A race of winged horses, split into multiple regional variants. They come in a variety of colors, and their body types can be anywhere from more heavy draft breeds, to the light and airy warmbloods depending on what type they are. Each variant has its own appearance, culture, and abilities.
Average Lifespan:: Immortal
Average Height:: 14 hands
Average Weight:: 1 ton
Location Found:: Abroad.
*all statistics based on averages; extremes in any direction, or found in odd locations, are always allowed.
Abnormal Wings Those born with insectoid wings (dragonfly, bee, or butterfly) or leathery, webbed wings (bat, dragon) are considered ill omens and are banished from the herd to roam on their own. None know what causes a foal to be born with such wings, but it is believed to be an odd mutation, one to be avoided. It is not uncommon for some mothers to kill their mutant young before they are discovered - or to abandon them to their own fate, often as prey for various predators.
On occasion, some horses are born with stubs, undersized, or malformed wings. While not considered an omen like abnormal wings, they are often ridiculed and discriminated against, and are cast out for being unable to keep up with the rest of the herd's more aerial inclinations.
Flight All pegasi have lightweight, hollow bones much like a bird. In addition to this, they have innate magic that allows them to fly without great hindrance, for even with their lighter bones, they would be unable to fly otherwise. Any pegasus born without this magic will not be able to do more than glide short distances, and will never be able to fly properly on their own.
Diet This is what this species, and any variants, may eat at any given time.
desert grasses, sedge, and acacia leaves.
grasses, ferns, and flowering plants of many kinds; most narrow-leafed flora.
tall, thick grasses such as bermuda, bluegrass, and cordgrass.
mountain grasses and shrubs; most commonly wheatgrass, fescue, and rye.
dates and woody shrubs.
broad-leafed plants and woody shrubs.
broad-leafed plants and tree leaves.
coniferous pine needles, woody shrubs.
cacti, hard-shelled fruit; bones.
bark and dead leaf litter; dead flora in general.
bark and dead grasses.
bark, dead leaf litter, shed pine needles and pinecones.
Pegasi are largely herbivorous, very nearly obligate herbivores, though some may border on omnivorous tendencies. They are grazing animals, and will gravitate towards narrow-leaf plants - such as grasses - in whatever area they dwell within. Desert pegasi, dwelling in arid regions without a lot of flora, are able to eat more varied things and consume less calories than most of their cousin variants. Forest and jungle pegasi have the largest selection of food available, and find flowers a particular delicacy. Grassland pegasi feed on grass almost specifically excepting in the winter months, where they may transition to less favored foods. Mountain and sky pegasi are very grass-focused, but have been known to eat shrubbery and tree bark in times of great need.
None of the pegasi subspecies differ in overall diet.
Species info credited to Verridith and JPG.
Appearance All pegasi are equine in basic shape, with large, flightworthy wings. Usually, these wings are feathered in appearance, and may be found in various shapes befitting their particular variant. Information on the regional variants may be found below.
Desert: Found primarily in Ristell's desertlands - almost specifically in Arcadia - and possessed of delicate builds and large, tapered wings. They typically have dished faces, large and expressive eyes, and flaring nostrils for better air intake. Most carry their heads and tails high, and have arched necks, with beautiful plumage - some of which may be found in their manes and tails, or between their wings down their backs. They can come in any color natural or unnatural, though their wings and other feathers are commonly bright and flashy in color.
Forest: Forest pegasi are medium- to large-sized with a long manes and tails and large soaring wings. Those that are of forest bloodlines may have fans of tail feathers, and long trailing feathers decorated in bright accent colors. They usually range lighter in hue, with darker eyes; dilution genes (such as palomino, cremello, perlino, etc), and the greying gene, is very common, as is true white. Their wings and feathers are commonly neutral and natural in color with brighter markings.
Grassland: Leggy and built for speed, grassland pegasi are tall, narrow creatures with sharp wings and long tail fans. These plains-dwelling pegasi also have the propensity to be commonly born with multiple sets of wings, though these are not always functional. They may come in any color, though natural hues are found most often - as are wings and feathers with darker markings than their base.
