Chapter 1: When Equines fly
Desmond just kind of sat there staring into nothingness as his mind tried to comprehend the sheer horroer he had just been forced to experience. A warm toung against the side of his face had him jerking, tipping over onto his side as he tried to jump up and away. His legs flailed out futily hoves kicking out as he scambled to right himself. And wasn't that a trip, he had hooves now. And a tail. And a mane. Because apparently Fate hated his guts.
A large velvety nose nudge at him as his new....mother, nope oh god, don't think about it. Block it out Desmond, god damn it block it out. Where's some brain bleach when you need it? Either way the mare helped him right himself and he was able to stugle to wobbly feet, hooves? At least after he remembered to try nad stand with all four legs and not just two. He glared at a few of the older foals when they nicked in amusement at him when he fell onto his back.
Stuck up, mule bred, bastards the lot of them. He thought mulishly.
He whinnied in triumph however when he at last managed to stand without tipping over or tripping on his own tw...four hooves. He took a minute to examine his new body curiously as he gained his breath from the stuggle. His stamina had been shot to hell apparently. He assumes being a newborne does that to you, even if you're actually a reborn adult human male in a newborne foals body, who died after activateing an aincent machine with the aid of allies from a brotherhood of assassins, while simultainiously avoiding capture by a bunch af evil Templars who are the Assissins sworn enemies, and want to enslave the entire world with the aid of the AI remnants of a crazed woman from an ainchent alien civilization that was wiped out by a similar solar flare. Wow. Even in his head that sounds all kinds of fucked up.
Either way if he was going to be a horse, at least he was an awsome looking horse. Or at least he wa pretty sure he was awsome looking, he'd need to find a river or something so he could get a good look at his reflection. However, from what he could observe himself he could see he was perfectly proportioned, with long legs, and a strong back. His coat was like liquid gold and shimmered almost hypnotically, in fact he's pretty sure he's an Akhal Teke. Partially at least from the looks of his Dam, though her coat is silvery gray rather than gold. There are some notable differences though. His hooves are white for one thing. Like a pure untouched snowy white and shined like pearls, and he had feathering on his fetlocks, wich he was pretty sure was not something found on that breed. Also his mane and tail were the same dark brown as his previous hair, his mane was longer than his old hair, though it was still quiet short. And messy. His Tail was long, very long, reaching almost to his hooves. An inch or two longer and he'd be tripping over it.
Turning his attention from his new body it suddenly occured to him that he was starving. He was so hungry he could eat a h....wait no that was cannabalisim. Also he's pretty sure horses are herbivores. Looking to his damn, and yep even useing a different word that will never not be disturbing, it suddenly occures to him what exactly not starving to death entails. Now the question is wheather or not starving to death is worth it.
Desmond could not start eating grass fast enough. He was officially scarred for life.
He stood next to his mother and munched on a clump of roots from the oasis the heard had stopped at. He's pretty sure as a human they would have been disgusting, however any pickiness he might have had was killed as soon as he realized he either ate the plants or continued, nope not even gonna think about that. Nope. Nu-uh, No thank you. Either way as a horse they were surprisingly good, though he supposes that was to be expected. Different tastebuds and all that.
He swallowed a mouthfull and bent his head to grab more, being carful to avoid inhaling the water because that had most certainly been the oposite of fun, he was shoved head over hooves instead when something shoved him. Thrishing in the shallow water he scambled back to shore. Glaring at the other nickering foal he made a point to walk over right next the other and shake the water from his coat. Like a dog. The elder foal whinnied and tried to dance away from the spray, but in the end he was almost as soaked as Desmond.
Desmond trotted back to his dams side smuggly, picking up his hooves in an exagerated manner as he did so much like the carraige horses of Italy, his tail flicking behind him mockingly. The other foal whinnied in challenge and charged him. Desmond danced out of the way at the last second and the other ended up going face first into the water. Desmond tossed his head and nickered in amusement. The elder foal let out an angry kind of hufing noise, however his own dam arrived and nippped him in reprimand. Shuffling the elder back to her side and herding him away. Desmond whinnied in a mocking goodbye before sidling up next to his own damn triumphantly. The mare simply hummed at him, craneing her neck down to fondly nuzzled his forlock, the tuft of hair on his forehead.
