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Found 8 results

  1. The Emerald Grove Kingdom of the Perytons Chapter One : The Emerald Grove In the heart of the Velvett Strand Isles, where the Peryton's mere existence causes the land to thrive and bloom - there is a hidden jewel of fertile land and a stand trees so thick with greenery that it's become a popular sight seeing spot for newcomers to the islands during the day when business isn't going about. The Velvet Strand is known for its lush flora and its clean waters and none more so than this viridescent jewel of nature. The grove is a large expanse of soft grass melded with towering trees that cover the sky so well at times that the sun glitters through the leaves like golden stars against a deep green sky, to add some light under the boughs of these trees the herds have created their own form of illumination to aid the growth of the plants and their more sun needing harvests in the form of hanging strands of jewels bathed in sunlight called Dawn Stones - a treasure coveted by the Emerald Grove Peryton's for their warm glow. They are thankfully only used sparingly as the plants thrive well enough with the presence of the winged cervines. Though nothing will ever beat the crystalline beauty of Cirrus Lake, there is a small body of water, barely the size of a large pond situated near the home of the royal family which due to its years of tending and constant proximity to the Peryton's - has become so pure it is said in myth to have rejuvenating, almost healing properties. It is aptly named; Dewdrop Pond for its size and nature kissed existence. It's said in myth that a rare antidote for the most toxic poisons or most virulent diseases can be fashioned when mixed with a single drop of this pond. As with the rest of the Velvet Strand in its effort to keep to its 'untouched beauty', the housing here has kept with the standard set by the Perytons, simple, natural, rustic. Even the home of the royal family with its slightly large home has been fondly named by its residents as 'The Living Palace' due to beautiful wild flowers, rare jewel like fruits and entwining flora that make up the decoration of the royalty's home. Even the throne room looks like it was grown more than built. With this pocket of fertile land, it's said to be possible to grow any kind of fruit, vegetable or flower in the dirt of this grove and the local residents are more than happy to show off the fertility of this land by sometimes sharing homespun meals made of fruit and veggies not even local to the area and some that is whispered - mostly in gossipy and boastful allegations - that the Peryton's have fashioned for themselves from years of cultivating and tending. No doubt, this Peryton paradise is a jewel on top of an already beautiful crown of nature that the Velvet Strand has to offer. Chapter Two: The Royal Herd The Royal Herd of the Velvet Strand (or often simply referred to as the 'royal family') has lived and thrived for generations and lays claim to being descended from the 'first Peryton' as well as laying claim to being the most 'in tune' with the natural magic that flows through all their kind. Made up of the current monarch, their family, their entourage, servants and the like, they make an impressive bulk of the herd. Though they come off as arrogant and snobby, they have ruled their homestead with a deeply mixed past going from time to time. They are some of the few Perytons that have high decoration to them, even if it's usually just a crown or neckpiece with a pair of royal jewels set into each piece known as the Nature's Dream Emeralds. Every royal figure head has handled their kingdom in a different way but most have been altogether peaceful due to the Peryton's idyllic and carefree lifestyle, the royals only have to step in for serious issues pertaining to the welfare of the islands or diplomatic issues. The few most notable Royals of the past are the ones who made the greatest waves in society, for better or worse or for simply vain and boastful legends and myths that the Peryton's can brag about: Branach of the Branching Antlers was infamous for sporting the biggest horns of his ilk, legend has it due to their size he could grow a tree to full size by standing by a sapling. Fáelán the Harvest Lord was an adventurous King who ventured past the Cirrus Lake and to different parts of Equestria and brought back seeds for their family to grow and increase the variety of food their people could eat and enjoy. Galochobar the Friendly was a great and joyous stag who welcomed the first ponies who ventured onto the Velvet Strand with an open heart, taught them the ways of their kind and was surprisingly not condescending. Boadicea of Nature's Will was a Queen of the Perytons who rallied her herd together when a group of