• Member Since 26th Sep, 2011
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FanOfMostEverything


Forget not that I am a derp.

More Blog Posts1134

  • Sunday
    Friendship is Card Games: Rainbow Dash Presents: Captain Hook the Biker Gorilla

    This week, we’re putting ourselves four degrees away from the source material. It’s a card blog based on a video based on a story based on a song based on FiM. Let’s get going.

    Read More

    6 comments · 148 views
  • 1 week
    Friendship is Card Games: Generations #2 & #3

    This week, we return to the union of modern ponies and 80’s villains. Well, the daughters of 80’s villains. Well, the minions of the daughters of 80’s villains.

    … Let’s just get started before I take this any further.

    Read More

    9 comments · 176 views
  • 1 week
    Alms Collection

    A friend alerted me to this situation, and so I'm sharing the news: Eponafest, an Italian pony convention set for May, is running crowdfunding to get some operating funds... and they're about halfway to their goal with a week left. See here for details.

    0 comments · 75 views
  • 2 weeks
    Friendship is Card Games: The Journal of the Two Sisters

    This is the main reason why I decided to skip over the comics a few weeks ago. I like the idea of the first card blog of 2022 using one of the oldest in-universe documents we have for source material. Let’s see what the diarchs thought of their first days on the throne.

    Read More

    19 comments · 277 views
  • 3 weeks
    Friendship is Card Games: d20 Pony, Ch. 5

    Happy Boxing Day! Needless to say, this one was prepped in advance. I appreciate all of you, but I’m not spending Christmas Day writing a card blog. Besides, who wants last minute gifts?

    Read More

    5 comments · 150 views
May
24th
2016

FoME Thinks Too Much: Habitat and Earth Pony Magic · 6:50pm May 24th, 2016

Earth pony magic is the most subtle, most poorly defined part of equine thaumobiology, which is part of why I find it so fascinating. These ideas stemmed from the tribe’s namesake, earth. As anyone who’s watched Avatar knows, earth comes in a variety of forms. Suppose earth pony magic did as well. Suppose there was an adaptational aspect to it, with the magic responding to the environment and working to help the pony thrive there. What would result from that?

Sadly, while this question is intriguing, I can’t make use of it in any of the stories I have planned at the moment. Still, I thought it might be interesting enough to share, hence this blog.

Let’s begin, shall we? Oh, and some inspirational credit goes to this blog post by Jordan179.

Soil Ponies: Or, if you want to get kicked in a delicate area, “dirt ponies.” And when getting kicked by a soil pony, every area is a delicate one.

These are the standard-issue, garden-variety earth ponies we know and love. Indeed, gardening is what they’re known for, with a magical gift for passively boosting the growth of plant life. That ability appears trainable into an actively applied one for some, though as noted before, there isn’t a lot of concrete data in that regard. They also have augmented strength and stamina, the better to tend the fields.

Soil ponies are earth ponies adapted for plains and grasslands, who likely evolved this specific suite of abilities to help provide the herd with plentiful grazing material and defend against predators. (At least, that’s the case in those worldlines where ponies evolved naturally, as opposed to being engineered by precursor races, snapped into existence by unfathomable powers, or otherwise artificially wrought.)

Applejack is the prime example of a soil pony, an exemplar of what it means to be a pony sans accesories.

Rock Ponies: Rock ponies are adapted to the infertile wastelands that are optimal areas for petriculture… or perhaps it’s the other way around. Those rock ponies who attempt to farm more conventional crops often find everything dying to make way for proper rock farming country.

Whatever the case, rock ponies can thrive where no others would even want to, and do so by amping up their magical output. They are stronger, tougher, and even more stubborn than soil ponies, and their magic accelerates the growth of their crops of choice hundreds if not thousands of times over. Of course, those crops are mineral in nature, so it still takes a while. In order to fuel this incredible thaumic output, rock ponies can derive energy from the rocks themselves. Gemstones provide more calories, but are generally too valuable to eat.

Some researchers have noted a surprising parallel between the magics of rock ponies and dragons, especially when it comes to diet. This is almost certainly a case of convergent evolution. It’s not like every rock farm has a suspiciously ovoid stone found in a dragon’s nest… I assume.

Maud Pie is the Twilight Sparkle of rock ponies, her abilities going far over and above the norm.

Clay Ponies: Despite the name, these ponies don’t adapt to clay-filled areas but villages and towns. While soil and rock ponies produce the raw material, clay ponies process them.

