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Found 35 results

  1. This was taking far too long now. The supplier she called about her barrel of Rice-wine said it would be here today at nine o'clock in the morning. He'd said the same two days ago... Why was this taking so long? Home brewing sake wasn't a strictly legal affair and despite Toboe's history, she still had a respect for rules. At this rate she was going to have to take the Amazake off the menu for tonight. The very idea got a irritated scoff from the mare in the big empty bar. Karaoke night was coming and the last thing she wanted anypony to say about her was that she "Came up short" even once when it came to her bar. If there was one thing she confidently called the result of her own hard work, it was this place. After she finished arranging the glasses in a perfect triangle on the shelf behind her, She would sink down beneath the counter to pull out a large jug of the titular sake. She narrowed her eyes at the bottle, the drink within barely enough to fill single cup. "Okay... I've had enough waiting." She muttered to herself before setting the bottle back down, "If it's not coming to me, I'm going to it." The sign on the front door flipped to show off the closed sign. Once that was done it was pushed open, the bar's owner calmly strutting into the open sun. It was a beautiful day in the city of Polohama. One of -if not the- tech capital(s) of Neighpon and it was her's to explore today. The rest of the organization can handle itself for the day, she'd already given notes to her administrator and her lieutenants to spread the word of the party tonight and they had ways to get in contact with her if something went too far south. Toboe let the myriad smells of the city fill her nostrils like she was sampling the aroma of some finely cooked entree. Shops were looking pretty busy today, and those tourists who would flock to this city were out in force it seemed. Neon signs seemed to lay around every corner, the smell of gyoza, Taiyaki, Tokoyaki filled the streets. How she loved this city. Was there another golem fight in the dome today? She really should get back to following that sport, some of the kyodai and most of the shatei loved talking about those dramatic celebrities. Her stroll soon took her through a crowd of various ponies, Tourists and natives alike. The tide of equine almost turned her around until she managed to take hold of a nearby bench. Toboe fished around her saddlebag and pulled out a small map, "Hmm... the place should be a bit of a trek, but I should be able to make it. Maybe I should have brought someone along in case things go south somehow."
  2. Neighpon. It wasn't all that long ago that Ice Storm had found herself here. Even still, that was roughly a year ago, and on not so legal terms on an island other than this one. One of their operatives had been taken by their enemy, which they had found out had been working in the region. That wasn't the only thing that they discovered, but the main mission at the time was rescuing Pathfinder. She can still remember that rainy night. The rain was good, it covered their tracks well, and made it difficult for enemies to hear them. Still, it wasn't without danger and conflict. Conflict that she wasn't expecting on this trip. That was on the Island of Ryushima, and right now she was on the Island of Horshu, just a ways north of Kyona. The city was great but she really came to Neighpon to take in some of the beauty that it had to offer. Right now she found herself in a small almost village like area that she couldn't pronounce the name of to save her life, but it was quiet, pretty, and the noodles were amazing! She always looked forward to lunch and dinner here. That being said, it was actually right about lunch time and she was already starving. She had skipped breakfast every morning just so that she can get the most noodles that she could. She eagerly sat at the outdoor cafe and and awaited her waiter. Thankfully, they had menu cards that she could fill out because she still wasn't all that great with Neighponese yet. she circled the veggies that she wanted in the noodles and then circled the largest bowl and put the number '2' next to it. She gave the menu back to the waiter and smiled before signalling to wait a second. She had almost forgot to circle her tea, which she liked the red clover tea with strawberries and honey. It was delicious. Once she finished that, she simply awaited for her food to arrive and looked around to the countryside. The weather was a tad bit overcast but nothing that she disliked to be honest. Not that she would ever tell Celestia this directly, but she wasn't a very big fan of the sun. in the mornings and evenings if you even looked in a certain direction you were blinded, and if you needed to look up for a pegasi or anything during the day, you were also blinded. It was an issue that most ponies easily work around, including herself, but she still didn't like being blinded on occassion. Cloud cover prevented those situations. As she looked out, she could see a very, very faint breeze blowing in the distance through the treeline of the forest. She wanted to venture in it, but she had no knowledge of the layout of this land. For all she knew she could get lost in there or worse. She only have a vague idea of what predators could be lurking as well. Nothing really worth the risk of sightseeing. Though she had heard about some tours through the safer parts of the forest. She might look into those. Not that she couldn't defend herself of course, but she was here on vacation. She'd much rather not have to fight some big predatory thing because of a situation she needlessly put herself in.
  3. To say that the Dragon Fangs Bandit Gang's cave was...well...'a fixer upper' was something of an understatement in itself, it was settled in the heart of a mountain that bubbled at its core - which the heat gave away making the insides almost uncomfortably sweltering during the day...but was probably extremely cozy at night. No cold nights on the hard ground outside, but cozy warm nights on the hard ground inside. Unless you were the Bandit Queen that is. And wouldn't she be happy today. Her gang had brought in two juicy pieces of bit-bait indeed, they had made sure they were roped and well kept in place as they were brought through the cave, it was littered with multiple spoils of their heists. Turned over carriages, baskets filled with half eaten or half rotten food that stank in the heat of the cave - but the deeper into the cave the better the treasure appeared to be. Gold, jewels, silk, seals of traders and village mayors and at the heart of it a big throne that must've been part of some ornamental palanquin that'd now been changed into a ramshackle seat covered in tattered silks and treasures. Needless to say a throne fit for an equally ramshackle pony, who happened to be sat on it chomping away at a peach before her eyes settled on what was being dragged into the 'throne room' with a cold stare as she threw the fruit away and shifted herself to her hooves to get a better look at what was being dragged in. However when she did get a good eyeful of her 'guests', there was a brief moment of disbelief that was completely overtaken by a cruel smirk that worked its way across her muzzle as she stepped down from her pedestal. If only the physical one. "I was about to tan your idiotic hides for interrupting me, you know I don't like being interrupted while I eat." Came her sharp bark as she walked past some of the bandits that'd immediately cowtowed to her, those that weren't keeping a hold of their prisoners that is. Eyeing over them again as she stepped up closer, she continued to smirk at the ideas bubbling away between those cruel violet eyes of hers. "But I'll admit, you muddling milquetoasts actually did something right for once this week...two pretty prizes indeed." The venom in her smirk turned sweet, sickeningly sweet, fake and full of false promise as she took a step back and took a more condescending expression. "I do hope your escort to our home was comfortable."
  4. There was a tiny bit of commotion on the way to the Kyoma Palace as a pair of armed ponies walked a tall, robed kirin stallion to the gates like a pair of sentries. Watching his flanks, making sure nobody looked at him funnily - all the while said robed stallion walked with a bunch of packages on his back that he had insisted upon carrying despite every fretful ask from his vanguard to help which he had kindly turned down. But that's how he had been with most of those who asked to help, he was older but he was still capable of carrying a few boxes of all things. As they stepped up towards the doors, he noticed one of the servants offering a small smile and a nod to the guards as they stepped off, most likely to alert the Shogun and his siblings that their father had finally returned from his trip overseas. He appreciated it, it gave him time to reabsorb the feeling of home again. These walls must've felt so intimidating to visitors or ponies new to the palace, but to him it felt as cozy as a campfire and as warming as a fresh cup of chamomile coursing through his system, the smell and the sight of everything just completely set him at ease after so long on that ship. Although he had to admit, the islands near Melodia were very nice this time of year. Settling the packages gently on the floor he let out a soft sigh, it felt like the seabreeze itself was relinquishing its hold on his lungs just being back on solid ground again. "Ancestors, but it's good to be home." He commented with a small smile upon his muzzle. It'd been a fair bit, hadn't it? Nearly a whole moon at the most, but he was told 'he needed a break' even if he hadn't felt tired or exhausted by the work. But mentally the workers of the palace had assumed the old man had needed a break. Oh but not without a pair of mandatory guards, just in case. He always found that very silly, even if he knew why his family worried, especially lately. But he supposed it got him out to see the world and spend some coin on something for his children. His children. The one thing he'd been missing the most during his whole trip. The three lights in his life that gave his life meaning and joy. He wondered what they'd been up to? What mischief his three jewels had been up to, how his eldest had been handling Neighpon, how Ishi was doing with his work and of course if and how his little moonbeam Kaze had been possibly driving her older brothers crazy whilst he'd been gone. Just thinking about the three of them made that dull ache of longing in his chest that had been plaguing him during the trip melt away into a warm glow. He was home now, he could learn all about their ventures soon. Ofcourse his newest curiosity was also who'd be here to greet him first bar the servant who went to inform the rest of the palace of his return.
