Monster Fluff for Critiquing

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Monster Fluff for Critiquing

Post  XandZero2 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:07 am

Hey guys,

I'm new to this forum, but not new to MLP. I've been a fan of the show for a while now. I'm also a proud follower NewbieSquid's FiD comic (very good - if you haven't checked it out yet, I'd recommend it). That's how I heard about Dan Felder's Pony Tales project, and when I noticed he was getting a Monsternomicon for Pony Tales together, I decided to try and help out in the creative writing department.

I decided to do the fluff for each individual monster, similar to the way they give a short but detailed description of the history and characteristics of each monster in the D&D Monster Manuals.

So yeah, the original eight monsters Dan gave me to work on were the following:

1. Sea Serpent
2. Diamond Dogs
3. Whatever-the-heck-that-was-Daring-Doo-Faced
4. Griffons
5. Buffalo
6. Dragons
7. Celestrials (like Ursa Minor/Major)
8. Alicorns

Below are my fluff pieces for each monster. Dan recommended I post them here to get more of the community involved with the process, and if you guys feel up for reading my descriptions and telling me what you think, I'd appreciate it. Keep in mind, I'm trying to go for fun and informative with these, to stay in the spirit of MLP.

And without further ado...


1. Sea Serpent

Sea Serpents are a close relative to the Dragon. Though wingless (thus lacking the ability to fly) they make up for their lack of airtime with a slimmer, sleeker, snake-like body that’s perfectly suited for navigating the watery highways and byways of Equestria. They can also be found in any major body of water, from lake to ocean, and it’s not uncommon to find them as far out as the mysterious Lock Neighs. Unlike your typical Dragon, Sea Serpents have a much sharper fashion sense, and they’ve been known to spend days at a time grooming their manes and moustaches – which just so happens to be the crowning achievement of any Sea Serpent worth his water-proof hair gel. Though they can grow to be nearly as large and strong as their Dragon relatives, Sea Serpents are usually much more docile and agreeable. However, they have been known to throw a good pout from time to time (especially when the well-being of their facial hair is in question) and their pouts can quickly become tempest-tossed tantrums if they’re not pacified quickly. It’s also worth noting that Sea Serpents do not breathe fire – which they believe is undignified – and Sea Serpent scales are very strong and sharp, perfect for creating fine saddles and high quality swords – if, that is, you can convince a Sea Serpent to part with them in the first place.

2. Diamond Dogs

Few realize that the diamond obsessed race of bipedal canines known simply as “Diamond Dogs” first started out as a race of wandering musicians under the command of their most infamous pack leader, David Bowow. The music industry of Equestria never really took to their howling tracks and rowdy concerts, so the Diamond Dogs eventually decided to take their music underground, focusing more attention on their other great passions – diamonds and digging. The rest, as they say, is history.

Physically, the common Diamond Dog is a few hooves taller than a pony, though it’s not unusual to see some really hulking brutes among their ranks. They don’t much value personal hygiene, but like the diamonds they obsess over, Diamond Dogs have muscle-bound bodies hardened and sculpted by long hours of digging, with the majority of their power concentrated in their arms. They are capable of digging deep tunnels in minutes, and they can clog them up just as fast. Over the years their constant digging has created a vast under-empire of tunnels and winding paths that span the length of Equestria – and neither dirt, gravel, nor solid stone can keep them from the search of their precious diamonds. Speaking of diamonds, in truth Diamond Dogs value not only diamonds, but gemstones of every kind – using them to adorn their collars and gear. It’s even rumored that the Diamond Dog social hierarchy is based on the grandeur of their gemstones – with the top dogs carrying only the biggest and brightest gems to be found. The one problem Diamond Dogs face in their constant quest for precious stones, is finding the stones in the first place. For that reason, Pony Adventurers should be wary – for Diamond Dogs have been known to kidnap anypony who they believe could be of service to their cause.

