Lore.   Posted by Lorepony.Group: 0
Sat 14 Jul 2012
at 16:22
-=Lore and History=-

Equestria is a magical place full of wonders and mysteries.  It has a very rich and involved history with plenty of amazing stories to tell.  As a result, there's a lot of lore surrounding it and the ponies who call it home.  This thread is a place to archive information about the world and setting, taking consideration both for the canon established by the series as well as any unique lore developed within the confines of this game.  That said, this is also potential knowledge a character living in this world would have and should be considered in the portrayal of a character's behavior.  This thread is subject to very expansive changes as new information comes along.

-=Table of Contents=-



-Sub Entry: Kirin and Neighponese society

-Sub Entry: Camahueto and tribal society

-Sub Entry: Gryphons and their society

Diamond Dogs
-Sub Entry: Diamond Dogs and pack society



--Locations and History--

-The Founding of Equestria
-The Age of Discord, and the Return of Discord
-The Rise and Fall of the Regal Sisters
-The Age of Celestia, and the Return of Nightmare Moon
-The Crystal Empire, and Sombra the Black

-The Neighponese Civil War
-The Age of Discovery

-The Tale of the Emperor and the Stars

-The Magi-Tech Revolution


-Flume Plants
-Ursa Minor/Major

This message was last edited by the GM at 20:20, Sun 11 Nov 2012.

Mon 16 Jul 2012
at 19:43
Re: Lore

Ponies are the dominant specie in the world by means of greatest populace and overall distribution on a global scale.  This intelligent breed of equine can be found in all parts of the modern world and are fondly referred to as 'Little Ponies' by many.  While popularly identified as a trifecta of sub-species, there are actually four sub-species of Ponies and several genetic off-shoots.  Ponies come in a wide variety of colors and hues, spanning the entirety of the visible spectrum.  Patterns and dappling are rare, but do occur.

Ponies bear a magical symbol on their flanks called a "Cutie Mark" which manifests when a Pony discovers their unique talent or ability, which often serves their career choice in life.  Not all Cutie Marks are unique and many Ponies often have the same symbol, though they may specialize in different parts of that same field.  For instance, two Ponies with the same Hourglass Cutie Mark may respectively specialize in keeping accurate time or building time pieces.  Some Cutie Marks are wholly symbolic and their visual appearance does not necessarily reflect a Pony's actual practice.  Cousin species to Ponies, such as Kirin and Camahueto, also develop Cutie Marks.  Traditional Zebra culture refers to Cutie Marks as "Glyphs".

Amid the various types of land-bound Pony, there are genetic variances that produce significantly different 'breeds' that, while still Ponies, have notable physical differences from others.  The different breeds appear with equal frequency amid the three land-bound species of Pony.  The most common pedigree of Pony is "Thoroughbred", which embodies the average in build, strength, and physical nature and are the most common.  Another is "Draft", which are Ponies of a significantly larger stature and greater physical strength.  Third is "Saddlebred", which are Ponies of more slender form with sharp, accented features and long limbs.  Finally there are "Miniature", which are Ponies of a notably shorter and squatter build highlighted by their stout, often chubby features.

By age, Ponies are defined as Foals (newborns to young child), Fillies/Colts (Child to Adolescent females and males, respectively), and Mares/Stallions (Adult females and males, respectively).  While 'Nag' is sometimes used to describe elderly Ponies, it has taken on a negative connotation in the modern era and is not commonly used as anything other than an insult.  By gender, Ponies bear a primary lean toward female births over males and the current global population sets the ratio as 2:1 in favor of females, though the gender skew becomes much more severe and apparent in smaller communities.

All Ponies bear innate magical ability, though are differentiated by their capacity to internalize or externalize that power.  They are a purely omnivorous specie and, through the developments of their society and culture, removed themselves from the food chain as they are no longer a viable source of prey for monstrous species.  While Ponies are capable of eating animal byproducts such as eggs, cheese, and other forms of dairy, they abhor the notion of killing other beings for sustenance, especially so if the creature is of even base intelligence.  However, Ponies are not actually adverse to violence or killing as a means of defense -- they feature one of the largest and most well-equipped armies of the world, and even common Ponies will readily attack an immediate threat to themselves if they bear an attitude more prone to fighting than fleeing.

Ponies are directly responsible for the majority of magical, medical, and scientific developments that have helped to shape the world into what it is today.  Their two primary zones of population, the nation of Equestria and its sub-region, Prance, are regarded as some of the most important locations in the global stage in regards to multicultural value.  Equestrian government and society are considered as ideals that are readily emulated by other groups the world over.


Earth Ponies are one of the four primary sub-species of Pony.  Of the land-bound types, Earth Ponies are the most prevalent and have been charted as outnumbering Pegasi and Unicorns at a total ratio of 3:1.  Earth Ponies are well-known for their substantial physical prowess -- even Earth Pony children are capable of lifting well over half a ton of weight.  Draft Earth stallions are among the most powerful and can readily perform tremendous feats of physical strength, such as dragging several tons of weight or running at high speeds for hours at a time.

Earth Ponies bear innate magical ability that attunes them to the land and nature.  This capacity is heavily internalized, enabling Earth Ponies to have 'green hooves' which make them the most capable and prevalent farmers in the world.  In the past, the Earth Pony tribe supplied the food sources for all Ponykind and, in the modern era, little has changed aside from attitudes.  As Earth Ponies lack extra limbs or the ability to externalize their magic, they are also commonly known as inventors and industrialists as they spearhead new technologies to enable themselves and others.


Pegasus Ponies are one of the four primary sub-species of Pony.  These Ponies bear a set of feathered wings that grant them the power of flight and the ability to walk on clouds.  Compared to Earth Ponies and Unicorns, Pegasi are generally less sturdy, yet also more agile and swift.  Aside from their ability to fly, a Pegasi's wings also act as a set of auxiliary limbs capable of surprising dexterity.  Pegasi are extremely capable fliers and are able to flap, soar, glide, hover, and even fly upside-down or backwards with little effort.  While the overall flight power of a Pegasus differs amid individuals, some are capable of reaching supersonic velocities.  Pegasi are also surprisingly well-suited to aquatic travel as their wings resist liquid, enabling them to swim with great ease.

A Pegasus' magical ability is both internal and external -- they are able to manipulate the weather, producing various atmospheric and environmental effects such as clouds, rain, and even tornadoes.  In ancient times, the Pegasi tribe controlled the skies and weather as a commanding force, though in this era weather control has become a civil service.


Unicorn Ponies are one of the four primary sub-species of Pony.  A Unicorn's identifying physical trait is a single (usually straight) conical horn that grows from their forehead.  Otherwise, they are physically indistinguishable from Earth Ponies.  Unicorns are widely known as scholars and magicians in Pony culture as they are the only breed of Pony capable of actively controlling their magical ability and fully externalizing it to have an effect on their surroundings.

A Unicorn's magical ability is partially innate and partially learned.  A naturally powerful Unicorn cannot do much if they do not have enough education to utilize their talents, and a exceptionally educated Unicorn may not actually have the magical prowess necessary to cast all the spells they learn.  All Unicorns are able to manipulate their surroundings via magical telekinesis even from a young age and become stronger/more dextrous with practice.  A skilled Unicorn can easily levitate dozens of individual items at a time, though their weight may be an obstacle.  Further, Unicorns are able to develop at least one other 'trick' generally suited to their special talent, though usually no more than two or three with study.  There have been a few particularly capable magic users throughout history who have vastly broadened the field of magic and were able to cast dozens, if not hundreds, of unique spells with sufficient education.  In some cases, such a Unicorn could even copy another Pony's special talent or at least the effect thereof.

-=Sea Ponies=-

There are numerous myths and legends regarding the origins of Sea Ponies as a specie, though none have ever been verified.  Many consider Sea Ponies to be an off-shoot or mutation of the Earth Pony, or a completely separate specie entirely, but a more valid standard is that Sea Ponies are a fourth breed to the more commonly known Earth/Pegasi/Unicorn trifecta.  Sea Ponies vastly outnumber all other breeds of Pony combined and their full population has never been confirmed.

Sea Ponies hold a major role in global history even outside of Pony communities.  Surprisingly, they are cast in a positive light in every account world wide; they are always referred to as being immeasurably generous, selfless, and willing to go to great lengths to help others.  Sea Ponies are universally regarded as friends of all living creatures and their own natural enemies live within the waters alongside them.  Sea Ponies are classically depicted as being guardians of the ocean and all those who travel the waters, protecting ships from storms or rescuing those who are stranded.  There is a very old and popular islander tale called "The Bottled Heart" about a Unicorn and Sea Pony who fell in love through her generous nature.  She volunteered to deliver love letters he sent in bottles to a vain mare he pined for, but was ultimately shunned by.  The Sea Pony, however, was smitten by his beautiful poetry and he soon realized his own feelings for the kindhearted mer-pony.

During the reign of Discord, Sea Ponies were left helpless to do anything to assist those who suffered on the land.  They too were not safe from Discord's influence and their population was dealt a massive blow as the oceans turned against them, forcing many to flee to outlying regions or try to find refuge further inland through rivers and subterranean channels.  Once Discord was defeated, the Sea Ponies were swift to gather themselves and immediately pitch to assisting coastal communities however they could in recovery.

Sea Ponies are widely revered for their beautiful singing voices and ability to craft amazing works of art with materials gathered from the ocean.  Their jewelery in particular is so treasured by land-dwellers that a single pearl necklace can fetch thousands of Bits on the open market.  However, Sea Ponies hold no major influence in Equestrian culture for two reasons.  First is that they cannot survive for long out of water.  Second is their communal nature -- Sea Ponies are intensely close and nurturing beings with huge colonies and expansive familial structures.  As such, there is little emphasis on the 'individual' in Sea Pony culture, preventing any sort of natural inclination to seek fame.

Sea Ponies have a unique physiology compared to other breeds of Pony.  They have the upper body of an Earth Pony (head, neck, forelegs, and torso) but the lower body of various forms of seaborne creatures.  The most common have dolphin-like tails, though there are many who bear fins like whales, sharks, eels, and even some with octopi-like tentacles.  There is also a sub-breed of Sea Pony that does not have forelegs at all, instead bearing nimble fins and a curled, seahorse-like tail.  Given the communal nature of Sea Ponies, this sub-breed is not seen at all as a different specie and are simply considered to be Sea Ponies without question.  Of the two breeds, however, there is a notable difference in their capacity for surviving out of the water.  A tailed or tentacled Sea Pony has an anatomical structure and lung capacity far better suited for traversing the land, enabling such Sea Ponies the ability to live on the surface world if they so choose since they are able to move about freely.  Seahorse-bodied Sea Ponies are at a distinct disadvantage in that regard as they are unable to remain independently mobile on land.  Regardless, both forms of Sea Pony require ample hydration and thus are most comfortable in areas where they can readily access bodies of water to soak in.  In order to facilitate further land/sea Pony relationships and the development of integrated societies, there have been many inventions and magical spells created to assist Sea Ponies in surviving on land.  The most successful of these efforts is an 'inverted wet suit'; a form-fitting body suit designed to retain comfortable levels of moisture for up to fifteen hours, which has become a staple of land-trekking Sea Ponies everywhere.  All oceanic breeds are capable of breathing both above and below water; Sea Ponies are not mammals and do not need to surface for air, allowing them to survive indefinitely in either atmosphere.  Their bodies are incredibly durable and they are capable of withstanding massive degrees of pressure brought on by their deep-sea environments.  Like how Pegasi can control the weather, Sea Ponies can control the ocean and are responsible for tidal forces, whirlpools, floods, and the like... though usually they're preventing those natural disasters from happening.

Unlike other breeds of Pony, Sea Ponies lean more toward the carnivorous end of the omnivore spectrum.  They readily eat fish, sea cucumbers, clams, and other forms of oceanic critter for sustenance besides just thriving on underwater plant life.  Because this sometimes comes across as distasteful to land-dwelling Ponies, Sea Ponies don't make a show of it and tend to be secretive about their diets.

-=Bat Ponies=-

Bat Ponies are a sub-specie of Pegasi and, as of the modern era, considerably uncommon.  There are only a few thousand worldwide as far as the general populace knows, though there have been stories of larger communities of Bat Ponies hidden away as recluses in different parts of the world.  Seeing one is rather unusual, but not to the point that it would cause any sort of major fuss, particularly in large or well-traveled cities.  Approximately 1 in every 5,000 Pegasi is born a Bat Pony, and only in families that have Bat Ponies somewhere in the ancestral blood line.  Bat Ponies are primarily male; the likelihood of a female Bat Pony being born is 1 in 20, as opposed to the heavily female-bias population of other breeds of Pony, particularly Pegasi.

