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Found 10 results

  1. Swift Squall silently stared at the wast expense of Equestria's western desert. The the dry expense of the desert's heart barely had any life clinging to it....Squall and those under his employ notwithstanding. And Swift being Swift, he had a reason for setting up a base with the landing pad in the middle of the total nowhere.... "Sir! Mr. Squallcoast! Everything is ready!" a petite, Earth Pony mare with glasses and chestnut mane styled into braid. A perfect image of assistant or secretary or assistant.... Except she wore a bodysuit, more reminiscent of Wonderbolts then anything else. "........" despite being spoken to, noblepony did not answer, apparently distracted by his own thoughts. "Sir? Mister Squallcoast?" the mare spoke again before shaking his shoulder. This finally got stallions attention, who turned around surprised. "Is everything alright Sir?" she asked, worried. "I was just in deep thought. That's all Alexandrite. There's.....lot to digest. Lot to consider." Swift mused, which was kind of not-answer. "Please, just 'Alex' would do and.....Are you having doubts Sir?" Alexandrite asked, tilting her head prodding for some clarification. "A little late for that. We build that and...well you can't put the genie back in the bottle one you let him out. Even if we would drop all of this....what I am supposed to say to those who worked over the project? To forget about it? It doesn't work that way." Squall shook his head in resignation. "Well with all due respect Sir....Your way of thinking isn't working either." the mare protested which made noblestallion raise an eyebrow. "My mother always said 'If it can be done, it will be done. Genius or idiocy notwithstanding.' And it IS needed Mr. Squallcoast, stating otherwise is just plainly stupid. I WAS in the Army. We were totally unprepared for someone like Storm King! But if we would have tools like that back then..." she waved at the humongous mountain of metal that was on the edge of the camp. "So brutally honest Annurca....I can see why NAVY didn't liked your opinions very much..." Swift said, and for a first time since morning his worried expression was replaced with an amused smile. "Well Sir....I may have be a solider, helmspony or test pilot....but at the center of it all I am also an Apple!" Annurca said as she scuttled off. "Also, 'Alex'!" ".....Hmp...I guess I should get ready too." Swift said, as he moved towards the shelter. The filed tests will begin soon.
  2. Starlight's Sanctuary - "Always Filled With Cheer" On the far western edge of the Painted Pinto Desert, away from any civilization, lies a village previously unknown to nearly everypony in Equestria. Up until now, whispered rumors of a hidden commune where ponies live without cutie marks were regarded as nothing more than urban legends. Yet only now is the truth being learned about the mysterious community’s founder, a unicorn named Starlight Glimmer, and the so-called “Sanctuary” where her former followers live. A number of years ago, Starlight Glimmer discovered a magic spell enabling her to take away a pony’s cutie mark, replacing it with the mark of a black equal sign. Noting that this process stripped ponies of their unique gifts and traits, Starlight decided to use her ability to form a movement based around establishing true equality for all ponykind. According to Starlight’s ideology, if ponies broke the shackles of individuality and gave up their cutie marks, they would never again feel miserable by being outshined by the special talents of others, allowing all of Equestria to bond together in friendship. To that end, the ambitious mare established a new utopia for her believers out in the most desolate corner of Equestria she could find. Their town was quite a dreary place; two rows of bleak indistinguishable buildings faced each other to form an equal sign, with Starlight Glimmer’s domicile residing at the end of the village’s main street. Over in a nearby cave, the town’s leader stashed a Vault containing the cutie marks of all those who converted to her ideology. At the western edge of the town were the Tarpans, the snow-capped and cave-infested mountain range separating Equestria from Aquellia. There in “Starlight’s Sanctuary”, ponies who were previously down on their luck or lacking friends in their lives could find a new beginning by escaping the apparent tyranny of cutie marks. Yet this town was built on nothing but lies. Starlight Glimmer hid the fact that she never gave up her special talents; she instead mischaracterized an ordinary stick as the enchanted “Staff of Sameness” to disguise her own magic at work. Additionally, Starlight’s followers weren’t allowed to express any sign of dissatisfaction. Everypony had to smile, think happy thoughts, and say happy things at all times to prevent discord from destroying the collective. Each resident