When Desmond was somwehere he assumed to be around the age of two the head stalion chased him from the heard. He was kind of sad about that. His horse mom had been awsome. At least she was better than his human mom, which sounded kind of depressing. He'd miss her. Though he'd admit he had never planned to hang around the heard all that long anyway. It was nice, but after a whie things got kind of monotonous, doing nothing but going from watering hole to watering hole. He'd kind of like to know more about where exactly he had ended up. He found himself hanging out with some of the other young colts from his heard. A small cherry bay with slim legs and a large barrel chest who was probably the fastest of their age group, a larger black who was part arabian if his great hight on the rest of them was anything to go by, a gray with black socks and a white blaze on his forhead, and the smallest of their age group a small liver-chestnut foal with big blue eyes and a streak for mischeif a mile wide. Desmond was proud to admit that was partially his influence. Either way he was happy with his little bachelor group as the travled the desserts. Not all the colts had paired together, some formed their own groups, like the little jackass that always used to give him a hard time. Desmond would have bitten the flaxen male anyway if he had come withing five feet of him.
There have been rumors as of late, about a horse whose coat is forged from molten gold, and whose mane is the same dark umber as the most fertile of farmland. Whose hooves are as white as the clouds, and who runs with the wind following his hoofprints. A horse with an unlimited amount of stamina, that can run on days with no food or water, far beyond the limits of other horses. They say its hooves are feathered like a bird’s wings, and that it has out smarted every man to run in it’s wake trying to catch it. Fearless, and vicious, and bold unlike any other. They call it the Spirit of the Desert, for it is as fiery and untamable as the parched land.
Desmond just wished people would stop chasing him around. It was getting annoying. Still it also gave him a good idea of where exactly he was. The people all spoke Arabic, except for the occasional knight. Which also gave him a good idea as to the time period. From what he had been able to gather this was around the time of the third crusade. Altair was probably running around here somewhere. Still it was getting to be a pain having to constantly run from all these people who wanted to brag about capturing the great Spirit of the desert as they had apparently taken to calling him. His bachelor heard was no help. If anything, they seemed more amused by it, though considering the riders tended to mostly focus on him meaning it was easy for them to make a break for it that wasn't all to surprising. He didn't find it very funny though.
They were grazing near some large outcroppings in a small gully when Desmond heard it first. His head shot up and his ears pulled back. The others took his cue as well, the black arabian even pulling wis lips back as he danced about in agitation. Desmond ignored them as he focused, the sound was like a far distant rumble but it was getting steadily nearer. Desmond had just managed to place the sound when the first figre appeared at the top of the gully. Horses. Horses with riders. Desmond let out a sound very mush the equivalint of "Fuck!" for a horse.
Other riders soon appeared, and it was when desmond saw the ropes that he knew to get the heck out of dodge. He reared and screamed a warning to the others as he turned and charge away. the other mambers of his little bachelor heard were quick to follow. Except the grey. Desmond heard his panicked cry and whirled about to see the slightly larger colte stuggleing against the tightning noose of the rope. Desmond scremed in challenge at the man who had lasso'd his freind and charged like a bull. The other riders startled at his sudden attack and desmond bowled into the riders horse, unseating him completely and tossing him a good three meteres at least.
The guy was able to pull free of the now loose rope and ran, but now Desmond had the attention of the riders. They encircled him, three in all discounting the one he had tossed away.Desmond snorted, tossing his head and trying to keep an eye on all three at once. One threw his rope, desmond doged away but when he headed towards a gap between the three he was met with steel and had to dance out of the way of the blade or get cut. Damn, these guys weren't playing around. Another rope was thrown and he doged again, but the men had predicted that and threw one to intercept.
Desmond couldn't doge so he caught it. Meeting the eyes of the man who held it he saw a breif flicker of "Oh shit" go across the guys face before Desmond yanked. Unfortunately the guy was able to stay on his horse some how. Fortunately, for Desmond at least, he's pretty sure he dislocated the guys wrist before the man maged to let go of the rope. His victory was short lived howevr when something wrapped around his throat and tightened. Desmond looked behind himself and cursed his inatentivness. One of the two remaining riders had managed to rope him. He felt a breif flare of panic as the man smiled smugly, shouting triumphantly. The next thing he knew his eyes BURNED, and the world seemed to fade and brighten around him simultainiously.