Historically speaking, Bat Ponies were far more common up until about 400 years ago when the breed began to thin out.  They've earned a good reputation for their intelligence and grace throughout history and have long since been enjoyed a noble standing in Equestrian lore.  In ancient times before the founding of Equestria, Bat Ponies played an important role in the Pegasi Nation, where their innate abilities placed them prominently as scouts, explorers, and teachers in the war-like community.  They were highly valued members of society and often held positions of office, which actually ended up being a bad thing for the stability of their bloodlines.  Because Bat Ponies were held in such regard, they ended up being very eligible in love and the majority married outside of their breed, pairing up with non-Bat Pegasi and unintentionally decreasing their own population.

During the reign of Discord, Bat Ponies suffered a major drop in relevancy.  Many Pegasi communities were obliterated by the non-stop chaos and erratic weather formations the Draconequis caused, or by those who still bore a warrior's spirit foolishly attempting to fight the chaotic spirit head on.  It was during those years that Bat Ponies most dramatically dwindled in population.  Whether it was because they were killed off or that they took a mass exodus from Equestria has been a long-debated topic.

Since the establishment of the Equestrian Kingdom by Princesses Celestia and Luna, Bat Ponies enjoyed a slight resurgence.  They naturally favored the night and thus were collectively considered to be Luna's children, metaphorically speaking.  When Princess Luna fell from glory and became Nightmare Moon, Bat Ponies widely supported her reign and took her side in the battle against Celestia and the Equestrian Royal Army.  The most infamous of them all was a pony known as Autumn Winds, who served as Nightmare Moon's guard and was the bearer of the Element of Laughter.  Despite their actions, Celestia showed the Bat Ponies great mercy after the fact and allowed no retribution to befall those who peacefully surrendered once Nightmare Moon had been defeated.  Despite this, there were still many hard feelings toward Bat Ponies in the general community and they became far more uncommon, preferring to keep to their own kind or gradually immigrate out of Equestria.

In the modern era, Bat Ponies have been able to make a slight resurgence.  With the rehabilitation of Princess Luna, many have returned to Equestria and Canterlot to once more serve in the Royal Guard and Luna's personal cadre; the Night Watch.  Because of their rarity, they have been deemed exotic and stylish, once more making Bat Ponies the target of admiration by many.  There are a slew of popular horror stories revolving around Bat Ponies and they are the source of the Vampire myth, though generally speaking they take it in stride.  Many Bat Ponies embrace the dark-and-mysterious image popular culture has granted them.  There are currently two particular Bat Ponies who hold very prominent roles in modern society, both female -- an edgy fashionista named Black Velvet who is a top model in the Canterlot fashion circuit, and an extremely popular actress named Center Stage, "Mistress of the Dark", who has a massive following of fans for her numerous roles in Vampire-themed stage plays and sultry attitude.  Both live in Canterlot.

Bat Ponies have a different physiology than other Pegasi.  In many ways they are far more delicate as their wings are more easily damaged, but also heal very quickly and completely with proper care.  They are vastly more nimble fliers and can perform incredible aerial maneuvers, but at the cost of endurance and stability -- generally speaking, a Bat Pony would beat a Pegasi in an obstacle course hands down, but lose a marathon race.  Their slitted eyes afford them excellent vision as well, enabling them to travel safely even in very low-light conditions like night or during storms.  Bat Ponies' jaws are very strong and filled with sharp, fang-like teeth; as a result they are more openly omnivorous than other breeds of Pony.  Bat Ponies rely more heavily on fruits and vegetables as a staple in their diet rather than grasses.

-=Flutter Ponies=-

Flutter Ponies are widely regarded as being nothing more than myths.  They most popularly appear in various stories, fables, and legends throughout Equestrian history and nowhere else in global cultures, which loans credit to the idea that they are purely a work of Equestrian fiction.  In stories, Flutter Ponies are generally identified as being reclusive magical creatures who dole out justice and revenge on foolish ponies who harm others or act selfishly.  Many scholars thus consider Flutter Ponies to be metaphors and allegory used to warn ponies against the vices of greed and antisocial behavior.  Legends about Flutter Ponies in this model flourished during the years following Nightmare Moon's defeat particularly as Princess Celestia worked hard to promote a national wave of love and tolerance for one's fellow equine.  Flutter Pony myths are among the most popular in all works of classical fiction and every foal knows dozens of "Flutter Tales" by heart as they grow up.  Many cases run Flutter Ponies as being cousins or a sort of natural mirror opposite to Changelings; their equally insect-like but infinitely more malicious kin.  Another is that Changelings are a corrupted version of Flutter Ponies caused by the chaos Discord laid onto the world.  There is a classic Flutter Tale that depicts the two Queens, Rose Dust and Chrysalis, as being estranged sisters.

Unlike Sea and Bat Ponies, Flutter Ponies are actually a completely separate specie and cannot be considered to be even remotely related to other breeds of Pony.  They vary little in how they are depicted over the ages.  Flutter Ponies are always represented as being slender and lithe, bearing supernatural elegance and otherworldly beauty.  They differ greatly in size based directly on how old and powerful they are -- the lower echelons of Flutter Pony are only as big as a newborn foal, while the legendary Flutter Pony Queen, Rose Dust, allegedly stands as tall as Princess Celestia.  All Flutter Ponies have delicate wings that vary in nature; the majority are translucent and jeweled, like those of a dragonfly, though they are also often depicted as having wings like butterflies, moths, and bees as well.  Despite their seemingly fragile forms, Flutter Ponies are widely regarded as being capable warriors able to summon hurricanes, blow back the ocean itself, and level forests with the force of their wing power.  The Pegasi phrase "you fly like a Flutter Pony" is a very flattering compliment.

Flutter Ponies are also known to have a variety of magical powers, though these vary so wildly from tale to tale that it's entirely likely they were all just made up by the individual author for the sake of convenience.  Regardless, they are depicted as being powerful creatures who are not to be crossed.  They are not immortal but have vastly superior life spans to normal ponies, easily living for hundreds of years and only becoming more powerful as they age.  Flutter Ponies have been shown as being very reclusive, preferring to keep to themselves and not get involved with the affairs of others.  In many stories they need to be sought out first in order to gain their aid, but a Flutter Pony's friendship is unbreakable once a favor is repaid in kind.  As a society, Flutter Ponies are shown as being sun worshipers, though Princess Celestia has always laughingly played off any mention of such.

In traditional legends, Flutter Ponies live in the mythical "Flutter Valley", which is generally depicted as being a garden paradise hidden by magic.  Accounts of where and how it is supposed to exist differ throughout the ages.  Ponies who claim to have found it or visited the location are generally considered to be touched in the head, especially since there has never been any physical proof to support the claims.  The old saying "he/she's off dancing with the Flutter Ponies" is a way of saying that someone has lost their mind or is flat-out drunk.

-=Crystal Ponies=-

Specifying Crystal Ponies as their own breed is a bit of a misnomer and they are better considered to be a cousin to the Earth Pony.  Earth Ponies are known for their magical connection to terra firma and Crystal Ponies take that to a whole new level as literally being semi-crystalline beings thanks to the influence of an ancient relic known as the Crystal Heart.  Crystal Ponies have an affinity with the natural artifact which, in and of itself, is a powerful magical conduit attuned to the ambient energies of Equestria.  Their emotional states influence the Crystal Heart and, in return, they too can be influenced by it.

Crystal Ponies are easily identified by their opalescent coats and bright eyes, which feature very subtle crystalline faceting.  Like many beings within the world, their physical states are influenced by their emotions.  When under depression or illness their bodies lose their luster and become dull.  When in high spirits or good health, they shine like living gems.  Beyond this state of physical fluctuation, Crystal Ponies are no different than Earth Ponies in all other respects.  They are still organic beings who require sustenance, can suffer maladies, and reproduce in the same manner as other Ponies.

There are no Pegasi or Unicorn Crystal Ponies.  All naturally Crystal Ponies are Earth Ponies, though it is possible for other beings (even non-Ponies) to become 'crystalized' upon exposure to the Crystal Heart's radiant energies.  The effect is only temporary, however.  To that same end, it is unclear as to whether or not Crystal Ponies are naturally born that way or if their people have become permanently crystallized through constant exposure to the Crystal Heart.

This message was last edited by the GM at 04:39, Mon 12 Nov 2012.

Tue 17 Jul 2012
at 19:44
Re: Lore

Kirin are the dominant specie of the island nation Neighpon.  They are considered to be a cousin specie to Ponies, bearing similarities in nature but having more physiological traits akin to oceanic Dragons.  Like Ponies, Kirin have Cutie Marks, though these marks tend to be more directly indicative an an innate natural or supernatural ability as opposed to a general skill or talent.

Kirin biology is very unique even in a world filled with strange and unusual creatures.  They look very similar to Ponies but have a fine sheen of supple scales instead of a coat, delicate fangs as well as flat molars, slitted eyes, and tiered antlers.  While all Kirin have hair manes and tails, some sport thick mustaches, beards, and even lion-like fur manes in some rare cases.  Kirin are able to cast magic and fly, but these abilities are not directly indicated by their physical traits -- some can do one but not the other, some can do both, and some can do neither.  It is only discovered what a Kirin is capable of when they try it or are trained for the attempt.  Kirin are wholly omnivorous and have a varied diet, though major staples include rice and fish.

Kirin and the Neighponese society are ancient.  They predate the founding of Equestria by over three thousand years, making them one of the older cultures to exist in the world.  Despite the age of the specie, Kirin are slow to breed and have long pregnancies, so their population remains steady and small over extended periods of time rather than undergoing major seasonal fluctuations.  This is further compounded by Neighponese cultural habits when it comes to courtship and marriage, as well as the collective understanding of Neighpon's limited natural resources.

Core concepts in Kirin culture rest in communion with the unseen world; Kirin place major emphasis on revering their ancestors, the spiritual realms, and magic.  One's ancestral line is of great importance and the most influential clan families in Neighponese society come from long running, powerful blood lines.  Every Kirin's ancestry is well-documented and most can quote their family tree by heart back several generations.  This dedication to family imparts on the Kirin a deep respect for tradition, personal honor, and societal obligation.  The collective whole is more important than the individual, and greater feats are accomplished through cooperation than by a single Kirin's own actions.  Because of these beliefs, Kirin are often interpreted as being 'overly polite', 'aloof', or even 'snooty' by other less stringent cultures.

In the ages prior to the founding of Equestria, Kirin enjoyed a long period of dominance in the eastern world.  They got along remarkably well with the Dragons and Diamond Dogs, particularly since Neighpon lacked any major gem deposits that the Dragons would lust after.  Because their island home is so far from the mainland, Kirin never made any major effort at colonizing off shore and instead internalized themselves to an almost hermit-like degree, shutting out the rest of the world for the most part to instead develop their own nation in a reclusive manner.  The only real exception to this was the relationship that Kirin held with Sea Ponies who thrived in vast numbers around the island, keeping it safe from tsunami and monsoons.  While relationships with the Dragons and Diamond Dogs have waned in modern eras, Sea Ponies are still considered to be the most loyal allies Neighpon has and the two cultures bear immense good will with each other.

The governmental body of Neighpon functions on a clan-based caste system, similar to that of the Diamond Dogs.  Influential noble families hold major control over entire districts of land and all the citizens that live within those areas, effectively breaking the nation apart into unique portions that all have their own cultural traits and habits.  While there is some rivalry between these districts and Neighpon does have a history of internal conflict, the sense of nationalism amid Kirin is still very strong.  All Kirin answer to a single higher power -- the divine rule of their Emperor.  The Imperial line has spanned the ages; leadership of the nation passed down to the first born of the current leader, allowing for both Emperors and Empresses throughout the ages.

Remarkably, the reign of Discord had little effect on Neighpon and its people.  The Kirin had long since been in tune with the spiritual world and were able to fend off the bulk of the chaotic disruptions Discord produced thanks to their varied magics.  They, along with the Sea Ponies, kept Neighpon mostly safe and secluded while the rest of the world languished under the evil chaos spirit's rule.  As a result, Neighpon came under considerable criticism once the Equestrian Kingdom was established following Discord's defeat for not lending assistance to the mainland.  This only further intensified the Kirin's reclusive attitude, which had now become a tradition unto itself, and the nation as a whole closed off all interactions with the outside world for hundreds of years.

In recent centuries, the attitude of the world at large gradually changed and efforts were made to mend connections with the Kirin, mostly thanks to the Sea Ponies acting as mediators between Neighpon and the mainland.  It was a very slow and arduous process, particularly since Kirin had developed their sense of manners and protocol into a nearly implausible barrier that made them very difficult to understand.  Their language was also a considerable obstacle as it was laden with careful nuances and a staggering array of puns; as a result many outsiders who tried to learn Neighponese ended up becoming the target of mockery by the native Kirin for their clumsy and inelegant speech.  Equestrian culture was widely panned as being indulgent, crass, and prone to sticking its snout where it wasn't needed.  Even in the modern age, there is still a major bias against foreigners in Neighpon and the country remains primarily populated by Kirin alone.

