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Abelard was Halt O'Carrick's Ranger Horse.

Description Edit

At three years old, he was described as a dapple gray horse[2]. As grey is not a color in horses, but rather a gene that causes the horse's coat to lose pigment over time, Abelard's coat color would likely fluctuate over time, eventually becoming a solid white.

His eyes were described as being "dark,"[2] implying them to be a deep brown.

Like all ranger horses, he was bred for stamina and intelligence. Abelard also shared their typical shaggy coat and barrel-like body[3], as well as their short and shaggy mane[4].

History Edit

Abelard was bred by Bob Saddler I, at Saddler's farm. He was likely trained by the both Bob and his wife, Robina.

When Halt first arrived at the farm, Abelard was one of four three year old horses available[2]. Being the same age, he was likely trained in tandem with them.

The Tournament at Gorlan Edit

Abelard and Halt's first meeting was detailed about halfway through the book. Until this point, Halt had been using Declan as his primary mount. Bob showed him a selection of four horses, all three years old. Like most Rangers, Halt was initially thrown off of Abelard after neglecting to ask about his code phrase.

After this encounter, Halt and Abelard began to practice shooting while at full gallop, a particularly difficult feat. The Rangers continued on their quest, now travelling to Seacliff Fief in order to recruit Egon. Continuing on to Redmont, they ran into Norris, and then were later joined by Samdash and his group.

Halt and Crowley, and thus Abelard and Cropper, traveled to Castle Redmont, meeting with Baron Arald and recruiting Farrel into their group. Heading to Castle Wildriver, Pritchard decided to accompany them on their quest as well. Once Duncan was rescued, they continued on to Gorlan Fief. They stayed near Castle Gorlan for the remainder of the book, with their horses likely being stabled alongside Baron Arald's.

The Battle of Hackham Heath Edit

Halt and Crowley began at Castle Gorlan, overseeing the demolition process of the former fief. Upon completing their tasks, the pair returned to Araluen Fief for the marriage of King Duncan and Queen Rosalind.

Halt and Abelard were then transferred to Redmont Fief. They regularly accompanied Arald and Pauline DuLacy on trips to Castle Araluen. After one such trip, Halt and Abelard were sent to Three Step Pass. While Halt scaled the plateau, Abelard remained on the ground below.

Returning successful, the pair returned to Araluen Fief with new information on the Wargals. After spending some time as Commandant, Halt joined the other Rangers as they marched away from Castle Araluen, heading to Ashdown Cut. After a brief skirmish there, the army pulled back to Hackham Heath for the final confrontation.

In a stroke of brilliance, Halt and Abelard took what cavalry they had left and attacked Morgarath's forces from behind. In the aftermath of the battle, Halt led the troops through the abandoned camp, following the retreating wargals.

The Ruins of Gorlan Edit

Abelard was first introduced alongside Will Treaty's pony, Tug[5]. Explaining why Ranger Horses cannot be stolen, Halt told Will Abelard's code phrase, permettez moi[6]. The two accompanied their owners throughout the rest of the book, carrying them throughout the boar hunt, trip to the gathering grounds, and tracking of the Kalkara. His location during the battle with the Kalkara was not mentioned, implying that Halt left him nearby, hoping to save him from the creatures.

The Burning Bridge Edit

Abelard continued his passive presence, aiding Halt during the Wargal attack. When Gilan arrived at the cabin, Abelard called out a greeting to Blaze[7]. While Will was on a mission, Halt and Abelard traveled to Cobram Keep with Alyss.

As Halt was present at the King's Army, Abelard would have been there as well, staying close to his master. The two later took half of the Kingdom's forces and ambushed the Skandia forces, successfully defeating them. They then returned to the army's command center[8], where they remained until the end of the battle.

Once the battle concluded, the two set out searching for Will. Halt was told his location by Nordal[9], and the pair raced to the fens. However, they arrived too late. The Skandians were already leaving, taking Will and Cassandra with them. And although they tried to follow, even going so far as to charge into the sea itself[10], they ultimately failed to reach them.

