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  1. Kirin - A Lesson in Duality The Kirin are a peculiar species. Although Kirin are considered equine, their physical forms are radically different from those of ponies. Major points of distinction include cloven hooves, bushy lion-like manes and tails, dragon-esque scaling on their muzzles and backs, and a curved horn capable of projecting magic. Although some aspects of the Kirin initially make them seem like close biological relatives of the part-dragon Longma and Qilin, they have no ability to breathe out elemental flames. However, it is true that the Kirin originated from the Far East; from the islands of Neighpon, in fact. Contradictory myths and legends float around as to how exactly the Kirin came to be, but the historical consensus suggests that as Neighpon became more heavily populated, the Kirin collectively believed in the need to isolate themselves from other creatures. To that end, they undertook a great migration westward across vast oceans and strife-torn lands, traveling as far as their hooves could take them. After much toil, the Kirin reached their final destination, a sheltered grove on top of the Peaks of Peril within the northern Tarpans, which they saw as a perfectly isolated oasis to build their new community around. The reason the Kirin undertook this great migration was due to the Nirik, a supposed race of fire creatures raging with fury. In actuality, a Nirik is the form a Kirin takes when overcome by anger; their hair and tufts blaze into an ethereal fire, charring the color right off their coat! In this furious state, a Nirik can effortlessly engage in pyromancy but at a cost of losing self-control. It is not uncommon for everything around a raging Nirik to go up in smoke. Bereft of safe spaces to blow off steam thanks to their isolation, the Kirin were left no other choice than taking out their frustrations on each other. After one particularly nasty incident that resulted in most of the Grove burning down, the Kirin’s leader decreed that all her subjects were to take a Vow of Silence, enchanting a stream with the power to strip a creature of its voice and emotions. While this appeared to be a decisive solution to the Nirik issue, the Kirin grievously lost the ability to nourish their spirits with the joys of song, dance, and laughter. However, one Kirin stumbled upon both the floral cure for the silent oath and the realization that anger wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. With help from pony interventionists, the inhabitants of the Kirin Grove chose to introduce sound and emotion back into their lives. Finally accepting they have the power to channel their negativity into non-harmful ways, the Kirin no longer fear intermingling with the world beyond. ~Canterlot Research Journal (Revised Edition)
  2. Seaquestria - The Watery Depths of Refuge Beneath the surface of Mount Aris lies the underwater refuge of the Hippogriffs; the Sea Caves of Sequestering, more commonly known as Seaquestria. For a time, the citizens of Hippogriffia took shelter in these caves following the rise of the Storm King, using the power of the Pearl of Transformation to morph into Seapony forms adapted to functioning in the ocean. With the Storm King’s threat now passed, many former denizens of Mount Aris have decided that life under the sea is more preferable to slaving away out in the sun. According to the historical record, the Pearl of Transformation was a gift bequeathed to the Hippogriffs by the Hippocamp City-Kingdom of Coralline, who use such relics whenever they have business to attend to on land. In the case of the Hippogriffs, their Pearl swaps their avian features with a fishtail, flippers, and a more equine frontal body. A few who transform develop luminous bulbs on their foreheads, which helps with swimming in deep water. Creatures who assume Seapony forms enjoy many of the abilities enjoyed by Hippocamps, such as communing with aquatic creatures. Following the downfall of the Storm King, Queen Novo divided the Pearl of Transformation into multiple small fragments to give her subjects the freedom to choose between Seapony and Hippogriff forms. The aquatic sanctuary that became Seaquestria has its origins long ago, after Queen Marina was gifted the Pearl of Transformation. A hippogriff with a deep love for the sea, she ordered that the sea surrounding Mount Aris be fully explored by volunteers willing to be morphed into seaponies. It was during these first explorations that sea caves were discovered extending beneath the island mountain. Initially, the Hippogriffs largely left the Sea Caves of Sequestering alone, although they had the insight to dig water tunnels up to the surface above for use as emergency escape tunnels in the event the Winged Citadel was likely to fall. Once the Storm King forced the Hippogriffs to flee the surface world, they started again by erecting a new organically elegant city out of glass and coral, hanging above the ceiling of Seaquestria’s largest cavern like an upside-down copy of the Winged Citadel. Much like a Citadel that hangs like a chandelier, the bottom of the hanging, illuminated spiral houses the chambers of Queen Novo, which are used whenever she is attending to the needs of her Seapony subjects. Magical enchantments ensure that Seaquestria’s waters remain calm and clear, unaffected by the ever-changing whims of the surrounding seas beyond. Seaquestria is not as populated as it once was, many refugees choosing to return to the surface world as Hippogriffs. However, a large percentage of Queen Novo’s subjects actually prefer underwater life, many of whom never fit all that well with the traditionally competitive and grandiose culture of the Hippogriffs. For many of the younger ones, life as Seaponies is all they have ever known, and they aren’t too keen on losing the chance to frolic with beautiful fish and clever octopuses. How Queen Novo navigates this new cultural split amongst her people will be a more peculiar challenge, indeed. ~Canterlor Research Journal (Revised Edition)
  3. Changelings When you can be anyone or anything, who are you? Until recently, changelings have appeared regularly only in myths, legends, and old mares’ tales. Any prior historical references were short, sparse, and lacking in detail. Since the attack on Canterlot, however, new information has come to light. The changelings that attacked Canterlot have a very characteristic appearance: their bodies are roughly equine in shape, having four legs and a mane and tail. The changelings in Canterlot were seen to have different body shapes and sizes, much like ponies. Unlike ponies, however, their bodies are not covered in hair, but instead a shiny exoskeleton-like skin, much like an insect. Changelings appear to bear the marks of decay on their bodies; their limbs are pocked with holes and dimples, their manes and tails are wispy and brittle-looking, and their wings appear torn and ragged while still granting them flight. A shell-like structure covers their backs where an ordinary pony would wear a saddle. A changeling’s key trait is his or her ability to shapeshift. Scholars of magic suggest that this ability is a “glamour,” a special spell built specifically for deception. Changelings appear to be able to cast glamours naturally. During the transformation, all of the physical features of the identity they steal are recreated perfectly, down to the last hair. The glamour, however, is merely cosmetic. It only alters the changeling’s appearance and does not grant them access to the individual’s personality, memories, or unique mannerisms. Close friends can easily unmask a disguised changeling who is acting “out of character.” Changelings appear only to be able to assume the form of somepony close to their size. Most changelings appear to be within the same size range as ordinary ponies, save for the queens. Based on what is known about Chrysalis, queens stand taller than their broods, being proportioned more similarly to alicorns than average ponies, though her physical traits remain similar to lesser changelings. Like the smaller changelings, Chrysalis showed marks of apparent decay, with pocks in her wings and her legs and a crooked twisted horn upon her head. Her wings and mane and tail were similarly ragged and worn-looking. It also appears that queens can extend their glamours into powerful charm spells, preventing all but the most strong-willed of individuals from seeing through their deception. The actions of Chrysalis and her brood left a lasting mark on Equestrian views of Changelings in general. Since the only recent contact with changelings was during the Canterlot attack, very little is understood about changeling motives other than their overwhelming hunger for love. This hunger seems to be an intrinsic part of their culture, leading scholars to ask questions about where it came from in the first place. Due to the visibility of Chrysalis’ attack on Canterlot, It is easy to assume that changelings are malicious creatures willing to do anything it takes to acquire love, even if their methods are less than scrupulous. Still, there are some scholars who are reluctant to believe that Chrysalis and her hive should serve as a benchmark for the species. Scattered reports suggest that there are other extant hives ruled by other queens whose methods differ from those of Chrysalis and her brood. Some even say that these other changelings already walk among Equestrian ponydom today! These claims, however, are unsubstantiated and require further investigation, research, and perhaps diplomacy. - Canterlot Research Journal