To their credit, Kirin have been making a more sincere effort to establish stronger bonds with the outside world.  Many believe this is because of massive wealth of political power that Equestria has gained, particularly in recent years thanks to the recovery of the Elements of Harmony and Princess Luna, while others theorize that Neighpon's natural resources have finally begun to dwindle to the point that the Kirin must import to survive.  Regardless of the reasons, Kirin have begun to integrate more fully into global society and Neighpon has opened its borders for the first time in centuries to allow for full trade and immigration.  The current leader, Emperor Hachiman, holds a close relationship with Princess Celestia... which has led to some rather interesting rumors regarding just how close, considering that Hachiman is currently unmarried.  To aid in the consolidation of the two nations as allies, there has been a major Ambassador program developed between Equestria and Neighpon.  One of the leading Kirin Ambassadors, Fung Shui, currently lives in Ponyville.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:08, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Tue 17 Jul 2012
at 19:49
Re: Lore

Native to the southern regions of the globe, primarily in the distant forests of Brayzil, Camahueto are one of many local species who thrive in the mostly untamed environments.  They are a unique sort considered to be a 'cousin' of Ponies, like Kirin, but not actually of the same specie.  There have been many efforts made to try and discover the genetic origins of the specie since they share many traits with that of Ponies; most intriguingly, Camahueto have Cutie Marks, or at least something very similar to them.  Some have theorized that Camahueto are a sort of 'missing link' between Ponies and Sea Ponies, but this notion has been widely panned as a logical fallacy.  Their physiology is similar to that of Ponies', though they have more in common with Imapala given their agile bodies, cloven hooves, and horns.

Camahueto are a semi-aquatic specie who live deep in wild jungle regions.  All Camahueto have horns (the number and placement vary by the individual, though one is the most common) and are capable of casting magic, though their variety of spellcraft is inborn rather than learned like Unicorns.  Camahueto can instinctively use their magic from birth without any training, though they are capable of learning a broader and more refined form of magic through study and oral tradition.  They are stout and small in their youth and, while they become more slender as they age, are generally seen as being smaller and stockier than the average build of their Pony cousins.  Even full grown adults tend to look more like Pony adolescents, which led to initial journals discussing the Camahueto people erroneously referring to them as 'Pygmy Ponies'... which the Camahueto totally ignored.  Camahueto have remarkable agility, allowing them to climb both cliffs and trees with ease on the tips of their cloven hooves.  They are also very strong swimmers, able to defy river rapids and remain submerged for extended periods of time before needing to come up for air.  Their coats and manes tend to be natural colors and are often patterned, developing environmental camouflage.

While omnivorous in diet, Camahueto are like Sea Ponies in that they are primarily carnivores, thriving heavily on eggs, fish, fowl, reptiles, and insects for sustenance.  Unlike the more considerate Sea Ponies, Camahueto collectively see nothing wrong with their eating habits and have no hesitation in hunting, killing, and devouring small animals even in the presence of Ponies.  As a result, they tend to be more socially accepted by predatory species like Gryphons and Diamond Dogs rather than Ponies.

Culturally speaking, Camahueto are very much a mystery to the world at large.  Their existence wasn't even openly acknowledged until only two-hundred years ago when Pony explorers braved the dense jungles and discovered native tribes deep within.  Camahueto are still regarded as being 'savages' by the modern world and they do little to dissuade the notion... mostly because they don't care.  The native race has no written language and subsists entirely on the spoken word in their own language, so they have little concern for the goings-on outside their forests.  Few have ever bothered to venture out into the larger world and most of those who do quickly come back home again with stories of a strange, needlessly complicated, and downright silly land beyond.  Camahueto have no concept of money or economy, which leads to some very difficult situations when they interact with other established communities.  At most they have a simple system of bartering goods and services, but the majority of Camahueto are raised to be wholly self-sufficient and gather what they need to survive from nature's bounty.

Camahueto are a deeply spiritual people and very in tune with nature as a whole, investing enormous merit into the ideas of natural harmony, purification of the self, and survival of the fittest.  They also believe that all of nature is a singular entity; a massive supercollective that forms a being precariously balancing itself amid the actions of sentient beings and their impact on the world around them.  The stability of nature is something to be carefully preserved and respected lest it spiral out of control into ruin.  While Camahueto hold an innate connection to the earth that enforces this viewpoint, the particular details of this belief are taught on a societal level as a way of life.  It is one of the few things that Camahueto and Ponies really tend to lock horns over as well -- Camahueto believe that nature is to be left alone and safeguarded, while Ponies instead favor the idea of development and growth, even if it means cutting down some forests to do so.  Camahueto see nature as something everyone is a part of, while Ponies see it as something separate from themselves.

Almost all Camahueto's innate magics loan themselves to flora and terra firma in some manner.  Initial studies into the Camahueto's magical abilities revealed that the reason Brayzillian jungles are as wild and varied as they are is because of their natives' influence -- the Camahueto keep the lands fertile and potent, bearing a powerful symbiotic relationship with their homeland.  Camahueto are able to 'speak to nature' to varying degrees, interpreting disturbances in the environment at a supernatural level.  The proficiency of this ability differs greatly between individuals - some merely have a 'green hoof' while others are capable of actually magically communicating with plant life and feral animals.  In the rarest of cases, some Camahueto are even capable of magically inspiring plant growth and healing damaged land.  Unsurprisingly, they are considered to be some of the best gardeners in the world and there is a major demand in the elite tiers of Pony upper classes for Camahueto landscaping... which the Camahueto have completely ignored.

The sociological structure of this native people is very simple compared to other Pony societies.  Each tribe of Camahueto is governed by a single Elder, or a group of Elders; an aged, experienced Camahueto who has grown deeply ingrained with nature itself on a spiritual and physical level.  Through natural symbiosis, Elders enjoy vastly extended lifespans than the normal Camahueto and often live to be over two-hundred years old before they eventually pass on, returning to the grand whole of nature whence they came.  The wisdom of an Elder is unquestioned and a tribe will staunchly follow their leader through any course he or she lays before them.  The various tribes scattered throughout Brayzil and neighboring regions are all in direct communication with one another, using far-traveling messengers or communicating magically through plant life so that each community is able to help each other thrive.  Unlike the empires and kingdoms of other species, there is no one singular leader of the Camahueto aside from Nature itself.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:08, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Tue 17 Jul 2012
at 19:55
Re: Lore

Gryphons, also known collectively as Griffins, Gryphens, Griffons, and other countless alternative pronunciations, are a chimeric race of winged beings who have long been both neighbor and friendly rival to Pony kind.  In groups they are called a 'pride of Gryphons'.

Originally founded in regions to the far north of modern Equestria, Gryphons occupied a unique niche during ancient periods prior the existence of the Pony nation.  Like the Pegasi, they were a fierce and powerful society founded on concepts of honor, power, and personal achievement.  Those who held rank in society were capable warriors and hunters.  As a result of their ferocious natures and equal dominance of both the sky and land, Gryphons maintained an unchallenged foothold on regional control for many centuries.  Gryphons and Pegasi rarely clashed with one another since the two warrior kingdoms respected each others' prowess and there were never any issues of territory as there was plenty of sky for everyone.  During the age of Winter when the land was plagued by ravaging Windegos, Gryphons migrated further into the mountainous regions to the far north where resources, while scarce by comparison to their original territory, still flourished and there were plenty of open water ways ripe with fish.

During the reign of Discord, Gryphons were one of the first major forces to rally against the chaotic spirit as they returned en mass to the south.  Old texts speak of the sky being darkened by the massive armies of Gryphons and Pegasi soaring into battle against Discord, though all was for naught.  Casualties and losses for the unyielding Gryphons were staggering, but not once did they ever retreat from conflict.  During a major turning point, both the Gryphon King and Queen fell in battle and the Gryphons were rallied by Princess Celestia, following briefly under the banner of Ponykind.  They played a deciding role in those final conflicts that led to Discord finally being sealed away but were so decimated by the effort that they could not afford to remain in Equestria while the fledgling nation struggled under the after shocks of Discord's influence.

Since then and all the way to the modern era, Gryphons have been loyal friends of Ponykind for the most part.  Minor political tensions have risen from time to time but never to any problematic degree, or to a measure that could not be diplomatically resolved.  Equestria has made many exceptions for their old allies and, to this day, they are welcomed readily throughout the nation as equals.  Gryphons are far fewer in numbers as a result of their major population drop during ancient times -- it was a blow their race never quite recovered from, though they are in no danger of extinction.  Gryphons bear small clutches of eggs that have an extended gestation period, needing up to a full year of care before they hatch into newborn kits.  Given that only one of three eggs hatch, and that the kittens need several more years to reach adolescence, the population is slow to increase.  Gryphon siblings coming from the same clutch are uncommon and considered to be very good luck, often resulting in closely knit family units.

Gryphons currently reside all throughout the world, though their largest metropolis resides in a region known as The Gryphon Archipelago; a string of large islands off the north-eastern coasts of Equestria known for their temperate weather and bountiful natural beauty.  Massive coral reefs surround the area and are home to huge colonies of Sea Ponies, who are likewise allies to the Gryphons and assist in the food trade for the island.  The largest island is a towering, inactive volcano that keeps the capital city, Aetnaeus, nestled deep within its basin.  Gryphons carved the city from the stone itself through the ages following their initial migration to the territory before Discord's reign and it stands as one of the great marvels of the modern world.  Despite this, tourism is rare since the region is so difficult to get to for anyone but Gryphons and Pegasi, though thousands of beings make the journey every year anyway.  The second largest population of Gryphons is in Prance, which is a surprise to no one as Prance is one of the grandest mixed specie and multicultural hubs in the world.

Culturally, Gryphons have matured from their warrior roots into a durable breed of tradesmen and artisans.  They have learned much from the Sea Ponies over the generations and Gryphon craftsmanship is second to none, producing some of the greatest works of architecture, modern fashion, sculpture, and culinary arts in ages.  Gryphons have been responsible for a big classical movement in the painting world throughout Prance over the last few years in particular.  Gryphon chefs, however, are scarce in popularity on a global scale since the majority of their creations contain meat, though Gryphons native to Prance tend to be more sensitive to the mixed dietary and ethical views of their fellow beings.  There are several Gryphon celebrities in varying fields and, for the past decade, there has been a big effort to develop a flight team to rival the Wonderbolts.  Fans of the aerial circuit salivate at the prospect and the friendly competition has been openly welcomed, hoping to promote both further good will between the nations and healthy competitive spirit.

Gryphon governmental structures originally began as a matter of 'the strongest one rules', which quickly evolved into an absolute monarchy.  As a result of the loss of the royal family line and a huge chunk of their population during the age of Discord, Gryphons restructured themselves into a constitutional monarchy with a parliament of elected representatives, which continues to function into the modern day.  The current royal family is headed by King Marrig, Queen Wendalin, and their three children, the eldest of whom is Crown Princess Lok.  The Royal Family are fast friends with both Neighponese and Equestrian rulers, often inviting both other kingdoms to Aetnaeus for political summits.  It is well-known that the youngest son of the royal family, Prince Errow, has a mighty crush on Princess Luna and wishes to marry her despite his only being four years old.

Biologically speaking, Gryphons are a curious sort of specie.  Their body is compromised of two parts -- the fore body of a raptor and the rear body of a feline.  The most common breed of Gryphon is a mix of Eagle and Lion, but there are dozens of variations across the board as well with the only uniting factor being that all are predatory in nature.  Gryphons are well-known for their size, great physical prowess, and natural grace.  They are apex predators despite being omnivorous and rely heavily on meat for their dietary needs, taking the majority of their food supply from the ocean.  Gryphons are known to eat other animals though, and in the ancient past were known to have preyed on Ponies or even each other in very rare cases.  However, in the modern day, Gryphons look back on such habits as monstrous and fully shun the concept of preying on sentient beings.  Most modern Gryphons would sooner starve to death than consider any intelligent being as a potential food source.  Accusing a Gryphon of any such behavior, even in jest, is an inexcusable insult.

Like Pegasi and other winged beings, Gryphons are capable of manipulating cloud forms but lack the magical capacity to control the weather.  However, their great physical strength and remarkably sharp talons grant them capacity for working the earth and stone much like Diamond Dogs do, making them natural sculptors and architects.  A Gryphon's vision is without rival amid all non-monstrous races; they are capable of seeing for miles around by day or night, though this also makes them sensitive to rapid shifts in illumination.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:07, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Tue 17 Jul 2012
at 19:56
Re: Lore
-=Diamond Dogs=-

Diamond Dogs are, unfortunately, a specie that gets a very bad wrap in the modern era thanks to the actions of a few groups of ill-intentioned extremists.

As a whole society, the culture of Diamond Dogs is one founded in the concepts of loyalty, accountability, and redemption through the merit of brutal, back-breaking, hard labor.  Diamond Dogs are very physically-aligned creatures with little emphasis on the more spiritual nature of things, placing the bulk of societal value on muscle power, sharp senses, and keen intellect.  They also hold material wealth and the acquisition of it in high regard as well, though remarkably the society has never developed any sort of wealth-based caste system as a result.  The value of an individual in their culture is based entirely on how well that individual works with those around him, his personal prowess and effectiveness, and his past accomplishments.  Simply having a large stash of material goods means nothing unless it was gained in a manner that exemplified personal skill, at which point the wealth becomes more a symbol of that accomplishment as opposed to holding intrinsic value of its own.

