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Valardin Stable Showing

Having had a particularly prolific foaling season, House Valardin is pleased to present the newest additions to the stables. Running the gamut from gentle riding horses, to warhorses, to future jousting steeds, now is the time to express your interest in claiming one of these beautiful beasts of impeccable pedigree as your own and begin bonding. Riding lessons offered by Valardin stables upon request.
(Disclaimer: Foals not to be separated from dams until a full year old, though they can be named, visited, gelded, and started on early training for show/carriage/war careers.)

1. a coal black foal, two weeks old
male, strong legs, spirited disposition
2. a speckled grey and white foal, three weeks old
male, broad back, lazy disposition
3. a snow white foal, one week old
female, dainty size, spirited disposition
4. a jet black foal, one week old
male, white forehead star, wild disposition
5. a steel grey foal, two weeks old
male, stark white mane, regal disposition
6. a black/white paint foal, three weeks old
male, stocky size, calm disposition
7. a chestnut foal, one week old
female, glossy coat, finicky disposition
8. a champagne foal, two weeks old
female, ice blue eyes, spirited/haughty disposition
9. a bay foal, one week old
male, voluminous black mane, regal disposition
10. a stark white foal, one week old
male, ice blue eyes, attention-seeking disposition
11. a buckskin foal, two weeks old
male, black forehead star, regal disposition


Aug. 5, 2016, 5 p.m.

Hosted By



Aislin Fatima Fergus(RIP) Niccolo(RIP) Nadia(RIP) Donella Dagon Ophelia Gustave Freja(RIP) Jacinthe Silas



Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Grounds

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


The showing was a complete success, I couldn't possibly be more proud. The foals were by and large on their best behavior, though there was one little beauty that decided to take a bite out of someone's thigh and subsequently found herself unselected. There is a rider for every horse, and I am confident she'll find the person meant to lead her with time. I thought I might write down a few notes here for posterity, instead of having to shift through stacks of registration paperwork.

Duke Niccolo Velenosa named his black foal 'Dauntless', and considering the spirit displayed by the little stallion in the making, I think it is an apt moniker indeed.
Prince Dagon Thrax also selected a black foal and opted against gelding, naming the tiny stallion 'Trouble' which means he at least knows what he is in for with that wildling.
Princess Fatima Thrax opted for one of the most beautifully colored foals, her coat comparable to exotic sands, and fittingly her name was selected from the Eurusi tongue, 'Zahara'.
Princess Ophelia Velenosa opted for a little buckskin with the gravitas of a much older horse, I think they will complement one another beautifully. The name she chose was 'Count Death (Badger)' which I'm certain has a story behind it, I should ask.
Prince Fergus Redrain was chosen by a black and white paint foal, aptly named 'Blackjack', and the two of them with their quiet strength should get along nicely.
Lady Nadia Nightgold chose my absolute favorite, the stark white foal of my own mare. She's named him 'Mystery', and with his penchant for drama, I expect he'll live up to the name perfectly.
Miss Jacinthe Whisper lived up to expectations of entertainment when she named her handsome bay foal 'Virtue', the play on words was outstanding.
Sir Silas picked a steel gray foal that will serve as his warhorse, and though he hasn't yet decided whether or not to geld, the horse he's named 'Damascus' will serve him well.
Lady Aislin Ashford came looking for a southern horse, and while other houses produce breeds of merit, you won't find them at the Valardin stables. She selected a dainty white foal, giving her a placeholder name of 'Hwit', but doesn't seem to have quite committed to the sale.

All in all, it was a brilliant opportunity to meet those interested in equestrian pursuits, whether it be simply riding or training the horses for show, and I can't wait to see how things progress this year.

**A note is added at the bottom**
We'll call the biter Galley. Perhaps that will sway Princess Donella.

Dagon arrives.
6 Thrax Guards arrives.
Ophelia arrives.
Fergus arrives.
"I'll be opening the paddock now, feel free to enter and examine any of the foals. For those unfamiliar, offering a treat is a good way to get the foal's attention," Malorie says, walking over to open the paddock fence and head inside. She picks up an apple slice and sure enough a horse moseys on over, though it's a grey mare, not one of the foals. She relinquishes the treat anyway. "As several of you might not know, I'm Princess Malorie Valardin. Is anyone looking for a particular coat pattern or temperament?" she asks, beckoning those gathered to enter the paddock as well. "Don't be shy, the sooner they get used to crowds, the better."
Endlessly toying with one of her silky ribbons, Ophelia's pads in quite swift, but very-very ladylike form, towards the paddock in a rustle of silks and leather to try to depart the main of the group and begin hunting to get a good glimpse at each of the foals. A dimpled smile is beamed towards Malorie, or her back, once she tries to head eagerly on ahead.
Not known to be a horseman of any shape or form, but still one never knows if that right horse might just turn the foul-mooded Prince into a horse lover. Fergus stops just outside the crowd of serious buyers and looks around when people begin feeding little foals. "Got any angry warhorses?" Comes the question from his gruff voice.
Niccolo arrives to the the grounds just a little before Malorie introduced herself and the beasts. The duke walks with a smaller guard retinue than usual this time, and his hands are clasped behind his back. He tilts his head in the direction of the princess when she speaks, and hints of a smile touch his lips. He decides to approach her. "Princess Malorie," the duke dips his head respectfully. "I'm Duke Niccolo Velenosa, I've been partial to black or gray coats," the man admits. "And I prefer horses that are suitable for war if need be." Seeing Fergus, he spares a glance at the man and inclines his head to him.
Donella arrives.
Gustave arrives.
Baby animals of any stripe are an excellent lure. Yes, these are most valuable and useful animals or will be when they grow. They are also adorable-- and draw a crowd the likes of which is sure to curl any courtesan's toes.

