12 Days of Christmas: Christmas Time is Here (Day 3)

12 Days of Christmas: Christmas Time is Here (Day 3)

Once they were in the normal world, Pippa sent a text to the headmistress of the school. Christmas was in danger! Santa needed their help to save Christmas. Headmistress Thyme sent a text in reply. Pippa was to report to the nearest mentor.

Pippa put her phone away and first went back to Holda. Jack and the little girl were gone. Holda paced back and forth in the snow.

“Mrs. Holda, Santa says that he’ll do Christmas if I repair his suit and prepare for his arrival,” Pippa said. “He said you’d know how to make a new suit. And he needs your help to hunt down the elves that are supposed to be making toys and aren’t.”

Holda smiled broadly at her. “Hah. So he saw reason.” She nodded. “I’ll give you the instructions on how to make his suit. Follow them carefully,” she said and waved her hand. “And don’t let anyone else see them. They’ll disappear once you’re done and the suit is safely delivered to Wodan.”

Pippa accepted the instructions with care. She put them in her sewing journal. “I’ll be careful.”

Holda put up a hand. “Don’t thank the old ones, child,” she said. “We might call upon the favor one day.”

She nodded rapidly.

Holda mounted her horse and galloped away, fading from sight.

Pippa tucked the journal away in her saddlebag. “To Vesper, Marbel,” she said. He nodded. They rode towards the Ruby District Camp.

Vesper greeted them by waving a long candy cane cane! She was in an entirely new outfit. Over her short black hair she had a red and black buffalo check trilby with a black ribbon and big silver buckle on it with a spray of candy canes. She had a circular white leather chest piece with a mint swirl candy on it that buckled with red belts over a white leather half jacket with a fur cuff and red trimmings. Her shirt that they could see was a red and black check and black cuffs. She wore a red kilt with a thick black belt and silver buckle. Her boots were white with red straps and instead of buckles, had more fake peppermint swirl candies!

She smiled at Pippa. “Welcome to Candy Cane Lane!” she said. She winked at Pippa. “I love Christmas!” Then put her finger over her lips. “But shh, it’s a secret!”

Pippa giggled. “I won’t tell a soul.”

Vesper grinned. “Here in Astranar, we go all out for Christmas.  Every district has a theme. You can choose to help one district set up for Christmas. I’ve uploaded all the information into your phone. The districts you choose not to help will be decorated automatically.”

She leaned on her candy cane, well, cane. “Let me run down them quickly. Here in the Ruby District, we have a rockin’ peppermint Christmas. Santa’s house is set up here and we decorate in red, white, and with plenty of buffalo check. In the Sphalerite District, Kitty is setting up Gingerbread Junction. They have a gingerbread town complete with a train, and decorate in orange, brown, and gold with lots of icing and candy.

“In the Citrine District, Viva is ready to make sweet music with her Angels on High theme! Angels, musical instruments, and stars make the Citrine District’s Christmas out of this world. They decorate in gold of course! In the Emerald District, Len needs your help with her Elven Holly Jolly. Santa’s workshop is there and elves don’t like to work if they can play! They decorate with holly, bells and, of course, lots of elves, and green and silver are the colors of the season.

“In the Sapphire District, Minnie is putting on the Nutcracker Parade. It’s toyland time. Ladies are dancing, lords are leaping, carolers are singing, and the toys are out in force while the snowflakes float down. Sapphire decorates in blue, white, and silver. In the Morganite District, Lottie needs help with her Woodland Christmas. All the woodland creatures have come out with acorns, pine cones, and berries to make the season special. She decorates with pink, white, gold, and brown.

“In the Amethyst District, Izzy is in a tizzy to get going on the Sugar Plum Fairy theme. She’s turning the area into the land of sweets. Cakes, ice cream, popsicles, macarons, and of course, sugar plums, that is. Of course, it is purple, gold, and white. With Izzy, could it be anything else? And last, but not least, the capitol is putting on a Coastal Christmas! Sand castles, star fish, seagulls, and everything associated with the coast is going up in the capitol. The colors are aqua and cream. There, you would talk with the Princess and Prince!”