Jungle: Pegasi of light build and elliptical wings, extravagant feathers, and beautiful features. These equines enjoy most of all decorating themselves both with things they have crafted and other trinkets bought from other species, and may commonly be found sporting everything from flower necklaces to strings of beads and gemstones that cover their entire bodies. Their wings are short and are not built for long flight, but they are incredibly agile, especially in their rainforest home. This variant has the brightest of colors and markings, vibrant beyond all others.
Mountain: The pegasi of the mountains are are large, drafty equines with sharp horns, feathered* hooves, and broad soaring wings. They are the tallest and strongest of the pegasi variants, and commonly dwell around the tree-line of their mountainous homes. Mountain pegasi can be found in any color, natural or unnatural, and have any possible marking; however, they have also been found to adapt thick, heavy winter coats at extremely high elevations.
* not actual feathers, but long fur around the hoof!
Sky: Thin and wiry, sky pegasi are those possessed of the largest wings, which commonly have an active soaring wing shape, similar to large birds of prey. They may glide and soar for hours at a time, and can be seen commonly floating on the air currents in the high terrain of their homes. Most sky pegasi can be found in unnatural colors, with the most common being blues, silvers, and whites. They share some territory with mountain pegasi, and thus hybrids between the two are common.
Culture Pegasi are traditionally very social animals; most live in herds of various sizes, and do not shy from visiting herds from other regional variants. They are often quite nomadic, and will travel within their usual regions all throughout the year. These herds enjoy each other's company, and will tell one another of the things they have seen in other parts of the world. Hybrids between variants are relatively common, and will stay with whatever variant they most resemble when of age.
In addition to trading news, stories, items, and other things in these visits, herds of different variants may hold friendly contests with one another. Each of these events varies by what herd hosts it, and by what region it is held in.
Cultural details for each herd can be found below.
Desert: Desert pegasi live in small herds amid the desert sands; they are hardy and adventurous, noble and proud. These herds are led by a powerful mare and stallion jointly, who uphold laws of honor over their kin. Challenges and contests of overland speed are common, and many of these are shared on the sands of their desert homeland. Other variants often look down upon desert pegasi for their competitions involving running, and not flying - but desert herds tend to scoff at this viewpoint, as pegasi of other variants have a difficult time moving across the sands.
Forest: Haughty and aloof, pegasi herds that dwell in the forest are small and incredibly resistant to change. While they enjoy mingling with other herds, interbreeding with other variants is frowned upon, as is much of what could be considered different and new. They often believe that their kind were the first pegasi to grace the Realms, and no amount of arguing can sway any forest herd from this belief. When hosting challenges, these often have to do with things only those that dwell in the forest are good at - such as flying between close-growing trees, gathering various types of fruit, hiding in the thick foliage, etc. They pride themselves on being able to live in such close confines, while still demanding an imposing presence in the skies.
Grassland: Carefree and friendly, grassland pegasi dwell in large herds that roam the plains of multiple Realms. They are one of the most easy-going of the winged tribes, and are outgoing to others no matter the species. These herds often detest violence, and do not condone war even to defend themselves - justice is commonly solved with the exile of the perpetrator and little else. Those contests they do hold involve races low across the rolling hills, with their hooves brushing the grass - any who flies higher is disqualified, gaining the outrage of many another variant who has lost.
Jungle: Jungle pegasi live in medium-sized herds that dwell in the thickest rainforests and jungles of the Realms; some may even adapt to swamps, though this is quite rare. They are proud and often narcissistic, highly protective of their territory, and somewhat less friendly than the other variants when it comes to visitors of other species. Among their own kind's variants, they are more accepting, and often hold competitions of hide and seek among the leafy boughs, finding certain types of fruit, or - a favorite for all visiting herds - eating.
Mountain: Tough and stern, mountain pegasi herds are small to medium in size and dwell in the rocky mountains of multiple Realms. They do not shy from war as their grassland counterparts do, and actually enjoy the violence of battle; most may be found sporting scars or evidence of old injuries, and small fights may break out at any time. All mountain herds are governed by a solitary stallion for each, and contests with other herds often involve fighting this stallion in single combat where first blood shed is deemed the victor.