Never fear however, for while Diamond Dogs are strong physically – their wits do leave something to be desired. Perhaps this is due to the mind-blowing nature of their music (which they still play today – and which has probably lead to lasting brain damage over the decades), but for whatever reason, Diamond Dogs are notoriously gullible and easily tricked. Also, for a group that likes their music, they can’t stand high-pitched sounds, especially when that sound comes from a whining filly.

3. Ahuizotl (Aka: Whatever-the-heck-that-was-Daring-Do Faced)

The Ahuizotl is a bizarre creature said to typically reside near wet or watery regions like bogs, rivers, tropical rainforests, and the occasional sea-side resort. They have dog-like features – with pointed ears like a jackal and rows of sharp, canine teeth – as well as paws like monkeys and prehensile tails ending in a dexterous and powerful fifth hand. The Ahuizotl also tend to have a sleek, wet coat that comes from their joy of taking quick swims to cool off on a daily basis (thus the attraction to wet regions), and although they have the features of dogs, the Ahuizotl are known to have a strange affinity with felines, enabling them to boss cats around with relative ease. In fact, it’s not uncommon for an Ahuizotl to be found in the company of a large assortment of feline minions ranging from cute, cuddly kittens to big, mean lions. Ahuizotl themselves are big, selfish, meanie-faces by nature – and they enjoy nothing less than ruining the day of any daring pony explorer they might happen to come across (whether that be by taking their fancy loot or leaving them in overly complex death-traps).

Thankfully Ahuizotl are very rare creatures, so rare in fact that many ponies question if they are, in fact, anything more than the stuff of the Daring-Do adventure books. Whether fact or fable, Ahuizotl are also said to be quite impractical, and have been known to leave their prey in life-threatening situations instead of finishing them off personally – thus giving anypony unfortunate enough to be caught in an Ahuizotl’s traps time to make a dashing escape.

4. Griffons

The Griffons are a proud and majestic race in Equestria, gifted with the bodies of lions and the wings and heads of eagles. A bit larger than your average pony, they’re capable of flying skills to match that of pegasi, and it’s with pegasi that they most empathize, seeing them as both rivals and friends. While this may be the case, it doesn’t stop Griffons from living in relative harmony with unicorns, earth ponies, and the occasional donkey too. They’ve even been known to marry into ponykind when the mood takes them, and in such cases they give birth to half-pony, half-griffons called ‘Hippogriff.’

Though they share many similarities with ponies, Griffons are typically more aggressive and also have a competitive streak to rival that of the most awesome flyers in all of Equestria. Griffons seek to be the best at everything they do – from flying to baking – and anypony that gets in their way is likely to be on the receiving end of their fearsome lion roar.

5. Buffalo

Long before ponies settled in Equestria, Buffalo roamed the western lands. They knew these lands collectively as the Great Mother, and at the time, Buffalo tribes could be found throughout the plains and deserts, along the hills, valleys, and streams. They respected the land, surviving on a combination of wisdom and resourcefulness (as was necessary in the time before Pegasi weathermares put an end to droughts). They were also strong and stubborn, being no strangers to conflict – though they tried to avoid confrontations whenever possible. Nomadic by nature, the buffalo roamed from place to place, setting up camp in hospitable locations, gathering turquoise and feathers to make stylish accessories, but packing up and moving on before they could ever be missed or their stay could ever grow unwelcome. They followed ancient stampeding routes set by their ancestors, and their lives were harsh, but not unpleasant.

Then the ponies came.

Some Buffalo welcomed the first pony settlers as they moved into the tribes’ ancestral homeland, even teaching the earth ponies the secrets of living in the harsher landscapes. But as more and more ponies moved out west, the Buffalo were forced to give up more and more ground to the well-meaning but thoughtless newcomers. The ponies were ignorant of Buffalo traditions, and again and again, they planted orchards and built homes over the Buffalo’s ancient stampeding grounds and most revered ceremonial sites. Many Buffalo tribes suffered silently while others tried to talk out their problems (to mixed success). A smaller contingent still felt that the only answer to the encroaching pony problem was open conflict, and many apples have been lost and pies tossed in the battles waged between Buffalo and ponykind.

