The Vanguard Institute – Part 2

Q: Adventure Status – Unstable 4 (12)
Developer: PC Enabler
(1d20: [15] = 15)
Birth, Message, Target

Season: Spring

Day 1
Weather: Warm
Terrain: Village
Developer: But…
(1d20: [8] = 8)
Ability, Silence, Information

Q: Is there anyone else in the stables other than these 4?
(1d20+0: [5]+0 = 5)

Q: Is all their gear packed?
(1d20+0: [3]+0 = 3)

Q: Do they need to wait on Rhesus?
(1d20+0: [20]+0 = 20)
Yes, and Weird, Gap, Friend

Q: Do they get to choose horses?
(1d20+0: [5]+0 = 5)

Sasha: Aurora
Nyx: Thunderbolt

PoV: Nyx

I was so late. Sasha was going to kill me. Saleh might too. It was an important day and I’d seen Glak. She’d been trying to learn the sling shot. I only stopped to give her a pointer or two. But I got distracted. Thankfully she reminded me and I rushed off to get where I needed to be. Even Sasha was angry.

But he put his arm around me. He never did that. Sasha never let people know he cared about anything — specially me. Rhesus sneered at both of us as he looked on while a stable boy pulled a horse out of the stall.

The pattern on the mare’s coat looked like sunlight fell from the roof. Dark browns in the shadows of the golden highlights. She was beautiful and graceful and serene. Very much not what Rhesus was. Of course he got something majestic and beautiful, fucking prat.

Rhesus waited while the stable boy moved on to the next horse. “Hey!” he shouted.

Austin snickered and the stable boy who wasn’t really a boy, he was a very large olive skinned orc man with large white tusks and beady black eyes. The tufts of black hair on his head were peppered with gray. ^91beb5

Rogan, Glak’s father, stood three feet above the pompous little rich kid in his purple and gold riding outfit. “Hmmm?” he hummed in that gravelly voice that soothed the horses.

Rhesus gulped, “Finish saddling my horse!” he commanded.

Rogan laughed and bound off after the next horse.

Austin chuckled. “Rhesus, I won’t count this against you, but today and for the rest of your days you are no longer a king’s son, you are a member of the Vanguard Institute and we do things for ourselves. Saddle your own horse. Gather your gear and meet us outside by the gate. You have an hour.” Austin looked at us and nodded, “That goes for you two too. One hour. Gates. Or we leave without you.”

He looked pointedly at me and I ducked my head in shame. “I won’t be late.”

“He’s not leaving my side, sir. He’ll be there. We’ll be there. I promise.”

“I promise.” I echoed Sasha, and I always kept my promises.

Austin just shook his head and walked his geared and saddled horse out of the stable. Whisper was a majestic stallion, gray speckled his once shimmering ebony coat. His tail flicked at the Rhesus as he walked by.

“Hey!” the boy shouted and Willow, Rhesus’ horse whinnied in appreciation. Even the horses didn’t like the former King’s son.

Rogan brought out two more horses. He handed the reins of a stunning mare to Sasha. Her coat shimmered with silvers, blues and purples. She was sleek and muscular and probably one of the most beautiful creatures I’d ever seen grace these stables. She was gentle and Sasha was already nuzzling her snout. “Hey girl. Looks like it’s just you and me.”

He nodded to Rogan and took Aurora out where he could saddle her in the sunlight.

Rogan chuckled at me as my horse danced behind him. “Careful with this one.”

I nodded. “I remember him as a colt.” I said. “Thunderbolt.” In some of my many adventures here at the Institute I spent most of it in the stables with Rogan and Glak tending to the horse while Sasha was off doing his own chores in the kitchens. Thunderbolt was as dark as the night sky except for the four white streaks that fell down his legs like lightning bolds from the sky. He danced behind Rogan and when I took the reins and reached for his snout he nuzzled my hand and calmed just ever so. We were friends. He always behaved for me. “Come on, big guy, we are about to go on an adventure.”

Thunderbolt neighed loudly, his large teeth and tongue making a raucous sound as he held his head up high and said his farewells to his horse friends. He pranced behind me parade style as we joined Sasha and Aurora for saddling.

Sasha shook his head, “You two were made for each other.”

“What?” I asked looking down at what I’d worn. What I’d always worn, the tight fighting clothes beneath the orange and red gossamer robe Saleh had made for me. He’d said it looked like the flames that lived underneath my skin. And I liked it.

I twirled in the sunlight and small flames licked my fingers with each turn until I tumbled into Thunderbolt with a grin to Sasha.


Thunderbolt whinnied and I nodded. “He’s just jealous.”

“Uh huh. We may have an hour, but we should check through all our gear and make sure we aren’t forgetting anything.” Sasha instructed.

“Yes sir.” I saluted and readied Thunderbolt.

Rhesus was still inside trying to cajole Willow out of the stable doors.

I saddled Thunderbolt just as Sasha finished saddling Aurora. “I bet I can still beat you in a foot race.”

“I had to learn to do it quick.” I nodded my head towards Rhesus, “Some people are impatient.”

Sasha giggled. “I’m aware.”

Rhesus’ horse was backing up and Rhesus was shouting at her.

“You aren’t going to get her to listen like that.” I said with a sign and left my reins hanging from Thunderbolts bit. “Stay put big guy, I’ll be right back.”

Thunderbolt whinnied and I walked up to the beautiful and graceful horse who was ignoring Rhesus’s tugs on her lead. “That’s not how you do it.”

Q: Animal handling (eased) (9)
(1d20: [1] = 1)
GM Intrusion: No XP
Developer: None
(1d20: [16] = 16)

The mare danced away from me and that should have been my key to the interaction that was about to play out. I reached out and Aurora snapped her large teeth at me and tumbled backwards letting out a yelp. And with it a spark flew from my finger tips.

The hay pile next to us burst into flames with a loud whoosh as the extra dry hay ignited.

The horses bayed in their stalls. Aurora bolted out of the doors startling Thunderbolt who danced by impatiently and took the opportunity of a run and bolted with his sister horse.

I hurried to my feet and grabbed every bucket I could find and rushed out to the water trough. “Fire!” I yelled.

Sasha was already snatching a bucket from my hands. It wasn’t the first time I’d done this. It wouldn’t be the last time. But it had never happened in the stables. Never, not once.

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