was encouraged to watch for potential dissent; those who seemed to be losing their way were forcibly imprisoned and bombarded with non-stop propaganda until they publicly repented. In this fashion, Starlight brainwashed an entire group sufficiently to prevent anyone from ever considering leaving her Sanctuary. So when Starlight Glimmer’s deception was finally exposed, the unicorn’s followers turned on her and recovered their cutie marks from the Vault. While Starlight escaped into the caves of the Tarpans, most of the Sanctuary’s residents remained in their isolated village rather than abandoning it. For those who’ve stayed behind, their first order of business is livening up their community and undoing the legacy of rigid conformity. Starlight’s treachery has given these ponies a new higher purpose in life: to prove that friendship blooms strong when everyone’s uniqueness is celebrated. While they are at it, maybe the townsponies can vote on an official name for their village too..... ~Mane's Aetherology Review
  3. Gaberott - The Desert City of the Diamond Dogs Famous for their skill in digging, the Diamond Dogs are responsible for the creation of some of modern-day Equestria’s most sprawling and deepest mines. Yet amongst everything they’ve ever bore and chiseled, nothing can compared to the subterranean masterpiece that is Gaberott. Lying partially underneath the western slopes of the central Brambe Ranges, this city is the closest thing there is to a center of Diamond Dog civilization. The gates leading into the mountain interior of Gaberott are flanked on the outside by two towering statues of Diamond Dog warriors; each carved out from the sand-baked rock itself. Gaberott’s population resides underground past the gates, within a series of vast limestone caves formed by natural erosion. These bipedal canines may be infamous for their hard-nosed mining methods, but even they know better than to wildly demolish the sparkling stalactites and stalagmites the Gaberott caves are renowned for. Instead, the natural caves are carefully modified as needed to transform them into scenic avenues. Various chambers like cozy living quarters, rambunctious feast halls, and tireless forges are then dug into the rock; each chamber mined out is grand enough for most outsiders to feel awed instead of claustrophobic. While there are a large number of minor Diamond Dog settlements that engage in petty banditry, the canines of Gaberott make special efforts to welcome above-ground visitors, encouraging ponies and others to purchase gemstones and the numerous products forged by the city’s smithies. What the Diamond Dogs don’t permit others to see are the tombs and mines underneath the main part of Gaberott. As per Gaberott custom, great pack leaders who pass on are granted eternal rest in lavish tombs, filled to the brim with valuable treasures. Aside from dissuading would-be raiders though guard patrols, the Diamond Dogs also place great faith that their elaborate booby traps can catch trespassers. Far below the tombs are the mines themselves, only accessible from the upper levels via seemingly bottomless shafts. The air grows hot and dense this deep beneath the earth, and the tunnels become narrow and labyrinthine, but the continent’s largest supply of valuable ores like gold, iron, and diamonds can be found way down here... and the Diamond Dogs want to ensure that only they profit from these subterranean riches. The canine miners definitely don't want upstart pony miners based in Bareback Gulch to dig through their territory..... ~Canterlot Research Journal
  4. Appleloosa - A Blossoming Frontier Village Far off within the fringes of Equestria’s western frontier, Appleloosa is for all intents and purposes the most isolated settlement in Equestria. With the exception of a lone oasis, the cacti-inhabited desert sprawls for miles in every direction. And yet somehow, the area plays host to a nascent town that shows no signs of being left out to dry anytime soon. When ponies first set out to trek through the Painted Pinto Desert, valuable tips from the nomadic buffalo tribes led explorers to the oasis by which Appleloosa would later be founded. For countless generations, the buffalo used this strategic spot as a waypoint for their seasonal stampedes, as water’s such a valuable commodity out in the sun-baked wastelands of the West. Most ponies however saw almost no practical use for this desolate land, as the West Road between Fillydelphia and Rockwington swept around the desert for the convenience of travelers. This state of affairs lasted right up until a few years ago, when recent construction for a transcontinental railroad made taking a shortcut through the Painted Pinto Desert a tangible reality. Now that the desert oasis could be safely traveled to, a band of ponies, led by various members of the immense Apple family, saw a future for this land as a place to sell apple