Pain, Hope, and War
To my dear old friend,
This may be the final correspondence you receive from me, as I fear greatly for my life. To keep you safe, I dare not even use my real name. I can only hope the messenger can find you, so far away, in Maremphis.
Whatever you have heard, it is true. Two months ago... Was it really just two months? It feels like an eternity has passed... They disappeared. The grand sisters of the Sun and Moon were... gone. Just gone. They both vanished without warning, without explanation. The question was muttered by everypony, once the shock had numbed: Celestia and Luna... are they no more?
"That cannot be!", said Twilight Sparkle and the Council of Unicorns, "because the Sun and Moon still make their rounds!" In response, it seemed most of us thought "who are we to doubt the Elements of Harmony?"
And yet, I am beginning to doubt. What if they ARE gone, truly gone, and the Sun and Moon would have always traveled without them? What of the Everfree Forest, and its unique qualities? Has our entire history been a sham, perpetrated by a pair of immortal theocrats?
As you can imagine, it was unwise to voice such concerns, even to my colleagues. In the night, my home was ransacked by guardsponies, apparently sent by the Council to silence me... It was by pure chance that I was a guest of Madame de Lis that night, and had left secretly for Manehattan. Since then, I have heard rumors, whispers that the Elements had separated, that the Element of Laughter, Pinkie Pie, was dead by Twilight Sparkle’s hoof through some evil arcane ritual, and the rest denounced her for it... I believed they were our last hope, and now I don’t know what to think...
In any case, I dare not return to Canterlot, and have found lodging in Manehattan. Soon I will attempt to secure travel to the Emerald Coast, to rejoin you. I must be honest: I am afraid. Certainly, I fear for myself, but most of all, I fear for Equestria... How can she survive this chaos? How can we all?
My friend, my love... Be wary. There are dark times ahead.
(from the letters of Red Luck, former historian)
Map of Equestria and its Immediate Surroundings
The year is 15 ATS (After the Sisters) to most of ponydom, though some keep the old calendars, clinging to the hope that, one day, the two would return, and restore the land to its former glory. It seems unlikely. Absolutely certain, however, is that Equestria is not what it once was. It has been separated, viciously cut to pieces by broken friendships, and is controlled now by a series of Houses; at the head of each are the remaining Elements of Harmony:
House Moon & Star, lead by Archmagister Twilight Sparkle
House Stormwing, lead by Force Commander Supreme Rainbow Dash
House Everfree, lead by Lady Fluttershy
House Earthborn, lead by Supreme Commander Applejack and the Apple Family
House Whitegold, lead by Mistress Rarity and the patrons of Manehattan
In addition, there is a mysterious new faith, the Cult of Laughter, that has grown tremendously in the past five years, and has gained converts from every walk of Equestrian life. Little is known of their leaders, and less is known of their deity, the Laughing Mare, but it is unquestionable that they are gaining power, leeching it away steadily every time a pony joins them.
"Where will it lead?", I hear you ask. "What is the future of Equestria?"
That, my friends, is up to you.
- A bamboo blowpipe.
- Various kinds of poisonous and venomous darts.
- Saddlebags (They have the symbol of a rising sun in black and white on the front, both of them.) with a few survival items, including a first aid kit, two days worth of food and water and one survival knife.
- A short sword.
- A long colorful feather that her mother gave to her, and that she holds dear.
- Basic First Aid training, along with extensive knowledge in wilderness survival and herbs.
- Exceptional skill at using a blowpipe for ranged take-downs, and in one occasion, a hand-to-hand encounter.
- Knows a bit about alchemy, results from having met Zecora a few times in the past.
- Excellent agility and endurance, especially for long trips and adventures, direct result from her training as a Skirmisher back when she was a foal in her tribe.
- Basic understanding of camouflage.
Born 23 years ago to a humble pair of gatherers in one of the Western Zebra Tribes, she lived the life of a peaceful civilian for years.
That was, until news came in from Equestria. Their two rulers had apparently... Disappeared. Left no trace of their destination, extinguished like a flame enclosed with a bowl. Her tribe's first reaction was confusion- Everyone, after all, had heard of the power these two beings held. Some said they could move the Goddess of Light and Shadow, others said they created Equestria and ponies.
Their disappearance, then, couldn't be something that bore good news. Back then, the seven year old Vetzu held silence for seven days and nights, as was a custom in their tribe. When she felt the air thick and heavy with concerns and uncertainty, she was to stay silent and think. Never to voice useless and disrupting words was something each female was taught from their very first days.
Though the news brought confusion to all, and fear to a little, time passed and things went back to normal. Days turned into weeks, weeks turned into months, and months turned into years. Eventually, years later, a thirteen year old adolescent Vetzu performed the ritual of adulthood. She had the symbol of the Goddess of Light (The Sun, of course in black and white.) rising over a still sea tattooed onto her flank, and began an intensive training to someday become worthy of carrying herself proudly into battle for her brothers and sisters.
Again, time passed, and more news arrived.
One day, an unknown zebra, carrying saddlebags with numerous symbolds on them, walked into their small village. She named herself Zecora, and even though she was received with some distrust, she spent time speaking to each tribe member and becoming their friend. When she spoke to Vetzu, Vetzu quickly caught up to her abilities, and asked her a great deal of questions on alchemy and herbs.
Zecora merely smiled and shook her head at the eighteen year old Vetzu, saying that she'd teach her later.
But the news she brought to their chief weren't good. Everyone gathered around the chief and Zecora as they spoke, and it was clear that she brought news of War. She was an emissary for 'Lady Fluttershy', who sent her to establish an alliance.
Fast-forward five years into the future, and the Western Confederacy (Formerly the Western Zebra Tribes), is neck-deep in a military alliance with Lady Fluttershy and the House of the Everfree. Never before had they gathered in such numbers, or had they allied to a different nation.
Ever since they agreed (Out of necessity) to ally themselves to Lady Fluttershy, they realized that their future was dark. Death, suffering and discord was in their future, and they could do nothing about it. But Vetzu never believed this, she always thought that things could be done another way. When food became scarce, they could have searched for a new home. When creatures became more hostile than ever before, they could have tried to be kind to them instead of killing them for their hides.
But an idealist was lost in the times, and the need for help from the outside beat them. Though now the many Everfree beast-masters keep their villages safe every now and then, it feels like they lost their autonomy. The wild ponies were good friends and even better warriors, but Vetzu still doubted the alliance.
She had been living in a camp deep in the Everfree Forest for two years until she was sent out by her Zebra superiors on a pilgrimage into Equestria. Officially, she was striped of her position and allegiance to her tribe until she "Learned to respect and adopt her Chief's opinions".
The truth is that one day, she got tired of her Chief bossing everyone around to do dangerous jobs and destroy other lives, when things could be done in a more peaceful and controlled manner. So, when she saw him, she unloaded what she thought of him. She was nearly executed on the spot, but due to her many previous feats, she was kept alive and exiled, only to return when she was willing to, in simple words, keep her mouth shut and not question the Chief.
Born as Thunder Hooves, a fitting name given his fondness of and affinity with that particular meteorological phenomenon. He is now more often referred to as ‘Whistle Wings’ due to the eerie, howling shrieks that sound from his wings as he flies. He hates the name but has generally accepted it as an alias.
Whistle Wings is a Cloudsdale Pegasus and proud.
