the dangers the forest presented to his horse. One good thing was that Blaize being such a young colt meant they didn't have to duck as often as others he saw would have to. This was especially fortunate as he had to strain so hard to see in the shade of the forest where sunlight failed to reach.

 

The darkness of the forest turned to brilliant light so suddenly that it momentarily blinded Shawn as they came out on the edge of a cliff. Blaize though was too smart to go flying off the edge and in fact found the small goat trail and started on the way down before Shawn had even seen it. They navigated their way through the intricate twists and turns of the trail and Shawn grabbed the second marker as they turned to follow the stream through the valley.

 

Shawn was starting to think he might have gone the wrong way when he saw another rider up ahead. This spurred him on and he raced to catch up. Then the rider disappeared. He was glad he'd seen the other rider or he might not have even found the trail up the other side of the valley.

 

At the top of the bank Shawn threw caution to the wind and repeated the move he'd tried earlier at the first checkpoint, successfully this time. This last section was just a flat-out run and Shawn let Blaize go, urging him on to catch the rider in front of them. As they neared the finish they passed the other rider and Shawn knew they'd place higher than he'd expected.

 

Finishing the race Shawn walked Blaize around in circles for a few minutes to cool him down before leading him to a trough for a nice rewarding drink. While Blaize drank Shawn found the winner and congratulated her, surprised to see it was another trainee. He may not have won the race himself but he was proud of himself and Blaize. For such a young horse, and such an inexperienced rider he was surprised they'd placed as high as fifth.

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Guest Celes

The headache was not too bad, or at least it was not Lyv’s biggest worry. Her biggest worry was Rosheen who woke her up real early to point and laugh. She had deserved it after their night to party into the event, but she did not have to like it. After gulping down her third cup of water, Lyv decided to check on her horse and get a breathe of fresh air. She soon started to feel a little better, being used to the booze made it easy to be used to the hangover in the morning too. She looked over the competition and then made her way into the stable. The change over from bright light to dark was not good for her head, but at least it was better than being left at by your best friend.

 

Patting the mare’s neck, she prepared herself for that morning’s race, suddenly immensely pleased with herself for not signing up for all events. “I knew this was going to happen,†she told herself and rubbed her brow, then saddled the mare up and set out to the course. The others were arriving too and Lyv realized that they all looked a lot better than she did, except for Talyn who had been the girls’ victim the night before. He looked ash gray and tired and Lyv told herself he needed a few more lessons. Not that she was the star, but at least she was holding it together now and her horse was well trained and did not fuss a lot. She was glad that she did not have to break the horse in today and with a few rounds around the course, felt ready to set off.

 

Not a moment too soon either as the judge’s took their seat and everyone mounted to start the race. Lyv bit her lip and tried not to think of the cotton balls in her head and instead focused on the trainees, she could not let a trainee beat her. It was probably coming from her days as Mistress of Trainees, that she liked to show that years of training really did a lot of good to you. A quick smile as she heard the shot to begin and off they went. Lyv stayed behind for a bit, then got control over the horse and found herself heeding the mare on to its extreme limits. A whinny and then she was off, running past opponent after opponent, but not fast enough.

 

Lyv was pushing the horse too hard and she could feel it quiver in excitement, she had not set of in a slow pace and soon she lost the leading position she had so eagerly desired and after only a second in the lead, she fell back to a fifth position. The tokens proved that they had run the whole extent of the course and Lyv gathered one so far, then lost sight of the next one as her mare decided to slow, Talyn had just been thrown of his horse and he mare evidently wanted to have a look. Lyv headed her horse again and was rewarded with a little more speed. The end of the course came in sight and Lyv quickly reached out for another token, this cost her another place and she pushed her mare on to move into the last few feet. It was hard to stay in the saddle as the mare kept changing pace, from gallop to trot and then back to gallop, she was bouncing all over the saddle but at least she did not lose any speed.

 

Finally, she crossed the finish line with her mare and patted the horse down the side of the neck, feeding it a sweet from her pouch and telling her she had done a good job. Esthelle had come in first, followed by Alyk, the old MoT had to yield for the trainees. But now that the race was over, she was just glad that she had not gotten the same treatment Talyn had and it had been a fun experience. She gave them both a big smile as she congratulated them on their winnings and then went to take care of her horse. The headache had bounced out of her system along with the left over hangover and she spent the rest of the morning watching the other events, but staying clear away from the inn.

 

Lyv

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