treats to railroad construction crews and future travelers needing a stopover. Naming their new town Appleloosa, these settlers made quick work in planting an apple orchard to guarantee their future. That future almost never came to pass when it became evident that Appleloosa’s orchard interfered with the passage of the buffalo stampede. When negotiations to peacefully solve this dilemma broke down, a food fight ensued between the settlers and the buffalo. Ironically, the use of apple pies by the settlers allowed the buffalo to taste the sweet benefits brought by the orchard, thus allowing the clash to peacefully cease. By granting the buffalo a share of their apple harvest, Appleloosa’s citizens currently live free of external conflict as they await the completion of the railroad to Aquellia..... ~Hitchhiker's Guide to Equestria
  5. Dodge Junction - A Simple Town on the Rails At first glance, the western town of Dodge Junction appears to be nothing more than what it is; a town on Equestria’s western frontier. In all honesty, the humble townsfolk like to view their town as an ordinary place too, despite the fact that Dodge Junction lies on the semiarid boundary between the Saddleveil Plains and the Painted Pinto Desert. Hot and dry most of the year, this town is one of those places where ponies need grit to productively thrive. Up until a couple hundred years ago, the only sign of civilization where Dodge Junction now stands was a Royal Equestrian Army fort, which to this day remains in place a short distance outside the town. Because of nearly year-long heat, the REA guards here cast aside their bulky armor for more practical wide-brimmed hats and blue lightweight jackets. Typically regarded as one of the dreariest posts in the REA thanks to the inhospitable weather, the small garrison based out of this wooden foot has the important task of keeping the West Road between Canterlot and Rockwington free for travel, as well as clearing the way for the semi-annual stampedes of migratory buffalo tribes. A short distance south and east of Dodge Junction, the climate grows just cool enough to sustain a prairie suitable for grazing land. With nopony else seeing much use for this land, ranchers saw the perfect place to establish open ranges for the purposes of raising dairy cows. Historically, cows that grew old enough would be led on long cattle drives south to Fillydelphia, where they’d be handed over to worthy dairy farmers (cows don't take too kindly to the unworthy ones at all). All that changed with the introduction of the railroad; two rail lines pass right through Dodge Junction, meaning all it takes now is a short trek into town for a rancher to send off their dairy cows to anywhere in Equestria. As if the rail junction was an oasis, Dodge Junction has given rise to a small town eager to capitalize on its location. Through hard work and careful management of the underground aquifer beneath the township, it is possible to sustainably grow crops out on the desert’s edge. Nearly everything grown here is meant to be sold in town itself as snack food for passing-by travelers, so any farms here don’t need to sprawl out. Aside from farms, all the usual amenities for visitors can be found in Dodge Junction; lodging, saltlicks, guest ranches, and yes, even a few hokey tourist traps popular for those heading off to the gambling paradise of Las Pegasus. ~Hitchhiker's Guide to Equestria
  6. The Painted Pinto Desert - The Barren Expanse The massive Painted Pinto Desert covers much of the western region of Greater Equestria. Well known for its severe conditions, it is considered to be one of the least habitable regions on the continent. Exceedingly difficult to traverse, the desert mostly serves as a buffer between Equestria and the Republic of Aquellia. Because of it, until the advent of reliable airship travel, trade and travel between the two nations was difficult to manage. Even now, the desert is not a region one should attempt to cross on hoof lightly. The desert fills the very westernmost parts of Equestria, ending at the Tarpan Mountains which form the border with Aquellia. The Brambe Ranges of the Roughrider Ridge, meanwhile, serve as the eastern border of the Painted Pinto. The Badlands sit to the immediate north of the desert, while it expands to the south into the Saddleveil Plains. Aside from a few scattered oases, the terrain of the Painted Pinto is for the most part uniformly arid wasteland. The land is empty, dry and covered in sand and crushed rocks. Days are unbearably hot in the desert while the nights get freezing cold. Massive sandstorms are commonly seen moving across the land. Little inhabits the Painted Pinto Desert. Plant life is limited to various species of cactuses, and wildlife is likewise quite meager as well. Virtually no ponies choose to call the region home, the closest settlement being the frontier town Appleloosa, which sits at the cusp