Sky: Perhaps noblest of the variants, but accepting of all creatures great and small, sky herds see themselves as the protectors of their kind. They share traditional territory with mountain herds, often returning to homes on the highest peaks, but may travel much farther and further abroad than any other pegasi, including places others will not go. They are unafraid of using violence as a path to justice, and may police other herds - much to the irritation of their kin. Sky pegasi are the only ones known not to hold any contests, as they see their task of justice as too important for such low-level shenanigans.
Abilities Pegasi may have any type of magic, and most - unless born with abnormal wings - are fully capable of flight. Each variant has its own common attributes, and this info may be found below.
Desert: Traditionally, desert pegasi are light and fast; they are most commonly attuned to the elements of fire and air. All are designed to accommodate the heat of the desert sands well, along with some ability to withstand cold nights and extreme temperature changes. They can go a long while without water, and have the ability to eat unconventional plants, such as cacti, yucca, and ocotillo.
Forest: Forest pegasi are strong physically, but also fast and agile. They most often are attuned to the element of earth, though no small number have light affinities as well. Weak to fire and heat, they are otherwise difficult to harm with other elements; however, they do not suffer drought well, and cannot go long periods of time without water or food.
Grassland: Gifted with great speed and high endurance, grassland pegasi can go toe to toe with their desert cousins in races across flat land, though do not have any protections against dry heat or extreme cold. Many have affinities for earth magic, as well as elemental affinities for air and water. They are faster in the sky than many variants, and have the best vision amid their entire species.
Jungle: Agile in their jungle home, but somewhat clumsy in other places. Jungle pegasi are unusual in their ability to navigate in near total darkness; many stay up late into the night, and can see almost as clearly as they can during the day in areas where no moonlight or starlight can reach. Almost all jungle pegasi are gifted with the element of earth, and elements of dark and water are also very common.
Mountain: Strongest physically of the variants, mountain pegasi are also the largest, and have broad, muscular forms and crushing hooves. They are often gifted with the elements of ice and light, though rock-based earth is also common. Mountain pegasi are not able to fly as long as most other variants, due to their sheer weight, but do employ their wings in battle in both offense and defense.
Sky: Swiftest in the air and able to fly for exceptionally long periods of time, sky pegasi are masters of their home. They are often gifted with air, lightning, and ice magic, while light and fire are uncommonly seen. However, on the ground sky pegasi are readily vulnerable; they are weak to physical attacks, and are rather clumsy when not flying amid the clouds.
Deep beneath the stormy skies and away from Death's reign of terror fled L'zayn, alone; she settled in a crystalline cavern far from all, near a glowing pool that reflected the beautiful walls tenfold. In its light, the goddess looked at her reflection, and was surprised to see tears course down the sides of her cervine face; Death had separated her from her fellow gods, and for the first time in a millenia, she felt the touch of true despair in her heart.
All they had been able to do was hide, run, and create in the hopes that, someday, he might be able to be destroyed. Most of their creations were strong, yes; but they were fleeting, or ungraceful. But it was not too late; no, it couldn't be. She knew what she wanted to create, and she stepped into the crystalline pool, dipping her muzzle into its glittering depths.
Her tears slid down into the waters, and shone with golden light where they touched; each tear turned into a drop of glowing metal, sinking to the very bottom. As they fused with the crystal beneath, the waters began to bubble, and she stepped out and turned to watch, as form began to grow from the first, crystals rising above as the single tear split into two, shimmering as eyes in the glittering mass. Carefully, she shaped the form to have four strong legs, and froze the water dripping from it into long, hanging icicles; two ears she gave it, an equine head and neck, and a long, curved horn.