And so, Jacinthe has come. Dressed down in quality linen dyed a pretty summer blue, simple white ribbons woven through her hair to capture it at her nape, she drifts along the fence. A little drawstring purse dangles from one wrist; her other hand secures an apple wedge with which to tempt one of the foals should it wander near the paddock's bars. The Whisper hangs back from the main group clotting around Malorie for now, content to survey who's attending and who is actually here to buy horseflesh.
Fatima has been waiting patiently, though eagerly to get a closer look at the foals, and when the server passes nearby she obtains a glass of wine and a healthy amount of carrots for the horses. She gives a polite nod to Malorie as she passes her and she begins to make lazy circles through the paddock, her head tilting as she looks at the foals without approaching any of them in particular. It isn't until the champagne colored foal catches sight of the carrots in her hand and approaches her, that she reacts to the foals at all. She does, indeed give the foal a carrot, and she runs her hand down the back of the horse as it eats.
Silas arrives on the grounds, still donning his armor and likely having taken a break from his guard duties. Malorie had already opened the paddock, but instead of immediately going on the prowl he stops to give the princess a polite bow and introduce himself. "It is nice to meet you, Your Highness. I'm Sir Silas Mercier." He lets the others then approach the princess and makes his way to the foals. No treats in hand, he opts to simply try to befriend the ones who aren't easily spooked by guardsmen!
Aislin arrives.
Any stealth Ophelia employs is lost by the Velenosan attired guard who tags after her. "Angry warhorses," she repeats quietly as Fergus words filter down to her, her index finger tapping against her lips as she investigates, but doesn't seek to feed any of them. Her hands are resolutely pinned at the small of her back as she locates the buckskin foal and creeps its direction. After staring for a total of five seconds, her impeccably straight posture only straightens more, and she declares cheerfully, "It's mine." Only after does her head turn searchingly, singling out Niccolo in his greetings, "My Favorite Grace Duke Uncle. Found one. I love it. Thank-you-bye!" She doesn't seem to be leaving though.
Ophelia's quick steps draw the attention of some of the more inquisitive little horses that immediately head in her direction, no doubt hoping for a treat, though a chestnut foal shies away, hiding behind her mother's legs. "Angry?" Malorie asks Fergus, laughing lightly. "Not quite, no. We do have some high spirited ones though, if that's what you mean?" She points toward a standoffish black foal, kicking at the ground and looking exactly like a bad child in horse form. She half-bows from where she's seated on the edge of the paddock. "Duke Niccolo, a pleasure to meet you. We've got a few darker ones of varying disposition. One I just pointed out, and there's... a grey in there somewhere, probably behind the hay. Also another black one that is a born warhorse if I ever saw him, here - have an apple and make friends?" she suggests with a grin. Wiggling her fingers in greeting to Jacinthe and Fatima as they enter, she reminds everyone, "Don't be shy. They're all good babies, promise. Just don't put food in your pockets, we had a slight, very minor mishap earlier with that."
Donella hangs back at the fence posts of the paddock, waiting to greet the event's hostess for the family, as the new young things are greeted and examined, loping around their mothers and the guests. Donella leans on her elbows, restive.
Malorie holds her fingers barely a centimeter apart, reiterating, "Very minor."
Donella holds up her hands at Malorie's direction, one finger folded down as though missing. A smile curves her lips.
Fatima has a handful of carrots and the foal certainly wants them all, but she's only offering one at a time as she makes her way toward Ophela and Malorie. She nods her head again and says, "I'm princess Fatima Thrax. I don't think we've met." Just then the foal nudges Fatima with her head in an attempt to get her attention, which sends the woman slightly off balance, but she catches herself with a laugh and shakes her head before feeding the horse another carrot.
Niccolo can't help but stare a little at Ophelia, although there is a smile threatening to break through the duke's cool demeanor. He looks from the young woman, to the buckskin and lifts a brow. "Don't you want to make sure how it feels about birds?" He wonders in her direction. "What if it likes them?" he then asks, curious, before his attention returns to Malorie and he dips his head at her greeting. He listens, and takes the apple, studying it. He walks over to get another one, then studies both apples. He then passes Ophelia, tossing an apple at her. "Make some friends," he says to her, while he makes his way to go find one of those foals pointed to by Malorie.
"A pleasure to make your acquaintance, Sir Silas, are you looking for anything in particular?" Malorie is asking Silas when she spots Donella out of the corner of her eye and promptly starts laughing. "That would be a little more dire than this much," she says, spreading her fingers further. "No no, it was a nipped thigh, he was asking for it I'm sorry to say, stealing apples from the little ones." She tells Fatima, "You're a natural, and it's a pleasure to meet you, Your Highness."
Princess Malorie's slight, very minor diplomacy regarding foal behaviour draws a low hum of amusement from Jacinthe. She pauses to dip at the knee for the woman and murmurs, "Your Highness. Jacinthe Whisper, and it is a pleasure to meet you. Your warning is /most/ appreciated, thank you kindly," regarding her for a moment with unvoiced laughter shining in her eyes. Marshaling her forces-- which consists now of three apple slices and a rather knobby carrot-- the courtesan slides between the cluster of bodies at the paddock's entrance and skirts along its edge. It's the little bay with the black mane who's drawn her attention, and it's towards him that she extends one of the apple slices. She really ought to mind her fingers.
