Aquatic equines who are close allies to merfolk. They live in small herds, often close to merfolk cities and settlements, over which they display highly protective behavior.
Average Lifespan:: 500 years
Average Height:: 15 hands (5 feet) at the shoulder.
Average Weight:: 900 pounds.
Location Found:: Abroad, anywhere there's water.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Species info credited to Fyfergrund and Blazeh/Verridith.
Appearance The forequarters of a hippocampus looks much like a terrestrial horse, complete with hooves and manes. However, their hooves come in many variations, from horse-like to cloven and webbed. Some have fins protruding from their manes, and rarely horns. The hindquarters of a hippocampus is fish-like, although the exact shape and design varies greatly among the species. Coloring is usually silvery blue or green, reminiscent of fish scales, although colors vary widely even among herds.
Culture Close allies of merfolk and selkies, hippocampi live in small herds which can often be found living near merfolk settlements. Noble creatures, they are highly protective of their allies, and often serve as guards of merfolk cities, or mounts to their aquatic allies. While it is rare to see them on the surface, they will occasionally appear to help shipwreck victims, or ferry people across the sea.
Abilities While they lack much by the way of true magic, they can use their reiatsu to create barriers against attack. They are powerful swimmers, fast and agile, and use their strength, tails, and hooves against their enemies. If a hippocampus is gifted with elemental magic, they will most often trend towards water or ice, rarely anything else. While they prefer to spend their time in the water, they can surface and move on land for short amounts of time. Since they lack hind legs, their movements on land resemble those of seals. While they do not speak, they communicate via mind-speech.
The Dark Five do not have many periods in their history where they have broken free; but all have attempted freedom and attained it, even if the time was brief. In one such period, Gurthril erupted from a shattered bone flute, her fury at being imprisoned tempered by a severe need for revenge.
It is said that the last one who helped the gods to lock her within the dragonbone flute was a knight - one with a beautiful stallion for a mount, one with a pelt as white as snow and eyes of midnight blue. The goddess had an idea, then; she sank into the shadows, and sped north, seeking the one who had locked her away.
But alas, the knight and his stallion were long dead. The mortal lives of both had been cut short, many, many years before; hissing in anger, the goddess was about to leave when she spotted a mare and foal drinking from a nearby river, their coats both just as beautifully white as the stallion's had been. Looking at them more closely, she realized that they held the same blood as the stallion, and grew interested in their fate.
Suddenly, the goddess smiled, and sent her will to the water - suddenly, the river rose up and caught the mare and foal in its folds, and smashed them across the riverbed. The thrashing equines were drowned in the grip of the god-tainted current, and the waters washed their broken bodies onto the shore, before calming as the goddess approached.
They had been beautiful creatures, to be sure. With pink skin and glistening coats, their staring eyes an icy blue, they were marvels to behold, and she fancied their beauty for herself. The mare she took and lifted into the air, tail twitching like a cat's, and the body paused floating a few feet from her muzzle. You were beautiful in life; and now I return that life to thee, she said with a purr. But you are mine, forever, and will take to the waters that took your lives. No longer will you run among the grasses, nor give the humans your aid. No; you will serve in my name, and my name alone! You will be the First Hippocampus, and you will help make the world mine.
And thus the mare awoke, and began thrashing in the air, screaming and squealing in pain; her hind legs were fused together, and twisted into a single long tail. Gurthril implanted gemstones all along it, and these became scales - two beautiful feathers she wove into the end, and this became a fin. The new-made hippocampus squealed again, and bit at her when she went to stroke it - anger suddenly flaring, she struck her creation, and the gashes from her claws became gills. You and all who follow will follow in my name! she screamed, wings flaring. She lifted her claws and rounded on the terrified beast, who now lay upon the ground, with her hippocampus foal not fifteen paces away. Between her claws danced a flicker of her will, darkness incarnate. Me! Only me! You are my creation, and with this, you will-
But she was suddenly interrupted by a great roar. Whirling, the goddess found herself face to face with Gaz'in, angry at her interference with his Realm. She spat in his face and stole away with her creations, fleeing the god of knowledge as quickly as she could. Before he could give chase, Gurthril was gone; she retreated far, far beneath the earth, and placed her hippocampi in a large, flooded cavern.
They were stupid beasts, she realized, thinking about the god of knowledge. Of course they would not know to obey her. So she took both the mare and foal, and granted them sentience - but they were afraid, and there was intelligence in their fear. Light shone in their eyes, and the mother curled around her foal protectively. You shall understand me, now, Gurthril hissed. You are mine, and mine alone. You are my beautiful servants, and in you I will implant my esteemable wi-
No, they won't.
Suddenly, Gurthril cried out as golden chains erupted from the cavern walls to bind her; the shadows coalesced into the form of Gaz'in, who looked simply amused. The god of knowledge moved the dark goddess aside, ignoring her struggles, to approach the terrified hippocampi, who cowered in awe and fear. Do not fear me, little ones, he said quietly. You are safe, and free. Do you understand what has happened? What you have become? The hippocampus mare found words in her mouth - and the ability to understand what the god had said. "Y-Yes," she answered, looking bewildered. "I am… we… we are - different. No longer horses… hippocampus… hippocampi?"
Yes, the god of knowledge chuckled. You are not horses any longer; Gurthril has changed you, and made you new. But you will not be servants, no - you are free creatures, and you've every right to roam the worlds at your leisure. I will not allow Gurthril to control you, but I will not let you roam all alone, either.
It is known that night that Gurthril was, once more, sealed away; and that the two hippocampi were released into the sea. Gaz'in went on to create an entire herd of hippocampi, led by the First - and though the herd no longer exists, a little of its spirit lives on in every hippocampus, all across the Realms.
This species did not have an Ancient First.
Classification: carnivorous, aquatic equines. Location: abroad.
Vicious creatures, kelpies take on the form of normal horses while on land, where they lure unwitting victims towards them. Once the victim either places their hand on the kelpie, or mounts on its back, they will be stuck, having fallen victim to the adhesive, resin-like slime coating the kelpie's body. The helpless victim will be dragged or carried into the water and drowned before being eaten.
Underwater, the kelpie resembles a corrupted hippocampus, dark in color and slick and slimy in texture. Otherwise, they are very similar to the hippocampi in overall appearance, aside from their long mouths, sharp teeth, and overly large eyes. Not as smart or civilized as the hippocampi, kelpies are nonetheless cunning creatures.
Classification: non-equine hippocampi. Location: abroad.
Very similar to normal hippocampi aside from one glaring difference. The front half of their bodies resemble any kind of non-equine hooved animal. Deer, goats, rams, buffalo, any many others have all been reported. Generally more frivolous than normal hippocampi, the capricorns are light-hearted and often flighty, although the larger ones are usually more stolid. As their appearances are very diverse, so too are their overall sizes, influenced by what creatures their forequarters resemble.