Pippa didn’t know where she should go. It all sounded so exciting!

Vesper smiled knowingly. “Can’t make up your mind? Go and talk with all of them. See what they have to show you for their Christmas decorations! All the quests are the same in each district and depending on which district you help, you’ll get a special outfit in that district’s colors. Once you decide, you can’t change your mind. So choose wisely!” Vesper twirled her cane and tugged on her hat. “I’ll wait here for your decision, Pippa! Or, you can go to the nearest mentor and tell them your decision.”

Pippa beamed at her. “Thank you, Vesper. I will!” she said and trotted away. First, she needed to look through the information Vesper had given her. There were so many choices. She put Marbel in a stall with a bucket of water and a good brushing. “I’ll be back soon,” she said. “I just want a cocoa to warm up!”

Marbel nuzzled her in complete understanding.

Pippa skipped to the camp’s cafeteria. Although she wasn’t technically a full time camper anymore, she could still use their kitchen. She got a mug of cocoa and sat down at the table to look through the information Vesper put on her phone. She almost squealed in delight. There were pictures of the special parts of the decorations with a girl modeling the outfit they could earn and a horse showing off the gear.

There were also special Christmas recipes to make and Christmas decorations to produce. There were even some special clothes and gear to sew. Also, there was a new app on her phone, an advent calendar! Every day until Christmas, she’d get something special.

Pippa sipped her cocoa and browsed through all the information several times. She still couldn’t make up her mind. Candy Cane Lane? Gingerbread Junction? Woodland Christmas? Sugar Plum Fairy? She was going to have to go visit all of them.  Thank goodness for the train stations!

12 Days of Christmas: Here Comes Santa Clause (Day 2)

12 Days of Christmas: Here Comes Santa Clause (Day 2)

Marbel burst into a gallop and lengthened his strides into a run after the Christmas Spirit. All Pippa could do was hold on and duck her head under branches. They jumped over logs and dodged around rocks. Pippa saw the glitter of eggplant indicating an opening to the Mirror World. In the spirit of Christmas the archway was covered in holly with bright red berries. “There!” She pointed as the Christmas Spirit shot through the door.

Marbel huffed and charged through the opening and into a verdant summer. Pippa gasped in shock. Ahead of them, instead of a spark of red and green light was a childlike creature with greenish skin, pointed ears, and a red pointed hat, cape, and outfit. It hovered above the ground, going at breakneck speed.

“Redcap,” Marbel said, turning his head. “No wonder Holda doesn’t want to make them angry. Just a bit further now.”

The race started again and soon, they were deep in this section of the Mirror World and running down a ‘lane’ between evergreen trees. The lane opened up into a large grassy area and in the area there were lots and lots of spirits. The Christmas Sprite flitted off to find Wodan.

Pippa gaped until Marbel shifted underneath her. “You might want to take off that coat before you overheat,” he said.

“Is it always like this?” Pippa asked as she dismounted and took her heavy winter coat off. She tugged at her shirt.

“The Mirror World is a mirror. When it is winter there it is summer here, spring and autumn and on it goes, the cycle of seasons,” Marbel reminded her. “Though things are a bit out of whack. No wonder Wodan is grumpy. Frost is a puckish creature at the best of times.”

Pippa wrinkled her nose. “But doesn’t Santa like Christmas?”

“He loves Christmas. He just also hates leaving the Hunt.”

Across the clearing, Wodan roared. “See what you’ve done! My suit!  My suit is ruined! The snow is early, nothing is prepared, and now you’ve ruined my suit. Yes. Run! Run! Both of you sooty pranksters, run!”

Two ravens lifted off into the sky, cawing down mockingly.

“That is your cue,” Marbel said.

