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OMD-Jerusha-C4 by Mehetabel OMD-Jerusha-C4 by Mehetabel
Given your first task by your mother she wants you to deliver a special message to an important centaur in Eldod. You've never left her side before and you are very young but she says it's very important they get the message. Do you obey and leave her side to do the errand or dig in your hooves?

The sun is just starting to dawn on a beautiful day at Eldod, and the white cathedral-like spires of the city fortress gleam like beached shells. There is, however, a solemn display occurring in the outskirts of the city: a young, purposeful little centauress is being escorted by a soldier of the city. He looks down upon her with a mixture of confusion, protective duty, and occasional pity, but he is good to keep his curiosities to himself as he has not asked why the girl is alone and in need of finding the home of someone well-known to the army. “We’re almost there,” he assures her, pointing. “Heavyhoof’s home is just over the hill.”

She looks up at the large solider with fearful, sad golden eyes, her mother's eyes. His own intense blue made her feel all the more isolated and abandoned. She gulped and looked down at the ground only managing a nod as she followed him to the house of this stranger. Her usual light gait was heavy and slow as the closer they came those white towers seemed so alien and cold, wanting to swallow her up like a great monster.

Most soldiers may point the way and move on to more pressing business, but Joren is rather low on the totem pole and thus has little responsibilities. And it doesn't take much but those big, teary eyes to escort the girl directly to the home and knock upon the door for her. The door is answered presently, and even the little centauress is taken aback at the height of the person who answers. It's an ancient human woman, dressed in a simple frock with her frizzy, white hair making a halo about her head. Her eyes, almost completely covered in folds of skin, crinkle up as she smiles a toothless smile. "Why hello there," she greets in a creaky World Tongue.

Before her stood what seemed to the filly that biggest, strangest lumpy monster she'd ever seen. The first human ever to be seen by those big gold eyes sent her scurrying to the barrel of the solider for comfort. Those bulbous, fleshy two legs on the tailless, white maned pink monkeyed creature were horrifying. She pressed into his flank and gripped the chainmail of his garb as if it were a lifeline. THAT WAS A HUMAN?!

Joren had just opened his mouth to speak when his ward suddenly squeaks and hides. The old woman's face falls a little, and she lifts a questioning expression to the soldier. He clears his throat. "She's here to see Barenth," he tells the aging human. "Perhaps... I should take her there myself. She's... new in town."

Understanding crosses the old woman's face and she shuffles back on her sandaled feet. "He's in the courtyard, dearie," she says. "I'll go and get some of that spice cake you like so much." She then shuffles down the hallway. The home itself is spacious, sprawling, made of white adobe walls and open windows. A garden sprouts in the center of the circular, open-roofed room.

Joren smiles encouragingly. "No need to be afraid of old Mary," he tells her. "She doesn't even have any teeth! And she makes great spice cake. This way." He leads the way, hoofs clomping on the wooden boards covering the pathway to the other side of the house. "Heavyhoof likes to train in the courtyard, everyone's probably back there. Is he expecting you?"

She stays huddled next to his barrel as they crossed the beautiful structure so different from the trunks of trees yet confining compared to the open sky she was used to. It held it's own beauty but she was more afraid of what it held. She didn;t quite understand what she held pressed against her heart. A letter she was to deliver but something in the parting from what she knew filled her with dread. Even the human with no teeth could distract her from it, "No..but he has to read the letter at all cost she said..."

Joren's smile only slightly wavers at the answer, but, being a good soldier, he asks no more questions. They reach a large curtain that flutters gently in the breeze, beyond which is sunlight and the laughter of several voices. Joren's gloved hand moves the curtain aside as he gestures her through. Beyond, the property opens up to circle a large, grassy courtyard filled with equipment. Centaur-shaped dummies, targets, padded armor and practice weapons lay strewn about. In the center are two centaurs, younger than Jerusha, tussling in the grass. Their growls and grunts of playfighting has the attention of one other centaur standing in the corner, arms folded. He is gigantic, reminiscent of a rust-colored, dappled Clydesale with the muscle to back it up. His bearded face is split in a wide grin as he watches his boys play, not seeing the newcomers just yet.

