Lost and Lovedrunk
Classic Champagne Leopard Blanket Knabstrupper sport horse
Potential show jumper with great lines, and pretty to boot
The air was still chilly, even though it was late spring. After the sun went down over Point Danger, the air temperature dropped dramatically. Normally, Roxanne would enjoy this change in temperature. She always was more partial to the cool night since her dark mane and bay hide tended to trap heat. But being as pregnant as she was, the cold only made her joints ache.
Luckily enough, Roxanne had had a relatively easy pregnancy, especially since it was her first time. She never really felt nauseous or weak. When she first felt her fawn move, she was more than thrilled. It was when her stomach swelled that she began having difficulty. She felt like a whale, lumbering around like some great monster. She was always hungry, there didn’t seem to be enough food in all of Windborne to satiate her. And only recently did her joints begin to ache under the astounding weight of her child. It made her wonder if the poor thing was going to be giant. If so, how in the world was she supposed to get it out of her?
The worry had been present from the first moment she realized she was pregnant. Roxanne had never known her own family. She couldn’t remember her own childhood. What if that meant she couldn’t be a mother? She didn’t know how to care for a fawn. Sure she’d seen them around, but she’d never had to care for one. She didn’t have any memories of how her mother would soothe her to sleep or dry her eyes after Ro had scrapped herself on something. What was she supposed to do when her own child couldn’t sleep or injured themselves? Roxanne prayed that she would just know what to do. That nature would take over.
Pain rolled through her and the doe winced. The pains had been coming for a little while now, at first she just figured it was the fawn moving, now… she was sure it was something more. The doe stood, walking away from the rest of her herd. Eyes flickered over to Tzilan. He had continued helping her with her magic and he seemed excited about their child. Roxanne smiled. Best not to wake him. She was sure she could do this on her own. After all, doe’s had done it for as long as there had been fawnlings. No need fret. Though, as she walked further and further into the swamp, that was all she could seem to feel.
A strange wave of anxiety had washed over the stag now that they had entered the spring. Normally this was a month for him to reconnect with the wind after the winter storms, but this year, for the first time, he had other matters to attend to.
Two does were bearing his fawns this year. Awinita was so young as to be little more than a child but eager to become a mother and he had less concern for that creature. She was devoted to the wind, but she was no warrior. But Roxanne.. she was a spirited one, almost more suited to the Point than the Cape if it were not for her devotion to the wind and its voice. In a strange place in his heart Tzilan felt that Roxanne’s child might be some kind of legacy that he might leave - an imprint of himself upon this island after he had gone. It would be an imprint only improved by the bay doe’s spirit and magic.
He had tried to keep an eye on both does, but it was impossible. Roxanne had been drifting away and the golden stag has found himself pulled inexorably after her. She was so swollen and round.. and Awinita had the protection of the herd. Roxanne was wandering into a swampy wilderness filled with unknown dangers, and so, at a distance, he had followed.
The pain grew stronger and more consistent as she wandered further into the darkness of the swamp. Her breathing became more labored as she felt her body turn and wrack with pain. The doe stopped, panting. She had to be far enough from the herd by now. But maybe this was a bad decision. Perhaps it would’ve been better to stay with the group? Yet instinct told her to do this. To wander off. Roxanne just hoped that was the best decision.
The blood bay waded through knee deep water until she came upon a rise, up out of the muck. She made sure to take a path away from the herd that would’ve been traversable by the newborn after it was able to stand. It wouldn’t be long now. She would be a mother.
Roxanne laid on the firmest earth she could find, groaning softly. It was incredibly painful. She had heard a few does talk about the pain over birth, but she had never imagined it would feel like this. This constant barrage of intensity that rose and fell like the ocean during a winter storm. The doe panted, forcing herself to remain silent during the pains. She was sure she wasn’t the only one out tonight, and the swamps were full of dangers for a weakened doe and her newborn fawn.
Fear gripped her. What if something came out of the shadows and she couldn’t concentrate to defend herself? What if something was wrong with the fawn and she didn’t know what to do? She realized she didn’t want to be alone. She had made a mistake. Roxanne tried to stand, but she barely made it to her knees. She couldn’t go back now. Instinct told her to stay put, but the fear was overwhelming. A gentle breeze slowly wafted over her sweating sides and her brown eyes scoured the darkness. “Tzilan?”
