Herder Event - Roundup

Herder Sales Pastures (#9732)
It is a winter afternoon. Snow dusts the land in a blanket of white, and the cold northern wind continues to shower flurries across the landscape. The light is fading some, behind the clouds.
To the west, you see three people.
Standing quietly are 3 runners.
Gliding above are three firelizards.
You see Foal Pastures here.
Obvious exits:
Lake Burdenbeast Pastures Courtyard Covered Walkway Avian Area

From Stark's back, Rhaenyra is here, looking about fifty times more graceful in the saddle than she does on land. Her black mount ambles forwards, dropping his head to whuff at a particularly green spot of grass. "Stark," Rhaen chides lightly, lifting his head with the barest pressure on the reins; the stud snorts, and tosses his head, once, peering intently out of too-long forelock at the rest of the runners in the field.

Mystic Wraithe trots down from the upper pastures, moving easily while Arianya almost seems to be along for the ride. She's sitting casually, not tucked up like she tends to be. Course, she's not in a racing saddle so it does make a difference. The mare nickers softly, her tail flicking with interest as Ari guides her down towards Rhaenyra

It's a miserable day for herding, but it has to be done. Rofocale is on her own gray mount some lengths ahead of Rhaenyra, "Their tracks were headed towards the lake yesterd— no, wait. There they are." Sure enough, off in the distance is a large group of herdbeasts, milling around in the snow for shoots of grass that haven't yet died off. She waves to Rhae, "You take the left, I'll take the right. You there!" she hisses to Arianya and some apprentices following up behind, "Go 'round and push them up towards the hall."

Stark whickers at the mare as she approaches. Rhaenyra checks Stark a bit, a light look of amusement on her face as she receives her 'marching orders'. "Hey Ari," the Fortian-bred Herder calls out. "How're you doing this fine, cold day?" She sits back in her roping saddle, an ornate, huge affair, and tips an invisible hat, heeling her stud in a ground-eating lope out towards the westen side of the herd.

Arianya grumbles a little "Of all the places to move to, why'd it have to be Reaches?" At least Mystic doesn't seem to really mind the snow, course she's got some hardier blood then just Igen in her. She clicks her tongue and moves the mare up closer to the beasts "Heya! Ya!" she calls out to the beasts to get them moving "I'd be happier inside with some hot cider and a nice dollop of whiskey."

"Quit'cher chit-chattin' and git," Rofocale barks to the women. "This is the /third day/ I've been up and goddammit, I want to get to sleep when it gets dark this time!" She squeezes her thighs, stallion beneath her stretching his neck forward eagerly - despite the snow, he seems at ease. Deserts get awful cold at night, you know! She only allows him a brisk trot toward the right side of the herd, looking over her shoulder to check the status of the other herders.

From Stark's back, Rhaenyra shifts her mount from a lope to a slow jog as she comes up on the runners; it's obvious that if nothing else, Rhaen and this particular runner are old hats at this. "Ah'heh, get back in there," with a clicking noise to a particular brindled buckskin who tries to evade the group. "Shelling 'Stripes," she mutters. Yeah, she's not too big of a fan of those, after having to deal with so many earlier in life… She calls over to the rearguard, however, "Mm, I'll take the cider, but pass on the whiskey!" An amiable glance over to Rofo, on the far side of the herd, and she leans back as Stark fast-steps to prevent another runner from casting out of the herd.

Arianya rolls her eyes at Rofocale "Ya act as if you're the only one ne'er to get sleep at night." she calls out to the younger woman." She does smile though. Can be so nice sometimes to hear the normal bickering. Mystic slides to a halt as one beast tries to turn back and finds herself face to face with the runner. Arianya, or well Mystic really, works the beast back into the herd and then trot along behind, harrying the stragglers.

It's obvious that Rofocale isn't on the back of a more experienced runner. On the track maybe, but herdbeasts are somewhat new to him. Solitary seems to hesitate as she brings him closer but shifts his body quickly in the direction of the leg pressure as she asks of him to herd off a cow trying to break from the ranks. As the apprentices and Arianya crowd the rear to keep them going, a group splits towards Rhaenyra, trying to divide around her to head towards the trees. "Whoa whoa whoa, get 'em!" Two apprentices tear off to help Rhae, but at the same time, two heads make a break towards Arianya.

From Stark's back, Rhaenyra just sits back and lets Stark do his work. He was trained with Istan Waterbreds in cutting, so it's none-to-fear; the stud lays his ears back with sudden aggression and whips his front quarters around to block and send the first runner flying back to the herd; he then turns with grace over his haunches and zooms the second back into the fold as well. Rhaen, a light hand on the reins and the heel of her hand resting on her horn, shakes sweat out of her eyes with an aggravated look. "When you've got -real- moves, you can try that agan," she advises the two.

Arianya has a rope out and swings it out towards the cows, spooking them away from the direction they were going, one heads back towards the herd and the other still fights to get pass. With a sharp yell, she sends the mare closer to the cow and smacks her on the nose with the rope. Not hard, but enough to tell her that it might not be such a good idea. "Dang cows. Knew there was a reason beside their smell that I don't like them. They're dumb." A look towards Rhaen and a snort "I'll leave the fancy work to you."