Today, Buffalo run the gambit from extremely friendly to openly hostile when it comes to their pony neighbors – but no matter the tribe, Buffalo are nothing if not reasonable. The Buffalo lifestyle is steeped in tradition, and if you respect that tradition, they will respect you. If all else fails, a peace offering of apple pie can quickly get you on their good side (they think pies the greatest contribution of ponykind to the world), and if you can manage to bring a dragon along, that would also help with relations (as the Buffalo hold great respect for dragons, seeing them as an ancient symbol of strength).

6. Dragons

Dragons are a magical race of earth-shaking, wing-beating, smoke-spewing, fire belching beasts that inhabit the rocky, mountainous, and volcanic regions of Equestria. Although they are not an uncommon sight, nopony really ever knew much about them until recently. Perhaps this is due to the fact that nopony ever spent any length of time getting to know them – but can you blame a pony for being a little Dragon shy? After all, these giant, fiery reptiles have a history of bad-tempered dispositions and selfish natures. If greed is a green eyed monster – then that monster is probably a Dragon. Unlike a pony, a Dragon’s strength is not measured by the sum of his friends but the size of his horde – and many Dragons care for nothing else than adding to their ever-growing stash and protecting it at all costs. From the moment they’re hatched, a Dragon’s strongest instinct is to gather a horde of wealth (be it gold, gems, or junk) and sit on it. Those Dragons that don’t horde like their brethren suffer from long-term side-effects such as stunted growth rates, claw cramps, and Barnabus Syndrome (BBS for short) – but on the whole, most ponies would agree that they prefer these ‘baby’ Dragons to their meaner counterparts.

The Dragon diet consists mostly of gemstones, but they are not above eating donuts, cookies, cakes, coffee, and sugary drinks of any kind. They also have an incredibly high tolerance for heat, and they’re bodies are able to resist even the most fiery lava pits – which they enjoy bathing in (kind of like a hot spring). It should also be noted that just as Dragons come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colorations, their fiery breath can come in a variety of colors as well. Much like a pony’s cutie mark, each Dragon’s fire is unique, with magical effects and properties all its own – such as sending correspondence over long distances.

There are still many questions yet to be answered about Dragons, but what is known comes mostly from the Dragon Migrations that happen every generation – when Dragons from all across Equestria fly north for one heck of a rough and wild party. While there, the normally anti-social Dragons get a chance to meet with their own kind, swap stories, gloat about the size of their hordes, and fight one another for glory. Meanwhile the younger drakes get together in gangs to prove themselves to their peers, playing crude games of “Tail Wrestling,” “King of the Horde,” “Flame Belching,” and “Lava Cannonball.” These drakes also take part in “Raids” on the nests of other hapless beasts, where their goal is a completely mean-spirited one of stealing eggs and smashing them on the ground.

On the whole, Dragons are definitely not the nicest race of creatures you’ll ever meet, but they can be surprisingly agreeable if a pony puts her hoof down and stands her ground. The trick is not to show them you’re afraid. If Dragons sense they can get the better of you – they most certainly will. Also, when encountering Dragons, one should remember that the fastest way to get one mad is to mess with its horde. Never, under any circumstances, should you try to steal from a dragon, not unless you want to live a very short and unpleasant life thereafter.