  5. (( Original photo belongs to unknown owner )) Against the darkened night sky spanning across Neighpon, the streets of the Watertrough District of Polohama seemed almost blinding as they pulsed, glittered, and shone with nearly every form of advertisement imaginable, and their effect was almost tangible. Ponies on every corner and along every sidewalk - from the most severe looking, suit-clad business ponies, right down to the crazily dressed, "fashionable" urban street getters - laughed and cheered and bellowed their spirits into the night sky, and for good reason. No pony came to the Watertrough District for anything other than a good time, and barring misfortune in the form of an unprecedented Kaiju attack, that was exactly what they got. The Pony Pulse was no different in that regard. Celebrated in magazines and hailed as a one of the ritziest and chic joints in the entire District, the karaoke bar fairly screamed wealth and prestige, a parlor meant only for ponies with the financial means to indulge...or for ponies with appearances to keep up. Every single night, ponies would pass by the place, staring longingly up at its sleek and modernized visage, and turn admiring gazes on the scant ponies that would confidently walk through the double doors. They could only imagine what sort of indulgent evenings of entertainment went on inside, while those that entered could fully partake of the Pony Pulse. The sleek and classy front desk immediately gives way to a vast entrance area, water features and delicate plants decorating the walkways. Couches are available for members waiting for a full party, along with a lounge and bar - though those are only a small preview of the delights of the Pony Pulse. Requesting a room wille a server gracefully lead a party to one, varying in size and equipment. Even the smallest and barest rooms are filled with lush carpeting, furniture, and wide screen televisions, but the bigger the rooms get, the more lavish they become. Two VIP rooms, available only through reservation and a plenty large down payment, are the largest of all, easily spanning the size of a generous house. Menus for food, drink, and alcoholic beverages are placed on every table, along with a magic crystal that, when activated and spoken into, conveys orders to the servers for whatever one desires. All in all, the overly lavish and opulent design of the Pony Pulse truly make up its price, and make the karaoke bar a place one visits in order to impress, astonish, and otherwise brag. Or... Simply because one can. The Watertrough District was not one that he visited very often...for obvious reasons. Paparazzi, for one thing - no matter what he might actually be doing, the potential for an interesting story went through the roof in an area like the Watertrough District. It was different from, say, the Polohama Dome - anyone's presence there was easily explained away by the gargantuan titans fighting each other in a Battle Royale to the finish. But the Watertrough District was different, a pony could be doing a million and one things...and it was designed specifically for pleasure and entertainment. It didn't take the most genius of journalists to twist a story into something much more interesting to read. Although... So long as a journalist had no actual, relevant material to work with, made-up scandals ever rarely got any steam. Still, that didn't stop Ryuichi - nor his guards, for that matter - from insisting on entering from the back, along a much less widely utilized back street. The Pony Pulse, accommodating as they always were whenever he went out on these rare excursions, acted just as professionally and discreetly as he remembered - hardly a glance or a fuss was raised as he entered behind his guards, the servers acting as if he were simply a high profile customer, and in nearly no time at all, he and his retinue had been deposited in one of the VIP rooms. A host of his guards, dressed in savvy black suits rather than the armor of the Imperial Vanguard, were already off, scoping out the entire building, while a few remained in the room itself, checking it for...whatever it is they checked for. They would soon leave to stand guard outside the door - SANDA would be more than adequate protection inside the room itself - and Ryuichi gracefully sat himself down on one of the couches, eyeing the guards as they bowed, backed out of the room, and locked it behind themselves... And promptly flopped halfway over on the couch. ["Ancestors, I thought we'd never get here,"] the Shogun groaned, adjusting the scarf that hung loosely around his neck, an elegant yet decidedly more casual outfit a far cry from the usual Armament of the Shogun he most often wore. ["Getting out of the Palace Castle alone took near an hour!"] It wasn't often Ryuichi complained like a little foal, but the day had been a bitter one - a seemingly endless onslaught of meetings, unfavorable news originating yet again from the colonies, and one too many concessions that had made him rather irritable all the way until this moment. ["Someone get the sake in here before I have to go searching for it myself,"] Ryuichi demanded, but his tone was already lighter and freer than it had been all morning, as the glistening surroundings of his favored karaoke place promised a relaxing - and long overdue - time to sit back, let loose a bit, and enjoy the privileges of being the Shogun of Neighpon.
  6. Short and sweet: I'm looking for Clan Chiyo operatives, contracts, contractors, family members, and Kakikara villagers. Main families are Kaze (no relation), Josei, and Chiyo, but others do live in the village. And of course all of this is OOC Council of Elders: Chiyo Hayate - code name Storm, associated with the colour black Chiyo Akane - code name Crimson, associated with the colour red - The two have at least two foals, one of whom (Hitomi) is persona-non-grata in the village. Chiyo Fumiko Josei Mami Kaze Himeko - has at least one foal, married or mated to Kaze Ichiro Elite Shinobi: Kaze Ichiro Unknown Chiyo sibling At least one shinobi capable of bilocation, at least one capable of sending scrolls via Breath magic. Exiled Shinobi: Chiyo Hitomi - Code name Si Jin, contracted to protect a foreign prince. Current contracts: Hitomi is contracted to protect a foreign prince, was originally contracted to protect Ryuichi's prospective fiancée who is now Empress of Long Guo. It's complicated.
  7. Tsuhebi was a bit of a mystery, in and of itself. Because while a simple walk was still doable, the medium sized harbor town was famous for the canals that ran all throughout the village, remnants of the rivers that ran down from the mountains before emptying into the vast ocean. Though there were ample areas to set paw on earth to walk around, it wasn't an uncommon sight to see homes and businesses set right on the border of some water, complete with those wooden boats they used to traverse the canals. In fact, most of the ponies used said boats to get from one side of the village to another, and walking was considered a leisurely activity to do in one's spare time, rather than the accepted way of moving left to right. Uncommon, but not wholly responsible for the anomaly that was the once small village. Perhaps the crown jewel of Tsuhebi, however, resided in its famed floating market, a spectacle that was, to his understanding, boasted near world wide. Where boardwalks and bridges did not boast vendors, boats and floating merchandise did, as did the boats that moved to and fro around the market, advertising their wares and sometimes stopping the trade with other vendors. Villagers and tourists alike made the floating market more alive than the myriad of different products, produce, and whatever else the ponies deigned to trade little gold bits over, and the number of lanterns that would light up as the sun descended would make the water across the entire village shine like so many gems in the darkest of caverns. Truly, the attraction had turned the once-small harbor town into one of the world's most visited areas. Once, a beautifully cared for and magnificently grown willow tree had been the entirety of Tsuhebi's boast to the world. He remembered visiting it when the town was asleep, laying beneath the willow and feeling the earth around him. Now, the willow was all but invisible, the very tips of it sticking up a ways in the distance as the buildings around it commanded more attention and girth. It may as well never have existed. Kamikakushi no Shinrin studied the tip of the willow tree from his spot just outside the floating market and next the water of a canal, paws crossed over one another as the bustle of a village just beginning to wake up surrounded him. Underneath the shade of a few smaller, recently grown willow trees, his form seemed to shift and snake, his innate magic ensuring that most eyes glanced over his resting spot without truly seeing. Only a pony that directly gazed at this spot with purpose would take notice of his form, but Kamikakushi no Shinrin highly doubted such a thing would happen. If there was one thing he had learned since integrating himself into the pony world, it was that ponies were always moving and going places, and rarely took the time to simply sit, and stare, and ponder. All the better for him. Taking a shifted form was easy enough to achieve, but grew tiresome to maintain. Even an Ōkami needed to rest every once in a while. And to ponder. The harbor town had a small port, similar to the great city of Polohama that lay close to the south. But being much smaller on the grand scale of things meant an easier time securing passage. As busy as Tsuhebi had been in the recent years, it would be less of a hassle for his disguise, well known and well photographed, to barter passage across the seas. Money would be no issue - those bits of gold he received from his modeling more than ensure that. It was, all in all, a very simple thing to plan out. So why was he filled with such dread? Perhaps the idea of being so very far from his home forest is what drove him to lay down his head, seemingly prepared to stall for yet another day. He'd traveled great distances all over Neighpon, this was true, and his power had never deviated downwards to an extent that had worried him...but would that change overseas? Would he board a ship, only to feel his disguise weaken the further they sailed away? He was an Ōkami, and Kamikakushi no Shinrin had full confidence in his abilities - but that didn't change the fact that he simply didn't know, and there was no use denying the fact that his power hailed strongest inside and nearby his home. He wondered if this venture was worth the risk. Finding answers...fulfilling the yearning that kept him coming back to cities and walking into studios and surrounding himself with ponies that praised his looks or skill in front of a camera...there had to be a payoff somewhere, through someone or something. He just needed to find it.
