Well day 26 of Dice-ember is here and the day after Christmas brings quiet, vegetation and a pause which is the point of the day I suppose.
Along with the realisation that due to a issue posting or a lapse in concentration my streak is broken that means 2022s challenge will be to beat my previous postings in a row, so heres for 118+!
Today let’s look at something less explored in most D&D, well, tabletop role playing games, mounts. So lets step back and look forward.
As Red looked up from filling his waterskin at where he had stopped over to feed and water his beasts he gazed upon his magnificent eight draught horses and he couldn’t help but admire how perfectly designed and built they were.
Each beast was around 1700lb of pure muscle, determination and grit. As he went to pat one he particularly admired it attempted to bite him then stamp on his foot, succeeding on the latter. As Red cursed and hopped around a comforting muzzle pressed on his back, Rue. Now Red wasn’t a bitter or resentful man but his horse, Rue, was particularly proficient enough for the both of them and hence the nickname Rue. It was given the name. Due to how he felt when he first encountered the beast and purchased him as a young colt. He rued the day he bought him and there and then on the spot the name stuck. However since then Red had not come across a horse more brave or loyal that Rue and they had been inseparable since.
Red climbed aboard his horse and as he linked him to the other eight horses who were already tethered to his wagon, the Merribringer, they nuzzled Rue affectionately. The horses respected and feared Rue more than he as there was no beast more demanding or respected as he.
After a while of travelling down the road Rue stopped as they came across a clearing in the wooded road they had been traveling down. Either side of the road lay ripped and torn fabric and splashes of dark dried blood. Something had killed some traveller’s brutally here and recently enough.
Nudging Rue onwards the pack of beasts and their driver moved hastily but silent through the clearing, the goods he contained in his wagon were for a small town who had come into some bad luck where their recent seed storage for crop planting had been devoured by vermin. As he moved through Rue whinnied a high pitch noise as a warning as they moved through to the other side of the clearing. They likely wouldn’t be safe until they reach the village.
Luckily they made it through the forest and the village was visible now. As they moved down the road into the village people came out to greet him, Red was well known as a bringer of joy and hope and when his wagon and it’s train of horses approached word spread fast of his arrival.
That night he and his horses rested as his wagon was finally finished being unpacked he couldn’t shake the foreboding feeling of danger he felt ever since finding the site where the travellers were butchered. As the villagers danced in celebration a strange quiet came about the grasslands. Rue whinnied out a warning as Red also felt the uneasiness grow.
“everyone. Something comes this way. Help me with the horses on the wagon and everyone climb in.” He called. After a moments panic malicious howling could be heard from the road leading towards town. Red had heard this before. Worgs.
Getting the horses onto the wagon was easier this time as his urgency seemed to resonate with the animals desire to also leave this place. Soon the small village, around 25 people were on or in the wagon and just before Red could tether Rue to the convoy of animals an arrow burried itself into the ground at their feet. Rue caller out and bit one or the other horses causing it to dash forward with the village onboard, the eight horses making the wagon load of people almost skim across the ground with how much power the horses had. Moments after the wagon took off and Rue jumped out of the way a spear flew into the wooden post where the horses were just tethered and lodged itself into the wood.
“let’s buy them some time Rue” Red said as he moved the massive horse to the spear and yanked it out. Looking up he saw the glowing eyes ot worgs taking off after the wagon with goblins riding a them shooting arrows and throwing spears. Rue jumped forward and kicked a worg and it’s rider before it could attack Red or himself. As Red whirled around he plunged the scavenged spear into the worgs side as Rue kicked out and shattered the beasts jaw. Worg and goblin alike ran off before stumbling to not rise a few dozen feet away.
Rue and Red took off after the wagon wagon and worgs but as he drew closer he could tell things were not going well. The wagon had come to a stop and the smell of blood was ripe. Rue whinnied a sound of remorse and sadness before taking off.
“Rue, we need to check for survivors” Red called as Rue continued to try to pull away but Red was more stubborn in this case. Whirling the horse around he trotted towards the wagon the sticky tangy smell of blood was overpowering when they got closer to the wagon. As they came alongside the wagon the lack of movement and eight dead horses and piles of mauled humans.
“We shouldn’t have come here” Red muttered as he released the reign and Rue took off away from here quickly the twang of bows and thud of arrows and spears hitting wagons.
After a few minutes of galloping Rue slowed down to a trot and his breathing was laboured. It wasn’t for a few minutes until Red noticed the arrows embedded in Rue’s chest. Bringing him to a stop he checked the wound, the sinking feeling in his chest told him enough. The arrow had pierced Rues lungs and he wouldn’t survive.
Mounts are a fundamental part of D&D but due to the nature of many adventures they’re not utilised as much due to mounts not being good idea indoors or in dungeons/caves or castles which is where many adventures are to be had.
Don’t forget to come back tomorrow for more content and as always don’t forget to roll with advantage,
The Brazen Wolfe