Bat ponies are one of the races on Neighvada Nights.
The original bat ponies are the blessed of Princess Luna. Before her corruption into Nightmare Moon, bat ponies were carefully selected by Luna and bestowed changes that made them more likely to accept the night as their normal waking hours. Slit eyes, darker colors and softer coats made bat ponies perfect for working and living at night, and originally were made specifically to serve as the Royal Guard for Luna.
With Luna's banishment to the moon for a thousand years, bat pony Royal Guards fell out of use. Bat ponies, with their nocturnal schedules and, for the most part, inability to function during the day, retreated to small colonies on the outskirts of the major cities. They banded together and formed their own small towns that worked on a nocturnal schedule. Many bat ponies found work in mining. Where other ponies found mining troublesome, bat ponies thrived thanks to their night vision and preference for dark places, shielded from the sun underground.
The largest of these towns is Nightveil, a small mining colony to the north of Las Haygas. Nightveil is just outside of the San Palmino Desert that Haygas is nestled into, and has long, snaking paths through the ground used to dig up minerals and gems of all different types. The majority of the city is underground, though there are buildings above the mines to mesh with other ponies from the outside.
Recently, bat ponies have determined that Haygas isn't so bad! The lights might be bright, but the hustle and bustle of the city really picks up after dark, and all hours of the night typically have some kind of action - even for a bat pony. The exotic nature of their physiology has also opened up several positions for them in the casinos and clubs, and many jumped at the chance to have a job other than mining.
The bat ponies in Haygas can be from anywhere, though it is recommend that they be from Nightveil for simplicity's sake.
Bat ponies are most similar to pegasus. Height and weight are similar to the typical pegasus pony - but where a pegasus has a bunch of feathers making up their wings, bat ponies instead have dark, almost black, leathery skin that is pulled taut over the bone structure. Functionally, these wings work the same way, with the exception of not needing intensive preening to stay clean and waterproof.
Bat ponies tend to have a more 'fluffy' appearance thanks to the growth of a thicker coat. Ears are tufted, with little bunches of thick fur off the edges, and it isn't uncommon to see a little fluff of coat along their chests, when exposed, as well. They aren't furry in the typical sense, but they're clearly a little more fuzzy than your regular pony.
Their pupils are slits, more similar to a feline eye than any kind of equine.
While regular ponies have a variance in color, ranging from the darkest blacks to the brightest pinks, and every color in between, bat ponies have much more mundane coats. Almost always, a bat pony will be dark gray, purple or blue in color, sometimes even solid black. Rarely, their coat will grow as a lighter blue, but a bat pony is never with a vibrant coat unless bleached and dyed. Manes and tails are similar, but frequently manifest as lighter shades.
Bat ponies are sometimes born with a pair of small, sharp, fangs. Notably, fanged bat ponies seem to be able to eat and digest both blood and meat with no side-effects, unlike their herbivorous kin. It is unknown what causes this, though it seems to be genetic - fanged bat ponies can give birth to non-fanged and the opposite is also true. For the most part, it just seems plain random.
Bat ponies are frequently nocturnal, and will naturally gravitate towards sleeping during the day and waking at nightfall unless they force themselves to keep a diurnal schedule. This is for many reasons - the biggest of which being that bright lights hurt their eyes, and being out in the bright sun for extended periods will cause pain and headaches, as well as severely limiting their eyesight.
Bat ponies can land on and shape clouds as if they were solid, but cannot manipulate or create weather.
- Night vision.
Bat ponies have superb night vision. While a regular pony will be blinded in near darkness, a bat pony can still see just fine. Bat ponies are not affected by darkness. This has a drawback, however: daylight is searing to a bat pony's eyes, and extended periods will result in headaches, pain and blindness.
Because of their colors and natural preference to be nocturnal, bat ponies are good at being stealthy. This does not mean that you are free to god-mod your way into sneaky situations, but it does mean that from a roleplay perspective, you are generally better at hiding than regular ponies. It's a lot easier to sneak about as a dark blue pony than a bright pink.
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