  8. The Shogun wants You! Can't you just see how excited he is? With my new character being recently approved, the Shogun of Neighpon has been added to the RP boards - a young Ryuma by the name of Rakuen Ryuichi. Neighpon in an eastern country that boasts an impressive magitech force that is unrivaled by any other country, and balances tradition with ever increasing urbanization. The Shogun is the ruler of Neighpon, and looks to continue the prosperity of the country well into the future. And to do that, he's going to need help - lots and lots of help. As a leader of a country, I'd love to be able to set up a lot of different relationships for Ryuichi - some purely for business, others more personal. Because many of these relationships require a full-time commitment to the position or to Neighpon herself, a lot of them will require completely new OCs to be made. You can't have an Equestrian farmer serving as one of Ryuichi's council members, after all! The commute itself would be murder. If you do decide you'd like to take on one of these relationships but don't really know what sort of character to make, then let me help you with it! Don't be afraid to ask me questions, or to ask for help. Side Note: Though Neighpon is a country to the far east, its population mainly consists of pony species. Kirins and Ryumas are most commonly found on Ryushima, where their ancestors separated from Long Guo to unite on the island. This isn't to say that you can't have a Kirin or Ryuma from another part of Neighpon, not at all - just be aware that the majority of the population is pony, so you shouldn't feel obligated to make a Kirin or Ryuma unless you want to~ In any event, here are some of the relationships I came up with for Ryuichi. As with all my relationship planning threads, these are not the only relationships I'm open to - if you have something in mind that you don't see on this list, don't hesitate to ask me about it! _______________________________ Shogunate - The administration under only the Shogun himself, the Shogunate acts both as an advisory force and as a governing body of office. Though the Shogun's word remains absolute, delegation of various matters is hoofed over to the Shogunate, with the Shogun overseeing everything. Thus does the Shogunate act both independently and as the Shogun's personal council. With much of Neighpon's success resting on the military prowess of the country, most of the members of the primary Shogunate are focused on the welfare and maintenance of Neighpon's military might, and are the ones that speak directly into the Shogun's ear. More on the various Offices and what they do here. Machi Bugyō - The Grand Admiral. The highest authority along the military's chain of command, barring the Shogun himself, the Machi Bugyō is an extremely experienced veteran who has faithfully served in the military. He or she gives the Shogun counsel on military action, and is in charge of every branch of the Neighpon military. Gijutsu-sha - The Tech Mage. A unicorn, kirin, or similar magical engineer which extreme expertise in the art of magitech. The Gijutsu-sha is responsible for overseeing the use of magitech, especially in regards to ethical concerns over new magitech developments, and advises the Shogun on which area of magitech to invest government capital into pursuing. Ōmetsuke - The Overseer. The Ōmetsuke is involved in the monitoring and policing of high ranking city officials, including the daimyos of Ryushima and the various governors appointed to colonies. With the responsibility of keeping some of the most powerful individuals in Neighpon under control comes the dual-service of rooting out rebellion and disloyalty to Neighpon. The office of the Ōmetsuke thus has a shady reputation for subterfuge and government spying. Karasu - The Raven. Otherwise known as the Spymaster, the Karasu is a master of ninjutsu who operates behind the scenes to gather intel from both inside and outside of Neighpon. However, the Karasu also has a hidden history in committing acts of bribery, spying, and outright silencing, in order to advance the will of the Shogun and Neighpon. In times when the Karasu's more questionable services are not required, he or she uses a network of intelligence to gather delicate information, for better or for worse. Gaikoku Bugyō - The Ambassador. Though Neighpon is a self-sufficient country with the tendency to rely solely on herself, the Shogunate is not blind to the need of the Shogun to maintain political ties with foreign countries. The Gaikoku Bugyō is the utmost advisor on all foreign affairs, and often personally travels to different lands to act as an ambassador and diplomat for Neighpon. Hatamoto - The Honored. A position that once held great political meaning, the Hatamoto is a peerless samurai who has been honored by the Shogun as an exemplar of Neighpon. In the present time, the position holds no power in and of itself. However, the Hatamoto is looked upon with great respect, and serves as a physical symbol of the inclusion of ancient traditions in the future of Neighpon. The Family of the Shogun - Though not strictly mentioned in Ryuichi's application, there is more than enough opportunity in his history for siblings and other family members. Ryuichi was the first born son, but many others might have been born after him, up until his mother's death - so siblings ranging from young stallions/mares right down to infant foals are applicable. His father is also still around, and as the husband of the previous Shogun, retains a position of respect in the Palace Castle, though he holds no power in and of himself. (Update: The immediate family of the Shogun is now closed! If you're interested in some sort of relative, let me know, but there will be no other OCs that are Neighponese royalty and an official part of the Shogun's family.) The Shogun's Household - Every ruler needs a retinue of servants to attend his every bidding, and Ryuichi is no exception. Servants, cooks, post, scribes, librarians, entertainers, minor counselors - you name it, there's probably a position for it! The Shīrudo - Meaning 'shield', the Shīrudo is the Shogun's personal bodyguard - after all, he may have entire armies at his disposal, but a pony in Ryuichi's position can never be too careful. The Shīrudo stands watch over the Shogun at all times, and is someone that Ryuichi trusts implicitly. The two of them have a very close relationship, akin to siblings, and his bodyguard is one of the few ponies Ryuichi drops all pretenses with and is able to fully relax around if they are by themselves. The Shīrudo is also the Head of the Guard, a position that oversees all the guards stationed within the Palace Castle. Raijū's Caretakers - Named after a beast from folklore that was said to descend from the sky during great lightning storms, Ryuichi's personal golem requires intensive care from an entire team of trained and experienced individuals. The Kansei is in charge of the whole team, while various duties are divided amongst the ponies. While Ryuichi is the construct's ultimate master, Raijū's care taking team works closely with the goliath in order to keep it in prime condition. The Kansei, in particular, is the only pony that has been specially permitted to issue it battle commands, in order to test its power usage, compatibility, and learning curve. Hot Springs Owner - Though there are undoubtedly artificial hot springs in the privacy and security of the Palace Castle, there's simply no imitating the original. Ryuichi used to spend time in time around Mount Kaminichi as a foal, and still rarely as an adult. I like to think there was a particular hot springs/inn he paid favor too, and got to know the owner before he became able to spend less and less time there. He might have even hidden his identity in order to enjoy the hot springs like the average tourist...never mind the bodyguard that never strays too far from his side. Potential Bride-to-Be - As with any pony in such a position, the issue of securing the line of succession becomes paramount the older Ryuichi gets. Thus are mares often brought into his presence as potential consorts, to become the future bride of the Shogun. Hopeful mares are able to present themselves voluntarily and at will, though some mares of notable beauty, lineage, or status are specifically sought out by the Palace Castle and humbly asked to present themselves as a potential bride. Even if the Shogun finds favor with a mare however, she is not immediately forced to become his bride. The two spend some (carefully supervised) time together over a long courting process, in order to determine compatibility and devotion. Golem Trainer Idol - Ryuichi has a particular love for Golems and the Polohama Dome. A veteran Golem Trainer (or a newly rising prodigy) is sure to have perked his interest during his youth, and further into his adult years. No doubt he would have invited said trainer back to the Palace Castle on several occasions, the two of them perhaps even becoming friends over years of interaction with one another. Foalhood Friends and Acquaintances - After the appearance of his cutie mark, Ryuichi began spending more time out of the Palace Castle alongside his mother. He could have potentially met and befriended any number of other characters at some point or another, forming lasting friendships with some. It is most likely that a foalhood friend was someone who was raised inside the Palace Castle alongside him (the child of a servant, for example, or a high ranking noble) but not entirely necessary. Said foalhood friend could even be his present day bodyguard, or could simultaneously fill another position on his staff. Military Friends and Acquaintances - Ryuichi spent two years in the military, and though he was kept stationed safely in Kyoma and safely out of harm's way, he would have undoubtedly made some friends while he was essentially "just one of the guys". He served in the Air forces of the Neighpon military, but could have easily mingled within the other branches. Dissenters - While most have accepted the new Shogun with little fuss, there are some who call his overall lack of experience into question, and feel the Ryuma far too young to be in such a powerful positions. Others still are discontent with seeing a Ryuma or Kirin on the Seat of the Shogun at all, and consider it an insult to the, by far and large, pony population that founded the country to begin with. What any dissenters might be planning to do about their concerns, however, is a mystery, and entirely up to you... _______________________________ Phew! Okay, that's it...for now. Questions? Comments? Concerns? Gratuitous applause? Direct them all at me, please! Here are the characters that players are so far interested in apping/taking, so you guys can see who's already working on what:
  9. The large hanger was quiet, and still for the most part, and considering the hour, it was hardly a surprise. The Office of the Gijutsu-sha was the most varied among the Primary Shogunate, and this hanger was only one of many similar compounds located underneath the Palace Castle. This one, in particular, held only a small open space relative to its size - most of its room was dedicated to smaller, sectioned areas filled with workbenches and miniature arenas, built to allow members to design and test out their inventions. Other hangers were dedicated to the massive, gargantuan titans that were kept well functioning and maintained in the case of a national emergency, and - in all honesty - he would have much preferred working in one of those others, sitting underneath a silent colossus while he worked. Being overshadowed so thoroughly tended to give one a sense of perspective in this world. There were a few stragglers, working right up into the weekend, but they all afforded the Shogun of Neighpon a wide berth, and why shouldn't they? If not for his station, than for the stormy look that had remained an almost constant fixture on his face ever since the afternoon. An instance right outside the walls of the Palace Castle - some upstart, would-be fool of an assassin that had tried running through the gates with a convoy, only to be immediately apprehended just inside. A minor incident, startling but completely beneath his notice. If his younger sister hadn't been returning with her guard just around the same time. Koeda-san - otherwise affectionately known as Mr. Twig - lay unresponsive on the workbench, the source of his life and manufactured spirit laying dormant nearby. Ryuichi frowned as he studied the yellow petals on the construct, pliers held expertly in one hoof as he carefully began rearranging the golem's features. It wasn't often that he got the chance to indulge his love of golems in a hoof's on way - one would think that the Shogun of Neighpon could get more reprieve to play around with expensive toys every once in his ancestors-forsake while - but what might have been a time of relaxation and indulgence was instead tinged with slowly-simmering fury and determination, leaving the Ryuma's dark frown firmly in place as he bent closer over the construct. "Not enough input," the Shogun of Neighpon muttered to himself, hardly noticing the very last of the stragglers quietly making their exit. "The toxin needs to be resourced through the head...a complete rewiring...and some nerve-inhibiting properties too..."
  10. The carefully cultivated and enhanced beauty of the inner gardens were a sight that, on any other given day, would have given the Shogun of Neighpon minuscule pause, in order to revel in their perfection. Such was not the case today. The gardens provided a beautiful backdrop, however, the lingering cherry blossom trees scattering pink against the vibrant greens that otherwise dominated the landscaping. One particular tree stood near center of the asymmetrical window Ryuichi was currently facing. It commanded nearly the entire space from where he was seated, framed against a crystalline blue sky and rising high against the stonework and woven pathways underneath. It was, in fact, a favored resting place for several of the Castle staff - if he were to slide open the window, he undoubtedly would have become privy to some conversation occurring directly below. Ryuichi wasn't so inclined to bask in the beauty of the inner gardens, however, despite the gorgeous weather accompanying them. No, instead, the Ryuma continued to stare at the round object laid delicately on top of an elaborately designed cushion, and despite its plainness, it clearly stood out against the room. Wide and spacious, yet consciously empty save for a few choice pieces of furniture and decoration, the room seemed to almost be a spare, one added to the Castle for some reason or other, than abandoned later on. A small writing desk occupied by a single stack of blank missives, ink and quill, teapot and teacup, and the cushion he himself was seated upon - all settled out on the middle of the floor atop a rich, tatami mat. And the orb. That was it. Historically, the room had been designed as a place of meditation and introspection. Extravagant windows to showcase the splendor of the inner gardens, combined with a conspicuous absence of objects and distractions inside the room itself, had all lent themselves to an area of peace and seclusion, a way to center oneself. Nowadays, with dwindling interest in the Paths as an actual way of life, such rooms were not in such high demand...which had proven ideal for his purposes today. The young Shogun continued to eye the Pearl in front of him, as if it might suddenly rise from its platform and perform some great magic. Which...in all honesty, wasn't too far from the truth. But for its actual function, well...Ryuichi could admit he had been...skeptical, when he had first received it. Honored beyond all measure, of course, but still...bemused, when he had learned of its powers. The concerns and well-being of a singular, particular individual were the very essence of what a leader couldn't concern himself with, why the nation had its police forces and charities and ministers to handle those complaints. Such were beneath the notice of a Shogun. Individuals had no perspective, no bigger picture, no grand scheme of the entirety of the nation - their concerns and desires focused on themselves, not on everyone else in their entirety. A Shogun who concerned himself with the problems of singular individuals could not effectively rule the larger whole. ...And yet, so sat the Pearl that had been specifically forged for his use and purposes. The Long had to have had reason for it - Pearls were not gifted by the Long without express reason. And Ryuichi was not so proud yet to simply ignore a gift from the Long. It took a moment - Breathing lessons half-remembered from foalhood and never seriously studied in the long list of topics to study - but the Ryuma let out a breath, before closing his eyes, expression relaxing into one of peace and serenity. The sound of deep breathing, a flow of air into and out of his body, was the only sound to punctuate the otherwise still room...and, very carefully, Ryuichi Breathed out and onto the Pearl. In an instant, the Pearl was active, glowing a pale, shimmering blue in color as it serenely floated off of the cushion to eye level, and Ryuichi breathed inward once more before he opened his eyes, golden gaze fixed intently on the floating orb. "Let us see..."
  11. Situated on one of the smaller islands in the Neighponese archipeligo, the village colloqually called Kakikara-mura or "Oyster shell village" has a thriving pearl-diving business, and is known for exquisite jewellery and a historically excellent finishing school for geisha worthy of the Shogun, or even foreign courts. And these things are obviously true, as they produce tangible results. Measurable by anyone who wants to. Objectively. In truth, while the fisheries and finishing schools do produce pearls and coutresans, the true purpose of both is and has always been the training of a highly specialised breed of ninja. In addition to the rigorous training all shinobi and kunoichi receive, the Kakikara village trains assassins who master the courtly arts in an effort to get closer to the most difficult targets: nobility. Historically, the Kakikara kunoichi were dispatched to dispatch Long warlords and Viking Jarls with a more militaristic bent. When the nations established more peacable relationships and the ninja arts no longer became necessary the two leading clans, Chiyo and Kaze, convened a council. The Kaze clan was the controlling family in the area, but when they proposed assasinating the then-current Shogun in order to install a Daimyo with a mind toward continuing the aggressions, the Chiyo staged a successful coup that has left them in charge since. The Chiyo clan, now head of all branches of the Kakikara shinobi, immediately put into practice a new code and approached the daimyo one by one to establish a formal relationship with certain rules: The Chiyo could be hired for their original purpose against any target who is not a daimyo (and eventually the shogun once a clearer shogunate emerged), but they would accept no lethal contracts against members of the Neighponese government. The Chiyo could also be hired as bodyguards by anyone who negotiated an appropriate contract. Lastly the Chiyo could be engaged as instructors for whatever the individual shinobi was skilled in, save for the clan secrets. In exchange, the village's true purpose and the clan were to remain secret. The clan was to be a neutral entity with regards to any specific ruler or government, and while they could be employed as spies or assassins, they would not cleave to the shogunate or any daimyo. Security for independance. The Neighponese government was safe from the village clans, and the clans were independent from the government. In the decades following unification, the Chiyo honed their arts even further, developing three signature weapons, and two combat techniques utilising them. Sticking to the shadows, they developed dreamdust, a powdered soporific capable of rendering an adult Kirin or Ryuma unconscious within minutes of exposure to a dose no larger than a breath. Next they developed the tessenjutsu, a set of martial arts utilising iron-bladed folding fans. Finally they developed a technique called mibojin no hoyo, a sharpened ridge of serrated blades hidden along the shoulders and flanks that allowed for a seemingly innocuous leaning gesture to cause severe wounds in the intended target. Some shinobi were further trained with this weapon to make acrobatic leaps and tumbles capable of disabling multiple attackers in short order. They are also inoculated against several common toxins, trained to hold their breath for extended periods, and given lessons in courtly manners and foreign languages above and beyond most shinobi. Accordingly, a Chiyo candidate is not considered ready for deployment until much later than rival clans' agents even starting younger. Currently, the Chiyo's main branch still oversees training and controls the Elder council, though two branch matriarchs maintain seats among the five. The current Elders are Chiyo Hayate, Chiyo Akane, Chiyo Fumiko, Josei Mami, and Kaze Himeko. Currently, only Chiyo Hayate and Akane and Kaze Himeko and Ichiro have foals, though exact numbers for either couple are closely guarded secrets even within the clan. Typically, contracts are handled by any of the Elders, who interview prospective clients and negotiate cost, duration, and other terms, then the Elders collectively nominate and deliberate on assignments. The clan takes contracts very seriously, and for a Chiyo shinobi to breach the contract is considered a grave offense. Rumors abound of shinobi disowned or hunted for breaking a Chiyo contract, though most happen to a friend of a cousin. Notably, the Chiyo prohibition against government officials has only been breached once, and those with the unfortunate confirmed that the officer in question had been the aggressor in the rather brief exchange.
  12. From the album: OC Art