Notable Equipment and Skills:
While not as heavy or strong as an Earth Pony, Whistle Wings is solidly built as far as Pegasi go and displays impressive strength as far as shoving clouds around the sky is concerned. His wings are strong due to their need to keep his large frame aloft but his real strength comes from his impressive forelegs which allow him to pound every last scrap of energy out of clouds to create intense bursts of lightning and thunder that give him his namesake.
His raw strength comes at a cost of course, his size makes him heavy and thus slower than average. While most ponies can take off from a standstill, Whistle Wings must take two or three cantering strides and he cannot get up the speed to be much help in the creation of tornados or other tumultuous weather patterns. Damage to his wings has further exacerbated his lack of flight speed and maneuverability, giving him the disadvantage in aerial combat situations.
The single flight pattern that he excels at, due to weight and power, is the dive. When he decides to, Whistle Wings can drop like a stone, tearing through the sky with such ludicrous speed that it is rumoured he is capable of breaking the sound barrier on a downward charge.
Thunder Hooves was born in the flying Pegasus city of Cloudsdale. His mother, a weather master and his father, a hoplite in the Pegasi military. When he was born, Thunder had proportionally enormous wings which gave his father the hope that he would be an excellent flier and follow in his footsteps to become a fast, agile hoplite. Initially, his hopes seemed to be coming true. Thunder was focused and driven to succeed, his powerful wings propelled him through the air with amazing speed and allowed for quick, sharp turns. He won races, he broke records and he entered Cloudsdale’s flight school with amazing prospects for a bright military future ahead of him.
Thunder Hooves attended the school with Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. Thunder enjoyed a near warlike rivalry with the latter who he was constantly racing and competing against, their brash natures ensuring they always had something to argue about. On the other hand, Fluttershy’s meekness made her a hilarious target for mean jokes and pranks. Thunder especially enjoyed drifting around on a stormcloud, waiting for just the right moment to stamp out some of his roaring, rumbling namesake and scare the poor pony half to death.
As time went on though, Thunder Hooves began to grow. It was subtle at first, his father noticing slightly slower times in his speed laps, losing more often to Rainbow Dash and not dominating the races like he used to. Thunder’s glorious time in pre-puberty was gone and as he grew in proportion to his wings, the reason for their enormous size became apparent, Thunder Hooves was going to be one big stallion.
Over the next few years, Thunder Hooves just sort of dropped out of the public eye as an up and coming flyer, no longer able to keep up with the best of them. He became distressed over his declining speed and agility but still he pushed forward. His feelings finally boiled over during his final race, The Cloudsdale Classic. He still had the heart, the will to win but his body simply would not take him any faster. He pushed as hard as he could but eventually just fell back into the crowd of middle finishers.
In despair, he flew off and took his rage out on a nearby cloud formation, kicking, stomping, bucking. His hooves beat at the blackening clouds which began to rumble and roar in response as flashes of lightning streaked across the sky. In his rage, he had created a thunderstorm worthy of a full weather team and as rain began to fall on his face he realised that he hadn’t been cursed at all, with his loss of speed he had gained strength. Without realising it, he had become a strapping young colt with a gift for stamping powerful thunder and lightning out of clouds and with this revelation, an image of a hoof slamming down and thunder erupting from beneath it appeared on his rump.
It should have been obvious, thunder and lightning had been his true calling and talent all along, when he had used it to tease Fluttershy, when he had bucked clouds to work himself up for a race, it was what he was meant for. Sure, it would be difficult letting go of all he had worked for, but the world was a strange place and Thunder Hooves was determined to find his place in it.
When he returned home that night, he discussed his future with his parents. After his failure in the race, Thunder's father had finally accepted that he had lost the speed and agility required of a hoplight, but insisted that he could still serve Cloudsdale as a heavy lancer while his mother suggested he take a trip with her to the weather factory to learn more about thunder and lightning so he could consider becoming a weather pony, insisting his talents were wasted in the military.
Arguments ensued, Thunder’s father still wanted him to follow his path into the military and, while his mother had initially supported this idea, she saw the loss of his flight performance to be a sign to abandon that path and try something different.
After a few days of arguments, tours of weather and military establishments and his parents each trying to convince him of what to do, Thunder was leaning towards becoming a weather pony. His skills with storms had improved and his wings had become so strong that he could actually move clouds by flying nearby and flapping gusts of wind at them, his cutie mark seemed to be right, this was his calling.
Seeing Thunder Hooves was leaning towards his mother’s side of the argument and not being the least bit pleased, his father managed to convince him to take some time off, take a trip, clear his head and decide when he came back. Reeling from the sudden change of focus of his entire life when he had been so sure of his destiny until only a few days before, Thunder Hooves agreed to the cathartic idea and set off the next day.
What was initially supposed to be a few months, became two years. Thunder flew from one end of Equestria to the other. From Cloudsdale up to the Griffin Kingdoms in the North, down the Coast of Stars through Stalliongrad and Canterlot, over the Canterlotion mountains down to Hoofington and Foaledo, across the Heartlands and the Gulf of Manehattan to the Zebra Desert and the Frontier Towns and finally north to the Everfree Forest.
Thunder Hooves had traveled far and wide. He had met ponies of all shapes and sizes, griffins, buffalo, dragons, zebras and he had learned much from each but what he had really learned from was the land. Maybe it was the earth pony ancestry that gave him his size or the will to be free that came with being a winged pegasus but on his travels BETWEEN these amazing places, in the natural environments was where he felt the most at peace. The beauty, the balance of nature, the animals, the trees, the sea all spoke volumes to him and none moreso than in the Everfree forest.
A strange wind blew through the trees of that forest, he could feel it in his wings and its nature brought about many questions. If ponies were so important, then how was it that this primeval place where the clouds moved and the trees grew and the animals awoke all on their own could even exist and what did that mean for his weather based destiny if it wasn’t even necessary? Maybe it wasn’t a pony’s place to keep order in nature, maybe their control was putting something out of balance. What would happen if ponies disappeared or simply left the land of Equestria to its own devices?Now even less certain than when he left, Thunder Hooves returned to Cloudsdale and, having lost faith in what good a weather pony might do, opted to join the military as his father had wished.
But this was not to last. After the freedom of travelling and being free to do as he willed, the stiflingly strict military life was too much to bear so he quit basic training, remaining directionless for days. But even has he lay there, his thoughts drifted to the Everfree forest.
After a discussion with his weather master mother regarding the strange moving clouds in the Everfree, Thunder decided to move to the quiet little town of Ponyville for a reprieve from all of the oppressiveness of the larger city and to investigate the secrets of the nearby forest.
Upon arrival in Ponyville, he was reunited with his rainbow colored rival from flightschool who immediately challenged him to a race, one that he lost. Embarrassingly, Thunder Hooves was forced to explain the end of his speed flying career but Rainbow Dash insisted that it was okay and that lots of her friends were slow (making him feel so much better).
Soon enough, Thunder Hooves was introduced to Rainbow Dash’s friends and was even able to make amends with his old bully victim Fluttershy with a suitably eloquent apology. As time went on he was accepted as a new resident of Ponyville and made several friends in the small town, living in relative happiness. His residency did not last long however as his obsession with the Everfree forest became more and more intense.
Initially, Fluttershy had been kind enough to let him accompany her on her forays into the forest but before long he was making the trips himself and they got steadily longer and longer. He became obsessed with the place, drawn to it. Eventually it seemed as if even the little town of Ponyville was not secluded enough for Thunder Hooves and if he was to truly understand the nature of the Everfree forest, he’d have to live there, be absorbed into it, see and learn everything he could. So one day, he simply didn’t return and disappeared so deep into the wilds that no search party ever found him.