Aislin strides in, today wearing knee high, brown leather boots, pale brown, soft leather pants that hug her frame are tucked into them. Her billowy silk blouse the same pale green color of House Ashford is cinched at the waist by a silver belt that hangs crooked on her hips, a buckle of a leafless tree also done in ornate silver. Platinum white hair pulled away from her face in a tight braid leaving the scar on her left cheek nothing to hide behind. Emerald eyes bright and cheerful as she makes paces to where the ponies are being kept.
"They're mine, Favorite Duke Uncle. They feel like they should respond to my tortured plight appropriately in becoming my very best and fondest friends." As the foals begin to crowd around with potential nudges, Ophelia giggles a bit from in the midst of them. Her resolve ends up with her contentedly recounting towards each and every one who approaches her, "I'll take you... and you... and you..." She turns her head at Fatima's approach, introducing with a foal-blocking curtsey, "Princess Ophelia Velenosa, Princess Fatima. Aren't they great?" with her hand surprisingly deft when it captures the apple thrown by Niccolo. "Will you also buy one for yourself? After you buy this one for me?" A pause. "And that one?"
Noting the horse pointed out to him, Fergus grunts and begins looking over the stock before he notices a male foal, stocky build and black and white paint coat. Fergus seems to like the stocky build of the paint and begins heading toward him, grabbing an apple, pulling out his knife as he walks, beginning to cut slices from the apple. "Hey there... horse..." He greets, it sounds awkward, not that he's never been on a horse, but he's only just used family stabled mounts to get places.
Silas seems to be making some progress with steel gray foal. He inches ever closer to pet his mane, but the foal inches back warily. He stops when Malorie asks him about his preference, turning back to answer her. "Hmm. Is there such a thing as a friendly warhorse? I don't want mine to be particularly tempermental - my family has it's own stable and I have a horse already... though he's aging."
Donella remains leaning against the fence to watch her cousin Fatima admiring the little ones. She waits there, arming herself with a cider. "Aren't we all," she comments toward Silas.
Horses are beasts of burden. While Gustave holds them in no particular reverence (most Blackram men are notoriously hard for a horse to bear), there is a use for a few of the animals as supply animals, and the women of the household often take on mounted roles. He moves amongst the various animals, examining them with the careful, practiced...okay its an eye for ponies that comes mostly from second hand information. He pauses to nod his acknowledgement of Malorie, the hostess of this event, and otherwise notes a few of the other players. His neck rolling as he grabs himself a glass of wine and a carrot. Because what is good for the foal is clearly good for the ram.
Fatima moves to lean toward the champagne horse with the icy blue eyes, and she says to the horse, "I suspect you'd like anyone with treats, wouldn't you?" Though she does stop the next server that walks by to retreive some apple slices. She asks Malorie curiously, "You would providing riding lessons as well? I know next to nothing about horses." She feeds the foal a slice of apple, and gives her a scratch behind the ear as she glances around the paddock at the others gathered. Upon doing this she sees Donella and lifts an apple filled hand to give her a slight wave before turning her attention back to the champagne colored foal whose neck is lifted and her head follows the appled filled hand as it waves.
"Thank you for coming, Miss Jacinthe. Have you much experience with horses?" she asks, slipping down from her perch on the paddock, her unreasonably white skirts fluttering around her ankles. Upon standing, the diminutive princess strides over toward a bale of hay. "So, if there's a particular horse you're interested in, come on over here. Pick a name - it's probably not the name you'll stick with, but try calling it over and beckoning with treats, see if it responds to you." She tells Silas, "Well in general, warhorses come in two varieties. Stallions, which are generally bigger, more prone to fighting with other horses, and require considerably more experience to handle. Then there are geldings, which are often not as massively muscular, but are more likely to get along with other horses, follow orders with less temper, and not give your squire as much trouble." She inclines her head politely in greeting to Gustave. "Looking for anything in particular?"
(OOC) Dagon says: Sorry, back.
"Oh, you want all of them, my most dearest of nieces," Niccolo muses in Ophelia's direction, having come to a stop, and rolling the apple he holds between his fingers. He looks at the animals again, pensive. "I intend to get one for myself, yes," the man admits. "And sure, we'll get you one too. Maybe you can convince Her Grace to get you a second one," he tells her with some amusement. His eyes fall on a foal with a coal black coat, and strong legs. He approaches the foal. "You look like an interesting one," he offers half of his apple to it.
Ophelia leans ever so slightly towards Silas, her lashes fluttering in innocent form as she pronounces in a whisper that somehow is stil chipper, "My valiant horse will beat up your horse." Niccolo receives another brilliant, dimpled smile and the repeated claim: "You're my very-very favorite Grace Uncle forever and always."
Pointing to the sturdy paint foal, Fergus calls over toward Malorie. "Do you know anything of this foal's parents? Are they big? He looks like he may be big, could carry a man in armor." Fergus has been handing over bits of apple to the horse, one of his big hands scratching at it's main whilst it eats.
Aislin makes her way to Malorie, standing behind and to the side of Gustave with her hands behind her back, looking over the selection of horses. Looking to be waiting her turn for any questions she may have. Eyes on one in particular, the spirited coal black male foal.
