Khan of the Steppes

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Khan of the Steppes

Post  Curunir on Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:19 pm

Midsummer's Eve, and the clans have gathered for this year's Great Meet. Hundreds of yurts dot the shore of the holy lake Tenggis Nuur, as a larger than usual following have showed up to see what the buffalo khan Udus has to say. There are representatives from almost every tribe present, from individuals to families to entire small tribes, although many have stayed home to guard home camps and to watch the sick and the elderly who could not make the journey. Some have even refused to come, insulted by how Udus was seeming to hijack the annual reunion for his own purposes. Many are just here to meet old friends from other clans and participate in the solstice celebrations, regardless of whatever strange ideas the buffalo has.

Climbing through one of the many passes that cross the mountains and cliffs surrounding the lake valley, you have arrived at the Great Meet. Udus has set up a giant tent on the main peninsula jutting out into the lake, large enough to host a small clan. Early arrivals have already set up their own lodgings along the shore, and the smell of a variety of meals floats up with the smoke from campfires, as each tribe tries to outdo each others' cooking. Light competition of this kind is frequent at these gatherings, as outright violence is prohibited from the holy gathering, supposedly enforced by the gods and spirits themselves- although it is usually up to the shamans to put a stop to the minor scuffles that inevitably break out at a gathering of this size before they provoke any divine wrath.

Khan Udus plans to make his announcement this evening, and afterwards to meet with any who wish to speak to him. All such business is to be conducted today, since tomorrow is a sacred day of celebration, during which the clans can temporarily put aside their grudges and enjoy themselves, forgetting about any tensions that are sure to arise this day.

So, set up your gers, and prepare for the Meet! Use this rare chance, find other clans' folk to greet! May they be new allies or friends and not foes. For everyone knows they have enough of those.

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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:35 pm

Cau'rha walked through the holy campgrounds, stopping momentarily to adjust the rolled up tent on his back; keeping his eyes open for trouble (as any shaman would and should) he began to search for a suitable camp site.

Breathing in the cool air, he reveled in the spiritual presence here. The smell of their magic filling his nostrils was (in his opinion) far sweeter than any incense.

He dearly hoped he wouldn't have to call upon them...
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Caden2112 on Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:21 pm

Silver looked out over the lake for a moment...It was a relaxing sight for her, and she was able to smile a bit...But she had other things to do than simply stare and sightsee...This was a chance to trade, to find new things, speak to other clans...She adjusted her robes for a moment, making her way through the campgrounds herself, nodding respectfully to others as her staff tapped the ground...One perk of being this small, she supposed, was she was at eye-level with most ponies...
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Ramsus on Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:38 pm

Anemone traded some items she had gathered on her travel here in exchange for various small portions of food. She'd never seen such a variety, this being the first Great Meet she'd attended. Holding a bowl full of a dish she already had forgotten the name of, she wandered around, just seeing the sights.
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:03 pm

Cau'rha silently gazed at the creature that was walking past his chosen camping spot. She reminded him of the does of the LaMancha tribe... but she was quite a bit taller, longer, and thinner, and exuded a grace and elegance that belied her seemingly frail structure. It took him several moments to realize... he was watching a Gazelle.

Pulling out his pan-pipes, he began to blow across them, silently hoping she would take notice and deign to speak to him...

Music:

The Mummer's Dance
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Quietkal on Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:07 am

Zane pauses, having found a clear area to set up his lodging for the night. He sighs as he lets the bundle off his back, and takes a moment to rest with his hood down before setting up the small yurt. Being the only representative this year somewhat bothered the young zebra, but he took pride that he was asked to do this for the tribe. The delicious smells and distant music call him to leave the bundle to be set up later, but he shakes off the temptation and sets about the task.
His lodging is nothing special, simply the yurt the tribe usually uses for the Meet. A detailed mural of the mists runs around the sides, displaying for all the tribe that it belongs to. With the usual occupancy of 2 or 3 ponies, there's more than enough room for the colt and what trading goods he brought. Most of which will be traded off for food tonight anyway.
Once his housing is in order, he decides the first order of business is food. And no pony, no pony, makes food like the Dark Water tribe.
At least, that's what Zane was told.
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Ramsus on Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:10 am

Anemone noticed a goat nearby start playing music and she trotted over, in hopes of perhaps a bit of dancing starting up.
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Waschbaer on Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:54 am

Book Smart scurries about through the collection of tents set up by the Dark Water tribe, excited to finally see the other tribes and clans and still wearing his natural form. The scents and emotions are delicious and the food preparation is almost done. Just a few more finishing touches and Dark Water might have something even the Khan would be proud of!