Thunder Hooves gradually became wilder and wilder out in the forest. His coat and mane grew thick and untamed, his hooves grew tough, his body grew strong and over the years gradually bore more and more scars. Claw marks, teeth marks, burns, his body became covered in them but his most brutal injury came when he was maimed by a manticore.
The hungry creature had been stalking him for hours as he investigated the forest. Finally, when its hunger could bear no more it charged. It ripped and tore at him, tearing his wings. Wounded and barely alive, Thunder managed to escaped. He was found by a Zebra named Zecora who nursed him back to health but to this day his wings still bear the marks of the attack, tears in his wings that make a woeful howling noise as the wind of flight passes through them.
After that night, this strong, wild pony became a myth in the settlements surrounding the Everfree as Zecora mentioned him to visitors to her cabin and they in turn told others in Ponyville and the twisted, dramatized rumors spread of a wild stallion whose attacks were accompanied by the howling shrieks of his wings, a lone creature who sought no company and brought a swift death to anypony who sought him out.
Thunder Hooves managed to stay out of the war for a long time, mostly due to the fact that things in the Everfree forest went on much as they always had after the disappearance of the two princesses of Equestria and any small clue he caught of trouble brewing outside was disregarded, if it didn’t reach the forest, Thunder didn’t much care.
Eventually though, even the wild stallion couldn’t remain oblivious to the strife ripping through Equestria. When the flooding of Ponyville happened, birds and animals from the very outskirts of the forest scurried inland, alerting Thunder to the chaos ensuing in the small town. For the first time in years, he emerged to see the pegasi, his own kin, laying watery waste to the town.
Flabbergasted at the sight of what had once been such a peaceful place now beset by warring ponies, Thunder approached and managed to locate the leader of the force, none other than Rainbow Dash. Rainbow Dash filled Thunder Hooves in on the events that had come to pass in Equestria since his disappearance, as much as could be explained by any normal pony anyway. Stunned by the revelation of the princesses and the fued between the six ponies he had once known to be the closest of friends, Thunder Hooves began to form all manner of theories as to the sentience of nature itself. Was ALL of Equestria like the Everfree? Did the princesses feign control or take control of nature? Was it always like this? His anger seethed at the whole plot for oppressive control.
Seeing the possibility of a powerful ally in the war that was undoubtedly about to begin with house Earthborn, Rainbow Dash attempted to recruit Thunder Hooves. First by appealing to his sense of patriotism, an attempt which was rebuffed immediately, Thunder Hooves had cut himself off from ponykind long ago and had no interest in fighting for them now.
Hearing his response, Rainbow tried feeding his ego, suggesting that he, as well as other pegasi were indeed above the other ponies of the world, and stressing the importance of showing them as such, rambling about glory and restoring their old name and making his father proud and the like.
Again she was rebuffed, Thunder simply had no interest in proving anything to anypony, he was wild and free now and he wanted to remain that way, what did he care for the quarrels of ponies and the restoration of dead empires?
Responding on cue to the word ‘freedom’, Rainbow Dash informed Thunder Hooves that both of his parents had been captured and imprisoned by their enemies. And there it was, Thunder’s only tie to the world outside of the Everfree had dragged him right back into the conflict.
Thunder Hooves, now nicknamed ‘Whistle Wings’ by Rainbow Dash, a name which caught on, joined House Stormwing’s military as a heavy lancer and, as the war went on, made a name for himself as a terrible, bloodthirsty creature of the wild. His wings were said to whistle and shriek as he swooped down upon his enemies, galloping across clouds which rumbled with the sounds of thunder as he shattered defensive lines and charged ruthlessly around in search of his parents, attacking every single stronghold with the same vicious ferocity, assuming that any one of them could be the place where his parents were held.
Eventually, after bashing down the doors of who knows how many prisoner camps, Whistle Wings was able to locate and liberate his mother and father from the hooves of House Earthborn and return with them to Cloudsdale, now a mobile fortress. It was a most joyous reunion, even with all of their differences, mother, father and son were still a close family.
Shaking off malnutrition, Whistle’s father immediately took command of a hoplite division while his mother began working with other weather ponies on a device known as a ‘discharger’, a long range lightning based projectile weapon. Whistle tested several prototypes and was more than happy to use his natural talent with the element to charge into battle, setting buildings as well as ponies ablaze with terrifying bolts from above.
However, as the war rolled on, the ideals of Stormwing and those of Whistle Wings began to differ. With his roaring rampage to recover his family over, he began to detest the war. All of this fighting for one side to dominate, all of this destruction of the land and its environments. Whistle loved Equestria itself more than Storming or pegasi or anypony, and it put him at odds with his comrades. Whistle began to see himself as some sort of champion for Equestia and began to risk other ponies’ lives in order to protect the environment. He refused to send lightning bolts into the Whitetail woods for fear of burning it down, he broke formation to get innocent creatures to safety but the absolute last straw was during an assault on Fillydelphia where he actively sabotaged a tornado attack on the city to prevent pollution of the nearby river.
Whistle Wings was almost executed as a traitor for his antics but instead, Supreme Force Commander Rainbow Dash demanded he be sent to her. Rainbow didn’t want him executed both because he was an old acquaintance and was a strong asset to house Stormwing. Whistle received a thorough, and very loud, lecture which rose into a heated argument about the point of fighting for a Pegasi Empire built on an Equestria that was nothing more than a smoldering heap.
After this argument, Whistle fled House Stormwing and made his way back to the Everfree forest. He was only one pony, he couldn’t stop this war but he could refuse to take part in the destruction of the country he loved so much and so he resolved to disappear into the forest forever and hope the war never reached that far.
Unfortunately, he returned from the west to find his way barred by several wildling camps who had moved in since his departure. Furious that they dared bar him entry to what he considered his own home, Whistle Wings flew into a terrible rage and charged them. He killed several of the wildlings before Lady Fluttershy of house Everfree appeared. She confronted him and calmed his rage.
Over time, Whistle Wings came to grudgingly accept the presence of House Everfree, marvelling at Fluttershy’s own understandings of the place that he thought he knew everything about, she taught him many things about kindness and being gentle to his surroundings while he taught her how to observe and use elements of the forest practically.
Fluttershy and Whistle Wing had many conversation and, eventually, Fluttershy became trusting enough to mention a being known as the ‘Everfree Liege’ to him. Whistle had lived in the Everfree for many years but never had he heard or seen anything that resembled her descriptions, however, her insistence in the existence of the being won him over and Whistle began to see Fluttershy’s attempts at communicating with The Everfree Liege as something of a challenge.
He began attempts to establish a link with it first, whatever it was. For days and nights at a time he sat in the deep forest, eyes closed, waiting, listening for this strange voice Fluttershy insisted she could hear. Eventually his patience was rewarded, he did hear a voice. It stopped his despair, his anger, worry and rage and filled him with uplifting hope, he could make a difference, he could be a champion of Equestria. The whisper only gave him one clue to lead him, ‘Redheart’s Refuge’.
So, having been rejuvenated spiritually and emotionally by the Everfree, he parted once again with his beloved forest and made for the location whispered in his mind. It was a hectic, horrible journey. Pegasi hunted him as a traitor wherever he went, Earthborn hunted him as their Stormwing aligned enemy, everywhere he went he saw death, destruction, war and devestation but eventually he came upon the Whitetail woods, wherin lay his destiny and the hope of Equestria.