Suddenly the men all glowed red, and the horses they rode faded to almost transluscent grey, along with most of his surroundings. The man holding his rope shouted something again, sounding startled all of a sudden, but Desmond paid no heed to what he was saying. Instead he used the mans temporary dstraction to yank out of the slackened rope. He roared and charged past him before he could gain his bearings, however that seemed to snap the two remaining able riders out of whatever shock they had been in.
Chancing a look behind himself Desmond saw both men holding their blades out and ready. He couldn't help but think "God Damnit!" as he sped up, the ground flying by under his hooves. The Riders were falling behind and desmond was just starting to feel triumphant when the rider whose wrist he had dislocated came out of nowhere from his side. Desmond reeled, and changed directions only to nearly run off a cliff. He heard the shouts of triumph behind him. Demond looked down over the edge of the cliff. The river below glowed a soft inviting white. Looking behind himself one more time he made his choice. Besides, It was called a leap of faith for a reason. He jumped. The riders pulled their own mounts to a stop, the sound of skdding pebbles behind him and colorful cursing the last thing he heard before hus ears were filled with water.
He flailed for a breif moment, before he got his legs to work right and he swam to the surface, his head breaching back into the open air. He looked up to the shocked riders at the top of the cliff and neighed merrily. The men shouted some curses down at him, before turning their horses around angrily and riding off. Desmond nickered, "Desmond 59 and nuciances 0! Take that!" he thought to himself. He turned to swim towards shore only to lock eyes with a very surprised looking Altaïr Ibn-La'Ahad. His ancestor looked a little worse for wear and rsther caught off gaurd. Hood down it looked like he had been in the middle of refilling his water skin.
Desmond Stared at Altair, Altair Stared at Desmond, neither of them moved as Demond sat there bobbing in the water. Then it occured to Desmond that he still had his Eagle vision activated, and his ancestor was glowing bright important gold. Huh, wonder how the assassins would react to a horse with eagle vision, their most important and closely gaurded gift. Blinking and allowing the real world to rush back Desmond decided, fuck it. Things were getting boring anyway. And he swam straight for Altair, ignoring the way his ancestor tensed up suspiciously as Desmond slowly drew nearer.
Chapter 2: To fly across the earth
Altair was not having a good day. It was supposed to be simple. A basic mission, something to get him out of Masyaf before he lost his mind out of sheer boredom. He had gone to Damascus to oversee the improvements of the Bureau there, further consolidating their hold in the great city while the Templars were still unstable.
Things had gone smoothly. The brotherhood now had a very good foothold there, and they had only needed to expend a a small amount of effort and resources ensuring the Templars would not be able to make an attempt at retaking control of the city.
Apparently Allah was of the opinion things had gone to smoothly. As when Altair and the two other Master Assassins Malik Had insisted he take with him,
(..."You are Mentor now Novice. We can not afford anything to happen to you." " I am not a child Malik! I have traveled to Damascus and back a thousand times, I can very well defend myself in event of ambush!" "The injuries you brought with you to my Bureau say otherwise. Novice." "Those were all minor at best! I do not need to be baby sat!" "My ruined blankets would beg to differ."....)
They were ambushed. Apparently the Templars had not appreciated being driven from one of their most influential cities. The battle had been going very much in the assassins favor when the sandstorm hit.
Altair ended up separated in the middle of fucking no where and no way back to the road as all paths were hidden under the sand. His horse had unfortunately broken a leg in the scramble to find shelter so now he was in the middle of nowhere without a horse. The only satisfaction to be found was in the knowledge that the men who ambushed him were most assuredly dead.
He had decided the first thing to do was find a place to bandage his few injuries and refill his water skin. His eagle vision aided him in finding a large river, also good because it would make eventually finding a town much easier, then he could replace his horse and finally get back to Damascus.
He had pulled down his good, cupping the crystal Lear water in his palms he allowed it to spill over his head, washing away some of the stickiness of sweat, and cooling him down pleasantly.
He went about the process of filling his water skin when a commotion from the cliffs above caught his attention. He looked up just in time to see something large and shimmering gold leap from the top of the cliffs. Was that a horse? The equine dove over the edge gracefully before hitting the water and sending up a great splash.
Altair found himself staring as the animal resurfaced, nickering up at a group of cursing horsemen. The equine turned towards shore and Altair locked eyes with bright piercing eagles gold. A blink and now the eyes were warm woodsy brown.