  4. Hello everybody! Friendly neighborhood Dubstep here with another lore article! Now as you know most all of these are written in character to give you a general idea of what a race if like. This one however is going to be a bit different. What I’ve written here is information on the mysterious Yokai race! In Character, they’re meant to be more of a mystery, not seen super often, and so I left details on their looks vague for the most part. But this has brought up many questions for people as to the limitations for their looks, size, colouration, and other odds and ends about our mischievous spirit friends. So here I’ll be doing my best to answer some of those burning questions and give you a BIT more Out of Character insight into the workings of the Yokai! As more Yokai species come to be acknowledged, this list will be updated to the best of my ability. General Yokai Information: This information applies across all Yokai! Be sure to give this a looksee first. Magic: All yokai are capable of magic. The vast majority of Yokai are of average or above power with their magic, but some (especially elders or those who dedicate themselves, or sometimes those who are just really lucky) can expect to be quite a deal more powerful than their brethren. That being said, please be responsible just as you would with Unicorns or Qilin/Longma, don’t go Alicorn Black Stallion overboard! Colouration: When making your yokai, you may feel inclined to stick with the natural colours based on the type of animal the yokai is. I want to let you all know right now that there is No Limitation on colours that a yokai can have. If you want a Jorōgumo with the colouration of the Fruit Stripes Zebra, go for it! Markings: Just like with colouration, you’re not limited on the kinds of markings your yokai can have. They can be plain and solid coloured, or they can have many swirls or polka dots or whatever you might think of. A good inspiration for markings on yokai could come from the Okami series! Hitodama: Hitodama are magical balls of fire that yokai can summon with enough power or effort. Hitodama can, among other things, drain the energy of those close to them, mesmerize those who stare into them, change colour at a whim or by mood, and can be used to hide the Yokai’s presence for a time. Passively they don’t require much effort to keep around, but actively using their magical properties take energy proportional to the magic used. Kitsune have their own unique variant known as Kitsune-bi, which they can call upon much more easily. Natural Affinity: It’s not uncommon for Yokai’s appearances to be affected by the places that they live. Some show this off in the form of flowers growing out of places, or even their steps sometimes leaving patches of short-lived blossoms. Those that live in warmer climates can sometimes shimmer like a mirage, or those in coastal or aquatic regions can appear to be damp even when completely dry. Just as some examples. Pact Magic: Yokai can form magical pacts with mortals, bestowing the mortal a portion of their power while also increasing their own. These pacts however come with a vow or a promise of some sort that the Yokai and other part of the pact agrees to, should one break this vow, an agreed upon detriment befalls the one who broke it. Such as temporary loss of magic until reparations are made, some sort of transformation, or any number of things. Even ‘bloodline’ curses that could affect generations down the road. Vows: Vows are similar to the Pact Magic that yokai can invoke, but only require the yokai making a promise to itself. So long as they keep this promise, such as protecting an area for example, they are blessed with more power or the power to keep the promise in general. In most cases there are strict stipulations that must be kept to uphold a Vow. Should they break this vow however, they’re struck with setbacks much like they would if they broke a Pact, sometimes worse as their magic turns against them. Bakeneko/Nekomata: As mentioned in the main article, Bakeneko and Nekomata take the shape of large house cats of sorts, such as Scottish Folds, Munchkins, Tabbies, etc. How large is likely to be a question however. Without going into super full detail, the average adult size is that of a large dog, with some growing larger. But still not QUITE as large as say, a lion or a tiger. The difference between a Bakeneko and a Nekomata is small, but important. A Bakeneko is a young Nekomata, due to the difference in their power and magic levels, they’re considered to be ‘semi-separate’ despite being the same race. When a Bakeneko matures, its tail splits into two indicating it’s now a Nekomata. Most Nekomata tails glow with a ghostly sort of wisp around the tips, but not always. Both Bakeneko and Nekomata can have glowing eyes or flowing bits of fur across their bodies, but not all do. Unlike some other yokai, Bakeneko nor Nekomata develop antlers or horns. Some Bakeneko/Nekomata walk on their hindlegs, but most prefer all four. Hebi: Hebi are ghostly looking snakes. As I mentioned in the article they look as though they’re made out of mist and can shift between corporeal and incorporeal at will. Just like real life snakes they have a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Cobras, pythons, anacondas, what have you. Hebi can sometimes be seen with horns or antlers, and rarely with small feathery wings that are more for hovering or gliding than actual flight. Inugami: The Inugami are floating doggos, despite not having wings, they can fly just fine! Their head appears corporeal and can resemble that of any dog breed you can think of. Their body however is different and appears almost ghostly and stretches quite a distance. This length varies based on the Inugami of course. An Inugami based on a Whippet will be a lot longer than one based on a Corgi, but both of them will be quite longer than their mundane counterparts. Head colours and body colours don’t often match. They are capable of having horns and are often seen with glowing eyes. The most common for head colour is black and eye glow/head marking is red, but this is not always the case. Feel free to go with a different choice, especially if you feel red and black is edgy! Ha-Inu: The other half of the flying doggo brothers. Ha-Inu much more closely resemble their mundane counterparts, albeit twice their size on average, larger ‘breeds’ sometimes matching ponies in size. They sport, as mentioned, large fluffy wings that allow them flight. And while white is the most common colouration, it’s perfectly normal for them to be other colours or multiple colours as well. It’s rather uncommon for Ha-Inu to have either horns or glowing eyes, but fluffy flowy bits are fairly commonplace. Kamaitachi: The mustelid yokai covers a lot of different species (save for Badgers, we’ll get to that) such as ferrets, weasels, otters, stoats, etc. They don’t sport wings or horns, nor do they have glowing eyes. But are, like all yokai, larger in size than their counterparts. Though being so small on average already, it wouldn’t be a surprise that they could be mistaken for just large mustelids. The interesting thing with Kamaitachi is that they are always born as triplets. Though not always identical. The trio almost always sticks together, and most apps will be Three-In-One, but if you feel it’s too difficult to have a Three-In-One app (as it would require some extra effort and description) you are more than welcome to app a single Kamaitachi and possibly seek out others to play the other two. Kamaitachi walk on their hind legs just fine, but are also capable of dropping to run on all fours. Kitsune: Now most of this is likely self explanatory due to the prevalence of Kitsune in various media, but for posterity's sake, I’ll write stuff down anyway. Kitsune can resemble any sort of fox. They can have any number of tails from one to nine on average, as mentioned some especially old or especially powerful Kitsune can sometimes have ten or more. It’s not super common though, so be sure to have a good reason for it if you have more than nine! Kitsune can summon Fox-Fire Will-o-Wisps, or Kitsune-bi, at will and these magical fires can be of any colours. Other yokai are able to summon something similar, called Hitodama, but not as easily as a Kitsune can. Kitsune also have a little ball they wear around a collar on their neck. No these do not actually contain the Kitsune’s Life Force nor does it magically control them against their will. It does however have a magical tie to them, containing a watered down portion of the magic they can do and can affect them aversely the longer they are away from it, but over time a Kitsune can get through this ‘withdrawal’ and be fine without it. Though some Kitsune will still do whatever they can to get it back. Kitsune can have glowing eyes and flowing bits, but horns are extremely rare. Mujina: Mujina are great shapeshifters, much like Changelings are. They could be you or me, or Frank from accounting! But as for how they look when not disguised, Mujina resemble badgers. More often than not they walk on two legs rather than four. More often still they remain disguised. Mujina are, as with other yokai, bigger than their mundane counterparts. But in their case it’s only slightly so. Mujina don’t have wings or horns, and are rarely ever seen with glowing eyes. Mujina are also often chubby. Ōkami: The majestic Ōkami resemble wolves of course! Any kind of wolf you can think of. Nearly all Ōkami’s fur is luxurious and clean, you’d be hard pressed to find an Ōkami with a dirty or messy coat. This fur is quite often blessed by wispy or billowy portions, as are their tails or the gorgeous manes they can possess. Ōkami can possess horns, antlers, or glowing eyes, but not wings. Tanuki: Tanuki, as mentioned in the main article, are chubby raccoon or raccoon-dog like yokai! Most carry around straw hats or leaves upon their forehead. These leaves aren’t actual leaves, but rather a magical construct of sorts made by the Tanuki as a conduit for much of their magics. Tanuki very rarely have glowing eyes, but aren’t seen with horns or wings, nor do they have much billow fur. Some however are seen with two tails. Jorōgumo: The spider Yokai, as one would come to expect, can look like any sort of spider. These arachnid-like yokai range in size from ‘small dog’ to ‘average pony’ with some variation. Some have almost feline like faces, while others more closely resemble that of ponies or other races. What the faces do have in common is that they have eight eyes. Occasionally Jorōgumo will also possess mandibles in addition to any other teeth they may have. Glowing eyes are sometimes seen in Jorōgumo, but not horns/antlers or wings. Flowing bits of fur happen occasionally. Some Jorōgumo also have a more ‘taur’ like appearance, having an upper body somewhat like that of a pony or griffon attached the the body of a spider. Yosuzumi: One of the possible Yokai not listed in the main article are the Yosuzumi. Yosuzumi are bird like Yokai that can resemble a number of flight-capable birds, like crows, robins, pigeons, hawks, and many many others. These Yokai are often quite larger than their mundane counterparts, but it’s rare to see any bigger than an average pony. Glowing eyes aren’t seen in Yosuzumi, but occasionally antlers or horns are. Flowing fur is...kinda out since they have feathers, but shimmery or glowing feathers are not unheard of. Sarugami: Another unlisted Yokai are the primate-like Sarugami. Most Sarugami have a monkey-like appearance, but can have the form of other