A species of equine that resembles a twisted, predatory unicorn. Usually carnivorous and adorned with clawed hooves, forward-set eyes and long, curved fangs. An alicorn pack is considered one of the most dangerous things to roam the face of the Realms, and encountering one can be a deadly experience.
Average Lifespan:: 300 years
Average Height:: 15 hands (5 feet at the shoulder)
Average Weight:: 2 tons
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Broken Horn Alicorns are much like unicorns in that their horns grant them magical power and greater energy reserves; thus, the horn is an important part of their lives. This horn is barbed, but not venomous, and may break or shatter under extreme pressure. Alicorns may suffer in two distinct ways, depending on the individual in question and how traumatic the horn-loss was at the time of its breaking. Horns generally regrow over a single year, though if broken magically, they may never grow again.
Most commonly, the loss of a horn puts the affected alicorn in an explosive frenzy, very prone to physically overtaxing themselves beyond exhaustion, rarely into death. This is thought to be due to pain, exhaustion, or both; however, it is recoverable, and the alicorn will lose none of itself in the process. Once the horn is regrown, they retain all of their magical affinities, and their personalities remain intact.
However, for some the loss of a horn breaks the spirit itself, similarly to the way humanoids break wild, non-sapient horses in the wild to tame them. Alicorns become almost docile in a way, and lose much of their violence and prey-drive leading many to starve to death. Packmates who see a hornless one of their own often kill them instead of simple exile, even should the affected alicorn continue eating. This is much more dangerous to an alicorn than most would think; they never regain their former violence, even after their horn may regrow entirely.
Equine Hybrids Hybrids between alicorns and other equine races - such as pegasi or unicorns - are slain outright if found by alicorn packs. If an alicorn mother should bear a hybrid foal, she will similarly be killed, or maimed and exiled from the pack forever; alicorn stallions who sire such foals face a similar, if more violent, fate. Commonly, the hybrid and its parents will have their horns broken before being killed and driven out, as further punishment for their sin.
Equine Interactions Alicorns do not get along with most other equine races. As a race, they detest unicorns and pegasi as weak and soft, calling them such names as 'fangless' and 'preywings' among other, less decent titles. They are prone to attacking herds, killing and driving them off, simply for the sheer joy of it; to demonstrate the alicorn's self-view of total dominance.
Foals; Twins and Triplets Twins and triplets born to alicorn mothers are very common, regardless if they are identical or not, should prey be bountiful. A mare may bear foals several times in her life, though only a quarter of these foals may survive to render offspring themselves. A mare cannot carry more than three foals safely, however, and those with more often die before the foaling occurs.
Hands for Horses A hand is equal to four inches and height is measured at the withers.
Lifespan Alicorns may live up to a few hundred years; however, they very rarely make it beyond a hundred, some not surviving longer than foalhood or adolescence. Their lives are violent and short, with death being a very likely outcome
Old Alicorns Those considered elders - alicorns having reached over three hundred years of age - are well respected and even worshiped by their pack, so long as they can still carry themselves well in a fight. Should an elder weaken, however, the pack is quick to challenge and give them a dignified death through battle, as they believe no alicorn should die of old age, sickness, or through anything but violence.
Diet This is what this species, and any variants, may eat at any given time.
fresh game, with a preference for sapient prey.
fresh kills stolen from other species, weak members of their own race.
Alicorns are obligate carnivores who view everything not of their kind as prey. They prefer to hunt prey large enough to feed the entire herd, but will make do with anything they can run down. When other prey is not readily available, or should two packs end up fighting over territory, they will readily devour the flesh of their own dead.
Rarely, during harsh times, they will resort to driving other carnivorous species away from fresh kills so they can claim it for themselves, especially if they cannot catch and kill the predators who made the kill in the first place. When truly desperate, they will resort to eating carrion, or culling the weakest members of their own herds.
Species info credited to Verridith, Saleyne, SherniKaur, Fyfergrund, and RúneSketch.