"What I know about horses could fill a thimble." And Jacinthe possesses no shame in admitting it, in spite of attending a sale for the creatures. But she is charmed by the little foal currently lipping at her hand with its velvet muzzle. As it crunches on the apple, she trails her fingers along its fuzzy bay neck before stepping back to begin snapping that misshapen carrot into less imposing pieces. With her hands busy, she tilts a glance towards Ophelia's flutterings, a smile playing over her lips-- yes, yes, blatantly eavesdropping. But the sun is shining, there are cute babies, and really, it's all very cheerful and harmless.
Silas remains standing there, thoughtfully scratching his scruffed chin. "Hm. He's a gelding. But breeding may not be such a bad idea..." He inclines his head over to Donella when she makes her offhand comment. "True enough, though I'd prefer he didn't meet his end on the battlefield, and instead happy at home." Hence why he was interested in purchasing a youngling here. He frowns when Ophelia pipes up and asserts her horse will beat up his. "How mean!" There's no heat or distress in his tone, however. He slinks back to the steel gray foal, continuing his quest to get a pet in.
Dagon picks up a carrot, heading into the paddock. "You said there was a white foal that might make a good jousting mount, but not a very good warhorse?" he asks Malorie as he heads in that direction. "I want to see this little jester for myself."
"I am never mean," Ophelia declares towards Silas, aghast for all of two seconds before she's smiling towards his steel grey foal with distraction. She doesn't remark anything about Jacinthe's alleged eavesdropping, but she singles her out after with a contented sigh as she loiters near one-of-her-many chosen, the buckskin shaded one again. "My very first noble steed was named Sir Argrelus the Noble. He died. Then it was Sir Argrelus the Noble Two. He also died." There's a long moment of sober contemplation and then she reveals to the Whisper, "Then I started naming my horses Death, like some people name their horses... Valor or Snowmane or things of that sort. This would be Death the Third, only because Death the Second was forced to be left at home. But I'm not sure that fits. What are your thoughts?"
Gustave bows his head oncemore. "Ah, Princess Malorie. It is good to know that your are still with us." Chomping on the carrot as he considers. "If we have not met before, I am Marquis Gustave Blackram, pledged to Telmarch." A sip of wine as he surveys the various horses. "My daughter will be riding soon. I need an animal not afraid to put her in her place, when need be. Good endurance, able to get by on less forage, not afraid of a fight but not necessarily eager to charge in." He notes, a passing glance at Jacinthe as she speaks of knowledge of horses. "Indeed Ms. Whisper, I am much the same. My house seldom deals in horses in any great number, so I often defer to Valardin wisdom on such matters."
"Oh, hello," Malorie greets Aislin. "You're quiet, did you have any questions?" she asks. "Well there's not much you need to know to love these little ones," she tells Jacinthe. "But with ownership, you'd get lessons, and guidance," she says, aiming those words at Fatima, since she'd previously asked about lessons. "They're much too young to leave their dams, and of course in keeping with upholding Valardin stables levels of quality, they'll be broken in here, and taught the basics, so as to weed out any instabilities of disposition or health. Which means you all can focus on getting to know and love them, without having to worry about stabling needs."
"Knowing that fills my heart with joy, my dearest of nieces," Niccolo tells Ophelia in response, looking briefly between her and Silas at their exchange. His eyes then find Donella and he dips his head in the direction of the princess, before he turns once more to the foal he's working on, that coal black one who might be looking at the apple Niccolo is offering like it wants to maybe eat his whole arm. Still, the duke remains resilient in his approach, walking from the animals left side. He presents the piece of apple, which is eagerly snatched and the duke reaches to pat the creature's neck.
"A true pleasure to make your acquaintance, Marquis Gustave," Malorie says with a dip of her head that is entirely graceful, even as she's nudged by a solid white mare. "This one," she tells Dagon, "Is the mother of the foal you're after." She tells Fergus, "That one's parents aren't currently in Arx, they actually travel with the shipping caravans between here and Sanctum, so if you're looking for one with strength in his lines, look no further," she nods solemnly. "He's not very excitable, as a warning - he doesn't wake up uptil he decides to, and he sleeps when he wants, as well."
It's quite clear the horse that Fatima has chosen, though in fact the horse chose her, and not the other way around. She's still feeding apple slices with one hand and drinking the maple wine with the other as she looks critically at the small horse, and runs her hands over her back and haunches. She crouches slightly and looks into the horse's eyes, satisfied that the horse does nothing but stare back. She gives a gentle tug to the spirited little animal's ear, and the horse leans in and touches her muzzle to Fatima's cheek. She stands and quite decidedly she says, "Who should we speak to about any decisions we've made?"
Aislin looks up to Malorie, "I am looking for a horse that can keep paces on long voyages. A Lenosian Quarter Horse or a Southport Bay." she explains with a soft smile. Looking back to the all black, spirted male that she points to. "I have my eyes on that one. It reminds me of a blue roan I had years ago." she sighs, "I do miss her." she murmurs, clearing her throat and looking back to Malorie, "I need something spirited but loyal. Instictive and intelligent. I tend to listen to my horse when it shows signs of unease, it has saved my ass more than once. Especially through the Gray Forest.".
Jacinthe ignores the foal nosing at her hands again for those chunks o' carrot, at least for a moment. Long enough to dip at the knee to Ophelia when she is caught out, listening in. "It seems to me, your highness, that the tradition requires the passing of the previous horse. But a counterpart name, perhaps? Death is very striking but you could name this one... ah." The courtesan pauses to consider. "Spring?" is her suggestion.