of the desert where it meets the Saddleveil Plains. The region is, however, home to one major settlement: the city of Gaberott, the capital and largest population center of the diamond dog civilization, which sits against the Brambe Mountains and atop one of the deserts larger oases. Another diamond dog settlement can be found near the north Tarpans adjacent to another oasis and others can be found in the far south. In addition to this, the stampeding grounds of the buffalo tribes cuts through the southern parts of the desert. Unlike other stretches of wilderness such as the Everfree Forest or the Soggalong Swamp, the Painted Pinto Desert offers few resources of use, especially in the open areas away from the mineral and gem rich mountains. As such, these days, most ponies who need to cross the region do so by air. Despite the very clear danger of the region, some ponies seeking thrills have come to make a sport of traversing the entire barren land, moving from oasis to oasis as they attempt to survive the journey north from Appleloosa all the way to the Badlands. ~Canterlot Research Journal
  7. The Roughrider Ridge - The Rugged Mountain Lands One of Equestria's most distinctive physical features is the Roughrider Ridge. The collective name of two prominent mountain ranges, the Brambe and the Allacor as well as the valley between them, the ridge runs from north to south across much of western Equestria. With its valley's three notable settlements--Las Pegasus, Beakbreak City and Bareback Gulch--and the wealth of resources in its mountains, the ridge has become an increasingly more important and unique region within Greater Equestria. The Roughrider Ridge is situated squarely between the infamous Everfree Forest to the east and the at times nearly as forbidding Painted Pinto Desert to the west. It extends all the way from the start of the northern Badlands region to the Saddleveil Plains. The valley region between the ranges of the ridge was formed by the mighty Trensal River which runs the entire length of the ridge. Conditions in the ridge are generally rough. Weather varies some depending on latitude, but is in general dry and at opposite extremes depending on the season. The valley is not especially fertile, while the mountains themselves can prove quite treacherous. Wildlife from the nearby Everfree Forest is known to at times pass through the mountains into the region, increasing the danger. Despite not being the most hospitable of regions, the ridge has seen considerable growth due to what it does offer. The abundance of mineral wealth in the Allacor and especially the Brambe mountains gave rise to the quaint mining town, Bareback Gulch. The location of the ridge--roughly halfway between the Republic of Aquellia and the great cities of Equestria--meanwhile, gave rise to Beakbreak City in the north of the ridge, which was built on trade and industry. More recently, the ridge has been singled out as a viable region for tourism, the city of Las Pegasus popping up and booming in the south as a result. The unique conditions of the Dragon's Peak region in the north Brambes has also brought numerous dragonkind to the region, adding to the burgeoning overall population. The region has, needless to say, become quite a uniquely varied stretch of Equestria. The major towns and cities of the ridge are all instantly recognizable from one another, offering up entirely different resources and opportunities. The rest of the ridge is quite sparsely inhabited. Rugged ponies, griffons and diamond dogs who prefer an isolated life in the mountains are known to settle up in the ranges, but for the most part the areas between the major settlements are relatively open and empty. ~Canterlot Research Journal
  8. Bareback Gulch - A Sleepy Mountain Mining Community Nestled in the middle of the Roughrider Ridge is the peaceful mountain town of Bareback Gulch. Quiet and serene, this mining-focused settlement is set apart from the bigger cities of the ridge, lacking in both the kitsch and artifice of Las Pegasus to the south and the grit and grime of Beakbreak City to the north. Bareback Gulch stands instead as a modest, down to earth mining community, as well as a friendly and scenic waypoint for traders and travelers alike. Bareback Gulch sits on the Trensal River, which cuts through the Roughrider Ridge, and is set right against the Brambe Mountains. The much larger diamond dog capital city of Gaberott sits in almost perfect parallel across the mountains and the two settlements are locked in near constant competition over the mineral rich mines as a result. The rocky, arid terrain of the ridge and varied climate make Bareback Gulch ill suited to extensive agriculture or much else in addition to mining. As a result, though it is a much older settlement than Appleloosa and the other frontier towns of the Saddleveil Plains, many have already surpassed it in size. The residents