Saturday, 4 February 2017

Some Horses of the Eclipsed Lands

(I'm aiming to eventually get this to 100.)

Famously, the 'horned horses' of the Eclipsed Lands are, in fact, a kind of steady-breeding horse-goat hybrid. They have the eyes and feet of goats and the bodies of light Arabian racers. They are often highly polycerate with goat beards. They tend to be a little less full-chested than 'normal' horses with a lower top speed, as well as being extremely wilful, disturbingly intelligent and difficult to tame, but they are famously adept climbers and leapers, many are able to scale trees and almost-vertical cliffs with an Eclipsed Land Knight on their backs.

Because of this, the Eclipsed Lands are one of the few places where the power of Cavalry can be projected as easily into mountainous areas as on the plains and where retreating to rugged terrain will not afford infantry any advantage.
(The ballad of Sad Alec famously has its hero fleeing from the Knights of the Eclipsed Lands through a forest at night and his pursuers leaping from branch to branch in the canopy above, sending down spears "like rain and autumn leaves".)

This may be one of the reasons that the age of Chivalry has never come to an end in the Eclipsed Lands and why the highly-trained horseman has never been displaced as the chief agent of war.

Eclipsed Land steeds are also famous for breeding with various fey and monsters and for getting mixed up with different curses, prophesies, fates or divine and demonic forces. A common boast of the horse-seller in Ekliepsis is that of a "Guaranteed Un-Prophesied Horse", a promise rarely kept. (It's also popularly claimed that half-elves like to fuck their horses, which is what leads to their fey, intelligent and unstable nature. This is (probably) slander. (Goblins will sometimes just straight-up fuck their horses. Or pigs.)