Interactions between Diamond Dogs has always been something that has fascinated Pony scholars through the ages.  Given the often brutal nature of their culture, one would assume that they thrived in conflict and functioned on a method of 'might makes right'.  However, the Diamond Dogs have proven time and again that such is not the case.  They bear a powerful pack mentality; a family of Diamond Dogs will form together with other families, developing a Pack.  That pack will then form together with other packs, developing a Clan.  The intricately tiered and interwoven hierarchy of Clans baffles the understanding of non-Diamond Dogs and many scholars believe there is some instinctual or behavioral 'missing link' that only Diamond Dogs can truly comprehend to make their culture work.  And work it does.  There has never once been a single civil war documented in all of Diamond Dog history and they have maintained a cohesive cultural unit throughout the ages.

The value of an individual is decided by his physical prowess.  This covers not only sheer brute strength, but also sharp senses, talented paws, and quick wits.  Physical size means little and there is no such thing as a 'runt' to the Diamond Dogs, as even a physically underdeveloped canine can still prove himself valuable.  Rather than shunning others for a lack of talent or ability, Diamond Dogs openly embrace their fellow hound and enrich others by passing along knowledge, training, and physical conditioning to improve their kin.  There is no dog left behind.  Diamond Dogs also utilize a distinct concept not seen in Pony culture; a specific dichotomy of gender roles.  While males are primarily driven to occupations as laborers and soldiers, females instead rule the domestic side of things; they are responsible for the upbringing of young and the care of households.  Many stay in such domestic roles their entire lives, though a large number of females also become merchants, even if only temporarily.  However, there is no concept of inferiority based on gender -- males and females hold equal standing and are judged on their own merits, not on gender.

Diamond Dogs have a somewhat nomadic lifestyle.  While there are many major, permanent communities established all across the world, the largest of which is Houndaria, nestled in the safe mountains of Equestria, Diamond Dogs spend much of their time working or traveling.  The vast majority of this canine specie find immense personal satisfaction in becoming laborers or soldiers for their minor empire, though others often branch out as merchants.  Other cultures often look down on the Diamond Dogs, proclaiming that they are 'simple' or even 'barbaric', but scholars agree there is a certain nobility to the steadfast and honest nature of the hard-working canines.  Diamond Dogs' lack of artistry is considered a major obstacle in making them relevant to other cultures, though their craftsmanship and metal-working skills are well reputed, though used only for utility rather than art.

Since ancient times, Diamond Dogs have served a vital, if unappreciated and often misunderstood role.  Long before the age of Discord, Diamond Dogs existed alongside the terrifying race of Dragons.  As a collective people, Diamond Dogs served Dragons loyally and thus controlled much of the known world at the time as a result.  The gradual expansion of Equine species across the globe met with little resistance -- Dragons saw no need to lash out against what they perceived as a 'temporary pest problem' that they would easily outlive and Diamond Dogs thus made way for Pony-kind without qualm.  The reason Diamond Dogs were valued so greatly by the Dragons was because of their loyal nature, great physical strength, and their innate knack for finding gemstones; a Dragon's primary source of nutrition.  Dragons never quite enslaved the Diamond Dogs, per say.  While there have been many studies and criticisms on how fairly the Dragons treated their servants, it never appeared that the Diamond Dogs lacked a choice or inability to escape servitude over the ages.

Discord's impact on the Diamond Dog culture was a tremendous one.  The race almost legendary for their cohesiveness and stability was sundered amid the chaos.  Entire Clans were destroyed and others scattered, and to this day the Diamond Dogs have yet to fully recover.  Further, the Dragons abandoned their servants en mass, leaving the Diamond Dogs to their own devices and suffering under Discord's influence.  In the following ages of peace after Discord's defeat, the Diamond Dogs sought to gradually recover their empire piece by piece and have been largely irrelevant to the now dominant Pony establishment.  Diamond Dogs have never contributed much of anything of major societal value to the modern world and are mostly ignored on the global stage as a result.

In spite of all norms in Diamond Dog culture, there are deviations, particularly in the modern age.  Smaller packs of Diamond Dogs have turned to unscrupulous actions, practicing barbarism openly and without concern for the poor press it gives the rest of their people.  There have been many documented cases of these rogue packs kidnapping and enslaving other beings, forcing them into hard labor, or ransacking small communities.  Both leaders in the core of the Diamond Dog societies and Princess Celestia have publicly urged the masses not to take these extremists as an example of standard Diamond Dog behavior.  Core communities have tried to reach out to these rogues to rehabilitate them into more honorable packs, but so far have met with failure.

Diamond Dogs' physiology is well-suited for the physical labor they so treasure.  Capable of both bipedal and quadrupedal movement, these canines are swift and nimble creatures able to traverse any terrain with their claws and muscles.  They are even able to scale sheer vertical and horizontal surfaces, finding even the tiniest of grips to cling to or simply digging out their own.  Diamond Dogs' claws are amazingly sharp and able to shear through almost any natural material with enough elbow grease applied.  Ancestral behavior kept Diamond Dogs in caves alongside their old Dragon masters, so the canines spend much of their time in their subterranean mines, digging deep into the earth in search of gems or to build massive underground compounds in which to live.  As a result, Diamond Dogs are capable of digging intricate labyrinths at remarkable speed, as well as easily survive the often noxious conditions underground.  The specie has very acute senses; their sense of smell, hearing, and low-light vision is vastly superior to that of Pony-kind across the board.

This message was last edited by the GM at 17:07, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Fri 27 Jul 2012
at 20:15
Re: Lore

Alicorns are a unique specie and one of great mystery.  Nopony knows quite where they have come from or their true natures in relation to the rest of Ponykind.

What is known is that Alicorns are exceptionally rare and universally powerful.  The two most renown Alicorns, sibling Princesses Celestia and Luna, are each capable of controlling the Day and Night respectively which was previously a task performed by the entirety of the Unicorn Kingdom's most powerful spellcasters working in unison.  The two sisters are immortal, though whether or not this is a trait shared by other Alicorns has yet to be confirmed.  The Alicorn leader of the Crystal Kingdom, Princess Cadence, has not shown such longevity in the face of time but has shown massive magical strength relative to that of other Alicorns.

Physically, Alicorns have been regarded as 'Winged Unicorns' as they bear both a single horn capable of externalizing magic like Unicorns, as well as the flight and weather-manipulating abilities of a Pegasus.  Given Alicorns' tremendous physical capacity, they also have affinity with Earth Ponies, which is what led to the original misconception that there were only three types of Ponies beyond the logical inclusion of Sea Ponies.  Alicorns are living beings and can die through sufficient physical trauma, though they display much greater constitution than normal Ponies -- they are almost totally immune to disease, require less sustenance, and do not need to sleep as regularly as others to remain healthy.  It is currently unknown whether Alicorns are truly immortal and thus unable to die from old age, or are simply exceptionally long-lived but still have an upper limit of their venerability.

This message was last edited by the GM at 19:05, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Thu 9 Aug 2012
at 22:36
Re: Lore

Changelings occupy a strange position somewhere in between 'being' and 'monster'.  On one hoof, they are a fully intelligent specie capable of logic, reasoning, and civil function within other communities.  On the other hoof, they are unrepentant predators who victimize other intelligent species for their profit with a surprising level of ferocity.  Despite this, scholars are conflicted on whether or not Changelings can actually be regarded as 'evil' because they lack the contrasting trait of actually being able to be 'good', so to speak.

The origin of the specie is mired in controversy -- Changelings were first discovered hundreds of years ago living in the ruined badlands in the southern regions of Equestria, but given their magical powers, it is likely they have existed for even longer and simply were not publicly identified until that point.  Despite their somewhat equine-like appearance, Changelings are actually non-mammalian creatures closely related to insects.  Their bodies are shrouded in a thick, chitinous black exoskeleton that continually grows and is worn down again over time, resulting in sporadic holes, gaps, and barbs over most of their bodies and particularly in their limbs.  Changelings feature powerful jaws with long, prominent fangs, dextrous prehensile tongues, and faceted wings similar to those of beetles.

There are three primary types of Changelings, much like the different sub-breeds of Pony.  The first are "Drones", the most common variety of Changeling of average build and physical ability.  The second are "Soldiers", which are more physically and magically powerful Changelings who focus primarily of defending their hive.  The third, and rarest, is the "Queen" -- there is only ever one Queen Changeling at a time and this creature readily resembles an Alicorn for unknown reasons.  All Changelings have the ability to magically shapeshift, transforming themselves into a flawless physical representation of another being.  They are also capable of emitting blasts of magical green fire, fibrous liquids that rapidly harden into a translucent semi-solid gel, extended flight, and maintaining vision in zero-light environments.  Those capable of powerful magical capacity, particularly the Queen, are also able to cast various spells beyond the scope of other Changelings, such as mind control and hypnosis.

Changelings, as their name suggests, change.  They use their shapeshifting ability as a means of infiltrating other communities and masquerading as a part of that group for as long as is necessary to acquire a food source.  This is also their means of reproduction.  A Changeling is completely alien to the concept of 'love' and thrives on that positive emotion much like how Windego thrive on hatred, devouring it as a food source.  The more love a Changeling absorbs through proximity of beings capable of that emotional trait, the stronger and more sustained they are.  It is the manner in which Changelings go about gaining love that is what makes them so monstrous.

Rather than perform good deeds or develop significant emotional bonds with others, Changelings will kidnap other beings such as Ponies and replace them, feeding off the positive emotions others feel for the victim.  This is not meant to be an extended strategy, however -- many Changelings lack the ability to impersonate a Pony or other being for long periods of time.  This is furthered by the fact that a Changeling will revert to its true form if it loses concentration on the facade or is forcibly stunned, or rendered unconscious.  Generally speaking, the act only needs to last long enough for the Changeling to get the drop on the loved ones, attacking and incapacitating them in binding cocoons.  From that point on, the captured beings are forced into a comatose state where the Changeling is able to parasitically siphon all the love and positive energies from them while they are trapped in a dreamlike hallucination.  When all love has been sucked out of a being, it becomes twisted and transforms into a Changeling itself, intent on furthering the vicious process of gaining love for its own sustenance.

The greatest threat that Changelings represent is that they are able to move unnoticed through other communities for extended periods of time, using cunning and stealth to prey on others before vanishing without a trace.  In recent years, there was a major Changeling uprising as a result of their dramatic overpopulation -- Queen Chrysalis impersonated Princess Cadence in an involved scheme to victimize the entirety of Canterlot.  The goal was to use it as a leaping point to taking over all of Equestria and turning the entire nation into a vast, if temporary, food source for the colony.  Thankfully, the plan failed and the resulting magical backlash wiped out a large portion of the Changelings, which has had the unexpected result of 'solving' their overpopulation issue.  Despite this, Changelings are still a very real threat to the entire world.

The exact source of Changelings is still unknown, though there has been significant evidence to indicate that the main hive, at least within Equestria, is located in the ruined badlands in the south eastern corner of the continent.  Changeling Hives are tremendous subterranean labyrinths that serve as a home and 'breeding ground' for the creatures -- kidnapped beings are dragged to the hive and indoctrinated, only ever emerging once they have been transformed into new Changelings.  To date, nopony has ever returned from the badlands and the entire region is a no-travel zone by order of Princess Celestia.  As a people, Changelings are culturally dead -- they have no concept of beauty, creativity, or even a desire to improve themselves.  The only exception to this is that Changelings are, universally and inexplicably, amazing singers... though a Changeling has never produced a viable musical contribution and generally only use the skill as a means of luring others in with a siren song or imitated cry for help.

This message was last edited by the GM at 15:11, Tue 21 Aug 2012.

Thu 16 Aug 2012
at 16:05
Re: Lore

-=The Founding of Equestria=-

The story of the founding of Equesrtia is a much beloved tale recited in households and on stages everywhere across the nation every Hearth's Warming Eve.  However, as is true of many things, history becomes garbled, mixed up, and altered as time goes by.  The modern incarnation of the story is a very romanticized version that encapsulates the moral and ethical lessons the past events could teach, but should be considered more as parable and less as historical fact.  The story is laden with metaphors, analogies, and innuendos that only hint at the actual trials of Equestria's ancestors.

During ancient times, the Pony race was divided among themselves by racial barriers -- each of the three known forms of Pony inhabited the same region but did not cooperate as a single people.  Sea Ponies had yet to be discovered as Pony settlements were nowhere near major sea inlets at the time.

The Unicorn Kingdom represented the most traditional form of government amid the three factions.  Ruled by an absolute monarchy under Grand King Titanium, the Unicorn Ponies thrived in an elegant society of refinement and etiquette.  The Unicorns felt that their magical powers made them superior to other breeds of Pony, allowing them a vast variety of skills and abilities to control their surroundings.  The leadership of the faction was unquestioned -- King Titanium was by far the most magical Unicorn of them all and claimed a divine right to the throne.  Nopony raised a single complaint when his eldest daughter, Princess Platinum, ascended to leadership as he aged and stepped aside to let the younger generation rule in his stead.  However, Platinum's over-indulgences led to a rift forming between the working and noble castes in Unicorn society, generating economic tension within the faction as the crown greedily hoarded wealth and leisure, often leaving its own people in rags.

