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The Emerald Grove Kingdom of the Perytons Chapter One : The Emerald Grove In the heart of the Velvett Strand Isles, where the Peryton's mere existence causes the land to thrive and bloom - there is a hidden jewel of fertile land and a stand trees so thick with greenery that it's become a popular sight seeing spot for newcomers to the islands during the day when business isn't going about. The Velvet Strand is known for its lush flora and its clean waters and none more so than this viridescent jewel of nature. The grove is a large expanse of soft grass melded with towering trees that cover the sky so well at times that the sun glitters through the leaves like golden stars against a deep green sky, to add some light under the boughs of these trees the herds have created their own form of illumination to aid the growth of the plants and their more sun needing harvests in the form of hanging strands of jewels bathed in sunlight called Dawn Stones - a treasure coveted by the Emerald Grove Peryton's for their warm glow. They are thankfully only used sparingly as the plants thrive well enough with the presence of the winged cervines. Though nothing will ever beat the crystalline beauty of Cirrus Lake, there is a small body of water, barely the size of a large pond situated near the home of the royal family which due to its years of tending and constant proximity to the Peryton's - has become so pure it is said in myth to have rejuvenating, almost healing properties. It is aptly named; Dewdrop Pond for its size and nature kissed existence. It's said in myth that a rare antidote for the most toxic poisons or most virulent diseases can be fashioned when mixed with a single drop of this pond. As with the rest of the Velvet Strand in its effort to keep to its 'untouched beauty', the housing here has kept with the standard set by the Perytons, simple, natural, rustic. Even the home of the royal family with its slightly large home has been fondly named by its residents as 'The Living Palace' due to beautiful wild flowers, rare jewel like fruits and entwining flora that make up the decoration of the royalty's home. Even the throne room looks like it was grown more than built. With this pocket of fertile land, it's said to be possible to grow any kind of fruit, vegetable or flower in the dirt of this grove and the local residents are more than happy to show off the fertility of this land by sometimes sharing homespun meals made of fruit and veggies not even local to the area and some that is whispered - mostly in gossipy and boastful allegations - that the Peryton's have fashioned for themselves from years of cultivating and tending. No doubt, this Peryton paradise is a jewel on top of an already beautiful crown of nature that the Velvet Strand has to offer. Chapter Two: The Royal Herd The Royal Herd of the Velvet Strand (or often simply referred to as the 'royal family') has lived and thrived for generations and lays claim to being descended from the 'first Peryton' as well as laying claim to being the most 'in tune' with the natural magic that flows through all their kind. Made up of the current monarch, their family, their entourage, servants and the like, they make an impressive bulk of the herd. Though they come off as arrogant and snobby, they have ruled their homestead with a deeply mixed past going from time to time. They are some of the few Perytons that have high decoration to them, even if it's usually just a crown or neckpiece with a pair of royal jewels set into each piece known as the Nature's Dream Emeralds. Every royal figure head has handled their kingdom in a different way but most have been altogether peaceful due to the Peryton's idyllic and carefree lifestyle, the royals only have to step in for serious issues pertaining to the welfare of the islands or diplomatic issues. The few most notable Royals of the past are the ones who made the greatest waves in society, for better or worse or for simply vain and boastful legends and myths that the Peryton's can brag about: Branach of the Branching Antlers was infamous for sporting the biggest horns of his ilk, legend has it due to their size he could grow a tree to full size by standing by a sapling. Fáelán the Harvest Lord was an adventurous King who ventured past the Cirrus Lake and to different parts of Equestria and brought back seeds for their family to grow and increase the variety of food their people could eat and enjoy. Galochobar the Friendly was a great and joyous stag who welcomed the first ponies who ventured onto the Velvet Strand with an open heart, taught them the ways of their kind and was surprisingly not condescending. Boadicea of Nature's Will was a Queen of the Perytons who rallied her herd together when a group of zealously industrial ponies wished to renovate the isles with modern homes and warded them off with help of some allies in the form of ponies who also wished to preserve the nature of the Velvet Strand. There are however, none more famous or infamous than Oberon, Champion of the Grove and his father Drust the Blighted One; The story goes that Drust was as boastful and vain as any of his kind who sported a pair of vestigial fangs that were a rare thing among Perytons of old, well aware of his powers and all to ready to share his weighty pride with those that would listen. However as he grew larger, so did his ego, to the point it became pride in his race to a frightening level. Ponies who visited were not permitted to speak in his presence unless spoken to and were condescended to as if they were nothing but fawns. This continued on until Drust had the worrying idea of making their small kingdom the 'greater power' in Equestria and mused about possibly overthrowing the all powerful Princess Celestia. His modest and level headed son; Oberon, who valued the friendly ties they had