primates such as apes, orangutans, or lemurs! These Yokai are fairly tall; an adult Sarugami standing up straight can match height with that of a teenage dragon on average. Glowing eyes are possible but not super common. Their fur is usually more fluffy than flowy, but again certainly possible. Wings aren’t seen, but horns and antlers show up now and again. Smugness and challenging the Serpent Council is optional. Onikuma: The Onikuma are large bear Yokai. They’re not really bigger than their mundane counterparts, as most bears are already large enough as is. Of course, they can resemble any type of bear! Onikuma are hefty and strong despite being fairly chubby looking. It’s not a good idea to pick a fight with an Onikuma. The Onikuma also possess a magical stone from birth. These stones start of as small pebble sized rocks and grow as the Onikuma ages, as it gets bigger and the Onikuma becomes more capable with their magic, they're able to resize and reshape this stone as they see fit. Onikuma can have horns, glowing eyes, and billowing fur. Wings are exceedingly rare but not impossible. However they are not proportional to the Onikuma’s size, small enough that they cannot fly, only hover at best. Sorry, no dropbears. Katakirauwa: Katakirauwa are Pig Yokai. More specifically they resemble piglets and are about the size of such. Katakirauwa sport only one ear and leave no shadows. They’re quiet but sneaky little Yokai, often stealing things of (mostly) no consequence, then returning them the next day in odd places. Katakirauwa have little in the way of fur (fuzz at best) so no billowing coats for them, alas. Glowing eyes are common, though horns and wings are not. Some Katakirauwa keep balls (or in some cases large cherry bombs they’ve found or made) to roll around on from one place to another. Bakenezumi: Rodent like Yokai, Bakenezumi cover a wide range between tiny mice to the large capybara. The smallest Bakenezumi is still a bit bigger than an average mouse, and one based off of a capybara can sometimes get as big as a pony itself. Bakenezumi are much stronger than their (usually) small appearance lets on. Even the smallest amongst them is capable of lifting swords at least three to four times their size. Bakenezumi can have glowing eyes, billowing fur, and even horns or antlers! Gyokuto: Probably among the cuddliest looking Yokai are the Gyokuto, the rabbit Yokai! These Yokai cover the Lagomorph family, rabbits, pikas, hares, etc. Their often long ears are tufted with wispy softly glowing fur. Some Gyokuto have antlers or horns, leading them to be mistaken for Jackalopes. Other parts of their fur can be wispy and have a soft glow to them, but it’s uncommon (Not impossible) for their eyes to glow. Most Gyokuto have a soft spot for Mochi and carry around large wooden mortar and pestle to make some for themselves or travelers. Nomuyagi: Nomuyagi cover sheep and goats, as such they can cover the variety of those! From the large Suffolk Sheep to the tiny Pygmy Goat! Horns and antlers are very common among Nomuyagi. Billowing fleece isn’t quite as common but can happen, as can glowing eyes. Nomuyagi often get along quite well with Tanuki as they both share a common love of the drink. So don’t be too surprised if you see a sheep carrying a keg around on its back during a visit to the outer regions of Neighpon. Koma-Inu/Shīsā: Koma-Inu and Shīsā are two separate, regional names for the same kind of Yokai. While in real life these represent the Lion Dog guardians of temples, for our purposes these cover Large Cats as well, such as tigers, lions, and panthers. Billowing fur, especially manes, is common among them. Antlers and horns are rare but not unheard of, and glowing eyes are common. Usually Koma-Inu are born as a set of twins, one male and one female, but single births aren’t impossible. Gyūki: Gyūki are bovine Yokai, covering cows and oxen and such. Just like their mundane cousins, Gyūki are hefty and strong. Horns and antlers are commonplace amongst them. Wispy fur is not particularly common, but can happen. More often than not their tails have wispy glowing fur on the tip. Eye glow is common as well. Wings are also possible. Yokai Funfact: Yokai can't say 'Moshi moshi'! A little known fact outside of Polohomo, but a 'sure fire' way to tell if someone's more than they appear is to greet them with "Moshi moshi"! If they reply back with only "Moshi" they could very well be a Yokai in disguise.
  5. Giraffes - Friends In High Places Unyasi is a beautiful country with wide open savannas, lush forests, tall peaks, and wonderfully hospitable natives. Among them are the Giraffes. The Giraffes are the tallest race that I’ve personally had the chance to meet. Standing more than a few feet taller than myself, it’s not surprising that one would have to crane their neck to be able to look a Giraffe in the eye. These long legged and long necked natives range in color from a light tan to near black with most darker color spots across their bodies. Atop their head rest two knobby horns. Their manes, much like Ponies or the Abada that are also native to Unyasi, their manes vary in style, length, and colour. Their necks and legs aren’t the only thing surprisingly long on them either! An adult Giraffe’s tongue on average can reach eighteen to twenty inches long! Like many of the natives living in Unyasi, a majority of Giraffes live in tribes or herds. A majority of those are nomadic in nature, claiming no one spot of land as their own and are more than happy to share the bounty they harvest with those who share in kind. These tribes vary in size from that of ten to a dozen members, to some nearing the hundreds. The nomadic tribes are, as often expected, lead by a chief decided upon by the other members for the wisdom and leadership. Within a tribe there’s usually one ‘Witch Doctor’. Much like their neighbors, the Zebras and Abadas, many Giraffe tend to dabble in the ‘Natural Magicks’ such as alchemy and potion making. These Witch Doctors make many poultices and tinctures for ailing travelers or tribesmen. Also like their neighbors, they too earn cutie marks for finding their unique talent. This of course is often greatly celebrated amongst the tribe, often akin to a second birthday for them. The festivities of course are different from tribe to tribe. On average, these festivities are wrote down for posterity and passed on from generation to generation, even from tribe to tribe. The Giraffe are great fans of storytelling, always willing to share a tale for a tale, that way both sides gain knowledge they hadn’t before. In a land like Unyasi, where there’s such a variety of climate, there’s no way to really quantify any of the races that live here into one small niche. But of the Giraffes I spoke to, they were all a very genial and welcoming group. Traveling through the savanna with a small tribe, it wasn’t uncommon to come across other travelers that would sit and exchange stories with everyone while spending the evening around the campfires. So if you find yourself in Unyasi and see the warm glow of a campfire off in the distance and the sound of friendly chatter and merriment, stay awhile and listen! You might just learn a thing or two. ~Savanna Nights: A Journey Through Unyasi Ashley ‘Ash’ Ravencrest
  6. Yokai - Spirit of Mystery (Art by community artist Zeig) Yokai are a truly fascinating race. At first glance, one may think them to be an average animal, such as a fox or a cat. Some may even put on an act as such, letting curious tourists and passersby of Poninawa pet the 'darling little animal' only for said travelers to discover shortly after the precious native animal has gone, that their camera is now some how hanging in the tree behind them or that their bits have been scattered across the forest floor. In truth, average would be one of the last words to describe these mysterious and magical creatures. Virtually nothing is known about the Yokai's origins; some scholars believe them to be ancient spirits that have resided in Neighpon – and possibly the whole of the world at one point – long before ponies, others think that the Yokai are the leftovers of a prank caused by Discord that has long since been forgotten. Whatever the case may be, the Yokai aren't telling. What we do know of the Yokai are only what they allow us to know. The enigmatic species never reveals more than they want us to know and in fact will often impede scholars who attempt to delve deeper into them. It's a common belief that this is done as a way of saying that not everything in the world needs to be known and that some mysterious are better left to the imagination and wonder. Though it could be as simple as their mischievous attitudes: toying with us because it's amusing. The Yokai are a clearly magical race, capable of hiding their true forms via shape shifting or glamour, disappearing, and levitating objects at will. Rumors insist that Yokai can be just as powerful as a qilin or unicorn with magic, but any attempts to find proof of this has been met with failure. After all, the Yokai never do what we want them to do unless they want to do so anyway. But common belief dictates that they are indeed just as magical, only not to our faces. Yokai come in several different distinct forms that have been given names by the Neighponese, and judging by the fact that they've not tried to expunge any writing that calls them by these names the Yokai seem to enjoy them. The Bakeneko and Nekomata appear as large house cats with very long tails. The Bakeneko is simply a young Nekomata, the older Nekomata can be distinguished from the younger Yokai by the tip of their tail which has partially split in two. While most Yokai tend to not speak in a language that the general populace can understand (simply because they don't want to), the Bakeneko and Nekomata seem to be the most common ones to speak, or at least mimic, Neighponese. Hebi look like the ghosts of snakes or ones made of mist. Despite their appearance they are completely corporeal...When they want to be that is. As mentioned, little is known about the Yokai, and the Hebi are a prime example of this. For many years Hebi were thought to be a myth even in Poninawa. Some time ago however, during a caribou raid, several dozen Hebi swarmed onto a caribou longboat and stole away with a vast majority of their supplies and equipment while the caribou were unable to even touch the 'ghost' snakes. Inugami and Ha-inu are both dog-like Yokai but are very distinct in disposition and appearance. Inugami are long bodied, flying, dog-like Yokai, not unlike Serpent Dragons with dog-like