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Found 9 results

  1. A new day of worldwide cooperation in the arcane arts draws near! Duchess Silver Belle — Guild Master of the Magic Guild — has been asked to represent Equestria in discussions to establish an interlibrary loan arrangement between Canerlot's School of Magic and Kastrot's legendary College of the Arcane. In the spirit of international goodwill, the ruling unicorns of Kastrot invite the members of the Magic Guild delegation to experience all that the Arcane City has to offer! To sign-up to be part of the Magic Guild delegation, one has to either already be a member of the Magic Guild or is otherwise is highly knowledgeable in the magical arts. It would also be much appreciated if we had Maretonian unicorns for the delegates to interact with! PS: Expect my ever-cheerful unicorn OC Moony to be there! ^_^
  2. Since most of my threads are winding down, I figure I have place on my plate for one new one. I look at this one more toward the underbelly of what most of us think of in the world of MLP. The secret backroom deals of political rivals to keep things going in their own favor; while keeping the common pony as in the dark as possible. I am also a romanticizing player that loves a good old fashioned Mafia Novel. Gangster ponies with fast carts and quicker tongue outrunning the law with stolen goods; fully suited and dressed up true gangsters that front their activities in proper tax paying businesses and fly low under the radar of the detectives pursuing them. To that end, I want to make a thread that includes politicians, nobility, crime ponies, common ponies duped into running errands without a clue about their true nature; and a long assortment of other crime genre related Dick Tracy style things. Are there any players interested in this sort of thing? I would like to make it a long running series of RPs that are fast paced, and active with a post a day sort of mentality.
  3. It wasn't that he was seasick, of that the journalist was sure. True, he'd never been on a real ocean voyage before. Also, he'd not been able to keep solid food down in his restless stomach all throughout his journey. And several witnesses could be produced who could swear to his regretting being born. No, it was not seasickness. It was excitement! For the first time in his career, Earth Writer had gotten an official overseas posting! For the forseeable future, the tan unicorn was going to be the Canterlot Chronicles' foreign correspondent in Kastrot, the unicorn city in the land of Maretonia, where the pony tribes still lived separate lives... The prospect of working in such an exotic locale was exciting enough, but that wasn't the whole of it, by Celestia's mane! This was also an adventure to right an ancient injustice! Traveling with him was Feather Touch, a young aromatherapist from Canterlot. Having tried out his establishment (and given it a glowing review in the evening edition) Earth had enquired after the strange pendant he'd seen the pegasus wearing. A little research indicated that the family heirloom was, in fact, originally in the holding of a Kastrotian noble house, until it was stolen centuries ago! Upon discovering this, both the stallions had agreed to come and try to return it to its rightful owner. That would require interviewing the nobility of the place, who made the Canterlot aristocracy look like a rowdy democracy. But the reporter had a contact among them, which was the third, and by far the most turbulent source of his excitement. *Heart Stopper...* The mare had certainly lived up to her name when she represented her home city in the Friendship Expo. Earth Writer wasn't quite sure that he agreed with the bulk of her politics, but he was convinced that Kastrot as a whole probably deserved a more sympathetic study than previous Equestrian visitors had given it so far. Hence, his request for this post in particular. "I doubt she'll be waiting for us on the docks." The journalist remarked to his traveling companion once they were both on deck, waiting for the ship to dock fully. "I sent a letter ahead of us, of course, but she's undoubtedly quite busy. I mean, the nobles here actually do stuff, actual government work. We'll probably have to wait to be put on some kind of schedule." In truth, Earth didn't have the slightest clue what he was talking about, which he would have been the first to admit under questioning. He was just talking to keep from, well, letting his breakfast revolt. Which might have also been why warning Feather Touch about the likely reception the unicorns would give him slipped the reporter's mind also...
  4. From the album: Regular Cast Pics

    Probably seen this on the side bar now, but this is a larger image of the same. Enjoyed making this; the challenge was to get as many species as I could without it becoming cluttered when shrunk to sidebar size. For the curious, the reason for no yaks was the picture was completed before Party Pooped came out. Why Cheerilee? I always imagined her as the tourist type, going on trips (mostly in the summer) to various places in Equestria, collecting images and souvenirs for herself and for future school lessons.