with the ponies begged his father to reconsider such a hasty idea - the Peryton kingdom was small and likely to be overwhelmed if they even dared to think of taking on the grand empire of the ponies. But Drust would not be swayed, somehow the mad king had found a way to corrupt the magic that could flow through his horns - instead of amplifying the life giving and healing natural energies, he would drain it from the flora and fauna around him. The Emerald Grove and the Royal Herd began to suffer from the effects of their king's power and it would not be long till he tried to inflict the same damage to the rest of Equestria. Seeing no alternative, Oberon challenged his father to a duel, putting his own antlers at risk to stop his father from destroying their beautiful home and bring ruin to the kingdom. From stories told, the battle was said to last hours that melted into days until finally with a mighty swing of his head, Oberon snapped his father's antlers clear from his head - halting the damaging magic. Drust was exiled from the Velvet Strand isles, never to be seen again and Oberon took his place as the new king of the Perytons where his lineage has thrived to the current monarch of this very day. ((Might add more later))
Situated on one of the smaller islands in the Neighponese archipeligo, the village colloqually called Kakikara-mura or "Oyster shell village" has a thriving pearl-diving business, and is known for exquisite jewellery and a historically excellent finishing school for geisha worthy of the Shogun, or even foreign courts. And these things are obviously true, as they produce tangible results. Measurable by anyone who wants to. Objectively. In truth, while the fisheries and finishing schools do produce pearls and coutresans, the true purpose of both is and has always been the training of a highly specialised breed of ninja. In addition to the rigorous training all shinobi and kunoichi receive, the Kakikara village trains assassins who master the courtly arts in an effort to get closer to the most difficult targets: nobility. Historically, the Kakikara kunoichi were dispatched to dispatch Long warlords and Viking Jarls with a more militaristic bent. When the nations established more peacable relationships and the ninja arts no longer became necessary the two leading clans, Chiyo and Kaze, convened a council. The Kaze clan was the controlling family in the area, but when they proposed assasinating the then-current Shogun in order to install a Daimyo with a mind toward continuing the aggressions, the Chiyo staged a successful coup that has left them in charge since. The Chiyo clan, now head of all branches of the Kakikara shinobi, immediately put into practice a new code and approached the daimyo one by one to establish a formal relationship with certain rules: The Chiyo could be hired for their original purpose against any target who is not a daimyo (and eventually the shogun once a clearer shogunate emerged), but they would accept no lethal contracts against members of the Neighponese government. The Chiyo could also be hired as bodyguards by anyone who negotiated an appropriate contract. Lastly the Chiyo could be engaged as instructors for whatever the individual shinobi was skilled in, save for the clan secrets. In exchange, the village's true purpose and the clan were to remain secret. The clan was to be a neutral entity with regards to any specific ruler or government, and while they could be employed as spies or assassins, they would not cleave to the shogunate or any daimyo. Security for independance. The Neighponese government was safe from the village clans, and the clans were independent from the government. In the decades following unification, the Chiyo honed their arts even further, developing three signature weapons, and two combat techniques utilising them. Sticking to the shadows, they developed dreamdust, a powdered soporific capable of rendering an adult Kirin or Ryuma unconscious within minutes of exposure to a dose no larger than a breath. Next they developed the tessenjutsu, a set of martial arts utilising iron-bladed folding fans. Finally they developed a technique called mibojin no hoyo, a sharpened ridge of serrated blades hidden along the shoulders and flanks that allowed for a seemingly innocuous leaning gesture to cause severe wounds in the intended target. Some shinobi were further trained with this weapon to make acrobatic leaps and tumbles capable of disabling multiple attackers in short order. They are also inoculated against several common toxins, trained to hold their breath for extended periods, and given lessons in courtly manners and foreign languages above and beyond most shinobi. Accordingly, a Chiyo candidate is not considered ready for deployment until much later than rival clans' agents even starting younger. Currently, the Chiyo's main branch still oversees training and controls the Elder council, though two branch matriarchs maintain seats among the five. The current Elders are Chiyo Hayate, Chiyo Akane, Chiyo Fumiko, Josei Mami, and Kaze Himeko. Currently, only Chiyo Hayate and Akane and Kaze Himeko and Ichiro have foals, though exact numbers for either couple are closely guarded secrets even within the clan. Typically, contracts are handled by any of the Elders, who interview prospective clients and negotiate cost, duration, and other terms, then the Elders collectively nominate and deliberate on assignments. The clan takes contracts very seriously, and for a Chiyo shinobi to breach the contract is considered a grave offense. Rumors abound of shinobi disowned or hunted for breaking a Chiyo contract, though most happen to a friend of a cousin. Notably, the Chiyo prohibition against government officials has only been breached once, and those with the unfortunate confirmed that the officer in question had been the aggressor in the rather brief exchange.