Clay pony magic reflects the shift in priorities that comes from specializing in a trade. Their focus is more on dexterity than strength or stamina. While they can still haul significant loads and work long hours, their mouths and hooves are capable of feats of such incredible agility that they defy all reason in a species with one finger per limb. They can change diapers with their mouth without even flinching, just as an example.

Rather than growth magic, clay ponies infuse their magic into their creations, making buildings strurdier, tools sharper, and food tastier and more nutritious. Even those who provide services rather than goods are more effective at them. Some of this is cutie mark magic, of course, but clay ponies possess something beyond that. Nurses seem to accelerate the healing process, musicians add a new layer to their performances, and so forth.

Clay ponies make up a large percentage of all earth ponies in Equestria, Ponyville included.

Silt Ponies: Also known as mud ponies to those who want to be introduced to Meemaw’s pet anaconda, silt ponies are adapted to swamps and bogs. Thankfully, they don’t have the same terraforming tendencies as rock ponies when they move out of their preferred biome.

Silt pony magic focuses on health and survival most of all, a necessary precaution in a region rife with life on every level. Their immune systems have no equal in ponykind, providing incredible resistance to disease and parasites. They also have either an intuitive sense of water flows or flat-out hydrokinesis, since their settlements never sink or get swept away in mudslides. Their strength is still respectable, but their growth magic is minimal; the swamps don’t need any help there.

The Hayseed Swamps, satisfied customers of Sweet Apple Acres, are the best known examples of silt ponies. There are also some silt ponies in the Hollow Shades, though the fell nature of that spiritual sinkhole has had… other effects on them. For one, while the cuisine of the Hollow Shades is frequently and rightfully praised, the actual recipes are considered a low-grade case of That Which Pony Was Not Meant To Know.

Brick Ponies: A recent development, brick ponies (or iron ponies, cobblestone ponies, or similar names) are adapted to the densest cities, where civilization has thoroughly overtaken nature.

The most notable aspect of brick pony magic is psychological. Brick ponies are far more comfortable in dense crowds, more able to withstand and process extreme sensory stimuli, and preternaturally capable of navigating the streets than most ponies. City unicorns and pegasi quickly develop similar behavior, of course, but brick ponies embrace urban life from birth.

Brick ponies also tend to be more callous, cynical, and opportunistic than most ponies, a phenomenon often referred to as “big city attitude.” However, this could be a case of correlation without causation, as most brick ponies hail from Manehattan.

Aside from mindset, brick pony magic tends to manifest similarly to clay ponies, only more so. Their agility is enough to move through urban traffic as though it weren’t there and fit themselves onto a ferry as though it were a clown car. Their fabrication magic is just as potent, especially with regards to architecture, and they seem to express magic even in simply living, finding ways to make a closet-sized apartment comfortable for a family of four. They do posses some strength and stamina enhancement, but not as much as other subtribes, and their growth magic is usually inverted. Any plant that isn’t in the city park doesn’t last long.

While Manehattan has the lion’s share of brick ponies, they can also be found in Fillydelphia, Canterlot, and a few other major cities. The most bizarre example of the subtribe is the McColt family of Smokey Valley, who through chance, genetics, and clearcutting a mountain, managed to render themselves magically incapable of agriculture.

Sand Ponies: Earth ponies adapted to the desert are surprisingly absent from the Equestrian west; those settlers are largely soil ponies. The sand ponies are largely found in Saddle Arabia and other arid nations east of the Saddlantic Ocean. That is not to say that the Saddle Arabian horses are themselves ponies. While closely related, this is not the case.

Sand pony magic, like that of silt ponies, focuses on survival first and foremost. Sand ponies’ bodies are magically reinforced against heat and dehydration, and even their purely mundane biology runs slightly hotter than normal, while their kidneys are much more efficient. Their hoof dexterity is a bit worse than average, since the magic that normally expresses itself as tactile telekinesis usually takes the form of a “snowshoe” effect with them, presenting a wide magical base that lets them move through sand far faster than one might expect. Sand pony growth magic isn’t just present but entirely voluntary, generally reserved for oases and carefully portioned out to avoid overwhelming the precious water sources.