zealously industrial ponies wished to renovate the isles with modern homes and warded them off with help of some allies in the form of ponies who also wished to preserve the nature of the Velvet Strand. There are however, none more famous or infamous than Oberon, Champion of the Grove and his father Drust the Blighted One; The story goes that Drust was as boastful and vain as any of his kind who sported a pair of vestigial fangs that were a rare thing among Perytons of old, well aware of his powers and all to ready to share his weighty pride with those that would listen. However as he grew larger, so did his ego, to the point it became pride in his race to a frightening level. Ponies who visited were not permitted to speak in his presence unless spoken to and were condescended to as if they were nothing but fawns. This continued on until Drust had the worrying idea of making their small kingdom the 'greater power' in Equestria and mused about possibly overthrowing the all powerful Princess Celestia. His modest and level headed son; Oberon, who valued the friendly ties they had with the ponies begged his father to reconsider such a hasty idea - the Peryton kingdom was small and likely to be overwhelmed if they even dared to think of taking on the grand empire of the ponies. But Drust would not be swayed, somehow the mad king had found a way to corrupt the magic that could flow through his horns - instead of amplifying the life giving and healing natural energies, he would drain it from the flora and fauna around him. The Emerald Grove and the Royal Herd began to suffer from the effects of their king's power and it would not be long till he tried to inflict the same damage to the rest of Equestria. Seeing no alternative, Oberon challenged his father to a duel, putting his own antlers at risk to stop his father from destroying their beautiful home and bring ruin to the kingdom. From stories told, the battle was said to last hours that melted into days until finally with a mighty swing of his head, Oberon snapped his father's antlers clear from his head - halting the damaging magic. Drust was exiled from the Velvet Strand isles, never to be seen again and Oberon took his place as the new king of the Perytons where his lineage has thrived to the current monarch of this very day. ((Might add more later))
  2. 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.
  3. When most ponies hear the word 'necromancer', they think of somepony who wears a black cloak, mutters menacing chants, and raises an army of shambling corpses to do their bidding and menace rural communities. While I must regrettably admit that each of these cliches have some kernel of truth, to describe necromancy in such a way is to present a highly misleading view of it. It would be like describing pegasi as ponies that control the weather. It's significant, and not inaccurate, but not really a proper description. Necromancy is essentially the magic of the dead. This may seem obvious, but it bears stating. Interacting with the dead, via magic, is not limited to being some callous means of acquiring minions. Indeed, trying to use the dead as servants is one of the least efficient tools of a necromancer. Before one can begin exploring necromancy however, one needs at least a rudimentary understanding of spirits. Spirits are, in essence, beings of almost pure emotion, left behind when a conscious creature passes on in an agitated state. However underneath that simple description lies a surprising range and complexity. Emotion in this case proves to be a loose concept, as although it does apply to primal moods such as rage or sorrow, I have personally encountered spirits driven by duty, loyalty, guilt, even confusion, and more. Any set of circumstances in which a creature passes can create one, however it is typically only during a significant event or when the creature has a powerful need or drive that the resulting spirit will have any serious strength or be able to maintain itself for a serious length of time. The most basic skill for a necromancer is that of speech. But despite it's relative simplicity, speaking to the dead is one of the most useful skills such a person can learn. Spirits being the emotion-driven beings that they are, resolving a haunting is often as simple as deciphering what that spirit is trying to say. The more reliable, or those whose emotion coincide with the speaker's goals, are often willing to grant favours, particularly in exchange for help with their own concerns. I have even taken on a few as travelling companions, then they prove willing to assist me in my own duties. What is arguably the second most important skill a necromancer should learn is that of banishing. In an ideal world, all spirits would be friendly and helpful. In a slightly less ideal one, all hostile