7. Celestials (the whole breed of things like the Ursa Minor)

There are over 80 constellations in the night sky, and for every constellation, there is a breed of celestial born to mirror it. Celestials are some of the most powerful and dangerous magical beasts in all of Equestria. Their skin, scales, coats, and shells are as black as the midnight sky and streaked with gold specks of pure starlight. Their eyes are red like embers, and their shapes mimic the natural equivalents of their kind (for instance, Canis Majors and Equuleus bear striking resemblances to dogs and ponies respectively). Their stature is always much greater than their non-celestial kin however, and though the size varies from beast to beast, the largest celestials, such as the Draco or the Cetus, have even been known to tower over the skyscrapers in Manehattan. With great size comes great destructive potential, and the strength of the celestial beasts is legendary. Thankfully, celestials are not known to be overly aggressive, but when angered (usually when prematurely awoken from hibernation), their might is enough to level entire settlements and bring cities crashing to the ground. Therefore, it’s best to go by the old saying, “Let sleeping celestials lie” and just avoid them altogether. Still, some foals are not deterred by the legends, seeking to test what they see as “old mares’ tales” by actively seeking out celestial beasts for fame and profit. These excursions hardly ever end well though.

8. Alicorns

Alicorns were first seen shortly after the founding of Equestria, when all of ponykind learned to live together in peace and harmony. A powerful symbol of pony unity, Alicorns are part unicorn, part pegasus, and part earth pony – all rolled into one – and perhaps because they symbolize the friendship of ponies everywhere, they are also some of the most powerful magical beings in all the land. Because of their strong connections to ponykind (and their god-like power) alicorns are most often found in positions of leadership, ruling over their fellow ponies and putting their powers to good use. There are even holidays made in their honor, such as the much loved Summer Sun Celebration and the spooky Nightmare Night.

It’s rare to find an Alicorn abusing her powers, but cases of such misuse have been reported in the past (such as when a certain princess was transformed into dark overlord). In these rare cases, Alicorns either snap under the great pressures of leadership or become disillusioned with the ponies they’re sworn to protect. Thus they turn rogue, and the actions of these rogue Alicorns almost always result in catastrophic events. In such cases, disaster has only been diverted thanks, in no small part, to the magic of friendship.
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Re: Monster Fluff for Critiquing

Post  tygerburningbright on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:20 pm

Um Griffons and most likely Buffalo would be races not monsters. Other than that good on fluffy.

One more thing someone already made a Celestial template
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Re: Monster Fluff for Critiquing

Post  AlicornPriest on Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:29 pm

tygerburningbright wrote:Um Griffons and most likely Buffalo would be races not monsters. Other than that good on fluffy.

One more thing someone already made a Celestial template
Who said our two fluffs had to agree? Wink
I thought it sounded good. In fact, I think he more or less agreed with mine.
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Re: Monster Fluff for Critiquing

Post  Philadelphus on Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:54 pm

XandZero2 wrote:
3. Ahuizotl (Aka: Whatever-the-heck-that-was-Daring-Do Faced)
The ahuitzotl is an actual creature from Aztec mythology, although Wikipedia doesn't have much to say about it. Apologies if you were aware of that already, just wanted to point it out.
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Re: Monster Fluff for Critiquing

Post  Stairc -Dan Felder on Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:35 pm

All this work on lore is just so awesome... Great tools for DMs to fiddle with.

Fantastic job.
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Re: Monster Fluff for Critiquing

Post  XandZero2 on Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:51 am

Philadelphus wrote:
XandZero2 wrote:
3. Ahuizotl (Aka: Whatever-the-heck-that-was-Daring-Do Faced)
The ahuitzotl is an actual creature from Aztec mythology, although Wikipedia doesn't have much to say about it. Apologies if you were aware of that already, just wanted to point it out.

^Yeah, I didn't know that myself until I did a search on Equestria Daily while working on the project. I thought MLP might have had it's first OG monster there for quite a while.

I'm glad everyone seems to like the first set of fluff so far. I tried to be as close to canon as possible, but some of those creatures didn't give you much to go on (and that was especially the case for Celestials). Keep in mind I'm not creating monster concepts, just fluff, but if you're happy with these guys, I can start work on a new batch. Just give me some requests.
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Re: Monster Fluff for Critiquing

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