The Pegasi Empire represented a more dramatic and tumultuous form of government, and was easily the most militant of all three.  The entire race of Pegasi lived in the skies at the time, building massive sprawling cities of clouds amid the highest mountain peaks, and thus were secluded from the other two factions entirely.  They interacted only when they saw fit and otherwise were happy to keep to themselves, caring nothing at all for what befell the other two groups.  Commander Hurricane stood as both the sword and shield of the empire, having ascended to leadership through brutally usurping the previous ruler, Emperor Cumulus and placing the whole of the Pegasi under military control.  His political policy was 'Do as I say and I won't hurt you yet'.  Open combat over positions of authority was as common as debate and most matters were resolved by a show of arms, which made cooperation with the other two Pony factions particularly difficult.  The Pegasi saw themselves as superior to the 'soft' Unicorns and the laboring Earth Ponies, who relied on the Pegasi for their ability to control the weather and ensure their crops' survival.

The Earth Nation was, at the time, the most forward thinking of the various Pony groups, but unfortunately misled by novelty.  The salt-of-the-earth equines sought to throw off the shackles of tyrannical leadership they saw in their cousins and developed a form of Parliament who then elected a single leader to govern them.  The idea was to produce a group of ponies, gathered under a single deciding mind, who would represent the ideas and desires of the people.  Unfortunately, democratic thought was a fairly new concept and it was easily swayed by uneducated opinions.  The new Chancellor, Puddinghead, was an admittedly charismatic and popular politician, but lacked the necessary experience and wisdom to properly maintain such a precarious position.  She swiftly became inflated with a sense of self-importance and often disregarded the needs of her people, as well as caused many diplomatic issues when dealing with the other factions.

The balance of fragile harmony maintained between the three breeds was one of symbiotic survival.  Earth Ponies bore an innate skill with the land, allowing them the ability to grow crops needed to sustain their people.  One of the major issues that resulted in the ever-growing rivalry between factions was that the Earth Ponies, previously, had been entirely self-sufficient.  The weather and natural conditions of the land were chaotic, but independent of outside influences -- storms and blizzards came as they would on their own, while day and night passed along as well.  It was unknown why the world behaved the way it did at the time, though unbeknownst to the Ponies, it was because the chaotic spirit Discord was active on the opposite side of the planet at the time.  His actions made vast ripples that were felt the world over, but not wholly understood.  Despite the fluctuating weather forms and daily cycles, Earth Ponies were still able to supply themselves with enough food to live in relative comfort.

It was the Pegasi that first infringed upon the Earth Ponies' independence.  Pegasi thrived on natural mountain grasses and plant life, but their stability was threatened by changing conditions.  Delegations were made with the Earth Ponies and an unsteady truce formed between the two factions -- the Pegasi would enforce a degree of control on the weather within Earth Pony territory to assist them in the growth of their crops, and the Earth Ponies would pay them back with a share of the food.  The Pegasi Empire had originally planned to invade and absorb the Earth Ponies into their empire, but realized that they could not win a war of attrition since their own supplies were low and that the stubborn Earth Nation would sooner starve themselves than be put under a yoke.  Distrust ran rampant between the two factions, but they managed to work together for a number of years without incident.  The Earth Ponies' farmlands thrived like never before and both factions flourished, experiencing a major population boom each that very quickly caught the attention of the neighboring Unicorn Kingdom.

Until that point, the Unicorns had also relied only on themselves, not wanting to sully their community with lowly Earth Ponies or barbaric Pegasi.  They remained secluded in their own part of the country and did not reach beyond their borders, relying entirely on their own 'commoners' to supply their material and agricultural needs.  This was naturally assisted greatly by magic, but even spells could only go so far, particularly as further rifts began to grow within the society.  The worker class was regulated to such a position of general poverty on the notion that their superiors, the nobles, were more powerful spell casters and therefore entitled to positions of authority and privilege.  However, as time went along, the noble caste weakened as families held power regardless of actual magical ability -- many in the nobles were poor spell casters and many in the commoners were powerful, but there was no effort made to close the caste gap.  The ruling class soon realized that there was a possible political upheaval on the horizon and swiftly pointed the blame on their neighboring factions.  The reason the commoners had so little was because the Earth Ponies and Pegasi conspired together against the Unicorns, so the story went.  Eventually the noble caste began to believe their own propaganda and genuine feelings of unrest grew more and more common amid the Unicorns.

Taking matters into their own hooves, the Unicorns gathered their most powerful spell casters regardless of class, bringing together royal, noble, and commoner into a unified guild called the "Council of Titans" in honor of their then wizened king Titanium, who then was upon his deathbed in age.  The council was led by Princess Platinum and her trusted adviser, as well as immensely powerful sorceress, Clover the Clever.  While the council was promoted as a means of unifying the Unicorns against a common threat, its actual purpose was a tad more sinister.  The gathered think tank developed powerful magical spells unlike any seen before and, remarkably, managed to harness the movement of the heavens themselves.  The Unicorns took control of the day and night cycles, enabling them to set the path of the Sun and Moon reliably.  With this massive display of power under their command the Unicorns set an ultimatum on the Pegasi and Earth Ponies -- they would submit to the Unicorn Kingdom or face the obvious consequences.

Thankfully, it never came to anything more than posturing.  The Unicorns could not actually follow through on the threat of withholding the Sun from the land since that ensured their mutual destruction, and the other Ponies knew it.  While the Pegasi Empire's first reaction was to seek to destroy the Unicorns for their audacity, they were kept in check by the Earth Ponies.  The Council did indeed have a wide array of powers at their disposal that would make open warfare with the Unicorn Kingdom an extremely costly and wasteful affair.  A summit was formed and, after much lengthy and exasperating delegation, the three factions finally agreed upon a system of cooperation.  The Earth Ponies would handle the agricultural needs of all three factions, while the Pegasi and Unicorns would each ensure the continued stability of the environment.  Thus all three factions returned to their own territories, content that each of them had 'outwitted' the other groups.  Not a one of them could begin to fathom what dark future awaited them, or the fact that Discord had taken notice of the Unicorns' prideful display of force when the Sun and Moon came under orderly command.

For a time, the three factions cooperated together in relative peace.  The sociopolitical environment was complex and gnarled, wound about itself and upset easily as each group of Ponies dealt not only with their own forms of civil unrest, but the other Ponies as well.  There were often clashes and skirmishes whenever one faction would overstep their bounds.  Corruption ran rampant within the ruling classes of all three groups as well, though none more notably than with the Pegasi.  The cultural climate of the Pegasi Empire underwent a gradual change over the years as the new generations grew up in a time without war, managing the weather and working with the other factions.  This fostered a new ideology that threatened the old war-dogs who held power in the Empire, making many question Commander Hurricane's leadership and relevancy.  While the Pegasi entered a Renaissance, their own governing body covertly sharpened their swords in fear of usurpers.  Meanwhile, the caste rift amid the Unicorns had grown too vast to be ignored and the commoners' satisfaction with the profits of the truce began to draw taut.  Even the Earth Ponies endured their own hardships as their ruling class began to fall into wasteful novelty and self-indulgence, making many demand changes to Parliament that were promptly ignored.

Before things could come to a head amid the Ponies, the rest of the world caught up with them.  As there are many dark forces that thrived within the world at the time, and still do to this day, the hatred and dissonance amid Ponykind drew baleful spirits, Windegos, to the lands and ushered in an early winter.  The weather turned against the control of the Pegasi and vast blizzards ravaged the land, growing more and more intense with passing weeks.  At first the Pegasi managed to hold back the snows for a time but soon were overwhelmed, unable to fend off the bizarre weather.  Dissatisfaction mounted higher as the other two factions railed against the Pegasi, first blaming them for the snows and then scolding them for their failure to keep the storms away, but even the Unicorns' assistance didn't do any good as the combined forces of both groups couldn't alleviate the strange weather.  Tensions drew higher and higher because of it, particularly as the Earth Ponies fell back into old habits by accusing the other Ponies of being superfluous and began hoarding food for themselves in secret.  As the long winter grew more intense, resources dwindled rapidly and the fragile peace the groups held began to unravel into civil disputes and even combative skirmishes with each other over supplies.

At the worst point in the winter when all three stubborn groups were in equal danger of doom within the blizzards, the leaders gathered together into a summit to discuss what could be done to save them all.  Unfortunately, it came to no useful conclusion as each leader threw around accusations and bile, unable to work together to ensure their own survival.  The uneasy truce between groups shattered and all three sought to abandon their homeland in search of literally greener pastures, leaving the other factions to fend for themselves.  None had any clue that it was their own distrust that had brought the winters upon them in the first place or realized that going their separate ways only served to make things worse.

In the modern Hearth's Warming Even story, this part is commonly depicted as each leader, accompanied by a stalwart companion, setting out into the wilderness to find a new homeland to occupy.  This is the first major point of allegory common within the tale -- in reality, each faction uprooted their entire people and made a mass exodus out of the snowy lands, moving tens of thousands of ponies across distant countryside over the course of several years.  The Leader represents not only the actual historical figure, but also the opinions of the ruling class within that group.  The Companion represents not only actual individuals who played key roles during the migration, but also the general attitudes and beliefs of the commoner class within each group.  Each shows a heavily simplified reference of behavior to encapsulate the attitudes of each sub-group:

The Unicorn leadership was indulgent and petty, content to use others for its own gain, even its own people.  Meanwhile the Unicorn commoners endured the abuse out of respect for tradition and continued (if relative) stability, but held no real love for their 'superiors'.  The character representations of Princess Platinum's bratty attitude and Clover the Clever's common sense tapered with subservience capture the dynamic between the two castes, but does not fully cover the simmering hatred that the lower class held for the nobles.

The Pegasi leadership remained war-like and aggressive, demanding much of its people and even more from others.  Despite their outdated viewpoints, they doggedly held onto power and tried to keep a militant front to their culture.  Meanwhile, the rest of society yearned for peace but could not shake the weight of military control.  The burly character of Commander Hurricane, contrasted against the meek and peaceful Private Pansy (Commander Hurricane's own granddaughter, historically), represents the very different ideologies of the two castes.

The Earth Pony leadership was the most chaotic during that time, particularly because of the sense of displacement and loss of home amid the people.  They were far more invested in their homeland than the others, so leaving took a greater toll.  Chancellor Puddinghead's lack of wisdom and poor leadership is spoofed upon, making her into a dimwitted and sometimes almost insane caricature to exaggerate how much she'd forgotten her own roots and the failures of Parliament as a ruling body.  The difference is made even more obvious as she's played against the patient tolerance of Smart Cookie, who represented both the more humble population and those parts of Parliament that had not become corrupted.

During the long years of travel, the three tribes of Ponies clashed many times when they crossed paths.  There was no effort at peaceful diplomacy at all.  One faction would settle in a suitable area for only a short time before another would appear and invade, keeping the entire region in a constant state of unrest and open warfare for years.  Between the skirmishes, traveling, and the constant spread of blizzards that followed the migration, losses of life on all sides were momentous and there was genuine concern of the Ponies facing extinction if the did not manage to find a new homeland.  Eventually all three factions came upon the region that would become Equestria, but no sooner had they begun setting in and preparing to face off against one another for a decisive battle for the region than the blizzards returned once again.  With the freezing winds more violent than ever, each faction was ravaged by the elements and forced into the barren lands to the northwest.  There they battled constantly over what scarce resources could be scrounged up in the first place, commonly represented in the play by the three groups bickering over ownership of a rock.

The needless squabbling between the three ruling factions resulted in their mutual destruction as the winter snow grew worse, trapping the Ponies within the distant regions.  Each of the three leaders and the bulk of the upper castes in each society collapsed upon themselves, succumbing both to the elements and their own failures.  Adrift without leadership, the commoner castes of each faction and what remained of the upper castes gathered together in desperation; given the situation, they were able to set aside their differences in the face of greater adversity.  The play shows this as the three companions gathering together and becoming friends over the course of an evening after discovering the Fire of Friendship, though this is a dramatic condensing of the chain of events.  Further, the revival of the leader characters at the conclusion of the play is also metaphor, intended to represent the rebirth of the upper caste maturing out of their selfish ways.  The actual individuals were destroyed by their own shortcomings and destined to forever serve as an example to all others the dangers of greed and arrogance.

The newly re-organized Ponies survived through the endless winter for months, gradually developing a new community built on the notions of mutual trust and cooperation to defy a horrid fate.  It was there, beneath the horrid Windego's influence, that the Ponies truly came to understand each other and came together as one people.  With the combined efforts of all the Ponies, Clover the Clever discovered a primal and unique form of magic roused from within them all -- the Fire of Friendship.  The brilliant fires fended off the Windegos and purged the land of the winter freeze, bringing about a new beginning for the Ponies as they worked to gradually recover what they had lost and rebuild.  While scholars often disagree on whether or not the Fire of Friendship was an independent manifestation of positive energies amid the Ponies or somehow connected to the yet-undiscovered Elements of Harmony, all acknowledge that it did in fact exist and was not merely a metaphor.