As he works, his mind wanders and he considers what amazing things he may see here at the meeting. He begins to daydream, thinking about all the stories these tribes must have, especially the lesser-known ones. Humming somewhat off-tune, he carries the last bowl of food to the front. After this, he's free for the rest of the meeting.

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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Tue Jan 29, 2013 11:30 am

Not wanting to interrupt his piping, Cau'rha simply nodded as the Gazelle approached, seeing that she clearly intedned to start a dance...
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Quietkal on Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:24 pm

Zane smiles as he meanders towards the Dark Water tents, offering friendly nods at the minotaurs and other creatures as he passes. Like most of the other tribes, they'd set up all together. Which makes sense, considering entire families come sometimes.
As he approaches what seems to be the ponies trading food, he asks, "Pardon me friend, but what is this dish that entices me so? It smells so delicious; I simply must know!"
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Waschbaer on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:54 pm

As he steps up to the table to set the last bowl down, Book Smart taps a black hoof on a fang, sure he's forgetting something. Oh well, it'll come to me if it's important, he thinks. Seeing a striped equine looking at one of his dishes, he looks up. "Oh! A visitor," he says in greeting, oblivious to the gestures of one of his tribe-mates behind him. "Do you like that? It's a specialty of mine. Some flour for body, with a mix of excitement and anticipation for flavor!"

Spoiler:
(OOC) Book's using Royal Jelly (Instant-Party) for the food.

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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Quietkal on Tue Jan 29, 2013 3:29 pm

While intrigued by the creature that stands before him, Zane recognizes not looking similar to the majority of the creatures and decides not to bring it up. Immediately.
"I have not heard use of excitement and anticipation, though I have seen love as an ingredient.
You must be quite the cook to make this creation; to have emotions be so obedient."
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Waschbaer on Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:09 pm

"There's others who can mix love into their food? I wish I knew more about how it worked," Book replies thoughtfully. As he gestures to the six bowls in front of him, he gives voice to a thought. "I've never met anyone with your way of speaking before. If you can give me your story, I can give you a meal in return."

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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Caden2112 on Tue Jan 29, 2013 4:52 pm

Hmm...Was that music? Silver blinked a moment, turning her head and smiling a bit. Music was good...As she approached, she saw the source...A goat, and...A gazelle? Interesting...
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Quietkal on Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:17 pm

((old stuff Got a pretty good idea of what Zane'll talk about. Less of a wall of text, just a couple of stanzas. Maybe a few paragraphs.))
((also continuity))
"It is not a long tale; you will not be bored.
But before I regale, I believe your friend would like a word."
Zane remarks with a nodding gesture toward the now flailing tribespony.
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Sleipnir of the Prairie Strider Tribe

Post  Azureink on Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:36 pm

"I'm tired!" Prairie Grass whined as she stumbled along behind Sleipnir, carrying small, but heavy saddlebags on her diminutive frame. The young granddaughter of the current Khan of the Prairie Strider Tribe was not used to trekking so far from home, and with such burdens to bear. The light green filly with long golden hair reminded one of the Green Sea, miles of wild grass swaying in the breeze. "We are almost there," Sleipnir replied over his shoulder. The large clay-red stallion with straw-yellow hair said in echo of the common reply that many adults have said over the decades to small children during long trips. "The spot is just over that hill."

"You've been saying that for hours now!" the young filly whined with a hurt and exhausted expression in her lilac eyes. Her lower lip curled in as she sniffed, biting some back tears. "This pack is so heavy. Why do I have to carry it? I want to go home!" Sleipnir sighed and stopped, turning to Prairie Grass. He took on the expression a big brother gets when talking to a younger sibling, squaring his chin as he spoke. "You were the one who wanted to come," he explained. "And we are almost there. Look." He turned and pointed out the smoke from several fires, creeping up over the nearby hillside. "Now quiet down and let us get to our campsite. Swift Wind should have it set up already."

At the mention of the able and handsome stallion, Prairie Grass sniffling stopped. Her face came alight. "Swift Wind is here?!" she exclaimed before springing forward at a gallop, and began to race up to the ridge. Sleipnir shook his head and trotted up to the end of the hilltop and looked upon the site of the Great Meet. A vast canopy of yurts dotted the landscape along the Tenggis Nuur, the Great Lake. The sun shone down upon the crystal blue lake, sending shimmers of wavy light across the beach. The forest of grass-straw huts were bunched in circles by tribe, a roaring cooking fire in the center of each one. Hundreds of different creatures mingled together on the shore, the largest such gathering in a decade.

