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The Hunt is On

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The Hunt is On

Post by Hans L. Reinhardt on Fri Sep 07, 2012 11:10 pm

There was something comforting about touching ground after a long flight. That uncertainty in the air, the occasional turbulence... cut short by that edging towards the ground, ended with a large THUMP. And with the flight from Central to Carraig's capital... it was DEFINITELY nice to be on the ground again. Although Hans had the luxury of a personal plane now. No more cramped knees in coach! A definite bonus to being Chancellor. And this was a much-needed vacation. Of course, the books didn't have this listed as a vacation. Considering the tumult the world had been in recently, Hans needed to make sure Amestris still had friends. So he was going to rub elbows with Carraig's king to remind him they'd been friends in the past and should stay friends. But there was an ulterior motive. He needed to get out of Amestris. Almost dying had been kind of a shock to Hans' system and especially when he came back well and good with... something. He wasn't sure WHAT had happened to him exactly, but he had a deep feeling that it wasn't good. And he had an idea that it had to do with those damned homunculi and Father.

So he had regretfully left Brigitte in Amestris, deciding that a man's weekend was just what he needed. As he walked down the steps of his plane, he could see the black car waiting for him. He gave a salute of sorts to the men waiting for him, giving them a cheery smile. He climbed into the back seat of the car and let himself catch a few snippets of sleep as they drove him to Gavin's CASTLE. Benefits of being a king, he supposed. Mostly, it just felt good to breathe in the Crieg air again. He sometimes missed being a diplomat. Days like he's had recently... especially then. But he was here now, watching the Crieg countryside fly by as the sun rose higher into the sky. He had flown overnight, because Gavin had promised a hunt his first morning there. And why not the morning he arrived? A good time to hunt, as far as Hans was concerned.

He was already comfortably dressed in black jeans, steel-toed boots and a forest green sweater. He knew what he needed to be comfortable when on horseback and he knew Gavin would have his rifle ready. His security could handle the difficult job of moving his luggage to his usual rooms. Hans allowed himself a small smile as the stables of the castle came into view. The driver knew exactly where to take him. And he could even make out Gavin standing with a few others, horses to one side. As the car rolled to a stop, Hans exited and strode with a big grin to Gavin. He gave him a hearty handshake and clapped him on the back lightly. “Beautiful morning, don't you think, Your Highness?” Hans smirked at the title. Ceremony, after all. This was the first time Hans had seen Gavin since Hans had become Chancellor. Had to show some formality... at least for a minute!

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Speaks fluent Amestrian (teal), Cretan (greenyellow), Xingese (goldenrod), and Creig (cadetblue). Is learning to speak Aerugese (bisque), Drachman (silver), Esparian (plum), Rouenian (Gelemortian Dialect) (lightsteelblue), Cerisian (lawngreen), Ishvallan (chocolate). (Can at least speak a few words in each.)
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Hans L. Reinhardt
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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Gavin Etheridge on Fri Sep 14, 2012 11:44 pm

The stag hunt was a time-honoured tradition in Carraig, dating back to the days when they were loose, warring tribes and held onto the old beliefs about the fae and the many gods that lived and breathed and make the island thrive as much as it did. Even though the solid belief in the gods had waned over the centuries, Carraig still participated in some of those old traditions that made them who and what they were. The hunt wasn't just something you did for dinner. Not at this time of year. This was a welcome to the fall and the final harvest, and the hunt was sacred, especially with the scarcity of game in winter and the rocky island's small size. In modern times the stag hunts were reserved for special occasions to keep the hearty red deer from becoming endangered, the animals off limits the rest of the year. Only for a few weeks in late summer and fall they were allowed to be hunted, and nobody could take more than a small number. Conservationist rules that had been laid in place by Gavin's own family a few generations back as the population grew and more foreign food imported in became the norm.

Today was a day of hunting. Gavin never saw it as sport, not in the sense that it was in Creta and Amestris where the animals were simply trophy kills. The haunting blood of the Kells pumped through him and every Creig, and somewhere inside that spark of honour persisted. That ancient fear that maybe, just maybe, it was all true and if you overstepped your bounds the gods of old would rise up and bitchslap you. Even as a devout Catholic, Gavin could not ignore the carvings in the stones that surrounded them that were older than time. Tradition. Ancient tradition dictated that a stag hunt would leave a portion of the stag in the forest in thanks to Cernunnos in his honour and for good hunts in the winter. Gavin did not pray to Cernunnos, but he would not break that tradition, deciding that if they met their quarry then that bit of meat would be left in thanks. Couldn't hurt, right?