Following the recovery and second migration into the temperate regions of the southern valleys, the newly unified Ponies settled down to establish a new nation for themselves.  One invested in the ideals of peaceful co-existence, respect for one's fellow equine, and faith that the innate goodness within everyone would help lead them all to a prosperous future.  They did away with their faction names and dubbed their new land in the name of all equine-kind; Equestria.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:55, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Thu 16 Aug 2012
at 16:06
Re: Lore
-=The Age of Discord, and the Return of Discord=-

The trials that Ponykind endured in the settlement of Equestria were both lengthy and frequent.  Even with the Fire of Friendship aiding them in literal and figurative degrees, it took many years for the region to become properly suited for hosting such a large number of Ponies as well as their growing population.  Thankfully the passing seasons were on their side and a new Spring soon ushered in the first of many generations of peace.  Settlers spread out far and wide across the land, establishing thriving communities and building a new kingdom upon the ashes of their old one.  The abandoned homeland left behind was annexed back into the new country, but still suffered the lingering effects of the Windego's presence.  While the spirits themselves had been driven away, their touch remained imprinted on the land and the region was left locked in a state of perpetual winter -- not so bad as to be unlivable, but it was a less hospital climate than would be ideal.  The far northern region has become modern day Stalliongrad.

However, not all was to be peace and prosperity for the Ponies.  No sooner had they settled into a comfortable new life than their world was literally turned on its head.

When the Unicorn Kingdom had grasped control of the Sun and Moon, they unwittingly drew the attention of a malevolent spirit upon them far worse than that of the Windegos.  Documents show that, at the time, Discord had been active on the other side of the globe, meddling idly in the affairs of Dragons when Ponykind caught his awareness.  He did not make any appearance in Equestria, however, until approximately twenty years following the initial point of contact.  To date, nobody has ever been able to explain Discord in any degree.  Scholars have debated for years whether or not he is a primal force of reality given shape, or a survivor of a long-dead but immensely powerful specie, or an alien creature from a whole other realm of existence, or a malicious deity... the list goes on.  Self-described as the Spirit of Chaos and Disharmony, Discord embodied entropic forces with an almost childish glee, but none of the innocence.  It was all too apparent that Discord's actions were performed with full knowledge, purpose, and sadistic pleasure in just how much misery he inflicted upon the world around him.  While mythological characters such as Tirac represented vices and dark intentions in Pony lore, Discord was the first true example of a completely evil being.

The Age of Discord began not with a crash or a whisper, but with the toot of a kazoo.  True to his puppet master habits, Discord's initial appearance in Equestria seemed almost benevolent.  He was curious about Ponies and took his time getting to know them, living amongst the equines in their new kingdom as an observer for a short while.  It has been theorized that Discord was studying the ponies to try and figure out how they worked and what made them tick, but further documentation and direct contact with him has shown that he bears a level of omniscience that makes such efforts completely moot.  It appears, to be frank, that he was simply toying with Ponies from the very beginning.  At first his various antics seemed harmless, if distracting and bizarre, and Ponies did not think much of him other than as an impish being looking to have fun.  Some even liked his actions and reveled in the harmless chaos he brought.

However, Discord's true colors showed clear soon enough.  It didn't take long before harmless pranks began to have serious consequences, and then turned into dangerous stunts.  Discord began to manipulate Ponies, twisting their minds and turning them against one another.  When some realized what he was doing and rose to oppose him, they were either twisted about to 'relax and see things his way' or instantly crushed.  The Draconequis' claws dug deep into the land and his chaotic influence spread rapidly, enveloping the whole of Equestria in an endless haze of madness.  Exact recordings of what happened during this time period are sparse -- either they don't exist, didn't survive the ravages of time, or are neigh illegible as those who wrote them were trapped in the grips of insanity within a world that defied all logical sense.  Needless to say, it was a time of great suffering for the Ponies who had to endure the tyranny of Discord.

Discord did not rule the Ponies in the traditional sense -- he did not establish himself as a leader and try to govern them, or even enslave them.  He simply used Ponies as a means of entertainment, thinking nothing of practically obliterating their entire people and way of life for his own sick pleasure.  Those Ponies who were strong enough to resist, or at least temporarily suppress, the maddening impact of the tyrant gathered together to form an army of freedom fighters intent on somehow saving their kind from endless insanity.  The allies of Equestria rallied as Discord's influence began to spread out further and further, even going so far as to touch the distant lands of Neighpon and the oceanic realm of the Sea Ponies.  The Gryphons were the first to rally en mass and come to the aid of Equestria, forming the largest military force in the history of the world alongside the Pegasi and, amazingly, even a number of Dragons who sought vengeance on Discord.

Unfortunately for all involved, it turned out that up until then, Discord had only been playing.  When finally faced with dedicated opposition, his temper flared and he began a full assault on his enemies.  For all of Discord's recorded buffoonery and playful nature, it must never be thought for a second that he was not dangerous.  Enraged, Discord laid waste to the gathered armies seemingly without effort on his own part, ravaging their numbers as he summoned typhoons, froze the oceans, transformed his victims into inanimate objects, or even manged to fully shatter their minds and turn them against their own kind.  It became apparent all too quickly that the forces of the world could not hope to defeat such a being and that, despite their efforts, the only reason they lasted as long as they had was because Discord was letting them do so to prolong the game he played.

It was then, as the rebellious army faced an overwhelming defeat at the mismatched claws of the mad god, that reinforcements arrived from a very unexpected source.

To date, and despite direct questioning through the years, nobody knows where Celestia and Luna came from.  Alicorns had not been witnessed in Equestria or documented throughout the world up until that point, so the arrival of the two sisters was something of a miracle as far as Pony kind was concerned.  With as little explanation as to their origins as Discord himself, the sisters rallied the battered army anew with powerful magics at their command.  They could undo some portion of the chaos themselves, healing and restoring those fallen in battle but not yet wholly lost in the war.  With each sibling in command of a celestial body they seized control of the sky, using it both to reaffirm their hold of power and give hope to the land that it was not impossible to defy Discord.  Despite having more powerful enemies to face from two different fronts, Discord actually halted his onslaught on the land and took personal interest in the two Alicorns when they challenged him to a battle of wits.

As is true of much of Discord's history, there is not much known of the interactions between him and the two sisters.  It is known that the three had many personal conversations and encounters over the course of a year, through which Discord spent much of his time trying to get a rise out of the two.  While never able to get much from Luna, he did manage one particular instance of riling Celestia to the point of conflict.  It was not documented exactly what the condition of the conversation was or what exactly Discord said to anger her so, but he was recorded as laughing gleefully as he fled while Celestia leveled a mountainside trying to attack him.  It was the only time the elder Alicorn lost her temper during the extended conflict and proved a point of contention from then on -- Discord would often mock her for the momentary weakness and use it to get under her skin in future encounters.  However, despite further attempts to undermine the sisters' stance, they remained strong against his influence.  By that time all of Equestria had fallen under discordant effects save for the two Alicorns; even their own allies had been affected to varying degrees, making the stability of the army flimsy at best.

The reason Celestia and Luna challenged Discord to a battle of wits was to delay him.  It was unknown where they found the items, but the two sisters bore with them the inactive Elements of Harmony and sought bearers for the relics amid the Ponies.  However, with all their hearts so heavily corrupted by Discord's magic, there were none suited for the responsibility of representing the various ideals the Elements embodied.  By convincing Discord to take part in a game, he was forced to follow a set of rules that would make his actions slightly more predictable; while he cheated, his cheating was derived from those per-determined rules rather than just being completely incomprehensible randomness.  He was confident that he would be able to win out in the end because, despite the power of the Elements, he had managed to corrupt everyone in the land and thus render the items useless without hosts.

No doubt he would have been very surprised to find out that Celestia and Luna had managed to divvy the Elements between themselves, tricking him into thinking he'd won and striking him down while he crowed a victory song.

The two sisters were the only uncorrupted beings in the land by then and the Elements attuned themselves to them, splitting evenly in their control.  Celestia bore the Elements of Magic, Loyalty, and Laughter while Luna bore the Elements of Generosity, Kindness, and Honesty.  The relevance this distribution has to the differing personalities of the two sisters has been hotly debated for years.  Harnessing such powerful magic allowed the two to finally defeat Discord and seal him in lifeless stone.  Despite being locked away, Discord's influence remained in effect within the world and needed to be purged bit by bit.  It weakened naturally over time as the natural magics of the land tried to reset themselves back into a sense of order, but it would take far greater efforts on behalf of both of the Alicorn sisters to bring about a full restoration of Equestria, particularly as the Elements of Harmony abandoned the two once the population of Ponies had begun to get back on their hooves again.  The Elements of Magic and Generosity remained with Celestia and Luna respectively, but the rest became scattered as they sought new hosts.

More than a millennium later, Discord would return to Equestria as the magic that held him in check weakened over time.  With Celestia and Luna no longer connected to the Elements of Harmony at all since new hosts had come about, the seal keeping him trapped in stone eventually broke and he once more wrought havoc on the land.  It is unclear as to why, but Discord localized all of his attention on the small town of Ponyville during his revival, only briefly toying with property in Canterlot before relocating to the neighboring town.  Scholars still argue on whether he was weakened by his long imprisonment and could not affect a larger scope, or was simply focusing on the hometown of his new rivals in the Six Heroes of Equestria for his own amusement.  Discord's second assault on the land was nowhere near as overtly ruinous as his first and, with timely effort made by the Six Heroes, he was once again sealed away in stone and his influence on Ponyville undone completely.  Discord has since been relocated to an unspecified location within Canterlot Castle for safe keeping.

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:54, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Thu 16 Aug 2012
at 16:06
Re: Lore
-=The Rise and Fall of the Regal Sisters=-

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:54, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Thu 16 Aug 2012
at 16:06
Re: Lore
-=The Age of Celestia, and the Return of Nightmare Moon=-

In the era following the banishment of Nightmare Moon and Princess Celestia's ascension as the sole leader of Equestria, she set forward a tremendous effort to stabilize the wounded nation.  Until then, Equestria had mostly been secluded to its own affairs -- between recovering from Discord's reign and then dealing with Nightmare Moon, the fledgling country had a lot on is own plate and didn't concern itself with the happenings of the rest of the world.  However, Celestia expounded greatly upon the importance of establishing solid friendships with other forces in the world so that their country would never again have to suffer alone.

The gradual empowerment of Equestria took place over many generations under Celestia's watchful eye.  As both the sovereign leader of the nation and the single most powerful magical being known to the world, her rule went totally unquestioned and wholly supported by Equestrian citizens.  Being ageless allowed Celestia to plan the growth of her nation in a much broader and enduring scope than any mortal leader could ever hope to do -- she oversaw the developments that took decades to come to fruition, handling each with wisdom and patience.  As a result of her direct control of the nation's development and very public presence, Celestia had a bigger influence on how ponykind grew as a culture than she at first realized.  A particular point of interest was that her physical appearance became renown as the purest form of beauty, which led to a grand artistic movement emphasizing a tall, slender body type as being a pinnacle of grace and elegance.

Despite her best efforts to expand the relationships of Equestria throughout the world communities, the sociopolitical climate of the world was not so easily approached and truces were difficult to acquire.  If nothing else, many other societies were wary of Equestria since it had such a tumultuous history despite being such a young nation.  Celestia herself also drew a huge amount of suspicion because of immense wealth of power and possession of the (currently inert) Elements of Harmony.  The level of distrust against Equestria was made worse still by its most steadfast ally; the Gryphons.  While those two groups were loyal to each other to the bitter end, it raised suspicion since the Gryphons had a fierce, war-like culture at that point.  Needless to say, most other countries were not eager to shake hooves and be friends with Equestria at that point.  Those who could, such as Neighpon, simply closed off all contact and gave them the cold shoulder.  Those who could not, however, either did their best to keep out of the nation's attention or quickly kowtowed to the superior global force.

Equestria itself underwent a tremendous change in structure and culture as time went by.  Originally a feudal society, it transformed itself into one of industry and exploration over the passing centuries.  This development was primarily driven by Earth Ponies who gradually outnumbered the population of Unicorn and Pegasi Ponies over time, which led to an increased emphasis on inventions and practices that could be utilized by those without magic or dextrous wings.  The only constant was Celestia herself who remained almost wholly untouched by the passing trends, further cementing her timeless nature in the eyes of her people and the world at large.  It came to the point that the entire culture that Celestia and Luna initially ushered in during their original founding of their kingdom eventually died away, leaving Celestia alone as the sole remnant of a long-gone history.  She did not hold on to the past and allowed the world to develop around her, though she remained constantly relevant as she would always keep herself in an active role within the government.  Because of this, the historical events surrounding the rise of Nightmare Moon turned to legend, and then myth.  While Celestia prevented history from forgetting Discord in quite the same manner, she allowed knowledge of Princess Luna and Nightmare Moon to fade from public knowledge seemingly for personal reasons.  Eventually knowledge that Princess Celestia even had a sister, or was the Alicorn referenced in the 'old mare's tale' was forgotten and cast simply as parable.  During this period of time, Nightmare Moon was rewritten by popular culture as a bogeymare character who later became a beloved mascot to the harvest-season holiday that would be Nightmare Night.

