"Goat skin," Kir said dubiously.
"Well dyes don't make sense sir, they'd wash out and need to be reapplied and making sure the markings remained the same from time to time would be inefficient," Balin explained, having approached them with Lieutenant Korisho regarding ideas to disguising the blasted glowing white witch-horse.
It hadn't taken long for word to spread that the white horse actually was one of those white horses, and that the rider was in fact the new Enforcer, which meant if anyone wanted to pick bones with it, they could go take it up with Father Kir.
No one had thought it worth it, which, unfortunately, Kir was certain was far more out of fear for him, only recently re-established, than it was willingness to accept Heralds and Witch-horses as non-demonic entities. Maybe in the abstract they agreed, but in the day-to-day? It would take some time.
Though these two were promising.
"Dye wouldn't hold anyway," Anur contributed, leaning against the stable wall, Aelius standing in an open loose-box, the only one in the place. "Just bleaches out."
"That is obnoxious," Kir informed him, and the witch-horse snorted and nodded in agreement, Devek twitching, Balin entirely ignoring it. Interesting.
"He can manage hooves and eyes and not glowing white, retaining dirt and such, but that's the most he can limit," Anur continued, "But the goatskin – possible. How would it work exactly? The securing it?"
"Well it's a similar enough texture and look that as long as no one outside those in the know worked with him, they wouldn't be able to tell it wasn't his natural coloring. Adding some black goat-skin cut irregularly would make him a paint, not white," Balin explained, "It's also relatively cheap."
"And re-usable, once we get the attachment method down," the Lieutenant pointed out, "There might be times you need to look like a White De – ah, a Herald horse?"
"Companion," Anur replied, easy smile on his face, "Kir still calls him witch-horse."
At the startled looks, Kir raised an eyebrow and didn't say anything. As far as he was concerned, Aelius was a witch-horse, the rest were Companions. It was as simple as that. Courtesy was important, the blasted beast should have known that. Besides, it was amusing, and he had too few amusements to sacrifice one so relatively harmless.
"I can collect black horse-hair and create attachments for your mane and tail as well," Kir spoke directly to Aelius at least, so he was no hypocrite. "As for securing the skins, it would have to be a glue of some sort – possibly combined with mage-work depending on the effect of rain."
"Hmm – maybe some of the stuff the medics use for sealing wounds?" Korisho suggested, "The – your coat would also have to be brushed to blend over the skins so it wasn't abruptly a straight line of changing color."
Kir made a mental note to suggest a commendation for the Lieutenant, he was very clearly unnerved by the idea of directly addressing a creature that looked like a horse and was supposedly Anathema, but managed admirably beyond white knuckles. Aelius apparently agreed with the statement, nodding slightly but making no further gesture of comprehension – that would have been too much at this stage. As it was, judging by the slightly queasy look on Korisho's face, it was still a serious shock to the system.
"We can get it," Balin said, "Me and Galen, that is. The Captain approved a reassurance patrol to the shepherds, so we can buy it off them. Two or three skins should be enough."
"Make it three, I'll give you the funds tonight," Kir said, Balin nodding agreeably, saluting Devek and offering Kir and Anur a brief, awkward bow of his head before turning on his heel and walking out.
"Lieutenant?" Kir asked, raising an eyebrow, "Is there something else?"
Devek noticeably hesitated again, visibly steeling himself before asking, "Would it be useful, in your estimation, to learn Valdemaran?"
Kir reined in his immediate shock, then nodded slowly, "You are planning on remaining in the Sunsguard, yes?"
"Yes sir, until I get forced out by age or injuries," Devek replied.
"Then yes, it would probably be useful within a few years, if you transfer, and more immediately, if you remain here," Kir tilted his head slightly, considering the Lieutenant thoughtfully before asking, "Are there others, interested in learning?"
"Maybe sir, I wouldn't know for certain – we're still… figuring things out. But with Lieutenant-Enforcer Bellamy here, and the blue uniforms that have been at some of our raids – it seems it'd be useful, here, to have more than just you speaking it."
Kir didn't bother to correct him on that, as Greich was approaching fluent reading and Ulrich was managing rather well in military-focused conversations, instead raising an eyebrow at Anur, who shrugged and nodded agreeably. "We'll set something up," Kir said finally, returning his attention to Korisho, "Depending on schedules. Thank you, Lieutenant."
"Your Holiness, Lieutenant-Enforcer," Devek did a peculiar salute that Kir recognized from classes before leaving – one the Sunsguard were taught to offer religious officials who held military rank, very seldom used. Interesting, very much so; he'd have to keep an eye on this one.
"So," Anur replied, having returned the salute admirably – Greich had drilled him in proper Karsite salutes for a mark yesterday, "That was interesting."
"Very interesting," Kir agreed, walking over to check on Riva, "This may not be as bad as we prepared for."
"What, the escape routes?" Anur smiled wryly, "Hopefully not. Do you need help paying for things?"
"No, I receive a basic stipend that I only really use on string," Kir snorted, "And I have plenty of that. Besides, you're receiving one too."
Anur blinked for a few moments, clearly surprised, before asking slowly, "I'm receiving a stipend? How?"
Kir raised an eyebrow at the Herald; did the man think he'd just grabbed the uniform on a whim? "In order for this to work, there has to be paperwork proving I have an Enforcer under my command and protection. I filed the appropriate papers with Sunhame moons ago, I received approval a while back, though I'd already started collecting the uniform. For short-term things, just the uniform would work but just in case there was a need for you to stay in the long-term, I filed the papers."
"You mean – there's actually paperwork saying that there's an Enforcer named Anur Bellamy floating around? They approved that? I can't imagine it's a particularly Karsite name," Anur was still staring and Kir shook his head in disbelief, of course he had gotten it officially approved, it added quite a bit of security to the entire thing.
Given, he had also made it look like a bit of a joke, what with the second request he had sent in, but at least it had made it very obvious that no one in Sunhame was actually reading his notices.
"The way it was worded made it very obvious to anyone who read it that it was a sarcastic attempt to gain attention," Kir explained instead, "So since no one has actually read it, and simply approved everything, we might as well take advantage. I worded it that way so it could be dismissed if they asked me about it. Sunhame hasn't responded to reports of blood magic after all, I sent in some official ones after I heard about the hunting party. This was to see if they even read what I sent in."
Aelius looked over at him and Anur raised an eyebrow, relaying, "Aelius and I are both surprised at that, he wants to know if there is any chance that it's actually due to co-conspirators instead of willful ignorance."
"It's entirely possible," Kir allowed, "Unlikely, it may just be an acolyte's idea of a prank, fulfilling some obviously pointless requests, or it could be simple compliance to keep a Firestarter from storming Sunhame in indignant rage. I don't think she has had enough time to build those sorts of connections in Sunhame itself, but I don't know."
"Huh. Well, at least I won't be an undue burden on the unit's finances," Anur shrugged, apparently accepting the situation. He quickly started grinning, "I wonder if anyone else has become an official employee of Sunhame?"
Kir knew very well he was referencing his Heraldic brethren, and snorted, "Post Choosing? I highly doubt it."
"Excellent! Bragging rights shall be mine!"
"I'll get you the papers."