Horses

Horses are one of the more widely domesticated of the animals of Allornus. And though some cultures eschew or limit their use - the Ahlonians, Ralstaans and Vargör most notably, they remain a cornerstone of many civilizations. Though feral mustangs are common throughout the Imperatry Plains, there are no truly wild horses left on Allornus. Horses are used by men and by myr as mounts, to carry goods, to pull wagons and ploughs. They are prized for their great strength, speed, stamina and relative intelligence, and are both able to learn quickly and lastingly, and form strong bonds of loyalty with their trainers and riders.

Potency


Visage

As a result of deliberate breeding horses show a remarkable variation in size and colour. Traditionally, a horse stands just five and a half feet tall to the shoulder (the highest erect part of the body) with a hairy coat and a long mane and tail. A heavy winter coat grows in the autumn and sheds in the spring. Typical coat colours include black, brown, grey, cream, gold, and white. The mane and tail can be the same or different from the body colour, and many variations in colour can result from inherited traits that cause spotting, or the dilution of the basic coat colours. Many colour patterns have specific names, such as bay (brown with black mane and tail), chestnut (reddish brown with mane and tail of the same or lighter colour), and palomino (gold with a creamy white mane and tail). A horse’s head is distinguished by a long muzzle consisting of the nose and lips. The muzzle provides enough distance between the horse’s mouth and its eyes so that it can graze and watch for danger at the same time. Large eyes protrude from the sides of the head, enabling horses to see almost directly behind themselves, even while facing forward. Their night vision is excellent.

Horses have powerful teeth and jaws to grind and break down grasses and leaves. Their teeth continue to grow as their surfaces wear down. The head is held up by its long, flexible neck, which lets the horse reach down to the ground to feed, rise to a high vantage point to sight danger, and bite itches on the front part of its body. The horse’s body has a wide chest, and a muscular back. A horse’s long, flowing tail helps keep its hindquarters warm and is used to swish away insects.

Craft


Cunning

Horses are some of the more intelligent of the animals, but training a horse is still a complex art. Trainers typically begin a young horse’s training by teaching it to follow on a lead rope. Horses can be taught to respond to voice commands, such as “walk,” “trot,” and “whoa,” while being worked on a line, but need to be gradually accustomed to a saddle and bridle and to bearing weight on their back. More advanced training involves teaching the horse to respond to signals from a rider’s legs and hands. A well-trained horse will learn to change gaits or move from side to side with a very subtle pressure from the rider’s legs or a small pull on the reins. Horses are similarly taught to move in a direction away from the pressure of the rider’s leg. Reins can also be used to apply direct pressure via the bit to one side of the mouth or both to signal the horse to turn or slow down. Training for harness horses begins with a person holding long reins and walking behind the horse. Once the horse learns to respond to basic commands, it can graduate to pulling a cart or carriage.

Social

As herd animals, horses have highly developed social behaviors that help hold the group together and maintain the ranking of each individual within the group. Horses have a basic instinct to form fixed friendship bonds with other members of their group. Mares in feral herds or farm groups invariably pair off with particular other mares. These pairs often engage in mutual grooming, which involves standing side by side and head to tail while each one scratches the other’s neck and back with her teeth.

As with all group animals, horses establish and defend a strict pecking order, which helps them avoid constant fighting over access to food, water, and mates. They respond to subtle social signals, such as pinned-back ears, which signal aggressiveness. Once its place in the social hierarchy is established, a lower-ranking horse almost always gives way to a higher-ranking horse without a fight. Most communication between horses takes the form of physical gestures rather than sounds. The horse’s repertoire of vocal signals is quite limited compared to many other animals.

Breeds


Selective breeding by landsmen and beastmen has produced perhaps more than a hundred breeds of horses, many of which are characterized by distinctive traits such as size, appearance, or temperament. Some breeds are the product of deliberate efforts over many centuries to develop horses suited for specialized tasks, such as racing, herding livestock, or pulling ploughs, wagons, or carriages. Other breeds simply reflect regional differences that have accumulated over years as relatively isolated populations of animals were bred together.

Horse breeds are often divided into three broad classes: light horses, heavy horses, and ponies. These are not strict categories, however, and do not, as is sometimes claimed, mean that these types of horses descended from different populations of wild horses.

Statistics


Statistics Traits
statistic roll average elite heroic maximum random trait rating subtrait rating
Agility d n n n n [[include 2d6]] Plan plan
Beauty d n n n n [[include 2d6]] Diet diet
Constitution d n n n n [[include 2d6]] Cycle cycle
Dexterity d n n n n [[include 2d6]] trait n
Endurance d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Initiative d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Strength d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Intelligence d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Knowledge d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Perception d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Will d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Wisdom d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Bravery d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Charm d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Leadership d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Negotiation d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Luck d n n n n [[include 2d6]]
Vital Information
sex modifiers
Male no change
Female n
Length ? feet ? inches + Body inches +?' - ?'
Weight (Body + Brawn Skill) x ? lbs + ? lbs - ? lbs
Age
category range modifiers skill spend
Infant n-n years All stats reduced to 65% 5%
Child n-n years All stats reduced to 75% 25%
Adolescent n-n years Physical stats reduced to 90%, Mental and Interpersonal stats 85% 50%
Mature n-n years Physical and Interpersonal stats are 100%, Mental stats reduced to 95% 60%
Adult n-n years All stats are 100% 70%
Midde-Aged n-n years Physical stats reduced to 90%, Mental and Interpersonal stats are 100% 75%
Old n-n years Physical stats reduced to 85%, Mental and Interpersonal stats are reduced to 95% 80%
Venerable n+ years Physical stats reduced to 80%, Mental and Interpersonal stats are reduced to 90% 75%
Random Traits (1d6-5)

