Breed Spotlight: American Quarter Horse

Breed Spotlight: American Quarter Horse

American Quarter Horse

Named for their famed status in running quarter-mile races in the American Mid-West and Western frontiers, several breed books have started in Astranar to bring this fast-stepping horse into the fold. They are considered a secondary horse, meaning in order to own one, the player will have to spend real-world funds in addition to the purchase price of the game.

With small, refined heads, and broad hindquarters, the American Quarter Horse has a compact, powerful frame meant for short bursts of energy. While not the tallest horse, they aren’t ponies either. Most have calm, even temperaments and are a pleasure to work with. Others can get a sticker under their blanket and be a grump, but they’ll get the job done, and some can be as timid as deer and need some gentle convincing. It all depends on the horse! Their ears and faces are very good at conveying their personalities, worming their way into riders’ hearts.


The breed books that predominantly came over to Astranar are of the “racing” variety of AQH rather than the working ranch variety, meaning that they are fast in short bursts, rather than being wired to chase cows all day. They are still good cattle horses, they just aren’t the famed “cow-minded” like some of the breed are known for. Astranar just isn’t big enough for those kinds of ranches, and those horses aren’t always the safest for young riders as they are very job-oriented. But the ability to chase after cattle so well is part of what makes the AQH particularly well suited for the agility racing of Ruby District.


Breed Characteristics:
AQH come in several colors, including sorrel (red with blonde mane for Mystic Rider purposes), chestnut (red with red mane for Mystic Rider purposes), bay, brown, buckskin, palomino, black, and grey. In Astranar, there aren’t separate breed books between American Quarter Horses and American Paints, so all manners of white markings are acceptable.

Starting Stats: *
Speed:                    4                                              Discipline:       3
Endurance:         2                                               Agility:             5
Strength:             2

* 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!”

Ruby District, Watch Your Step!

Ruby District, Watch Your Step!

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 Ruby, where Earth magic reigns supreme.


Known for their rolling hills and gorges, Ruby is the heart of Astranar–not quite literally, but it is in the center of the country and shares a border with just about everyone else. Creating it, Ginny was inspired by her childhood home of Upstate New York. The further north the player gets, closer to the Whistleback Mountains, the more the district resembles the Catskills (though Ginny will make the argument that they are still hills, just really steep ones. I’m from Oklahoma, I don’t have a horse in this race). Whereas the further south the player goes, the hills are still there, just less dramatic and more reminiscent of the Finger Lakes region. Those gorges are home to picturesque waterfalls that feed the rivers and lakes, watering the tall trees that cover the hills…at least, those that haven’t been “civilized” yet.

It is a favorite place for farmers and ranchers because of the plentiful graze, even if sometimes the sheep wonder off and have to be chased down. Dairy cows also make an appearance, and some vineyards. With all the plentiful supplies, it’s no wonder that craftspeople enjoy the district as well. The local nobility leaves… some… okay, a lot… to be desired, but we can deal with that right…? Well, hopefully. It’s just one count, how bad can it be? The other local lords are more farmers and landlords than real nobility, so they have the farm sense they were born with….right?! Maybe the fact the fashion has a noted punk/rebel edge isn’t a coincidence after all…


Alright, I’ll get to what most players actually care about. Possibly because of all the ranches, maybe just because they are quirky, but either way, Ruby is the solace for Western riders in Astranar. Barrel racing, pole bending, shalom, and pony games, there is a wide variety to try, though some will be limited to the main character (MC) owning a pony in addition to the default magical horse. (Don’t at me, there’s a quest to earn you the necessary credits, or at least the majority of them if you are picky on color.)

Ruby is home to Chincoteague ponies in all varieties of coats that they come in. Also not to worry if the MC went to another district first so the default horse is geared more towards another style of riding either, because the Chincoteague isn’t alone in Ruby. American Quarter Horses (which can turn into American Paints with a few extra credits to add markings) and Tennessee Walking horses are also available for purchase, although because they are considered “extra” horses, purchasing of the initial game license doesn’t earn the player credits towards them.


Earth magic resonates with Do on the solfege scale. It is the base, the anchor that holds you safely down. Those who resonate with Earth are down-to-earth personalities that value security and order, and they are very intense about getting it. They are very efficient, and a good person to have in your corner. On the small scale, Earth magic can speed up plant growth and making tilling the fields neatly easier. On the large scale, it can raise or lower the earth itself or effect magnetism. Of course, if the MC doesn’t stay in control of it, they could also cause a mudslide, which is not only dangerous, but is going to have a number of people mad at them for property damage.

If you following Ginny’s twitter blog, you’ll know that all of the districts, including Ruby, 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 Ruby mentors depend on which side the player chooses. If they go with the Light, the MC will look to Vesper Leilament (profile pending), and if they go with the Shadow, the MC has options: Vanessa Ribbonmelody (profile pending) and Vivian Streetbeats (profile pending).