Salt and Dust Ponies: These subtribes exist only as thaumobiological hypotheses. Salt ponies would be earth ponies adapted to life on (or in!) the ocean, their capabilities unclear. Dust ponies would be earth ponies adapted to cloud cities, who would presumably possess the same cloudwalking capabilities as pegasi, and possibly a strange form of weather magic as well. Ethics and a lack of volunteers have thus far kept researchers from determining whether these hypotheses hold any weight.

Party Ponies: Infamously impossible to research, party ponies are a mystery in and of themselves. When one researcher asked a party pony how she might classify her subtribe, she suggested “silicon ponies” and refused to elaborate further. The researcher has slept little since.

Comments ( 40 )
PresentPerfect
Author Interviewer

This is great. This is a great idea.

Clay pony level 80: Knows how to use the word אמת

No, really, that was the first thing that popped into my head when you mentioned clay, and why not?

Neat. A story involving the interelation of these would be interesting.

I really, really like this. My headcanon is similar but vaguer (especially on the craftspony infusion thing, I hadn't thought of that), and my AU fanon derives (save the differences from being anthro) from that. Drawing from the earth and environment that spawned them, allowing great but often slow or subtle feats with the environment around them-- yeah, that's perfect. Would you mind especially if I adopted some of your specializations/permutations for my Clans in my hyperverse?

On a different tangent, I think this is one of the reason why I've really loved full on sci-fi crossovers more than pretty much any other-- things like Meluch's Mass Effect, or the delightfully cynical SFAccountant's Age of Iron stuff (even if I'm usually an optimist... except I play Imperial Guard, cough), and there's this one Star Trek one with a... I wanna say unicorn on the Pegasus... anyway. Just the sheer possibilities of the species in space settings.

Particularly terraforming. Oh, man. If their abilities, especially Earth and Pegasi, worked on other planets/non-Aristolean systems, can you imagine what their colonization process would be like? Makes me want to go back to MOO2 and make a Ponies custom race.

This is great. So would Big Mac, with his super strength, be to soil ponies what Maud is to rock ponies?

I've had similar theories, but you've really fleshed this out. This is great, and it makes the earth pony far more interesting, as they are sadly under represented in the show.

I can't help thinking how this opens up ideas to write about earth pony supernatural elements and mysticism.

This is utterly fantastic.

Though I do think that silt ponies with growth magic tied to their biome would be great for a horror story. Just need to find a less silly name than 'boggomancy'...

Interesting. :ajsmug:

When one researcher asked a party pony how she might classify her subtribe, she suggested “silicon ponies” and refused to elaborate further. The researcher has slept little since.

What's so disturbing about that? Is it due to silicon's connection to computers? Or because silicon is an element? And would sort of mean that Party Ponies have adapted to the base of the world, or something?

Or did the researcher have little sleep due to furious research instead of nightmares?

3968899
I just hope that that ability comes with knowing how to turn the word off. I don't want to have to grind to level 85 just to make sure my golems won't go berserk.

3968909
Go right ahead! I love inspiring people.

And yeah, Space Age ponies offer all kinds of fascinating possibilities.

3968913
More or less.

3968946
"Botanomancy" would work for plant magic in general. "Telmamancy" might work for swamp magic if Google Translate can be trusted.

3969095
Yes. :trollestia:

Clay pony magic reflects the shift in priorities that comes from specializing in a trade. Their focus is more on dexterity than strength or stamina. While they can still haul significant loads and work long hours, their mouths and hooves are capable of feats of such incredible agility that they defy all reason in a species with one finger per limb. They can change diapers with their mouth without even flinching, just as an example.

I always thought that fine-dexterity work was exactly the economic niche for unicorns.

Brick ponies also tend to be more callous, cynical, and opportunistic than most ponies, a phenomenon often referred to as “big city attitude.” However, this could be a case of correlation without causation, as most brick ponies hail from Manehattan.

There's really so much more to being from New YorkManehattan than being a jerkass :ajbemused:.

The sand ponies are largely found in Saddle Arabia and other arid nations west of the Saddlantic Ocean.

You mean east of the Saddlantic Ocean, and I'm about to find this section very stereotyped.

Sand pony magic, like that of silt ponies, focuses on survival first and foremost. Sand ponies’ bodies are magically reinforced against heat and dehydration, and even their purely mundane biology runs slightly hotter than normal, while their kidneys are much more efficient. Their hoof dexterity is a bit worse than average, since the magic that normally expresses itself as tactile telekinesis usually takes the form of a “snowshoe” effect with them, presenting a wide magical base that lets them move through sand far faster than one might expect. Sand pony growth magic isn’t just present but entirely voluntary, generally reserved for oases and carefully portioned out to avoid overwhelming the precious water sources.