Gustave's address to her earns the man a dip of her bright head, a smile to match the one just given Ophelia. "That seems the most sensible course, my lord. To each their strength, and here we reap the benefit of it. It sounds as if you've a very certain picture in mind of what you need of them." She finally gives over a piece of carrot to the little bay. "And if it takes years for them to grow, maybe those are years I could spend learning, given how generous the Valardin are being with their included terms."
Malorie is busy, Fergus understands, so with her attention being pulled this way and that, Fergus begins walking toward her, just as she starts to answer his question. He nods and continues her way, glancing back at the paint. "Well that sounds more or less like me." Fergus informs her with a grunt. "How much are we talking about for one of the foals? And I'd need some better training on how to ride, I know only enough to mount a horse and ride down a road."
Nadia arrives.
Donella drinks a sip of wine from her glass, standing in calm quiet observation. She says nothing, fingers ruffling contemplatively as the foals warm up, or do not, to the people intent on their ownership. Her shoulders move once in an exhalation.
(OOC) Malorie says: If you've ICly settled on a horse, can you page me which one, pretty please?
"Spring." Ophelia's brow bunches at Jacinthe's suggestion, her hand curling to allow the buckskin foal the scent of her when she absently begins to feed it apple slices with a practiced hand. Perking suddenly, she smiles delightedly and states, "I shall name you Count Death. You will be privileged above all others who came before you and I shall ride you into the depths of the forest where we will be the terror of all those who seek to stand against us." Cooing towards it when leans forward, she murmurs, "We're going to hunt endlessly until they bend to our will, yes, yes, we are, sweetness."
Freja arrives.
Donella rubs the bridge of her nose.
Niccolo continues to pat the spirited foal with the coal black coat, taking a moment to study the creatures's legs, when it stomps on the ground next to the duke. Still, while it looks like it wants to bolt and run around the area, the Velenosa nobleman seems to be somewhat experienced at handling horses and between enticing it with the fruit, and his calming touch, he the foal seems willing to stay at the duke's side. "Strong spirit, strong legs. You'll do just nicely," the man decides, glancing at Ophelia. "My dearest niece, are you still settling on the buckskin one as your favorite?" he calls out in Ophelia's direction.
Malorie flashes Aislin a grin. "It's lovely that you know so clearly what you're looking for. Now, the Valardin stables have a tradition of not including mixed-bred horses in these shows, mainly because there can be complications when breeding a retired warhorse with a sleeker Lenosian steed built for running the plains - will it be too stocky for speed, or too streamlined to carry a warrior in full plate? And so on. So this little herd is solidly Valardin stock." She rises onto her toes, addressing those gathered, "As I'd mentioned, the horses will remain in the Valardin stables until such time as they are weaned and have been properly trained for handling to the House's standards," she says, her voice gentle but carrying. "To that end, the will be no upfront payment for the horses, in case one falls victim to disease, illness, or proves otherwise unfit for service. What you can do is note your interest, today, and give me a placeholder name for your horse. Support the stablemasters, visiting your horse and giving it human interaction is priceless - even if you send family or friends or servants to spend time with them in your stead. That is all we ask in down-payment."
Silas, eventually, manages to get within arm's reach and pet the foal he's targeted. The foal doesn't jump away, though it looks at the guardsman as though he wasn't quite sure what to make of the man. Seemingly satisfied, he smiles and straightens. "I think I'll take this one and keep him as a stallion." He tweaks his nose as he studies the foal more closely. "Now, a name..."
A bit late to the showing, Freja sneaks up to the fringe of the group without a sound made. The Redrain Royal is back in her scouting leathers, auburn curls freely falling down her back. She clasps her hands behind her back, dark eyes scanning the foals on display.
Intones the Voice of Thrax, "Your highness. Which was it that you said proved a little impatient, and nipped a thigh, earlier?"
(OOC) Malorie says: One sec, let me see which are still available!
"I am settled and he is named, Grace-Uncle," Ophelia smiles brightly towards Niccolo, stroking along the neck of her chosen foal as it finishes consuming that slice of apple. She hadn't paid much attention to those present, but now her brown eyes look towards Princess Donella and she smooths her silken skirts to approach. "Princess Donella Thrax," she greets, identifying the woman as she performs a practiced curtsey, "I don't think you remember me, but I used to visit Queen Genevieve even before she was a Queen. It isn't the time for being sober with the birth of new life around, but it is good to see you once more." A pause. "I hope you find a horse which suits your fancy!"
Nadia makes her way onto the Valardin grounds and into the affair of foal picking, fashionably late. She stops to collect an assortment of apples, as well as a glass of maple wine from a passing servant, before she raises her head to take stock of the foals not yet claimed by the guests. "They're all so adorable," she squees, the sound masked behind a bubble of laughter, as she looks to Freja from over a shoulder, since they both arrive in a similiar time frame. "It's my hope to find one that matches my free spirit, and perhaps even a cute one for my sister, Lydia. What of you, Your Highness?"
Jacinthe tilts a smiling look at Ophelia. Of course, though she might smile, she is also regarding the young woman with a glint of muted curiosity. Count Death? "A fine, proud name, your highness," she murmurs, before tucking her chin and slipping a sidelong glance at Niccolo. Some unspoken thought tugs at her lips, touching that smile she still wears, before she refocuses on the little bay. The rest of the carrot is fed to him, piece by piece. "You'll do, I think. Let's call you... mm, Virtue."