A flock of Steppes Gulls, light brown with green crests, flew over the canopy and up over the hilltop where Sleipnir stood. Their cries shook him out of his daze as a feather landed in front of him. He picked it up and looked at it, smiling. He placed the feather in his hair, behind his ear, and moved to follow the now overeager filly down the slope toward the yurts of the Prairie Strider Tribe.

Minutes later, Sleipnir had arrived. He picked up the shed and abandoned pack of Prairie Grass as she freed herself from her burden to better jump into the laughing embrace of Swift Wind. "Ha, ha, ha. Well now aren't we spry for a lil' filly." He held her as he gave her mane a ruffle. Swift Wind was a jovial stallion and a good friend of Sleipnir. Almost as tall, he was more lean than the bulky Sleipnir, and much faster on the gallop. His gray coat had a hint of emerald tinge to it, making him hard to see at night while within the Green Sea, a trick he used to always win hide-and-seek growing up. His mane was a fiery orange and red, like the sun on a hot day. He had a hawkish look and was quite handsome, a fact not lost on the females of the tribe.

His brown eyes caught Sleipnir's approach and he set down his admirer. Prairie Grass pouted as Swift Wind met Sleipnir half-way and they gave each other a strong embrace. "It is good to see you after this long month," Swift Wind stated as they broke apart. Sleipnir nodded his agreement. "It is good to see you as well. You look good. The Northern Lands must be treating you well."

"Not as well as I like," Swift Wind replied. "But we get along." He stopped and smirked at something he was thinking, then his face cleared up as he placed a hoof on his friend's shoulder. "Come, you must be tired after your long trip. And we have much catching up to do." Prairie Grass lit up again as Swift Wind came back towards her, leading the two into the camp.
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Waschbaer on Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:41 pm

Book looks at the Unicorn sitting next to him, gives a sigh, and says, "What, Silent Warning? We've got a visitor and he's got stories! Stories!"

Silent Warning, a Unicorn of few words, simply grasps one of Book's forelegs with his magic and holds it up in front of his face, peering through a hole at him. Book blinks a couple of times and then exclaims, "Oh! Well, why didn't you warn me?" He retrieves his foreleg as the Unicorn drops his head into his hooves, groaning in exasperation.

Book closes his eyes in concentration, his horn glowing before a circle of fire erupts around him. When it is gone, standing in his place is a lean Earth Pony with a powder blue coat and bright yellow mane and eyes, covered in polka dots of the same color. He has a cutie mark of a single brown book on his flank. The combination could charitably be described as eye-catching. Book looks down at his new form, looks over at a few snickering tribesponies and remarks in a deep baritone, "You know, I think Bright Skies may not have been telling the truth when she said this would be a good look for me."

Spoiler:
OOC: Used Changeling's Trickery to transform into an Earth Pony. Using the basic race template for them. Cutie mark is for stories and applies to History. Freaky knowledge applies to Cooking and Storytelling.

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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Quietkal on Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:54 pm

Zane is startled by the abrupt change, but manages to keep a fairly level head about it.
"What is this magic, that you change before my eyes?
Is this a cheap trick, or was before an intricate disguise?

To lose wings and horn, and shades of blue are gained.
You change your form...but the holes seem to remain.

You have a story all your own, or so it would appear.
Please reveal after mine has been shown. I will not sneer."


Zane takes a breath before continuing.
"As you might have guessed, I am not a normal equine.
These stripes remain abreast, and they suit me just fine.

I am called Zane, and am a zebra of the Mist Tails.
Hidden we remain, and I must be somewhat scarce on details.

We have few enemies, and the deep mist is our friend.
We might lack some amenities, but that should not to be condemned.

As for my way of talking, it is not a blight.
I was taught it's like knocking; it's just polite!

I do not take offense, if others choose not to do the same.
It can be intense, and some tongues refuse to be tame.

Now that I have told, I'd like my stew.
And if I may be so bold...just who are you?"
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Waschbaer on Wed Jan 30, 2013 12:55 am

Book Smart looked at Zane, blinking a bit before giving a start. "Sorry," he said, "I got caught up in your cadence. That was a great story. I didn't know the Mist Tails were actually real." He reached up and hoofed a bowl of stew over to Zane as he continued. "Here's your meal: my best Royal Jelly stew, with a mix of excitement and anticipation, as promised. It should give you everything you need for a whole day."

Taking a deep breath, Book thought for a moment before recounting his story. "I guess my life isn't that exciting. I'm called Book Smart and I'm a changeling, a race that can assume others' forms. The Deep Water tribe found me and took me in when I was young, so I don't know much else about changelings, except that we can eat love. What you saw before was my natural form. I'm supposed to use something friendlier when meeting outsiders, though."

