Gallop to Glory- The Rise of The Horselord
My journey to the plains of the Horse Queen was not intended, but as I was later to find, was destined.
When I began I had just left my home city, the corruption and foolishness of the people there was too much to bear. I picked a direction, west, and began to walk. I passed by human settlements of all sizes, but could never find a place that felt correct, one I could call home. I managed to support myself by doing odd jobs, especially around animals. They seemed to gravitate towards me, and it felt as if when I talked to them, they listened. I liked working with them so much I almost stayed in one little town as a rich man's stablehand.
This stable was very well built and the horses in peak condition. There was one horse in particular, Prancers McHoolenhan, (which, by the way is the stupidest name ever) who greeted me every day. I talked to him to relieve the boredom and he almost seemed to understand. For a time, it was peaceful. Of course, this ended when the master of the house accused me of stealing from him. It was of course, untrue, but who was going to argue with him? He sent his men after me and I ran towards the stables as fast as I could. As I turned a corner a bullet winged my arm and I spun into a haystack. I tried to rise but I was quickly blacking out. The last thing I remembered was the sound of a neigh ringing out across the sky and darkness clouding my mind.
When I awoke the feel of grass tickling my ears and wind blowing across my face. I got up slowly and looked around, but saw nothing more than a sea of plains. With a shock of remembrance I looked at my arm and noticed the bullet wound was patched up with a crude bandage. Wondering who had done this I began to walk slowly, with no real purpose in mind when I heard hooves coming from the distance. I looked around and finally noticed a shape on the horizon moving towards me. It appeared to be a horse, but with no rider. Before I could form a question the horse was upon me, stopping mere feet from my face. I couldn't believe it! It was Prancers McHoolenhan! The horse stared at me quizzically, then opened its mouth an uttered.
I stood there with a blank look on my face and muttered, "Oh cool, I died and now Prancers is talking to me. Could be worse I guess."
Prancers scoffed, and I do mean scoffed, "First off my name is not Prancers, it's Wildhoof, and second off you are not dead."
what do.. I don't
"Let me explain, when you lost consciousness at the manor, I decided to take you to safety, and the only place I could think of at the time was the ancestral home of the horses, The Fields of Valarn."
I became very quiet for a moment before asking, "Why would you bring me, a human here?"
Wildhoof looked at me as if I had asked a question I should know the answer to.
"Because of the simple fact that we can converse."
"Oh." Was I could think to say. We stood in awkward silence before Wildhoof stamped down.
"Enough of this, hurry, follow me to the rest of the herd."
He turned to the east and began to gallop away. After a second it occurred to me that I would lose sight of him very quickly.
"Wait!" I yelled, "I can't run that fast!"
In the distance I heard, "Of course you can, just run with the wind!"
Of course, this made no sense but I ran after him anyways. Soon enough, I did lose sight of him, but I felt something else
a stirring in the wind. I embraced it, and slowly but surely the scenery began to blur as if I was moving faster, with the wind itself. I caught up to Wildhoof in no time. He smiled coyly and increased his pace. I matched him. This began a race that only ended when Wildhoof slowed down and stopped, he seemed to move in slow motion, right up until I ran straight into a wooden post.
I bounced off like a rubber ball on a wall and lay in the dirt as horses began to crowd around me and stare. I heard muttered, "Human
This was cut short by a booming horse voice echoing, "SILENCE!!!"
Everyone backed off and became silent. I stood up and received glares from the other horses. I blushed and looked at what others had bowed to. Standing atop a wooden dais was an elder horse, resplendent in her majesty, wearing a crown of pure gold.
"I am Commie, the Horse Queen, human. State your business in our lands."
I balked at this request, and stammered, "I.. uh
you see.." But was quickly cut off by Wildhoof.
"Mother, I believe him to be able to solve our problem."
The Horse Queen glared at her son. "There is no problem that a human can solve."
"But Mother, Swiftwind has echoed ever since he began at the manor
"We will not speak of this further! I have decreed it!" The Horse Queen stamped her hoof to seal her proclamation.
Wildhoof trotted away, defeated. I was forced to look back at the Horse Queen who was now looking intensely into my eyes.
"Perhaps," she said, "You can understand us
for this you will allowed to spend the night in the plains, but tomorrow Wildhoof will escort you back to your lands. I hope we understand each other."
your majesty." With that I turned from her and followed a horse waiting by my side to where I was designated to sleep. The looks of the other horses conveying a sense of pity, anger, and awe.
Late at night I lay, staring at the night sky when I decided to walk the plains. Some other horses whinnied slightly at my passing until I found myself alone with the night. The wind felt good in my mane
wait. My hair? Of course, I meant my hair. I closed my eyes and listened to the sounds of nothing. The illusion was only broken by the soft clops of hooves on the grass.
"Wildhoof.. . it's you isn't it?"
The clops stopped. "Yes
wanted to get out of the field for abit." He walked to me an stood, staring at the sky as well.
what is Swiftwind?"
The horse was silent for a moment. "Swiftwind
is the ancestral sword of the horse lords. Forged by horse and man together, it is a symbol of human knowledge and horse strength. Only a man can wield it, but only a horse of royal blood can bestow it."
I was dumbstruck, a sword was not exactly what I was thinking of. I asked, "What did you mean it was echoing? Also, what is the problem you speak of?"