Rofocale's lips are pursed and she's focused. "Good work," she shouts to them both, the apprentices regaining their positions behind the herd to urge them forward. A few cows step sideways out of the herd towards Rofo, but she wedges Solitary right up to them. The stallion is uncomfortable, that's visible enough - there must be a lot of faith between he and his rider for him to unquestionably sidle up against the moving herd. She pulls him away and he visibly relaxes until one particular steer gets a hair up his bum and makes a beeline for them. That's enough to make the gray stud shy away hard, but Rofocale's balance is expertly maintained. "Shh, shh!" She reels his head in to prevent him from taking off, because once that happens, no one can stop him.

From Stark's back, Rhaenyra beams a cheery smile over to her elder. "Aw, Ari, I'll work with Mystic if you want her to know all those 'fancy-pants moves'," she calls over. She trots along, reining Stark against the herd as a few beasts get it into their head to follow the leader and try to break ranks. Her dark head lifts, and casts across the herd to Rofo. "Go get him," she snaps at the apprentices riding whip a few paces behind Rofo, gesturing towards the steer making for the woods. The pair exchange a look and bolt after the steer; Rhaen covers her eyes as the two race past the already-spooked Solitary. "Aw, shells," she states, resigned.

Arianya eyes Rhaen "She does well enough." she notes, she has no plans on making a livin' out of doing this, but she'll help out with the tithe from time to time. As the steer breaks loose "Shards, there's go one, and then more." She mutters a little as she watches the apprentices "Hope those fools don't run him off a cliff. COurse it could be dinner." And that's cut off as Mystic darts for a cow trying to sidle out of the herd. "BLoody dumb beasts."

As the hall comes back into view, there's some happy groans from the remaining apprentices. Rofocale looks frustrated, keeping a tight hold on her mount until he calms. Once he does, another steer shoots from the side - this time though, she doesn't give Solitary the time to think. Instantly she's on it, crowding him back into the herd with some hollerin'. When that's settled, she looks pleased and praises him excessively, an eye still on the herd. "No herdbeast stew tonight," she says, pointing towards the woods. The two apprentices trudge from the woods with the steer roped between them. "Good going, just take him on up and put him in the pen. We've got these." They nod and take off briskly towards the hold, eager to get back. Another steer comes up from behind Arianya with a loud, honking charge.

From Stark's back, Rhaenyra sits Stark's easy jog, smothering a yawn. She's really keeping an eye on the herd, really. Well… Stark is. The Marshbred's ears prick fore and aft, tail swishing as he lips at the bit rhythmically. "Calm down, you," she addresses her runner, cueing him to a lope to catch a straggler from the front.

Mystic Wraithe crab-hops at the sudden bellow and Arianya shifts a little in the saddle "Damn, foolish…" she turns Mystic around and then Yahs! at the beast and hurries it on with her rope "Good for nothing. I outta drop that one here and now. Snow'll keep it fresh. I'll have my dinner. Stupid, stupid beast."

"Don't, these're for the tithe tomorrow." Rofocale grunts roughly. Finally, they've reached the funnel entrance to the pen and she urges Solitary forward at a lope, edging the herd into a narrower track to filter them inside. "Push 'em in, Rhae!" Gotta make 'em fit or they'll just run off once they hit the funnel. "Push 'em forward!" As they start crowding the entrance and lumbering in, a few break away from the gate. Rushing forward, Rofo lets out a loud woop to startle them and shove them back around towards Ari.

Arianya eyes the cattle "Come on dinner. They won't miss one." She works them "COme on, get in there you idiots. I've seen appies with more brains." Well of course appies have brains, but you know." She swings her rope at them and latches on to one that slips by. Mystic digs her heels in and then the bring it around.

At long last, the herdbeasts are in the pens, save for a few trailers. Rofocale takes it upon herself to rush them in and pack them tight, pulling the gate closed from Solitary's back. "Good job, now we gotta get back up in the morning and head these off to the Weyr." The last word was said with an annoyed spit and she takes her stud toward the fence. The two apprentices who brought the lone steer to the pens have already put their runners away and are waiting for their journeymen and master to help put them away. "Are you supposed to help tomorrow, Ari? I know Rhae is."

Arianya settles back in the saddle, relaxed now. A glance at Rofocale. "Nope." she states and grins evilly at that. "I've got someone coming in to buy some breeding stock for Bitra." she states with a smile "Should make a pretty hefty fee off that sale. They've already have some picked out and it's primarily just finalizing the deal."

"Lucky ass," Rofocale grumbles. "Last thing I wanna do is go up to that damn Weyr. Why'd we have to move so close to one, anyways? Movin' all the way across the damn continent." Griping: it's what Rofo does best! But at least she gets it done. She's eager to get off of Solitary's back; although she's best in the saddle, this woman is ready for some sleep. Screw dinner, she'll just eat a big breakfast. "What kinda stock are they looking at? If you know anyone interested in messenger or racin' runners, I've got a bunch of thoroughbreds marked to cull from my herds."

Arianya chuckles "Sucks, though I've done my own share of driving up to Ista Weyr." she notes and then scratches her neck "They're getting some of my sports and a few champagnes as well. But I'll mention the others to them as well. Never know, you might get lucky."

Rofocale nods, "Good. I'm full up. I've got some mares due next summer and if I can't cull some stock, I won't be breedin' any more." A good breeder knows her limits, at least. Rofocale dismounts and hands Solitary over to one of the waiting apprentices, who leads him off towards the stables. "I'll see you around, and Rhae, see /you/ in the morning. No one bother me, I'm goin' t'bed." She tugs off her gloves and blows in her hands to heat them up before waving and wandering off.

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