Pippa hesitantly approached Wodan. He was a big man with a brown beard and dressed in armor. His helm had two great wings coming off of it. Like Holda, he wore a fur cape and more tied around his calves. One of his eyes was covered with a patch. He held out a few tattered scraps of fabric that had been streaked with black coal. “Ruined!” he muttered. “And it’s almost Christmas. How am I to appear in such a state?” He shook his fist up at the sky. “When I get my hands on you two! Hugin! Munin!”

The ravens cawed more.

“Excuse me, sir,” Pippa said. “May I be of assistance?”

Wodan turned to her and put his fists on his hips. “You? Who are you?”

Pippa forced a smile. “I’m Pippa CantataGallop. I’m here to help with Christmas.”

“At this rate, there won’t be a Christmas,” Wodan grumbled. “You see what those two sooty ravens did to my suit! And the snow is early. Nothing is prepared. Nothing! And where is Holda? The Hunt must continue to chase down those elves to make sure they prepare the toys! She’s missing!”

It sounded as if nothing was going properly. Wodan’s suit was messed up. No Christmas preparations had been made. And the elves were revolting.

Pippa didn’t think she should say that she’d heard Wodan didn’t want to do Christmas. “Well, maybe I can help.”

“I don’t know how,” Wodan continued to grump. “The first thing that has to be done is hunt down those elves! Holda!” he shouted. “Holda!”

“Maybe I can help with your suit?” Pippa asked. “I can get it cleaned!”

“They tore it apart,” Wodan said.

“Then, then, I’ll make you a new one.”

“This just isn’t any suit! It’s a magic suit!” Wodan roared. “One that makes it so I can get down any chimney and into every house without being detected all at once all over the world.”

“That is a special suit,” Pippa said. “If you tell me how to make it, I’ll do my best to make you a new one. Then that is one thing you won’t have to worry about before Christmas.”

Wodan glowered at her and then stroked his beard. “Maybe, maybe you. You have powerful magic about you.” He thrust the scraps of the suit at her. “Track down Holda. She can tell you how to remake my suit,” he said. “Then send her straight back here. We need to hunt down those elves. Staging a revolt. Just before Christmas!”

Pippa nodded and stuck the suit scraps into her saddlebag. “Is there anything else I can do to prepare for your arrival?”

Wodan narrowed his good eye at her. “There’s a lot of work to be done. You can’t do it all by yourself,” he said.

“I can get it started.” Pippa lifted her chin. “What do you want?”

“I want a parade! With children, lots of children, happy ones! And candy, lots of candy to pass out.”

“And then you’ll be willing to do Christmas?”

Wodan blustered a few moments. “Decorations. There will need to be decorations. My horse will need to be prepared. The reindeer need tending. The book of naughty and nice will have to be double checked. And I must get after those elves!”

Pippa held up a finger. “Decorate, plan a parade for your arrival, candy, happy cheering children, prepare the horse, tend the reindeer, the naughty and nice book, and the elves. Is that everything?” she asked ticking things off on her fingers.

Wodan grumbled into his beard. “I guess. For now!”

Pippa smiled. “Then, I’ll go see Holda and tell her you’re prepared to do Christmas.”

Wodan gaped at her. “Now wait a moment,” he shouted.

Pippa smiled at him and mounted Marbel.

Marbel tossed his head and laughed. “Too late, Sinterklaus. You’re roped into it now!” He took off at a trot towards the exit.

Wodan crossed his arms and, when neither of them could see, he smiled into his beard.

12 Days of Christmas: Let it Snow! (Day 1)

12 Days of Christmas: Let it Snow! (Day 1)

Jack Frost, now an old man, held his scepter in his hand. It was fully charged with frost magic and glowed a cold, pale blue light, little bits of snow and light drifted from it. Jack’s bright blue eyes though were still as full of mischief as when he was a young boy during Easter, though his golden blonde hair was now pale and white blonde.