--Current Status of Gilder is unknown (Captured by the Inquisition)
Name: "Gilder" - He's been relentlessly concealing his original name but for those who've dug into enough information among House White gold they believe it's 'Lord Goldstrand'... though this could be a planted name as well. Also has been called 'The Merchant of Silver tongue and Golden Mane'
Race: Unicorn, Male
Gilder is a tall Stallion, though in terms of height he is nearly up to that of the Earthborn juggernauts [in height only, ONLY >=I] though he can't compare in the least bit to their raw strength. Rather he has a smooth and long elegance to his form, a subtle balance of shapely and manly creating an unusual beauty that one would hardly expect from males normally expected to go for handsome. In addition his Mane and tail, both stylized into voluptuous streams of hair, appear almost as if they are made of pure gold and platinum instead of just colored hair. The most astounding to those who live by greed are his eyes, and hooves though, appearing to hold the qualities of glimmering diamonds, without losing their functionality of course. Despite his very 'expensive' looking physical traits he is often dressed fairly 'common', at least for the high price rich bloods of White-gold, but he has many changes.
Notable Equipment and Skills:
Illusory Pendant: A Special enchanted pendant with several Effects.
1. When He feels that hostile action is coming his way, the Pendant automatically produces a larger than average shadowy monster to assault his enemies... this is only an illusion and totally harmless, meant as but a distraction. He 'does' however know a spell that produces one that 'can' fight for him, and often used both in tandem to confuse enemies as well as keep people who've already experienced this effect from predicting whether or not it is the one that's harmless.
2. Lie Detector Detecting: out-side of certain abnormal methods [such as applejack's eye] the necklace will vibrate very slightly on his neck when something is being used to detect deception, letting him know that normal lies and deception will be useless and not to waste his time.
3. Glamour: A Minor perpetual charm that he has configured to create or remove the appearance of something that may or may not serve to make him look less or more like a certain type of pony to avoid being taken for an enemy unless dispelled. This varies from making his horn invisible, to spawning 'ornamental wings' used to imply respect for the pegasi and avoid hostilities...
The Magic Bag of Goodies: A Sack that he carries on his back at all times, thoroughly tied down and enchanted only to respond to 'his' magical touch, or that of other's he 'adds to the list', otherwise it appears as a normal empty sack. In-fact it is full of spacial enchantments, allowing it to hold, and hide, a myriad of things, from weapons and armor, to cakes and medicine. Though it certainly 'can' be useful in a fight, it takes an incredible memory to recall every item stored within and call up what he needs, it's true role of course is as his main form of trade storage, where he packs in Much of what he uses to trade, as opposed to using a warehouse or something that could be stolen from, though it can only hold but so much, roughly about a small room worth of contents. he also has a number of other bags elsewhere, some in manehatten, some hidden else-where in Equestria waiting to be of use or for their contents to be retrieved. In it are stored many things ranging from profitable goods, to items of luxury, or even just simple food storage. It does contain a set of 'quick attack weaponry' that he'll summon through magic, such as several pre-loaded Arquebus, a sword to throw, or stolen 'toys' from his travels. [It should be noted he is not 'skilled and trained' in the use of some of these things, for instance, he can't actually reload the guns in a fight, it's like a one shot ability then he can't use them until he takes a while to reload em when someone's not about to try beating his ass off.]
It could be considered 'equipment' by White gold standards to include his covert associates and assistants here:
A Young Black Dragon Called Ophian, or Ophi for short. Always at his side or on his back. A special corner of 'The magic bag o Goodies' actually holds a magically contained mini cave that Ophi can retreat to, to rest and store things when he wants to 'not be in the open', but it's quite small... Gilder has promised to get Ophian his own 'bag cave' next time they find someone to purchase one from.
An Unusual Foreign creature known as a Longma, resembling a blending of pony and dragon, Origins remain unknown but he has proven helpful for Gilder's business, especially by expanding his reach of service to places inhospitable for unicorns, such as House Earthborn's territory, where Gilder would likely be killed on sight if they got their hooves on him.
Several other assisting cohorts, a couple of each type of ponies, several diamond dogs, and a couple other creatures to whom he is acquainted, including at least one known dragon with whom he has traded things to acquire unique goods... how he convinced him to 'trade' is a mystery in itself, it could just be a trick on both of their parts to make other's in white-gold think he has an especially dangerous silver tongue.
The way of the word: oh yes, one must always know how to speak, how to lie, cheat, steal, and back-stab if they are to survive in house whitegold, especially if they expect to rise in rank. It's difficult to precisely depict someone's skill of course, though theoretically at a certain point the more skilled someone is the less skilled they 'seem' to be.
Fighting: He's no stranger to having to get his hooves dirty, though he's certainly not the best even among whitegold, and magic still dominates much of his normal strategy, He is very good at implementing intelligence and instinct into fighting when needed and has more than a few times used his horn for more than just channeling magic, hint hint.
Magic: He wields the standard collection of spells, psychokinesis, teleporting, Shield, illusions, and other simple spells, though in terms of 'specialty' he likes to focus on more destructive magic, contrary to what one might expect of a 'smooth talker', though not an out-right master of the arts yet, if forced into a fight that isn't meant to be fair he's known to fling more than his fair share of destructive elements. Through some careful machinations during visits to Canterlot he has also acquired a small handful of magic scrolls that are supposed to be forbidden from use by even 'normal unicorns'... he figures 'he's not normal' so that must mean he can use them... either way, he's only actually become capable of a couple of them, and is still studying several more. Among these are included 'The wing spell', 'Mass Teleporting' [mild group, short distance, high cost], and 'Dragon caring' information... what? Not all of them have to be spells.
He also practices moderately other magics that are 'profitable' such as healing [medical services are always valuable in war time], repair work, magical charging and enchanting.
Mercantile: Not simply haggling and bargaining, oh no, He has private methods that seem to result in him acquiring all kinds of rare and unusual goods, of which he supplies to those with either enough money to be profitable, or to certain parties that he is interested in being 'charitable' with.
Experience: Contrary to most of the posh pampered talkers of White-gold, he has experienced personal survival on his own 'out in the world', allowing him to be tougher and able to survive in places other priss pants might just whine and complain until they starve. Though the traveling he did has also made him as least 'known of' by most factions, but back then most weren't on a 'kill on sight basis' and he was still quite young.
Gilder grew up in manehatten, learning magic, making friends, enjoying life, just like any young pony would, nothing particularly special about 'that' area of his life yeah? nah. More important is later on.
He was still quite young when the Sister royals 'disappeared' and Equestria began a violent spiral into becoming a terrible and war-torn hell. He adapted quickly to the changes that city, and in-fact the whole kingdom, under-went, and quickly made a name for himself as a smooth talker... though he did it a bit too much and a bit too well for one so young that other's thought should be more easily controlled. This ultimately led to him needing to flee the city for a while on a 'temporary' exile to avoid the undesirable actions against him, leading him to travel a bit randomly while he collected some experience, age, and skill to better handle himself... he didn't think it was so hard either, honestly, who would bitch about it being hard to survive when you can use magic to pick fruit from a high tree, or to collect and even clean contaminated water? He always did find the history lessons about difficulty of early age unicorns to be a bit confusing.
Regardless, he did more than a little bit of traveling, making use of his 'time to himself', and in doing so he met many different people, while the world was not yet at a 'you can be killed for walking in the wrong place' state of affairs, and actually collected a small handful of associates that would help him through various things.