Equestrian Ponies firmly believed in the idea of Manifest Destiny and spread outward through the eastern and southeastern portions of the country, traveling to the furthest coasts and establishing various settlements beyond their original territory.  These new communities would thrive because of direct involvement with the Sea Ponies along the coastal regions and many Ponies were so enchanted by the undersea people that they would 'go native'.  This resulted in a string of island and coastal subcultures developing that would become practically their own nation due to how far they diverged from the methods of other still-traveling Ponies.  Those who did not settle along the eastern coasts actually performed a sort of reverse immigration as they traveled further down south to inhospitable barren lands, then turned north and resettled across already established regions of Equestria to bring their road-born outlook and ways to the still medieval area.  It was precisely this method of reintegration that brought about the establishment of Ponyville.

In the 1000+ years between Celestia's initial rise to power and the modern era, Equestria became a beacon of prosperity and stability through the world.  Considered by many to be the leading super power on the global scale, it is hailed as being as close to paradise as one could hope to find.  Many other cultures throughout the world have come to emulate Equestrian practices and ideology to varying degrees of success.  Celestia eventually managed to open paths of cooperation between Equestria and other countries that had originally turned away from her efforts at friendship, establishing stable forms of trade and multicultural exploration.  Neighpon is the most recent of these -- while the Emperor of Neighpon was quick to accept Celestia's treaties, getting the rest of the country to overcome its xenophobia has been a more lengthy issue and ambassador programs still hold great importance in trying to educate both sides of the issue.

Precisely 1000 years following her initial banishment, Nightmare Moon made a return to power that would be echoed by Discord years later.  It was during this event that Nightmare Moon kidnapped Princess Celestia and prevented the Sun from rising, though how exactly she managed such a feat has yet to be fully explained as it was later discovered that she had been immensely weakened due to her extended imprisonment in the Moon.  Nightmare Moon's return was cut short as she was defeated by the Six Heroes of Equestria in the course of events that led to them becoming the newest bearers of the Elements of Harmony.  The malevolent force that had possessed Princess Luna was dispelled and the young Alicorn herself returned to her proper state of mind.  With the defeat of the villain and Princess Celestia returned to power, she extended an offer of peace to Princess Luna and set upon the re-establishment of their relationship both as sisters and rulers of Equestria.

To the majority of Equestria, the whole event ended right there and life went on as usual with the bonus of having a new Princess around.  However, there was a major political backlash as a result of these events that echoed across the globe.  A lot of concern went up in the global community as the Elements of Harmony had once more become active and the massive source of power they represented brought scrutiny back to Equestria.  Further, the integration of an Alicorn who had twice tried to destroy the world into the nation's royal structure raised quite a few eyebrows too, even if she was Celestia's sister.  Recovering Princess Luna's reputation at that point was no easy feat and even native Equestrians didn't manage it so easily, still fearing her as Nightmare Moon for some time afterward until she managed to get a handle on her public identity a year or so later.

What perhaps drew the most amount of suspicion on Princess Celestia was how much of the events were not only kept secret from the rest of the country, but actually orchestrated by her.  Everything worked out well in the end, but the idea that Celestia had made such a gamble that had been a thousand years in the making didn't settle well with many Ponies.  Matters were complicated by the knowledge that Celestia had purposefully allowed or indirectly censored historical records toward inaccuracy to facilitate her long-running plan to defeat Nightmare Moon once and for all.  While Celestia still carried tremendous support from Equestria in general as well as other global powers, it raised the very important question: how much was she still hiding?

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:54, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Thu 16 Aug 2012
at 16:06
Re: Lore

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:59, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Thu 16 Aug 2012
at 16:37
Re: Lore

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:59, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Thu 16 Aug 2012
at 16:56
Re: Lore

This message was last edited by the GM at 16:59, Thu 16 Aug 2012.

Thu 16 Aug 2012
at 16:56
Re: Lore

The Basilisk is a dangerous monster native to the Everfree Forest and other similar regions of deep woodlands.  It thrives in the dark, swampy recesses of forests and prefers humid climates, though there is a tropical sub-specie commonly found living amid the volcanic islands of the Gryphon Archipelago.  Basilisks are large, six-legged reptiles of about five times the size and strength of the average Earth Pony.  Their long necks and tails are particularly powerful, as are their crushing jaws capable of shattering stone.  Worse still, they are stunningly fast for their size, making them efficient hunters capable of taking on much larger animals.  The unusual biological properties Basilisk have renders them apex predators, as no living creature could possibly prey on them and survive devouring one.

A Basilisk's true danger is its bodily fluids.  Old stories remark on Basilisks being a living poison and that concept is actually very apt.  Their saliva is a violently caustic acid that creeps rapidly across surfaces, eating away at anything it touches in a matter of seconds.  Its blood is even more toxic -- it has similarly acidic properties as well as being incompatible with oxygen.  When exposed to open air, its blood emits a vile cloud of poison capable of killing living beings in moments.  Stories tell of a tragic warrior who stood against a Basilisk as it attacked his village, though when he struck the beast dead with a spear, its acidic blood climbed the weapon and killed him on contact.  Even the natural oils the beast's scales secret are dangerous and leave plant life it walks upon withered and dead in its wake.  There is no safe way to fend off such a creature without the aid of magic and entire communities are put on alert for immediate evacuation when such a creature is spotted outside the woods.

Thankfully, there are few Behemoths in the world.  These long-lived brutes are towering in size, standing well over twenty feet tall on average with bodies that are akin to a gorilla mixed with an ape.  Their bodies are covered in a coarse, shaggy fur.  These beasts bear tremendous physical strength and are able to uproot trees without effort, as well as endure the most sundering of physical blows without injury.  In the past, Behemoths were openly hunted by Dragons for unexplained reasons, which has dwindled their population down to mere dozens globally.  Despite being a very much endangered specie, the Behemoth's long lifespan means that those still around are not in much danger of dying out before they can get a chance to breed.  The average pregnancy for female Behemoths is twenty years, and the monsters have a general lifespan of at least five-hundred years before they reach a venerable state where dying of old age is possible.

Besides the Behemoth's horrifying strength and violent nature, what makes it both unique and truly dangerous is its innate immunity to magic.  While the specific properties are unknown, a Behemoth's shaggy coat repels magical energy at a core level, rendering the creature completely invulnerable against spells -- shaped magic that comes into contact with the fur instantly destabilizes and is dispersed harmlessly.  The only real way to defeat a Behemoth is through raw brute force, which is no easy feat since stopping power is the creature's own forté.  To date, only full-grown Dragons and the Alicorn Princesses have ever achieved such.  Behemoth hair is considered an illegal and exorbitantly valuable item as it retains its spell-breaking properties even after being sheared from the beast with high-powered diamond saws.

Chimera are exceptionally rare magical beasts found in the north eastern volcanic islands beyond the Gryphon Archipelago.  Many different varieties exist and no two Chimera are the same, nor do they breed like other animals do.  Chimera are the result of dark natural magics; over-saturation of magical leylines in a given area cause the development of Chimera as native creatures mutate due to exposure over their natural lifespans.  Any being can become a Chimera, hence why the native regions of over-saturated magic are heavily barred and unoccupied by civilized creatures.

Chimera are universally malicious and highly aggressive.  Chimera have a wide variety of natural abilities, bearing the physical and magical traits of whatever mix of creatures that make up its body bestow.  Thankfully they rarely travel outside of their home islands, so they are usually not something anypony ever has to worry about.  This has caused some minor incidents in the past as Chimera sometimes become disregarded as myths... until one pops up in the wilds.  All civilized species know to avoid Chimera at all costs, even to the point of completely evacuating entire communities from the region should one appear.

The Cockatrice is a well-known monster that commonly lives in deep forests and mountains where there is much plant life.  They adore thick underbrush that they can hide in, skulking about where others cannot readily see them until they are ready to show themselves.  Cockatrices are a partially feathered reptilian creature, though they are commonly referred to as 'half chicken, half serpent', though such a drastic oversimplification really does not do justice to the unusual nature of the beast.

Of all creatures readily studied by Ponykind, Cockatrices remain a mystery.  They have shown significant intelligence and emotional complexity, but seem to have an innate hatred for living things without reason.  Combine that with its magical ability to turn living organisms into stone with its gaze and the true danger of such a deadly creature becomes apparent.  Scholars originally thought that Cockatrices only turned others to stone as a means of self-defense or outright cruelty, but further studies have shown that the beasts actually eat petrified creatures by pecking away at them over time and devouring the granules of transformed stone.  While a Cockatrice has never been known to do this to a petrified Pony or other large being, one still should avoid crossing such a monster.  Ponies who have suffered petrification and later been restored by magic report not being aware of their time as statues; a petrified being is rendered magically comatose and in stasis, unable to be affected by the passage of time or even aware of what has become of them.  In some rare cases, this has even been used as a means of emergency medical care as petrification halts injuries from taking their toll.  As a result, healing houses in early Equestrian days sometimes had a 'tame' Cockatrice caged on property for just such an occasion.

Virtually nothing is known of the specie 'Draconequis' and the term was only coined following Discord's arrival in Equestria.  To date, he is the only known specimen and it is not clear whether he is actually best considered to be a 'creature' so much as an 'entity'.  Discord's status as a living being or an immortal spirit is still heavily debated.  In the past, Kirin were mistakenly labeled as Draconequis when Pony explorers first encountered them, which partially led to a great deal of animosity against Neighpon in those early years as there was fear that it was Discord's homeland.

The mighty Dragons are widely regarded as monsters despite their intelligence and ability to communicate.  This is due to many of their natural habits and highly aggressive nature, particularly in regard to their territorial ways and ill treatment of other species.  Because of their natural tendency toward violence, little is known about Dragons.  Their core features, natures, and even how many different breeds exist are unknown.

Scholars have gleaned some interesting facts about these powerful beasts over the ages.  Dragons are born from large eggs and are quite helpless even at the moment they are hatched -- they lack offensive abilities, but are neigh invulnerable to damage even as a newborn and can unwittingly cause harm to their surroundings.  Dragons have been known to live for thousands of years without ever reaching adulthood and, to date, there has never been a single documented case of a Dragon dying of old age.  As Dragons age, they start off mostly harmless as babies, enter a very aggressive and hormonal stage of adolescence and young adulthood, then gradually taper into venerable passiveness at ancient ages.  However, an ancient Dragon is no less dangerous even if it seems calm; these creatures only become more powerful as they age, and an older Dragon has the wisdom to be a truly terrifying foe.  Princess Celestia is the only known Pony to have ever raised a Dragon from birth to its Baby phase, resulting in a fully domesticated being compatible with Pony society.  There have been cases of young Dragons 'immigrating' into Pony society as well with increasing frequency in recent years.  On the flipside, Princess Celestia is also the only known Pony to have ever defeated a full-grown Dragon in combat, though the event itself caused tremendous damage to the landscape -- that battle was the founding reason behind the modern Equestrian policy of using diplomacy with Dragons at all costs.

Dragons are most commonly known to exist in three forms -- Grounded, Winged, and Aquatic, though it is very likely there are other varieties as well.  Grounded Dragons are flightless creatures that vary dramatically in size, nature, and capacity for destruction.  Winged Dragons are just as varied, though they all share the trait of having wings enabling them to fly.  Feathered, scaled, gossamer, and even magically winged dragons have been documented, as well as flying Dragons with no discernible physical means of achieving flight.  Aquatic Dragons, often mistakenly called 'Sea Serpents', are serpentine-bodied Dragons capable of living beneath the water.  They are the most rarely seen of all Dragons as they tend to live deep within the ocean at depths that even Sea Ponies dare not delve to, though some have been known to appear in shallow waters like lakes and rivers.  While all Dragons vary in size and can grow to be quite massive, Aquatic Dragons in particular are known to reach truly monstrous sizes that dwarf even other Dragons.  The (now lost) island of Malooba was, in fact, a sleeping, partially-submerged Aquatic Dragon so huge that it was mistaken for an island, had its own ecosystem, and was populated by Gryphons for over eighty years while the Dragon napped.  The beast awoke and swam away without ever noticing its occupants or that it had unwittingly destroyed an entire civilization built upon it.

Dragons bear innate magical abilities along with their universal capacity for breathing fire.  Young Dragons can learn a spell or two, but older Dragons who bother to learn tend to become extremely powerful spell casters able to rival even the greatest of Unicorn wizards.  Dragons are renown for their near-invulnerability and actually doing appreciable harm to a Dragon is a daunting task.  Their scales are very dense and render them nearly impervious to physical damage.  All Dragons are immune to fire, heat, and electricity, often bathing in lava as a means of relaxing or playing in thunderstorms because 'lightning tickles'.  There are very few documented cases of beings getting into fights with Dragons, but all cases show that even a Baby Dragon is virtually invincible.  There are only two real threats to Dragons; magic and other Dragons.