He didn't think it had been long enough for him to begin suffering from Sun fever.
Watching the now approaching animal wearily Altair tensed as it came nearer to the shore. Nearer to him.
The horse eventually pulled itself onto land. Great white hooves standing out starkly on the golden sands with tufts of wispy feathery hair surrounding them, strong muscled legs with a coat of pale molten gold, a long elegant neck with a perfectly formed aristocratic head, the brow was strong and intelligent, with deepest oak brown eyes and a soft diamond white muzzle, the mane was oddly short only about four inches long and untamed sticking out wildly, the tail actually brushed the ground behind the animal both were the earthy brown color of rich soil.
Needless to say it was honestly an exquisite specimen. Possibly one of the best Altair had seen, and he had seen many extraordinarily well bred horses. Assassin's prided themselves on their steeds after all. More often than not an assassins life could depend on their horse out running any possible pursuers.
The Novices were all required to learn from the stable masters on everything from the proper care, to how to identify the best breeds of horses. Masyaf bred some of the best. The one Altair had just lost had been a handsome cherry stallion named Badr. Undoubtedly he would catch hell for it from the stable master when he returned, Malik would most likely back the man up.
The horse came closer, head tilted inquisitively. Those eyes were far to intelligent. Altair stood carefully. Strapping his water skin to his belt he reached a hand towards his sword in case the beast decided to charge him.
Said beast snorted at him. Plodding up placidly the horse began snuffling at his hair. Altair shouted at the animal, pulling his hood back up with a glare. That only earned him a huff. The animal seemed to gain a wicked gleam in its eyes though, Altair tensed, hidden blade at the ready....only to nearly choke as his hood was yanked back down.
What followed was a brief scuffle between man and horse. The man attempting to pull his hood back over his head and simultaneously avoid having the back of his robes snagged, the horse trying it's damndest to, in Altair's opinion, choke the life out of said man.
Really though Desmond was just trying to be a little shit. He had never seen his arabic ancestor without his hood in the ANIMUS, it was fascinating to see the various expressions he made. Especially when his eye started twitching.
The battle was epic, the casualties an assassins pride and a good foot of the horses tail when a certain grumpy assassin decided to spice things up with sharp pointy objects. Curses were screamed, insults were thrown, though the man had no idea what was bring said he knew when he was being insulted, the shoreline would forever be scarred by the monumental battle of wills.
In the end the two combatants stood across from each other, both panting from the exertion of their struggle. Both watched the other distrusfuly, ready to burst into action at any possible sign of attack from the other.
The cry of an eagle cut through the tense atmosphere, the horse jumped startled. Altair too the opportunity presented. He was quick to undo his sash, looping the fabric he lunged for his opponent. The horse reacted a second to slow at the sudden attack and the loop of silk was pulled right around his neck.
The animal tried to rear but Altair yanked back stubbornly, choking his opponent and forcing the equines head to the ground. From there the struggle was short. The horse was left wheezing neck bent almost to the ground as the assassin went so far as to place a foot upon the makeshift rope, forcing his head even lower until his front legs were forced to buckle and his knees hit the ground.
The horse glared, and if Altair did not know better he would say the animal was pouting. Altair simply smirked down at his former opponent smugly.
A thought entered the assassins head then. He looked to where he had set his pack, the contents of which included his former mounts blanket. Altair had kept it in case he could not acquire a replacement saddle at the next town he came across.
Looking down at the horse he had caught with his red assassins sash he considered his options. Looking around her spotted a scraggly tree. Growing stubbornly a little ways down the bank... it was small but it was still at least as tall as two men. It should serve well enough.
It was difficult but he eventually managed to drag the infuriating creature over to the large piece of vegetation and he tied the end of the sash he was holding around one of the thicker branches. The horse gave the sash a few experimental tugs before looking at Altair quesioningly. Said assassin only smirked again, before turning to retrieve the blanket.
Desmond tugged at the sash holding him a few more times once Altair's back was turned. He could get away easily of course, if he were a normal horse this would prove troublesome, but Desmond could probably drag the entire tree behind him at a flat gallop for at least a few dozen miles if he needed to. Breaking the branch he was tied to would be nothing.
