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Name: Lead Hammer
 

Gender: Male
 

Age: Adult
 

Species: Earth Pony
 

Eye colour:  Straw-yellow
 

Character colour:  His coat is mostly dull-grey, though it brightens to a shinier silver at the fetlocks.
 

Mane/Tail/Other:  His mane and moustache are a fiery orange, his tail a rather dirtier shade of the same color
 

Physique:  He's genetically built for bulk, but hunger has trimmed his frame somewhat.
 

Residence:  The Maretonian City of Kastrot
 

Occupation:  Work group leader on the shipwright docks
 

Cutie Mark:  A trapezoidal-headed hammer (think the hammer from the old communist hammer-and-sickle).  It signifies his talent in metal working, and in industrial work in general.
 

Unique Traits:  Aside from the subtleties of his coloration, he doesn't have much unique, as far as physical characteristics go.
 

History:  Lead Hammer was born in an Earth Pony farming village in Maretonia, to a farming family average by their standards, though poor relative to their Equestrian counterparts.  The lack of harmony and cooperation among the tribes of ponies in that land made for a hardscrabble existence; with the weather and movements of heavenly bodies outside their control or influence, Earth Ponies had a much more difficult time coaxing food from the earth, and so drove a harder bargain for it, which served to feed the cycle of distrust.

 

Not that the young colt was aware of this whole situation, or even at first of his relative poverty.  The first few years of his life were as happy as most could be.  He played with other foals, learned the trade of his parents, and regarded himself and his fellows as ‘normal.’  Of course, most of those ‘fellows’ were other earth ponies, and he heard the elders grumble about ‘those dang unicorns in Kastrot’ to whom the village was obliged to pay taxes, but of active oppression he felt nothing.

 

Cutie Mark Story:  Feeling thus free to live and exercise his talents, he would do various jobs on the farm, or help out at village events, searching for what his calling in life was.  One day, his village, which was on the banks of a river, was holding a boat-building festival, to repair and replace the fleet of shipping barges used to communicate and trade with the downstream city of Kastrot.  One of the elders had an idea that more might be safely floated if the hulls had metal plating to guard against collisions.

How this was to be done was something of a mystery, so the festival was used as a contest, with village teams building a boat, and the one that handled best would win a great seat at the feasting table.  Lead immediately joined one of the teams, and the incessant enthusiasm and high spirits he brought to the task made it easier for everyone to work together on the job.  In the end, it was that boat design which was adopted by village, winning Lead a seat of honor, and his cutie mark.

 

Shortly after this happy event, one of the famines that would periodically make a hard life harder in Maretonia swept through the region, irreparably fracturing the village’s economy.  The land would still support a few farmers, but the artisans and shopkeepers could no longer stay, and so had to find somewhere that would take them in.  Lead Hammer was among those who left, as his working talents were more suited to the docks and shipyards of Kastrot than any employment the nearby villages could provide.  So, he floated down the river on one of his metal-hulled boats, offering it as a resume to potential employers.

 

It was upon arrival that the Lead was made aware of just what it meant to be an earth pony in a city of unicorns.  Being somewhat naïve, he took the first job offered, which was a bottom-tier position, in return for sharing the secret of a strong but buoyant metal hull for a small river-barge.  It was not until later, after weeks of long hours for little pay, watching the money pour into the coffers of the dock masters, that he realized how raw a deal he’d gotten.

 

This was only the first of many stings he was to endure in Kastrot.  At first, he tried to pass them off as what any newcomer might expect, and kept his old attitude, winning the friendship and support of his fellow dockers.  But as the days went on, Lead couldn’t ignore the fact that he, his friends, and his kind, were part of an underclass, and it is not too much to say that he resented the fact.

 

Open expression of dissent was out of the question; that could cost you your position, and Lead had only recently gotten a promotion to a better pay grade.  For an earth pony to be without position in Kastrot was to be consigned to the lowest of the low, the scattered and homeless that lined the embankments, hoping that the ruling class and their officers would leave them alone.

 

No, Lead began to act in a less confrontational way, at least at first.  He formed a network of mutual support amongst his fellow-dockers, the Committee for the Defense of Workers.  His developed personability and leadership skills served him well in this position, and he convinced them to begin extending it’s scope, not only reaching out to other docks, but to the positionless as well.

 

All this went along, more or less ignored by Lead’s supervision… until they proposed a new pay grade that would put earth ponies above pegasi.  The intention was to divide the two tribes in sympathy, so that the incipient cooperation observed would break down, and so leave the unicorns unopposed.  The attempt was a clumsy one, and probably would not have passed muster if the duke of the island had been consulted about it.  As it happened, the dock management found itself contending with Lead Hammer, who managed to mobilize the Committee, earth pony and pegasus alike, in a strike.

 

It was a dicey thing, when the day came.  The strike had to be an occupation, else the management could just fire the lot of them and bring in new workers from the embankment.  But a contingent of dockworkers fully equipped an occupying the cranes and machines would be much harder to get rid of, without destroying the facility.  In the end, however, the duke was notified of the disturbance, and soon put pressure on the management to cave.  Whether out of care for the justice of the case, desire to get the docks working again, or simply to avoid bad publicity with foreign observers, no one knew.  All they knew is that a victory had been scored.

 

These are heady days now, for both Lead and the Committee.  There is much promise in the air, but danger as well.  He knows perfectly well that he has made himself a hero, and a target.  He has no desire to overturn the established Houses that rule the city, whatever the rumors say, but he’s not backing down until he’s satisfied that he’s getting a square deal out of them.  But is even that too much to ask?  Only time will tell…

 

Character Summary/Personality:  Lead Hammer has what few in Kastrot expect anypony but a unicorn to have, significant political acumen.  He can be personable with others if they don’t talk down to him, he knows how to get ponies to work together on a thing, and he knows when to compromise and how to cut a deal.  This last tendency irks some of the more radical members of the CDW, but it has probably saved the whole body from destruction at the hooves of the elites.

 

Being a ‘stallion of the ponies,’ he has little respect or toleration of the upper classes or intelligentsia.  He’ll talk to them, but unless they've come to bargain, he won’t extend any effort to make himself liked.  And he can be quite the tiresome pony in that case, especially to those who are annoyed by rough manners, brash tones, or crude speech.  While having little respect for the learned, he’s not opposed to learning as such, having had to find ponies willing to teach him how to read and write well enough to do his Committee work, which includes educational support.

 

His public speaking skills are dependent upon whether he speaks extemporaneously, or with a prepared speech.  Extempore, he is rather witty and charming, in a folksy manner.  With a prepared speech, he is stilted and most unimpressive.  Hence, his public actions have something of the impulsive about them, which makes for as much trouble as triumph.

Edited by Rackenhammer

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