  1. Goblin Horse. This apparently beautiful creature is a huge wattled pig with a glamour cast on it. Everyone except the rider/owner can see through the illusion. The beast is a loyal and hardy creature though.
  2. False Princess Horse. On command can take the form of a beautiful prince/princess in full Disney regalia. Still has the intelligence of a horse.
  3. Underverse escapee. Piebald, pink-eyed and white skinned. Can find its way in the dark easily, half-blind in daylight.
  4. Shaved and tattooed with wings. Can Feather Fall.
  5. Heart pumps shadow instead of blood. Crepuscular, around dawn and dusk is twice as fast and strong as a regular horse, can't gallop in direct light. Normal at night.
  6. Horse of the Autumn Court, on command can transform into a wizened old oak tree 20ft high, Handy, can climb it or tie other horses to it. Can transform rider at the same time but there is no way for them to give the command to change back.
  7. Horse of the Autumn Court, can transform self and rider into autumn leaf and ride on the wind. Any damage suffered by leaf also suffered by horse and rider.
  8. Pictish horse. Is actually a simple glyph of a running horse on a flint stone. Can transform on command and be put in your pocket. Will wash away in rain and fears it.
  9. Horse of the Winter court. Can transform self and rider into a flurry of snow and ride on the wind, but if the snow melts, the horse and rider die until next winter.
  10. Horse of Dark Intelligence. Can understand and follow abstract ideas and complex verbal orders but only if they lead to harm, otherwise, has only the intelligence of a horse.
  11. Widow-Maker. Hates marriage generally. Will kill any married person who tries to ride it. Don't take it to a wedding.
  12. Can adjust their size to any rider, and therefore cannot be overloaded by the rider alone (but can be by extra weight). Could also suit miro-fairy rider or halfling.
  13. Ghoul Horse. Has transparent skin and will eat dead flesh. Otherwise a 'normal' Unseelie Horse.
  14. Jotunn Horse. Is actually a freshly-born foal, though of giant size, so currently of usable size for a human. Will ultimately grow to the size of a long-haul truck. May have a Jotunn looking for it.
  15. Mane of serpents. Not that bad once they get used to you, and so long as you stay out of their way. Will poison attack unknown rider. Looks really cool.
  16. Dawn Horse. Can leap from one mountaintop to another visible from that point at the moment the light touches it.
  17. Dusk horse, can move at the speed of the shadow that crosses the land as the sun falls, but only in that direction.
  18. Sea Horse. Can gallop over the sea so long as it does not stop, but cannot cross freshwater.
  19. Half-Zebra. Literally, divided right down the middle. Zebra half is rebellious & won't take direction but spells have to be cast on both halves of the horse to take effect.
  20. Elfish horse. Knows one Lvl 1 spell and can level as a spellcaster if its rider shares their XP.
  21. Blind Horse. You have to guide it carefully. Can speak and understand complex ideas, still has drives and loyalties of a horse though.
  22. Fat Pony. Witless,charmless, dumb-looking and slow but powerfully enchanted to be invulnerable to harm. Charm does not apply to rider.
  23. Arabian horse. Can't climb like an Eclipsed Lands hybrid but can outrun any equivalent animal over a flat surface. Very handsome.
  24. Chivalrous Horse. Reasonably smart. Fast, Capable and strong. Used to belong to a noble knight and would much rather be performing chivalrous actions.
  25. Sorrowful Beast. Visibly mourns for the dead, likes hanging around graveyards and gothic scenes. Choleric and slow to act. It's tears can heal certain madnesses.
  26. Charming Horse. Extremely polycerate with silver bells hanging from its many horns. These bells charm lesser Fey and please the greater, they also make the horses location extremely obvious.
  27. Part-Peryton horse. Extremely horned like a stag, bird-claw feet, has the shadow of an evil man. Eats hearts and needs one every three days at least. An extremely high-status beast. The Knights of the Winter Court are said to ride these.
  28. Reflected Horse. This horse can carry its rider into its own reflection, either staying in place within the reflected surface or, if that surface extends, like a flat river or lake, running along it as an image of itself.
  29. Pseudo-Skeletal horse. This horse has black hair with a white pattern that looks exactly like the skeleton of a horse. Undead will favour this creature and tend not to attack either it or its rider.
  30. Hunting Horse. This horse can smell and track one highly particular social group of people. I.e. virgins, widowers, priests, false knights etc and will tend to do this if it isn't being made to do anything else.
  31. Iron-Hooved Horse. This horse has deliberately been shoed with iron hooves, making it very hard to guide or trick into the Otherworld, both useful and potentially limiting considering the extend with which the Otherworld and this one interpenetrate in the Eclipsed Lands. Fey will fear and hate this horse and its kick with be potentially lethal to them.
  32. Silent Horse. Not actually literally silent like the horses of the Silent Knights but a common name for an unusually intelligent horse that can understand human language and complex ideas, though unable to speak.
  33. Tongued Horse. Intelligence of a five year old child. Can speak in a hideous goatlike tongue.
  34. Demonic Horse. More so than most Eclipsed Land Hybrids. When angered or excited breathes brimstone and smoke and leaves burning hoofprints in the earth.
  35. Perverse horse. Hairless and pale with rather sensual features for a horse. Extremely long purple tongue, feathered mane, rider generally assumed to be 'up to something' in both the good and bad sense. 
  36. Rust Horse. A non-uncommon hybrid. Extending proboscis does rust-monster damage to armour and metal. Less useful than might be expected in the Eclipsed Lands, see section on armour.
  37. Famous Horse. This horse belonged to a well-known knight of the Eclipsed Lands who had particular relations with and attitudes to, every major faction and many noted individuals. Many people will assume the rider is that knight in disguise and even though who do not assume that will usually want an explanation of what happened to them and how the PC ended up with their horse.
  38. Riddling Horse. A particular kind of savant, this horse can, when confronted with any two choices, always pick the most beneficial option. When confronted with more than two possibilities or an indistinct number this ability dissapears. There is a sub-breed of Riddling Horse which possesses this ability with three and not two choices. Both are valued animals in the Eclipsed Lands considering the amount of Fey dickery that goes on.
  39. Quest Horse. The knight who owned this horse died half-way through a quest and this horse will be unhappy and generally bring bad luck until the quest is complete. If the rider does complete the quest the horse will become extremely loyal and very lucky.
  40. "Goblin" Horse. Quite different to the Goblin Horse described above. This horse does result from a Goblin fucking a horse, either craftily in the night or just as part of a relationship. These horses are always paradoxically beautiful and slender but also crafty, scheming, dishonest, tricky and greedy. If this horse impregnates another horse (or becomes pregnant) the result will be goblins. These horses laugh and will laugh compulsively at a funny joke. A serious duty of a Joungleur or Fool in the Eclipsed Lands is to tell any beautiful horse jokes to test it for Goblin blood. 


  1. Not as whimsical as some of your mounts, but this beasts wouldn't be completely out of place (I think):


  2. I finally drew something related to your "Eclipse Knights" setting, inspired both on this entry and the Feathersmithing one. I hope you like it!