features. Their heads are often black and are marked by intricate red designs and bright glowing red eyes. Despite their fearsome appearance they're not malicious by any means, but they are more prone to pushing pranks a bit too far, though they usually appear apologetic if things go poorly. Ha-inu appear as dogs with fluffy white wings and are possibly the most helpful Yokai. While still pranksters and tricksters by nature, there have been several stories of foals riding home on the back of a Ha-inu after having gotten lost in the forests. Kamaitachi, which are musteline Yokai, are often thought of as the ninjas of the Yokai world. Not only due to their stealthy nature, but also the fact that some literally emulate the arts of ninjas with small knives and scythes and the like, though they never seem to harm anyone. Kamaitachi are often seen in groups of three and are easily one of the strongest argument for Yokai having more magic than we might realize as there have been several reports of Poninawa citizens seeing Kamaitachi casting wind magics. Kitsune are quite likely the most well known among the Yokai. These multi-tailed fox-like Yokai are often seen sporting five, seven, or nine tails although some may have more or less. While the Kamaitachi are a strong source of evidence that the Yokai secretly have strong magic, the Kitsune would all but confirm it if we could find solid proof. At the very least it's obvious that these keen eyed tricksters are master shapeshifters and cunning masters of sleight of paw. Unique to Kitsune are two interesting things, the first is their Kitsune-bi, or fox-fire, wisps of magic fire akin to will o' the wisps that they can summon at will. While other Yokai have shown this ability, Kitsune are the most common practitioners. The second is a small ball worn around a collar on their neck. Rumour has it that this ball, often adorned with a little star on it, contains the life force of the Kitsune and that if someone holds it they can control them. Whether this is true or not is unknown, but when stolen a Kitsune will often go to any means to get it back. Mujina, badger like Yokai, are another of the great shapeshifters of the Yokai. Much like the Hebi, little is known about the Mujina as often times you don't know you're faced with one until they decide to drop their illusion years later and run off to likely prank another unsuspecting soul. Some say that Mujina are able to disguise themselves as other Yokai and even cast mild hypnosis. Ōkami are wolf like Yokai with thick, luxurious fur that is oft times long and billows gently even without a breeze, giving them a beautiful and majestic appearance. Ōkami are possibly the rarest Yokai, perhaps due in part to their pelts being sought out by poachers in years long past. Though if their numbers have dwindled or they have simply become more reclusive is, as with many things about the Yokai, unknown. Ōkami are also said to be the strongest of Yokai and stories often speak of them defending those in need when lost in the woods or mountains. Nowadays it's seen as a blessing to see an Ōkami even for a brief glimpse. Tanuki are another of the more well known Yokai, chubby raccoon like Yokai often wearing straw hats or leaves on their foreheads and carrying bottles of sake, Tanuki are often called lovably hedonistic. Their love for food, drink, and companionship is well known across Neighpon. While they too are masters of shapeshifting, just like the Kitsune and Mujina, they're exceptionally good at turning themselves into inanimate objects, such as tea-kettles. Another trick they're infamous for is disguising plain, useless leaves as money and giving it to the unaware, only for it to turn back to leaves as they go to use it. Due to their reputation as cheerful and benevolent rogues, many shops in Poninawa and beyond may have statues of these little guys sitting in their storefront. Be careful though, you never know when one may be the real deal in disguise. Jorōgumo are the Spider Yokai. While thoughts of a spider ranging in size from that of a small dog to a pony would probably scare the colour out of most travelers, the Jorōgumo are not nearly as frightening as actual spiders. Their faces, while still having eight eyes, are slender and almost tiger like in nature, and their orange and black colouration adds to this. While the Yokai as a whole are not remotely a malevolent race, some stories have told of Jorōgumo siding with the wicked for long periods of time, causing their own brand of strife, if only to later betray the evil they were 'sided' with. A long web of deceit, one might say. All in all, this race of strange and wonderful creatures is a great representation of our world. That no matter how long we live or how much we study, never will we know everything, nor should we. Without that sense of mystery and wonder to drive us to learn more, we would grow complacent and never journey beyond the horizon. And bare in mind, these listed here only represent a few of the kinds of Yokai out there! Don't be surprised if you happen to run into something unexpected...or do, they like it that way after all! ~Compendium of Curious Creatures Ashley 'Ash' Ravencrest
  7. Chamroshes - Griffonkind's Unique and Illusive Kin (Art by community artist Zeig) Chamroshes are a rare intelligent species closely related to griffons, with the head and wings of a raptor but with the body of any variety of wolf or dog. Emphasizing their resemblance to griffonkind, they are often widely and popularly referred to by the alternate name of cynogriffons, which most are happy to accept. They vary in color, shape and size just as griffons do and are in fact often times very easily mistaken for griffons. The average chamrosh is smaller than the average griffon, being about comparable in size to a large stallion. Despite this, they are very often as physically capable as or more physically capable than their griffon cousins, but are often said to have less stamina, exhausting themselves with greater ease. Chamroshes are not native to the continent, hailing from across the Reintight sea in a land far to the west beyond the deserts of Saddle Arabia. Only small numbers have reached our shores, almost all of which have settled within Aquellia's borders where they blend in with greater ease. They are known to prefer making their homes in wooded areas and among the mountains as opposed to in the larger griffon cities. The greatest populations of charmoshes on the continent can be found in the forests just off the Clopton Shores and high in the Talonclaw and Tarpan Mountains. Though closely related to griffons and even able to interbreed with them, producing either griffon or charmosh offspring, charmoshes are known to be quite different culturally. They are known to be more in tune with the natural world than griffons and are more at home living simple and rugged lives than they are in modern cities. They have a keen respect for ponykind, who with their magics are able to direct nature, but are generally content to live apart from both ponies and griffons in small familial packs in the wilderness. They are very proud creatures, as griffons are, but value collective strength more than they do individual strength. The average chamrosh believes that none in the pack should ever be forced to stand alone and resents those who call undue attention to their accomplishments. Chamroshes also value the use of cunning and intelligence to solve problems, as opposed to resorting first to physical strength. Their philosophies dictate that violence should be used sparingly, and never against other intelligent beings, save to protect one's self or others. Confrontation with other species is thus something they actively seek to avoid, though when pushed they can prove especially ruthless. They are perhaps more aggressive carnivores than their griffon cousins, and are regarded as incredibly ferocious hunters, a good sized chamrosh pack working together in harmony even able to subdue hydras and other large feral beasts. ~Canterlot Research Journal
  8. A Pony's Farm Friends - Common Intelligent Ungulates Who Have Happy Homes on Equestria's Farms The many farms of Equestria offer the perfect opportunity for a number of other intelligent hoofed mammals to live in harmony with us ponies. In return for various useful resources we can get from them, such as milk and wool, these friends are given space to live content lives, safe from the dangerous creatures that lurk in the wildernesses across the land. The most common such creatures are cows, sheep and goats. Cattle - Cows are perhaps the hooved friends most common and most associated with Equestria's farm. They are larger and stockier than ponies and posses distinctive horns and often have spotted coats. They are plentiful in Equestria, which is good because female cattle are capable of producing great quantities of refreshing milk. Farmers throughout Equestria are happy to keep cows around for their milk, which is harvested and sold across the continent in grocery stores and markets and sometimes made into cheese. Cows are typically very friendly and talkative, but can be quite docile and easily frightened; when one is scared, they are known to start stampedes. Male cattle are called bulls and are generally tougher than the females both physically and in terms of demeanor, though are known to be even more stubborn and likely to act recklessly. Bulls are often valued by ponies for their strength, and often help us by pulling our carts. Cattle are said to be closely related to the buffalo who inhabit the western stretches of Equestria. Cattle also bear strong resemblance to minotaurs, leading some to believe there might be a connection between the two. Sheep - Sheep are also common across Equestria's farms. Sheep are shorter and smaller than ponies, and their bodies are covered in a distinctive thick white wool. This wool is what sheep give us in exchange for being able to live on our farms; it is very warm and soft, making it perfect for making into fabric which ponies can make into clothing. Sheep also produce some milk, which some farmers will gather and use as they do cow's milk. Male sheep are called rams, while the females are known as ewes and the children lambs. Due to their slow manner of speech, sheep are sometimes seen by ponies as not being very smart, despite being able to converse freely, though this is not always the case. Some sheep posess large horns on the sides of their head and can be quite strong. Following the return of the Crystal Empire, a lost variety of sheep has been rediscovered which bears wool of many bright colors and is less than half the size of the sheep of Equestria. This strange breed is not capable of speech as other sheep are. Goats - Goats are closely related to sheep, but generally somewhat larger and taller. Most posses horns on the top of their head, that sometimes grow rather large. They are not as commonly found on farms as most varieties do not possess the useful wool that sheep do. Not having quite as much to offer, goats often have to find employ elsewhere in Equestria working odd jobs. Some farmers do keep them however, making use of their milk and their work. Male goats are called billies while females are called nannies and the children are known as kids. Goats are known to prefer using nonverbal communication whenever is possible and are able to communicate effectively with one another through simple bleats. Despite this, they are fully capable of speaking when they need to and are often fairly smart. ~ The Everyday Wonders of Equestria: A Brief Guide to Common Places, Creatures and Things for Fillies and Colts of All Ages