Gavin stood in the stable, gently stroking down the nose of his horse as an assistant tightened the straps of his saddle, another getting weapons ready. Gavin would start the season with a private hunt for just himself and a guest, Hans, the Chancellor of Amestris. Tabloids loved that stuff and always liked to say the two country leaders liked to rub elbows a lot to maintain their relationships diplomatically. Amestris could send alchemists and obliterate Carraig. Carraig's army could be roped into the wars between the mainland and RIOTE. Carraig was going to starve without Amestris. Some of it was true, some was just stupid. Really, Gavin enjoyed "rubbing elbows" with the former diplomat because he genuinely liked the man and had known him since his father was still King. Gavin didn't really get to know Hans until after he'd been crowned and strengthened the relationship between their countries, but over the years Gavin had come to see Hans more as a friend and someone to learn from and even model himself after, whether the Amestrian knew that or not.

His horse and a massive Percheron were saddled and walked from the stable, the young King awaiting his company. Hans had been flying overnight from Amestris to Carraig and he'd been promised a hunt, taking a few days off from titles and duty. Well, Hans at least. Gavin knew that there was no real pause in being King. Cinders sat calmly at Gavin's side, the massive dog watching the approaching car. It would be just the two of them hunting, plus two guards on horseback riding with them. The King was dressed very casually, thick blue jeans amd a cream-coloured sweater being something that would have been what any man would have worn, save for the deep red plaid sash draped across his chest and over his shoulder, pinned with a brooch of the Etheridge crest and the golden circlet that rested above his brow. The circlet was nearly the same as the one he wore as a prince, its thin body mimicking the pattern of his crown, but there were few occasions he'd be seen wearing that. As the car came to a stop, Cinders stood and gave a few thunderous barks, the mammoth dog wasting no time in greeting their guest, Gavin smiling warmly as Hans exited the car, already dressed ready to ride. Even though the King had grown a few inches and filled out since the first time they met, Hans was still someone whose size never failed to impress him, large hands shaking his and clapping his back. “Beautiful morning, don't you think, Your Highness?”

Blinking in surprise at first, Gavin couldn't help but let out a silent laugh. When was the last time Hans had called him that? It had been a while since they'd had time to visit casually, though, their last real conversation being over the phone as they'd spoke urgently about lending Amestris money enough to rebuild and keep from collapsing inward entirely. This was not meant to be a day for politics, though. A mental health break, if you would. Reaching for the aid on his belt, Gavin typed quickly, letting the words play in their choppy fashion as they formed. "Chancellor, It is good to see you." Gavin shot his old friend a teasing grin as he resumed typing, looking Hans' face over. It had been a while, and the stressful times and change of position seemed to be wearing differently on Hans now. "...How was your flight, Hans? Are you ready, or did you need to rest or eat first?" It might had been stress or simply jet lag, but hopefully a few days with the fresh sea air and the trees breathing around Hans would do him some good.
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Gavin Etheridge
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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Hans L. Reinhardt on Tue Sep 18, 2012 7:30 pm

"Chancellor, It is good to see you. ...How was your flight, Hans? Are you ready, or did you need to rest or eat first?" Hans waved his hand nonchalantly, with a chuckle. “The flight was long, as usual. But I got plenty of rest and had a big breakfast before I landed. I'm quite ready to begin.” Which was mostly true. Hans had had quite a big breakfast on the plane... or at least as big as possible when on an airplane. But it had been filling and quite healthy! He was also quite ready to begin the hunt and get away from the world, so to speak. Carraig wasn't exactly an isolated place in the world, but when the forest was all around you, it was easy to forget the troubles outside. But as for resting on the flight... that had not happened. Or at least the “plenty” part of his statement. His mind was conflicted with the worries of his nation and the worry of this new all-consuming... THING that was within him. Nonetheless, a cup (or two) of coffee had solved the issue of lack of sleep. He needed this hunt and damn it all, but he would enjoy it!