The Icebound Land Edit

At the beginning of the book, Halt, and thus Abelard, were busy with missions hunting down Foldar impersonators[11]. After being denied an audience with the King to make an appeal to go after Will[12], Halt purposely got himself banished[13], taking Abelard and Tug with him[13]. The three departed for Gallica, later being joined by Horace Altman riding Kicker[14].

Once landing in Gallica, Horace quickly gained a reputation by easily dispatching would-be robbers. This gained the attention of a local warlord, Lord Deparnieux, who took them hostage. He kept them in his castle over winter, and although not mentioned, the three horses likely lived in the stables for the duration of the stay. Abelard and Kicker made brief appearances during training sessions, but otherwise did not appear again until the battle with Deparnieux. 

One he was killed, the group set out again, this time heading for Skandia.

Oakleaf Bearers Edit

Finally reaching Skandia, the party comes across the slaughtered Skandian border patrol[15]. Deducing that the Temujai were at fault[16], they decided to follow their tracks, eventually stumbling across not only the Temujai search party, but also Will and Cassandra. Although originally planning to immediately return to Araluen, they ran into a party of Skandians following them, led by Erak Starfollower

Having come across the remains of the border patrol as well, the Skandians followed their tracks, assuming they were the ones responsible. Reluctantly, the Araluens agreed to travel to Hallasholm and support the Skandians during the Temujai invasion. Much like in The Icebound Land, Abelard featured very little hence forth, instead likely spending his days in the stables until the final battle.

Once the Temujai have been defeated, the Skandians transported the group back to Araluen on a wolfship, The Wolfwind, keeping the horses below deck. 

The Sorcerer in the North Edit

Abelard was only mentioned a few times in The Sorcerer of the North, when Will was first receiving his mission, asking about his location[17]. Halt was later mentioned to be at Castle Araluen with Crowley, indicating the same to be true of Abelard.

The Siege of Macindaw Edit

Although Abelard was never directly mentioned, Halt and Crowley meet once again at the Gathering Grounds to discuss Will's mission, bringing their horses with them.

Erak's Ransom Edit

During the opening of the book, Abelard was at Castle Redmont while Halt and Pauline plan and put their wedding into motion. However, once Svengal arrived with news of Erak's capture, he--along with Tug, Blaze, and Kicker--are loaded onto the Wolfwind, setting sail for Arrida. The horses remained upon the boat until the group set out for Mararoc.

As per usual, each horse stayed with their master. Despite the unfamiliar landscape, the horses seemed to adjust fairly well. Abelard remained calm during the sandstorm, unlike Tug, who panicked and became lost.

With the exception of Will, who went after Tug, the group eventually came across the remains of Erak's escort. Although Selethen was initially suspicious of the Araluens, he soon realized his mistake and they joined forces to track down the responsible Tualaghi.

The mission went awry, however, and the party was captured. It's unclear what the Tualaghi did with the horses, as they weren't allowed to ride them. It can be assumed that they at least held onto the horses, perhaps using them as pack animals.

The Kings of Clonmel Edit

Halt and Abelard started in the village of Selsey, exposing the Outsiders cult for the scam it was. Despite initially being corned by a group of the Outsiders, they were eventually successful and return to Redmont with Farrell as a prisoner. 

Upon their return, Halt informed the Corps of the Outsiders' return. After hearing his report, Crowley sent him, along with Horace and Will, to Hibernia to break the Outsiders' influence. Traveling to Craikennis, the group were shocked by the Outsiders' effect, with the people living in constant fear of attack, and most being aggressive toward unknown travelers. 

Continuing on to Mountshannon, Halt and Horace met Tennyson, the leader of the Outsiders. Once Will arrived with news of the plan to attack Craikennis, they returned to the smaller town. There, they warned the villagers and set up camp nearby. They successfully helped defeat the Outsider forces before leaving once again, this time heading for Dun Kilty

Once again, Abelard and the other horses appeared very little during this period, perhaps living in either the Castle stables or at a nearby inn.

After King Ferris' assassination, the team set out once more, trailing the fleeing Outsiders. 