Actually, nicely done, particularly in how they can ration-out irrigation magic.

On the other hand, I do think this is a place where Equestrian history could depart pretty far from Earth's history. In the real world, that region has lots and lots of desert largely because people kept fighting wars and salting the damn land. Given that ponies have extremely strong traditions of actively involving themselves in the agricultural process via Earth Pony magic, rather than doing it by rote the way human farmers once did, their version of the Fertile Crescent ought to still be largely fertile rather than desert. The first equine army to try salting the land would quickly realize their mistake and reverse it as fast as they could.

Actually, an interesting problem to revolve a story around would be the conflict and negotiations between different tribes of Clay Ponies and Sand Ponies on how to manage the biome bordering both their regions. Maybe the Sand Ponies are somewhat like Fremen, and get sick if they spend too much time around too much water and plants (or just have strong allergies?); on the other hand, the Clay Ponies want to expand their towns by irrigating. Or maybe the Clay Ponies are trying to irrigate while the Sand Ponies view it as a wasteful overuse of water and magic best spent preserving scarce oases.

Or there could just be the old conflict dealing with farmers whose crops keep getting eaten by goats. Nothing makes a desert like a goat.

Salt ponies would be earth ponies adapted to life on (or in!) the ocean, their capabilities unclear.

What about salt marshes and salt flats, or seaside/coastal regions?

I always love posts like these.

How much, in your headcanon, is this magic tied into an Earth pony's upbringing? Is it possible for one type of Earth pony to learn/grow the magics of another? You just know that some Pegasi and Earth pony couples might take things a little too far (above ground). And some sailor ponies might have the brilliant (stupid) idea to train themselves into Salt ponies, with, ah, unexpected results. (Sea ponies are totally just an ancient myth.) And aside from those ideas, in general there's always the popular story of the pony who was born in one environment but moved into another and eventually adopted better than before.

Oh, and you forgot Crystal ponies. :trollestia:

“silicon ponies"

I'm not certain what you're suggesting here, but I hope you're ashamed by it. :derpytongue2: (Just joking.) Personally I'd go for "smile ponies", or perhaps "hopes and dreams ponies". Sugar ponies? *Shrug*

Out of all the pony tribes earth ponies would seem the most likely to split into specialized sub-tribes to suit different environmental regions (or even help create them).

I really love the idea of Maud being the Twilight Sparkle of earth ponies.

3969207

I always thought that fine-dexterity work was exactly the economic niche for unicorns.

I felt Mr. Cake's feat in "Baby Cakes" was especially worthy of mention. Clay and brick ponies might be thought of as the macuahuitls of fine dexterity; they are the pinnacle of what can be done with the available materials, but those materials just aren't very sophisticated.

There's really so much more to being from New YorkManehattan than being a jerkass.

True, but it's a common enough attitude to be a plot point in several episodes.

You mean east of the Saddlantic Ocean

:facehoof: Never has Derpy Hooves been my spirit animal as much as she has in this moment. Fixed, and I'm glad I was able to dodge whatever you were dreading.

I do like the potential clay/sand conflict you describe. One part I couldn't fit in was how each subtribe tends to feel uncomfortable when taken out of its preferred biome. It would make sense for such situations to adversely affect the health of the more extremophilic varieties.

Also, I sometimes use goats in place of Mongols, so it wouldn't be inappropriate to have them responsible for some desertification. Still, you make a very good point about the history and ecology of the region. Maybe I can move them to northern Zebrica...

What about salt marshes and salt flats, or seaside/coastal regions?

Hmm. Salt flats might fall under rock pony territory, but I hadn't considered salt marshes, or coastal regions for that matter. This bears further consideration...

In any case, thanks for the very in-depth commentary and criticism. :twilightsmile:

3969285
There is some nurture to the process, but there's a lot more nature. It's a relatively fast process, but still mostly multigenerational, especially in less hostile environments. There's a Lamarckian aspect to it*, with the efforts of the parents informing the adaptation of the offspring, along with the geomantic resonance between foal and environment. As such, getting a salt or dust pony would require a currently unfeasible amount of time at sea or in sky for multiple ponies.

... I seriously cannot believe I completely forgot crystal ponies. Though there is that one crystal pegasus guard in "Three's a Crowd."

As for party ponies, I'm just going to point you to this old blog.