spirits could be sent on their way after merely speaking to them, and learning what makes them suffer. This is neither of those worlds, and a method of forcible exorcism is something every necromancer should have as a precaution. The methods used and means to accomplish them vary wildly between different traditions. One could force a calm state on an inconsolable state, seal their ability to influence the material plane, or even modifying the most intense memories. The various methods will be covered in more detail in a later chapter. For those not content with the help or insight which can be found by speaking to spirits alone, there is another option. With proper preparation, spirits can be invited into one's body, allowing a pony to 'borrow' the abilities of a sufficiently willing spirit, or a spirit can be given a more direct way to affect the real world. Seances are a commonly known example of the latter. One must ensure that the spirit is benevolent however, or insure against misuse of one's physical form, as inviting a spirit in can be very dangerous for the unwary. It is possible to provide a physical form to a spirit other than one's own, and this can be useful for containing a rogue spirit as well as the other, previously mentioned reasons. Bodies can be created from all manner of materials. A spirit's own, former body is also an option, and one that has the advantages of being readily assembled, and more familiar to the spirit than an artificial one. However on top of the usual risks, when doing so one must deal with the disturbing sights and smells of an animate corpse, and one is then only adding to the already problematic stereotypes about necromancers. It is worth noting that living beings other than the necromancer him or herself can be used as a vessel, however this is a morally abhorrent action, and should only be even considered in the most desperate circumstances. As such, the relevant chapter in this book will only cover methods of identifying and and of stopping such possessions in any detail. Finally, spirits can be bound to a pony, usually the necromancer, and forced to obey their will. Such rituals are typically used by those with malicious intent, and while I have occasionally found a use for such abilities over the course of my travels, they are far more likely to be employed for ill. Much like the concept of living vessels above, what I have included here on the subject of binding is meant more for identifying and combating such circumstances as they come up. From the introduction of The Magic of the Dead, by Grim Solace
  4. Alchemy is loosely defined as the scientific process by which component materials are combined in such a way as to produce an effect that none of the composite ingredients alone can replicate. Broadly speaking, it is both a magical process and a chemical process, and neither a magical nor a chemical process. Like magic, alchemical effects are often otherwise impossible and often dramatically so. Like chemistry a given set of ingredients combined in a given process will produce the same result no matter who performs the combination. Unlike magic, the results of a given formula are the same regardless of the scale of the production, and without needing to adjust for individual casters' abilities. Unlike chemistry, alchemical products generally only work on sapient beings, drawing on their magics to affect change. On the surface, Alchemy is a branch of magic that closely resembles mundane chemistry, or a branch of chemistry that closely resembles magic, depending on how much you know about all three. In truth it's a third, discrete branch of science that works by using a chemical reaction as a catalyst to affect a magical change. And with that core definition out of the way, we need to define a few more terms as they relate to alchemy. A user is a sapient being who eats or drinks a wafer, tablet, capsule, syrup, tincture, potion or other solution, has a poultice, unguent, salve, powder, or cream applied to him or her topically, or has a solution infused or directly injected into the veins, fat, muscles, skin, or joints. A product is the final result of following an alchemical formula. A formula is the ratio of composite materials and instructions on how to prepare a given product, including the equipment, temperatures, and times needed to attain the desired result. Notably this is a RATIO of materials, not a recipe, and therefore it is generally assumed to produce a single dose or a batch of them based on a single unit's worth of the least used reagent. The scale should be noted in the formula. A composite material is one of the ingredients that are physically used in the formula, and are a part of the final product. A reagent is a type of composite material that could be considered the primary ingredients. It