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[Lore] Peryton [Final]

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Perytons - Creatures of Enchantment

 

Sprawling along the western rim of Cirrus Lake is a chain of low-lying islands known as the Velvet Strand. The gentle, grassy slopes which rise out of the shallow waters are home to the peryton: flightless, winged deer who have made their home in the Nimbusgait lakes since they first welled up with water. While there are no solid records of where exactly these mysterious creatures came from, a favoured legend amongst them and their pegasi neighbours tells of a forbidden romance between a famed pegasus general and the princess of a herd of whitetail deer. After entering an arranged marriage under the command of her father, the princess often wished she could fly far away, to a world where she was free. Every night she gazed at the stars and wished to be one of them, and every so often, when granted a taste of freedom, she would venture to the western shores of Cirrus lake. Here the shallow waters grew so still that they perfectly mirrored the shimmering expanse of the night sky, so the whitetail princess would wade into the waters and close her eyes, dreaming that she was a star and far away from her life.

One night, a pegasus general famed throughout the world for his ruthless tactics and cold command of pegasi armies spotted the princess wading through the waters. He instantly fell in love, and it was not long before his affections were returned. Once every three months they would meet  in the waters surrounding the Velvet Strand, until years later they were discovered. The princess was cast out from her home in the Everfree forest and left to fend for herself in the wilderness. Desperately wishing to help her, the general abandoned his rank and his home to live at his banished princess’ side on the Velvet Strand. It was their love that gave birth to the peryton race, so the story goes.

Whatever the truth may be, the peryton race has proven itself to be a vital entity in the Nimbusgait lakes. Though individually they appear to possess no supernatural talents beyond the ability to walk on clouds, in groups the peryton are armed with precious, life-giving magic unlike anything else in Equestria. Their collective magic is passive, and the larger a herd is the stronger its effect upon the world. It is difficult not to notice the change in the air and the water around a group of peryton: murky water slowly turns clear, smog and fumes transform into sweet, clean air, and wilted plants spring to life and flourish once more. Simply by coming together, peryton have the ability to purify and revitalize the world around them. It does not happen overnight, and the area of effect is limited to where the herd dwells, but this magic has been purifying the waters of the Great Nimbusgait Lakes for countless years. There is a reason the waters of Cirrus Lake are famous for being so clear and pristine, and that reason lives on the Velvet Strand.

 

Because of their uncanny magic, life amongst a herd of peryton has a quietly enchanting atmosphere. They regain their energy faster among their own kind and are much less susceptible to illness, while the lingering feeling of magic weaves its way through everything and everypony. Indeed, it is not just peryton who feel these effects when living near a herd, and as such it is not rare for ponies and other creatures to find themselves drawn to the winged cervidae. Being near them is cleansing for all life, and for sentient species the effect is mental and emotional as well as physical. Being in the company of a single peryton is quietly uplifting, but the effect a herd has can heal many kinds of hurts.

Peryton are well aware of the effect they have upon other creatures. Thanks to this, they possess a natural sense of self-importance and arrogance. Vanity and selfishness go hoof-in-hoof with peryton, so when the enchanting appeal of a herd is removed and one must deal with them individually, their charm quickly diminishes. Even so, peryton still retain a certain magnetism when separated from a herd. It is not uncommon to hear stories of those lost in the Everfree woods near the Great Nimbusgait Lakes being drawn down a safe path after catching a fleeting glimpse of a mysterious, winged deer through the trees. Even without the intention of rescuing lost wanderers, their natural allure has helped many travellers and earned them something of a heroic reputation in heavily wooded areas.

Scholars who excel in the field of Aetheric Theory have long puzzled over this peculiar brand of magic. Though much of it remains a mystery, Canterlot researches have discovered that it is a peryton’s antlers which connects them to the magical community of a herd. The antlers behave similarly to lightning rods, attracting magic that is naturally present in Equestria and channelling it through the peryton. Though they are most similar to whitetail deer in appearance, unlike their wingless cousins both male and female peryton have antlers which they do not shed. It has been observed that breaking off an antler nullifies their natural magnetism and can even lead to ostracization from their herd. They are prideful creatures and their antlers are their greatest source of pride. Seeing one of their own so disconnected from the essence of what makes a peryton a peryton causes a great deal of discomfort, making it difficult for them to know how to behave around those whose antlers are broken, or worse yet those whose antlers never grew in.

 

In modern Equestria, peryton have taken full advantage of their passive community-based magic. The Velvet Strand is famous as a spa/resort destination, where creatures from all walks of life go to relax, rejuvenate, or even to heal. They excel in careers designed to help with de-stressing, and it is common to see peryton across Equestria running spas, salons, massage therapy clinics, yoga classes, and other businesses of that ilk.

The best summation one could make of peryton is that they are beautiful, irrevocably self-involved, and most importantly: they are uncommonly enchanting and irresistible.

 
Equestrian Travels Volume 4, Journal no.137 penned by Ryx Blackwing, Aquellian Archives

Edited by Rarity
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