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I guess this is a mix of character description and storytelling. I kind of found myself in a mood the other night and just typed away and this is the result. Had the idea for a good while now but hadn't really expanded on it yet. Still a work in progress, feel free to offer suggestions, ask questions regarding what's written, along with past and future events regarding the character. Warning, some parts graphic. Vernarbt Invictus, it means Scarred but Undefeated. The first part is German, the second is Latin. He's a general within a primarily batpony nation called Abendstern. They've had roughly a hundred years of peace so to provide experience for new recruits, every few years a dragon hunt is held. They keep a look out for any that venture near and then lure/drive them into a massive pit where they keep it pinned down with artillery and airships. Soldiers dig themselves into place and wear the beast down until they can close in and deliver the killing blow. Vernarbt has participated in three hunts. The first one he spent nearly a week stuck in a trench. While the dragon was focused on another section of the pit he arranged to move ahead with a cannon. they got dangerously close and covered the camouflaged the cannon as best they could. The dragon grew restless from the constant harassment and paced all around the pit, preventing large advancements from sneaking behind it. When it came into position, Vernarbt ordered them to fire a volley, which grabbed the dragon's attention. It charged towards them and the cannon was shot point blank through it's eye. It slammed to a stop and reared back in pain, only to fall dead seconds later. Vernarbt climbed onto the it's head and shouted victory with his sword held aloft. He instantly became the poster child for the nation's military. Most stallion's had their fill after a hunt, but when another dragon was cited a few years later, he requested to participate once again. His superiors were all for this as it was great for propaganda. This time he organized for several cannons to close in on the dragon till it was pinned against the side of the pit. From there they would concentrate their firepower and bring it down swiftly. The dragon managed to take out one of the artillery crews, creating a gap in his line. Vernarbt acted swiftly and flew over with a few soldiers to fill the gap before the dragon saw the chance to break through. Noticing the lack of firing from that direction, the dragon charged to escape. Vernarbt knew his strategy put more soldiers at risk than the last time, so he assigned a Unicorn mage to every Unit so they could cast a shield that would keep them safe from fire. The shield was up and the cannon was ready, however one couldn't fire the cannon while being inside the shield completely, as the recoil caused too much of a disturbance. With his front half outside of the shield, he held the firing cord taut in his mouth. When the dragon was directly ahead he pulled the cord and as expected the dragon breathed a mass of flames upon them. The shield was slightly off from where it needed to be and so when Vernarbt had pulled back, his snout still stuck out of the shield. Enveloped by the flames, his exposed fur and the flesh beneath it were burned, and he fell back in agony. The dragon was hit squarely in the chest and although this did not kill it, the blow was enough to make it turn back, preventing it from escaping. It was then bombarded by the other cannons and died. Vernarbt was unable to celebrate his victory, for he was in need of immediate medical attention. He would survive the injury, but he would be left with a fair portion of his skull exposed, along with losing most of his ability to smell and having a severe speech impediment. He was seen as both a hero and an excellent tactician, however his disfigurement repulsed many of the upper class, and his injury made it questionable as to whether or not he could continue to serve in the field. In public he'd travel with a face cover which kept things like smoke and dust away while making him presentable, and he'd adorn the many medals he'd now been awarded as a reminder to others that he was defined by his accomplishments. He'd go on to partake in a third hunt, this time in command of an airship coordinated with a fleet to drive the dragon into the pit. He provided instruction for soldiers below to carry out his previous strategy. The dragon however would manage to outmaneuver most of the artillery units or destroy them. It's wings were completely useless so it attempted escape by climbing up the wall. Digging into the barren rock and earth it caused an upper ledge to collapse, along with the soldiers and heavier guns that were on it. It climbed closer to freedom than any other dragon had in decades, but it could not account for Vernarbt Invictus. It reached the top only to be fired upon by his airship. Losing it's footing, the dragon fell back on a jagged rock that once made up part of the ledge. The landing resulted in the rock not only severing the dragon's spine but it drove though it's body and out the otherside. The Pit fell silent for a moment, then a satisfied Vernarbt exited his airship to inspect his work. The soldiers below looked up in astonishment at the lone stallion above and began cheering. The only thing making this moment imperfect for him was his inability to actually smile with pride. Having secured himself glory and respect from superiors, he was made general and assigned with planning strategies against Abendstern’s Neighbors should war ever break out. He now lives on a small estate with a specialized caretaker, away from any of the major cities to avoid the pollution and to enjoy the peace and quiet. The estate is situated near ideal grounds for training exercises which he oversees on occasion. It’s been years since the last hunt. More than usual. Other methods are being developed to ready new recruits, but he knows that one day another dragon will be sighted, and he’s looking forward to it. Although these dragon hunts may be seen as cruel, particularly for their longevity and with more focus on their sentience recently in the series, it should be noted that this idea was concocted ages ago, and that with such a long stretch of peace it’s deemed necessary in maintaining the quality of the nation’s military, and that a more traditional view of dragon’s is held. The corpses also serve a purpose, as large dragon scales could be used as hoof held shields, or more commonly cut and fitted as pieces of light armor. The Skin beneath but more so the prized wing membrane would be blackened and tanned to leather for making highly durable and fire resistant trenchcoats which would be awarded to those who went above and beyond the call of duty in the pit. The dragon’s intestines were notably used in making the airsacs within airships, and were both a better performing and cheaper material than what could be made synthetically at the time.
Guns of Icarus online is a new game that came out in the midst of the hurricane yesterday. It's all about team based, airship gunplay! The game has been featured both by the Yogscast, and TotalBiscuit. Videos here: And here: Any gamer pony fans up for joining me aboard the SAA Big Macintosh to go blow up some no good red or blue painted airships?