    © Characters © Hasbro Artowrk © Brianblackberry

  5. Kastrot was a city that was unkind to a great many types of creatures unless they had horns. Of course, it depended on what specific island or neighborhood you found yourself in. Some islands were laissez-faire in their relations with other types of pony and creatures. As long as the bits flowed and troublemakers were kept out they didn't care. Others were more open, actively trying to be equal partners with the outside world. But the majority were various kinds of discriminatory towards non-unicorns. Maybe you paid a tax. Maybe you had to serve the island for a set period of time. Each island was different and that made Kastrot a city utterly unknowable to anypony not from the area, shaded and colored by island so vibrantly and differently that most could not hope to keep track of it all. Well, maybe those who weren't the best adventure pegasus of all time, anyway! Pathfinder knew Kastrot pretty well. Pathfinder loved Kastrot. It was a really interesting city and since each family had castles and holdings stretching back through the eons there was a great number of relics and other adventurable items. And because the families were constantly in a state of infighting she could always try to work with one pony to find ways to another's secret vault guarded by mercenaries. And Maretonian mercenaries were totally awesome and ruthless! Pathfinder liked adventuring in Maretonia for just that reason. They were tough and their traps weren't decaying since their old places were constantly being refound and ponied by warlike elements of the population. Never a dull day in a dreary land. Maybe Hippolandinstanian(she always had trouble pronouncing that city's name) was a better entry point but Kastrot had a lot more backstabbing coolness. Not that she expected backstabbing from this group. EPIC- what a name, right? This was Pathfinder's first real group. She was normally a solo adventurer, swiping relics and beating villains without breaking a sweat like a boss.But after what happened during the attack at the Crystal Faire, Pathfinder had started to believe that the dark places of the world that she so routinely traversed had started to bite the hooves that fed them. She wasn't worried for her own safety because, well, nothing could make Pathfinder concerned for something that was never really in doubt. But even Daring Do had to work for the greater good in her stunning quintet “Daring Do and the Conflict of the Heartbreak Ridge”. And just like that book, no doubt there would be hidden relics as the cause of it all! So how could Pathfinder NOT join up? It would be like high treason to Daring DO not to! So she had joined and now the group was heading to Maretonia, Kastrot specifically. Sombra had been from this city and one of the unicorns who led the attack on the Empire also hailed from Kastrot. They had so little to go on so why not pay the city a visit? Besides, the city was likely quite popular as a WRAITH recruitment center. If Pathfinder knew anything about secret societies, it was that they recruited from lawless settlements and tyrannically lawful cities alike. Disenfranchised strong ponies or scheming family members alike could be promised gold and fame to help bring down Equestria, the state that mocked their origins as being unworthy. Geez, if Pathfinder was an upset strongpony or spoiled richfilly trying to make a name for herself maybe she'd take them up on the offer! Showing up in an airship would attract attention. That was bad- they weren't supposed to be ponies of note. Just a bunch of travelers. Airships were rare for travelers. Their destination- Flamme Island, owned by the family of the same name, They weren't very kind to non-unicorns but aside from a tax on visitors and some unkind words there wasn't much Pathfinder expected unusual. More important, she knew the tunnels under the city and had a few, err, friends who could help with some exchanges of currency. Soon they'd look like normal unhappy Maretonians and could get to work. Huzzah! Pathfinder was at the head of the ship, playing as if she was steering the rickety old thing from a wheel unattached to anything up front. Behind her on the cracking boat were a few dozen immigrants and travelers as well as other members of EPIC, some below and some on the deck as they passed through the opening of the island's harbor, the city's massive walls passing directly overhead as the ship was surrounded in darkness for a moment...before bursting into the light of the active harbor, Pathfinder turning to her friend-compatriots. “This is gonna be super cool! Who's ready for some adventurin'?!”
