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World Bits: The Equus

 "Equus is the common name of one of the oldest pony species, diverged far from the common ancestor of dragons, ponies and kirins. They were large and hairy, with distinctly sharp teeth suggesting an omnivorous lifestyle. They were historically hunters, leaning more toward gathering and agriculture as time wore on and large prey was becoming more scarce. Eventually the pony - evolved as a neotenic form of equus - became entirely reliant on agriculture and basic domestication for dairy and eggs. Not much is known about their lifestyle's beyond that - but we can look at highly traditional zebra colonies to get an idea of what life was like for these large equines. Even some modern ponies exhibit certain traits of our ancestors. Several ponies, especially unicorns, have sharpened canines, but some have exhibited their massive size. Such is the case of Troubleshoes, a very kind stallion from Appaloosa. Even my height and sharp teeth show something of interest. 

However, we know with certainty what they looked like thanks to a very generous chaos spirit whose pony-transformation is strictly equus-like. At my request, he allowed me to sketch and study him. I noted the differences between him and his wife Fluttershy, and their son Larkspur. Larkspur, being half draconequus, could also transform into an equus. It was remarkable how even in pony form, Larkspur resembles his father in physique. The way traits are passed is truly perplexing, and this will require more studies. I also compared him to Princess Twilight Sparkle, an alicorn who was more than delighted to assist in my research. Despite her height, equus-Discord towered over her. 
 I've discovered some remarkable characteristics of ponies and equus alike from this experience. One, Discord had no horns nor wings to speak of. I initially thought this to be a coincidence, but it turns out that no known fossils of Equus have wings or horns, nor do they even have bone casings at the forehead or between the shoulders where the "magic stone" glands are found in modern ponies. It seems that these "stones" are found exclusively in the hips, just like in modern Earth ponies. At first I thought that this was simply due to Equus having a propensity toward Earth Pony magic where most magical power is focused in the back legs and hooves. However, Discord could clearly preform Unicorn spells including telekinesis, transfiguration and illusion. How can this be without a focusing point (ie horn)? Magic as we know it requires this, and Discord could simply be a special case because of his chaotic godlike nature, but this ought to be investigated. What was also fascinating was his glowing cutie mark, which transformed into different symbols as he cast spells. I imagine this is a Discord-only situation, but this had led to my current hypothesis that ponies used to exhibit magic through their cutie marks, or something of this nature." 

-excerpt from The Pony (vol 8) by Prince Janus


 I had this idea that Discord's pony form could be that of a pony ancestor and I oh so creatively chose the name Equus. Get it? DraconEQUUS? buh...anyway, for some reason, that is the only form he can take when he wants to transform into a pony. This is like, one of his only magical limits, and young Janus was eager to observe this weird magical anomaly. The dude who could turn into an animated stained glass fuckin window design couldn't appear as a normal pony. The same is true for Larkspur, whose pony form - while smaller than his dad's - resembles an Equus very much in facial and body structure.  

I also thought it would be neat if they spoke a Proto-Indoeuropean language, or something between Dutch and Persian. Magic used to completely exist in the haunches, but it could be used for basic spells. Mostly it was used for what became the traditional skills of the zebras such as potion-brewing, creation of arcane items, etc etc. Since their magic was not really "focused" like a unicorn's, it more or less manifested itself as an aura around the user, or it could be directed by the hooves. Equus could use elemental magic - such as fire or water - through whole body movements which eventually became a form of martial arts. Masters could fight with fire at their hooves, or by breathing fire much like their dragon relatives. (ughhhh that would have been a much cooler drawing than just an equus-form larkspur so I think I need to draw that).

 Eventually though, magic became focused in certain areas in ponies. Unicorn populations interbred with kirins, developing horns. Pegasi sprouted wings initially through transmutation experiments which spliced infant ponies with birds and bats, eventually giving the entire population wings. The "Flight Stone" is therefore at the epicenter of where these creatures were irrevocably forced together. Earth ponies stuck true to their equus nature, as their magic is focused in the hooves, especially the back hooves. 