He ultimately decided that if he was to return home safely he had to 'build a business' that was strong enough they couldn't simply erase him as if he had never been, and through his associates he started a small network of black-market dealings leading to the secret transfer of goods between the splitting factions, bits of materials, information, or objects that rival factions would find highly valuable... it quickly became clear that war was profitable, and he became quite the merchant of death even before the 'true hostilities' exploded, though he never personally arrived to deliver such things, it's bad for a man's image to be seen dealing in everything from food and medical supplies, to weapons and other equipment to all sides.
It was an unusual day when he met his first true 'partner in crime'... so to speak.
He'd been in the midst of taking inventory one week, one of the few times he's ever fully unloaded his magic bag. It was sprawled across a cave floor far out in the middle of no-where with a couple of personal guards at the entrance of course, a place he'd used a couple other times since it was a somewhat raised cave that was totally devoid of valuable so likely it would attract nobody greedy, be it pony or dragon.
It was quite sudden when a Roar was heard though, the kind that makes most flee in terror because they know just what's about to come down on them, though it was immediately followed by numerous explosions and myriads of magical sounds, and eventually a quite final 'thud'. A Short while later a quite size-able group of ponies, some fancifully dressed, some not, many injured or bloody and a couple even being left behind, emerged from a cave lower on the rock face. Most of them was covered in sacks now filled to the brim with valuables, but between a couple of them was a large sling that held several large ovoid objects... They'd clearly been a raiding party from Whitegold seeking the vast horde of a dragon, but also the eggs that would remain... 'owning a dragon' is a very valuable claim, but they'd have quite the distance to return to White-gold from there... 'so many dangers on the open road'.
Inherent greed tinged at Gilder's mind, urging him to harass the group as they fled and take what was dropped, but it was just so plebeian to play scavenger like that, better to loot the ones that couldn't keep up and see what's left in the cave... So after snatching what remained around the few who collapsed under the weight of the valuable and their own injuries, he ventured into the cave as well, assuming he'd find a dead dragon surrounded by dozen's of greedy but equally dead ponies, though the guard's displayed more shock than he did to find it still alive, potentially fatally injured regardless, but otherwise the scene was as expected but with 100's sacrificed for the greed of a handful of bureaucrats... It seemed a small legion of expendable slave like servants were thrown at it as distraction while the other's attacked with things that would actually be effective, and other's still looted the place like mindless children pouring greed from every hole... It seemed though when their distraction ran it's course and the dragon wasn't quite dead yet they chose to flee with what they had and leave it to suffer to an ultimate end... It could hardly muster enough to breath and look menacing at the time, though Gilder couldn't decide if looked more threatening or less with the legion and a half worth of injuries.
Temptation tore at his developed nature, that of a White gold merchant... But he had not lived with the endless life of a rich bureaucrat, and had not become a soul-less marketeer during his travels, merciless, yes, lacking morals? Definitely, but killing a creature that can hardly over and was only recently defending it's home and possessions from people worse than himself, it didn't sit right, so, he did something that nobody would've really expected of him, neither from reputation or out of common sense, he gambled. It was a saddening sight really, to see a dragon hardly able to move to defend itself, some might think a mercy killing was in order, but instead he used magic, and began mending it's more serious wounds, leaving an absolute dumbfounded expression on the small few guard's that were present, which immediately began backing away. He started chatting while he did it as well, not really sure if a normal dragon could under-stand, but he 'was' certain that it would be far more interested in chasing down the crude little raiders who'd stolen the eggs. He was more thinking out loud, unsure whether he was helping it because he knew it'd go after the other's first, out of the 'chance' of a dragon being indebted or just grateful for help, or just out of an inner demand to show some kindness to a suffering creature.
It took time of course, but they 'had' time, it would be no short or fast journey back to manehatten for a group carrying a metric ton of gold and jewels, but as soon as the most serious of wounds had finished healing the dragon barreled out of the cave as predicted in pursuit of what was left of the raiding party, presumably able to follow at least the scent of the eggs. bits of new revelations were revealed though as after it left an egg tumbled down from the top of the remaining pile of riches it had been perched upon, certainly protected by it's body, and rolled right down near Gilder, where he stopped it to avoid it crashing into the wall. It was uniquely black with speckled gray, and again temptation pinched his nerves, and this time the guards were ushering him to leave the cave and take the egg and just go, but he saw opportunity, both a chance to test out manipulating a dragon and to 'make a good impression'... one much venture into risky unknown territory to push progress to new heights.
Though the guards left the cave they remained by it's entrance, though a fair distance from it, currently ignoring the still living but injured leavings of the raiding party slinking away to escape after seeing a dragon leave... and inevitably it returned, to find Gilder sitting pretty next to this egg, which he had apparently shoveled some riches around, either to keep it from rolling around, or to 'give it a tiny nest', either way the dragon seemed rather unsure what to make of him, but was more focused on returning the other eggs to the nest and regathered riches to the pile... It was definitely spattered with fresh blood that wasn't it's own, but also a handful of fresh wounds... soon coming to rest on the gold pile but with eyes locked on the little unicorn that remained, possibly wondering if it now would try to finish it off, or if it would help to help the new wounds too.
Ultimately he rose to assist again, continuing what he was doing earlier, though finding it considerably more taxing after using up so much magic the first time, he couldn't heal the rest perfectly, and was quite obviously at his limit by the time he stopped... the concept was a bit foreign and confusing, one of the annoying little creatures that are always trying to rob their caves of valuables 'helping' one to the point he'd be easy to just stamp out... granted, The entire time Gilder had a back-up spell that would 'remove him' from the cave at a moments notice if activated, but that didn't need to be known... he was being nice, but not foolish.
At last the dragon spoke, a simple 'What do you want?' though non descriptive in words, it speaks volumes to the one hearing it. Gilder went one in reply about wanting to do a kindness to one truly in need, though not without his desires for reciprocation, he hoped for a more 'lasting' relation, but he spoke honestly about the kinds of things it would do for his reputation, among other things, as much as far more internally satisfying factors of what he was doing. Ultimately he spoke up more decisively "As I have trusted you not to simply crush me once you're are back to health, I ask for trust in return... I have enough riches to satisfy myself and a dozen other's already, I don't know the infinite greed of other traders or that which is fabled of dragons..." He returned to his previous position, sat, and planted a hoof quite softly on the black egg "I want this egg, to raise myself, not only as a sign of trust, but a sign that what we know of dragons may not be entirely accurate and that relations can be created... not to mention that glorious riches can be exchanged in the future without the need to slaughter and steal."
The guards could hear him talking outside and considered fleeing the scene assuming he was about to get roasted... but silence prevailed for the longest time, and soon he sauntered right on out of the cave, with the egg cradled on his back, held safely in place by a bit of magic, where-upon he returned to the other cave to finish taking inventory and to investigate the egg.
The egg would later hatch 'Ophion', the young black dragon that Gilder first raised, took as a protege of sorts, and eventually as a partner as the young one showed an unnatural ease of gaining experience with all things shiny and valuable... Granted, when he started to 'grow up' a bit too much and lose his self control it was 'risky business' until Gilder managed to 'acquire' a certain spell that allows one to stunt a dragon's growth, essentially a reverse of artificial aging. Though he's stuck as a 'young dragon', he has expressed preference for keeping his mental faculties his own rather than mindlessly pursuing shiny things like some deranged kleptomaniacal crow.
Years later he has become almost as merciless of a businessman as Gilder is, and by his very existence was a huge status booster when they finally returned to White gold territory long-term.
Gilder and Ophion both maintain contact with the other dragon, which to this day has not revealed it's gender, and occasionally trade piles of mundane shiny valuables for occasionally special artifacts or unique objects that come into the dragon's collection.
