(1310-09-05) The Whims of a Quick and Powerful Animal
Summary: Two riders come across one another in the open field and talk about the upcoming horse race.
RL Date: August 5, 2018
Related: None
isabelle achille 

Marsilikos Hippodrome

In honour of the ancient Hellenes and Eisande's own history of horse-breeding and rearing, the Marsilikos Hippodrome stands apart from the city in a reclaimed marsh. Stony terraces march down to the sea on the windswept site, holding back the waves pummeling the low-lying coast. Tough salt-resistant grasses and flowers cluster along the rocky fringes of the wide oval space. At first glance, the place resembles nothing so much as an untended field surrounded by a complex of weathered rock walls hemming in none too productive fields. But a seasoned eye may distinguish the lime-traced oval track at a distance, and the neat avenues slicing ruler-straight through the grassy mound. Clearly a favourite for riders to launch into galloping runs pell-mell over the flat ground, clods of earth and divots provide some level of hazard.

Here every spring and fall, the greatest horse fair in Terre d'Ange gathers and transforms the hippodrome into a sea of tents and Tsingani carts. The fields marked by rough stone walls become pens for yearlings and adult horses for trade and barter, the whole of it lively and wild. During races in the season, crowds throng the sides of the track and wooden stands spring up like mushrooms after the rain to accommodate immense crowds drawn by the sport.


She has just finished a rigorous circuit around the practice ring when she decides to call it an afternoon.

Cazador hardly seems winded; the impressive, sleek black steed of Aragonian stock pulls up to a stop by the rest of her entourage in a cloud of dust and sure-footed hooves, his proud head tossing in the summer breeze. As far as horses go, he is a magnificently spirited creature and slightly notorious among her father's retainers - the stallion is stubborn and has only really listened to two people in his life, one of them presently seated atop his saddle.

The swing of long legs has Isabelle de Valais dismounting her horse, gloved fingers threading over the animal's reins and a hand patting his cheek. Soothing words in low Aragonian are dispensed as a hoof stamps insistently against the dirt. Another tall shadow, that of Guillermo Torres, her right-hand man dressed in his crisp, black-and-white livery takes up the other side of the horse, hand lifted in offerance to take the straps from his mistress.

"Well! That was invigorating," the lady tells her valet. She is dressed in appropriate riding attire - slim-fitting breeches and long boots pulled up over the knee, an impeccably tailored shirt tucked under a coat fashioned from her own designs, dyed a deep scarlet and fringed with black lace on the hems and lapels. "What are my appointments this evening, Guillermo?"

"Dinner, senorita," the valet answers. "With Lord Laurent Le Blanc about his Autumn wardrobe."

"Eugh, the man and his perpetual garlic breath. It's a universal truth that dashing outerwear simply can't save anyone from poor hygiene, though considering that, it's a mystery as to how he managed to marry three times. I suppose it'd be poor form to cancel?" she wonders idly, tugging off her gloves. "Gives me enough time for a bath and get pretty."

—-

Achille was riding his horse up to the circuit, apparently looking for a ride as he rode up wearing his fine robes fitting of a vicomte. Though his eyes eventually find the beautiful woman ahead of him, He dismounts his horse, and takes the reins, walking the horse to the Lady. "Why would you need to attempt to be pretty, my lady? You are already quite beautiful." Achille compliments her when he ends up overhearing some of her words.

"If you don't mind me saying that is."

A glance of those ocean blue eyes to the fellow who is Guillermo. A bow of his head from the Lord to the servant before his eyes fall upon Isabelle. "Did you just finish the ciruit, pray tell? How did it feel?" He pauses then. "Oh, where are my manners? I am Vicomte Achille DeLaunay. Might I ask what yours is?" he extends a hand to her.

—-

Well, this is unexpected.

Isabelle inclines her head to the tall stranger that suddenly arrives, dismounted and striding towards her with compliments fully loaded to bear, reminding her distantly of armored men in the top of Akkadian fortresses armed with ballistae.

"I suppose the word I ought to use is presentable, when beauty is so common in a place like Terre D'Ange, bathed in the blood and graces of angels as it is," she replies. There's nary a blush to be seen on her lightly sun-kissed features and when the hand is extended, she offers her own. "Isabelle de Valais. Well met, Vicomte. Out for just an afternoon ride or are you practicing for the tournament horse race?"

Guillermo bows deeply from the waist in acknowledgment, and with a quiet cluck of his tongue, he ushers the horse away from the pair.

—-

He did quite enjoy the unexpected.

Regardless, Achille smiles as Isabelle shakes his hand. Though, if she allows it, he'll attempt to kiss her knuckles in a not-so-chaste fashion before he smiles. "A pleasure, my lady." he stands up straight and releases her hand. "Ah, the former instead of the latter. I enjoy going out on simple horseback…it's calming in the face of boredom." he laughs a bit, before he looks to Guillermo, they were horse free! Thanks man.

Though he does smile. "Though I did have a mind to join the contest, so practice could be nice." a small chuckle then.

—-

The not-so-chaste kiss upon her knuckles has a single elegant eyebrow climbing higher towards her hairline.

Her hand released, Isabelle's dark-and-gold eyes find her steward's back, before it drops to bracket into one hip. "Well, I suppose there are therapeutic effects to be had when giving oneself over to the whims of a quick and powerful animal," she observes, expression easy and simmering with overt bemusement. "My beloved Cazador does love to run. I hardly ever have to do anything with him in days like this - wide fields, open air. It is heaven for a horse such a he."

Only she is horse free. Guillermo is presently leading Cazador away, too proper a servant to touch the horse of another noble.

"Well, there's no time like the present, if you're thinking about it. I told a friend a mere day or so ago that tournaments tend to admit late entrants," she continues. "The more the merrier, as they say, as typical of celebrations." She tilts her head back, directing her stare to the drawing twilight. "Another summer ended."

—-

Achille offers her a brilliant smile. "Hah! I do hope so." he smiles with amusement in equal measure. Thoug his eyes do drift to Guillermo as he leads Cazador away. Before his eyes shift to his own horse, Aginold. "Indeed. I might go out to the boards and make a plea. See if I can get in. Buuut I wouldn't hold my breath too much. There are always exceptions, after all." he winks.

"Nevertheless, I am saddened such beautiful weather will be ending. I have an affinity for the warm climate." a small smile before his eyes shift back to her.

"If you are a part of the tournament, I wish you well."

—-

Slender shoulders lift upwards in a shrug, smile lifting a touch higher. "Each season has its charms, my lord," Isabelle replies. "I wouldn't miss the Summer just yet. Who knows, talk to the right person and perhaps they'll forgive the late entrance, and I hear that a little grease in the palm goes a long way as well. Perhaps a more difficult endeavor for a commoner, but for a vicomte? Oh yes. Exceptions abound."

His wishes for good fortune on her behalf has her dipping her head. "You're very kind," she tells him. "Were I able to also wish myself luck, I'd perhaps be able to compound my fortune, and bet on myself this time. The bookies must be having a tremendous row this season."

Watching Guillermo lift a gloved hand from a distance, she sighs, clapping her free hand at the back of her neck and rolling her thumb at the base of her skull. "Well, business calls. Perhaps I'll see you in the race then, hm? And if that's the case, good fortune to you as well, Vicomte." She gives his own horse a once-over. "He's a fine specimen, were you to enter, I'm certain he won't embarrass you. I'm hardly an equine expert, mind, but he has good bones."

And with that, she pivots on her heel and moves towards where her steward awaits.

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