He'd felt brief confusion at what his ancestor was planning to do, but then he saw Altair pull out a blanket, a very familiar type of blanket. A saddle blanket. It was a nice saddle blanket to, a deep crimson red with stark white detailing along the edges and the Assassin symbol intricately stitched in the center.
However it also made it very clear what the man was planning. That made Desmond think. The other bachelors would be worried, but they would get over it. They were used to Desmond sometimes not returning for weeks only to pop up out of nowhere. Things had been rather boring as of late as well, he could totally do with some excitement, and you didn't get much more exciting than a brotherhood of assassins.
On the other hand Desmond kind of wanted to toss Altair in the river to wash that stupid smug look of superiority off his face.
He was startled out of his thoughts by the feeling of something being thrown over his back. Glancing behind him he saw Altair. The man gave him a warning look as he braced his palms on Desmond's back.
Desmond simply looked at the once again hooded man innocently. Face the very picture of 'Who? Me?'. As Altair practically vaulted onto Desmond's back the timetraveler turned four legged equinoid went back to his thoughts.
It was odd Altair did not have a horse with him, the nearest town was a three days ride along the river at least, and after the first few miles the cliffs faded away to empty dunes. In this season that was dangerous, with all the sandstorm there would be nowhere to find shelter.
However course if one headed straight out into the desert Desmond knew there was an oasis about a days and a nights ride for a normal horse. Desmond could probably make it by sunset.
There was usually a tribe of nomads there this time of year if he remembered correctly. They were peaceable, and Desmond is pretty sure they saw him as some weird deity or mystical animal spirit. They gave him free apples though so they were cool. They probably wouldn't have trouble helping Altair out either.
Desmond couldn't just leave the man, sure he would probably make it fine on his own, but Desmond would feel like a bit of an asshole just ditching him here without a horse alone in the desert.
Besides he could always throw the man in the oasis instead of the man proved particularly annoying. Things would be much more interesting to. Yes. He decided. He would stick around for now at least.
A kick at his side's brought Desmond's attention back to his ancestor. Rolling his eyes he obligingly walked closer to the tree so Altair could reach out and untie his sash from the branch. The man did so slowly keeping a weary eye on Desmond. Desmond ignored him, instead deciding to watch the few thin scrappy clouds in the sky, hey that one looked kinda like an iguana.
When Altair finally got the sash undone he wrapped the free end in his fist. Just in case the horse tried anything. This way at the first sign of mutiny he could pull it right to choke the animal, hopefully before it tried to throw him. He ranged the other hand as much as he could into the short mane.
Once he was settled he kicked his heels into the great animals sides. Nothing. Altair huffed in annoyance and tried again. Still nothing. "For the love of Allah you infuriating beast, MOVE!" Altair finally shouted in frustration, driving his heels into the animals side. He had but a second to catch the equines challenging gaze before muscles bunched and kept into action.
Altair would never admit even on pain of death that he near fell from the horses back at the sudden surge of explosive speed. When he finally regained his bearings though, it was indescribable. He had never been on any a beast so breathtakingly fast. The desert disappeared beneath pearly hooves, the great chest huffing steadily.
So caught up in the high of the sheer ease in which the animal ran across the land Altair did not notice when they veered from the river and headed into the desert. All he could feel was the high of flight. It had almost felt as if they had left the earth behind, this was probably what it felt like, to be a true eagle, to soar through the sky unfettered by the weight of the earth below. Only a leap of faith could ever be comparable to the sheer high he felt.
Chapter 3: Of Deserts and Spirits
In which Desmond is a little shit (unsurprisingly) and Altair doubts the sanity of a bunch of desert hippies.
I'm gonna skip the in between of them leaving the river and arriving at the oasis and will leave any possible shenanigans that occurred between the reincarnated human equnoid and the emotionally constipated assassin mentor throughout the duration of the seven hour ride through the desert up to you. Cause I'm lazy.
When Desmond finally reached the Oasis he felt the cool rush of relief temporarily push back the annoyance he currently harboured for his ancestor. He sped up, eager to both quench his thirst and finally have a certain pain in the neck off his back.
He reached the very edge of the water and stopped violently and abruptly, he didn't even have to buck, Altair simple flew off his back from the extreme excess of Kinetic force from the sudden stop and the fact the Syrian man was completely unprepared. He flew off of Desmond's back with a multitude of frankly impressive and increasingly anatomically impossible profanity as he splashed into the knee deep shallows.