    "[During the Sakura Spring Festival] Kyoma [...] becomes enveloped in a sea of pink." Quite. Literally. Might need to view full size to be able read it clearly! Bellosh pointed out an RP he was in that mentioned Ryuichi, but this line struck me harder than anything else and inspired this silly little comic. Kyoma doesn't quite reach this level of cherry blossom fun, but...it's probably a near miss. Yeah... Ishi (c) PyroBlaze
  13. The Neighpon countryside is a dangerous place, with rampaging kaiju, angered long and of course; Bandits. One such gang being led by the self proclaimed and partly infamous Bandit Queen; Tsuyoi Kazan!!! Her band of thugs made from outlaws, renegades and even her own children go under the name of 'Ryū no Kiba' or roughly translated the 'Dragon Fangs' for how voraciously they snap up and hoard their pilfered goods like a dragon would. And with a hot headed older mare like Tsuyoi at the head of this gang, there is definitely no lack of want for gold or pillage. - Of course it's a hard job, the gang mostly sticks to the edges of Neighpon to terrorize trade route caravans and smaller villages without the fear of being interrupted too soon by the law enforcement. This is further solidified by their stronghold in the active volcano cave that they have made their lair. Where the iron hooved Bandit Queen lords over all. But of course a Bandit Queen can't do much without bandits can she? Tsuyoi isn't picky on who is in her gang as long as they can take orders and shut up when they're told; they can be all walks of Equestrian life - they just need to be good at what she wants them to do and have no qualms in being on the wrong side of the law. Pony, Griffin, Diamond Dog or even other Qilin and Longma it doesn't matter to her as long as they're loyal. And you can choose to make a long time member of the gang or even a newbie. Qualities the Dragon Fangs Gang looks for; Fighting Skills Stealth Skills Acting Skills for pretending to be innocent or spying. Tactical Skills Survival Skills Ponies who can cook/clean do the basic stuff if they can't take part in raids. This includes her children whom she has nine others of (excluding her eldest daughter) all from different fathers that can range from young mare/stallions right down to foals and be as varied in colour as you like. Below is a list of the current kids, but when we reach nine I'm afraid that'll be it. 2nd born/2nd eldest; Tetsu Kāten - PyroBlaze 3rd born; 4th born; 5th born/Middle foal; taken by SteelEagle 6th born; 7th born; 8th born; 9th born/youngest; But not EVERYONE in the gang has to be on the complete wrong side of the law; take the Bandit Queen's 'heiress' Jinsoku Hanabira; Where her mother is more self-serving and out for her own goals, her first born works under her mother's nose as a Robin Hood style thief with a band of her own friends within the gang; attempting to slowly right the wrongs that her mother has done to other ponies in the only way she knows how. She could always use some accomplices if you'd like to be on the different side of the gang's coin. If you'd be interested in being part of this wily gang or even to be one of their victims; throw concepts in the thread and we can spitball ideas! And just as a reassurance; Your character will not be hurt unless you give permission. So banditing will be purely harmless bit/food/good/treasure taking.
  14. EquestrianScholar