Jack smiled at Pippa and bowed to her. “Thank you for your help, fair maiden. Now winter may come without troubles and the earth may rest.”

Pippa curtseyed back. “You’re welcome, Jack. I have had so much fun.”

“The fun isn’t over yet!” Jack said. He laughed and snapped his fingers in front of her nose. A whirl of cold air and frost swirled in front of her. “Look up! Quickly!”

Pippa looked upwards. She gasped, “A falling star!” She shut her eyes and made a wish. ‘Snow! Let it snow! Let it snow! Let it snow!’ she thought and thought hard.

When she opened her eyes, Jack was gone.

Pippa took a deep breath of the crisp cold air and let it out. It was time for bed. She smiled and hummed “Let it Snow” as she went back to her cottage in Magpie Field.

Far away, up in the mountains in the center of Astranar, Jack Frost reappeared. He looked down at the little girl that appeared next to him. “Well, Holly my love, fair Pippa wishes for snow.” He smiled and his eyes twinkled again. “What do you say? Shall we grant her wish?”

Holly jumped up and down and clapped her hands.

“She’s given us lots of magic,” Jack said. He held out his hand. Holly took it and Jack held his scepter over his head.

Clouds swirled around him and over all of Astranar, and it began to snow.

Jack and Holly disappeared.

Day One:

The next morning, Pippa woke up to a glaring white light. She moaned and rolled out of bed, rubbing her eyes. She walked over to the window and stared. Snow! Snow was everywhere! A thick fluffy pile of it!

Her wish had been granted.

Pippa squealed, did a little dance and dashed to get ready for the day. She was going to need her coat!

She washed, brushed her hair and got dressed, and when she picked up her phone, it buzzed in her hand. She had a snowflake-gram! Pippa had never heard of a snowflake-gram before Jack Frost. But he was magic and she’d learned not to question it. He wished to meet her as soon as possible. There was new business afoot and he needed her assistance.

Pippa’s eyes widened and she finished getting ready quickly, doing a quick clean of the room before going out and feeding her animals and doing her stable chores. She threw blankets on all of the horses. They weren’t ready for this cold!

She saddled her favorite horse, her magical horse, MarbelHollow. If Jack Frost needed assistance, she might have to go into the Mirror World. The idea filled her with delight and dread. She loved the Mirror World, but it could be dangerous. She could never forget that at her peril.

She shivered a little as she and MarbelHollow jogged through the snow. It crunched under Marbel’s hooves. Little clouds of fog formed in front of their noses as they breathed. Pippa was glad for her sunglasses.

Pippa heard Jack and someone else, a woman, before she saw them. The woman was shouting.

“You miserable, snow-loving excuse of a puck!” the woman shouted. She was dressed very oddly and not at all fit for the weather. She was dressed like an ancient Viking warrior with a leather breastplate and skirt. There were furs wrapped around her calves and a fur half cape over her shoulder. Her thick blonde hair was braided over both shoulders and she wore a conical helmet. Maybe Pippa had been steeped in popular culture for too long because the helmet didn’t look finished to her. It didn’t have any horns!

“I assure you, madame, that this is all just a misunderstanding,” Jack Frost said, swinging his scepter over his head and resting it on his shoulders.

A young girl clung to his leg and looked at the woman with wide eyes.

“Misunderstanding?!” The woman stomped her foot. “You always say that, Jackie Frosty. I’m minded to add you to our Hunt for a while and teach you a lesson about playing with things that aren’t yours!”

Jack smiled at her. His eyes lit on Pippa. “Pippa CantataGallop!” he shouted. “May I introduce you to Holda? You may know her by her other name, Mrs. Claus.”

Pippa’s heart jumped. “As in Santa Claus?” she squeaked.

Holda turned to Pippa.