As his extremely Aquaphobic ancestor failed in panic Desmond let out a amused series of whinnies and tossing his head in a show of triumphant amusement. He trotted slightly farther down the bank and bent his head to begin chugging down the clear liquid ambrosia to sooth his parched throat, ignoring the loud splashing of his ancestor. Altair would figure out he wasn't drowning eventually.
Childish laughter and small forms darting in and out of his peripheral vision had him lifting his head. Sure enough there was a group of children, a little over a dozen, of varying ages skirting about. Eager to get close and interact but wary at the same time, eyes full of awe and wonder as they stared upon the magnificence that was the Spirit of the Desert.
Desmond lowered his head to the smallest child's height and gave a friendly nicker. The child, a little boy with dark skin and darker hair but eyes a pale pale grey, stared at him with uninhibited amazement as he eagerly approached. Desmond allowed the child to lay a gentle hand upon his muzzle, and when he allowed the child to move to stroke along his elegant neck the others took this as consent to approach as well.
Desmond folded his legs beneath himself and allowed them to do as they wished. Gaining confidence they stoked his side's and his head, the younger ones eagerly sitting beside him and curling into his side and marveling at the impossible softness of his coat.
Some of the elder girls began eagerly braiding his mane and tail with beads, and string, and even flowers, while some of the beaver boys scrambled up his back and pretended as if the were riding him on noble journeys and grand adventures.
He watched all of them in contentment, listening to their stories as the talked to him eagerly about anything and everything. This was nice.
Altair did eventually realize that he was merely sitting in water that barley even reached his knees, and that he was therefore makeing a complete fool of himself. He snarled and scowled as he stood up, robes soaked through and dripping wet. They would take forever to dry.
A warm chuckle from the direction of land had his head snapping up as he quickly took a defensive stance. Standing there, on the bank, was an older man. Hair steely grey with age but body strong and weathered still from harsh living and constant work.
"I see you have finally escaped the clutches of the water demons my friend." The stranger said in genial amusement. Altair scolded harder, but his eagle vision told him the man was no threat and so he loosened his stance and strode out of the water with as much dignity as he could salvage.
"And who are you?" Altair demanded near imperiously. Head tilted upward so he could glare down on the man from under his hood. It was supposed to be intimidating but the elder only seemed further amused, though he was wise enough not to give voice to it.
"Ah, allow me to apologize for not introducing myself. I am Baqi al'Bitar. I am the speaker of my tribe in affairs of outsiders."
"So you are nomads." Altair said bluntly.
"Of course. I came to invite you to sit by our fires and rest from what was doubtlessly a harrowing journey. My people are eager to hear your tales."
If anything Altair looked impossibly more dubiously suspicious even as he kept his face a blank mask set in stone. "I did not take the nomads of the desert to be welcoming to outsiders." He said blandly but with obvious distrust.
Baqi for his part simply waved his hand in a friendly dismissive gesture. "That is true, but you have nothing to worry about. The Great Desert Spirit has brought you here for a reason, truly it is a great blessing upon my people to offer you our aid. The Spirit has never before allowed one the great honor of sharing in his earthly flights, that he has trusted us with bringing one he deems so worthy is an honor that can not possibly be comprehended by any but the honored ancestors and gods themselves."
That actually gained a rare incredulous eyebrow from Altair. "The Great Desert Spirit?" He said blandly.
Baqi nodded joyously and pointed to, lo and behold, the current bane of Altair's existence. That damnable horse, that was currently prancing about as it nimbly danced around a group of joyously shrieking children, it allowed on or two to get a hairs breath from laying a hand upon it's golden hide only to dance away at the last possible second.
The infuriating beasts mane was currently filled with braids and designs of varying intricacy, and when it playfully swatted its tale at an older boy who got to cocky, Altair saw it was braided in a similar manner. The colorful threads and beads with intermingled semi precious stones have the animal a somehow regal look.
"The very Spirit of the Desert has deemed you worthy, clearly the Gods smile down upon you. Truly the Lord is fond of you, to show such favor."
Internally Altair was questioning the man's sanity, but even he had enough fact to not say as such out loud. First calling the animal a spirit, and now calling it a lord. Ludicrous. "He tossed me in the Oasis." He said dryly, unable to hold his going completely. Obviously this whole group was mad.
