Equus Cogigatio (also listed as Equus Sapiens or Ponies, but more commonly just Equus), are relatively small statured sapient equids resembling a strange subspecies of common horse hailing from somewhere on the far side of West Everoc and surprisingly attempting to colonize the inlands and by the time of the open phases of the The Timewar, many also call the northeast Coastal Reaches home.
Appearance and General TraitsEdit
They show a rough sexual dimorphism with males being larger and stronger on average, with slightly smaller eyes compared to females. They tend to come in a very wide variety of colors, and some possess abilities to use magic, fly, or both. Strangely, they all possess binocular vision far greater than most other equines, and an ability to digest animal products (though it is noted as not being as good for them), suggesting a predatory species origin.
They are largely altruistic and sociable by nature, and will be those who ask first, shoot second. Some however, are prone to severe racism and xenophobia.
The Equus race is divided into five subraces.
- Unicorn (Not to be confused with those ridden by elves and rarely humans)
- Blade (Also called Tainted)
The baseline of the race is the Earth Pony. Although they generally lack the means to use weapons effectively, they have superb physical strength and are more than capable of crushing a human skull, helmet and all, with a single solid strike. While they can clumsily use weapons with their mouths, they rely more on their brute strength and numbers to win in a battle.
Unicorns are one of three species inclined to some form of direct magic. They tend to be weaker than their flying or non-magic compatriots, and those most prone to racism towards their own kind, but they make up for it with their magic ability, with Unicorn battle mages being widely feared for their destructive combat magic (it is known the most powerful of their number can destroy heavy armor with one good blast). They also possess telekinetic ability, giving them a substantial edge against their enemies as they can manipulate more arms and shields than most other sapient species. It is believed these Equus actually form the bulk of their various kingdoms' militaries for this reason. They also make effective spies and commandos, more skilled ones being able to cloak themselves and teleport. Strangely, this ability to teleport is affected by some portal jamming technology .
A strain of Equus capable of flight, they are renown for their speed and while not as solidly built as an Earth pony, they can march and fight considerably longer, a trait likely tied to having to fly long distances and through extreme weather. They prefer to use lances, using the momentum granted to them by a dive to smash through enemy troops before resorting to their hooves or what would be considered hand-held weapons. They have a strange form of natural magic that permits them to manipulate the weather, and they aren't afraid to use this ability to form vicious storms over enemy lines and letting tornadoes and lighting strikes wreak havoc among enemy forces.
Because they can go for long distances without needing to rest, many nations and companies employ this subspecies as messengers and scouts.
Anomalous in that many stand as tall or taller than a human, these Equus are typically officers and administrators, with one of this sub-race being at the head of any given Equus nation. they possess the qualities of pegasi and unicorns, but are known to be substantially disadvantaged in endurance compared to pegasi and requiring greater training to match the skills of dedicated unicorn mages, suggesting they are some kind of crossbreed or otherwise have a biological reason for this. Those who assume positions of power however are often terrifyingly powerful mages, often besting even the best human, dwarf and unicorn mages in an open fight.
To date no alicorn has succumbed to old age that is known, suggesting either a very long lifespans or longevity similar to elves and some species of goblin. Biological immortality or not however, they still die in battle as easily as any other squishy creature.
A severely mutated strain of Earth pony common in the inlands, they have chitin on their outward facing surfaces and a pair of scything limbs located where a pegasus' wings would be located. They are often called tainted ponies, as it is believed they are the result of dark magic or other tampering with earth pony genetic code to produce a more vicious and versatile breed of pony. They are omnivorous, have the telekinetic abilities of unicorns, and extreme endurance, making them perfect for battle as far as Equus are concerned, and are known to be very long lived, with the oldest to die of old age being over five hundred years old.
These Equus often form the vanguard of any given army they send out, their comparatively disturbing appearance and naturally combat-efficient build allowing them to cut a swathe through light infantry that often forms the bulk of most armies.
While they shun and refuse friendly relations with those who treat animals an unnecessarily cruel manner and those who take trophies from sapient creatures, they are known to largely accept slavery and slaughtering sapients to use their hide and bones for raw materials. Those who harm their fellows outside of open battle are generally forced into exile, though murderers are punished with the death penalty. The method of execution is obviously influenced by dwarves as they generally use a hammer for the situation.
They are known to make heavy use of leather, silk, and cotton, and as such often form strong trading bonds with elves and dwarves to acquire these goods more safely. Any ponies who work with the remains of animals or sapients besides those who bury the dead are however viewed with disgust and suspicion, likely as a result of their largely non-predatory nature. In Equus settlements that regularly make contact with or accept dwarven or human migrants however, they are much more readily accepted.
Equus armies tend to rely on powerful mages and massed infantry to carry them through the day. They are largely herbivorous, so they don't suffer the problems of supply most armies suffer from as badly, especially in grasslands.
A favorite tactic is to deploy Pegasi and Alicorns ahead of the main formations one or more days before a battle and making use of their weather manipulation abilities to unleash nightmarish storms on the enemy's camp. Often their opposition, if it stands its ground to meet the Equus troops, will suffer horrific losses in the follow up battle bows to damp to be strung and soldiers already tired and battered by the weather.
When forced to fight the enemy in a siege situation however they are severely disadvantaged, their biology largely ill-suited to scaling walls and the tight confines of a town or city eliminating their advantage of speed, often resulting in them being easily overpowered without sufficient numbers.
Some of these strange creatures have had a direct role in some of history's major events.
Unnamed pegasus messenger: Served as a spy against Eris
Bell Dawndistance (Necromancer): Drove Parasol Strike Force from Sewaturet.