Halt's Peril Edit

After Will's initial failure at interrogating Black O'Malley at Port Cael, Halt stepped in and successfully extracted the Outsiders' location. They set off for Craiskill River, sinking O'Malley's ship, Claw, after he tried to attack them.  

After landing, they headed south, deducing the Outsiders would be heading for Araluen. The team picked up their trail quickly, finding evidence ranging from a lost button to the remains of a farm they targeted. While travelling through One Raven Pass, they picked up the trail of a Scotti raiding party heading into Araluen. Deciding to make a detour, the group outpaced the raiding party and successfully drove them off.  

Returning to their previous course of action, the group were quickly discovered by the Genovesans, who in turn reported their presence to Tennyson. Acting on his orders, they laid a trap for the group, successfully injuring Halt. Although the team initially assumed he was fine, they quickly realized he was hit with a poisoned arrow, and even Abelard seemed to be aware that something was wrong.  

When Halt's health took a turn for the worse, Will took the three horses and rode to Grimsdell Forest to appeal to Malcolm for help. The healer agreed, and they returned to the camp immediately.  

After forcing the cure out of Bacari and disposing of him, Halt began to make a swift recovery and the group soon set off after the cult once again. Eventually, they found them leading their followers into the caves. The horses were left outside while the humans went inside for the final confrontation. 

When the cave system collapsed, the group escorted Malcolm back to Healer's Clearing before finally returning to Castle Redmont. 

The Emperor of Nihon-Ja Edit

Unlike in other books, Abelard didn't appear during the story. According to Will, the Rangers had left their horses in Araluen, as they were only supposed to be in Toscana for ten days[18]

The Lost Stories Edit

Death of a Hero Edit

Abelard appeared once again as Halt's primary mode of transportation. He carried him during the Battle of Hackham Heath, as well as during the aftermath, following Kord and Jerrel. He presumably carried Halt and an infant Will Treaty back to Castle Redmont's Ward.

The Roamers Edit

While dealing with the pirates, Halt and Will had left their horses stabled at Claradon[19]. As they rode back through Wensley Village, they were stopped by Alyss, bringing news of Ebony's disappearance. While Will and Tug went after her, Halt and Abelard presumably took over Ranger duties.

Purple Prose Edit

Abelard was mentioned by name few times in Purple Prose, and accompanied Halt, Will, and Tug as they traveled to take down the Moondarkers.

The Bridal Dance Edit

Only briefly mentioned, Abelard brought Halt to Will's cabin. The two later trailed a mail coach, to little avail, and return back to the cabin. And as Halt was at the Royal Wedding, it can be assumed Abelard was in Redmont's stables.

A New Beginning Edit

Once again only appearing briefly, Abelard was only mentioned when he takes Halt to Castle Araluen.

References Edit

  1. In The Tournament at Gorlan, Bob Saddler I says that he has “four three-year-olds in the stable” (pg 110). As TTaG takes place in 627, that means Abelard was born in 624.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Tournament at Gorlan, Chapter 14, Page 110.
  3. The Tournament at Gorlan, Chapter 14, Page 112.
  4. The Tournament at Gorlan, Chapter 14, Page 114.
  5. The Ruins of Gorlan, Chapter 12, Page 87.
  6. The Ruins of Gorlan, Chapter 14, Page 100.
  7. The Burning Bridge, Chapter 1, Page 10.
  8. The Burning Bridge, Chapter 32, Page 233.
  9. The Burning Bridge, Chapter 35, Page 257.
  10. The Burning Bridge, Chapter 35, Page 260.
  11. The Icebound Land, Chapter 2, Page 13.
  12. The Icebound Land, Chapter 2, Page 14.
  13. 13.0 13.1 The Icebound Land, Chapter 8, Page 54.
  14. The Icebound Land, Chapter 10, Page 68.
  15. Oakleaf Bearers, Chapter 6, Page 42.
  16. Oakleaf Bearers, Chapter 7, Page 50.
  17. The Sorcerer in the North, Chapter 10, Page 77.
  18. The Emperor of Nihon-Ja, Chapter 9, Page 67.
  19. The Roamers, Chapter 2, Page 120.