Hans moved past Gavin to stare the fantasticly large horse that stood next to a more average-sized one. Hans shook his head with a laugh. A terribly big horse for a terribly big man? Well, it would make the hunt a lot more comfortable. Having ridden regular-sized horses before... Hans preferred the larger ones. He put one foot in the stirrup, the other going up and over the horse to snuggle into the other stirrup. He shifted a little to settle himself into the Western saddle. Gavin had remember Hans preferred saddle type. Lovely! He sat as he watched Gavin mount his own horse. “Still kingly, even on the hunt?” Hans chuckled a little as he tapped on the horse's flanks. He responded well and Hans began to slowly pace the horse to learn him. “So who do we have here today?” He indicated the horses as well as the guards. Always good to be on a first name basis with everyone, horses included.

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Speaks fluent Amestrian (teal), Cretan (greenyellow), Xingese (goldenrod), and Creig (cadetblue). Is learning to speak Aerugese (bisque), Drachman (silver), Esparian (plum), Rouenian (Gelemortian Dialect) (lightsteelblue), Cerisian (lawngreen), Ishvallan (chocolate). (Can at least speak a few words in each.)
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Hans L. Reinhardt
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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Gavin Etheridge on Mon Oct 01, 2012 6:47 pm

The massive Creig wolfhound danced in circles around Gavin's horse as the king mounted, situating himself in the Cretan saddle. The smell of the Creig forest was on the breeze, and you could feel the island shifting, as though the old gods really were changing the seasons as they breathed. Dryads were dancing in the trees, catching the light, and working to turn the late summer greens into golden yellows and fiery reds in the next few weeks. Welcoming the fall was always splendorous and beautiful, and the forests of the tiny island were one of the few places in the world that still seemed less stained by man. Seclusionism had its perks.

Hans was ready to begin. Good. As much as Gavin sympathized with how horribly long the flight and jet lag from Amestris to Carraig was and certainly would have held off if he'd needed to rest up, the best time to start a stag hunt was early in the day. Gavin watched as the mammoth dappled Percheron strode forward and paced a little under Hans, both of them getting a feel for the other. “Still kingly, even on the hunt?” Gavin nodded in reply, reaching a hand down to pet the smooth black hair on his own horse's neck before giving a short whistle command, urging Cinders to be still. The two guards accompanying mounted their own horses quietly, preparing to head out. “So who do we have here today?” Motioning with his hand to one of the guards, the young man spoke up.

"Your mount is Revell, Sir," the guard said, moving up closer to Hans and Gavin, his Creig accent bright and lilting on Cretan words. "And His Highness is riding Hellebore. I'm Patrich, and that's Donnovan. We'll be escorting you both today, Sir." One last handler approached, reaching up to hand Hans the large, scoped hunting rifle and placed the small bag of shells in the saddle's bag. With a silent, short bow, he left Hans to raise up another weapon to Gavin in the form of a very old, wooden crossbow and bolts. The crossbow was old, just as the circlet on Gavin's brow and this tradition of hunting. It was a deeply polished reddish brown with a falcon's head and breast etched into the antique wood. Armed and ready, Gavin tapped at his keypad, the two guards leading the way. "Shall we begin? There are great red stags waiting for us." The young King grinned, something lighting within him in anticipation. Tradition made the blood sing, and today was something that would surely make any Creig's blood and spirit dance.
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Gavin Etheridge
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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Hans L. Reinhardt on Tue Oct 09, 2012 6:23 pm

Hans smiled politely down at Patrich and nodded over at Donnovan. “Thank you for taking the time, gentlemen.” He suspected they didn't really have a choice in the matter, but joining King and Chancellor on a hunt was much more exhilarating than guarding the keep. Hans patted Revell on the neck, scratching gently behind the big horse's right ear. “You and I shall get along well, I think.” He took the hunting rifle from the handler with a brief “thank you” and examined it quietly as Gavin sorted out his weapon of choice. He lifted the rifle up, gazing down it and inspecting the feel of it in his hands. Grinning in satisfaction, he assured himself the safety was on and then lay the rifle across his lap. One hand kept the rifle in place while the other held Revell's reins.