Baqi laughed once more, eyes wrinkling along deep set lines that indicated a man who often smiled and joked. "Yes the Young Lord is truly a creature of mischief as much as he is one of cunning. He is also quite found of children. Do not let him fool you though, he is wise and as he is fleet and my people have long honored and worshiped him. He has given us many a blessing in the years that we have shown our devotion."
Altair was sure of it. These nomads were obviously all smoking something, or were just all born mad. However he was not cool enough to turn down free aid do to eccentricities. Not anymore that is at least. And though he was proud of his robes they were soaking wet and the sun would begin to set long before they were dry. Plus they were beginning to change quite uncomfortably.
"I would be honored to except your aid." He managed as politely as he was capeable. Baqi smiled excitedly as he led Altair to the caravans camp. As they passed by the group of children he caught the eyes of the so called Desert Spirit. The animals brown eyes seemed almost smug before Altair stubbornly turned away. It was just a horse nothing more. He stalwartly ignored the knowing look the Nomad Speaker sent him.
Chapter 4: I'm the type of pony every pony should know
props to anybody who get's the reference in the chapter title.
When we last left our intrepid heros they had just finished a PERILOUS journey through the unforgiving dessert, the eagle of masyaf just barly managing to fend off the great and malevolent water djinn of a hidden oasis. He fought bravely and nobly....pfffffft HAHAHAHAHA! Oh my gosh I couldn't do it. I almost managed but I just HAHAHaHaHahahaha I just, I just c..couldn't d.d.do it PFFFFF HAHAHAHAHA!
But seriously Desmond is Deasmond (but you know a a horse) and Altair is Altair (so a bit of an ass) and is currently contemplating equicide. Cause that is totally a word and no one can tell me otherwise.
Also the Nomads are totes writing down this whole interaction and the texts will be found and preserved in meuseums for the res of human history. Altair is not amused. Although Malik certainly will be, if our two *ahem* "Heros" actually manage to make it back to Masyaf. And there is more to this Spirit of the Desert thing than even Desmond realises.
Desmond admired his reflection in the still waters of the oasis as the moon reflected off and gave the liquid a silver mirror shine. With the braids, beads, occasional feather, and various precious and semi precious stones woven into his short mane and long tail (even with the bit Altair took off with his hidden blade the ass) he really did cu a rather striking and handsome visage. He was on beautiful son of a bitch (son of a dam?) and no one could tell him otherwise. He tossed his head dramatically and for just a second wished his mane were longer so he could really work the dramatic hair flip. Briefly though, he quite liked his more roached mane. It looked badass if you asked him.
He spared a glance over to the fires of the caravan. Though most of the Nomads were crowded around the main fire, eagerly listening as the speaker of the tribe somehow managed to get Altair to regale them with the story of his encounter with Desmond, and the events leading them here to the man. Now Baqi had taken it upon himself to recite the story to the res of the tribe in a very theatrical faction while Altair tried his best to blend into the background and eat the meal he had been provided. He could practically smell the assassins discomfort at being the sole focus of so many unknown strangers from here.
Desmond snorted in amusement and sending one last glance to the waters sparkling as if they had trapped the night sky in there depths he turned to listen to the story as well. When the hell did he get so poetic anyway? Meh, he'd just blame Ezio and move on with his life.
"....It was then, as he knelt like a supplicant on the banks of the mighty river, bent to parch his thirst with the life giving liquid, that he saw the spirit for the first time! Altair, after his struggle through the unforgiving deserts, caught a glimps of the Mighty One's great wings of light and fire, as he dove as the eagle upon the unsuspecting hare, into the clear waters! The Great Spirit emerged from the crystaline depths and swam to the banks, the water beeding from his coat like diamonds, and falling in drips like stars fall throgh the night skies! His magnificent caot gleaming as gold as the fires of the sun reflected from the desert sands, and his eyes deep and wise with the secrets the desert keeps buried beneath it's ever shifting dunes! He appraoched Altair and the man stood to look the spirit in the eye!..."
Here the speaker paused as the audience gasped in shock at daring to so blatantly challenge the being they so worshiped. MAny nomads, from the youngest shild, to the eldest adults, leaned forward in trepidation, eager for the speaker to continue his great tale. Desmond snorted at the sheer, ridiculous meodrama the speaker had judiciously added into the story as he watched from the shadows of the tents. Just at the edge of the flickering firelight. The assassin turned horse very much duobted the other had told the story like that at all. So said the assassin held such a feirce scowl on his face he could almost give Malik a run for his money. Almost. Though this did not seem to faze the members of the carvans. The speker had mercy on his audience and continued the story.
