Intelligent Species
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ID: 2213


January 21, 2006, 4:44 pm

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Cheka Man

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Equus Vigilia


Many know the image of the Night-Mare, a sable horse wreathed in a nimbus of hellfire sent from the underworld every night to deliver dreams of terror and fear to the living. While this is not entirely incorrect, the truth is more complicated…

Full Description
The name Night-Mare is a misnomer, though not entirely without foundation. During the founding years of the Realm Aterrizar, the mythozoological species of Equus Vigilia was brought to the very edge of extinction.

The species was dwindled down to a herd of 13 mares. Now, in ancient times, this breed of animal wandered in and out of the realms of unconscious dreaming, delivering dreams and visions, prophecies and nightmares to whom they were meant to. But some were disconcerted by this and sought out the herds of the horses, and brought battle to them. While the petty humans were initially poor at this task, they adapted quickly, and gained the upper hand. Within a few generations, the Night-Watch horses were all but destroyed. It was during this bleak time that several sought out patrons among the unholy and the damned as they felt betrayed by the forces of light and the Dreaming.

They became fell and black, their hooves strike stone like steel, showering the cold earth in silent sprays of sparks. Flame and the scent of brimstone followed them as they thundered up out of the various hells to bring their dark gifts to a world that had scorned them, and declared itself too serious, and unneeding of petty concerns of daydreams and flights of fancy. During this time, the Unicorn was driven into hiding, and pity the pegasi whom were slain to the bitter last for the gift of their wings. Curses upon that bloodline that spilled the heartsblood of the last.

It was during the sixth turning of the wheel that the few nightmares made their way to Aterrizar, escaping their infernal stable-masters and demonic groomsmen. They had followed the bright path and found a realm that sang of the old ways, and they were unharmed by the light of the blowing sun. They laughed and froliced in the seas of grass, and were for a time contented.

But soon, there was discontent, they were still but 13, and the urging of the moon was in their loins, but there were no stallions left in the whole of creation. The answer came in the form of a thickly muscled, and scarred unicorn stallion.

The first generation of Equus Vigilia, more correctly E. Vigilia-Monoceros displayed the black coloration of the night-watch, but also had the long leonine tail and horn of a unicorn. This hybrid became less and less noticable as the E. Vigilia continued to breed back into their own herd, as well as crossing over into the few unicorn mares who were willing to breed.

From this came the restored bloodline of the Nightwatch horses, which are still refered to as Nightmares despite the presence of both genders, and the ill-tempered breed of Black Unicorn, E. Monoceros-Noctus.

Additional Information
The 13 foundation mares still exist, having been blessed, or cursed with immortality. As such they are quite intelligent and have garnered powers well outside the norm for a magical species. Each has the normal nightmare powers over dreamcrafting, immunities to fire and such. Each also has the power to appear a human being, limited spell-casting powers, and the ability to hide from prying eyes.

The Nightwatch breed is tied to the cycle of the moon, becoming the most agressive during the full-moon, and all but vanished during the darkness of the new moon.

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Comments ( 9 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

Voted Cheka Man
January 21, 2006, 18:01
Can the horses speak in human language?
January 21, 2006, 20:23
Having been the bearers of dreams for such a long time, barriers of language are one thing that do not confine this breed of fantastic horse.
Voted Ancient Gamer
January 30, 2006, 4:01
Well, this was something else than the standard brutes that make it to the lifeforms section. I like them and that is saying something considering how chauvinistic I am when it comes to greek mythos species. (The greek mythos is normally not my cup of tea, but I like your slant on the nightmare)
Voted EchoMirage
April 1, 2006, 13:19
It is interesting how this Nightmare is similar to the Nightare I used in my games - perhaps the same spark of inspiration struck us both?

The few differences are something to ponder.
Voted valadaar
October 23, 2006, 13:27
I do like this take on the Nightmare, I happen to like greek mythos monsters and this is an excellent treatment of the creature.

Good job!
Voted Strolen
October 23, 2006, 13:36
Well told and makes me think of an elder telling the story to a group of children around a campfire or fireplace.
Voted Iain
November 11, 2006, 3:55
I like it. The description of war between the mythical equine species was a particularly nice touch.
December 31, 2007, 12:01
Echo ran out of votes today... :P
But I sure like your twist on the nightmare. Ingenious.
Voted OmegaDraco
February 15, 2012, 17:38

The story this builds is amazing. Very nice twist. Encountering one of the true, original breed would be a truely terrifying experience. The thought that nightmares as we know them are crossbreed, watered-down versions of their demon-touched progenitors gives me a lot to think about. Well done! 5/5

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Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Almar

While setting up camp for the night, the PC's are aproached by another group of adventurers who seem nice enough. The road is somewhat dangerous and the other group suggests camping together. The two bands split watches, one adventurer from each group watching at once. The night goes by without incident, the next day the PC's travel with the other group as they are going the same way.

The group consists of Hordel the ranger, who is skilled with the bow. Hordel is a quiet man who speaks little but appears quite skilled. Dremar is a barbarian who is a little excentric, he seems to be an excasive drinker and thiunk that battle is the solution to everything. He appears to be a stout and powerful fighter with his greataxe. Ferrin is the leader of the group, a rouge by trade. He is daft and witty, speaking with the PCs often and asking many questions. He fights with finesse with his rapier. Preminitat as a cleric but he will not say which god he worships. He uses his spells to empower and heal his party and fights with a club. He sticks close to Ferrin. Ferrin is a great talker and tells much of himself and his party, but asks even more about the history and capabilities of the PCs. He tells of some adventures his party has had, and they seem like an interesting group of mercenaries. Hordel is quite and has little interest in speaking with the PCs, he ignores most questions. He spends a lot of time with Dremar and sometimes Ferrin. Dremar seems to not care about any questions ansked to him, nor does he seem to know the answers. He seems battle hardened and is a simple man. Preminitat rarely starts conversations but will speak with the PCs. However, some of his accounts of the party's history seem to condradict those of Ferrin.

The Party spends another night and day with Ferrin's group. One of four things can happen on the third night.
1: While eating dinner around the fire, Ferrin gets into an argument with one of the PCs when he/she mentions the discepincies between Ferrin's stories and Preminitat's.
2: Hordel gets mad after repeated questioning about his life from the PCs.
3. Preminitat gets mad after repeated questioning from the PCs about what god he worships.
4: One of the PCs rejects the offer of a drink from Dremar and he takes it as an insult.
All of these scenarios result in a battle between the parties. If Ferrin's party is defeated and still lives he swears vengance. His party may then cross paths with the adventurers again.

Encounter  ( Locations ) | November 15, 2003 | View | UpVote 0xp

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