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It's less than a day's ride from the Designated Tortoise to Corus, so Abigail and Raph saddled up Cloud and a loaner horse by the name of Colin and set out after just after lunch. They crossed into the city proper just as the shadows began to lengthen announcing the approach of night. Raph, who had spent his first few years in Tortall doing odd jobs in and about the city, had more than a few favors at his disposal. The best barn was open to the horses, while their people dined on the best fare at the best table, and later slept in the best bed the inn had to offer. Pretty damn auspicious way to start an Adventure, if Raph says so himself.

The following morning all travellers awoke refreshed and prepared for anything the day had to offer, which apparently a whole lot given the beautiful weather and overall quiet of the countryside. The group had only been travelling for a few hours when they reached that point in the journey where pleasant conversation falls by the wayside leaving only silence in its wake. The silence wasn't welcome. Making conversation was the only thing keeping Raph's mind from focusing on the any number of things he'd rather not be thinking about. Foremost on that particular list is the paranoia that at any moment he's going to fall off Colin.

In the nearly ten years that he has spent on this side of the door, Raph has only successfully ridden on Cloud for any extended duration. Horses, you see, make him nervous. So nervous that the horses, sensing this apprehension, can do nothing but react in kind. More than one has been guilty of throwing him from the saddle, and as such Raph has stuck close to Cloud and Cloud alone as much as possible. Cloud was there though out his seemingly endless Kane-like wandering of Tortall, and there was no way Raph was going to repay the poor pony's loyalty by making his cart his sorry ass around on another long journey. It just wouldn't be fair. Which is why during the four day trek towards the Swoop it will be Abigail riding Cloud, what with her being so much lighter than the bald Shang warrior riding to her left.

So far so good though, right? Colin seems to be behaving in spite of Raph's white knuckled death grip on the reins.
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April 2013

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