Breed Spotlight: Astranar Wild Horse

Breed Spotlight: Astranar Wild Horse

Astranar Wild Horse

The main character (MC)’s starting horse, the Astranar Wild Horse is a unique breed with plenty to offer and secrets that the locals are careful to keep away from the rest of the world.

Physically similar to the Fjord horses of Norway, a possible sign the two breeds developed independently in similar fashions, the Astranar Wild Horse can only be found on the continent of Argentum, with the wild herds only being sighted in the country of Astranar. Some horses paired with a rider will travel the other countries on the continent, but most wild horse sightings in Zablana or Nospos are written off as false sightings.

Fjord 2

Curiously enough, this breed is well known for only bonding with female riders. While occasionally one will tolerate a male rider, it is usually with ill grace and doesn’t last long. Locals have stopped trying. But when they find the right person, these horses are the most loyal mount one could ask for, and they will always try their hardest for them.

The biggest secret about the Astranar Wild Horse is known only to locals or their riders: they are the only breed of horse that can cross between the barrier between our world and that of the Mirror World. On our side, they are handsome horses, but on the other, they reveal their real, bright colors…and snarky comebacks. (Yep, they talk, and they are bursting with opinions.) Herd hierarchy can get a bit biting at times, but really, you get a group together of anything that can talk, and gossip is going to follow.

Because of their magical traits, Astranar Wild Horses are considered a banned export–they rely on the magic of the Mirror World to exist, so they can’t leave the continent. This makes them highly sought after mounts by new arrivals who don’t always realize what they are getting into. They learn.

                   Fjord 1           Fjord 3

Breed Characteristics:
A solid all-around horse, the breed comes in all shades of dun, with a thick mane and tail of usually a mixture of a lighter color and a darker color. (Exact mixing and matching will be customizable by the player at start up.) Their manes can be cut into patterns similar to a Fjord, or allowed to hang loose and mixed, depending on theirs and their rider’s preferences. While the occasional blaze or sock can be seen, most horses have solid coats. Because they are a such a rare breed and require as high of genetic diversity as possible (at least on paper), geldings are not available. (Players will be able to pick between mares and stallions.)

Starting Stats: *
Speed:                    3                                              Discipline:       3
Endurance:         3                                               Agility:             3
Strength:             3

* 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!”

Character Spotlight: Bence Mezzohue

Character Spotlight: Bence Mezzohue

Bence (Single)
Artwork courtesy of Ashante Johnson (@earthsong9405)

Name: Bence Mezzohue                                                         Nickname: None
Age:  17                                                                                      Country of Origin: Astranar
Birthday: May 28                                                                      Pet: None

A mysterious boy that the main character (MC) meets in their first week of camp, Bence seems like a pleasant guy with a ready smile who is serious about horses, photography, and not much else. He doesn’t seem to get along too well with the district mentor, but that could just be a clash of personality, since not all of them are easy to be cozy with.  To the MC, he always seems like a gentleman interested in helping them make the best of their time at Astranar, exploring and finding a sense of freedom and competition.

Effortlessly charming and congenial, Bence is a bit of a flirt, but he treats his friends seriously. Most of his friends are members of the same riding club, but he appears to have a few elsewhere, some from his school, since he attends AEFPS. (Whether or not this includes his cousin Benny, well, that involves finding Benny wherever he is holed up in the mountains to confirm.) He visits people frequently, taking pictures that he develops himself. Bence is also a bit of an explorer, found in some of the wildest parts of Astranar, though what he’s seeking is a bit of a mystery.

An excellent horseman, Bence owns two horses. One is an English Thoroughbred mare named Llamrei that he uses exclusively for dressage and agility events. She is sweet and prim, if snobby. His primary horse is an Astranar Wild stallion named Passelande, who is skilled at cross country and flat-style races. Watch out for him on the turns, because he will bowl you over if you get in his way! Otherwise, he is a stoic but well-trained horse that suits Bence well. Even if it’s rather odd for Bence to own an Astranar Wild Horse, they are rather notorious for preferring girls…

Bence is a member of the expansive Mezzohue family who own a chain of businesses throughout Astranar via his father. His mother attended one of the district camps when she was younger and met his father then, so the rest of his maternal family still lives in India. He gets along well with his younger cousins on that side of the family, particularly one named Mia who he exchanges letters with. He also has a passion for genuine Indian food from his mother, and will instantly pay attention if kulfi is on the line.  While unable to attend the camps himself, that doesn’t stop Bence from visiting them whenever he has a chance.

This summer, Bence can mostly be found hanging out with his friends in the Enchanted Owl Order, who tend to travel among the districts as they find something that interests them. Mostly he seems to be taking pictures of various cultural events or nature. Sometimes, he’ll even help with deciding if someone has the dedication and talent to join his friends’ riding club. He does show an interest in a particular horse who comes in with the spring round up as a possible third horse for his own riding, but they don’t care for him! Perhaps Bence will have better luck with the MC, that horse’s chosen rider?

Favorite Color: Navy blue
Favorite Horse: English Thoroughbred
Favorite Camp Activity: Photography
Favorite Gemstone: Black opal
Favorite Race: Cross Country