"The sheer bravery and cheek," Desmond let out a soft nicker amusement at that. Ha! Altair the cheeky assassin! ",of Altair impressed The Young Gilded Lord and so he decided to test the mortals character! The battle they fought was brutal and exausting even for the Great Spirit! No mortal had ever shown such skill! Such challenge! For one so great as he!
The ancestors themselves were so moved by the warriors determintion they sent the Sun Eagle himself to cry out the fighter's strength of conviction and worthiness! The Gilded Lord heard the cry, and himself found Altair worthy! And so the Great one, The very heart and soul, THe SPIRIT of the Desert and all within it's sands, bowed his head, and allowed the warrior Altair to tie his sash of crimson blood around the Lords mighty neck! A sign of their pact, that the Gilded one, The Deserts Spirtit, should allow the warrior upon his back, to fly upon the earth as a bird upon the winds, and he shall thus have the aid and the strangth of the deserts fury at his back!"
At this point Altair had clearly had enough as he stood up brusqly and stormed over to a tent to escape the what he was certain was the nomads raving madness. WHen the Mentor stood all went breifly quiet, still as death and not even the wind blew as the people waited with baited breath. When he had disappered behind the tent flaps Desmond saw the awe in their eyes. Quiet a few began to whisper of how humble the warrior must be, how he was truly a noble and riteuos man to not seek the glory that he deserved at Harnessing the deserts themselves in his victory over Desmond. Truly a man, a paradigm of what one should strive towards if they wished to rpepresent the gods themselves. Desmond had to hold his breath to not give away his position and start openly whinying in guffawing lafter.
"Look at how humbled the warrior is with the honor he has been bestowed! Truly another sign of his worthiness!" The speaker announced as he picked up the story once more. "The Gilded One carried the warrior upon his great back, through the dunes, and warding off even the mightest of sandstorms until they touched upon the sands of the Oasis! Upon which the young lord allowed the man to leap from his back and parch his blistering thirst in the waters of these unduobtedly sacred waters!" That is not at all how desmond remembers that going, "The young lord has thus entrusted our tribe with the care of the warrior, as is our sacred duty to help them return to their holy quest, in freeing the peoples of this land of false gods and prophets, and protecting our peoples from those who have been twisted by dijinn, and who have given in to their mortal vices! Surley with the sacred pact the Spirit of the GIlded Dunes and the Warrior blessed by the great Mother Eagle of the stars, this holy land will be brought into a new age of grand prosperity!"
Desmonds eyes widened at the last bit. Like wow. No pressure or anything. When the speaker was finished with a dramatic bow Desmond finallyy revealed himself. The firelight playing on his coat as he seemed to just appear from the shadows, the darkness sliding from his hide like a lovers caress, and the ornamentation in his mane and tale sparkling in a vibrant rainbow, gave him a truly divine and mysterious air. At least in the nomads opinion. They all gasped at his sudden appearence and bowed. Desmond blinked at them and shifted in slight discomfort. He felt he should do something for them. He wasn't really a god, and he felt bad that they seemed quite set in that impression when he couldn't really provide them divine blessings. Still he should repay them in some way, he thought for a moment and had an idea.
Usually he could never get them or the other tribes and occasional people who seemed to worship him to take back anything they gave him, even the things like the stones and such now woven in his mane. It only seemed to give them the strange impression he was displeased, and that always went downhill fast. But maybe....He looked at his tail and found one perticularly large ornament. A glass medallion about the size of a half dollar. It was woven into his tail by the leather strap it was attatched to. He gntly tugged it from his tale and as cerimoniously as he could layed it in front of the still bowing speaker as if it were a token or blessing. Then he turned away and with an inward smirk, very quietly slipped into Altair's tent.
If Desmond had stayed but a minute longer he would have seen as the nomads raised their heads, eyes shining with awe, and as the previously normal ornament breifly glowed sunlit gold, sharp thin lines forming geometric shapes that now shimmered within the glass, as the previously leather strap became the same as rich and shimmering as Desmond's hide.
Truly the Great Spirit was Generous.