  6. MARETONIA - THE END OF THE BEGINNING Few nations inspire such mixed emotions from the nations of the world as Maretonia does. A land of ancient history and scars that still feel as fresh today as they did generations ago, Maretonia is a hardscrabble land of ponies of all types in near constant strife with one another in a harsh echo of the ancient tribal traditions that pre-dated Equestria. The land has seen the trepidations of not only the tribes but of foreign powers, ranging from the ancient dynasties now torn asunder to the modern states of the world as it is now, all of whom fight over the rare resources in the land. From this internal and external conflict a hardy breed has arisen and claimed a land that would break the will of lesser stallions and mares. Maretonia inspires scorn for those who consider it's divisions appalling, pity for the same, arrogance due to supposed weakness, and respect as such a thought has been proven untrue many times in the past. What divides them is stronger than what units them, and it is such a simple difference that their largest break from Equestria is present. Maretonia is a land tied to it's history as much as any other, if not more. It is home to three major pony tribes divided by species, a fact which when combined to poor ancient record keeping and other coincidences leads some to speculate that they are the home of the original pony tribes that would found Equestria. Most scholars believe this a conspiracy but there are a great many similarities in the traditions and histories of the tribes. If they are not the original tribes then they are as descended from them as modern Equestrians are, though they remain tied to these tribal lines while Equestrians have actively separated. Split along pegasi, unicorn, and earth pony tribes and lines, history has not been as kind to Maretonia as it has been to Equestria. Blessed with far less fertile soil, ancient legend tells of a great exodus. The point of contention is whether this was an exodus from Maretonia or to it, whether it was to Equestria or from the mythical homeland of the pony tribes (if it is not Maretonia). In either case, Maretonia has had a rich history of tribal conflict as the unicorns, earth ponies, and pegasi each have vital roles to play and disunity and harmony is common. It isn't uncommon for the tribes to march against one another when times are desperate and specieism is common and in many cases nearly the law of any given city-state. This does not end with ponies and such manners and policies have led to Maretonia having historically poor relations. Saddle Arabian, Equestrian, and Aquelian armies have all at one point fought Mareronian forces in Maretonia. While Maretonians individually are hardy, intelligent, and viciously cunning warriors, the disunity of the tribes and the smaller relative population of the land has led it to far more defeats than victories. Such was the cause of the Aquelian belief that Maretonia could be conquered and added to their burgeoning empire. A multi-generational war took place and while the griffons had the greater deal of the success, they eventually threatened Maretonian independence enough for the tribes to become fully united for the first time in history. Individually talented and now experienced, once forged into an effective army they were able to roll back the talon-feathers and eject them from Maretonia. This unity was short-lived, but the war had the effect of putting the power in the hooves of three large city-states. Kastrot, Hippostion, and Acroneighos are now the three major powers of Maretonia. Each one run differently by a different tribe, they all have slight variations of the older tribal ways. While all three are attempting in their own ways to open their cities up to all species in an attempt to curry favor with the other nations of the world, distrust and specieist beliefs and policies are common even amongst the higher classes and rulers with the exception of near lawless Hippostion. Each city controls a large section of the surrounding land indirectly, but beyond their control remain a collection of villages and smaller city-states that are in a state of flux. Alliances and friendships shift on a seasonal basis as tribal warfare and policies make the inner landmass a confusing mish-mash on any political map. The land is relatively temperate most of the year with ponies in concert being able to farm well, but the massive storms that hit tend to last a great deal of time. It is during these crushing storms that the distrust breeds itself in great fury. Partnerships and alliances fracture and conflict erupts over the basic necessities. They can end just as quickly but a Maretonian knows that the storm, fight for survival, tribal distrust, and attentions of the outside world come and go as the Windigo fly... ~A Journal Between Lovers: My Travels and Travails, by Flowing Stars
