Breed Spotlight: Astranar Wild Horse

Breed Spotlight: Astranar Wild Horse

Astranar Wild Horse

Your 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!”

Astranar’s Secret Gem: The Mirror World

Astranar’s Secret Gem: The Mirror World

Hidden beyond the next tree. Over secret paths only a few can see. Through the arches of branches and flowers. There is a world of magic and wonder. Teal skies. Vivid greenery. Unique flowers. Maroon earth. Only on the continent of Argentum, in Astranar, can people cross over and discover the enchantments and peoples of the Mirror World.

A simple name, perhaps, while others over the world may have slipped through cracks, they called it different things. Underhill. Wonderland. The Never Ending Wood. Ever After. In Astranar, the natives know that names have power and the true name of the World is best left to those that live in it. They simply call it the Mirror World for it mirrors our own.

When Astranar is in the heart of summer, the Mirror World is in the deepest folds of winter. And while in Astranar, it takes a powerful spell caster to work anything beyond basic spells, in the Mirror World, magic is as easy as breathing—for better or worse!

If one could see both the Mirror World and the mundane world at the same time, one would be able to see the towns co-existing in the same places! The people going on about their lives doing everyday things. For the people of the Mirror World have the same wants and needs as the people in the mundane world no matter how different their appearance.

And oh how different they are! Those that live close to humans can be breathe taking and magical. Fairies in their tiny snow globe sized bubbles. Elementals that take on the shape of humans or giant birds. Griffons that share a passing resemblance to eagles. Deer with colorful coats and exotic antlers like flowering branches and crystal. And many different types of sheep.

Then there are the magical beings that only choose to share the shape of humans. Though their skin is anything but human looking as if someone took liquid metals, and glowing paints to create abstract and fantastical designs. Some may have wings to mock the humans and their tales of fairies (or is it mockery?). Take care of those that live in the ponds.

Those that live deep in the Mirror World have names and faces we are familiar with; Santa Claus, Cupid, The Pumpkin King/Jack Frost, Mother Goose, and the Green Man. They come closer to the mundane world around the solstices and holidays when the veil between us is thinner. The ways to their towns and castles are only available for a short time each year as they are celebrated (or appeased.) Perhaps, if you help them enough they will open special places, special towns for the player to visit them all year round.

Then there are the horses! Horses in the Mirror World are the horses of every rider’s fantasy. The most prolific and easiest to find, because often they find you, are the magical color changing horses. Reminding outsiders of a Fjord horse, in the mundane world they come in all shades of dun and have bi-colored manes. In the Mirror World, their coats and manes become an array of bright, muted, or pastel colors. And in the Mirror World, they can talk to you. (This may or may not be welcome depending on their personality.)

One can make friend with unicorns, tame the wild pegasus, help the rainbow alicorns, and even discover beautiful nymph horses that take after plants and trees. They can take you to places no normal horse can reach (much to your main horse’s displeasure.)

A word of warning, as with the magic of Astranar, in the Mirror World there are places of Light and places of Shadow. Woe betide those who are of opposite sides stumbling into places they shouldn’t be. Those of the light, beware the arches of dead branches covered in moss. And those of the shadow, beware the arches of living branches covered in ivy. If caught inside, you’ll have to flee to avoid capture or bargain for your freedom. Some can be convinced to let you go if you make them something nice or if you entertain them. (Though this brings to mind playing with your food…)

Explore carefully.

But in order to explore, you’re going to need a winter coat. Don’t think you can pass a raincoat off as winter coat. Your horse is too smart for that to work…