THE MAERQUIS DARKHORSE, COMPANION OF POLMAEN

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING - MYTH/LORE

The Maerquis is a mythical creature, a winged horse, that is always associated with the High God of the Dark Polmaen predominant at the continent Aeruillin, as it is the companion that was created for him by Arkon, God of Creation. The Maerquis was created to aid the god in his eternal struggle against the dark. Though Polmaen has power over the Dark, he is not evil and is responsible for dealing with the evil forces of Caelereth. The winged horse was born of the night, and only a creature such as he could truly fight the forces of evil. The name "Maerquis" derives from "Maer", which means "dark" in Tharian and "Quis", being derived from "Equis", which means "horse". The literal translation is therefore "Darkhorse" or "Horse of the Dark".

The Maerquis Darkhorse
View picture in full size Image description. The winged horse of Polmaen, the Maequis Darkhorse, as seen on a morual in the city of Dion. Picture drawn by Losmios (Mia Bengtsson), used with friendly permission.

Appearance. The Maerquis has been depicted in murals throughout the continent of Aeruillin, most often within the humble shrines of Polmaen. One such mural in the city of Dion portrays the winged horse in midflight as the Lord Over the Dark weeps nearby. The horse's metallic hide lacks any kind of fur and seems to have been carved of obsidian. A scaled serpentine tail stretches behind its muscled rump and appears as though it could squeeze the life out of a man. Instead of a mane of fur, several razor sharp spikes protrude from the creature's neck and head. A baleful karikrimson eye glares from each side of its head, and within its eyes there is a hatred for all creatures of evil. Instead of hooves, each leg ends in a talon with sharp claws that could easily pierce the hide of any beast. Possibly the most notable aspect of the winged horse is its wings. They extend well beyond the body of the creature and appear to be formed from the shadows themselves. Each wing is the colour of midnight with sinuous grey veins and they are supported by thick nor'sidian bones. This creature truly is the stuff of nightmares, though its intentions are good. Return to the top

Special Abilities. The most astounding special ability recorded in Aeoliran lore has to do with the creature's eyes. It is widely believed that the karikrimson eyes judge the souls of those that dare to look within those dire orbs. A mortal is judged upon his or her past sins, and the souls of the guilty are torn from their corporeal forms and forever doomed to roam the world of Caelereth. It has been said that the wailing of these forsaken souls can be heard on the darkest night when neither the moon nor the stars can pierce the overcast sky.

Another ability of the winged horse has to do with its wings. The wings are said to be made of shadows and will never tire as long as no light shines upon them. The wings will forvever bear the Maerquis through the night sky as it hunts all demons and their ilk.

A third ability deals with the metallic hide of the creature. It is widely believed that no weapon forged by a mortal can pierce the thick hide. Even the famed dwarven weapons are said to shatter when they strike such a creature. The obsidian hide is forged from the earth itself, and as such it has the endurance to outlast all things mortal. Ancient lore even maintains that fire has no effect upon the creature, and nothing upon the world of Caelereth has the ability to harm it.
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Territory. The Maerquis resides in Asharvéa, the home of the Aeoliran Gods, and forever remains at the side of Polmaen. Many people have claimed to have seen baleful karikrimson eyes as they went about their business during the night. Those who make such a claim are often silenced as they are questioned about what kind of business they had in the middle of the night. Such sightings have always occured upon the continent of Aeruillin, and most Santharians consider such sightings to be wild fancies from people that have spent too much time in the sun.
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Habitat/Behaviour. The Maerquis is a merciless creature that only displays loyalty to the Tormented One, as Polmaen is called. Only the pure of heart can truly claim safety from the winged horse, for it has an intense hatred for evil in any form. The mythical creature delights in fighting evil creatures, and demons such as the chasm demon are often depicted as its foes. According to ancient lore, the Maerquis never shies from a battle and will fight until not a single drop of blood remains in the corpse of its opponent. It has been depicted in several murals as it fought alongside the High God of the Dark against demons and other creatures of a foul nature.
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Diet. According to ancient lore, the Maerquis feeds upon the essence of darkness itself. Many people have claimed to have seen a dark form as it flew across the moon. They claimed that the creature drew darkness unto itself and only a dark blot upon the face of the moon could be seen.

Rumors circulating among the Aeoliran people state that the Maerquis feeds upon demonic blood. It is widely believed by those that fear the mythical beast that after each battle the winged horse will drink the blood that flows as a karikrimson river upon the battlefield. They claim that the Maerquis will only feed upon demonic blood and will not even taste that of mortals.
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Mating. It is said that the Maerquis is an immortal creature that cannot be killed by mundane weapons. Only one Maerquis has ever existed in myth or in the world of Caelereth. The flow of time does not affect this companion of the dark, and it will forever fly through the night sky.
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Myth/Lore. The most well known myth in existence concerning the winged horse tells of the creation of the Maerquis. It is widely believed that Arkon, the God of Creation, took pity upon Polmaen as he wept for the dark that would always pervade the world of Caelereth. Arkon formed a horse from one of his tears as it splashed to the ground below, and the God of Passion, as Arkon is called, formed wings from the shadows that fled from the light of day. He combined the sorrow of Polmaen with the dark and thus was the Maerquis born. Arkon held the fire that burned deep within the earth in his hands, and he breathed this eternal inferno into the soul of the creature. The hide was formed from black obsidian, and the Maerquis was gifted with the strength of the dark. The winged horse was created from the sorrow of the Redeemer, another name for Polmaen, and it is his faithful companion as he eternally struggles against the dark.

The Maerquis was born in the sky with wings perfect for flight alongside its twin of the light, the Avéquis. The light of Nakashi, wife to Polmaen, pervades the essence of the Avéquis, and it is her light that forever attempts to overcome the dark. Though each winged horse is a distinct contrast to its twin, each one struggles against the dark alongside their god or goddess. A poem composed by the infamous Aeoliran prophet, Kane the Insane, describes the creation of the Maerquis and only this passage survives to the present day.

"Tears flowed from the Tormented One
as he wept for what might have been.
Creation himself took pity
upon another of his kin.

Arkon caught a tear in his widespread palm
as the water splashed toward the forsaken earth.
The sorrow of another pervaded his soul
and he created a companion to protect home and hearth.

Baleful red eyes gleamed
as a terrifying warcry corrupted the silence of the night.
This fiery spirit would never die
and only the wicked should fear his vicious bite."

--"Divine Sorrow" (Kane the Insane)
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