Shall we begin? There are great red stags waiting for us." Hans grinned at Gavin in response. “We'd best not keep them then.” Hans clicked his tongue, nudging his heels into Revell's flank. The horse responded with a short whinny and began to move forward at a comfortable trot. Hans allowed himself to fall behind Gavin as they moved out of the castle grounds. He needed to get used to Revell's particular style before they reached the forest. Getting knocked off his horse by a tree branch was not on Hans' list of things to do today.

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Speaks fluent Amestrian (teal), Cretan (greenyellow), Xingese (goldenrod), and Creig (cadetblue). Is learning to speak Aerugese (bisque), Drachman (silver), Esparian (plum), Rouenian (Gelemortian Dialect) (lightsteelblue), Cerisian (lawngreen), Ishvallan (chocolate). (Can at least speak a few words in each.)
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Hans L. Reinhardt
CHANCELLOR SUPREME

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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Gavin Etheridge on Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:57 pm

Hellbore's gait was smooth, and thankfully Hellbore was a mellow enough horse that typing out replies on the iPhone Gavin used as his more portable speech aid wasn't hard. The aid was in the safe little holder on his belt as the King followed his guard out of the grounds. One guard would lead and the other would follow, both armed enough to protect the King and his guest while in the woods. Not that there really was much to fear during this activity; it wasn't publicly stated that Hans would be visiting or when, and the fact that they were out doing the first hunt wouldn't be noted in the papers until after the fact. That's how it always was, for their safety, ever since big hunts like this had become more for tradition and show rather than in large groups with their best warriors from the different clans. Gavin smiled faintly, already comfortable in the saddle.

Traditions were made to be shared, and doing this with a foreign guest was a nice change of pace that almost reminded the King of years long gone, riding on these events with family. His father would ride mostly with Gavin's uncles and the other clan heads, like the Sciath and Chulain, and Brendon on these excursions was a bore, though it was funny to see him catch nothing or huff when his own catch was smaller than someone else's. Gavin prefered his hunts with Theo and loved watching his hawk shoot off to catch something. Those were days cherished and gone by. Someday he will return, and we will hunt again, he told himself, turning the horse out of the castle's grounds entirely as he followed the guard to the woods.

The gate was behind them and the woods lay ahead. Gavin glanced to Hans, checking to see how his friend was faring with the massive horse. Revell was a good horse and generally a very calm giant, the breed used as war horses for armour-clad knights in days of old. He grinned faintly, wondering if Hans was up for a little rush before they got too far into the woods as Cinders ran astride the tall black mount. iPhone in hand, Gavin lifted it to type quickly. "Care to try a short sprint?" Phone back in place, he looked ahead, squeezing with his knees to urge the black horse faster, breaking into a canter and then a sudden gallop. Just a bit of fun to clear the last bit of distance into the forest when they'd have to be more quiet as they sought their prey. Brendon would accuse the King of being immature, caving to a childish whim like this with a guest who may or may not have been so inclined. But everyone could use a bit of immaturity.

A silent laugh broke his lips, Gavin's smile and eyes warm and alight in the fall's morning air, the smell of the forest drowning him. Cinders hounded like a hunting horn, laughing with his master as they slowed, entering the forest and turning in a few circles to catch their breath, guards to the front and back doing their best to keep up and still take things somewhat seriously despite their King being somewhat goofy. Hellbore turned once more, facing forward and walking into the wide open path the carved through the forest. Things were old in Carraig. Traditions old as time on roads laid by their ancestors, trampled down by soldiers from armies long ago. Cinders ran ahead, already sniffing, knowing this game well.The phone came back up, Gavin typing on it easily. "No telling what he'll find first." It could have been a fox just as easily as a stag or wild pig. Or an escaped chicken. "So while you are here as my guest, do you have any requests for your stay? Unnofficial official visits meant you could have unnofficial luxuries for your vacation.
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Gavin Etheridge
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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Hans L. Reinhardt on Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:56 pm

"Care to try a short sprint?" Hans grinned at Gavin, watching as Gavin and his horse took off. Hans glanced down at Revell. “Shall we give it a try?” Revell snorted and waved his head, which Hans took as agreement. He pressed his knees against Revell and the horse took off after Gavin. Hans gave a deep belly laugh, feeling exhilarated for the first time in many days. He grimaced slightly as his stomach cramped from pain. Sometimes he forgot that he had been shot... and that he died. The wound had been healed when he “came back” but it still hurt, for whatever reason. It was just one further reminder of the strange occurrence that had happened to him.

