Windigo looked around the edge as he wandered into the edge of red rock plains as he kept on the looking around the hard jutting large red stony rock fractures as he stood out like a sore thumb in plain day his pale coat standing out as he snaked around the dark Sienna colour of the large rocks his mane straggly as he looked like his pale mane was filled with certain plant life as well as the most certain smell of what smelled like someones wee or poo spattering his pale mane as he snaked around the dusty rock faces as he took a nibble here and there from different plants that he found as he took the fact that there was a light breeze in the air that moved his mane gently as his tail flicked around in the air as he flicked his ears back to stop the wind getting in them as he kept a wary eye on his surrounding’s.
He swore he was going to spend the rest of his life alone. The thought of spending his days in the company of another sent shudders of disgust down his spine. Everyone else was just so...tedious. Or perhaps it was more because they all wanted something. It could never be a simple no-strings attached companionship, but rather one that bequeathed benefit. Granted Centurion was quite the hypocrite, as that was precisely the sole reason he interacted with anyone at all, but he was loathe to admit it.
Irregardless, the stallion was perfectly content in his near-barren wasteland of a home. Sure there was brush and weeds in plenty to satiate his hunger, but not much else. Just rocky earth, dust, and the endless expanse of the sky. He had settled in well enough. Adjusting to the drops in temperature during the nightly hours, and the withering heat of day. He spent the majority of his days prowling the edges of the territory. Leaving his hoof-prints and scent along the borders in methodical routine. There was naught much else to do frankly speaking.
That is, until he crossed paths with the fresh odor of another stallion. He frowned. It would be hard to miss the obvious markers he had left behind. Either this stallion was looking for a fight or was simply hopelessly oblivious. Also known as easy prey. His lips curled in eager anticipation. Solitude be damned. It wasn’t his fault that such fun had fallen into his lap. He tracked the scent easily. It was hard not to; the stranger had left a trail as wide and as obvious as the great plains.
Centurion spotted him easily. His coat was stark white, though muddy. Clearly he had either been traveling for quite some time, or simply had never heard of a bath. He was ambling along easily through the brush and did not appear to have a particular destination. ‘How amusing,’ the bay stallion thought. He slowed his breathing slightly and approached quietly.
Windigo looked up infront of him as he saw a stocky bay stallion in his path which is assuming the voice was from the stallion infant of him right now. Windigo was the bigger stallion out of the two but from the looks of this stallion, he was slightly bemused from the whole situation as he flicked his ears back again as the slightly narked look on his face returned a sour look as he eyed up the stallion that was ahead of him a slight look of boredom was produced as he looked the bay stallion up and down once more as he thought to himself “i guess I am not the only one here then” which was muttered under his breath as he shook his tussled mane around as well as his dirty coat, which had not been cleaned since the day that he left his mother and older brother the two always kept clean in some way shape or form as his tired blue eyes approached the matter in hand of trying to find a way out of the mess he came with. Slowly he kept himself in harms way as he said in a slightly sulky edge to his tone.
Well the lighter male hadn’t jumped. How boring. Perhaps he could’ve been quieter. Hard to be when the ground was as hard as it was, and there was little shelter or cover to allow for adequate sneaking about. No matter. He had approached all the same, and now held the white stranger’s attention. Standing closer, Centurion noted the rapid shifting of expressions across his face. Odd. Was he manipulative and cunning? Disguising his keen intellect and skilled natured behind a façade? Or perhaps was he simply just…wandering as aimlessly as he appeared?
On one hand, in the case of the former, Centurion would have to speak carefully. Yes, this was his land, but such status could change at a moments notice. Such was the way of things. That of course depended on if the other stallion was even interested in the territory to begin with, but the how’s and the why’s were far less important. What mattered was the words and actions he chose to assert his control over both the land, and the situation. If things were to go poorly, or things were to come to a fight, the bay stallion was certain of his victory. He trusted his knowledge and skills, even amongst a bigger opponent such as this one.
On the other hand, in the case of the later, things would be far easier. Simply give the stranger a choice: join or leave. A fight was really only an option provided the former previous thought were true. To be frank, Centurion was certain such was not the case. The matted coat thick with muck and the knotted mane said little to the paler stallion’s prowess. No if he had to choose, he would say the stranger was simply a lost traveler who had the misfortune to cross paths.
What to Centurion was a prolonged mental interlude, was in reality, only a brief pause in his breath. He surveyed his quarry carefully, before stepping forward. His voice was deep and rumbled up through his throat. His tone was sharp and commanded attention.
“Who are you? And what are you doing in my lands?”
