Out of the Trees and Onto Horseback
Renate spent roughly a decade wandering uninhabited areas with only her old horse, Pferd. She was in the DRB server on the day he collapsed beneath her, landing on her bow and snapping it. Without her weapon of choice, Renate had no means of hunting for sustenance nor defending herself. At that point, she had to make her way to the closest populated area and purchase a new one with the little money she had.
Along with the bow, she bought a horse from the local stable. It was untrained, and lacked the agility to weave between trees as Renate was wont to while hunting. On a whim, she tried taming a wild horse and was successful. It was a silver Kentucky Saddler, and she named him Silber – the German word for “silver.” He proved to be as reliable and steadfast as Pferd had been for so many years.
Irritated that a wild horse behaved better than the one the stable had sold her, Renate began wrangling more horses from the wild and selling them to the stables – not for the money, but to prove the local stable’s inadequacy.
Seeing Sanderson & Being Social
As fate would have it, these regular journeys into town to sell horses led to a chance encounter with someone she never expected to see again. When she heard it, she immediately recognized the voice of Sanderson Fox – her former fiancé and childhood crush. She was still hurt at having been abandoned by him more than a decade before and hearing nothing from him since. Her reflex was to point her bow at him and demand answers.
Thankfully, he understood her anger. He apologized, explaining as best he could that he was trying to protect her by disappearing, having caught the attention of dangerous people. Renate did not shoot him, and she was later glad for it. After talking, he invited her to join him and his friend Dr. Evan Freeman, who witnessed the encounter. Renate reluctantly agreed.
Though she’s usually very hesitant to trust others, Dr. Freeman’s presence was unexpectedly comfortable for her. Sanderson’s was even more so. She thought it was against her better judgment, but Renate allowed him to introduce her to more of his friends. She came to enjoy the company of a number of people very quickly – including Jo Marston, Carlos Chavez, Dani McTavish, Weaver Lancaster, and Jac Rodgers.
Paying Abundance Forward
Renate had always been a remarkably skilled hunter. Both her archery marksmanship and her eye for tracking were beyond sufficient to keep her fed. In fact, since hunting doubled as a pastime for her, she typically ended up with a large surplus. Jo Marston would buy many of the animal parts, but not everything. Renate soon needed to venture into Rhodes to sell the rest to local traders, and the general store.
She faced a similar issue with horses. Finding great joy in taming wild horses, she could hardly resist jumping onto the back of each one she saw. Many of them seemed too good for the local stables. Meanwhile, as a stagecoach driver, Sanderson was frequently meeting people who had just arrived in the territory and had no horses of their own yet. Together, they found a solution. Renate began to buy saddlebags for the many horses she tamed, which she then loaded with her excess food and water. She would train the horses to a point where they could outrun wild predators and would not buck off a rider out of fear, then pass them on to Sanderson, who would gift them to new arrivals.
Having grown up in and alongside abject poverty, Renate always felt uneasy about having more than she needed when others had less. Donating her excess alleviated any guilt she felt about hunting more than her fair share, so she recruited company to help her. She first adopted a dog: a red husky she named Hund. Shortly thereafter came an owl (Eule) and then a raven (Rabe) purchased from a trainer named Birdie Calhoun.
This eclectic herd of hunters became even more deadly when Weaver gifted Renate an improved bow. Each time Renate sets foot in a town, someone comments on her blood-smeared face and clothing. It’s something she rarely notices.
Close Calls & Relocation
Renate made her camp in the Heartlands. It was a lovely spot beside a small brook between Rhodes and the stables at Dewberry Creek. However, when Sanderson was injured in an explosion in Blackwater, she worried she had gotten too comfortable. She cautioned him none too gently about letting his guard down in public and then took off alone. For some time, she spoke to no one, and even considered leaving the territory entirely.
Deeply shaken as she was, she retreated into the wilderness and lost herself in hunting. After taking down two panthers with her bow, she became overconfident to the point of recklessness. Her disregard for her own safety caught up with her when a pack of wolves reminded her of her mortality in Big Valley. Luckily, Dr. Alex Edmerson found her and saved her life. He wanted nothing in return, which surprised her, and gave her a bit of faith in people. Realizing that the wild was just as dangerous as the cities, she returned to Rhodes and apologized to Sanderson.
Unfortunately, her return to Rhodes and the Heartlands was short-lived. Someone that Sanderson had considered a close friend put him and everyone he cared about in danger, by throwing their lot in with murderers and cannibals. When Sanderson discovered that the hideout for this group wasn’t far from Renate’s camp, he urged her to move across the territory as he planned to do. Dani offered to have her stay with her at her place in Big Valley. Renate very nearly accepted, but knew that Sanderson would be more comfortable with her closer. His plan was to move to Tumbleweed.
Into the Desert
With the assistance of Jac and one of his wagons, Renate packed up everything she owned and made the move. She took up residence in an abandoned shack Sanderson found to the south of the town, and called it her Scratching Post. Although she’d never imagined herself in the desert, she fell in love with the place almost instantly. She also expected that she’d dislike having a town so close. It was small, though, and she found that she liked the residents there.
Jac owned a mansion on the edge of town, which he shared with a number of friends. They called themselves the Sangria Family. Renate found herself looking forward to running into a number them. She formed friendships with the likes of Falina Mescal, Connor Rowan, and Kipp Reeves.
By this time, Sanderson was giving away the horses faster than she could train them with casual riding alone. While she’d never considered employment before, she realized the only way she could keep up was by becoming a real horse trainer. Escorted by Sanderson, she rode into Blackwater to get the necessary credentials. She had a knack for it.
Several times while in Tumbleweed’s training ring, she was mistaken for another trainer who wore a nearly identical braid. That’s when Renate made a friend in Katie Lockhart. Then, when people continued to mistake her, Renate would jump down from her horse and tell them “no, she is the tall one.”
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