The Healer's Mount

Yorh presented herself to the stables as instructed, the hound following close at her heels, the weight of her pack was negliable.  Just a few personal belonging, some spare robes, her unit in the field would provide all else. 

"Stay Hsingard." Yorh reminded the hound quietly as she stepped into the dappled and hay-scented gloam of the stables.

"Master Narcis?" She called, setting her pack down by the door and travelling deeper inside.  Horses all around her wickered sleepily and she pet many velvety noses absently as she passed.

"Master Narcis?" she called once more, almost at the end of the stables.

To her left there was a high-pitched, pain filled whinny.  Then a crash, followed swiftly by a vehement curse from the Master of the Stables.  Yorh dashed to the end of the stalls where Master Narcis was sitting drunkenly in the feed trough of a rangy gelding.

Yorh clapped a hand over her mouth, stiffling a giggle.  It wasn't often anyone saw Narcis discomfitted.  The gelding was as disgruntled, rolling his eyes nervously, his coat twitching.

She stretched out her hand, petting the gelding nose as she inched her body closer.  Eventually she got her hand wrapped in his forelock and whispering nonsense until he calmed down.

"Are you all right, Master Narcis?" she queried, watching as the man struggled to his feet.  He brushed himself down impatiently.

"Aye Yorh, I'm fine."  He grumped.  He bent down, examining something on the gelding's hind quarters.

The gelding stiffened, baring square yellowed teeth.  Yorh petted the horse, murmuring more nonsense until he calmed. 

"Something wrong with his hindquarters?" she asked, trying to peek around the gelding.

"Just a mild score across his flanks.  I'm sure it's infected, but the damned horse won't stay still long enough.  Just keep him distracted, will you?" Narcis commanded gruffly, his thick-fingered hands probing gently at the raised and reddened wound.

He clucked his tongue in disgust and smoothed a salve over the wound.  The salve smelled heavily of angelica and Yorh knew that it bit deep before numbing the area.  She continued to calm the gelding until Master Narcis was finished and straightened.

"Now then, my girl, what are you doing out here?  I figured you'd be in the infirmary at this hour." Narcis said, easing out of the stall and wiping his hands rather ineffectually on his leather apron.

"I'm  being sent out to the field Master Narcis.  I was told to report to you and commission a horse." Yorh said.

Master Narcis nodded sagely,  "Good for you, girl.  Although I'm sure you'll be sorely missed in the infirmary," he said.

He stopped about three quarters down the stables and opened a stall.  Yorh heard him muttering softly to the horse stabled here, before he snapped a bridle on and led it out of the stall.

"Andakilsa should be good for you.  She's old enough that she's not given to frivilous bouts of play and young enough to be trained as a healer's mount." Narcis said, bringing the beautiful roan mare to a stop before Yorh.

He saddled her while the girl and the mare got aquainted, then had Yorh lead Andakilsa to the mounting block.

"Grab your belongings, girl, there's a unit already making for the field." Narcis admonished.

Yorh grabbed her belonging, hefting the light pack more comfortable on her shoulders.  She mounted Andakilsa with an ease borne of long practise and whistled for Hsingard.

The hound responded at once, comng to heel by Andakilsa and sniffing the horse curiously.  Andakilsa bore the curiousity stoically before Yorh clicked her into a flowing canter.

She waved good-bye to Master Narcis as she left him behind in the distance.  She caught up with the unit already mounting up to leave the capital. 

"Today is the first day of the rest of my life"  Yorh thought as the captain of the unit inquired as to where she was assigned and then after some conferring with his lieutenants he agreed to escort her there.

Yorh smiled, lifting her face into the sun as she passed under the arch of capital and started her journey through lush green fields.

The End

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