Hans shook off the depressing thoughts as Revell slowed towards the forest. Hans came up besides Gavin, watching Cinders move through the forest on the search for game. Revell moved slowly forward at a steady pace. Hans shrugged his shoulders lightly in response to Gavin's question. “I can't say that I do. I wish we didn't have to do any business, but I suspect I'll have to make some kind of official nicety. Governmental beings are terribly demanding.

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Speaks fluent Amestrian (teal), Cretan (greenyellow), Xingese (goldenrod), and Creig (cadetblue). Is learning to speak Aerugese (bisque), Drachman (silver), Esparian (plum), Rouenian (Gelemortian Dialect) (lightsteelblue), Cerisian (lawngreen), Ishvallan (chocolate). (Can at least speak a few words in each.)
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Hans L. Reinhardt
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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Gavin Etheridge on Fri Nov 09, 2012 8:04 am

In and out of the bushes, Cinders moved in trailing circles, leaves cracking under his heavy paws. Gavin watched from the corner of his eye, glad to be on the first hunt, despite the nagging feeling in the back of his mind that business would outweigh and ruin pleasure. Things had been hard in Amestris, he knew; he'd already lent Amestris money a few times already, once to General Aeries personally. Frankly, things hadn't been easy since the Fuhrer turned the mainland on its head last year and ruined it for everyone. Mostof the mainland didn't know that anything that happened there had any effect on the small focky island. Most wouldn't care even if they did. But Gavin knew that his people had felt the strain of the power shifts and treasons across the borders, and even though he'd done his best to shift the pressure, nothing Gavin did would go completely unnoticed not entirely painless everywhere.

"I can't say that I do. I wish we didn't have to do any business, but I suspect I'll have to make some kind of official nicety. Governmental beings are terribly demanding.” Gavin looked over to Hans, the horses taking casual steps forward as the guards seemed to pay them little mind. If he'd had his way he'd have left the guards at home entirely since nobody knew where they were, but that would have just been inviting distaster, wouldn't it? Instead, he nodded with a faintly amused look, knowing all too well how demanding most things were. When they were children his cousin had boasted about how he'd relish being king and how things would be. They were adults now, and things were so different than how they'd been imagined, and Gavin couldn't help but wonder why anyone would ever want to be the one in charge if they knew all that it entailed.

[color=red]"They certainly are,"[/collor] came the typed reply, the stiff voice seeming dulled under the canopy of the forest. "There are things we do need to go over, though. At least to put an official stamp on them." Becasue for some reason lending money and helping redifine where they stood as unnoficial allies despite neutrality always needed paperwork by the stack. Maybe that tree had been an ass in a last life and being political paperwork was karmic payback.
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Gavin Etheridge
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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Hans L. Reinhardt on Thu Nov 15, 2012 7:39 pm

"They certainly are. There are things we do need to go over, though. At least to put an official stamp on them." Hans nodded his head slowly, a grim look passing over his features momentarily. “Of course.” Even a friendly visit was being clouded by such devilish business. For a wistful moment, Hans wished to be a diplomat again. When things were so much easier. But he knew going into this position that he wouldn't be doing anything the easy way. He had made his bed and now he would lie in it, gladly or not. He glanced over at Gavin with a small smile. “But that's for later. Much later, I think.

Revell was calm underneath him as they followed the worn path in the forest, Gavin's hound no doubt sniffing out a prime catch for them. Hans enjoyed hunting. Not so much for the killing of animals, but for the peacefulness that it brought. Up until the catch was found and chased, it was a tranquil time in the forest. All one had to do was sit back on their horse and listen to the sounds of nature pass by. It was a time that caused his mind to wander and right now... it wandered into a dangerous place. His side still ached and his mind hung heavy from his “death” only a short time ago. He had never told anyone of that strange occurrence, not even Brigitte. And he never hid anything from his wife (with the singular exception of his proposal). Yet he could not possibly try to explain something he himself did not understand.

