Breed Spotlight: American Cream Draft

Breed Spotlight: American Cream Draft

American Cream Draft

The only American draft breed still in existence, the American Cream Draft came to Astranar as part of a breeding program to help increase its numbers and chances to continue survival. It is one of the options for the player to purchase a draft horse, though it isn’t available in the same district that supplies that quest.

Primarily descended from a mare named Old Granny who consistently threw foals who looked like her that 98% of the breed can trace their lineage back to, the American Cream Draft is famous for their coats, named “champagne gold” or “gold champagne” depending on who you talk to, passed on by the champagne gene in sorrel or chestnut horses. Refined heads that are flat, rather than concave or convex, wide chests, and strong, well-proportioned builds are other hallmarks. They are regarded as sure-footed horses that are eager to please, making them excellent horses for first-time draft owners.

Cream 1

The Great Depression in America and the industrialization of farming threatened this breed’s survival, however numerous breeding programs have worked to keep the breed alive and are working to increase the numbers Astranar, always one to jump at the chance for breed conservation, eagerly volunteered to help programs with building up bloodlines. With their strong and hardy natures, they also listen to directions well, letting them do well at show jumping and also helping with the forestry in Sphalerite District.

Cream 3

Cream 2

Breed Characteristics:
American Cream Drafts come in limited colors by nature of the breed. They only come in light, medium, and dark champagne, though the occasional rare sorrel (red with blonde mane and tail) may appear. Unlike with other breeds, paints aren’t likely to occur, but other markings are still welcome.

Starting Stats: *
Speed:                    2                                              Discipline:       4
Endurance:         4                                               Agility:             2
Strength:             5

* Note, these numbers aren’t set in stone. They are Becca’s way of trying to reduce her knowledge/research of breeds and their particular skills and traits into numbers so when animators and programmers have to look at these horses, they can go, “Oh, this horse can’t turn worth beans but this one can on a dime, noted!”

Take a Hike in Sphalerite!

Take a Hike in Sphalerite!

We keep mentioning our wonderful districts, so now we’re going to start introducing them. Astranar has eight districts, each with their own individual flare, and they can be quite competitive with each other. In Astranar, the districts are named after gemstones. This week, we’ll be discussing Sphalerite (yes, that’s an actual gemstone), where Water magic is the all-the-rage.

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With gentle hills, some low-level mountains, and deep forests, Sphalerite is on the northwest side of the country, sharing a border with the country of Nospos, and the Morganite, Amethyst, and Ruby districts. The inspiration for this district was the Black Forest of Germany and the surrounding countryside, with a little of the Bavarian Forest. The further north-northwest you get, closer to the Whistleback Mountains, the more the terrain is mountainous like the bits of the Alps that Germany lays claim to. Whereas the further south you go, the countryside is more like hills covered with thick trees, from evergreen pines to oaks and elms. It is also home to the highest number of castles, though many are no longer home to the nobility.

In addition to the plethora of castles, Sphalerite has a deer sanctuary, home to several species of deer from both Astranar and other countries. It serves as an education platform on environmental stability and invasive species. (Because red deer and sika deer have taken over every area they are in, and let’s not mention Yellowstone Park in America before the wolves were reintroduced…) Because of the plentiful forests, many craftspeople come to take part in the forestry industry that the local lords are very careful not to take too much of the trees at any one time. Speaking of nobility, the local higher ranked baron and duke are a bit…stuck in the past. Unfortunately, they are being dragged into the future kicking and screaming. The fashion of the district reflects its ties to the past, with a retro flare from the 1950’s.

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Once again, I’ll get to what you actually want to know about. With the flourishing forestry industry, the extra horses available in Sphalerite are heavier, with strength for pulling, though these breeds are also featured in show jumping, the district specialty. If you are coming in from a different racing district and would rather buy a new horse than try and adjust any of your current horses to show jumping, American Cream Draft, the Black Forest Horse, and Vanner horse breeders sell some of their stock to players. While you will get credits for a draft horse through the course of the game, Sphalerite is not the district with that quest. Once you have one in your stable, however, special quests unlock.

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Water magic resonates with Re on the solfege scale. If Earth is the base, than Water is the flow that pushes and pulls you where you need to go in its own time. Those who are in touch with Water are also in touch with their dreams and their feelings, sometimes coming off as a little moody, but a devoted friend regardless. They don’t see problems, due to them having no concept of boundaries, and can go anywhere in anyway to meet their goals. On the small scale, Water magic can summon water, or raise or lower the water level of a pond or stream. On the large scale, it is cleansing and healing magic, with regeneration possible, as well as a bit of scrying through the reflective surfaces of still pools. If you don’t keep a handle on it, however, it can cause avalanches, floods, and overall bad weather news that will ruin that picnic plan with your riding club!

If you following Ginny’s twitter blog, you’ll know that all of the districts, including Sphalerite, have their own little specialties and symbols. I won’t bore you with all of them, and I want you to get to enjoy finding them out on your own! (The name is one giant clue to one of them, fyi.) I will mention that the Sphalerite mentors depend on which side you choose. If you go with the Light, you will look to Kitty Sweetsong (profile pending), and if you go with the Shadow, you have options: Vanessa Ribbonmelody (profile pending) and Veronica Highflute (profile pending).

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