Jack Frost decided he better explain. He swung the scepter down and leaned on it. “Pippa, fair lady, I’m afraid that some of the ghosts we summoned for my Queen were from the Wild Hunt. Oh, you don’t know what that is? Well, when Santa and Mrs. Claus aren’t dealing with Christmas, they are Wodan and Holda leading a solemn procession of spirits through the sky. We accidentally summoned some of those spirits for my gift to my Queen. Now, Wodan is in a bad mood.” He examined the end of his scepter as if the blue stone had something important to tell him.

Holda interrupted, “And he doesn’t want to do Christmas!”

“He never wants to do Christmas.” Jack rolled his eyes. “He doesn’t want to leave the Wild Hunt.”

“Christmas is his job. If he doesn’t do Christmas and it’s not prepared properly, the Christmas spirits will act up. If you thought the Pumpkin Queen’s hobby horses were bad, this is worse. No Christmas for any one!” Holda shook. “It’s those ravens of his, I know it. They’d do anything to keep Santa with the Hunt. And he’s not listening to me!”

Jack’s eyes twinkled. “Perhaps Pippa can get Wodan to see reason. She is a child, after all.”

Holda glowered at him, and then looked at Pippa. “He always wants something,” she grumbled. “Find out what it is and give it to him. I’ll handle the Hunt while he’s gone.”

“As she does every year,” Jack interjected.

“It will be safely in my hands. He doesn’t need to worry.” Holda nodded.

Pippa bit her lip. Talk to Wodan while he was leading the wild hunt? But if she didn’t, there wouldn’t be any Christmas. Would she really negotiate with Wodan? Pippa steeled her spine. She would. Everyone needed Christmas! “I’ll do it,” she said. “Where could I find him?”

“He’s resting in the Mirror World,” Holda said. She held up her hand. “This Christmas Spirit will guide you,” she said, and a red and green spark formed over her hand. It shot away into the woods. “Quickly now!” Holda shouted. “After it! Don’t let it get away!”

Why Representation (Still) Matters

Why Representation (Still) Matters

A couple of weeks ago, a member of my DnD group made comments about video game characters. I’m paraphrasing to cut the cussing, but he basically said that he doesn’t care and it doesn’t matter what sexuality characters are or gender identity. He just wants solid, fun characters to play with and play against. I’m not going to explain any more of the situation, but I will leave the thoughts that his comment stirred up for me, because I feel like they are important thoughts for our future audience to know about our mindset for creating this game.

We all want solid, fun characters to play as and play off of in our game. No arguments there. The problem is, anyone who is part of the LGBTQA+ community, or even someone who isn’t but is a girl, has to fight for equal representation. Not just representation–because then you can argue that we are there. There’s female options in Overwatch, in World of Warcraft, in Pokemon. The problem is, they aren’t equal to the male characters. It’s why arguments that we don’t still need to push representation drives me nuts. Yes, it’s better–I can play as a girl when I make a Pokemon run. No, I’m still not satisfied because where is my Zelda equivalent of Link? Why are there still more than 75% of the fleshed out characters being male and most of the remaining females don’t have as much dialogue or action?

Most women don’t pass what I call the 50/66 rule. What’s the 50/66 rule? It means that 50% of the dialogue and actions in the game–not bios, not in guides, but in the actual game–belong to a female character. The 66 part of the rule is 66% of the character’s skin has to be covered, minimum, and they have to still be dressed practical for what they are. For example, I don’t expect bards to be dressed from head to toe in armor, but I don’t want them to be naked or effectively dressed in underwear and scarves (if that) either. I do expect my knight to wear real armor, not chain mail bikini’s by any other name or literal breast plates. True fact, there isn’t a single GOOD dollmaker out there that lets you create a female knight that doesn’t ruin the armor to do it. NOT ONE. (I’ve looked. If you have one, feel free to share!!!) And those are simple flash dollmakers, much less a more serious game.