The Method of how he acquainted himself with a certain Longma associate has actually remained a big fat secret, to most he suddenly appeared one day claiming to be associated with Gilder.
He was well into full adulthood before he returned to Manehatten, and boy did he stir up a fuss, not looking anything like he used to, not registered as any original member of the house or anyone known in Equestria prior to his black market activities, having changed his appearance and identity of course, with exotic and rare Cohorts at his sides and the look of someone who practically 'was' riches in a way, and using the name of 'Lord Goldthread'
When he finally returned to White-gold after nearly a 10 year self protective exile he had changed drastically, taking on a very deep purple fur color, long luscious Mane and tail hair that looked, felt, and even analyzed as pure gold and platinum strands, but what drew attention from the greediest was that his eyes and hooves shimmered like pure diamonds... Whether this was all a magical glamour, an unusual mutation, or if he'd directly and precisely altered the make up certain parts of himself to emulate and even 'become' another material without losing their functionality... well, he's never revealed that particular secret, but it earned him the Common name of 'Gilder', implying that he very well may have 'gilded' himself to display his wealth... Since his return a number of other's in White-gold have seemed to acquire unique 'alterations' that cause resemblance to something valuable, supposedly a secret service he provides to those of enough wealth. [It could also draw someone with a love for rarity and desire to cure her XD]
Whitegold: In House White gold he is known as Lord Goldthread, a Pony thought to be so filthy rich that his magical nature has caused him to physically embody his level of wealth. Oh, certainly, he has countless enemies, hirelings, and allies among the populate of Manehatten, but none has made truly hostile moves against him in the physical sense, as he has always thoroughly hidden the exact level of his wealth, and while wealth is power, not knowing you're enemies wealth when attacking them is suicide to the spiteful rich-bloods of White gold, and not even Rarity's information network has turned up any information about just how much he may or may not possess. But neither has he made hostile moves against anyone else, though a few people have vanished from existence it seems, that's nothing new though, and is generally spoken of publicly as an example of how White gold's Settlement is attracting to richest and most unique of the wealthy.
[Note: Nobody knows, because he carries all of his wealth in a spatially distorted sack sealed to anyone but himself and always on his person, yet despite never showing evidence of wealth he always seems to have what someone wants.]
Earthborn: He is known only by name as Gilder with House White-gold, and has never come in person, knowing of course that passing before Applejack's gaze would be certain death if he were revealed, and the only way to 'be' there in person would be under disguise... No, he has never acted in person in their territory except during his earliest days of traveling with death wasn't a certainty and under a different name. Now, his Longma Partner is the one who carries out dealings with the Earthborn, trading mainly in materials for construction, repair, farming, and food, though occasionally more exotic needs are supplied, but House Earthborn tends to deal with him more in 'honorable goods' as opposed to hiring him to rob their enemies of valuable information and tools... though if they actually use these things themselves they don't use 'him' for it.
Moon and Star: As a Unicorn he has an advantage in terms of good relations with House Moon and star, not to mention sneaking in and out. Though he doesn't spend a huge amount of time there, he 'has' practiced his sneaking about a good bit, stealing at least a small handful of exclusive documents pertaining to magic other's aren't supposed to use, and even snuck about in other places 'just for fun' or to gather information, at once point even analyzing the magic lingering on spike, from a distance of course, to gain insight into how to create a reversed version that he could use for Ophion. Though he has not 'personally met' any of the ranking members of the house during his sneaky times, probably on purpose of course, he did end up walking past Twilight once by accident... the sensation and thie look in her eyes creeped him out inside, though they didn't speak.
Everfree: House Everfree is a difficult group to trade with when you're still a stranger, were it not for his travel prior to the 'time of true war' he would probably be eaten to pieces long ago. Lucky for him he attained a reputation there during those times, enough to be seen at least 'not as an enemy', and has even carried out requests from 'Lady Fluttershy' several times, mostly refugee supplies and important materials, all traded for, or even free of charge if it just couldn't be done... businessmen can have a heart. This of course was before she was seemingly possessed by the forest itself, though he's unsure what to think about it he's not entirely willing to speak out about it while he's there, lest something nasty happen, though he still orchestrates deliveries from time to time, They have been dangerous and have decreased in number, as well often simply being left in a random spot barely inside the forest... most of his associates are strangers and likely to be killed if they linger even on the edge. He's actually been out of contact for a while due to events in White gold monopolizing his time, well, that and he's pretty sure he wouldn't be welcome in his current state, but he's been wanting to return at some point and see just how possible, or not, it is to so much as carry on a normal friendly conversation with her, or if she can even be spoken to at all by out-siders anymore.
Stormwing: House Stormwing is a mixed situation. He's known to provide useful supplies to their Earth-bound settlements, and various forms of equipment to other's who will purchase them, but is not of any particularly good standing simply because he does not choose a particular side, and feels that he is more along the lines of 'tolerated' because he's useful. He has never encounter Rainbowdash personally, but he has witnessed her and others in the midst of an assault from a long distance safely away, something he doesn't tend to comment on to others.
He does not comment on the Cult of Laughter... Period.
Notable Equipment and Skills:
Watcher's Bracer: A Special enchanted bracer given to him by Gilder that serves several purposes... It was traded for with the grown dragon from which he first gained Ophion's companionship.
1. A perpetually self charging dragon stunting spell... Technically Ophion should be full grown after the things he'd 'done' with Gilder, but to keep him at both a manageable and 'helpful' size and level of mental faculty, as well as maintain just enough of that greed to help him notice especially valuable things without being mindlessly compelled to steal it. It keeps him physically at roughly the range of a 'young dragon', not a baby, and not adolescent, but certainly strong enough to handle himself in this world. The Bracer can be 'de-charged' to allow him to grow into an adult suddenly, risky though it be, the spell is complicated and would take time to re-charge, though Gilder is investigating a possible 'greed suppressing' spell to do away with the over-whelming covetous greed that comes with becoming an adult Dragon.
2. Color swap: It has 2 color changes that it initiates automatically, Pure black to avoid drawing attention when Ophion is sneaking around, or when they just need to avoid being flashy, and a swirl of coloration and texture that perfectly matches Gilder's Hair and essentially marks him as a close associate.
3. 'Watching spell': It can be used to store magical data such as images, audio, or short recordings, though it's reservoir is quite small, it can be stored in a larger medium upon returning to Gilder, and has been invaluable in destroying the competition... you wouldn't believe what some of these ponies do behind closed doors.
Sender Scrolls: A Handful of these, made with black parchment, using black fire to send and receive, and written into with black ink [that appears when Gilder uses a spell tailored to change the color of ink.] Allow Ophion to send and receive scroll messages without worrying about highly noticeable things taking place, though the little burst of flame and dragon breath can still make funny spells, luckily he can 'save that message burp' for a short time.
Stealth: What with being entirely black and 'not huge' he's quite capable of blending into dark places or fitting into small ones to avoid being seen. He's also quite flexible and a speedy little bugger.
Mercantile: You don't partner with Gilder if you can't handle some bartering effectively, and Ophion has had a knack for accurately analyzing the exact value of things, especially when gems are involved, and has proven quite capable of both identifying when someone is over-charging, and in turn over-charging to a 'reasonable' degree to keep people coming back.
Assassination: Yeah, not much to say here, we all know where this goes... but yes, he knows how to get his claws dirty, and certainly has.
Thievery: With being a sneaky little greedy dragon comes plenty of experience in stealing things from others of course.