He half considered broaching the subject with Gavin, but was even unsure how to manage that. He shook off the thoughts and focused back on the nature surrounding him. He also turned his attention back to his hunting partner, curious into the life of the young king. “How do you fare lately, my friend? Standing tall?

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Speaks fluent Amestrian (teal), Cretan (greenyellow), Xingese (goldenrod), and Creig (cadetblue). Is learning to speak Aerugese (bisque), Drachman (silver), Esparian (plum), Rouenian (Gelemortian Dialect) (lightsteelblue), Cerisian (lawngreen), Ishvallan (chocolate). (Can at least speak a few words in each.)
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Hans L. Reinhardt
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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Gavin Etheridge on Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:28 pm

Hellbore's steady gait beneath him, Gavin relaxed in the saddle (as much as one really could in a proper Cretan saddle), easing back into the cantle. The smell of the woods and the company really were a fine thing, and certainly what Gavin had been needing. Tensions at home were rising, and every night the most peace he seemed to find was kissing his Sorcha goodnight, the fleeting moments he had with Rosaleen when nobody was looking, or whenever Artemis dragged Gavin away from him work in order to make sure he did those annoying essential things, like eat and sleep. Sometimes Gavin wondered if beings like Toss, immortal and unnaturally powerful, only ate and slept out of habit for the bodies that may have once been human, or was it merely to pass the time and blend in. Gavin wasn't going to ask, certainly, and Toss rarely turned down an offer to lunch, but he did wonder.

“How do you fare lately, my friend? Standing tall?” Gavin gave soft shrug, for a moment letting himself show the exasperated tiredness that ate at him most nights and kept the King from being incredibly perky in the mornings. The aid was lifted up, Hellbore calmly walking on, not minding as his passenger slackened his grip on the reins. "As best can be expected." a small sigh slipped, fingers padding the keys. "There are some tensions here building that worry me. The NCO are growing in number; there have already been a few planned riots stopped." As much as Carraig liked to think that it didn't need the mainland, it did. She was an ancient and fierce nation, but as symbiotic as all were, and what affected one or two countries affected the rest. Lending money, financial assistance, withdrawn contracts, amping security in their army, worries of attack, aggression over food supplies... The world was rife with unrest, and fierce as Carraig had been for centuries, the need for income and food were their weak point. "Even now I am trying to patch things with my family, but with the trouble weeding into our army and villages, things are very strained."
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Gavin Etheridge
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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Hans L. Reinhardt on Sun Dec 09, 2012 7:56 pm

The two men both appeared to be in binds. Gavin was experiencing tension within his family, which was bad news as a royal family with troubles did not always bode well for a nation. And the nation itself wasn't exactly doing its best either. Hans could easily relate to that. His issues were more personal than familial, but any world leader could sympathize with country problems. For the time though, the airing of worries and woe would have to wait. Baying could be heard further in the forest. Gavin's behemoth dog had apparently found some game. The strain disappeared from both their faces as the thrill of the chase took over. The hunt was on!

It was much later in the day when Gavin and Hans finally had time to sit down again. The hunt had been successful. Hans had managed to take a few hares, but Gavin scored a beautiful deer. Venison and conies were on the menu for dinner that evening, but the two of them had to attend to unofficially official business affairs first. When that had taken care of, the two were finally left alone once more. With the exception of the door opening on the private dining room for the various dishes to be set out, the two men were alone. And given their positions, it was quite a unique opportunity. When the last serving platter was on the table and the drinks were poured, silence reigned in the room. Hans released a small sigh of relief and the two served themselves the venison, rabbit stew and roasted potatoes. Hans was silent for a few moments as he tried the various delicacies. He gave a satisfied smile. “Well, my friend, we catch a good meal.

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Speaks fluent Amestrian (teal), Cretan (greenyellow), Xingese (goldenrod), and Creig (cadetblue). Is learning to speak Aerugese (bisque), Drachman (silver), Esparian (plum), Rouenian (Gelemortian Dialect) (lightsteelblue), Cerisian (lawngreen), Ishvallan (chocolate). (Can at least speak a few words in each.)
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Re: The Hunt is On

Post by Shula Brighton on Sun Dec 23, 2012 11:28 pm

{BUMP}
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Re: The Hunt is On

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