Aside from a few exceptions, LGBTQA+ content is over fetishized or just not there. If it is there, it’s mentioned in a character bio and that’s about it. A lot of the reason why the Dragon Age games and the new Fire Emblem game are being cheered as hard as they are is because they reach to so many normally ignored demographics, and while other games are picking up on this trend, it’s an uphill battle. (I will say that this is getting better faster than the issue with female characters, but again, we still have a long way to go, so I don’t want either to stop or get more focus than the others.)

The only thing this person didn’t bring up is race, but even there, I wish there was more variety to the characters. I don’t want to see American interpretations of Eastern cultures, I want to see people authentic to those cultures create those characters, to actually show us what they see. I want the ratios to be closer to what they actually are in the world. I want exposure to the real culture, the real way things are done, not the way that is portrayed in cartoons or the occasional art film.

So how is Mystic Riders any different? We do try to include a wide variety of countries for background, with a heavier focus on Europe only because that is the country we start with. Why? Because that’s where Ginny and I have the background. Will we stay there? Ohhh no. We have plans. But we want the people to have joined us who have the real, in-depth knowledge we can never have before we carry out those plans. Do we make representation the center most core of the game? No, because then it does what I was rallying against earlier–it makes it done just for representation’s sake, meaning it’s superficial and frequently not as enriching and engaging as I want.

But what I really want people to take away from this post is representation still matters. We still need to fight for those good, solid characters who are female, who are gay, who are trans, who are from another culture than American, and every combination in between. Trying to deride a game for working on that as well as bolstering the strong story hooks isn’t being an activist, it’s you actually trying to erase the small steps have been taken, when we need to be working on taking bigger ones.

Character Spotlight: Rose Neptuna

Character Spotlight: Rose Neptuna

Rose Neptuna (Single)
Artwork courtesy of Ashante Johnson (@earthsong9405)

Name: Rose Neptuna                                                              Nickname: Rose
Age: Appears 17                                                                       Country of Origin: France
Birthday: Unknown                                                                 Pet: Unknown

Rose Neptuna is the biggest pop star in all of Astranar, and is quickly spreading to the other countries in Argentum too. Originally a rising star in France, she moved to Astranar last year after taking a summer sabbatical in Diamond District, and has been the biggest thing since then. Not only because of her catchy tunes, but also because of her sweet personality. She is a lady of the highest order, though her image seems to also hold a deep sadness, something that is echoed in her lyrics.

In addition to singing, Rose is well-known for playing the violin, even while she’s dancing! She says she looked to Lindsey Stirling as inspiration, and added that she is also classical trained in both violin and ballet. There’s also elements of Indila to her sound, perhaps because Rose is also a deeper toned soprano than most pop stars. She composes her own music, and this makes her widely sought after to work with–she can blend her sound with other music stars, even if they are different styles like country.

If you see her in parades and not on floats or around the city, she can sometimes be seen with her horse, a white Percheron stallion named Papillon Blanc. He’s a giant push over, though watch out if you are eating anything sweet by him. He has a reputation for stealing candy apples from those who come up for a photo op. While not the fastest horse, he’s trained in dressage and show jumping and is very careful with his feet, so he’s an excellent mount for the city streets and for a rider who deals with the public like Rose.

Her agent is Yvenne DuNoir, who came with her from France and often is your first point of contact with Rose before an event. A haughty blonde, it’s…hard to miss her. Otherwise, not a lot is known about Rose, such as who her family is, or even what her natural hair color is! She lives in the penthouse suite of the largest hotel in Diamond District, but good luck making it past security to see her there. There are also rumors of her attending AEFPA, but the administration is very hush-hush about it. But all that mystery just adds to her charm. The only one who seems to be upset about her being here is the hip-hop star, Hi-Fidelity.