Which means the matter is decided-- and she would do well to approach Malorie to have the reservation recorded. "They're going quickly," she asides to Gustave.
"Speed." Freja intones to Nadia, wholly utilitarian in her aims. "Something sturdy that could make the long trip back North if needed, quickly but strong enough for the snows." She glances aside to the other woman. "Are you particular to a certain coloring?"
"Good good," Niccolo remarks to Ophelia, dipping his head to her. Catching Jacinthe's look his way, the Velenosa inclines his head to her as well. He turns back to the foal with the coal black coat. That foal is not staring away from Niccolo, and while it might be settled at his side, it seems as ready to go at anything put in front of him. A faint grin touches the duke's lips, as he pats the animals neck again. "So fearless. I think, we'll call you Dauntless," the duke decides, with a dip of his head. He gives the foal a couple of final pats.
"That would be this one here," Malorie tells Donella, gesturing toward the chestnut colored foal with the somehow haughty expression. "She didn't want the treat in his hand, she wanted the one in his pocket, apparently. Lesson learned, no food in pockets."
"We seldom charge into battle, Lady Whisper. A horse to us is far morse useful to convey eyes and to deliver foot." He says as he chuckles at Jacinthe. "Its more of a...long term request. My daughter is but seven, so I have some time before we stick her to a mount." A few of the horses are fed in between sips of wine, his shoulders rolling back. "Speed is nice, but we tend to prefer what horses we do have to be modest of their wants and tireless in their stride." Though he keeps an eye on the others and what horses they choose. "Though its almost as interesting to watch what people look for and choose than picking one yourself."
Aislin nods faintly, looking back over the selection, "So long as it can outrun a Shav'arvani Paint, nimble enough to slip between trees and outmaneuver their arrows." she states, glancing back to Malorie. Looking out again, seeing that her first choice is already taken she nods to the snow white foal that matches her hair. "So I think she will do well, small but I am sure she will have the agility and speed I am looking for.", she doesn't bother to name it in case it dies or it turns out unfit.
After a few sips of the sweet wine, Nadia lowers her glass to favor Freja with a pensive twist of her mouth. "I've come with no expectations," she confesses, as her eyes roam over the young foals not yet bonded with a potential buyer. It is then that she takes notice of a coltish foal with stark white fur pacing about his mother, her brows gently lifting with surprise. "Oh, that one," she points it out with a gesture of a hand, a sudden squeal escaping her, "It's adorable!"
"Well, let's call the sturdy paint... Blackjack." Fergus seems to like this name and /almost/ grins when saying it. Fergus offers a nod to Mallorie. "I look forward to training with you and the horse, Princess."
As Fatima rises from inspecting the champagned colored horse she slips it the last bite of apple in her hand. She calls over to Malorie, "I'll call this one Zahara, and I will certainly take you up on the riding lessons. I have a year, I suppose, to learn what to do with her when she's old enough." She takes another drink of the maple wine, and on her way toward the fenceline she retrieves a few more apples from one of the passing servants. She leans casually against the fence now to watch, since her matter is settled. The champagned colored foal follows her, and when it takes her too long to hand over one of the apple slices the foal once again nudges her with its head, causing her to grab the fence for balance. She shakes her head and murmurs to the horse, "Now now, we must all learn to be patient." Then she feeds the horse an apple slice.
Freja closes her eyes for a moment and reopens them, glancing in the direction of the white foal Nadia points out. "You have a preference. It looks like it may be popular and they are going fast. It might be wise to secure it now?" she suggests, her own eyes moving towards a brown one.
"Alright, so we'll draw up paperwork and have it delivered to each of you, I'll have stable attendants take down your names, the temporary name of your horse of choice, and whether you mean for it to be a warhorse, a riding horse, a show or jousting mount, or for a child. That affects the type of training it will receive," she explains. She beams a smile at Nadia. "That one is the first foal of my own mare, Rhapsody. He's a menace, but isn't he gorgrous?" She nods at Fergus. "That's a good name, very fitting because he's very luck-of-the-draw sometimes," she laughs easily. "I look forward to training with each and every one of you, you're always welcome to come visit, just remember the foals are not to be saddled or ridden, by anyone," she adds, her voice growing dire for only this one brief moment. "They aren't ready, metally or physically, and the harm to self and horse could be immesurable."
Donella inclines her head to Ophelia, and lets out a penned breath, slowly. "Poor Genny," she says. "They say only the very good die so before their time. I hope that you and yours will join us for her memoriam event, a short time from now? We hope to give alms and lay a fine feast for the people of the lower city, in her honor." She climbs up upon the fence, and lets her legs dangle over the inner side. She balances her wine glass on the wood, and hops down, fiddling in her sleeve. She produces a honey-gold little lump of sweetness to rest on her palm. "Perfect," she says of the chestnut filly.
Jacinthe rolls her shoulders back, chin lifting in a drawn up posture. Basking in the atmosphere, perhaps, the sunshine and adorable infants and the hum of conversation that moves so casually through the circulating crowd. That smile continues to play over her lips as she lets her eyes sweep those who've assembled.