Windigo took a moment to think as he looked up and down the smaller but much more intimidating bay stallion as he gently pawed at the hard ground as he took a while to think about his options, as the bay stallion talked windigo listened not with a care in the world he had that before his own mother chose his older brother over him that one day that he needed his family the most but no he didn’t get the love and attention and that had made him go into a rebellious streak which was shown at his as he was going to reply but then thought better of it his antagonism might have got him into some trouble like it did when he was plotting to drag some in with him.
Windigo was never going to be favoured for his colours he was the pale as well as deathly sickly as he grew this only made him bitter in other sense’s for not being his mothers favoured son as well as the fact that his father abandoned them in a false sense of hope for finding his father again.
He took a moment to think as his sulky rude tone came up stronger as windigo battled with his sulky and rude facade that he was keeping up at the moment as he replied.
“who me? I am more often known as windigo and what am I doing I am doing nothing in particular just exploring the world to find trouble that is my aim.” The pale coated but not hygiene focused stallion jutted his reply out fast but it was understandable.
As windigo spoke the last thing on his mind in a grating tone as he rolled his eyes at the other stallion.
“who are you may I so Kindly ask?”
centurion words:303 notes: more words and bubbling down to some sulky angst
Definitely the later he decided. The way the intruder worried his lip in thought and shifted his eyes back and forth screamed hesitance. Perhaps he could be a well-versed actor, but Centurion concluded that was unlikely. Improbable or not though, better safe than sorry. Only fools could be tricked into letting their guard down. Even during intimate moments with a partner. Or perhaps the bay was just overly paranoid in all aspects. Though, he hated the word paranoia. He much preferred cautious, or careful. Mindful of the dangers around and more than prepared for whatever was thrown his way. Such as this dirty, clearly lost stranger.
A stranger who was definitely trespassing. Aware of it or not. Being certain of his ability to quell him if things came to it, Centurion paused to consider his options. Offer to let him stay or send him on his way. He supposed first he would need to determine how this stranger could be useful to him. Perhaps as a simple scout. Perhaps as a soldier he could send to the front who would drive away the enemy with his apparent madness.
Centurion stepped closer. His eyes narrowed in scrutiny. What to do with him. He at least looked intimidating enough from afar. Dark ears flipped backward, thick tail flicking against his flanks. Then the other was speaking. His tone was light and bore a faint hint of confusion. So, his name was Windigo. An omen for certain. And he was even going to just blurt out that he was looking for trouble? The older stallion bite back a chuckle.
“I am Centurion. Owner of these lands and watcher over the hills. If you can prove your worth, I will permit you to stay,” he barked.
Windigo pricked one of his ears as he heard that the darker stallions name was centurion as he flicked another roll of his eyes around as he looked over at the idea of staying, it was not like he had much places to go he was alone and bored and now in the face of another stallions territory, he was doing great at annoying everyone else but he gradually thought of his options as he kept an eye on the older defiantly more experienced stallion as he was gradually getting tired and sulkier as he was going to bite back a retort but he decided not to as he kept a mild thought of the fact that nothing was going to be easier than his old family life was not that eventful but he was bored and crossing into unknown territory was fun.
The tall pale stallion looked over at the neat and tidy looking bay stallion as he said “what is the difference if I stay I stay I am not the greatest but it is not like I know what is happened I just was bored it is not like I knew like I was trespassing but I guess I am but what will you do about it that is the question?”
He looked in the eyes of the bay stallion waiting to see what he might do after his slightly sulky tone but he is always slightly antagonistic even in the tone he was taking with the definitely more experienced stallion but what did he know about windigo, not much that was a certain and unless his older twin came to talk with him which he would be annoyed at the darker brother.
Windigo looked at the bay stallions eyes as he saw a calculation in the darker stallion’s eyes as windigo’s blue eyes looked odd compared the dark stallion but that was a mystery in its self mostly.
How ironic, that Centurion’s opposite should cross his path so soon after he had settled down. Quite literally in fact. Where he was dark and smooth, all muscle and tension, with deep eyes and a commanding presence, this stranger was…not. Pale with blue eyes and an almost laughable obliviousness to his surroundings. Looking for trouble indeed. Whether or not he was tolerable was yet to be decided. Centurion moved to speak, lips shifting minutely before he was interrupted. Deep echoes of thunder suddenly boomed in the distance. Likely from heat lightning for certain. Or perhaps an early summer storm.
What had been a bright sunny afternoon suddenly waned. The plains were cast into abrupt shadow as clouds rolled across the sky. Centurion lifted his muzzle skyward, turning his head to face the wind. He inhaled deeply. His brain was now filled with a myriad of new information. A passing pack of coyotes to the north. The unmistakable scent of a mare in heat, though she was too far away. And he was otherwise occupied. Lastly, the musky smell of oncoming rain. Perhaps it was time to move out of the open. The storm was moving quickly.