Magical Dragons have a peculiar trait about them.  Those skilled in casting magic can unwittingly internalize their spellcraft, which is intrinsically linked to their emotional, mental, and physical states.  This can result in unusual and often dangerous magical outbursts -- one major observation was a case where the Baby Dragon, Spike, underwent dramatic magically-induced growth and matured into an Adult State in a matter of days, then receded back to a Baby State instantly once his emotional drive was resolved.  Another case was the unusual affair of Kotatsu, a now well-known Dragon who fell in love with an ancient Neighponese princess and forcibly shapeshifted into a Kirin himself so that he could be with her.  When she later died of old age, Kotatsu took her body and ascended into the sky, becoming the constellation of "The Star Crossed Lovers" rather than live an eternity without his beloved.  While this is widely regarded as merely a legend 'explaining' why Kirin have reptilian traits and linking it to a popular constellation, there has been much evidence to support the idea that such a Dragon and romantic event did indeed occur.  Whether or not the constellation is actually a transformed Kirin and Dragon is unknown -- Princess Luna has always refused to comment.

While many Dragons are peaceful enough in the broader scope of things, the vast majority are violent and brutish.  Dragons (young males in particular) tend to be highly competitive, territorial, and often mean-spirited toward other species.  Part of a Dragon's show of dominance and power is its capacity to gather material wealth, which has led to a deep misunderstanding about their habits -- many regard Dragons as simply being greedy and covetous, leading them to hoard wealth that they cannot actually use.  This is not the case though.  While some gems are valuable, the fact that they are a primary food source for Dragons (taking precedent even over meat, remarkably) explains their desire for that particular form of wealth.  When it comes to other forms of wealth hoarding, that occurs because of a Dragon's instinctive drive to nest.  Territory is extremely important to Dragons as they migrate or travel very rarely -- once a Dragon settles in somewhere, it is loathe to move without good reason.  As such, they put a lot of effort into ensuring a comfortable living space.  Young Dragons have thick hides but are still able to enjoy soft objects like pillows and clouds.  Adult Dragons, however, grow so massive and thick-skinned that their armor-like bodies render them unable to feel most tactile mediums.  Gold, as it turns out, is their preferred 'pillow' as it holds heat exceptionally well, is durable enough to withstand a Dragon's form lying atop it for ages at a time, and is readily available in easily-conditioned/organized/stacked shapes thanks to it being the primary means of currency for all civilized beings in the world.  Dragons also show superiority over other Dragons by having a bigger, shinier, and more impressive lair, which leads them to gather more and more valuable items for their hoard.  One cannot impress other Dragons with a shabby looking bed, after all.  Aside from this desire for comfort and prestige, Dragons also have a simple love of sparkly things.

Flume Plants
Flume are carnivorous plants with parasitic tenancies not native to Equestria.  These bulb-like plants start out relatively small but quickly grow to huge sizes so long as they have a readily available food supply to prey upon -- mostly insects, rodents, and small birds when still young.  A full-grown Flume Plant can easily prey on Ponies though, making it a rather dangerous thing to find in one's garden.  Thankfully the Flume does not normally appear in Equestria and is remarkably ill-suited for the environment, often completely sucking the life from its surroundings and purging the soil to the point that it can't even sustain itself and starves.  Botanists who have encountered the rare plant to wonder just where it originated from in the first place.

The Flume Plant is extremely dangerous.  Unlike most carnivorous plants that are content to sit still and use lures to draw in prey, the Flume is capable of uprooting itself and actively traveling in search of food.  Its serpentine vines are covered in sharp barbs and highly toxic, enabling it to paralyze living beings for easier ingestion.  Thankfully Flume have only the most rudimentary form of intelligence and absolutely no capacity for sentience, so it is an easily outwitted predator that will not pursue a difficult meal.  The Flume can 'see' its surroundings through a cluster of liquid-filled globules on its stalks that only perceive motion, light, and shapes immediately near by its body, making it easily distracted by trickery from outside its limited field of vision.  Given the rarity and nature of the plant, its remains and fluids would presumably make interesting specimens for botanical and magical research.

A Hydra is truly a terrible creature.  Despite being a cousin specie to Dragons, Hyrda have none of Dragons' potential but have all of their malice.  Hydra are incredibly territorial beasts who violently attack all who enter their lands, including other Hydra.  As a result of this, they are mostly solitary creatures and meet other Hydras only for the purpose of brief mating periods.  Even mother Hydras kick their young out of the nest as soon as they hatch, forcing them to fend for themselves.

Hydra are born with two heads, each with their own brain and personality totally independent of the other.  As they age, they grow more heads, making the beast more dangerous as it becomes more cunning and capable of greater observation.  Most Hydra stop at four or five heads, though there are stories of greater physical achievements.  Neighponese legends speak of The Great Orochi -- an eight-headed Hydra outsmarted and defeated by a noble warrior.  There is also an ancient Dragon legend telling of an immortal Hydra with 1,000 heads that will one day break free of its captivity in the deepest pits of Tartarus to ravage the world, but this has been widely dismissed even by Dragons as nothing more than a story to scare younger Dragons into obedience.

A Hydra's capacity for violence is legendary.  Their bodies emit a foul odor and noxious gas that can cripple beings who linger in it too long, making them easy prey.  Each of a Hydra's many heads can act independently, making it virtually impossible to take one by surprise or attack it from a blind spot.  Worse still is that Hydra have appeared all across the globe in every region, making them a particularly prevalent threat in any region.  While Hydra are very cunning hunters, they do not generally show a very high level of actual intelligence.  As such, the best way to deal with a Hydra is to try and outsmart it while fleeing, particularly by confusing its heads.  A Hydra will never abandon its territory for fear of it being stolen, so they are no danger to those who swiftly leave the area (or avoid it in the first place, preferably).

Minotaurs are a heavily misunderstood specie.  They would normally be classified as a 'being' rather than as 'monsters' as they are very intelligent and perfectly capable of rational, civilized behavior... but they also steadfastly enjoy being known as monsters.  Therefore all other civilized parties respect their wishes and continue to refer to them as such.

Originating in the same cluster of islands occupied by the Gryphons, Minotaurs have lived alongside their winged neighbors for ages, along with their cousins; Satyrs.  There is not a significant level of difference between Minotaurs and Satyrs to count them as a different specie.  It would be like trying to compare a Pony with a Draft Pony.  Minotaurs are a reclusive people who prefer to keep to themselves in their mountain homes, carving vast labyrinths deep into the volcanic earth for the sake of home and defense.  However, they are not xenophobic and readily welcome visitors to their homes as rather congenial hosts.  For the most part, Minotaurs are perfectly affable creatures... in a manner of speaking.  They are a brutish sort who pride themselves on physical strength and charisma, which makes their sense of interaction with other species a little difficult.  Minotaurs often have trouble cooperating with Ponies and have been totally written off by the Kirin as a whole.  The Gryphons, however, have absolutely no issue dealing with their like-minded neighbors and have co-existed peacefully for ages.

Parasprites are an uncommon form of magical pest that serve no purpose other than to devour.  While the origin of the specie is unknown, many speculate they are a remnant of Discord's reign that somehow escaped purging by the Elements of Harmony ages ago.  While a bit farfetched, there is some merit to the idea as Parasprites do not fulfill any sort of balanced role in any known ecosystem and seem to have no instinctive drive beyond consuming all resources around them.  Combined with their disarmingly cute appearance and alarming rate of reproduction, Parasprites can form a considerable threat to any civilized community.

Unlike virtually every other form of living being capable of reproduction, Parasprites have no actual drive to further their own specie and reproduce incidentally.  When a Parasprite eats a given volume of food, it asexually splits and produces a second, completely full-grown Parasprite on the spot which is also capable of producing other Parasprites.  Studies have been unable to find an upper limit on these vermin's supernatural replicating abilities and, presumably, they would be capable of producing more Parasprites for as long as they had suitable food sources available.  It is a very good thing, for the stability of all other lifeforms in the world, that Parasprites are not predatory nor do they have a very long lifespan.  Parasprites naturally die off just as quickly as they reproduce and only have a given lifespan of about 72 hours.

The Thunderbird is a rare magical beast not often seen by Ponies at all.  Making its nest atop the high mountains surrounding forested regions, Thunderbirds are reclusive creatures that prefer to keep to themselves.  Their bodies are made up of living clouds and lightning -- normally they look like fluffy white birds of prey that hum and make the air in their vicinity quite warm, but will roil into thundering black storm clouds when angered.  There is some speculation over whether the Thunderbird has any sort of relation to the Phoenix given their similar natures of elemental manifestation.  Unlike a Phoenix, a Thunderbird can grow to tremendous scale if their territory is undisturbed by developing regions.  The largest community of Thunderbirds currently lives in the snowy mountains north of Stalliongrad where they have been battling with local Windego for the territory, causing non-stop blizzards and thunder storms over the region.

Timberwolves are beasts native to the Everfree Forest and cannot technically be considered as 'animals'.  They are magical creatures that embody the malicious spirits of the woodlands, being born of fallen branches and dead trees to serve as guardians of the forests.  Because of their deep magical link to the woods, they cannot leave them, making Timberwolves a very isolated threat that is easy to avoid if one is cautious.  At most a Timberwolf can travel a short distance from the woods, but their corporeal bodies become extremely weak as a result and generally fail them.  Even minor inconveniences can cause a weakened Timberwolf to collapse upon itself.  Because Timberwolves are spirit creatures, they are not killed if their physical bodies are destroyed and can simply rebuild themselves from available materials.  They can, however, be prevented from reforming by burning all available materials they would use to form a body from, though this is generally impossible in a forest.  Timberwolves can only use natural materials like sticks, branches, and leaves -- they cannot use processed wood, so towns generally safe from attack.

These nimble creatures travel in large packs and have tight-knit familial bonds with one another, showing an admirable sense of loyalty to their group and cooperation with other packs.  There are no 'territory battles' between groups of Timberwolves and many scholars believe there is a sort of universal hive mind between them as they are all part of the forests they live within.  This theory is supported by Timberwolves' ability for a pack to fuse their bodies together and form a gestalt, acting as a singular entity driven by the will of the pack's alpha.  It has been theorized that all Timberwolves could potentially fuse together into a single being of monstrous scale, but thankfully such a horrific occurrence has never occurred, though it has been spoken of in Northern lore referred to as a "Fenrisúlfr".

Ursa Minor/Major
The Cosmic Beasts are a legendary group of creatures born of the magical energies that come from the night sky.  Princesses Celestia and Luna have mentioned that there are more than just the Ursa, but have never explained what these creatures are beyond their basic correlation to the constellations.

Ursa Minor/Major are technically the same creature -- Minor is simply an immature Major yet to grow to full size and strength.  Regardless, both creatures are massive beasts; the average Ursa Minor stands over thirty feet tall when reared back on its hind legs, while an Ursa Major can grow to be well over four-hundred feet tall at full maturity.  However, beyond their tremendous sizes and surprising level of intelligence, Ursa are essentially like any other mundane bear in behavior.  Where these beasts, and their other cosmic kin, fit into the big picture has yet to be fully understood.

These horrible winter spirits are magical entities that thrive off emotional energies emitted by living beings.  They draw strength from negative emotions of pain and conflict, often occupying locations where battle or some other great tragedy has happened.  Alternatively, positive emotions are toxic to them and will swiftly send them fleeing.  Because of their overtly malicious nature and ability to usher in mystical winter storms that lay waste to entire nations, Windego are one of the few species of monster known to be universally considered an enemy to all living things.

In the ancient history of Ponykind, Windego were responsible for driving Ponies out of their homeland as civil tensions grew between the different Pony tribes.  As the Ponies migrated across the country to what would later become Equestria, the Windegos followed, drawn in by the constant conflicts and ill-will the Ponies harbored toward each other.  Countless lives were lost to the Windegos' deep freezing storms that blanketed the entire country, and it wasn't until the survivors managed to manifest the Fire of Friendship that the spirits were driven away out of Equestria.  However, these beasts were not destroyed and still thrive to the modern day.  The turbulent nation of Stalliongrad is under constant assault by the spirits and it is only due to the further advancements of magic in our modern era that the nation has not been completely destroyed by the Windego already.

Curiously, Windego are unable to perceive the presence of Changelings.  Why this is has yet to be fully explained, though many scholars theorize it is a Changeling's lack of emotional presence which renders them a moot target for Windego to feed from.  It is not clear whether or not Windego literally cannot perceive Changelings or if they simply ignore them.

This message was last edited by the GM at 21:10, Sat 29 Dec 2012.

Thu 16 Aug 2012
at 16:56
Re: Lore


This message was last edited by the GM at 16:57, Thu 16 Aug 2012.