"It sounds as if long-term is exactly what her highness is hoping to establish here," the courtesan says to Gustave, a hint of thoughtful creeping into her quiet tone. "Rather clever, isn't it?" And then her smile deepens, the grin sudden. Even shocking, given how rarely she does so. "I'm glad I chose one that seems to have been born composed. I'm not certain two or three years will be enough to teach me a proper seat. If you'll excuse me, my lord? I really ought to have them mark down this name." So saying, she inclines her head to Gustave, and to Niccolo and Ophelia as well, before she ventures towards the hay bales where Malorie has set up the business side of these transactions, to have her choice recorded with a clerk.
"I look forward to hearing from you about my horse, then." Fergus informs Malorie and then he turns to go, business done and too many people chit-chatting around him.
(OOC) Fergus needs to go!
(OOC) Malorie says: Thanks for coming!
(OOC) Fergus says: THanks for the fun horse stuffs
(OOC) Malorie says: You're totally welcome.
Fergus is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Grounds, heading for Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Gate.
"Are you naming her Perfect?" Malorie asks Donella, her eyes full of mischief even as she words the query so innocently.
Ophelia dips her head towards Donella in return and her face for that instant is remarkably solemn. "I will, Princess," she promises with a returning smile. "Enjoy your hunt for horses." She turns back to also share her name and information with the clerk, stopping on the return to silently squee at Nadia and gently squeeze her forearm when she steps by in departure. "I'm going to..." She pauses at Niccolo's side, a air kiss given his cheek as cheerfulness is renewed, "... do things. Bye!"
"Farewell, Your Highness," Malorie says to the cheerful young woman as Ophelia stops to record her horse's name. "And thank you so much for coming, I hope to see you around the stables again soon."
(OOC) Malorie says: I am so so sorry, but if you could page me your horse's names? I'm scared I'll miss one, searching through backscroll!
Aislin looks around at others who have come. The squeals of delight from her cousin reaching her ears. She looks to Nadia and by proxy Freja. She raises a hand to them briefly before looking back to Malorie as she speaks. Looking to the stable attendant that comes to take her name and the white mares name, "Aislin Ashford. Call her.. Hwit, for now.".
"I don't believe I have a preference," Nadia surmises to Freja as she glides toward the young foal. She stops, when his ears swivels in her direction and his head lifts suddenly to regard her. "It's more of 'love at first sight', perhaps. But he is beautiful," she claims, turning her eyes toward Malorie. "Very gorgeous. I could see him now, his head crowned with a wreath of blushed pink roses. Or, maybe a deep red, and ... I'll take him, if he hasn't already been claimed?" She ends her whimsical musings with a soft sigh, slender fingers curling to allow the foal her scent as it toddles toward her cautiously.
Aislin has left the game.
"I'll name this little guy Damascus," Silas announces at no one in particular, nodding at the steel gray foal in front of him. "He'll be the next great warhorse of Sir Silas Mercier of the Iron Guard. Sounds befitting." Maybe that's why he was drawn to the gray one. Maybe.
The wave to Aislin is returned with the lift of a pale hand from Freja. To Nadia, her lips twitch as if wanting to dare a smile. "Love at first sight tends to be rested on beauty, but he does seem partial to you. Any names?"
Donella holds out the sweet on her palm, blowing across it daintily, with pursed lips, to see if the picky little creature is at all interested. "Thats a bit much even for such a pretty girl to live up to. We all must have our little faults, for which those that love us forgive us. You're going to be a nightmare, aren't you, dear?"
With his pick made, Niccolo walks over to approach Malorie. "That one," he says, pointing to the foal he's been spending time with, the one with the coal black coat. "And his name will be Dauntless," the duke decides, flashing a smile at the young woman. "And if I might be so bold, I have a proposal to make you. I can send over a message with the information."
"It was my pleasure to meet you, Princess. We should drink wine and feed apples to horses and throw the bruised ones at people who dislike horses at some point in the future, or think about doing it since it would probably be unladylike if we were caught," Ophelia says to Malorie, her dimples showing when she curtseys and pads for the exit. "My horse will still beat up your horse," she reclaims to Silas as she disappears alongside her guard who appears very very tired today.
Finally leaving the side of the jet black foal with the white forehead star and the wild look in his eyes, Dagon says, "I'm sure I'll wind up kicked in the chest, but I think I couldn't imagine choosing another." He heads toward his sister, examining her choice. "We would pick the worst behaved of the bunch," he says. "I think I'll name him Trouble for now, what name have you chosen?" he asks. "Duke Niccolo," he greets in passing. "That's a good name. Strong."
Ophelia is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Grounds, heading for Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Gate.
When address by Dagon, Niccolo dips his head in the man's direction. "Your Highness. Thank you. I overheard the name you chose for yours. A very peculiar name," he says with some amusement, gaze then going to the foal that the prince has chosen for himself. "But it seems to fit your choice quite well. Perhaps one day, it will not be as much trouble," he points out, that amusement still lingering.
Aislin has entered the game.
"Yes, Virtue," Jacinthe repeats for the benefit of the attendant, her head tilting to observe the name as it's placed on paper. She waits for the quill to cease its scratching before adding, "Broken for riding." So she's at least familiar with the terminology, if not the nitty gritty of just how breaking is achieved. Business achieved, she turns from that fellow to accost another servant-- maple wine? Yes, please-- before returning to what appears to be her favorite pasttime: people watching. "Here's to hoping they all live up to their names," she counters Niccolo when Dagon is heard, lifting her glass before tilting it for a sip. Not without some mischief: Dauntless and Virtue, yes, but Trouble? That's just asking for...
(OOC) Aislin says: Didn't see anything after my last in case someone's pose included me :)
It is with a gentle touch and a soothing pitch of her melodious voice that Nadia lures the foal to her side, rewarding his bravery with a fresh slice of apple. And as he nibbles it from her fingers, she raises her free hand to sweep through his mane delicately. "He is beautiful," she doesn't deny this to Freja. "I am torn between Casper, Ghost, or Mystery." Her nose wrinkles in deep contemplation, before her gaze slides to Aislin, whom she favors with a fond smile. "Cousin," she calls. "Have you picked a foal to call your own yet?"
"Perhaps," Dagon agrees. "But it's just a placeholder, I believe. One cannot know a horse's entire disposition in an entire day, he might just be overexcited by all the visitors. Still, it's fitting for the day." He leans against the fence. "Which one is yours, Princess Malorie?" he asks.
"Virtue is an interesting choice for the name of yours too, Mistress Jacinthe," Niccolo muses in the Whisper's direction, studying her. "But appropriate, in its way as well," he inclines his head to her. "And yes, let's hope that they do live to their expectations," he agrees. Glancing in Nadia's direction and overhearing her words, he rubs his chin. "Mystery. I think Mystery is a good name."
Silas quirks a smile at Ophelia's parting retort, but seems to let it go unanswered. He gives one nearby attendant the details of the Damascus's impending childhood and training. Then... he just eavesdrops on the names conversation.
Freja suggests, "See which one it responds to, if any of them? Though, I don't know if they're aware enough to know what they are picking. You could be naming it 'Pony' for all it knows..." her words trail off as she idly runs her fingers along a nearby colt's neck.
(OOC) Gustave alas has to duck out. Client call >.>
Gustave is leaving Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Valardin Grounds, heading for Arx - Ward of House Valardin - Sleepless Knights - Knight Suite #3.
"Thank you," Jacinthe tells Niccolo, inclining in a partial bow to the Duke. When she rises, there's a twinkle in hazel eyes. "Now watch him grow to delight in throwing me from his back. At the worst, I'll have a pretty token to offer someone who's won my favour." So cavalier about the foal's future! Indeed, she's spending far less time watching her chosen animal bumble about than she is in studying those nearby. Niccolo's remark draws her attention to Nadia, who earns a deep smile, a tilt of her head in acknowledgement.
"I think Ghost is a splendid name, especially considering his coloring," Malorie tells Nadia. "But Mystery is perhaps a bit prettier, especially if you're going to be showing him. Will you geld, do you think?" she asks. "You'll definitely want him gelded for riding, he's already got a very calm disposition, I think you'll look beautiful astride him," she tells Jacinthe. Turning toward Fatima, she offers the Thrax princess a smile. "Does 'Zahara' have any particular meaning? It's very pretty sounding, even if it doesn't." She points to a stark white mare nosing at Nadia's chosen foal. "That one is mine," she tells Dagon. "I've had her since I was a child, and when I returned, she was just on the brink of giving birth," she says. "Her name is Rhapsody."
Aislin doesn't bother to go and pet the white mare she has laid claim to, simply moves to the fence to hang her forearms overside of it. One knee high boot rested on the lowest beam. Watching as others move and touch, she clicks her cheek and tongue at the snow white mare to get it's attention. Why she doesn't bother to walk over to it, touch and pet it, is anyone's guess. Instead her emerald green eyes stare, watching it until it watches her right back as if the two are in some sort of unspoken communication for a few moments.
"If it responded to something silly like 'Carrot', and you confused it, I would forever hold it over your head," Nadia presses to Freja in mild jest, the corners of her lips affecting a faint, teasing smile. She looks to Niccolo and Malorie respectively with their suggestions. "Mystery is rather pretty," she agrees. "It doesn't have quite the excitement of 'Ghost' when tales are sang about my riding into the heat of battle on a stark white steed through the mists, but I quite like it."