Reaching forward, the goddess brushed her muzzle against the crystal-equine's, and its shimmering veneer shattered and fell away - it revealed a large, drafty equine creature with cloven hooves, a short tail, and a branching horn rising from his nose. You are the First Auroch, she told him, as he pawed and snorted; awakening his mind, she smiled, and let the others form into the rest of the first auroch herd. You will grant your strength and beauty to this land, and rule the forests and grasslands justly. For you are Auroch, blessed of L'zayn, and you are the beloved of the gods.
Gorg’rauth’s war was a time of great trouble for Millirand, and even the Ten were wracked with anger and grief, for only their struggle against Death in the First Realm eclipsed the conflict they now faced. L’zayn especially fell victim to deep sorrow, overwhelmed by all the grief in the Realm due to the long war, and withdrew into solitude.
The rest of the Ten tried in vain to comfort her, save for wise Gaz’in. Instead, he likewise withdrew into solitude, devoting much time and energy to his thoughts, refusing to meet with the other gods. After a time, he wandered across Millirand, and discovered a particularly majestic auroch, grazing in a field. In the guise of a great owl, he landed lightly upon the auroch after circling azily around her so as not to startle her.
She snorted, and gazed back at him for a moment before shaking her mane and returning to her grazing, unaware of the magic flowing through her. Her body lightened as her bones hollowed, and muscles became less massive but remained strong and lithe. The horn upon her nose fell and shattered, disappearing forever; two great, feathery wings sprouted from her shoulders and ran from shoulder blades to hindquarters. Her body took on a more equine shape, much like that of a horse, but her majesty was unrivalled by any of that simple breed.
Lastly, her mind awoke as if from a deep, half-remembered slumber, and her voice was unchained. She turned wondering eyes upon her wings, and upon the great owl perched upon her back. Hesitantly, she spread her wings and took to the air as the owl beckoned her to follow. Gaz’in was pleased by his new creation, and was keen to share the first pegasus’ majesty with L’zayn.
He found her where she had secluded herself, beside a crystal-clear pool of water in the guise of a mare. She spared him not the slightest regard, and he made no attempt to draw her attention. However, the first pegasus, saddened by the look of despair upon the mare’s features, approached the goddess and gently nuzzled her ear. At this L’zayn finally looked up, and for a long while, neither goddess or pegasus moved, merely gazing into each other’s eyes. Then L’zayn rose to her feet while the pegasus knelt before the goddess, finally recognizing her for what she truly was.
When L’zayn finally looked away from the pegasus, Gaz’in had already gone, carried away unnoticed on the silent wings of the owl. A small but genuine smile crossed L’zayn’s face, and she in turn gentle nuzzled the pegasus, and bade her go forth into the Realm, and enjoy her new life. As she watched the pegasus take flight, L’zayn’s smile didn’t waver. Millirand faced great trouble, but the Realm and its people would endure, just as she would endure.
In the days and weeks that followed, a good many more pegasi appeared to join the first, and it wasn’t long before several small herds could be found all across Millirand, enjoying life as L’zayn had commanded.
The First Auroch is a large and powerful male with long fur and a strong build. His single horn is large and branching, erupting from his nose much like that of a modern rhino. His ears are long, but rounded, and can swivel back and forth in both expression and sound detection, with fluffy insides. Each cloven hoof is very large and thick, and the ground thunders beneath him as he walks, trots, and gallops. The thick fur that covers his body is in alternating shades of silver, white, and grey, shimmering with light.
Erasmos is known to be a proud defender of any who is weaker than he; his wrath is one to shake Realms, and his fury is feared by all. He is arrogant and egotistical, seeing himself as above and beyond even the rules of gods, refusing even direct orders without power in their words.
Classification: unicorn-horned pegasi. Location: Abroad.
Created long ago when a herd of unicorns decided to interbreed with a herd of pegasi, resulting in the cerapter: a horned pegasus. Cerapters are blessed with both the single unicorn horn and a pegasus' wings, with higher magical aptitude than either. The same mutations that can affect either specie also apply to cerapters, and the loss of the horn or the loss of wings can both be physically and mentally devastating to any cerapter that suffers such a loss.
While rare, some cerapters have formed small herds away from both their parent species, though they may be found in both unicorn and pegasi herds as well.