Espionage: Also a 'standard operations' kinda thing when being stealthy, considerably assisted by the Watcher's Bracer
Black Dragon Fire: Also Duh!... It's just dragon fire, but black and no flash... granted, it can be fed raw magic to increase power, it takes a good ammount and only works for one blast. [You can expect an 'I'm chargin mah Dragin' pun]
Fire Proof: Yup, Dragon thing
Tough Scales: Also dragon thing.
Race: Longma. He is a mild bit larger than the average pony.
Notable Equipment and Skills:
Watcher's Bracer: Similar to Ophion's, though without the dragon stunting enchantment there was more room for magical data storage. It also contains a magical 'key enchantment' that allows gurra to reach into Gilder's storage bags.
Magic Bag of Goodies: Gurramu carries a second bag of his own, containing more importantly his armors, one weaponized medium, a light armor that still allows him to fly, and a heavy suit that while giving great protection, drastically diminishes his ability to fly. Otherwise it contains pretty much the same spread of trade-able or useful goods as Gilder's bag, though with alchemical goods mixed in... It's not nice to make him have to expel his vials at high velocity.
Diplomacy: He's quite good at talking down hostilities and carrying on negotiations, possibly why he is here and not another longma, to make a good impression. He generally is skilled at doing what it takes when needed to diminish hostilities, from sucking up, to posturing, and so on, as well as informing other's of what may be required.
Analysis: With a sharp eye and previous experience he's good at analyzing a person, as well as various other things, typically capable of discerning if someone is good at heart or corrupt, among other things.
Fire Proof: Dragon thing
Fire Breath: Also Dragon thing, but on a pony scale XD
Strength: As not just a large male as large as even the juggernauts of House Earthborn, but with mixed dragon traits he is very strong, not quite as strong as juggernauts, but more so than other ponies would be, he 'is' faster however, and can take quite a beating.
Alchemist: very skilled with plants, utilizing his analysis specialty it's quite easy for him to find useful materials with which to make various concoctions both volatile and healthy, as well as pointlessly mundane things like hair dye that some rich fool may want to pay for.
Blacksmith: Not a master or anything, but he can at least enact general repairs, and he 'knows' more than he has experience with, but things he can make from scratch are generally simple and need to be 'fancified' to be sellable, or, something more complicated that may take a very looong time to complete.
Name: Belladonna Drama. Belly Laugh to her friends
Taller and slimmer than your average, something of her breeding smacks of social elite, but not quite the long-limbed common among the noble blood. Often wears a hooded cloak that is a reddish-pink in color on the outside and black on the inside ( she flips it around to blend into the shadows ). She is Lavender body color, with short, mint green main and tail. Bell's tail has a mint-green strip in it and her eyes a bright, crystal blue. Her Cutie mark is a Red, 'Comedy' theater mask.
Skilled at lethal close combat, throwing weaponry, and improvised weaponry.
Has a mild grasp of the Jesters 'Sixth Sense' but has felt it growing weaker since her departure from the cult.
-Vary rarely will get a 'Flash' before danger strikes
-If focusing very hard can 'turn it on' but only while focusing.
-helps guide her movements in combat a little but not all the time and not perfectly
-has the strongest Connection to the 'Sixth Sense" while wearing her mask but it also has an... effect on her sanity
Belladonna Drama was born into the Drama family many years ago. A family with a long history of theater and performance and were considered among the best show pony families in all of equestrian. Her Father was a unicorn noble that fell in love with her mother, the current family head. She spent much of her younger life training in the family business of performance. She enjoyed it, but didn't fine her true calling until she broke from her families more somber plays and convinced them to let her try comedy. She loved it with all her heart and found she had a talent for lighter plays and works. She was still such a young thing when the Princesses vanished.
Her Family lived in Canterlot, so she got to see firsthand that chaos that resulted when the princesses were discovered to be gone and yet the sun and moon still rose and fell. Much of these memories are jumbled due to her young age and the complexity and swiftness things began to unravel in Canterlot. But eventually order was restored. Cadence, Shining Armor, and Twilight seemed to put everything right again. For a brief time Bell thought things may go back to normal.
But she started to noticed changes. It was subtle at first, but every year that passed things continued to get worst. Friends disappeared and neighbors would sometimes...disappear over night, a division began to go up between the unicorns and other races, restrictions on what none-unicorns could do or where they could be and when. Then the inquisition began. By this time she was 15 and could see where this iron hoofed order of Twilight was leading. One day the inquisition came for her and her family. The Union of a Noble unicorn with a lowly theater earth pony was considered an abomination. They even accused her mother of being a earth-born sympathizer.
Somehow her parents managed to buy her time to escape. For a few days she lived on the streets, trying to hid her identity, which was easy to do at this point. No one seemed to notice another young, homeless earth pony walking the streets of Canterlot these days. Then she saw a crowd gathered in a town square, and to her horror she saw her mother and father tied to stakes. They were publically burnt to death by the inquisition, as a message to any unicorn or earth pony's who might have romantic ideas.
Filled with so much anger, hate and pain, it broke something inside of her. And it was not long after that she fell in with the Cult. She found solace in there chaos and managed to turn her pain in the maddening Joy of the Laughing Mare. Her upbringing made her an excellent candidate for a Jester and she jumped at the chance to better serve her new family and god, as well as strike back at those who stole her family from her. She took to the training well, though true Master of the Sixth Sense eluded her she more than made up with her with her excellent physicality, ability to maintain a disguise, and ferocity in combat.
She wore the mask of the Jester for two whole years but the longer she fought and killed in the name of the Laughing Mare the more she began to question what she was doing. No matter how hard she threw herself into the madness of the Cult of Laughter, the foundation of love built by her parents seemed to act as a life line to sanity, even if only a sliver of it at times. To what end was she killed? Was there Future promised by the cult worth fighting for, or even achievable? As time went on her doubt in the cult's goals grew as well as a strange voice in her head. Well she had gotten used to a lot of strange voices in her head since joining the Cult, but this one was different than the others. This one was calming to her madness and soothing to her rage. It made her think of her family and the times before the fall. It promised that those peaceful times could come again.
At Twenty, she did one of the most dangerous thing a Cultist could. She left.
Name: Radiant Prism
Appearance: Radiant Prism, despite being a unicorn, is abnormally well-built for his species, though he certainly could never amount to the strength of a larger Earth pony. His coat, though, is dozens of times more abnormal, as it is a silvery grey in tone, but, due to unfortunate curses and genetic mutations, his fur has partially crystallized and can split light into various wavelengths of color if struck at the right angle. His golden-blonde mane is fortunately much more normal (as it possesses the same property, albeit to a lesser extent), and his cutie mark depicts his skill in light-based magic - a silver unicorn horn firing a beam composed of all colors of the rainbow from its tip.
Notable Equipment and Skills:
Equipment – Radiant Prism, as a stallion of science, admires Earthborn technology to some extent, but finds their disdain for magic to be utterly, completely, and totally detestable. Along with his enchanted dragonhide armor (in essence, extremely expensive armor made of of dragon scales that is relatively light but thin for its strength), he carries some enchanted Earthborn explosives, although much less so than he is able to, in order to make room for the medical bag in which he carries all his herbs, surgical tools, and medicines.
Skills – Radiant Prism, though he is a generally skilled Mage, is particularly skilled in a special kind of magic which revolves and manipulating and creating various wavelengths of light, all the way from ultra-intense beams of sunlight, to radiation and light embed with magic healing properties.