is the reagents that give most products their effects. A medium is a type of composite material that serves more as a delivery method than a true ingredient. Most formulae that call for a medium can have any other medium substituted fairly easily, but the medium usually gives the final product its consistency and viscosity. A catalyst is either a type of composite material that caused or facilitates a reaction and then precipitates out and is left behind, or refers to a final product that causes the user to undergo a change by drawing on internal magic rather than natural processes. A wafer is a solid state product that has been wrapped in a thin sheet of paste to protect the user from its taste without interfering with delivery. Alternately, some products are ultimately compounded into wafers that are meant to be held on or under the tongue or against the cheek in order to take effect through the mucous membranes. A tablet is a solid state product that has been compounded into a brick small enough to swallow by itself. A capsule is similar, but is a container to control the delivery of powdery or liquid products. A syrup is a liquid product that has been given a thick consistency, and usually has been sweetened after distillation in order to offset the taste. A tincture is a liquid product that has been distilled in alcohol, usually because the product would otherwise be very susceptible to spoiling. A potion is a liquid product that has a consistency closer to water where the fluid is the final product, not merely a medium. A solution is any product that has been dissolved in a liquid medium. A poultice is a product meant to be packed or caked onto the user with cloth when exposure would cause the product to erode or spoil. An unguent is an oil-based product meant to be rubbed into the skin or coat of the affected area. Most useful when the user will be exposed to water between application and effect, such as sweat or swimming. A salve is a thick product meant to be smeared over the skin or coat of the affected area. A powder is a solid state product that is either contained in a capsule, mixed into a medium, or applied topically. A cream is a product meant to be rubbed into the skin or coat of the affected area using water or alcohol as a medium. An infusion is either the process of steeping a component in a medium in order to steep the helpful properties into that medium, or it is that product itself, or it is the process of slowly allowing a product to enter a user's veins over a long period of time (generally a couple of hours) Leaching is the process of steeping a component in a medium in order to leach out unhelpful properties from that ingredient. The medium is usually discarded. Distillation is the process of purifying a product by changing the temperature, usually either by boiling off impure substances or by boiling off the final product and leaving the impurities behind.
  5. Megiddo The Crucible of Aquilos The Aquellian border with the Badlands of the north is not often traveled, being exceedingly remote due to a combination of distance and terrain. As a result, very little foot traffic passes through the area, the remainder being travel between the isolated villages that make up the northern border’s scant population. The Megiddo Basin is a geologically diverse region on the Aquellian side of the northern border. In this unforgiving land of high wilderness and unbroken nature, a large basin has been carved out of the land as if by a massive hammer stroke. The terrain is alien, with a mishmash of sandy high desert, massive swaths of taiga evergreen forest, and rocky, desolate ravines devoid of plant life. Magic has gone haywire in the area of the Basin. Islands of terrain float suspended on currents of turbulent ley energy. Strange crystals sprout from parts of the land, twisting vegetation around them with the effusions of chaotic magic. Periodic storms of unnatural intensity roll through the area, only to vanish into thin air, leaving a cloudless, clear sky in their wake. The Megiddo Basin’s shape and extremes of terrain have given it the nickname “The Crucible of Aquilos.” Megiddo once played an important role in ancient griffon society. The ancient pre-Aquellian clans used Megiddo as the setting for rite of passage ceremonies for young warriors and hunters. Only the strongest and most clever could survive in the harsh climes of the Crucible. Modern griffons regard Megiddo as a scientific oddity, the possible site of a massive meteorite impact in the distant past that rended the very ley lines that run throughout the Equestrian continent. Exploration and proper cartography have thus far been slow due to the inherent danger of the terrain, but those who are brave or foolhardy enough to venture into the Crucible may yet unlock its secrets.