Horse Personality


Given how much time a player and his character will spend around a horse if he owns one, it is a good idea to make his mount a little but unique and give it a little bit of character. Rather than fleshing out an involved and complex personality for the animal that you might for another character, instead a couple of rolls on the Horse Personality Traits table below will give a few simple behavioral traits that will give a horse a little bit of personality and uniqueness without undue effort on the director's part. When creating a horse's personality roll 1d4 times on the table below, or just choose a few traits, and note them down. It is important to remember that these are just aspects of the horse's personality and how it likes to behave, and are not so overwhelming as a proper personality trait like Bad Tempered or Compulsive Behavior would be.

2d10 roll personality description
2 Biter A biter nips and bites at anything it can get at, a stray hand that gets too close to it's face, or tied hair are all ripe targets for it to pinch with it's front teeth.
3 Bucks Bucking horses hate being ridden, and periodically try to throw off an incautious rider if he's not paying attention or dozing in the saddle, though usually there is a telltale tensing of the back before the horse tries.
4 Eager Eager horses are keen to please their masters, and will often take the lead when being led, or make efforts to come to their rider when they think they are wanted. When rewarded for a good job they prance and perform, and when scolded they sulk.
5 Fence Chewer Fence chewers will gnaw on any wood they can get at, including fences, door frames, furniture and stalls in stables. Often this habit is caused by a poor diet, but once acquired it's a hard one to shake.
6 Friendly Friendly horses are highly social animals, keen to be around people and other horses and often their spirits sink quickly when they are left alone, and they will actively seek company, trying to escape stables or hitching posts where they have been left.
7 Greedy Greedy horses love their food, and can never get enough. They will always try to search the pockets and saddlebags of anyone they can get near for a treat, and when given one will always be targeting that individual for more.
8 Jumper Jumpers are born leapers, and will delight in jumping gates and fences, even if a better route is available to them, for the sheer joy of it. Of course, this doesn't necessarily mean that they are very good at it.
9 Kicker It is a bad idea to get behind a horse in general, but kickers will lash out even if they suspect someone is behind them. Putting shoes on them is a nightmare, and they are quite capable of cracking skulls when a person innocently passes out of their view.
10 Loyal Loyal horses have attached themselves to one rider and one rider only, and anyone else trying to lead or ride them is going to have a hard time, as they do the best they can to thwart, disobey, throw and otherwise defy a stranger.
11 Mean Mean horses take pleasure in hurting people. Unlike biters and stompers the behavior is less compulsive and more about gleeful cruelty. These horses do not get along with other horses, or people, and are prone to biting not because they can reach a limb, but because they like seeing people hurt. Of course this doesn't mean they can't be trained.
12 Nervy Nervy animals tend to be more wary, and more prone to being startled and more concerned with their surroundings than other animals. They are easily put of their food, and unless well trained they're more prone to bolting than other horses.
13 Rough Some horses just can't move at a steady, even pace, and even a trot can be bone-jarring for their rider, likely meaning that a day in the saddle isn't something that anyone is willing to do two days running, and after a day riding the rider is going to be bruised and almost as exhausted as he would be if he'd walked all day.
14 Scratchy Some horses, no matter how well groomed, just love rubbing their haunches up against fence posts and walls and scratching themselves. They take an inordinate joy in scratching for long periods, and are especially touchy when they have fleas or are dusty.
15 Shy Shy horses aren't fond of crowds, either of people or of other non-horses, and will do their best to move away to a quieter spot with less people whenever faced with a crowd, making coaxing them through cities or markets extremely difficult. They also tend to spook a little easier when in crowded conditions, panicking and bucking or rearing at loud noises or sudden movements.
16 Stomper Stopmers, like biters, tend to see feet and hands as targets for their hoofs. Their actions may or may not be malicious, but whenever the opportunity arises they'll stamp their hoofs down on anyone or anything that gives them the opportunity.
17 Stubborn Stubborn horses are headstrong creatures that don't want to take commands, and often they will simply ignore a rider's instructions, or refuse to be led, or otherwise work to thwart the desires of their owner.
18 Won't Gallop Some horses hate to gallop, and will take a lot of rough coaxing to reach their top speed, resisting and trying to slow all the way, and making it as difficult as possible for their rider.
19 Won't Jump Some horses hate to leave the ground, and flatly refuse to jump except under duress, slowing and finding a way around obstacles despite their rider's urging.
20 Won't Train While they might at first seem stupid, horses that won't train either resent the yolk of a domestic animal placed upon them, or they are simply totally disinterested. Regular training isn't enough to teach these animals to take a rider, or take commands, and even the simplest commands might be responded to by aimless wandering. Often they will good-naturedly do what they think that they are supposed to, but this is often wrong.