Background: Radiant Prism led a fairly cushy high-class life, sent to only the most prestigious Unicorn academies. He was spoiled almost constantly by his parents, though he often found much more interest in his studies than the wealth of toys and trinkets his parents showered him with since birth. It only fit him that he was so, as he was a very skilled spellcaster; a prodigy of sorts. When in the academy, as a child, he quickly began to become jealous of a certain unicorn named Twilight Sparkle. From what he heard, she pretended to be unable to hatch a dragon egg, suddenly did so, was accepted into the academy, and quickly became Celestia’s apprentice, a position which was rather prestigious in the world of spellcasting. What Radiant Prism saw it as, though, was a series of purely lucky events that lead to Twilight Sparkle jumping on the fast track to magic power and ability. His parents were still incredibly proud of him, though, and only encouraged him to follow whatever path he would find the most productive, useful, and suited to him. As his father always said, “Never tell someone to do something they can’t, when someone else can. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and bits. Ponies have Cutie Marks for a reason.” His relationship with his parents was, fortunately, rather stable. He generally agreed with what his parents said and told him to do, and, despite having such a massive inheritance ahead of him, he knew that he would need to start his own business empire someday, just as his very own father did. His father might've been wealthy, but he wasn't going to give his money to someone who didn't work for it.
Once he had graduated from Celestia's Academy for Gifted Unicorns, he immediately entered to work of magic-related sciences and technology, spending additional years apprenticing under a number of court wizards and inventors, only serving to further his knowledge and skills. Early after completing his apprenticeships, he struck out to downtown Canterlot, and started his own business as an inventor and purveyor of magic technologies at the urging of his teachers and his parents. While in Canterlot, though, his business slowly but surely grew and became more and more popular.
Radiant Prism's business boomed along with his wealth, much like his father's. He quickly became wealthy and relatively famous within the field(s) of technology, biology, and magic, though he always held a strong disdain for Twilight Sparkle - believing that the sole reason she was so skilled was because she was coddled by Princess Celestia, whom he never believed to be terrible powerful due to her recent string of defeats; he never fully trusted or respected her or her sister, Princess Luna, though he believed that they (usually) had the best interests of their ponies (and whatever else lived in Equestria in mind. In most cases, that is.
Being as wealthy as he was, Radiant Prism found it rather easy to get a ticket for the Grand Galloping Gala, though he honestly found the entire affair to be boring, and only attended to establish connections and some political ‘oomph’ in the Unicorn upper-class. That was until, while at the Gala, he heard an angelic voice behind him. When he turned, he laid eyes upon the most beautiful sight he ever saw. A single, female unicorn - her eyes like the finest sapphires, her coat white like the newfallen, powdered snow, her flowing mane lavender and fragrant just like the very plants themselves. She was, in his mind, the most alluring of perfections, and all it took was but a single glance. In a near-instant, Radiant Prism had fallen deeply in love, but, before he could greet the beauty, she had left on the forelock of Prince Blueblood, but Radiant Prism would not allow himself to be defeated. He put everything he could muster into expanding his *business, if only to better impress Rarity, though his endeavors to do so were met with relatively little success. When Rarity re-visted Canterlot, they became quick friends, but no more than that. She was an Element of Harmony, after all, and as such was much too busy to seriously dedicate herself to a relationship, or be interested in one of the many unicorn nobles. Still, Radiant refused to give up, and pursued Rarity for many years to come.
He was even more infatuated with her when he learned of the vital part she played in defeating Discord (as the Element of Generosity, that is), but it seemed to him like they were destined to never truly be together. For a while, Radiant became heavily embittered, dedicating himself fully to his business and his research. When the changeling invasion of Canterlot came, he was more than prepared, unleashing the full strength of his light-based and his many inventions onto the changelings that attacked him - until they were thrown from Canterlot by a massive wave of magic, from the first Princess he would soon begin to respect - if he has the time. Unfortunately for him, everything almost immediately began to go to Tartarus.
The Princesses disappeared, and Radiant found his suspicion to be finally validated. The Sun and the Moon kept moving without any sort of external assistance, at least from his point of view, and Twilight Sparkle remained fanatically adamant in her belief in the Princesses. Almost immediately, Radiant high-tailed his way out of Canterlot and back to his hometown of Manehattan.
Unfortunately for him, with the massive upheaval that tore through the country as their government fell apart and the Elements of Harmony began dividing Equestria up into their own nations, his parents were killed by a mob of Earthborn supporters, simply for being unicorn nobles. He was absolutely and utterly furious, and brutally murdered his parents' killers, leaving the poorly protected peasants to burn alive after being scorched by his magic.
When Whitegold took control of Manehatten, though, he was flooded with mixed feelings. On one hand, with his presence already established there, it would be much easier for him to connect himself with rarity. On the other hand, she quickly became married to Prince Blueblood, though this was not destined to last, as Rarity both assassinated Blueblood and began taking on legions of lovers - including Radiant Prism. And, despite her being cursed with living crystal, Radiant Prism refused to turn away from his love, and rather dedicated a huge portion of his resources to building his own private army, supplying weapons to the highest bigger, and to either curing Rarity or making himself like her.
As shrewd a businessman as his was, Radiant Prism couldn't ignore the changes *he had seen in Rarity. She was no longer generous, but rather maliciously greedy to the point of being more than willing to kill in order to obtain power. *~Something MUST be wrong with her,~ he thought, and he very well could've been right. Two Princesses vanished, the Elements of Harmony became greedy, racist, and murderous, and another Princess became a political front for House Moon & Star. He thought something -had- to be going on, and he had to find out. If not to bring balance to Equestria, to at least save Rarity and make her see him as her one true love.
Welcome, ladies and gentlecolts, to Equestria Divided!
Invented by one PoorYorickDA, on deviantArt, this is a vision of a war-torn future, pitting friend against friend in the struggle for dominance.
The original idea was FiM as a "grimdark" RTS game, with each of the Houses vying for victory, sometimes in very brutal ways.
I would highly recommend visiting Yorick's DA page and looking at each House's military forces, reading his explanations for the setting, perhaps reading some of the comments, etc.
You and your pony brothers and sisters are revolutionaries, former members of each of the houses or complete outsiders, all compelled to travel to the glorified refugee camp-turned-town, Redheart's Refuge. No matter your former profession, you've abandoned it for now, due to the whispers of a voice in your mind, powerful whispers, full of uplifting strength, of the return of Harmony to warring lands. You're sure that whatever the voice wants you to find there, it can't be bad, can it?
That's where our adventure begins, with all of the characters having made their way through thick and thin to the outskirts of the Whitetail Woods. What they start there will lead to upheaval not seen since the disappearance of the Celestial Sisters, and this broken, divisive, dangerous Equestria might just have a hope of recovery after all.
(What does your character call him/herself? What do others know him/her as? Remember pony naming conventions, and include any aliases he/she might have.)
(Is your character a pony? A griffin? A zebra? A longma? If a pony, is your character a unicorn? A pegasus? An Earth pony? Note that no one will be able to play as an alicorn.)
Notable Equipment and Skills:
(This is more free form, you can have equipment and skills separately, you can have very little equipment, etc. Include any magical prowess or natural racial ability your character has, under the umbrella of "skills". Remember that this is the Advanced section, and I may veto any skillset I see fit. Please look over the ED material, and don't go overboard on skills.)
(Just write your character's past. The other characters may not know much of it, but the mysterious voice, played by me, will. It may even reference elements of your past during the game. This is where everyone will get a feel for your writing, and will get to know, basically, what your character is like.)
That's it! Get to building those characters, friends!