*Debunked scientific theories often make for great magical mechanics, as Princess Geocentrism can attest.

:pinkiegasp:

Oh my sweet Lord, you could work wonders with this story-wise. It's all so intricate and detailed, you've truly given this a lot of thought. You're my hero :raritystarry:


Do you have similar thoughts/theories on any possible subtribes of Unicorns and Pegasi?

Hmn. What about highly volcanic regions? Or Tundras?

3969589
May I use this in an extremely long world building story I'm making, well the general idea at least not the specifics :heart:

Dust ponies would be earth ponies adapted to cloud cities, who would presumably possess the same cloudwalking capabilities as pegasi, and possibly a strange form of weather magic as well.

Oddly, I once made an OC who would technically count as a Dust Pony; it was for a story that never took off, but this reminded me of it.

For one, while the cuisine of the Hollow Shades is frequently and rightfully praised, the actual recipes are considered a low-grade case of That Which Pony Was Not Meant To Know.

You have acquired: Unaccountably Peckish.

3969207
3969589
Serendipity strikes again! [/inside joke] I've actually been designing a settlement which happens to cover the seacoast variants wonderfully as a worldbuilding exercise. I could try and distill that down into a not-too-overlong post if anyone's interested and/or I feel like it when I have the time to write it up, but the basic points are:

Under the system FOME has going, salt (here meaning "coastal" rather than "submarine") ponies are a lot like a mix of silt/sand ponies, with the exact balance depending on their specific environment; however, they're likely to have soil ponies' strong Cultivation in place of the more specific silt/sand adaptations. Particularly noteworthy abilities include silt ponies' resistance to wet conditions and some of their health-boosting prowess, salt-resisting adaptations similar to sand ponies' dehydration resistance, and surefootedness despite slippery rocks and leg-trapping mud reminiscent of both. Salt ponies can theoretically enhance their bodies enough to allow themselves to drink pure seawater for hydration, but they prefer to raise water crops instead - edible plants Cultivated to contain a large amount of desalinated water, allowing even salt-susceptible visitors to survive indefinitely without ever needing to actually drink for hydration (though of course, water crops are often processed into more conventionally-liquid forms).

Naturally, salt ponies frequently export salt as a primary trade good, and so they tend to have a certain degree of rivalry with those rock ponies and diamond dogs who specialize in rock salt production. On the other side, they usually get along much better than average with the more carnivorous species, and many salt pony settlements support robust carnivore communities, which thrive on the vast quantities of sea life that school in the salt ponies' shadow and export their salt-preserved catches inland for hefty profits.

3969849
Tuff ponies would probably be a lot like soil ponies mixed with rock/sand ponies, with both strong Cultivation and strong lithocentric abilities. Between eruptions they'd grow fantastic crops in the rich soil formed by the weathering of volcanic minerals; immediately following an eruption they'd be able to quickly colonize the devastated zones, using their magic to survive the desolation and to enable plant regrowth much earlier than would normally be possible. In magic-system setups where they have to trade off external vs internal magical effects, they'd probably be on the lower end of the physical enhancement spectrum: a slight boon under normal circumstances wouldn't make up for losing the geomancy to tell when to pack up and dodge the front-row seats for an eruption. (An earth pony might be able to outrun a lahar under very favorable conditions, but outrunning a pyroclastic surge is not going to happen.)

Tundra ponies probably ought to be split into alpine and polar tundra variants - there are a lot of similarities, but the environments are definitely not the same. And of course they ought to get proper thematic names, but I haven't got a good one for polar tundra yet. Alpine tundra would probably get a name like talus or scree, though I like the idea of calling them fell ponies. (Note: from fellfield/feldmark.)

Alpine would probably have strong physical boosts (including particularly excellent balance) and lots of adaptations to thin, frigid, ever-windy air, plus respectable voluntary Cultivation like that of sand ponies. They probably wouldn't get a lot of mileage out of geomantic abilities, though being able to sense unstable rocks before jumping onto them would definitely be a plus. From what little I know of polar tundra, polar variants would probably trade the altitude-resistance for more silt-pony-like characteristics, to deal with the boggier summer months. Both would definitely need to be able to get a lot of energy out of minimal food, and would need to be good at conserving water - even if there's a lot of snow lying around, the energy penalty inherent in melting ice is frightful, and would need to be minimized as much as possible.

Neat ideas.

May I share my list of different races?