    Aegis Ura (Ready)

    Roleplay Type: World of Equestria Name: Aegis Ura Sex: Female Age: Mare Species: Unicorn Eye colour: Golden yellow Coat: White Mane/Tail: Dark grey Physique: Fit body built up from traveling, but more willowy and tall as well. Yet perhaps not as strong as many, given her focus more on scholarly pursuits or the social aspect of her employ. Residence: Neighpon Occupation: Gaikoku Bugyō (Ambassador) Cutie Mark: A golden wheel with two black half circles on either side and two additional wavy lines, a symbol related to the gold crafting taught to her but connected to her talent of finding beauty where it is not expected.* Unique Traits: Wears a decorative gold piece of jewelry which fits fully over her horn, giving the initial impression by some that her horn is gold. Her legs are stripped, if faded and not as distinct, revealing zebra ancestry. Speaks her native language fluently, yet with a certain exotic quality that some may pick up on. Gifted singer with a beautiful voice, as well skilled in jewelry making and gold craft. History: Born to father native of Neighpon, yet her mother a native of Equestria. Notably, that of Los Pegasus, with the two meeting by chance as her father was traveling there on invitation during his stay in Equestria for diplomatic discussions. Princess Celestia being unavailable for a couple of days, so the offer for him to enjoy himself. He met an mare there whose zebra father ran a jewelry and gold making shop, passed down many generations. They came to get to know each other in his time at Los Pegasus and he offered for the mare to go with him to visit Neighpon. For the mare to see his homeland as he had over the years gotten to know hers, and with her father's permission she agreed before falling in love with Neighpon. Choosing to move there permanently, they were eventually married. The mare took the time needed to learn of Neighpon's culture, while also setting of a shop much like her fathers while adapting the designs of the jewelry and gold crafts mixed with the styles of her new home. These crafts and jewelry becoming quite well known, though she had to find one take over many of the responsibilities of her profession on becoming heavy with foal. Once born, and seeing that she was a filly, they agreed on the name Aegis Ura though the name wasn't that of Neighpon but of the mother's homeland of Equestria. The filly will grow, often getting into trouble but eventually coming to learn the proper behavior expected of a mare. She took to reading, and history, both of where she was born as well that of her mothers. She even learned of her grandfather and of his more Egyptian heritage. From her father, she came to learn more of his own work as the Gaikoku Bugyō of the Shogun. She would gain her cutiemark, in fixing and shining up a broken old heirloom the owner didn't see beauty in. Yet, more then that, in explaining its significance and history, in offering that which they didn't know about their ancestor connected to it. Later, Aegis also discovered she had a natural gift for singing and melody with a voice that surprised many in her youth. Aegis would learn many languages, even singing for guests of her father in their native tongue. Yet the path she wished to follow was that of her father's hoofsteps, seeking to become the Gaikoku Bugyō, and would pursue the education that best helped prepare her for such as well working in the Office of the Ambassador. She placed herself in social situations, first observing and then learning by the example of her father. Yet Aegis also found that her calm and friendliness, even a disarming playfulness, actually worked better than simply mimicking her father's way of doing things. The mare will get a job at the Office of the Ambassador, which gave her the experience required. Once the time was right, and she had served for four years in the Office, it was with her father's recommendation that she was chosen by the senior members within the Office that she'd take his place once he was no longer able to fulfill the duties of his position. Thus Aegis came to work hard to prove herself, going to events and spectacle that called upon her attendance or meeting with those that came to Neighpon. Yet placing such on hold to mourn the passing of her father once his age overcame him. She, along with so many others, paid the stallion the respect and honor he deserved for his services with even the previous Shogun and her son there personally to pay his respects. The mare making sure to be by her mother's side and once the day had passed continued on the path she had chosen, perhaps a bit more sober and serious as time went on. Yet it seems she would not be the only one to suffer the passing of a beloved parent, with the passing Shogun and the disappearance of Ryuichi in his grief, his return from the Forest of the Forsaken bringing much relief to his council counting Aegis herself. That, given her own youth, being one the first to accept the new Shogun despite his age with a smile and bow of respect. Character Personality: Able to be serious, yet cheerful as well as she kept firm control of the situations she finds herself in or at least of herself. Dedicated to her duties, especially in figuring out diplomatic solutions to a problem so as to avoid conflict. She has a love of learning and of history, of music and of song, not only of her beloved Neighpon but that of other nations as well. Understands that to best handle a situation one needs to know or figure out those involved within it. Yet with this Aegis may be unable to react quickly or properly to sudden changes in such. With a likable manner that many will find charming, a cunning yet unassuming way with words which disarms, as well a calming presence that allows for even the hottest of tempers or stubborn of figures to be reasoned with or brought to consider what is said. This allowing her to better fulfill her responsibilities as the Ambassador to the Shogun, keeping things running smoothly with her homeland and other nations no matter the challenges though that doesn't mean it will always be easy. Character Summary: Aegis Ura is the Gaikoku Bugyō of Neighpon, having served in the Office of Ambassador for many years, her father marrying a mare from Equestria before both settled in the Land of the Rising Sun. A skill diplomat, with much personal charm and amiability which hides how cunning she can be in fulfilling her duties. Generally quite polite and well mannered, she can offer witty replies when the need arises. She is loyal to her Shogun, and not one shirk on her duties though she does spend a lot of time with her muzzle in a book. *For the cutiemark, I completely forgot what it was supposed to be, just remembering it was related to her family's skill in gold crafting and jewelry making. I did my best in describing what the cutiemark is supposed to be, and I ask that you forgive me for not offering more. I will try to contact the one I adopted the OC from to remind me on that detail.
  15. Ishi was pacing around his office, trying to get some work done while he waited for his guard to finish preparing for the trip. He was pretty excited for it, really. He hadn't been able to take a vacation for a while with all the work he had piled up, and he hoped this could be a chance for them both to relax. Now that he thought about it though, maybe he should've been more specific than she should pack for a trip... Oh well, it was probably fine. She was a smart mare, after all. After a few more minutes of pacing, he sighed, plopping down at his desk and resting his head in his hooves. Shibō, curious as to what the problem was, moved over and nuzzled his side. "Hey, Shibō! That tickles!" He laughed, pushing on the golem to get him to stop. "I'm fine, buddy. Just a little too excited to focus on work right now."
  16. MANDATORY READING BEFORE POSTING IN THREAD: Neighpon and Kyoma lore articles. "Welcome to Neighpon! May you all enjoy our Sakura Spring Festival!" .....How did it come to this? What madness drove Lími to make a journey to a realm where the marauding Viking Caribou have been actively despised for a millennium? Simple answer really: Lián Mei, the apple of Lími's eye. A beautiful qilin mare from Long Guo with no real deep connections to Neighpon. So what business did a qilin and a caribou have in the Neighponese capital of Kyoma? In truth, it was Lími who (once again) brought misfortune upon himself. Our story began late last year after Mei and Lími's disastrous Nightmare Night outing in Ponyville, a horrifying ordeal ending in the qilin mare almost losing her mind. Blaming himself for his dear friend's ruined night, Lími thought long and hard about how to make up for it. After days of deliberation, one thing did come to mind. Back when he first visited Garden Gait, when the lad had not been officially recognized to have proven himself to be of age, Lími was told by Mei of her fond desires to see the springtime blooms of the cherry blossom tree. Now assuming that finding such trees close to Garden Gait would be a trivial matter, and having brainstormed nothing else, the caribou bull lifted the spirits of his treasured friend with the vow to witness the blooms together. Little did Lími realize that Lián Mei had vastly more on her mind than simply finding appropriate trees. As the qilin reckoned, it wasn't enough to simply find any cherry tree. No; celebrating the Sakura Spring Festival properly meant a pilgrimage to the Empire of the Eastern Seas; to the Shogun's very capital, where traditionally built wards were surrounded by parks of ornamental cherry trees. It was said that during the Sakura Spring Festival, these encircling parks engulfed the entire city in petals of pink. Little was said about Sakura Spring in the lore of the Viking Caribou, but apparently many others outside of Whitescar regarded the weeks-long celebration as one of the world's great cultural traditions. When Lími realized exactly what Mei believed she was promised, the anxiety-filled bull tried everything in his power to convince his confidante of the folly of visiting Neighpon; a place where Lími believed his kind would never be welcomed. Not after all the wars between the Neighponese ponies and the Viking Caribou. But the will of an obstinate dragon mare is not something able to be overcome by enthralled bulls; even if it were possible, Lími eventually understood he would then face the reality of dashing his darling Mei's hopes and dreams... an act of such atrocity he'd never have the heart to carry it out. And so here we are in the present day, already more than a week into the Sakura Spring Festival. By now, the ponies of Kyoma had already finished preparations for the cherry tree blooming. All Lími and Mei had to do now was find an unoccupied tree to give the companions a spot for flower viewing celebrations. That would prove difficult though between all the capital's residents, Neighponese pouring in from every corner of the Neighponese Home Islands, and even other tourists from all around the globe. In particular, Lími felt he'd need to display extra caution as one of the dreadful caribou of Whitescar. All he had going for him was his air of peace-loving nobility and the dazzling qilin beauty by his side, who proved prone in the past to latching onto his foreleg or otherwise brushing against his fluffy figure. As long as Lími continued passing for a reindeer or some other sort who — at a surface-level glance — appeared worthy of a lady's affections, there was always hope that he'd yet leave Neighpon without getting chased out by its inhabitants. So he imagined, anyway. First though... the caribou and the qilin needed to figure out where to go. The two of them stood outside the entrance of the port entrance, analyzing a map of Kyoma held in Lími's hooves. As expected of an indecisive bull, Lími knew not where to trot to first. Mulling in apprehension, he couldn't help but let loose his trademark sigh of "Odýrr.....
  17. From the album: OC Art