  6. Many legends surround the ancient traditions of the Long, but none are so well known as those regarding the Long Pearls. These artifacts of great power are produced in secret, using techniques that leave no trace on the Pearls themselves to suggest how the enchantments were done, and are a closely guarded secret. Traditionally, these are presented as gifts to reigning monarchs, and often are entombed with their owners, but they are rarely seen without a Long bearing them otherwise. What is known is that each Pearl must be created, rather than found. Long artisans are furtive, but enough questions have been answered to establish that they are somehow forged from clouds and quenched in earth. The exact process is unknown, but it is said to involve all five of the Long's elements, wood, fire, water, earth, and metal. Once created the pearls are already somewhat magical, able to bend and cleanse jinxes and minor magical maladies, granting the owner a sense of good luck. These traits are further enhanced during the enchantment process, when the Pearls are imbued with their general and specific powers. These are known as the Breaths by the Long, and some known examples are: Breath of Pearl - The base enchantment. This enhances the basic attributes of an unenchanted pearl, allowing it to protect against nearly every magical affliction, including most spell backfires. Alone, this is not enough to fend off directed curses, but a stronger version exists. Breath of Being - This enchantment grounds the bearer's sense of self, making it harder to affect him or her with magics that ensnare the mind or cause self-doubt. It is unknown if this would have been effective against the Starswirl Curse of Lost Destinies, but most mortal magics melt away in the face of a Pearl of Being. Breath of Insight - This Breath opens the wearer's mind's eye, granting them greater empathy and understanding. If the bearer is already empathetic, this Pearl can boost those skills to near-telepathic levels. Breath of Wisdom - If Insight grants empathy, this Breath grants cognition. Bearers of a Wisdom Pearl find facts far easier to recall and absorb. She will find herself recalling with perfect clarity a passing glance she shared with a compatriot, a conversation she had while only half awake, or a book she skimmed as a child. Anything she studies with this in her possession will come naturally as breathing. Breath of Grace - These Pearls tap into the fluid motions of the river and the stability of the earth, allowing the bearers to react without effort to shifting balances and unstable grounds. Bearers of Pearls of Grace move with a dancer's surety, and never misstep or trip. Their body acts exactly as they mean it to, provided they have the strength and agility to do so. Breath of Potency - These coveted Pearls enhance the magical strength of the bearer. All Qilin possess some smattering of spell talent, but with a Potent Pearl, a Qilin's Breath will nearly meet that of their distant draconic ancestors. Even Longma who come into possession of a Potent Pearl will find that they can exert their will on the world through Breath. It is unknown what effect these Pearls might have on a Pony, but it is sure to be notable. Breath of Alacrity - These Pearls alter the bearer's perception of time. Though she cannot move more quickly, she will be able to perceive and analyse at a greatly enhanced rate, allowing her to act sooner than she would otherwise be able to. Breath of Security - This Breath is simple in concept, but powerful in its own right. Secure Pearls are watched by the Long, and can quickly reach out when in dire need to plead with the Long who created or attuned it. Breath of Communion - This Breath is placed on two or more Pearls enchanted together, and allows the bearers to speak to and hear one another over vast distances. It is fairly unusual for this Breath to be used unless requested as a Boon, as the Long are reluctant to create multiple Pearls at once. Breath of Slipstream - Only useful for fliers, Pearls of Slipstream allow the bearer to fly with no regard for wind, bending malevolent air currents around the bearer and often making the bearer seem faster by comparison. In addition to the Breaths, nearly every Pearl is given a Gift, an enchantment specific to its original recipient that usually only functions for this bearer. Rarely, someone is able to invoke the proper rites, pay the proper respects, or be close enough in spirit to the original owner to access a portion of this custom Gift, but there have been only two confirmed cases recorded, (Yu Tianma was able to channel the Gift of Ao Shenlong, and in one instance an unnamed peasant successfully called forth the spirit of the First Emperor to use the Gift of his Pearl) and in both instances the Pearl was consumed in the effort (and the peasant, in that instance, vanished immediately afterwards). The only drawback Long Pearls suffer is that they can only hold so much power, and drawing on the Pearl too frequently can interfere with or even undo the other enchantments placed upon them. If a Pearl is ever fully depleted, it will decompose into its constituent mist and leave behind nothing but a pile of fine metallic dust. Physically, each Long Pearl consists of a central jewel and some ornamentation, sometimes including smaller pearls or gemstones. Typically, the central gem is spherical, opaque, and with a pearlescent sheen tinged faintly with a colour that corresponds to its underlying enchantment. The ornamentation is added by the Long who craft the pearl, usually to suit the future bearer's taste or to give some insight into its more unique features. Common Pearls, if such a thing can be said to exist, have a gold, steel, obsidian, coral, or wooden claw grasping the spherical jewel, with a loop for the whole thing to be hung from affixed to the 'wrist' of the claw. Another common shape for the jewel to be is that of a teardrop or claw with a hole in the wide portion that allows it to be strung on a necklace or prayer string. Particularly powerful, ancient, or well respected individuals might have more than one such Pearl on the same string.
