< A Dance of Puppets | Red Ice Logs | Departure >

The stunning young Vestra walks before Iron Horse, leading him to the stables. She smiles over her shoulder at him as she reaches her horse, a tall black mare, and begins preparing her for a long trip. "You have done this sort of thing before, Iron Horse?"

  • Iron Horse laughs. "Sure have, ma'am! I'm better at delivering messages that people though!"

Vestra: "Of course. My father would surely not have contracted you if you were not the best." She fiddles a bit with her tack before declaring herself ready and easily rising onto her horse.

Vestra: "I am ready to begin when you are, Iron Horse."

Iron Horse: "I'm ready right now, ma'am! Let's be on our way then..."

With several hours of good daylight left, the journey begins. The roads and trails to Luska are not often plagued by bandits or barbarians, but for a single woman on horseback in fine clothes they would be dangerous still. Because of the many years of travel between the two towns, the roads are in fine condition and the trails well-worn.

  • Iron Horse is easily trotting alongside the horse, all smiles. "Still, I'm not used to escorting people, you know? I usually travel alone around these parts..."

Vestra: "Indeed, I had assumed so. You seem used to your own company, shy. It must be lonely, but so much freedom! I myself have never really been alone. I've always had the maids or the keepers close by."

Iron Horse: "I grew up in a -big- family, ma'am. Lots of brothers and sisters... it can be lonely sometimes yeah, but it's lots of fun seeing new places all the time!"

  • Vestra smiles, tinged with some odd emotion. Not quite sadness or jealously. More a sense of something not understood enough to be missed. "I suppose I had siblings, you know, before. That father had children with his other wives before my mother. But I did not know them. I have been only with the keepers and the maids."

Iron Horse: "really...? Well, maybe you should try seeing if you can find 'em sometime later! Family's always the best thing."

Vestra: "I imagine I may see them after you leave me with my aunt."

Iron Horse: "Maybe!"

  • Vestra does not sound excited about the possibility.

Vestra: "How long do you think the trip will take?"

Iron Horse: "It's a few day's away, but I think we'll make it faster than usual... I'm pretty fast, and you are on a horse, so..."

Vestra: "A night in the wild? Isn't that dangerous?"

Iron Horse: "It can be if you aren't careful! But as long as we stay in the road we should be safe. And, just in case, I will be keeping guard too!"

Iron Horse: "And if we are really lucky, we'll find a village or something in the way."

  • Vestra smiles. "I'm sure I would be as safe with you as within a fort. I am simply unaccustomed to the outside world. My apologies."

Iron Horse: "Ah, that's fine... you should have seen me when I first set out. I was scared of everything at night!"

  • Vestra smiles. "I find that hard to believe."

Iron Horse: "But I was! So at first I would run through all the night and only rest when I found a town... it was pretty tiring, but it did build up my endurance!"

Vestra: "All night? I can't imagine running for an entire night.."

Iron Horse: "You run for an entire night if you are afraid of stopping! ... I don't do that anymore though. I know better now."

Vestra: "I couldn't run for an entire night if bandits were at my back! You're so strong, Iron Horse.."

  • Vestra says this with admiration and a certain sense of consideration in her voice
  • Iron Horse laughs, and scratches the back of his head. "Well, I grew up doing all sorts of hard labor... you get to be pretty strong!"
  • Vestra smiles. "It shows. You would be an excellent keeper, you know."

Iron Horse: "... me? A keeper?"

Vestra: "If you wished, I'm sure my father would employ you."

Iron Horse: "... I dunno. I like to move around. Can't keep still in a place for too long..."

Vestra: "Or else why be a messenger? It must be a good life?"

Vestra: "Though your promised one must miss you, when you are away."

  • Iron Horse tilts his head to the side. "Promised one?"

Vestra: "The one who will be your mate."

Iron Horse: "... ah! I... uh... don't have one. Not yet, at least."

  • Vestra blinks, looking confused but...something else. Hopeful? No. Not really. More a controlled desperation. "Why not? Surely there have been offers."

Iron Horse: "... none that I recall. Maybe I'm still too young!"

  • Vestra gives Iron Horse a look up and down. "I do not think so, Iron Horse."
  • Iron Horse laughs, and scratches the back of his head. "I dunno. Been told I'm a big kid before."

Vestra: "I am sure they were only jealous of you, Iron Horse. Your heart is pure."

  • Iron Horse blinks, and scratches his chin. "What, you think so?"
  • Vestra smiles. "I know it is."

Iron Horse: "... well, thanks!"

< A Dance of Puppets | Red Ice Logs | Departure >