Eyes go wide in a mixture of terror and awe, the large dark centaur was so opposite of her mother, light, thin and famous for her speed. Her mother was one of the fastest Creer the tribe had yet seen. Humans her mother told her once said she was exactly like a gazelle with a long tail. Her white creme coat flicked with gold her pride. This male was her extreme opposite and scared her motionless and her mouth dropped and she wanted to crawl away and die but she shook herself telling her fear that this was her first big mission away from mom..after she could go home right? "Ahhhh...mister Heavyhoof....sir..." her voice cracked like a scared mouse.

Joren hangs back, crossing his arms as the little centauress takes steps towards his commander. Upon noticing the pair, Barenth turns and flashes his jolly smile at them. A smile that slowly fades into a look of shock at seeing the little centaur. He recognizes her immediately: she looked just like her mother. His arms uncross, falling to hang limply at his sides as he takes a step closer, his blue eyes glimmers. "By Ristar's glittering hoof..." he gasps. "Can it be?" The two tussling centaurs stop and stare, confused. With their cream-colored fur and white hair, they look much more Omdra than even their father.

The confusion was matched in the little filly as he steps closer she takes a slight fawn-like leap back and on small hooves clutches the letter to her chest and seems both drawn to those blues eyes and yet so bewildered...what did he mean by that? "I-I have a letter from..." her mind forgot the word a moment then she shook her head again forcing her small hands out to give him the letter unable to speak much more than whisper. "I have a letter..."

Barenth doesn't seem like he cares even a bit for whatever that letter says. His eyes sparkle as he leans way down, arms spread in a beckoning gesture. "It IS you! Sparks, you look just like your mother... come, let me look at you!"

Joren, seemingly just as amazed, clears his throat. "She's uh... little flighty sir," he explains.

The twin centaur boys jostle each other up and wander closer. "She looks like who, father?" one demands to know, wrinkling his nose.

Just as confused she steps back again not responding to the open arms of a stranger so....strange. She had grown up thus far in the war-lands and the Deepgreen and you didn't just hug a big strange centaur there...."Me? Yes..but you know my mother Lakshmi?" she drew back the letter and frowned, "She said you have to read the letter mister Heavyhoof..." she tried to hold her resolve, bit her lip and hold out the letter hoping she get her hand back as if he was a feral rusted jumper.

Barenth's face falls only a little, melting into a more concerned expression as he slowly takes the letter. Thick fingers break the seal, but his eyes don't leave the little centaur. "Yes. Lakshmi... we grew up together," he says, his voice disproportionately soft with the memory. "She and I..."

Another voice, sharp and haughty, suddenly cuts from the other side of the courtyard. "She and you what, Barenth?" It comes from a tall, pale centauress with flowing white hair and abalone fur. Her expression is disapproving and harsh as she stares openly at the newcomer. Barenth winces, but doesn't respond, busying himself with reading the letter.

The Letter read, "Dear Barenth, I know it's been a long time. I now know I should've said more but what's done is done. I can no longer raise Jerusha. She is your daughter and of that I am sure. In some ways she is very much like you...stronger than me. It's dangerous. The Gathrim found out about the support I gave to your tribe. I have to disappear. I know with what happened I didn't want anymore connection to you. Take responsiblity for once. Keep my little Jerusha, your child, safe. I didn't tell her I was going away because I love her and I want to do what's best for her. Tell her I loved her and that's why. Good bye Baren. Lakshmi."

Tears glitter on the big centaur's face as he reads. This makes Joren seemingly quite uncomfortable, and he mutters a hasty excuse before backing away to try and find himself some spicecake.

With long, meaningful strides, the centauress crosses the courtyard, resting a hand on one of who are obviously her sons. "Flint, Path, go and pack our ... guest... a lunch to take with her when she leaves." The two centaur boys prance away, too excited to argue any farther.

When they're gone, Barenth carefully folds the letter and slides it into a pouch at his belt. "She's not leaving," he says flatly. "She is my daughter. And she's staying with us from now on."

This promotes a gasp from the woman, and she throws a disgusted look Jerusha's way. "Says who! She has no place h-..." Barenth cuts her off. "Glassa. We'll talk of this later. Leave us." In a huff, the centauress whirls about and disappears into the house. Barenth heaves a sigh, and his heavy body half-flops in a sit on the floor. "Child, you've caused quite a stir today. What is your name?"