I always feel like I don't go into enough detail about this magic stuff, but golly gee I have no idea if you guys would want to read my ramblings for so long lol If you do want more, you can read more about this from my fiction-within-fiction book by Janus: 
The PonyThe Pony (Equus sentiens):
Written by Prince Janus
Brief History of the Pony:
    In ancient times, ponies lived together in nomadic bands led by a dominant mare and her lead stallion. Records suggest that protecting the family was paramount, and the future of the species would be determined by that one simple mantra. Every member would work for the benefit of the band; parenting foals, keeping watch, participating in territorial warfare, and scouting for resources. As the bands grew larger, more foals were lost to the predators that ran rampant throughout the land, namely the Tundra Wolves. Hundreds of foals, yearlings and even weakened adults were lost to the gnashing jaws of monsters. Thus, a loose government formed under the reign of the strongest and largest band led by Queen Pasteline and King Peridot. These benevolent and powerful unicorns sanctioned that unity would bring peace to the nations. They had seen the zebra tribes with their magnificent stripes,

 Let me know what you think of all of this! 

 For more World Bits materials, head on over to these thingies:
World Bits: Angels by Loryska   World Bits: Demons by Loryska   World Bits: The Griffin by Loryska  
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CursedGraveDigger's avatar

would you ever perhaps sell that Equus design?

Loryska's avatar

Do you mean adopts? I wouldn't sell the design itself. ^^

CursedGraveDigger's avatar

i guess? i meant the third equus character on the right! but if he isn't for money offers that's alright ya got a really nice art style!

Loryska's avatar

Much appreciated!

4evrAllfand0ms's avatar

This is cool! I love your universe and all your ideas behind it! :la:

So...are they kind of like Neanderthals?
Loryska's avatar
stvr-bites's avatar
holy fuckkk I want to use this idea for my pony sona if that's ok!!
I adore these big toother pones so much <3
Loryska's avatar
Go for it! ^^
Sikudhanii's avatar
I’m I allowed to make a Equus? Or is this a closed species type thing?
Loryska's avatar
Oh you totally can! This is not really a designated species I’ve created. Just an idea for ancient ponies in my ‘verse. c:
Sikudhanii's avatar
Omg thank you!!! I absolutely fell in love with this Species!! I even figured out s way for them to live in the modern day. :3
Loryska's avatar
Oh yeah? Please share!
Sikudhanii's avatar
I don’t think they died out, well not all of them. During their last century or so an event happened that caused a few herds to seek shelter. However their was no lands to which would be the safest. Even with their abilities they had no hope of survival. So they had no choice but to ask for help. I can’t figure out who or what they asked help from yet but a portal to another world opened up for them.

The world was similar to there’s but they could tell it was different. Though they only had minutes to star and ponder before they were quickly ushered through by the things that opened it.

I’m tossing around the idea that the creature who help them told the leaders of the herd a way for them to come back. Though the leaders were firm in not coming back for fear of the danger they were escaping.

Still after they left and the portal closed the created a small site Depicting they’re complete journey of escape and a riddle that would help creatures from this side open the portal. At the same time a duplicate site was made on the other side of the portal. No riddle was on that side just an spell so it would be easier for them to come back.

Sounds bad? Needs tweaking.
Loryska's avatar
It’s not a bad idea at all! In fact, it might work with my story. But, it might not be exactly like this...more like an alternate universe where they lived to the modern era. Because if they all left, then who would be there to evolve into modern ponies?
Sikudhanii's avatar
Not all of them left. Just a few herds, two or three I’m thinking. Though I do like the AU idea!
SinjaAussiaAngels's avatar
Love the Equus! Love ponies with fangs!
RadioactivePotato123's avatar
This is all just so cool
Loryska's avatar
RadioactivePotato123's avatar
Nautilus18's avatar
"She expressed a clear attraction to this form,becoming uncharacteristically flustered in his presence at the humorous dismay of his wife and son."

Damn, Janus has no chill whatsoever putting that in a published book.

But it's not like a lot of ponies are going to make it to the 8th volume of something.
Loryska's avatar
Not to mention he was a kid when this was written, so he had no boundaries whatsoever lol
Lady-Limule's avatar
Again a really interesting background for your verse ^^
I understand Twilight about Discord, he looks Wonderfull in this form.
But does that mean Scraps has a lot of Equus blood ?
Loryska's avatar
 Ooh interesting! I hadn't thought about that! Scraps is pretty hairy, but he's also quite small, so...prolly like 10% equus ;p
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