  9. Sea Serpents - The Rulers of the Deep There is much debate regarding the powerful and imposing creatures known as sea serpents. Many scholars consider them to be simply a variety of dragon while others believe they are distinct unto themselves, the similarities between the two being mostly superficial. What is clear is that, like their possible kin the dragons, sea serpents are a type of creature of which ponykind still knows staggeringly little. Sea serpents are rare to see, their homes hidden underwater, and every bit as large, threatening and difficult to attain information from as dragons are. Like with dragons, researchers have been forced to rely heavily on conjecture based on what can be immediately observed. Sea serpents are, like dragons, reptilian in appearance and covered with razor sharp scales. They grow to similar sizes as dragons, towering over ponies and most pony built structures and are thought to be similarly long-lived. The general shape of sea serpents differs considerably from that of most dragons, however. As their name suggests, their shape is comparable more to that of a snake than other reptiles, with very long, serpentine bodies; unlike snakes however, they still posses working limbs, notably their clawed arms. Their general appearance is thought to vary widely, but often includes full manes of hair in addition to their scales, fins and spines. Though their name might suggest that they live only in Equestria's seas, sea serpents in fact are known to make use of all of Equestria's waters deep enough for them, whether fresh water or salt. In addition to all of the seas surrounding the continent, sea serpents have been spotted in the Great Nimbusgait Lakes, the swamplands of Aquellia and in most of Equestria's major rivers. Despite all the sightings, based on the lack of meaningful interactions ponies have had with them, sea serpents are still thought to be quite rare--though ponykind really has no way of knowing for sure given most likely live deep underwater. Given this choice of theirs to make homes below water, even less is known about sea serpents than their apparent land based counterparts in terms of society and manner of living. Sea serpents, like dragons, are an intelligent species, fully capable of speech. They are not known to form hoards of treasure as dragons do, though it could just be none have yet been discovered. It is unknown if they are effected by greed as dragons are. While every bit as powerful and imposing creatures as dragons, from what contact we have had with adults, sea serpents do not appear to be quite as difficult or antisocial as adult dragons almost invariably are. Though other large serpent like beasts are known to exist in and out of Equestria's waters, such as the multi-headed hydra and the quarry eels, only the sea serpents appear to be fully intelligent. ~Canterlot Research Journal
  10. Buffalo - Nomads of the Plain Buffalo are typically nomadic tribes as part of a larger community. Most buffalo tribes do not communicate with their other tribes other than for the occasional trade. Some smaller tribes have settled and become farmers, but for the most part they are nomadic gatherers who give back what they take from the land. Those tribes that are still nomadic usually have traditional paths known as “stampeding grounds,” that they have used for many generations. The structure of the tribe is very simple with a chieftain sitting at the top. The position is often passed down in lineage. The other positions of the tribe are often built upon tradition, there are those that are in charge of history and stories, maintaining camp, and naturally gathering and replanting the food they had gathered after. There are also craft based jobs, such as pottery and headdress makers, as well as the food preparers. The buffalo believe very strongly in the land, and whatever they take they put back. They are also very peaceful, choosing to often discuss their problems if the opportunity presents itself rather than take any other action. But let's talk about the buffalo themselves. like their habits what they are like and their special attributes. Buffalo are in general very stocky and muscular with horns for both males and females, though the males tend to be bigger and have bigger horns. It should be noted that buffalo calves do not have horns but they start to develop when they reach adolescence. But one shouldn’t let their size mislead, they tend to be very agile and very fast, which may surprise most ponyfolk. One could hypothesize that it is due to their natural lifestyle and constant moving about. They also sometimes wear traditional face paints and feathered headdresses (though more often the feathered headdress, with the chieftain wearing usually a more elaborate headdress). Their coats aren’t as extravagant as pony coats either. They are very rough and rugged looking, often being earthy colors, rather than colorful pastels. Their coats also get longer and more shaggy in winter months. Overall the buffalo have a rich and vibrant culture that is heavily tied to the land they live off of. The land provides for them and in turn, they protect the land. To them, family, the tribe and the land are all held in high regard and all three are treated with the utmost respect and care. ~Encyclopedia Equestria
  11. Diamond Dogs - Equestria's Stalwart Miners Diamond Dogs are rather interesting and unique creatures with features much like those of an ordinary canine, but which stand on two legs and are fully capable of speech. These creatures tend to live in dense camps in gem rich areas, sometimes staying there for years upon years, still mining in areas that their great grandparents had been mining in, only leaving when every last gem, ore, and coal has been removed from the land.Then and only then will the Diamond Dogs move on to a new area, but not before filling in their tunnels and making sure to plant trees, or whatever fauna is indigenous to the area so that the land can heal from their work. Diamond Dogs are almost always found in packs, but what they are actually like varies from pack to pack. Some packs are as big as three youngsters going off on their own, while other times a pack is a rather large group, all working together for the good of the group. An Alpha is usually always in charge, and can vary from pack to pack, usually by showing superior skill in areas that pack particularly values, be it strength and brawn, or craftiness and wit. The Alpha, be they male or female, normally shows these skills via their work ethics and is picked by the whole pack to lead them. An Alpha oversees the pack, planning places to mine, scouting them first, and in general makes sure the pack is happy and healthy. Being born to an Alpha does not assure that their pups will be given the same title. Gems are a valuable resource to the Diamond Dogs but they are not the only thing that they pursue in the mines--they also go after ores and coal to power their cities. Mostly they rely on steam and coal burning for energy, which they use for cooking, powering wind mills for flour grinding, and whatever else they need, the same way ponies rely on magic. Gems however are the bread and the butter, being used for trading, tool making, and even crafts. Young diamond dogs might display their most prized gems in a collar around their neck as a display of their findings, and mining prowess; Diamond Dogs prize gems for their beauty but also for their strength. Some clans only use diamond tipped pickaxes and spears because diamonds don’t break and last a extremely long time; some might even be using a diamond tipped pickax given to them that has been passed down for generations. Hunting and gathering is a crucial skill for any Diamond Dog worth their gems to have, since EVERYONE needs to contribute to the pack to make sure they are all healthy and happy, thus capable of doing even more work. Their diets, being omnivores, is rather diverse, and like the Diamond Dogs can vary from region to region. Some that live more near the coastal side of Equestria might live off a diet of fish and crustaceans, while those that live in packs in dense forests might survive off of produce they can forage or grow themselves due to the dense and diverse vegetation. ~Encyclopedia Equestria
  12. The Northern Pegasus is an offshoot of the Equestrian(Mainland) Pegasus, whose wings, over time, evolved to fly faster, due to co-evolution with the Northern Griffons. This evolution has caused the Northern Pegasus' wings to elongate and sharpen, and their forms to become more petite. With less mass, it is easier for the wings to pick up speed, even at low altitudes. Their maximum velocity can near that of the Sonic Rainboom, albeit this can only be reached in extremely high altitudes(nearing the upper atmosphere), where this kind of flight cannot be maintained for long, or else it is a risk for the pony's life. This extreme speed has created a culture built around being the fastest (Rainbow Dash's idea of heaven?), with constant tournaments, and challenges of speed and endurance. It seems that these pegasi were bred to race. Hey, everypony, and site admins(who I'm aiming this thread at). Pinstripe here, with an idea for a new species for use in Canterlot Chronicles, or WoE. The point of this thread is to see if people like the idea of a falcon-like pegasus, instead of the normal, what I assume to be "eagle-like" pegasus. If you have any ideas for improving this species, please feel free to post! I'm always up for constructive criticism.