Her summer tour is an anniversary special for her first year in Astranar! She’s touring all over Astranar, leading up to the big summer blow out with every big musical act in Argentum joining her. There’s also a competition to sing a song with her on stage that has some of the locals eager to impress her. Maybe the player will have to give one or two a helping hand…

Favorite Color: Rose pink
Favorite Horse: Percheron
Favorite Camp Activity: Dancing
Favorite Gemstone: Topaz, pink or blue
Favorite Race: Show Jumping


Tumbling Down in Amethyst District

Tumbling Down in Amethyst District

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 Amethyst, where Consciousness magic is the end-all be-all.


Set in the very center of Argentum, Amethyst is mostly mountainous and bordered by Sphalerite, Ruby, and Emerald, as well as both Zablana and Nospos. Ginny used the Swiss Alps as inspiration for Amethyst, looking for ways to situate towns and farms into the mountain side that goes vertical more than it does horizontal. With pocket valleys creating ideal places for villages and high steeps covered in snow for the rest, Amethyst is great for everyone who enjoys their snow year round.

In addition to the villages and high hills that lead into Ruby, Amethyst is home to winter sports of all varieties, particularly ice skating. In fact, a huge Olympic-sized facility has been built in Amethyst to try and attract ice skaters of all types. With all those twisting roads, though, travel can get tricky and there’s always someone who is in need of rescue. Perhaps as a nod to the home of winter weather, Russia, there is a definite imperial/military inspired style in Amethyst.


With all those mountains and the specialty of dressage, you might need a new horse. While Amethyst doesn’t provide you any funds for new horses, there are some to take a look at if you don’t mind spending some of your own cash. The Vyatka and the Akale-Teke are horses built for extreme weather and elegant looks, both being considered rare breeds. If something a little more solid is your speed, there is also the Orlov Trotter for your consideration.


Consciousness magic resonates with Ti on the solfege scale. Consciousness is magic of the mind and will, with many of its abilities similar to that of psychic abilities. Magicians of Consciousness will push their minds and their bodies as hard as they can to achieve their goals. While they are usually empathetic enough to pick up other’s emotions and maybe manipulate them, they aren’t as wise to their own feelings and can come across as a little cold. On the small scale, Consciousness magic is telekinesis and emotions or thought sensing, relying on the environment or others as well as their own will. On the large scale, it can grant its users knowledge of the past, the present, or the future, and even allow for astral projection. However, you have to be careful about going too far from your body or into time–they don’t play fair–and if you push yourself too far, you’ll get a nasty headache for your troubles.

If you following Ginny’s twitter blog, you’ll know that all of the districts, including Amethyst, 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 Amethyst mentors depend on which side you choose. If you go with the Light, you will look to Isidora Silvertreble (profile pending), and if you go with the Shadow, you have options: Vivian Streetbeat (profile pending) and Victoria Blackpiano (profile pending).

Shine a Light in Morganite!

Shine a Light in Morganite!

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 Morganite, where Prism magic shines.


A combination of lush beaches, sweeping fields with craggy water ways, and one very boggy marsh, Morganite is on the southwest side of the country on the coast on the border with Nospos, and it is also surrounded by Sphalerite, Ruby, and Diamond districts. With input from Becca, Ginny looked to southern France for imagery for Morganite. Fields of lavender are home to wild horses, the big bulls needed for Sapphire, and wineries. There are bits of French charm around every corner or stream.

Unfortunately, all that water historically leads to problems in the spring and summer, as the influx of rain can cause flooding. The locals are used to it, but preparations still have to made. Equally unfortunately, the local nobility, in particular the baroness, and the local higher class merchants aren’t seeing eye to eye. (Beware of sandwich jokes, there’s hidden meaning around here…) The only help for all of this? An elderly knight, tucked away in his tower among the marshes. If only you could reach him, you might be able to get everything ready on time! Despite the weather, the atmosphere of the hamlets and the beaches have brought out the classically cute style in terms of fashion.