Appearance Alicorns are an equine race with three distinct variants; however, they all share some similar features and no alicorn is found without them. All of their race have barbed horns, clawed hooves, and large wings. They also have predatory, slightly more forward eyes with rounded pupils that may contract into slits in great light, and may be found in any color. Most have snakelike fangs with toxic venom, and a ridge of venomous spines under their manes and down their backs that they may raise and lower at will. Many also sport a long, whiplike, often barbed tail, though traditional horse tails are also found. Size, build, and overall appearance outside of these traits depends on the variant, listed below.
Fireblood: Alicorns that are fireblooded, often called Firebloods, are light and lithe of build with long, narrow wings and more delicate features. At first glance, they could be considered beautiful, as their refined features speak of grace and poise. Most commonly, fireblooded alicorns come in extravagant coloration with varying markings of any hue. Firebloods may be compared to 'hot-blooded' or light breed equines of traditional, non-sapient types.
Iceblood: Alicorns that are iceblooded, often called Icebloods, are heavy and thick of build with very large, broad wings and colossal body size. They are very muscular, with powerful legs and necks, as well as long fur around giant clawed hooves. Their colors are often dark and dull in nature, more akin to coat and pattern colors found more commonly amid normal horses, such as bays, blacks, and chestnuts/sorrels. Icebloods may be compared to 'cold-blooded' or draft breed equines of traditional, non-sapient types.
Darkblood: Alicorns that are darkblooded, often called Darkbloods, are the smallest of the alicorn types. They are rarely above fourteen hands (~five feet) at the withers, and some may only grow to be seven hands (~two feet) tall. These alicorns often have large wings for their size, but short legs and broad features, often sporting thick and heavy fur coats in the winter. Darkblooded alicorns may be found in any color, with any markings.
Mudblood: Mudblooded alicorns are mixes of the above types, and can have a widely varied blending of traits. However, Mudbloods often express exaggerated traits - such as longer fangs and spines, brighter colors, or odd mutations - than their parents, and are considered more successful over all. However, mudblooded alicorns are infertile and cannot pass on these appearance traits to their offspring.
Culture Alicorns are social creatures, much like traditional horses. However, unlike other equine races, these are purely carnivorous and dwell in packs structured more like wolves than a true herd. All alicorn packs are led by a single pair known to be the strongest, the alphas - these may be of any gender, and can be mates though this is not mandatory. They rule the pack ruthlessly, and disobedience is often met with death at the alphas' fangs.
Many alicorn packs enjoy their predatory nature, and love drawing the fear out of their prey as they hunt. They want their prey to know the dominance of the alicorn and submit to it - and an alicorn can taste fear on the air as one might taste fine wine. When hunting, alicorns will split their hunting party into two groups; one that flies overhead, keeping an eye on their prey as well as preventing aerial escape, while others run overland and specifically maneuver in such a way that prey can only move in one direction. Most packs will use these tactics to drive their prey into a corner and only kill when the animal or victim is very thoroughly terrorized.
Yearlings are run out of the packs if they fail at a sapient-race hunt on their first birthday, perceived as weak and unimportant to the rest of the pack. Such exiles tend to band together and create their own packs but share the same violent tendencies, inborn instinct overriding their own experiences.
The different breeds of alicorn all have differing pack dynamics and varied temperaments; these details may be found below.
Fireblood: The most arrogant of the alicorns, known to be intelligent and spirited, fireblooded packs capitulate on ruling the surrounding area through fear and intimidation. They believe themselves the most powerful and important of all races, death and woe to any who might contradict them. However, due to infighting, Fireblood packs remain the smallest in number and thus keep to less-populated areas where stronger sapient creatures may not dwell.
Iceblood: Though they do not seek importance as readily as the Firebloods, iceblooded alicorns are cold and calculating, thriving in large, powerful packs with set territories and well-guarded borders. They think slowly, but deeply, and are not rash as their cousins might be. Iceblood packs may even trade with other races from time to time, though these can result in violence, and many a village has been destroyed by an Iceblood pack that thinks it has been wronged.