  13. Donkeys & Mules - Bastions of Perseverance Surprisingly enough, some of Equestria’s most unique denizens happen to be some of the more seemingly dullish-looking. Like other equines, donkeys share the same common ancestor as ponies, but donkeys became evolutionally sundered from ponykind long ago in the mists of prehistoric time. Most donkeys don’t actually live in the Equestrian heartland, but they constitute a sizable minority in that realm, and are capable of achieving great prosperity there as well. A donkey is a stout creature, on average slightly larger than a typical pony. Donkeys are distinguished from their pony brethren with duller and tougher coats, more pronounced snouts, and long stems for tails with hair only growing on the tips. While donkeys don’t possess any particular magic and are incapable of receiving cutie marks, their physical strength and endurance frequently rivals that of sturdy earth ponies. Finally, donkeys are naturally inclined to more solitary lifestyles than ponies; this doesn’t mean they are antisocial as a whole, but they don’t tend to herd up in large settlements like more communal species do. All of these adaptations help donkeys thrive in desert areas, where resources are scarce and conditions are harsh. Even though donkeys are a distinct species, they are capable of producing foals with other ponies. Such an hybrid offspring is called a mule, which shares many physical characteristics with a donkey but is more predisposed to the herd-like behavior characteristic of ponies. On very rare occasions, a foal conceived by a donkey and pony is what’s known as a hinny; except for slightly longer ears, it is essentially a pony in every possible way, even down to having a cutie mark. For generations now, most of Equestria’s donkeys live on homesteads scattered throughout the Roughrider Ridge and the overland routes between Equestria and Aquellia. As donkeys and mules can withstand the extreme temperatures of these areas better than even earth ponies can, they comprise a vital economic backbone of the entire western frontier. But even though these tough equines reap great rewards as they construct railroads through the desert or mine in the mountains outside Bareback Gulch, many donkeys these days are choosing more relaxed ways of life in the lush Heartland and Foothills of Equestria. Thus, donkeys and mules are swiftly losing their reputation as excessively stubborn folk as they intermingle more and more with ponykind..... ~Encyclopedia Equestria
  14. Minotaur - The King Bulls If a pony were to read an old storybook about the mighty Minotaur, they would find tales about guardians of treasure and knowledge. They stand vigilant and uncompromising against adventurers and travelers alike, smoke emitting from their nostrils and eyes bright with fury. They are depicted in an almost evil light, though in reality, Equestria's Minotaurs are more neutral in disposition. Their aggressive nature usually tends to come out to outside races only in instances of territory defense, or a direct challenge of strength. They can be found in the mountainous areas of the Forest of Leota, though they generally tend to stay confined to that area. These rugged creatures have a tribal affinity, often spread throughout villages and commutes as different 'herds'. They are isolationists by nature, and extremely territorial. Most Minotaurs make their living accomplishing various tasks for the good of the tribe, such as maintaining shelters, foraging, mining and forging. The physiology of a Minotaur is consistent with ancient lore: The head of a bull and a bipedal body. They have hands much the same as monkeys do, their appendages made for fine motor movement and manipulation of objects. The primary distinction between a male and female Minotaur is the head: Males will have more pronounced horns and broader shape than their female counterparts. Females will have more pronounced chest and hip regions. The height difference between the two is often negligible. Save for appearance, there does not seem to be much difference between male and female Minotaurs in terms of their representation in their society, both genders filling all billets and jobs. The Minotaurs, while self-sufficient, can still be seen as crude and barbaric. The semi-literate mountain-folk have some speech capabilities in more educated villages. Of most recorded encounters, minotaurs are able to communicate on a basic level. For instance, many will use simple words and/or speak in the third person. It is rare for Minotaurs to have an academic interest, however these few are often kept as advisors and archivists for larger tribes. These are the most likely to be literate and open to communication with outside creatures. They are an aggressive race, and have more respect for tests of might rather than words or wisdom. Incredibly territorial, however they will often be hesitant to attack more peaceful creatures such as ponies or woodland creatures, quite simply because they see no challenge in them. They are more apt to contest amongst their own people, or a more aggressive race (such as Diamond Dogs). For example, the leaders of tribes are often selected by a show of force and prowess, a prospect challenging the current leader and his/her cadre of advisors in a last-Minotaur-standing wrestling match. Another example would be a Minotaur's right of passage into adulthood, where he/she is given minimal supplies and sent into the mountains to live on his/her own. While on this journey, they must often call upon skills and survival methods picked up in childhood, such as preparing food, fighting sickness, building shelters, tracking, navigation, and self defense. Once they complete this one-month rite of passage, they are welcomed back into the tribe with open arms, reveling in the stories the young Minotaur has to share. It is often commemorated with a great feast. Should a Minotaur give up or return too soon, they can sometimes be banished by their tribe leader, though it varies from place to place. Should a Minotaur not return from their journey at all, they are assumed lost to the mountains. Minotaurs can often be found in the fearsome regions of the Knight's Peak, though these Minotaurs are often tribe warriors tasked with defending their homes. That, or they are a young Minotaur on their rite of passage. It is highly unusual for Minotaurs to venture into those dangerous regions, or anywhere else in Equestria, for any reason, though every rule has its exceptions. If a pony should encounter these creatures, one should keep an open mind and not be offended by their assertive nature. If a pony is thinking of venturing into their domain, they should keep in mind the territorial behavior of these creatures and plan accordingly. ~Equestrian Bestiary Vol. VII
  15. Unicorns - Masters of Magic When most beings think of magical creatures, a unicorn will likely be the very first thing to crop up in their minds. While other ponies enjoy the gift of subtle magic abilities, unicorns differ in their ability to actively cast spells. As with pegasi and earth ponies, Equestria couldn’t exist without the efforts of unicorns to follow their chosen destinies and embrace friendship. As its name suggests, a unicorn’s distinguishing feature is the single horn protruding from its forehead. This protrusion, made mostly of bone surrounded by a thin coat, is what enables these ponies to perform all sorts of magical feats. Other than the horn, unicorns share the same basic type of equine body with their earth pony and pegasus brethren. Despite the allure of unicorn magic, it is perhaps the hardest type of innate magic for a pony to master. While the occasional foal experiences magic surges where they can cast incredible spells without any prior training, practically all older fillies and colts have to relearn basic spellcasting through specialized instruction, such as at a magic kindergarten. All children that graduate from magic kindergarten can be expected to perform simple telekinesis spells. To what further extent that a unicorn develops their magic gifts can vary drastically among individual ponies. Sheer will is not enough to successfully summon a spell; it takes both a knowledge of applicable scientific principles and constant practice to master a single act of magic. Therefore, the vast majority of unicorns don’t have the opportunity to learn any spells other than the ones necessary in their desired purpose in life. It takes a very unique and rare type of pony, one with an extremely studious mind and an insatiable desire to practice magic, to have the aptitude for advanced magical studies. While far from being a rarity, unicorns are the least numerous in number of the three main types of ponies. The one place in Equestria where they constitute a majority is Canterlot, the royal capital of the realm. Sizable populations also exist in the other major population centers; these communities being large enough to host magic kindergartens for unicorn children to attend. In places where basic spellcasting education is hard to come by, most unicorn families are rightfully reluctant to move to..... ~Encyclopedia Equestria
  16. Hippocamps - Equus Hippocampus Physiologically, Hippocamps are a fair bit longer than their terrestrial cousins, though that is mostly due to their long, flexible piscene tails, boasting a chest, forelegs and hooves similar to those of the common pony, as well as a similar neck and cranial structure, though their eyes are generally more sensitive to light, and their ears less capable of mobility than their land-cousins. Many Hippocamps also boast gills along the sides of their necks, allowing them to stay underwater almost indefinitely. However, like their earth and sky-bound relatives, they still boast colorful seal-like coats, manes, and cutie marks. Hippocamps are largely known to be a vivacious lot, full of playful energy, curiosity and whimsy. Living either in small communities or in families, they roam the oceans as they like, living anywhere that happens to suit their fancy. Though they lack the magical prowess of unicorns, the climate control of the pegasi, or the dexterity of the gryphons, they are nevertheless largely happy and content with their lifestyles - with, of course, the occasional exception. Just as Earth ponies, Pegasi and Unicorns each have their own realm of expertise, Hippocamps have some capacity to both empathize and communicate with other aquatic life. Their voices able to emulate a great many oceanic mammals with practice, and can do so to effectively communicate with each other and with other intelligent sea creatures. It is not uncommon to hear a Hippocamp emulate dolphins, seals, or even whales whenever the mood might strike them. Being a largely nomadic culture, usually only settling briefly to raise young, most Hippocamps lack access to technology of their distant earth-pony cousins, much less that forged by unicorn or gryphon. As such, the passing of a sea-faring vessel is always cause for more curious Hippocamps to surface and inspect the wonders passing by. Rather than relying on construction, civil services or trade, many instead make their living not by innovation, but by exploration and improvisation. Given their taste for oceanic vegetation, of which great abundance can be found, it is fairly easy for even a lackadaisical, wayward Hippocamp to keep herself fed. Finance and commerce are generally not as important to Hippocamps as they are to their land-bound relatives. Although the nature of a saltwater habitat isn't particularly easy on items of value, there is still much in the way of art to be found