Seeing as how there is a huge marsh to deal with, you’re going to need a second horse if you hope to navigate it. Morganite is home to the special quest that gains you in-game currency to purchase a draft horse. If you’ve only unlocked Morganite at that time, your option is the Percheon. In addition, the area’s specialty is show jumping, but there are a handful of ranches that raise cattle or horses, so a good all-around horse in the Selle Francais is available. And considering how adorable the rest of the district is, of course there’s a pony running around: the Welsh pony, specifically.


Prism magic resonates with La on the solfege scale. Prism is magic of the light, literally, and is the definition of jack of all trades, master of none in terms of spell range. If a person aligns with Prism magic, they tend to be very transparent, but watch out because that doesn’t mean there aren’t hidden depths. They are the definition of optimism, and always see the best in others–even where others can’t. On the small scale, Prism magic summons light–from that of the stars, the sun, or the moon, or in different colors with each color being capable of a different thing. On the large scale, it is the power of illusions, making the mind believe something is there that isn’t or appearing different. It’s very handy for some quick costume changes! However, perhaps to balance it’s versatility and stable nature, very little Prism magic directly impacts reality.

If you following Ginny’s twitter blog, you’ll know that all of the districts, including Morganite, 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 Morganite mentors depend on which side you choose. If you go with the Light, you will look to Charlotte Mistwaltz (profile pending), and if you go with the Shadow, you have options: Vanessa Ribbonmelody (profile pending) and Victoria Blackpiano (profile pending).

Gears Are Turning in Sapphire

Gears Are Turning in Sapphire

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 Sapphire, where Ether magic brings out the power of the celestial in us all.

A twisting hill land of grasses and sand that is close enough to the Highwind Desert to affect the local climate, Sapphire is on the northeast side of the country up against the foot of the Whistlebacks, and sharing a border with the Ruby, Emerald, and Amethyst districts. Southern Spain was the inspiration for this district of Astranar (which makes sense considering the location of the equator for both countries). With tall, gleaming white buildings set in mazes among hills and winding dirt roads, Sapphire seems a lot more sparse than it is, with a rich history and ancient runes that hint at the past for Astranar. Of course, if you can find them is the trick there, since some of those ruins are quite out of the way.


The nobility find Sapphire a welcome change of pace, and so there’s a heavy collection of them around. Some are lords, there’s a count and a local knight… Why so many flock can also be nailed down to the “exiled” prince, Sebastian, who makes his home at his family’s estate in Sapphire. Why he was removed from the line of succession is a mystery that the royal family has kept private… Some of the lords may also be by because Sapphire has a large bull fighting arena. (For those of you who have read Emerald‘s entry, you can imagine how big of a problem that can be!) Fashion in Sapphire is just a bit kooky–steampunk is the name of a game, perhaps as a nod towards formality for the gentry?


With all the grassland hills and valleys, horses that do well on the straight and on dusty terrain are best suited to Sapphire. Good thing they have the breed books for Arabians and Barbs! In addition, they have the Hackney Horse for those who might be more inclined to their high speed trotting and delicate lines. The racing specialty around these parts is the straightforward flat race, though of course nothing is ever that simple, right?


Ether magic resonates with So on the solfege scale. Ether is magic of the spirit, and in many ways is closer to “traditional” forms of magic. Those of the Ether don’t really take the beaten path, as they serve as bridges between Earth, the heavens, the spirit, and the body, though they value safety with their independence. They are deep thinkers who you can often find holed up in a lab of some sort. On the small scale, Ether magic can tolerate dualities, like hot and cold, have higher endurance of thirst, fatigue, or hunger, or converse/interact with spirits or ghosts. On the large scale, it is the power of alchemy, changing one element for another among other things, and space magic. Be careful not to form a baby star in your backyard!

If you following Ginny’s twitter blog, you’ll know that all of the districts, including Sapphire, 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 Sapphire mentors depend on which side you choose. If you go with the Light, you will look to Minna Opuswright (profile pending), and if you go with the Shadow, you have options: Veronica Highflute (profile pending) and Varteni Heatforte (profile pending).