Terra races
earth
crystal
ferroequis (has skeleton made of solid steel. Was nearly hunted to extinction for the weapons that can be forged from these bones)
ash (they were earth, but had their magic changed to escape a massive fire (Pinkie belongs to this group. She only looks wierd because everyone thinks ash ponies are extinct))
clay
Zebra

Bird Wing races
pegasus
Lipizzan Pegasus (Fluttershy's race. Has Stare, but lacks some flight)
Pegasoi Aithiopes

Bat Wing races
longma
thestral

Seapony races
kelpie
hippocampus
siren
whale
octopus
narwhal (descendant of unicorns that fell in love with the ocean and modified themselves to live underwater)

Miscellaneous races
lamiaequis
lycanequis (I have a story in the works about these. they are not wereponies, but a shapeshifting race)
changeling
Slendermane's race, includes as a subset ponies like Sleipnir, as yet unnamed

Demon race
Unicorn

3969589

I can't believe it's been so long since that Party Pony blog. It seems like I read it just a few months ago. :derpyderp1:

Anyways, it's a little silly to try and categorize Party Ponies in this system, since they're all created by synthetic means. :pinkiecrazy:

What if "Party Ponies" are not, as suggested here, a Sub-Tribe of Earth Ponies, but are, in fact, a Tribe ,or even three, unto themselves.

Terrans, the most common, appear to be Earth Ponies with rather poofy manes at a glance, but their disregard for personal space, Physics, and even Biology quickly reveal them for what they are: Pure Happiness given form. They tend to be Clueless to most Social Norms and many Emotional Cues, and quite scatter-brained, often forgetting to explain WHY they do what they do. However, this does NOT mean they are stupid (not even Chancellor Puddindhead, despite all claims to the contrary). Most modern technology, including film and projectors, were created by the Terrans.
WARNING: Never piss off a Terran. Never break a promise named after a Terran. Always remember: a Terran may forgive, but they will NEVER FORGET!

Artists seem like Unicorns to most ponies, but, like their Terran counterparts, they seek to spread Hope and Happiness, often through their chosen craft. This has resulted in great leaps in Music (Vinyl Scratch A.K.A. DJ Pon-3) and Fashion (Rarity).

Guardians, The rarest of the Party Ponies, are easily mistaken for Pegasi. Like Terrans and Artists, they love to see others be happy. Unlike Terrans and Artists, they are often introverts. This does NOT mean they are defenseless. Often seen in the roles of caretakers, Nurses, and Veterinarians, their expertise often means they know more about how to stop a threat than many veteran Guards. They can also emit an aura of Fear through their eyes and a scolding, Often referred to as "The Stare", to make most threats (UP TO, AND INCLUDING, DRAGONS!) back down. As these abilities depend on the threat even getting close enough in the first place, Guardians have a natural aura that strengthens those around them, most especially those under their care. May Celestia have mercy on those foolish enough to attack a Guardian in their place of business. Although many are known throughout history, the two most famous are Surgeon General Private Pansy (yes, THAT Private Pansy) and Fluttershy (currently the only KNOWN living Guardian).

3970564 Hmn. And here I was thinking that the earth ponies adapted to extreme cold would have some kind of body heat perk.

3972068
They could potentially have magically bolstered heat production, but there's also pressure to keep body temperature down to reduce energy and water loss - both are limited in tundra regions, after all. My guess is that magically bolstered insulation would be more valuable, and that they'd use their magic to enhance heat/water vapor recovery even if they lack some of the physical adaptations designed to optimize such recovery. (Which, it's worth noting, are both real and vital for Earth life living in extremely cold areas.) Exactly what that would look like depends on the details of the specific magic system in use, but most variants would probably focus primarily on using magic to enhance the strength and control of key "mundane" biology, which would suffice to endure pretty harsh conditions even if they couldn't use magic to survive their core temperature dropping below the "typical" pony's normal range.

3972317 Hold up, maybe higher temperature adaptation? Or maybe a trait that makes them preferring cold environments? At the cost of being less energetic. For polar...no, glacier ponies. I don't know. Something more biology based than environment based.

The higher temperature would be against the lowering of the core temperature.

3972703
Ok, I'm not sure I understand what you're saying here. Something about if running higher core temperatures would help combat the cold, I think?