throughout Hippocamp culture. Although paints and parchments are rather fragile and difficult to preserve underwater, the art of mosaics, sculptures, and contained swirls of color still exist. Much of what art exists underwater is vibrant and cheery, there to keep spirits afloat amidst the depths and dark stormy days. Not that all sea-mosaic art must be cheerful, but the majority of it remains so nonetheless. As for music, much of Hippocamp performance relies on percussive instruments. Though a few undersea heat vents allow for the shaping of metals, only a small collection of steel drums, chimes and tubular bells exist, often kept under public ownership by schools and amphibiatheatres. There have been some experimental adaptations of land instruments, but very few have managed to last for more than a few years even with nearly constant maintenance in the salty seawater. As for Hippocamp history, that remains yet unexplored; not being one of the major land-races of Equestria, their part in history remains largely unwritten in Celestia's historical vaults, or even their own. Hippocamps on the whole don't keep very many records of their history or transactions, having to rely on carving and embossed scrolls in order to keep anything written down for more than a few days. Land-made paper and parchments don't really work underwater, after all, and ink is washed away by seawater over time. However, there are rumors of stashes of history and Hippocamp diaries being hidden away on secret shores. That which is important is carved or carefully assembled by those of talent and patience, but the majority of Hippocamps leave very little writing in their wake, leaving Hippocamp history largely kept by oral storytellers with legends passed from generation to generation. ~Richard Canterborough, Blue Planet
  17. Griffons - Fierce and Proud Heirs to Aquilos Griffons are predatory creatures sporting a raptor’s head, wings, and talons, and a great cat's body. Their plumage color is as varied as the ponies that inhabit Equestria and their feather patterning and body types take on all shapes and sizes of predatory birds and great cats, respectively. They are generally larger and stronger than most ponies and can manipulate objects finely with their talons. Though griffons can walk on their hind paws bipedally, they prefer to walk on all fours or take wing when given the option. Griffon culture values independence and self-sufficiency as well as fostering intense loyalty for close friends and family. Their great emphasis on strength of body, mind, and will leads many fledgeling griffons to venture forth to test themselves against all the world has to offer. These “pilgrimages” can come in many forms. Some fledglings take up travel across the sea by wing and airship. Others travel more domestically, crossing the Equestrian continent on journeys of self-discovery. There is no set time or objective for a griffon pilgrimage nor is there a requirement to return home afterwards. Thus, though their ancestral homeland lies in the canyons, griffons can be found all across Equestria. Some might see them as mean-spirited, rude, or arrogant, but that is mostly the product of ingrained familial attitudes that respect and reward strength and directness, whether it be in contests of will or contests of brawn. A griffon will rarely back down from a confrontation, even if it means certain defeat. To be beaten in a fair contest is preferable to giving up without a fight. Most Griffons will go out of their way to prove a point, though by the same token they will rarely ever escalate to outright physical violence. Griffons have little use for niceties and pleasantries. To ponies who are used to dealing with other Equestrians, Griffons may seem cold and aloof at best and aggressive and hostile at worst. However, if treated with respect and shown that the pony they are dealing with is worthy of being treated as an equal, the average Griffon will quickly warm up to their host. Griffon families are usually close-knit units and anyone who has befriended a griffon can attest to their fierce loyalty and the great pride they take in their friendships. Those who are strong and loyal enough to gain a griffon as one of their closest friends will find themselves accorded the same stature as a blood brother or sister. Strangers, however, often have their work cut out for them. Though carnivorous by nature, modern griffons have grown to be omnivores, consuming both meat and vegetable and grain derivatives. Their primary subsistence foodstuff is fish, which is supplemented by grain products and fruit. Accepted spelling variants in Common: Gryphon, Griffon, Griffin. ~Encyclopedia Equestria
  18. Dragons - The Fearsome and Mysterious On the subject of dragons many researchers are surprised to find just how little ponykind conclusively knows. Acquiring reliable information on the subject is, by observation, exceedingly difficult as dragons on a whole tend to be too proud and too generally uncooperative to lend themselves to pony research, even for the rare pony bold enough to ignore the obvious dangers of approaching one. As such, most of the currently known information regarding the species is observational and based almost entirely on conjecture. All the same, there is still much about dragonkind that is immediately apparent. Dragons are a moderately rare species of sentient, intelligent reptilian beings known to be incredibly long lived--though the exact extent of their lifespan is unknown. They are born from eggs, and when first born no larger than a newborn foal. They are known to grow quickly, however, and the vast majority of known dragons are considerably larger than any pony. At the largest observed, dragons are known to tower high over trees and buildings, though the limits to just how large they can grow are presently unknown. According to wisdom passed to pony scholars from zebra sages, dragon growth is in at least some capacity tied to their propensities for greed. It is said that even dragons young in years can grow considerably and quite spontaneously with the onset of intense greed. It is believed that this is only one component of their growth, however, and that dragons can grow large gradually from age as well. Dragons vary greatly not only in size but also in shape. Pony researchers have in general made no real effort to classify dragons by shape, as significant biological differences between them would be near impossible to determine. The one distinction that is made, as it is clearly apparent, is the presence or absence of wings. Dragons thus tend to be grouped into two distinct categories: winged sky dragons and wingless earth dragons. Due to some similarities in appearance and physical characteristics, some researchers consider sea serpents as a third category of dragon, which they dub sea dragons, though others believe they should be classified separately. Aside from the presence or absence of wings, sky and earth dragons are thought to be quite similar though earth dragons seem to be rarer. Some argue that this is only because sky dragons are more visible due to flight, however. Incredibly formidable creatures, few creatures are known to exist which could ever hope of matching a dragon in power. Even excusing their generally immense size, a dragon's weapons are manifold. Their claws are impossibly sharp, capable of cutting through most known materials with ease while their teeth are thought to be somehow sharper still. Dragons can also breathe flames at will and their rock hard scales make them virtually impervious to the elements or anything that might mean them harm. Dragons are believed to be capable of eating and digesting virtually anything they come across, but, luckily for ponykind, precious gems seem to be their preferred food. Dragons generally live in the more mountainous regions of the world. The Badlands Region north of Aquellia and Equestria seem to have more dragons than most regions, though dragons have been spotted everywhere from the Raptorclaw Canyons to the Roughrider Ridge and Unysasi's Mwamba. Though intelligent and perfectly capable of conversation, as creature prone to intense greed, most larger dragons elect to live in isolation, keeping hoards and sleeping for decades or even centuries at a time. As such there is not a dragon society in any real sense, though they are known to congregate at times together--the most notable such occasion being the Great Migration, an event which occurs every few years in which sky dragons flock to the Dragon's Peak Region north of the Roughrider Ridge. Events like the Great Migration are thought to be especially important for teen and young adult dragons who have not given completely into greed yet and still choose to form social groups with each other. ~Canterlot Research Journal
  19. Pegasi - Citizens of the Clouds Since time immemorial, the pegasi of Equestria have fashioned lives of plenty up in the sky above. Gifted with the ability to control the weather, these winged equines are indispensable in preventing the worst ravages of Mother Nature from afflicting the rest of ponykind. Those among this kind who embrace love and friendship in their lives may find that countless other opportunities await them too, as with earth ponies and unicorns. Anatomy-wise, what stands a pegasus apart from other types of ponies are of course, their wings. Thanks to their small pastel-colored bodies, pegasi can outfly all other intelligent creatures who fly in the air, especially griffons and the even larger dragons. Yet aside from their wings, these magnificent ponies share the exact same equine forms as their unicorn and earth pony compatriots; bones, organs, and all. From a curiously glance then, pegasi wings ought to be too small to allow such ponies to be capable of flight. That’s where the innate magic of pegasi comes in. It does far more than give such ponies the capability to fly with technically undersized wings; pegasi magic allows them to interact with water vapor itself. Using this gift, an individual pegasus can make clouds, walk on them as if they were terra firma, and even command a mass of droplets to fall as rain. When working together in groups, pegasi can do even more extraordinary things including directing rainstorms and harvesting massive quantities of water from lakes and oceans. Of course, just because one has aptitude for sky magic doesn't mean one immediately understands how to fly. There have been instances of some pegasi foals experiencing drastic periods of exceptional flying ability, but such incidents always pass once they grow a little older. For a pegasus filly or colt who lives up in the clouds, attendance in flight school is all but mandatory if they don't want to constantly fear dropping out of the clouds. Under careful adult supervision, these children come to learn the basics of flight along with weather control. Even those families who live on the ground strive hard to educate their offspring on flying, even if the parents have to teach this themselves. The good majority of pegasi live in airborne cities such as Cloudsdale and Las Pegasus, for while these winged ponies can live reasonably well on the ground if needed, there’s a certain satisfaction in sleeping on cloud beds and gazing upon the beautiful landscape below. Smaller communities of pegasi live elsewhere throughout Equestria, especially in industrialized cities and settlements that depend on weather teams for local climate management. Typically though, pegasi are rarer the further one travels away from a cloud city..... ~Encyclopedia Equestria