Centurion turned toward the white stallion. He could leave him out here. The odds of a flash flood weren’t entirely unlikely. He might simply drown and be out of his hair with no further effort on his part. But, somehow the bay couldn’t bring himself to do such a thing. How very curious. He had only just met him, and yet he felt the need to babysit him of all things. He frowned deeply. Trespassing or no, he couldn’t just leave him to die.
“Whether or not you stay is entirely up to me. If you can’t follow orders, I can very well just make you,” he snapped. His eyes flashed dangerously to emphasize his words. “Come with me. There’s a storm brewing and if you remain you very well might just drown.”
Windigo looked at the older stallion as he snapped at him as soon as the dark stallion took a whole new aspect on the darker coloured stallion as he put his ears flat back again as he thought about what he said it was true, windigo has never been the smartest cookie on the page but he just wanted some loyal friends that took him as he was going to try and follow instructions something he has not done for a while but he felt the need to be a bit better trouble or not windigo is followed the darker stallion.
Never staying round for long was not uncommon for windigo he often stayed in his comfort zone of a herd for long, its not that windigo was uncomfortable in that environment he just didn’t like to have others near him.
Windigo muttered “stupid mother, all I am is your bastard of a son” hoping the dark bay stallion didn’t hear that as he tried to keep up with the darker stallion now that he knew his name as centurion.
Satisfied, Centurion turned toward the ring of cliffs that bordered the southern edge of the territory. Deep caves as well as smaller nooks and crannies were abundant and would provide adequate shelter from the coming storm. He moved quickly, yet decisively, ensuring the other stallion stayed no further than his hindquarters. In no time he had crossed the flats and come upon the base of the cliffside. Pausing to make sure Windigo was only just behind him, he started upward. Loose pebbles clattered underfoot down the incline as Centurion climbed into the cliffs.
They passed overhanging arches that had been etched into the earth by wind and rain. If memory served Centurion correctly, the particular place he was looking for was not much further. Another glance behind him reassured him that Windigo was indeed still following. His thoughts drifted back to what exactly he was going to do with him. Perhaps just offer him a place to stay for the time being. Having an extra set of eyes and ears was never a bad idea. Provided you could trust them that is. Trust being something the bay almost never gave. There was a difference between trust, and then just simple expectation.
Just ahead, a narrow opening came into view. Centurion veered toward it. It was too narrow for both stallions to walk abreast. They would have to proceed single file. He halted then and turned sharply to face the younger.
“Don’t even think of trying anything. I will kick you so fast and so hard you will be dead before you even know what hit you,” he snorted.
His eyes watched the stallion closely for any hint of rebellion. After a moment’s pause, and seeing no indication of disobedience, he proceeded into the fissure between the rock. His sides scraped the hard surface of the rock walls, displacing dirt. It scattered on the ground with every other swing of his body as he shifted forward. Then, the opening widened and there it was. The large overhang that provided the shelter needed, without closing one in or limiting their view. Satisfied, Centurion turned to face his companion.
“This should keep us from the worst of the storm,” he said. “Now, I am giving you a proposition. Join my herd, or you can find your own way back. And out of these lands. Should you choose to leave, and I catch you here again, consider yourself dead.”
Windigo thought for a bit as he herd centurions proportion as he looked thoughtful in deep thought as he stood under the shelter with his newly found companion as he stood deep in a pensive look on his face as he thought about his past as well as his future, windigo was not sure if he had a place or even a normal life now.
The thought of being lonely was boring as windigo looked out across it sounded dull and slightly tedious as windigo looked out from the shelter that was keeping his dirt ridden coat looked poor and not looked after.
“i think I will join you if that is ok centurion” Windigo said as he looked into the clouds that were going dark with the oncoming rain.
Rain suddenly fell from the sky. First in scattered drops, then in an outright downpour that soaked the dusty earth. It pounded heavily against the rock and roared in Centurion’s ears. He found something soothing about the water that fell from the sky. It was refreshing, and he enjoyed the feel of it drumming his back and streaming down his sides. This rain, however, was much too harsh and unforgiving. Not to mention the distant thunder creeper ever closer. It would be unwise to remain out in the open.
He was glad to have made it under the outcropping when they did. Thank goodness the other stallion hadn’t put up any fight or argument. He turned his head to him again, regarding him with a cool scrutiny. He was worrying his lip as he pondered the question. For a moment it seemed he would turn down the offer. Centurion opened his mouth to command him away, when instead the words of acceptance reached his ears. Well, too late to take it back now.
“Very well. In order to be fully inducted, I must assess any skills you possess. We will wait until this storm passes, and then we will begin.”