Due to the high magical fields encountered with repeat trips through the portals of The Portal Exchange, a sturdier, calmer creature was required to open Portal Travel for use with carts and wagons. This breeding project led to the development of the Portal Horse, an unshakeable muscular horse comfortable in areas of dense magic. These horses are available for rent to any individual utilizing the Portal Exchange. While research is ongoing to replace the need for horses with some magical means of pushing or pulling carts or wagons, thus far the Portal Horse is considered the only option. Movement spells tend to react unpredictably once their target enters a portal, with even levitation spells frequently causing heavy damage due to fluctuations in the field within the portal. Portal Horses are considered reliable and safe and are therefore the only permitted locomotion method when bringing wagons and other vehicles through the Exchange.
The Portal Horse is shorter, stocker, and more muscular than its domesticated horse cousin. They have strong, arched necks with sturdy legs and are capable of pulling or carrying more than their smaller stature would suggest. They are remarkably agile and readily adapt to the task at hand.
Ecology and Habitats
Dietary Needs and Habits
Just like their Domesticated Horse brethren, portal horses are herbivores, preferring grass when available and hay and haylage during the cold seasons. They also benefit from the occasional fruit or vegetable, while hardworking portal horses will require additional calories from grains to maintain a safe weight. When left to graze they will eat many small meals throughout most of the day. When stabled they should be fed at least four times a day, with meals spread relatively evenly throughout the day and night. Portal Horses also require ready access to fresh water. They benefit from salt licks, especially during the hot seasons, to help stay hydrated.
The Portal Horse is carefully bred for a placid temperment and durable physical characteristics. These traits are necessary for repeat Portal Travel due to the potential effects of the high magical fields encountered in the process. The lifespan of a Portal Horse tends to be shorter than their Domesticated Horse cousins, although whether this is a trait of the breed itself or a result of the repeat Portal Travel is a matter open for debate. A Portal Horse is typically smaller and stockier than a Domesticated Horse.
Uses, Products & Exploitation
Portal Horses are tasked with transporting vehicles through The Portal Exchange at Rol'na. The more common Domesticated Horses would typically become spooked after a portal or two and so it became necessary to develop a sturdier breed for the trip.
Geographic Origin and Distribution
Portal Horses are found almost exclusively on the plane of Rol'na, where they are bred for use pulling carts at the Portal Exchange. They are also a common site around portals to the Exchange for this very reason. The horses are highly cherished among the Rol'nara, meaning those in possession of a portal horse outside of Rol'na or the Exchange are guaranteed to attract attention.
Perception and Sensory Capabilities
Horses are most notable for their natural attunement to Metamagic, particularly the ability to sense magic usage. They also possess a minor form of Telepathy, allowing them to sense intent and shielding them from any unwelcome telepathic intrusions. This is why most horses can sense magical attacks prior to their casting, as they can feel the caster performing the needed steps prior to the magic's manifestation. Horses can be trained not to spook in the use of magic is they form a bond with their rider, but the standard unease around Portal Travel necessitated the breeding of Portal Horses for more reliable equestrian-assisted portal trips. Portal Horses retain the basic metamagical and telepathic magical attunements of the domesticated horse but with a much calmer disposition towards magic usage.
- Genetic Ancestor(s)
- Scientific Name
- Equus ferus rolnara
- 20 to 30 years
- Average Height
- 3 ft 6 in to 5 ft
- Average Weight
- 800 lbs to 1,200 lbs
- Average Length
- 5 ft to 7 ft
- Body Tint, Colouring and Marking
- These horses tend to have slightly brighter colors or interesting patterns in their markings due to their very frequent contact with the magic field within portals, a result of Portal Marks, a manifestation of the Third Law of Magic. Experimentation has shown the greatest impact is due to exposure to the portal magical fields during the early stages of pregnancy of the mare. Mares who did not make any portal trips during pregnancy, especially during the first two months, birthed foals with markings and colorings similar to that of Domesticated Horses, although many of these planer Portal Horses did develop more fantastical markings much later in their portal traveling careers. The more portal trips undertaken by the mare during pregnancy, the more fantastical the coloring and markings of the foal upon birth.