He had been at a distance until now, stopping where she had stopped and moving forwards only when she had stepped on. But now, the pain that clearly wracked the doe’s body was too much even for this most stoic of stags - despite himself, despite the years of solitude and meditation, despite the things he told himself in the Autumn of this just being for the herd he could not allow this pain to continue alone.
The wind moved with him, caressing the doe as he stepped towards her and the pain in her voice as she spoke hurried him on.
“Roxanne…” he said, and his voice was almost a gasp. There was silence then as the wind played about them - silence but for the laboured breathing of the labouring doe - until at last the stag spoke again. “I could not let you be alone.”
It was a lame sentiment, but there was nothing else he could say; no reason he had to have followed her from his place in the herd. She should not be alone at this time and he would not let her be.
The doe couldn’t help but smile. She couldn’t believe he had followed her all the way out here. But she was overwhelmingly happy he did. “I’m so glad you came,” she huffed between breaths and snorted as one of the worst pains she had experienced came through her.
Roxanne was in quite a state. Her mane was matted and stuck against her neck. Sweat was running down her sides and her breath came in quick pants as she tried to cool down. Her usually thick and beautiful tail was wrapped up over her back and coated in fluid she had released only a few moment earlier. The doe who prided herself on her appearance and how clean and refined she kept herself suddenly didn’t care about the way she looked in front of her leader and the father of her child. There wasn’t time to care about appearances now.
Her sides heaved and the doe rolled onto her side, only to roll back up onto her knees. There was no position that was more comfortable than the other. As a strong pain shot through her, she strained against it. The mare stifled a loud groan and rolled onto her eyes. Not long now. She just had to get through this. And then she would have the most beautiful little wisp to enjoy. She just had to get through this.
He did not know what to do so he simply stood, close but hopefully not too close and his eyes flicking fitfully between her belly and her face. He could not look at her tail, where the slick of her waters were caught in the fine dark hair and he felt both sick and terrified, glad he was here but horrified that he had come. He was lost here in the swamp and although his ears flickered comforting words and touch of the wind were nowhere to be found.
“Should.. should I fetch one of the does?” he asked, watching as the once elegant fawnling rolled and heaved herself around before him. He knew that it would be too long to return to the herd and back to Roxanne and paradoxically though he longed to find her help he knew he could not leave. He could send his voice on the wind but his magic seemed to have receded within him, overridden by this strange sense of panic and confusion.
“Is it near?”
It was all he could think to say.
The fawn shifted within her. Where the panic and fear had filled her mind was suddenly replaced by a strong sense of determination. The doe stopped squirming and laid on her side, stretching herself. Her huge stomach contracted with the change in position. Roxanne looked up at Tzilan and shook her head, her dark brown eyes meeting his own.
“No…” she said in a hushed and tired voice. “It won’t be long now, if you wouldn’t mind…” the doe winced as the pain rolled through her and she pressed down with it. “Could you lie down with me? I could use something to lean up against. Someone to anchor me.” Before he had a chance to answer, Roxanne went into some sort of meditative state.
She shut her eyes, her forehead creasing with concentration as the bay strained with effort. The pain was intense, but there was nothing she could do about. She just had to get it out. Just get the fawn out.
His legs felt as though they were made of stone. He was frozen, eyes still flickering between her face and her belly but at last he nodded. Without instruction his legs folded and he found himself curling on the ground next to the doe, ready to offer whatever she needed but something had changed.
Roxanne was still now and the only tell of the pain she was in was the creasing of her brow. The air that had been filled with her panting was suddenly still and he ached for even the slightest breath of wind, the gentlest touch of the breeze and though he did not know if it would soothe the doe he knew the touch of a spring breeze had soothed him.
The wind was reluctant but he brought it to him by force of will, gently caressing the doe beside him. It touched at her brow and ran along her flank and he hoped, knowing he could give nothing else, that this would ease her pain.