Wildhoof sighed and used his hoof to paw at the ground. "The echoes, I have a hunch, but I doubt it's anything. The problem however, is
" He stopped midsentence, his ears pricking up. "I suppose, you get to find out"
In the distance I heard the sound of horses neighing in panic. A light began to flare and I turned to find the field of the Horse Queen alight, an inferno blazing into the sky. Wildhoof ran towards the field and I had no choice but to follow him.
When we arrived back in the field, the horses where in a panic, some horses fleeing in terror, some rolling on the ground burning. A few brave horses were standing in a line, with the Queen at their head. I wondered what, amidst the chaos, they were doing. That's when I saw the largest horse I had ever seen. He was 10 feet tall and had a coat of pure jet black, with a mane that seemed to flow with the night. His eyes however, glowed a dark red and from his flaring nostrils there could be seen smoke trails.
Wildhoof snorted. "This is our problem, Ragegallop, the horse of evil, progenitor of Bad Horse himself." Wildhoof chuckled then. "Seems he didn't count on my Mother and her royal guard to stand up to him today, finally we can be rid of his presence on the plains!"
I turned my attention back from Wildhoof to the Horse Queen and watched as his guard advanced on Ragegallop. I felt a rush of satisfaction as one guard slammed his hoof into the black stallion's flank. And then was sent into dismay when Ragegallop shrugged him off and breathed fire on the defenders.
The Royal Guard screamed in agony as their flesh burned off their bones an turned into ash. Only the Queen as left on the ground, scorched and wounded, but still alive.. Ragegallop cackled.
I was only here to have some sport, you would have lived if only you hadn't tried to stop me. A shame." He raised his hoof and was about to strike the fatal blow when wildhoof charged at the beast and slammed into him, throwing him off balance. Ragegallop changed the direction of the blow as he stumbled and sent Wildhoof flying. He landed a distance away, unconscious.
I was frozen in terror. This creature would roast me alive, or just cave my skull in, either way it was not pretty. But I had to do something! Something at all, to at least defend myself long enough to figure out a plan to get out of this situation. I doubt I could outrun him and he'd notice me very quickly.
If only I had that sword, Swiftwind. I thought, mind racing for ideas. That's when my noticed my hands glowing. I looked around and noticed the Horse King glowing as well, his eyes wide in surprise.
you can't be
" the Queen said, shakily. "There hasn't been one in a century!"
The glow slowly enveloped my right arm and I felt a cool breeze begin to flow, a trickle down the skin of my arm. The Queen's glow became more prominent as well, his face glowing brightly in the night.
The Queen neighed to the heavens and stared into my eyes, into my soul. "If this is how it must be, then so be it! I grant you the title of Ace! Ace the Horselord!"
With the utterance of these words, the trickle of wind on my arm grew into a torrent. It began to solidify and gain definition, in a matter of moments, where the glow had been stood a sword of magnificent make, a horse head depicted on the hilt, and a blade of pure white steel. I threw my head back and neighed so loud, the ground shook.
I barely had time to marvel at this newfound gift before Ragegallop snorted and pawed the ground.
"Human! That blade might be mighty but you are no match for me. Submit willingly and I will make your death quick."
The intensity of his voice almost made me want to submit, to give up and just take my fate. And yet
holding this sword gave me the strength to hold out, to resist. I raised the blade, and dashed to the beast, aiming a slash at his legs. The beast rose in pain as I made a gash in his front leg, black blood oozing from the fresh wound. His nostrils flared and a brilliant burst of fire flared from his mouth towards me.
I had nowhere to run, so I raised the blade up and hoped it would at least keep part of me from being horribly burned. A tempest blew from nowhere and deflected the blaze, leaving myself unfazed and Ragegallop in shock. Using this to my advantage I jumped and pierced my blade into his side. He flailed and it took all my might to hang on to the blade lodged into the side. I used the motion of the horse to swing myself onto his back and pull the sword free.
He was not best pleased. This action makes bucking broncos look tame in comparison. I grabbed onto this mane as he crushed the grass around and swung, trying to dislodge me from his back. Not quite sure how I had even gotten to this point I did the only thing I could think to do. I plunged the blade into Ragegallop's neck.
Ragegallop trashed for a few more seconds and then screamed, piercing my ears and rattling my bones. Then, the stallion slumped, and crashed to the ground, I holding on to the sword the whole time. When the horse stopped moving I rose and brushed myself off. Only then did I realize that the rest of the herd was bowed, their heads hung low. I stared around the chaos and looked at the blood on my blade. The only thought I had was to hold my hands out and neigh, the rest of the her joining in the chorus.
I ruled over the horses as the Horselord for a few days before the Horse Queen and Wildhoof were decreed well enough to rule again. I decided to leave on my travels again when they were ready, their wisdom and passion were far more qualifications for rule. The Horse Queen allowed me to keep Swiftwind that I could visit anytime by just letting the winds guide me here. I bowed and sheathed Swiftwind in its scabbard. I turned to go and felt the wind in my hair as I invoked them to carry me to my next destination. Who knows
perhaps another race needs a lord as well?
Ah the Horses, first of the species that I had put under my dominion. Graceful animals... Now just suffer through this 2,311 word story and if you can survive the brevity and laziness you will understand how Ace the Horselord came to be.