  7. KASTROT - CITY OF WALLS AND WATER Kastrot is one of the more unusual cities in the world, both for reasons of geography and design. The city lies not on a flat plain or even the riverbank but rather straddles both sides of The Xenophon as well as more than two dozen islands of various sizes that inhabit the major river. Rich in resources and perfectly positioned for trade, Kastrot has always been a hot spot of both Unicorn and Maretonian trade. Unlike the guild ran city streets of Hippostion however Kastrot is safe and well-controlled with an emphasis on individual or familial glory. Indeed, this is enough to see just on approach. Each island is controlled by a single family who rules from a large castle protected by walls, with small inlets for shipping and stone walkways at the top of the walls allowing for passage from one island to another, should it be allowed. Within the walls lay not only the family castle of the powerful unicorn family that runs the island but the businesses and homes of those in the employ of the ruling family or otherwise allowed to settle. Kastrot is safer than Hippostion but can be considered a far more oppressive atmosphere, depending on where you live. Each island is run by the families who make every law that applies to that island, making the life of those not in the families dependent on the quality of the leadership. Some islands have progressive and kind leaders who have city-council esque committees to address concerns in a timely manner all the way to dictatorships and other unfair burdens. Ponies who do not like where they live may move- if they are able. Most families charge a hefty sum to settle and others a hefty sum to leave, and the shifting familial alliances and agreements can restrict or open up paths of travel. It isn't unheard of for a small business owner to badmouth his ruler and find himself taxed out of business, forced into bankruptcy when he leaves, and then denied settling a new island because of his poverty. These ponies form one of several Unattached communities, ponies without official protections or rights. They settle along the large stone walkways and form small communities on either shore. They have a degree of freedom unknown to others, but have no protections or rights and can be taken advantage of easily. Of course, this all does depend on the families. For the most part they are not cruel or unforgiving and a well-run, profitable, and happy island is considered a success. This success can lead to power and influence and that is the real currency in Kastrot as the powerful unicorn families.are in a constant power struggle. Backstabbing and swift changes in alliance go hoof in hoof with honorable magical duels and agreements signed in family blood. The families are descendants from the ancient unicorn tribes and possess as a rule raw magical power the likes of which is rarely seen outside of it. Like travelers in the dark they are capable of a great many magical feats and once were charged with the movements of the sun, and that sheer prowess remains a part of their DNA. They are not as in control of the magic in the way an Equestrian might however, leading to more than a few cases of magical flaming out- the process by which a unicorn may suffer severe side effects from magic usage. Unicorns who have flamed out often bring great shame to their family in Kastrot and sometimes families will arrange for said family member to hide out and live amongst the plebeians for his or her existence, living and dying in obscurity. No shame can be tolerated to the family. Kastrot has only a few binding laws and ideas, all of which are made by the Assembly of Heads. Each head of household of the great families joins with his or her fellows once a month to discuss matters critical to the city as a whole. What few laws are passed or agreed upon here are held sacrosanct over the entirety of the city and no family may change them in their fiefdoms. Of course, the alliances and friendships formed by the families can influence the actions of the Assembly so no law is guaranteed to stay forever. Currently, the Assembly is attempting to attract more ponies of all types and stripes to the city, even if several of the families are opposed to 'weakening the cultural strength' of Kastrot by doing so. More than other major Maretonian cities Kastrot has stuck to its guns in terms of cultural and special matters. All of the ruling families are unicorns and every position of power is taken by a unicorn. Depending on the island, other types of hooved creatures may face discrimination ranging from more taxes and less opportunity to forced military or city service to earn the right to live there. Some others are a bit more open minded but as a general rule one must pick carefully where to settle. - A Journal Between Lovers: My Travels and Travails, by Flowing Stars
  8. Acroneighos - Proud and Storied City in the Clouds The Maretonian city of Acroneighos has, in recent times, become an increasingly popular destination for pegasi and others with the means to visit the clouds who are looking to see and experience the sights of the world outside Equestria. This is owed to the classical styling of the city and its architecture, virtually unchanged over the ages since the city's founding well over one thousand years ago, which, to the modern Equestrian is sure to evoke images of Commander Hurricane and the story of Hearth's Warming Eve. Would be tourists should be forewarned, however, though Acroneighos has plenty to offer in terms of culture and sights, one should not come expecting the most hospitable of welcomes. Owing to their pride, Acroneighans are not known for being kind to visitors to their city, especially non-pegasi ones, even as recent prominent leaders in the city have made efforts to make the city more open. Acroneighos hovers over the eastern most cape of Maretonia, right along the south Reintight sea. It is roughly equidistant from both Hippostion and Kastrot, but mountains and hills surround it, keeping it remote from both those cities and any other Maretonian population centers. It is a fairly small city, as growth has never been encouraged there. The layout is straightforward and simple. At the center one will