December 30th, 2012

Spooking a horse in a rainforest

Setting~ Deep in a tropical rainforest; think South-East Asia more than South American jungle. Monkeys, squawky parrots and other birds, billions of insects and mosquitoes. Hot and humid, storms like clockwork around 4 in the afternoon. Quite mountainous but relatively flat where they are now. Kind of like this, but not so bad at ground level. They're not hacking vines and trees out of the way, but neither are they riding the horses at the moment, rather leading them and watching for trip hazards. It's slow going.

Time Period~ Largely irrelevant. Middle of nowhere is middle of nowhere. It's a fantasy world with Medieval-ish level of tech, just to keep modern answers from appearing in the list.

Search Terms Used~ Spooking horses; Spook horse forest; What spooks a horse? Riding rainforest/jungle. All these gave me very generic answers, like beware of snakes, and I'm really not sure how to narrow the pool there.

Backstory~ I previously asked a question about the same bunch of horses a few months back. Basically, we've got about a dozen war horses with experienced warrior riders, a placid draught horse with a rider of about two months experience now, and three pampered pompous and potentially skittish greys that they nicked from the local stables in a rush to escape roughly two weeks prior to where we are now. These three are handled respectively by one of the experienced warriors, a former warrior who's been imprisoned for the better part of two decades until the said rushed escape, and a 12-year-old princess more pampered than the horse. The former warrior is looking after hers while the princess rides it and saves her poor pampered feet.

Question~ Focussing on the warrior on the pampered, flitty creature. I have one of the other warriors I want to have look untrustworthy, and one idea I've had is to have him somehow spook that particular horse, which then runs off and breaks its ankle or something. It has to be that specific horse, though, and none of the others, which is what makes it tricky. So! Using the full arsenal of the Sumatran-ish rainforest, how do I spook this one horse so it looks like the other warrior is sabotaging things? It can be an accidental or a deliberate act, I can work with either.

Extra~ Beyond trip hazards, what else should I be thinking about with these beasts? Is it realistic to feed them mangoes and bananas and whatever other tropical fruit I can grab? (they left in a rush, no time to grab bags of oats for a three-week trek.) Would the humidity and daily storms have an effect, given these horses have all been in the environment for a minimum of two months (all their lives in the case of the three pampered greys) at this stage?

Thanks all! Sorry the question got so long.

A question regard to modern day Islam and homosexuality

In my story, the setting is 2010 era student town New Zealand, and one of the side character is a 24 year old homosexual man in a stable relationship with his partner for nine years. He is a second generation immigrant from Pakistan, and for him and his family they are of Islam faith. The partner is agnostic. 

The mood of the story is mostly cosmic comedy. The religion here is not of significance to the plot of the story, beside some references about some awkward moments of coming out to his relatives as a teenager, and his personal wish (rather than a religious wish) to marry his boyfriend as soon as possible. Is that realistic? 

I'm just wondering, where would be a good place for me to research for modern day Islam believers who are accepting of sexual minorities? The searches so far seemed to be unreliable (i.e. incredibly Islamophobic), and the ones I read are of the struggles that comes across more as regional specific, cultural specific struggle against homophobia than a religious route. 

Am I being too ambitious here for hoping for something that I don't know enough about? Thank you. 
  • Current Mood: complacent

Diagnosis for Character with Apparent Amnesia + Delusion

My story is set in an imagined world more-or-less identical to the contemporary U.S. My character wakes up believing that he's a medieval lord. He's forgotten his "real" life, only recognizing his parents and partner because they're the doubles of his medieval self's parents and best friend. The identity swap is actually magic, not mental illness, but magic ostensibly doesn't exist in this world, so his loved ones are seeking a medical explanation.

I've brushed up on different psychiatric conditions with Medline Plus (and Wikipedia), but my character's "symptoms" are just a single, extremely detailed & consistent monothematic delusion + total amnesia when it comes to his "real" life. He communicates coherently, doesn't exhibit odd behaviors, and, while depressed and anxious for obvious reasons, doesn't have anything resembling a mood disorder. He's been screened for trauma or disease that might cause amnesia or psychosis as a secondary symptom. Before this happened, he was in good physical and mental health.

So, when he's forced to visit a psychiatrist, how might she diagnose him? Delusional disorder? A fugue state (even though he hasn't wandered off from home)? Can you be diagnosed with a monothematic delusion independently of any umbrella disorder?

It has occurred to me that, since his story is so pat, she might suspect he's faking it - in which case she might attribute it to a personality disorder.

Thanks to everyone for any help you can offer (and happy New Year!)

ETA: He is magically speaking modern "English" (not really English in this world). His speech is formal but not archaic.