  20. Hippogriffs - A Symbol of Amity Between Disparate Kinds Part pony and part griffon, the hippogriff is a unique species that has been found in Equestria for well over a millennium. As the early pony tribes migrated southward to flee the wrath of the windigos and settle what would come to be known as Equestria they invariably would come to encounter the Aquellian griffons inhabiting the western edge of the continent. Initial encounters between the two were often precarious--the gentle and peace loving ponies finding themselves at odds with the proud and fierce griffon hunters. Yet, the two races, both intelligent and neither malevolent, would other times find a way to put aside their differences and act for their mutual accord. On rare occasion, this rapport between the two would lead to further mingling between these differing species. The first hippogriffs came about as an inevitable result. A hippogriff has similarities in appearance to a griffon, possessing powerful beaks, talon-like claws on their forelegs and strong wings to support flight. Unlike griffons, however, the back half of a hippogriff is indistinguishable from that of a pony, bearing hooves on the hind legs and a pony's distinctive tail. With their pony halves, hippogriffs are generally faster runners than griffons, with far greater land stamina. Generally larger, heavier and less aerodynamic than griffons, however, they typically are somewhat slower at flight. Hippogriffs are also generally more docile, congenial creatures than griffons, finding it much easier to live in pony dominated cities. While omnivorous just as griffons are, hippogriffs are exceedingly more likely to subsist on a diet with no or little meat. It is common for them to go along with the common eating habits of wherever they call home. Any species of pony may breed with a griffon to produce a hippogriff, with no notable differences being discerned in the resulting offspring. While hippogriffs may breed with each other, the hippogriff is still mostly thought of as a crossbred species. They are generally accepted by both pony and griffon kind, and as such are able to live full and happy lives within both Equestria and Aquellia's borders. There are no known major, predominantly hippogriff settlements, but large populations of hippogriffs can naturally be found in cities and towns where pony and griffon contact is at its greatest. Beakbreak city, Rockwington and Stalliongrad specifically are thought to have the greatest hippogriff populations, but as populations continue to move and expand, hippogriffs have come to inhabit major population centers all across the continent. ~Encyclopedia Equestria
  21. Earth Ponies - The Stewards of the Land Among the three main types of ponies inhabiting the great land of Equestria, none are more plentiful than the earth ponies. It is said that these folk have a way of bonding with the land, and thus rank among the most skilled farmers in the wide world. While the feuding pony tribes of the Pre-Classical Era did depend on the earth ponies to grow their food, the earth ponies of today live in a harmonious environment conductive to the development of countless talents. On the surface, it would appear that there isn’t much to say about an earth pony’s anatomy. Earth ponies exhibit a general body type shared by their pegasi and unicorn cousins; a diminutively-sized equine body accompanied by pastel-colored coats and tails. Indeed these three types of ponies cannot be regarded as distinct species, for biological similarities enable the three groups to interbreed at will. In fact, there have been infrequent occurrences of earth pony offspring conceived without any earth parent pony at all. But even though the three types of ponies share the same body type, earth ponies are on average more physically fit than their counterparts. Without wings to get around, earth ponies feature stronger legs than pegasi, and so they typically gallop faster and longer than their winged cousins. Additionally, earth ponies over time have developed a superior ability to push, pull, and carry heavy objects on their own to make up for the absence of spellcasting magic. With extremely few exceptions, earth ponies are more than capable of accomplishing anything they set their heart to without assistance from wings or spells. Like other ponies, earth ponies possess a distinct form of magic. Traditionally, this special magic manifested itself as a gift for growing plants. Anypony can grow a plant with love and care, but earth ponies alone have the ability to make things that grow more productive. Most plants tended to by earth ponies will somehow always bloom precisely on schedule and provide the tastiest fruits and vegetables possible. As typical of how all ponies develop an unique specialized talent, this “bonding” ability of earth ponies who farm is limited to one type of plant; ie. flowers, carrots, wheat, trees, and et cetera. Yet just as there are pegasi who have nothing to do with the weather or unicorns who don’t bother using magic spells, there are a vast number of earth ponies skilled in fields other than agriculture. And just like pegasi and unicorns, earth ponies can live happily nearly anywhere just as long as there’s solid land. Without the contributions of these hard-working folks, Equestrian civilization would not be possible at all..... ~Encyclopedia Equestria
  22. Crystal ponies are a newly discovered pony species hailing from the frozen wastes of the Badlands north of Stalliongrad. Only recently have they returned to this world, having been lost to time for a millennium along with the Crystal Empire which they call their home. Equestria now makes strides to establish contact with and thoroughly understand these unique ponies. While there is still much to learn, some information has now become apparent. Like earth ponies, crystal ponies display a wide spectrum of coat colors and mane types. They also exhibit subtle physiological traits that set them clearly apart from their equestrian cousins. Crystal ponies possess peculiarly glossy manes, quite unlike anything one might see in Greater Equestria. Additionally, polygonal shapes are reflected in their eyes, giving them a gem-like quality. News of sparkling, translucent crystalline bodies was quick to leave the Empire upon its sudden return. Though fantastical, the effect is real. The Crystal Empire is protected by the Crystal Heart, an artifact possessing great magical power channeled to it by all the crystal ponies within the empire. So long as its magic is not allowed to fade the coats of crystal ponies everywhere gleam like crystal and their manes shine like diamond. Evidence suggests that even ponies and other species not native to the Empire can gain crystalline bodies and manes when the Heart is at it's strongest, such as the time during and immediately following the Crystal Faire, but only while inside the Empire's boundaries. Early reports indicate that the crystal ponies as a whole possess neither unicorn horns or pegasus wings. The same research suggests, however, that they are indeed disparate from earth ponies on the basis of the nature of their magic. The true limits of crystal pony magic is shrouded in mystery, but it is known to be distinct from the life magic channeled by earth ponies, the power of weather channeled by pegasi, or the active manipulation of the aether by unicorns. Crystal ponies’ magic is tied instead to emotions. Because of this affinity, most crystal ponies are very empathetic, easy to talk to, and often artistically inclined as well. Though we are just getting to know our newly returned cousins from the north, we look forward to interacting with them further. Like the other species of Equestria, they bring with them unique charm, interesting culture, and powerful magic. In time, as bonds are allowed to deepen between Equestria and the Empire, we are confident that we will be able to provide the public with additional information. ~Canterlot Research Journal
  23. But you do have the wild, wonderful worlds of Crossovers (which TECHNICALLY this could be a crossover with MLP G1) and Free-For-All. Also. don't forget the Windy Wing and Summerwing ponies BUT, one MAJOR issue with the flutter ponies, at least, had a magical sparkly secret weapon called "utter flutter" where they batted their wings and, basically fairy dust came out of them, and there's weirdness with them being some magical ancient race and reproducing in a bizarre way, and living in a valley hidden from the rest of the ponies. Pegasus + mild unicorn-like magic. At least in g1. No idea how they'd tackle it now. But actually, Tales, this brings up a MIGHTY grey area. What about Ploomette? Regular pony with fancy wing extensions? In her box art she's a regular pegasus. Can we fudge the appearance of Flutter Ponies with either wing extensions, or just a weird fashion choice where normal earth ponies (or even unicorns, because then someone of them might have levitation powers strong enough to get themselves aloft for periods of time) just wear these weird gauzy wings? It could even be that it's a Pegasus with illusory magic performed on their wings, but I think that might require them to have unicorn friend to keep up the appearance, which might bring in a "vain vileness who exploits unicorns" edge that might not be board appropriate. I did attempt to bypass the Twinkle-Eye Ban by just making them weird gemstone goggles and that seemed to work without too many troubles from anyone, but I am not sure how much mundane solutions to these kinds of questions flies these days.
  24. SO......As my character Holly was flirting with a griffon, this thought came to mind: Now, we all know it's not really possible for these two, but the IDEA is what I'm speaking of. Griffon+Pony=Hippogriff? For that matter.... Hippogriff+Pony=Pegasi? Or another hippogriff? Unicorn+Griffon=alicorn? (obviously not, I know they are forbade.) Hippocamp+Pony=...Kelpi? Pony? Hippocamp? Kelpi+Pony=Hippocamp? opinions, thoughs....answers? GO.
  25. Some of you may have noticed a new section pop up in the Mane Equestria section. This area has a special purpose. Even though it's in the Roleplay Forum itself, it's not actually a Roleplay area. Many of you have had questions or ideas about how to expand the world of Equestria as a roleplay, but until now it's been somewhat scattered and difficult to pin down. Well, the Princesses have decided to open up the Royal Archives for public access! Though submissions must be made to and reviewed by their loyal staff (Simply make a post in the Questions and Suggestions and Private Message the staff) if you have anything you would like to add to it! It's still somewhat under construction, but we'll do our best to provide you with all the information we think you will find useful and interesting about the world of Equestria as it's been established in the Roleplay. This lore is specifically for the Mane Roleplay Equestria, though elements of it can be used in other roleplay areas. This is also where you're going to find answers to some of your most deep and burning questions. Want to know just howadvanced the technology is in Equestria? Want to know about Electricity? Have an idea of where Parasprites come from, and local cures for that pesky Pruney Hoof? It will end up here! Roleplay elements that may be useful for other players as they have established Equestria will appear. As we work out the components of Equestria as it's been established, it will be up to you users to bring things to the staff for consideration. We can't do it without you! You can find the Royal Archives Here. Please mind the dust!
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