Also, the problem with calling them glacier ponies or similar is that it doesn't match the earth-term theme. Soil, rock, clay, silt, brick, sand, salt, and dust (plus tuff and scree/talus) are all based on earth, stone, or minerals. Glaciers do have a strong terraforming influence, but I don't think that's really enough to make the name fit.

3973062 No and yes. The first part is about adaptation. Basically handling the transition between cold and warm. The second part is about preferring cold environs rather than was ones. Something unusual in the natural world but more magic based than say, just surviving in their given environment. Like, y'know, the characters of the show are. Cultivation being a secondary trait of these pones, rather than the main one makes more sense, primarily because they wouldn't grow anything on solid blocks of ice. But yeah, you've basically the right idea. It doesn't necessarily have to work, 'm just balparking here.

And I only use glacier in the sense that ponies that make their living on ice, (being nothing more than solidified water), would appear tough, but he really be pretty weak outside their environment.

Anyways, I don't know, I've basically been running on fumes the past couple weeks.

3969758
There do appear to be different pegasus body/flight magic types. Compare Rainbow Dash's hypersonic capabilities, Fluttershy's zero-turbulence stealth motion, and Scootaloo's bizarre high-thrust/low-lift specialization. However, these probably exist on more on a wide spectrum than distinguishable subtypes. (Granted, earth pony subtypes probably do to an extent as well. Biology doesn't like clean divisions.) Ditto for unicorn capabilities; Estee's strength/dexterity scale does an excellent job of capturing the range of magical capacity.

3970021
Go right ahead! :twilightsmile:

3970564
derpicdn.net/img/2014/2/28/563342/medium.png
(Though now I'm going to need to find a new name for either the coastal or oceanic ponies. I picked salt because there aren't exactly a lot of earthen materials in oceans.)

3971541
As party ponies well know, all ponies are created synthetically. :pinkiecrazy:

3971598
Certainly an interesting concept. It would be especially fascinating if one of the diarchs embodied the "normal" pony tribes, while the other was actually combination of the more esoteric ones. I'm hesitant to embrace it myself, but I'd love to see what you can do with it in a story.

I think a distinction should be drawn between environmental adaptations and occupational ones, and only for Rock Ponies do they perfectly coincide. Soil and Clay are occupational populations; most of those we see on the show don't display any environment-based traits because they don't need any (we can call them Idyll Ponies, because they're "adapted" to idyllic circumstances).

Also, I'm going to quibble and subdivide:
Silt Ponies, with their intuitive grasp of earthworks and flood management, are floodplain-adapted and very similar to Idyll Ponies except for their knowing in their very bones how to control what gets flooded and by how much. (Silt-Soils want to allow some seasonal flooding to reach their fields, because each year's silt renews or improves the soil's fertility.)
Earth Ponies adapted for swamps and bogs are called Peat Ponies, and they have the amazing immune systems you describe. They can tell stable ground from open bog or quaking woods at a glance, but don't have any use for anti-flooding measures: a healthy bog is virtually imperturbable. Peat-Soils can't do much to care for individual crops, so they plant things that the bog will take care of and care for the bog.

I chose this nit to pick because while silty soil might make it easier for a swamp or bog to get established, it will eventually happen anywhere the surrounding geography supports it. Once established, a bog completely conceals the nature of the underlying ground, and makes peat (or other partially-decayed plant matter) the ultimate fundament of all life within it. EDIT: this is in contrast with floodplains, which are completely defined by the river's yearly gift of silt.

3973796

As party ponies well know, all ponies are created synthetically. :pinkiecrazy:

I'll do you one step more meta: According to the premise of this story, all worlds are artificial. :trollestia:

Ha, silly party pony you aren't sikicon, you're quartz because of LCD screens.

4010584 Honestly, depending on the variety of quartz the answer includes a wide variety of metals, minerals, and even temperature variations of those same components.

4010751
Yes, but it's still all silicon dioxide to one degree or another, is it not?

4010754 Huh, you're right. Thought it was sodium based, my bad. So either way silicon works.

Just found this, good work.

My most recent headcanon on Earth Pony magic (I've had a few) is that it's some form of probability manipulation. They can increase the likelihood that their tree will grow up big and strong, or that their building will stay up, or that gems will form in their rocks, simply by lowering the chances that it doesn't happen. The Pie family's abilities (and Cheese Sandwich for that matter) could then be taken as the logical extreme of this: manipulating probability on a quantum level (offscreen teleportation), and subconsciously making things likely to happen after a certain trigger (Pinkie/Maud sense).

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