Winter, Year 756 of the New Age
Windborne, The Western Coast
The group of stags raced along the beach, hooves pounding against the hardened wet sand, foam blown into their manes from the sea. Their squeals and bellows were carried away on the wind as they fought as they ran, nipping at heels and tails and shoulders, bucking and rearing and pivoting. As if the wind wasn’t frightful enough, unnatural gusts occasionally came out of nowhere to buffett them, causing a few to lose their step while the others sprinted off ahead.
Dodging a mean spirited kick aimed at his head, Tor skipped over the grey’s heels and darted off towards the distant cliffs, kicking up a shower of sand as he did so. He had that little creamy doe to thank for that trick, and it was a good one. There were angry cries behind him and he kicked off along the beach with more vigour, laughing with his mane streaming in the wind as he surrounded himself with the power of the storm.
Sounds of pursuit started up behind him again, and a quick look back revealed a chestnut and the mean grey snorting and fuming as they shoved their way down the beach. Exalting in the thrill of the air and the chase, the strain of his muscles as they pushed him onward, he continued on, focussing inward until all the could feel or hear was the beating of his heart.
The bay stag’s reverie was broken abruptly when a spike of lightning speared into the sand not ten feet from him. He dug his heels in, hit with a wave of heat and percussive air, combined with bright white. Staggering; dazed with his ears ringing, he blinked furiously as his vision slowly returned. Shapes materialised and he looked back to find the rest of the stags milling around nervously, some have even taken off down back down the beach. Turning back toward the cliffs, he found himself met with a pair of very angry, beady black eyes. Corib.
The older grey stag was far from a pretty face - gnarled with scars and age, his coat was flecked with dark hairs, his salt and pepper tail wiry and coarse. An ugly ruddy mark stained half of his face, which held a perpetually displeased expression, though this might have been an understatement at that moment. Livid was probably closer to it.
Subconsciously leaning back from the Stormbringer’s glare, ears half pinned submissively Tor opened his mouth to begin explaining himself, or making excuses, but the grey got there first.
“Stupid.” His voice was as grisly as his appearance, grating and barking. “Irresponsible. Reckless.”
“Alright grandpa, just because you never had fun doesn’t mean you have to deprive the rest of us.”
It was a mistake, he knew it even before the words had escaped him, but when had he ever been known to shut his mouth when he should?
There was another ominous rumble of thunder and the air around them suddenly became still, before lashing him from all sides, sand stinging at his hide and his eyes, filling his ears. The thunder spoke, the great powerful rumbling reverberating through his chest and rattling his very bones.
“All of you get back to the herd, NOW! And woe befall you should I ever catch you stormchasing in winter again!”
The band of stags didn’t need telling twice. They were gone like the wind, bolting like rabbits for their holes. Tor hesitated only for a moment, giving the old stag one last look, his hair hung suspended in the air with all the violence of the storm reflected in his eyes, before wisely following his brethren down the coast.
Tor going stormchasing again, and playing with his magic, testing it against the elements. He should really learn to be careful about that. Anyway, story is coming when my hand isn't cramping, this image is also an ad of sorts just letting people know that the breeding season is coming to an end, and if you want to get a Western Isles fawn to play and not wait another 5 months then you should get on it! Tor is always open for babymaking duties with Windborne does, so if you can organize one or want a Tor baby with fabulous hair, note me!
On a technical note, dear lord someone remind me never to attempt looping hair again. I have so much more respect for the people who animate crazy fab hair like in Spirit or Pocahontas, though admittedly I made it harder for myself by making it loop. I learnt a few nifty things while doing this, and a couple of tricks I stumbled upon by accident, but it was very much an experimental piece so please, no need to point out my mistakes