of Bareback Gulch are generally able to make comfortable lives for themselves. The metals, minerals and gems that can be found in the mountains can be quite valuable to traders while money from catering to travelers supplements the town's economy. That said, the village has definite periods of boom and bust. The prosperity of the community hinges almost entirely on how successful the mining expeditions prove to be. If the mines are picked dry, life can get more sparse and meager for the ponies of Bareback Gulch until such time as new mining spots are discovered. Bareback Gulch is a small, closely-knit community made up mostly of small homes and shops. Multiple inns of various size can be found to tend to the travelers passing through. Some residents choose to make their homes away from the center of town up in the mountains, near the mines and only travel into town when they have need to buy food or supplies. More recently, some entrepreneurs from Las Pegasus have set up more tourist-geared sites to take advantage of the scenic charm of the picturesque terrain, like the now famous Bareback Gulch obstacle course which is cut into the canyon. While unsure what to think of such ventures at first, the residents of the Bareback Gulch are thankful for anything that brings ponies and their bits to the town. ~Hitchhikers' Guide to Equestria
  9. Beakbreak City - City of Industry and Waypoint to Aquellia While not as inviting as the tourist haven Las Pegasus, or even the simple, quaint living Bareback Gulch, Beakbreak City is a cog in the system of Equestrian trade and industry that would be quite difficult to replace. As a center for heavy manufacturing and a vital stop on all airship trade routes from Stalliongrad to Aquellia, it provides services few other cities in Equestria are willing to provide. Though the city can to many seem a dim, grimy place to be, many of its inhabitants would sooner describe it as a city of opportunity built on a foundation of solidarity and hard work. The precarious location of Beakbreak City is one of its defining features. Built toward the north end of the Roughrider Ridge, on the west bank of the Trensal river, the city sits at the foot of the famed Dragon Peaks. This places Beakbreak at great risk in the case of an eventual major eruption. Volcanic dust and ash does drift down from the mountains quite regularly adding to the dirt and grime of the city. Many believe that the fact that the environment of the settlement was already so poor is the reason so many enterprising factory builders set their sights on the city instead of polluting more pristine parts of Equestria, and it in turn became such a force in the world of industry. Regardless, the dust and dirt coupled with the generally very cold climate and presence of large numbers of nearby dragons has done much to establish a Beakbreak as a city with a rougher reputation when compared to others. In terms of population, Beakbreak is one of the most diverse cities in Equestria. As the name might imply, it was actually founded by griffons. Griffon merchants from Talonopolis settled the city in an effort to create a trade hub located directly between their home and the cities of Equestria. While the city now has a slight majority pony population, it is still home to a large number of griffons. Additionally, due to its proximity to the Dragon Peaks, a number of young dragons visit or call the city home--more than any other Equestrian city. The city is often said to be welcoming to all sorts, provided they're willing to work and don't mind the dingy surroundings. Beakbreak City is, however, not a particularly affluent city. Most of the factory owners do not make permanent residence there. It is a working class city, and the aesthetics and layout of the city reflect this. The city has little to offer visitors--unless they happen to be dragons--and due to the limited opportunities, most ponies who don't work in trade or industry of some sort are quick to leave. The city has four primary sections: The Shipyards - A large area on the east side of the city. Airship docks can be found here, where air trade can be conducted and ships can stop and refuel. Airships are also built and destroyed in the yards. Beakbreak's famed ship-breaking yard, where old ships are broken down for scrap parts is found here. The Factories - Located along the north and west sides of the city, Beakbreak's factory sector is quite prominent, and employs a very large percentage of the populace. Products of all sorts are made here to be shipped to all parts of Equestria and Aquelia. Downtown - Beakbreak has a small and not especially lively downtown located to the center-north of the city, between the factories and shipyards. Here the city's inhabitants can find shops, clubs, small workshops and offices here, as well as a variety of apartments. Uptown - The southern areas of the city and where most of the residents live. Homes and apartments of a variety of shapes and sizes can be found, as well as things like schools and markets to serve the city's needs. ~Hitchhikers' Guide to Equestria