find the places of importance, the commander's hall and adjoining military complexes, the weather factory and the homes of the most prominent pegasi. Lines of shops and cloud homes, some dating back centuries, are built surrounding these. The entire city is raised high in the clouds, with building prohibited beneath a designated level. Those who cannot fly high or well are generally encouraged to leave the city for elsewhere. Founded by an offshoot of the same pegasi tribes who would take part in the founding of Equestria, Acroneighos would follow a much different path. Rather than joining and living with their fellow ponies in harmony and accord as Equestrian pegasi did, the pegasi of the city have long followed a doctrine of relative isolation and carefully maintained distance, with most interaction by way of their powerful military. Pride in tradition and in the pegasus way has always been strong, with it being discouraged for Acroneighans to mingle with other ponies in Maretonia. This way of thinking is reinforced by the prevalence of a military sensibility. It is always the keenest and most proven military mind who governs the city as commander and sets the pace for everyone else. As a cloud city, Acroneighos does have a role in monitoring weather in western Maretonia, something it does in exchange for food and goods from neighboring cities and locales. Acroneighos weather ponies can be rather mercenary at times with these duties, and are known to send storms and droughts the way of those whom they believe are not giving them a fair deal. Elsewhere, Acroneighos is known for its military campaigns against beasts and pirates. They can keep the pace up against these as well as other Maretonian city-states as every Acroneighian is trained in warfare and leads a highly regimented and disciplined life, from birth until death. It is often said that the independent city of Acroneighos is always at war with someone, and for it its soldiers are well regarded on all sides of the Reintight sea. -Beyond Equestria: A Traveler's Guide to Mysteries and Wonders of Maretonia, Whitescar and More
  9. Hippostion - A Den of Pirates and Thieves Known mainly to Equestrians as a common setting in swashbuckling adventure stories, the Maretonian city of Hippostion certainly does not lack for character or excitement. Ponies vacationing by sea would do best not to plan on docking in this city lightly, however. A hotspot for criminal enterprise, Hippostion is consistently marked in all Equestrian travel guides as one of the most dangerous foreign locales for a pony to ever consider visiting. You may not put your life in danger if you visit Hippostion, but its almost a certainty that you'll leave with bits missing. Hippostion sits on the southern end of a narrow island emerging from the northeast of the Maretonian continent, straight across the south Reintight sea from Aquelia's Soggalong Swamp. The island terrain is craggy and barren while the warm waters immediately around the city are choppy and rough year round, making the city difficult to reach by ship for any but experienced sailors. Travellers approaching the city will find themselves faced with a stark and unfriendly visage, and they would do well to trust it and turn back unless they have specific business in the city. In terms of features, the city of Hippostion defies organization. It is best described as a haphazard bunching of neutral taverns and lodges, guild halls and often small and worn homes for the unfortunate ponies who make permanent residence in the city. The landscape is otherwise dominated by the large docks for both sea and airships to land by. The reputation of Hippostion is of a lawless city of thieves, and this is not such an exaggeration. Overrun with mercenaries, thieves and pirates, any attempts to keep peace in the city have long since been abandoned. Some believe that, in the place of an effective government, money alone is the law in Hippostion, but this is something of a misnomer as the frequency of the robbing and swindling in the city makes money alone fairly meaningless there. Any semblance of order instead comes in the shape of the guilds which operate out of the city. These powerful organizations deal with one another for resources and influence. A pony who has made a name for his or herself in a guild will find for him or herself respect and authority in Hippostion. It is only such individuals who can expect to keep what they come to Hippostion with when they leave. Guild leaders are the ones who make the call when any high profile disagreement transpires in the city. Though there has been dispute and even conflict between guilds, violence between them is uncommon as the leaders of the major guilds respect one another and prefer to sort things out as amiably as they can. Historically, Hippostion was mainly known an earth pony city, but the nature of the city and how it has evolved has lead to diversity and widespread acceptance for all species. Though the greatest population is still earth pony, pegasi and unicorns are not uncommon and the proximity of the city to Aquelia has seen rise to a significant griffon population. Zebras, Saddle Arabians and even caribou all the way from Whitescar come to the city to consort with the guilds and protect their interests. Most Hippostion guilds are pleased to welcome one and all, so long as they are able to prove themselves worthy of their respect. -Beyond Equestria: A Traveler's Guide to Mysteries and Wonders of Maretonia, Whitescar and More
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