The wind was wonderful. It not only cooled her, but also brought her incredible peace. The wind had always been there for her in times of need, and now was no different. Thanks to Tzilan, it was here and helping move everything along.
It took some time, longer than the doe had expected. She forced down with every rolling pain and took the rests between them to breath and try to relax. With each push she could feel the fawn moving further and further down until she felt a slight release. The feeling caused her to let out a soft gasp. It wasn’t over, she had to keep her focus. Roxanne slammed her eyes shut, forcing with all her might. She had to do this. She had to get her child out and safe.
Release. A feeling she would never forget. Roxanne’s sides heaved as she took in a deep breath and let it out. As soon as she had even barely caught her breath, the doe struggled and rolled onto her knees, turning back to see the fawn. It was so small, so frail. Roxanne felt herself smile as she reached forward to lick the squirming creatures face. She was a mother, and this precious little fawn was her own.
The bay doe took a moment to turn to Tzilan, a broad smile stretching back her cheeks as tears began to fill her eyes. “Come meet our fawn,” she said softly, her voice tired, but happy. Roxanne had never felt happier in her life.
It was.. it was both a lifetime and a moment between lying next to her and her rising and turning to the wriggling bundle behind her. Staggered and staggering, the stag rose to his feet and turned to the bundle of legs and fur, damp and squirming, that they had managed - somehow! - to produce.
The fawn’s colour was obscured by the dark but that was of no matter. It was tiny and wet and feeble but he was more affected by this tiny creature than he had ever been. There was nothing like this in the world; no word of the wind was this wondrous or perfect.
“What.. what will you call.. her? Is it a filly?”
It was all dark. But light at the same time, lighter than where it had been, and colder but there were things - familiar things, but things all the same - around her and one of them was licking at her face and she looked up and she saw.. she didn’t know what she saw, but it was the most important thing in the world. And another thing that was there too, but not as important as the first thing, the thing that was licking her.
Roxanne knew she still hurt and it would take some time for her body to heal, but her heart was so full, everything else faded. All the pain and the fear, it was all gone now. All that was left was this perfect fawn. This beautiful, amazing, perfect little… filly.
As she finished licking the last of the slime from the precious babies coat, the doe looked up at Tzilan and nodded. “Yes, she is a filly.” When he asked about names, she stopped and thought a moment. “I… I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it,” the doe went back to licking the small fawn. Even though she was mostly clean, she couldn’t help but continue to lick her. “Do you have any ideas? Perhaps your mother’s name?” Since Roxanne had never known her own mother she couldn’t name their daughter after her. Perhaps Tzilan’s mothers name would be fitting?
The stag was in a strange state of shock - both overawed and in a terrible way horrified by the tiny creature curled next to Roxanne. She was wonderful but she was so small and frail, and how could they have brought a thing this fragile into a world at war?
“I… I.. don’t know,” he stuttered, shaking his head lamely.
The wind rushed over her and tousled at her hair. It was loud, very loud, and she curled herself into the warm important thing next to her. But the wind didn’t stop, and he swept over her again,
“Bleaat,” she replied, nuzzling in closer to the warmth.
This time it was so loud that she almost jumped and she looked up at the warm important thing and bleated once again. She just wanted it to stop!
Tzilan looked baffled that the doe had asked him. She nodded when he said he didn’t know and she returned to cleaning her child. Her child. That was something that could never be taken from her. She would always be the mother of this precious little whirlwind. But what was her name?
The wind rushed around her and she noticed the wee fawn curl closer to her. Oh dear. Hopefully she wasn’t afraid of it. Roxanne leaned into her fawn, wrapping her tail around her to keep her from shivering. When she bleated she nuzzled the small creature. “Hush now darling… It’s al-” The wind ran over her ears, saying a name. A name she knew had been chosen for her little girl. A name chosen by the great wind itself.
“Illyrica…” she said softly and grinned, licking her daughters face lovingly before turning to Tzilan. “Her name is Illyrica.” A warm breeze wrapped around the trio, whipping up their manes and seeming to dispel the chill that had set around them.
