“The beast held a noble distinction, even a sadness, that he couldn’t quite quantify. Listing in this forgotten place, it was as much as prisoner as he. Speaking comforting words to the creature, they were but a pitiful help. This ache had only one cure.

They rode as dawn broke into morning. The furor of its pace, the chill of the wind – the anguish of the steed faded… and with it, his own.” 

Green Empire by Doa, -275y

 

The common horse, the primary steed of mankind, has been core to his history for many thousands of years. This humble beast of burden makes civilized life possible as the primary method of quick transportation, surpassing other creatures due to factors of temperament, cost, strength, and speed. Most breeds are quite hardy, able to survive in all manner of temperatures and terrain across the known world. Rarely a place discovered has no horses or at least knowledge of them.

As the primary beast of burden, horses are more than able to carry one or more people along with their supplies with saddles and packs. Riding bareback is possible but often extremely uncomfortable due to the creature’s ridged back. Wagons are a common and useful alternative assuming that roads are used.

Extensively breeded, the horse can take an extremely wide variety of appearances and functions. The smaller specimens, ranging from chest to head heights, are nimble and are used frequently for personal duties as mounts, with most being able to outpace a running man two or three times over. The Otigos and Rabants specifically breed many smaller horses to navigate their often-treacherous mountainous homelands. The Otigos in particular are some of the most adept and famed riders in the world, with the horse playing a larger role in their culture and daily life than any other nation. Larger breeds can vary extremely in build, and therefore role. Stocky beasts are to plow fields or for intimidation in warfare and are frequently used in the rolling plains of Avato due to ample food to support the primarily-herbivorous creatures. The extremely tall and spindly types of the far north are used navigating the numerous and inhospitable deserts that region is rumored to contain, however very few of those breeds exist in the civilized world.

Colors of the creatures can vary widely as well, with the vibrant and well-marked fiery oranges, reds and purples reserved for the royal and rich (due to expense in breeding), with the common dull blue and grey specimens generally used by those less fortunate. Even still, a horse is one of the most expensive things a family might own.

In Otigan folklore, mankind is united with the noble creature almost immediately upon his creation. They are not sacred, but respected above all other animals… and some foreigners. Rene teachings dictate that the horse emerged from the same waters that mankind and most other animals emerged from. They believe that the horse is ranked sixth on the scale of intelligence of animal-man.

Some peoples in far northwest Avato are rumored to eat them. The capital generally frowns on this behavior.

 

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