  7. Novaburst

    Golems

    GOLEMS Golems are a species that were actually created long before the reign of Celestia and Luna. No one knows how the Golems were made, or what they were made out of. Over the centuries, sub species of Golems have come into existence such as the "Timberwolves" of the Everfree Forest which act as it's guardians. Golems possess intelligence on par with that of ponies, and come in a variety of shapes, sizes and even looks. The Golems are typically a race who are capable of magic, their magic exceeding the levels of normal Unicorns and being about the level of prodigies, such as Twilight Sparkle, Starlight Glimmer, Starswirl the Bearded and a few others. Golems are known to be friendly towards ponies, and other creatures. However there is an exception to this. Should one ask how to make a Golem it will almost automatically guarantee that the Golem(s) nearest them will become hostile and attack the pony or creature asking. To do such is tantamount to sacrilege among the Golems and is something none of them will tolerate. Golems have a variety of shapes and sizes. The level of mental faculty depends on a large variety of factors as well. The golems do have a few sub species however. Timberwolves: Timberwolves are the Guardians of the Everfree. They possess their own communication, and intelligence. Yet they cannot speak the language of the ponies. Most of these are guardians of magical relics and protect the Everfree. They are hostile towards any pony who comes inside the Everfree Forest. They possess the power of regeneration magic, and can regenerate no matter what unless extreme heat or cold magic is used on them. Aerial: Golems that are made that possess any form of flight. These all fall under the classification of "Aerial" and little is known about them. Minotaur Replica (Flawed): A flawed replica of the Minotaurs. These are bipedal and possess the ability to use magic via their hands. They are capable of learning various languages, and their personality/intelligence levels vary. They also have limited shapeshifting powers in that they can disguise themselves so they don't appear to be golems, but appear to be flesh and blood.
  8. Maris - The Cradle of Inspiration Maris, a city of expression, of freedom, and if the citizens of Calnais were asked, a city of the uncouth. Maris is in many ways a sister city to the fancy metropolis, with beautiful buildings and a wonderful view of the sea. Where they differ though is their openness and acceptance of the 'folksy rabble'. If Calnais is where the rich go to feel richer, Maris is where the lower classes go to feel free. Situated just north of the sea shore, Maris was founded by those who felt themselves outcasts of Calnais. Either not posh enough to fit in, or those from different homelands that found it to difficult to really conform to the 'Fancy' lifestyle. Most of them artists with new or 'outlandish' styles that just weren't up to snuff in the city of wine and finery. This hodgepodge of cultures mixing together made for a wildly unique city. With architecture that melded both Germane and Itailian design, or even Traditional Prench with Canterlotian. Maris had its small start as a little city with beautifully eccentric buildings but grew to a bustling metropolis with its own distinct flair. Walking through the city today is like traveling through time. Where on one street you can see the olde time Germane-Itailian buildings transition to the unique buildings of the modern Maris. Art is not all that the city of Maris represents though. At its core, Maris is a city of freedom. Divided into several districts, there's truly a place for all walks of life. The Artisan District holds the creators. Paint mixers, brush makers, blacksmiths. Without whom, many of the artists of the city would struggle. The Café District is home to a number of delicatessens and bistros that cater to all kinds, from pony to griffon to diamond dog and beyond. The Crosscoat Memorial District, named for one of the founders of Maris, is home to many of the city's oldest buildings, including the Royal Maris Opera House. Long rumoured to be haunted, the Opera House proves to be one of Equestria's most extravagant buildings. While not as old as Roam, Canterlot, or even Calnais itself, Maris has given the world several amazing artists and is host to a number of excellent museums, dedicated to all kinds of art, ranging from traditional painting and sculpture to dance and music. Within the self-proclaimed Cradle of Inspiration, it's difficult to find somewhere in the city where there isn't someone practicing their trade. Painting the beautiful view of the sea. Dancing in the lush city park. Singing for the crowds outside a quaint little bistro. If you have a taste for the lavish without the coin purse to match and wish to get in touch with your artistic side, Maris is your place. Feeling Fancy Free: A Journey Through Prance ~Ashley 'Ash' Ravencrest
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