Darkblood: Considered the most dangerous of the alicorn variants, Darkblood ponies truly believe that they are better than their peers, and the worlds were made for them. They will actively attack and drive away any competing predator - including other alicorn packs - and hoard prey all to themselves. Most darkblooded individuals are very quick to anger and will act before they think, inciting the pack to violence no matter the perceived insult, danger, or threat.
Abilities Alicorns are very physically powerful and fast depending on breed and overall age. All have a distinct venom that debilitates those affected by it, both through fang and spine; however, the bite is always stronger than the sting, as their barbs are not nearly so potent. Most alicorns have little to no magic; those with large amounts of magic often overtax and die, unable to control it, especially in Fireblood and Darkblood packs. However, each variant also has their own traits that carry through their heritage.
Fireblood: Fastest both overland and in the sky of all variants, but also the weakest physically with very little defense. Their horns are the sharpest, but also the most fragile. If a Fireblood alicorn has magic, it is very powerful - and immensely difficult to control. Most magically-imbued, fireblooded alicorns die from overtax.
Iceblood: Slowest both overland and in the sky, but also the most physically strong with the ability to take a hit that might shatter the bones of another alicorn with its might. They very, very rarely have magic of any note, but are quite capable of utilizing it in limited degrees. Iceblood alicorns never have great magic, unless they have mixed heritage - are a Mudblood.
Darkblood: Slow overland but fast in the sky, with middling strength and defense. However, darkblooded alicorns can squeeze into places others cannot, and are uniquely able to collapse their bones to some degree like a mouse. It is uncommon for a darkblooded alicorn to have magic, but when they do, it is powerful. They are able to control it better than their peers, and are often gifted with psionic, mental magics or those that negatively influence emotion.
Though they worked in secret, the Ten couldn’t hide their creations from Death for long, not even when those creations sought to hide themselves in the wilderness. At once both amused and irritated by such subterfuge, Death resolved to ensure the wilderness wouldn’t long remain a safe haven.
The dark god withdrew into a desolate wasteland of his own making, and drew a single drop of his own blood, letting it drip from his talon onto the ground. Then he molded an equine creature as black as his own heart, and gave it a long, sharp, barbed horn upon its forehead, clawed hooves, protruding fangs, and, beneath the long, coarse mane running down the length of its neck, a ridge of poisonous spines.
Then Death paused, and regarded his creation, not yet satisfied. He fashioned it a long, whip-like tail ending in a spade-like blade, and a pair of leathery wings, strong enough to carry it through the air. Lastly, he gave it a forked tongue with which to better track its prey. Now satisfied, he breathed life into the creature, and instilled within it an emptiness that could only be satisfied by blood.
Set loose upon the Realm, the first alicorn swiftly gained a reputation as a horrific killer, appearing without warning to slaughter travelers of all kinds. Eventually, a party of hunters set out to track and kill the creature, but Death had not been idle. Where there had been one, now an entire pack of the bloodthirsty creatures hunted. The party of hunters was surrounded, and wiped out.
Thus reinforced by a pack of fellow alicorns, the first of them personally weeded out the weak and injured, ensuring only the strongest survived. Despite this lessening of alicorn numbers, or perhaps because it left only the strongest, the bloodthirsty beasts spread, and terrorized all who were unlucky enough to cross their paths. To this day, none would lightly dare to face an alicorn pack, even though the first of their kind is long faded into legend.
This Ancient First was an alicorn of pure, untarnished black, and eyes that gleamed red in the night. Bearing wings with sparse feathers that showed through to the webbing underneath, he was a nightmarish figure who took sadistic pleasure in torturing his victims. The poison secreted from the bony ridge beneath his mane was particularly virulent; while not lethal, it inflicted a pain so strong that those affected would rather amputate the afflicted part of the body than endure.
No subspecies have been discovered for this species yet!