    "...and as the cycle falls, once every one hundred years does the Shogun participate in The Hunt, offering himself as prey for the restless spirits that have made way through the cracks. Hide yourselves as the Shogun flees, wary the sound of the oni approaching from behind. Bare witness to the bell sound of the Shogun's return, in victory or defeat, and prepare the next one hundred years of bountiful harvest, or barren misery." Very rough and unpolished art, I know, but I just wanted to get this little idea out of my head and onto a picture after watching an episode of Natsume Yuujincho (which is also where the mask design comes from). Japanese legend and myth seems to place the importance of masks concerning yokai or spirits, i.e. you can blend in with spirits by hiding your human face. I like the idea of Neighpon having some sort of huge, nation-wide festival every so often, where maybe the barrier between Neighpon and The Door gets blurred, so old, highly superstitious Neighpon used to see everyone walk around with a mask for a whole week, and it just grew into a custom or tradition. Or it's customary for the Shogun to participate in some sort of elaborate song and dance where s/he's dressed up like a powerful yokai of legend, and essentially offers himself up as bait for the lesser oni that have slipped through The Door. Whether he manages to remain at large for the entire night or gets captured by an oni determines the overall success of Neighpon for the next hundred years until the Door cracks open again (at least according to legend). ...Also haven't drawn a human in a while, so decided to practice that. I actually have a sketch WIP of a picture similar to this with actual pony Ryuichi, but decided to switch over to a human!Ryuichi at some point. The mask actually worked fairly well over a snout, surprisingly - I might go back and try to finish that at some point.
  18. From the album: OC Art

    "The drink?" Ryuichi is earnest in his desire to see Limi settled in and comfortable for his karaoke venture with the Shogun...maybe a bit too earnest... I'm having a lot of fun with these pencil brushes. Quick sketch and some lighting thrown in, featuring Ryuichi's attempts at ensuring the sake is to Limi's liking. Limi (c) Bellosh
  19. Pretzelparty

    The Many Faces of Rua Hanari

    From the album: The Character Corner (Color!)

    I've been wanting to upload one of these for a while. I don't really show many diverse expressions in my work so I give my newest character a chance to shine. I'll probably use some of these in Rp at some point. From Top to bottom, Left to right the expressions are... 1: WHAT THE BUCK DID YOU SAY ABOUT MY MANE?! 2: Irritated 3: Saddened 4: Embarassed 5: Cheerful 6: Sleepy
  20. This Is Hanari Rua. Rua is a traveler from Neighpon, a follower of the traditions and codes of the Samurai. Having been raised in a ninja clan populated entirely by mares in a mysterious forest away from most of Neighpon, she is curious about the ways of her homeland as well as the lands far beyond. It shouldn't be too surprising that traveling on the road with nothing but a blunt, wooden training sword and a satchel to keep you company makes a pony wish for some decent conversation. To any who are interested, I have two spots I left in her background that resulted in her developing into who she is. One is a mysterious stranger who saved her and her mother's life during a blizzard. I didn't go into specifics about them beyond they were kind enough to do so and knew a lot of stories about the samurai of Nieghpon. Rua styles her mane in the same appearance as the pony who saved her and her mother that day, although its perfectly likely and sensible for the character to have changed it at some point. The other option is a another stranger who was a kirin or longma that became a nuisance to Rua and her mother when Rua was just a filly. Rua challenged him to a sort of duel of breath magic and managed to... lose to a much more experienced and stronger opponent, but not before bruising his leg. The action impressed him enough to stop bothering her the parent and filly on their way to a town. Those are just two major roles for influences in her own life. In her travels I would like for her to meet a variety of characters so feel free to offer some of yours up! As for characters I'm looking for, well... I think to start some characters she may have run into on the road once or twice before, but if an applicant thinks a meeting for the first time would be more interesting that could be fine too! Just leave a comment and we'll see what we can cook up!
  21. Elderflower

    Higanbana

    From the album: Elder's Flower Bed

    Unbearably adorable pop idol by day, ninja by night! It's Higanbana, the Red Spider Lily.
  22. Zeig