The young foal nudges at the duchess' fingers, lips nibbling at the end of an apple slice dangling from them. She laughs, giving it away freely before returning Jacinthe's smile with a vibrant one of her own. "Mistress Jacinthe, it seems time and time again, I never quite get to sit down with you. Have you chosen a foaling as well, or were you accompanying His Grace here?"
(OOC) Donella says: Horsey McHorseface.
As the last of the names are recorded, Malorie turns to Niccolo. "A proposal?" she wonders, brows lifting. "I'm certainly curious. You can send a message certainly, or perhaps we could speak once things are finished up here?" She hands off a hunk of carrot to the horse that will one day be dubbed Ghost or Mystery, perhaps playing favorites with her own horse's son. "Please don't name your horse 'Carrot'," she laughs. "It would cause all sorts of confusion come treats time."
(OOC) Freja says: Sorry folks, I'm going to have to bow out. Headache is kiling me. Bye!
Freja has left the game.
Once the paperwork is completed and Fatima's attention returns to Malorie and she says, "I don't know what it means, but her color reminds me of the sand in my father's homeland. I will have to investigate the meaning to see if it's appropriate to name a horse." She turns her eyes toward Donella and says, "You've decided on a horse as well then, cousin?" The champagne colored foal is still following her, though she finishes the last swallow of wine and gives the empty glass to a nearby server.
"Carrot would be a very unfortunate name," Niccolo agrees with Malorie, amused. He dips his head to her. "I'll send you a message then, for us to meet so we can talk about it," he decides. "I've yet to spend time with you, Your Highness and it would do to correct that if you'll be taking care of my future stallion," he notes. "For now, however, I should go take care of a few things. Thank you for putting this together, I've been meaning to obtain a new stallion, and this presents a very good opportunity."
(OOC) Malorie says: Thank you all for coming! I'm going to end the log here but of course feel free to stay, I'm still here.

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