  10. Las Pegasus - A Paradise in the Clouds Within the rugged western regions of Equestria, the resort city of Las Pegasus stands as something of an anomaly. While the other cities of the Roughrider Ridge to the north and the young settlements on the Saddleveil Plains to the immediate south are built on a foundation of hard work, Las Pegasus is very much a city of leisure and play. With its unique personality and atmosphere, this cloud city has become one of the biggest tourist destinations throughout Equestria. Las Pegasus is located at the southernmost point of the Roughrider Ridge, where the Allacor and Brambe mountains join and begin to taper off. Situated between two wildernesses--the Painted Pinto extending directly to the west of the city and the Everfree Forest standing immediately to the east--wildlife, sometimes dangerous, is not uncommon near the city. The land on which the city is built, while not as inhospitable as the surrounding lands is largely arid and rocky. Weather in the region is hot and dry most of the year, though cooler weather can be found in higher elevation areas of the city. The city is set apart from others by its very particular design. As the name implies, Las Pegasus was founded by pegasi from Cloudsdale who, upon venturing west decided to piece together their own new cloud city. The Las Pegasus settlers were happy with the location and the work they had done building their new town, but found that the young Las Pegasus was not growing or thriving as they had hoped. The pegasi realized the city would not last and reach its potential unless it attracted more than just pegasi, and so it was decided that Las Pegasus would not be just a pegasus city, but one that welcomed all. While much of the city stayed in the clouds, sections started to get built on the ground level and unicorns were convinced to move out there. These unicorns were employed by the city to perform cloud walking spells upon earth ponies and other unicorns who visited the city, enabling everypony to join the pegasi in the clouds. Hearing of this new city where they could come and spend time in the clouds, unicorn and earth pony tourists from across Equestria began to flock to the city en masse. Seizing the opportunity, industrious ponies began to build up various resorts within the city. The city experienced booming growth over a short period of time and has since become one of the most populous cities in the region, as well as a perennial pick for ponies after a place to spend their vacation. Las Pegasus can best be divided into four distinct districts as follows: Ground District - The largest sections of the city. As would be expected, the ground district includes the portion of the city built at ground level. This section is largely comprised of the homes of locals as well as schools, hospitals and a number of businesses. Very few of the city's resorts are located here. Cloud walking stations and balloon lifts are common here to help visitors easily reach other sections of the city. Mountain District - This section, which is built atop the nearby mountains is seen as a bit of a middle ground between the more ordinary Ground District and more resort-centric Cloud Districts, and contains some of the same things that can be found in both. Expensive homes can be found here, as well as pricey hotels capitalizing on ponies who might wish to visit the cloud resorts but who don't wish to sleep atop the clouds. Some of this section's buildings are built high so that they can be directly adjacent to portions of the Cloud District. Cloud District - As the name implies, this section is comprised of structures built from dense clouds. Large, luxurious buildings are built out of the clouds, many of which are the city's famous resorts. Entertainment is Las Pegasus' number one industry, and the Cloud District is at the heart of that. Here ponies can find casinos, hotels, theaters, restaurants, tourist shops and other various attractions to enjoy. It is the part of the city most ponies think of when they think Las Pegasus. Upper Cloud District - The final district is a smaller second cloud level built high above the first. Viewed as precarious for all but the most bold earth-bound ponies, this section of the city is mainly the domain of those with wings. Here one will mostly find pegasi cloud homes similar to those found in Cloudsdale. Few resorts are found this high, but ponies interested in cloud surfing and other high altitude cloud sports still find their way to these upper levels for their fun. A weather factory outpost can also be found in the higher clouds, helping supply weather to the remote western regions. ~Hitchhikers' Guide to Equestria
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