At this, Book Smart smiled, an excited gleam in his eyes as he thought of all the different tribes present. "This is my first time at a big gathering like this. I really want to visit some of the other tribes and see if I can hear their stories."

A rumble sounded from him, his stomach giving protest. "Well, maybe after I get some food," Book admitted, reaching over and picking up another bowl of royal jelly.

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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Quietkal on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:39 am

((I'm not proud of the rhymes here, but that's what I get for not being asleep.))
"It is good to meet you Book Smart, and I wish your quest luck.
And if a starting point I may impart...start with Green Rock.

And you as well, Silent Warning. May fortune be with your quest.
May you find what you are yearning; even if it just to be refreshed."

Zane chuckles lightly and holds the bowl up in a sort of toast before taking a sip of the stew.
Magic Point roll:
Natural 20, +1 magic point until next extended rest
Really.
Really?!
This is when I get my natural 20?
When I'm checking about a magic point that'll disappear in a couple of hours?
Not when I'm doing that crucial heal check?
Not instead of that 4 on a Persuasion after I make an amazing argument?
grumble grumble I'll take it. But I'm not happy about it.
Zane seizes a little bit, his eyes bulging and his body going rigid. After a moment he loosens back up and, grabbing the bowl with his mouth, proceeds to chug the entirety of its contents.
He takes a moment to place the bowl back and let out an extremely satisfied sigh before slowly turning to the changeling-earth pony with an awkward chuckle.
"My social graces have slipped; I must apologize for my fervor.
All that I can say is that I was...gripped, by the flavor."
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Ramsus on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:54 am

To Anemone's delight a few others, though not as many as she'd like, came over to dance. The first were a couple, an older donkey pair. Then came over some young fillies and a minotaur. Finding the minotaur a bit daunting, Anemone grabbed the hooves of one of the fillies and whirled her around their impromptu dancing space. When the song finished, the filly was a bit out of breath but, Anemone thought she'd had a good time of it.

After the filly rejoined her friends and they wandered off, Anemone walked up to the goat and said, "Thank you for the music. I noticed you watching me, something I can do for you." finishing a bit guardedly.
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:44 am

Cau'rha felt somewhat embarrassed as the gazelle approached. "Well, I mostly just wanted someone to talk to," he finally managed to get out. "Th-the rest of my tribe won't be here 'till tomorrow morning, a-and I need to try a-and stay around here 'till they do. U-unless Udus Khan says his big piece before then, I can't miss that."

Smooth, Cau'rha. Reeeaaal smooth,
he silently berated himself.

"I'm Cau'rha, by the way!" he said rather suddenly. "Of the LaMancha Tribe," he added, forgetting momentarily about the short, pointed ears that indicated this...
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Waschbaer on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:01 pm

"You must have gotten a batch with extra kick!" Book Smart said as he looked on in amazement. "Let's see how this one compares..."

He followed this up by lifting his own meal in his hoof and tipping it back.
Magic Point Roll:
6! Critical failure!
Well, there are worse times to roll one.
Book scrunched his face up for a moment before pulling back and finishing the rest of the bowl. Smacking his lips, he remarked, "Hmm...too much apathy and not enough love in that one. Some ponies like it, but just tastes bitter to me. Still, it could be worse."

Book Smart set the empty bowl down before looking back at the zebra. "Thank you for your advice, Zane. I think I will go see what the Green Rock tribe has to offer. Who knows, maybe I can tempt someone with my cooking for another story."

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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Ramsus on Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:22 pm

"Ah." Anemone replied, relieved. "Well met Cau'rha. I am Anemone Gracehoof of no tribe, though I am considering joining Udos clan depending on what the Khan has to say. I would not mind company seeing as how I am alone myself. So, why are you here ahead of the rest of your tribe?"
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Re: Khan of the Steppes

Post  Grey Pen The Flawed on Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:42 pm

"No tribe? That's terrible!" the goat exclaimed, trying (and failing) to imagine how one could live with the loneliness associated with tribe-less-ness. There was a reason banishment was the LaMancha's punishment for capital offenses; he couldn't understand how Anemone could be handling it so well...

Snapping back to reality, he began explaining his own situation in an attempt to stop his onslaught of questions. "Well, I'd rather not say too much right now; I only want to say it once. But for now, let's just say I have a very important task, and if Udus Khan says what I think he'll say, then it's very important that I be there to speak up. There are many elder and younger goats in our tribe currently, so they sent me ahead on my own so I could be more sure of getting there in time."
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