Winter, Year 759 of the New Age, Glenmore, Edge of the Glenwood
That pretty much summed up Kin’s attitude to the season. The squabbles among the stags - and the does! - over the most prized mates, the deafening and unslightly clashing of antlers; it all disgusted him, in a way. Oh, he would take a doe if she asked, but he would not fight for one. For that reason, and for many others, he was not to be found in the sparring grounds around the Great Oak. Even the clearings where the commoners gathered to fight and prove themselves were distasteful to him, despite his love of sparring and playing with the common fawns through the Spring and Summer. He spent the Autumn and Winter at the edge of the Glenwood, further out than even his normal Spring and Summer haunts.
It didn’t mean that he had no does - strangely, he always managed to attract at least one per year. Last year it had been that lonely dark Royal doe, Magpie. This year he had already ‘claimed’ - if you could call it claiming - Tivka, one of the King’s old does. She was a sweet doe, but he hadn’t the faintest idea why she’d come all the way out to his Autumn den to find him. It never ceased to amaze him when the does came to him. He had nothing to offer them, and he made it clear he had no interest in their children. So it was with some surprise that he heard the soft footfalls of an approaching doe and caught the scent of her heat on the cold Winter breeze. He didn’t move, of course - he wasn’t that curious - and remained lazing in the soft bed of leaves that he’d scraped the snow away from. He barely even raised his head.
“Yes?” he called, blinking lazily.
The snow was endless, capturing those unprepared in its unforgiving gripe. A small shiver ran down her spine as she silently trudged through the cold blanket of white. The clash of tines, and chattering of does grew ever distance as she made her way to his den. She heard from a number of does that he took up residence farther out than most royals, that preferred to stay in the innermost parts of the glen.
The only sounds that could be heard was the fluttering of the biting winds that gently whipped her mane and tail, and the crunch her hooves made when plowing through the snow.
The pale doe could tell she was relatively close, as the scent of musk wafted through the air. Slowing her pace, she thought how she would go about actually asking him. She hesitated only briefly wondering if he would turn her away upon her request, but heard a gentle but albeit lazy voice call out in question.
“You are Lord Svetlikin, yes?” She questioned with uncertainty. She knew not how the stag looked, merely that he was as pale as that of a princess. Though she would not speak such aloud as she did not wish to offend him.
“I am Violette, I’ve come with a request if you will listen…” She trails off a bit unsure if she really wanted to ask him such a thing.
The doe that approached, to his surprise, had the bearing of a Royal. She stepped carefully and her mane had been braided - although she could be a commoner, Kin would be surprised if she was. She seemed uncertain of herself, and in his experience the nervous ones usually were royal. It was probably because they all seemed to be trying to snag a Prince, they were always nervous to set a foot wrong.
“Yes,” he replied, inclining his head slightly. “Though call me Kin, please.”
The little stag didn’t get up, and simply gazed up at the doe in front of him. She was young, certainly a lot younger than he was, but at least she looked to be in her prime or nearing it.
“You would like a child from me, is that right?” he asked, not waiting for her to to complete her question. She was in heat, she’d come all this way - it was unlikely there was anything else she wanted of him.
“You can settle next to me and talk about it, if you want, or we can just…” he trailed off, his raised eyebrows giving his meaning pretty clearly.
Trying to compose herself, she nodded gently as the winds around her seemed to increase.
“Yes, though I wouldn’t wish to take up more of your time than was necessary…..I’m sure my little one is worried that I have been gone this long. But if you will have me then…” She says quietly coming to stand just outside of his den’s entrance.
His offer was tempting. She desperately wanted to get out of the cold and someplace more warm, besides Vas was safe and warm in her mother's den. So she figured it would be alright for now. Slowly nodding her head as reassurance that she was making the right decision, she cautiously made her way next to him before gently laying next to him.
As the doe settled beside him, the musky fug of her season began to stir him, but he calmed himself with a quick snap of his tail. He was too old now to be leaping to his feet just for a single doe in heat and this young creature was certainly too nervous for him to take her like that. Gently, he touched at her shoulder with his muzzle and reached around her with his silky tail.
“Well, you can warm up here with me first,” he murmured, his harsh voice far gentler. “But we won’t take long, don’t worry. You can be home with your little one in no time.”