Joren wasn't the only uncomfortable one. She was fidgeting but unlike the lucky Joren the little filly had no escape as the centauress' eyes glared at her so intensely...why? She'd be happy to get out of this confining house and on the road back to her mother. That little hope she had was crushed when she heard the words spoken so flat and hard. Not leaving?! Her emotions showed on her face, shock pure shock and surprise. That was the frist she'd heard of it. The beautiful white centauress who had the eyes of a rockeater clearly did not welcome the news just as she didn't welcome it. She was still too dazed to speak up when the two argued and she was left alone with the strange big centaur who claimed her as a daughter and said she was was a bad dream, "Jerusha...but but you're my sire? No no no...dam-mother never said're lying...I'm going home." she turned trying to put the bad nightmare behind her.

Barenth winces. How was he going to keep hold of a new daughter no one wants with him, when she didn't want to stay either? "I'm so sorry, Jerusha. Your mother loves you very much. But she is Creer." He withdraws the letter from his belt once more, offering it. "Please forgive Glassa. She is a hard woman. But you are my daughter, and not even she can change that." He scratches at the back of his head. "Please, give me a chance."

She shook her head over and over trying to understand. She was young but she wasn't stupid...the whole road here she had thought about the strange way her mother was behaving and the things she said...they had unsettled her but this..this was a lie had to be. She grabbed the letter and read it herself...three times over. Her fingers tighter and tighter around it. Tears lining her big gold eyes, "I am a Creer...I am a Creer...." she repeated it over and over but she couldn't believe it....even in her mother's writing it was hard to believe. "Is mister Manoth going to hurt my mother?" she looked up at the big stud.

Barenth watches the girl with trepidation, a sad frown on his face. "You're whatever you wish to be, Jerusha. But your mother fears for you. She knows I will keep anything from happening to you. Our entire city is founded on that ideal: even young Joren would lay his life down against the Gathrim for you. You are safe here. And someday, perhaps, you will see Lakshmi again and tell her what a good sire I was. Because if Lakshmi is anything, she is smart. Smart and swift. The Gathrim will never catch her." He offers her a friendly, hopeful smile, hand resting on a thick knee.

Those last words her mother said rang in her ears, "Be a good girl and always listen to what I tell you right? Be smart. I love you." she started crying. Always listen...her mother said stay here....with him...the letter said he was her father....but he had never been there. She couldn't accept him as her father yet but right now he was all the comfort she had. Beginning to cry and desperate she fell into his arms in sad sobs for a long time until she could settle down.

Barenth looks ready to break in half when he begins to see the little centauress cry, but when she gives into a hug he envelopes her in his arms and squeezes gently. He's not sure what to say to make her feel better... he was never very good with words. But that hug is as unconditional as it gets. "We'll have Mary make us lunch," he offers quietly. "And I will have Glassa and the boys go for an errand. We will talk and you can ask me any questions you like. It'll just be you and me, ok little sandshell?

She didn't really feel like talking...she wanted to curl up in a dark corner somewhere but she was hungry from a long road from her home in the Deepgreen to Eldod. Since the border she'd been unable to stomach anything. "Okay..." she shuddered at the mention of the white rockeater but relieved she was being sent away for her...if only for an afternoon.

Artist Notes:
I did not like the background but I am glad my characters look less stiff than usual

Jerusha as a child and her father Barenth Heavyhoof of the Omdra clan

A PART OF THE :icontairoth: roleplay. Sold my soul for a point XD
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GokuMartin Featured By Owner Jul 16, 2012
Ok, this doesn't even take place on Earth! How the hell can this relate to the song "American Woman"?
Mehetabel Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012  Student Digital Artist
It's been a while since I posted this......where does it say American Woman?
GokuMartin Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012
I happened upon this pic while putting the lyrics to "American Woman" in the search bar.
Mehetabel Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2012  Student Digital Artist
:D Really?! I have NO idea. That's rather amusing though. You're right this has nothing to do with American Woman.
shashia Featured By Owner Jan 19, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Very fortunate for Jerusha that Barenth is a kind, accepting sort.
Lovely illustation!
Mehetabel Featured By Owner Jan 28, 2012  Student Digital Artist
Thanks though I dislike the background. Need to work on those. What is the regular time other members join the chat?
shashia Featured By Owner Jan 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I usually show up anywhere between 4pm and 7pm MST. I don't know about other people.
Javen Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Ok, not only is this awesome, but I can't get over the pumkin-headed dummy in the background. XD I love it.
Mehetabel Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2012  Student Digital Artist
LOL really I was so tired by the time he came along I just needed to do something silly.
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January 8, 2012
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