    At the Polohama Dome

    From the album: OC Art

    Full size is best size! This started as a simple doodle to try and design a casual outfit for Ryuichi, and morphed into...this. I'm not even sure what this is even, but I had a vague idea of Ryuichi and Sanda exiting from the Polohama Dome after an exciting fight. Also don't know what's got Sanda so surprised or Ryuichi looking so approving, but apparently something's gotten their attention! They're not suppose to be on a date or anything like that, but it kind of looks that way, probably because of their clothing. I thought it would be strange to have Ryuichi dressed all casual like but have Sanda still in her armor. They've got to get out of their formal attire/uniform at some points every now and again! But yeah. Not good with backgrounds, so I had trouble trying to make an entrance into the Dome. I eventually played around with colors to try and get a neon effect going, and left it very vague and messy. This was mostly difficult to do because it takes place at night - I had to use a lot of saturated colors, which is difficult for me to do, but I think it came out okay. Sanda (c) PryoBlaze
  23. Neighponese Gladiatorial Golems - Winning is Their Dream Inanimate forms made living; warriors of stone, fire, and water created to delight audiences with epic contests of strength. They are the Goremu, the famed gladiatorial golems of Neighpon. Although the product of centuries of experimentation and refinement by Neighpon's battlemages, gladiatorial golems are too impractical for use as weapons of war. Yet as weapons of entertainment, the Goremu are second to none. The sport of Goremu battling is regulated by the Neighpon Goremu Commission, which sets guidelines for the creation of gladiatorial golems, assesses the battle-worthiness of said golems, and issues licenses to their handlers. According to NGC guidelines, permissible Goremu are created entirely out of substances found in nature (ie. no steel). Such beings can come in many shapes and sizes, from swift automatons crafted in the form of yokai to titanic masses of amorphous liquids or vapors. No golem combatant is allowed to equip weapons or armor that are not already part of its body. Because gladiatorial golems often exhibit the same amount of intelligence as non-sentient animals, kind handlers give Goremu the same care and regard that a pony would to animal companions. What makes a Goremu (and smaller Neighponese automatons made solely for companionship) unique from all other conjured golems is its power core: an embedded, life-injecting thaumite crystal. The larger the crystal, the more power it generates... and the larger the golem must be to yield all that energy. Depending on which geological area a crystal grew and which magic enchantment a power core is imbued with, a golem will receive an enhancement to a certain attribute. While thaumite gems are capable of slowly regenerating energy, a Goremu must be given time to recharge after expending large amounts of energy, or else it will shut down when drained of power. An old proverb states that it takes a village to raise a child; the same can be said of the Goremu. Most prominent of a golem's handlers is its coach: the pony who trains it for battle, issues commands as necessary, and perhaps most importantly, shower it with affection. Although a Goremu's coach shares much of the glory of victory, there are other unsung crew members that must be acknowledged. Ponies like the one who repairs any damage a golem endures during a match, and the pony who focuses entirely on power core maintenance, along with their assistance. And of course, if a coach is not personally skilled in the magical arts, then somepony else would have designed the Goremu in the first place and granted it life. Thanks to Neighpon's strong tradition of specialized schools, anypony with the heart to become a Goremu Master has the opportunity to enroll in an academy and gain experience through scholastic-level competitions (which are quite popular local affairs in their own right). Coaches and golemancers who earn success at the academies may then become licensed by the NGC and go pro, training their golems further to fight in tournaments all throughout Neighpon, Polyneighsia, and even Long Kong. Battlefield terrain varies wildly between tournaments, but all tourneys share the same basic rules: 10 rounds per bout — 3 minutes each — with a minute for the golem to recover between each round. The winner is chosen either by knock-out or judges' decision. Most prestigious of all the Goremu competitions is the annual Tournament of Champions in Polohama. Each summer — on a clay battlefield within the Polohama Dome — fortunes are made and broken. Should a Goremu defeat all foes, it and its coach are awarded the title of Grand Champions, and instant stardom is all but guaranteed. As for the losers, there is always next year... as long as their sponsors don't out on them..... ~Gotta' Fight 'Em All: A Tourist's Guide to Goremu Battles
  24. ╭The Government of Neighpon - The Sun Rises in the East╮ The Government of Neighpon - The Sun Rises in the East ╰The Government of Neighpon - The Sun Rises in the East╯ While Neighpon is advanced in ways the rest of the world is still struggling to comprehend, its government remains a mixture of a feudalistic empire and a modernized democracy. Although the most advanced cities have grown to elect their Ministers through the voice of the herd, the entirety of Neighpon still remains firmly under the Shogun's hoof. As Head of the State, the Shogun is the ultimate authority in all national government, and although rarely involved in any government levels lower than national, he or she still holds authority over the prefectural and municipal levels of government, if he or she chooses to take action. The Shogun is even formally referred to as Heika, an ancient form of address equal to an emperor or king. With Neighpon always on the edge of advancement and growth, many have advocated an end to the position of the Shogun, calling instead for a Cabinet of leaders to share equal responsibility - however, others fear a return to in-fighting and disunity without a Shogun, citing the country's advancement as possible only with a Head of State reigning supreme, and are content with the self-appointed Ministers and Councilmares that are rarely interfered with. Whatever the case, the Shogun remains unparalleled in power and jurisdiction - power that is shared, but not wholly given, to the Shogunate directly beneath him or her. Part I : The Primary Shogunate Part II : The Secondary Shogunate Part III : Prefectures and Municipals
  25. The debate chamber was already buzzing with intense conversation from the audience alone. This was an important day for two important countries in the world: the mystical land of Neightpon and the turbulent region of Whitescar. History between these two lands had always been tense... No, Tense was putting it mildly. In ancient times early clans of Whitescar had attempted a to take the land for their kin, only to be met by the early settlers of the land. A combined effort between ponies, kirin, and ryuma drove out the caribou invaders to their native lands. Since then Many clans of caribou continued to raid and attack the more obscure settlements and areas of Neighpon, never gaining ground, but always inflicting new wounds on an innocent land. Even to this day, raids continue, boats are stolen and plundered. ... And today's topic was in regards to a vessel from long long ago who never arrived at it's destination. The cargo of the ship supposed to be a an ancient blade that sung in the language of it's holder. A blade whose properties matched an the clan's first artifact weapon. "Skog Klyvnings Sang" was a weapon that had come into the hooves of Helgi, the first hero of the the clan. A bull whose story was sung by Skalds and told to young calves to this day. Sigrun herself had been raised on stories about the heroes of the past. She'd dreamed of one day wielding this blade for the good of her clan. Now she was bringing this relic of Askr to Canterlot (of all places), here to talk to none other than the Shogun of Neighpon... and she knew she could not hoof this treasure over to him. Sigrun had made sure to read up on the background of this Shogun. According to the information given to her by her own trusted officials he sounded like he was reasonable Ruler. A wizened beyond his years type of stallion whose presence was calm and almost aloof. Perhaps they might find some common ground in their taking up of leadership at early ages, through admittedly very different means. Thank Qalipu the information painted him as sensible. With Ylva busy back home in Whitescar , Sigrun would have to handle a debate with a foreign ruler of a land whose population greatly despised her kind. Before she took to the platform opposite the shogun's side she muttered a quick prayer to Tuktu and Qalipu... and stepped forward with the long narrow case carrying the sword at her side. In the light illuminating the debate stage one could see the cow still had almost feral and wild look that came with the curse left upon her by the actions of WRAITH. two eyeteeth were sharp and exposed, glinting in certain angles at the light hit her. The cow's coat was fuller and more robust looking and clean. Over her form she had on a cloak, a thinner one rather than the usual thicker types she kept on back in the freezing lands of her home, with a tunic over her chest. Her stature in the room being one of the most notable features: standing almost as tall as Celestia herself and dwarfing some of the members of the audience. The sound of her cloven hooves meeting the marbled stone on the floor filled the room until she set the case she had down in front of her, perfectly in the center of the stage. She lifted the top of the case to reveal the contents. The sword was of a neighponese design, a Nodachi: A very long sword meant to held with two hooves. It had the single edged style of blade with the metal folding characteristic of neighponese smiths. In the time that Sigrun left the blade out for the Shogun (when he came forth) to inspect visually, there was a faint but pleasant hum that could be heard through the auditorium. With nobody holding the magnificent blade it had no language with which to sing, instead it would hum and make pleasant tones until it was covered once more. The shogun was already seated at his podium, "It's nice to finally meet you, Rakuen Heika. I have faith we can resolve this peacefully. I am SIgrun, Chieftain of the Askr clan of eastern Whitescar."
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