Machaon Picture

So I saw *Lily-Pad-Stables's Lepidoptequine breed, and after spending a few millennia browsing through the amazing pictorial butterfly list (go to the location, then identification guide) she linked to, I kinda had to make one really. |D (Actually I want to make allllll the flutterbyes, but I don't think I could conscience any more bright ones for Horsepoint. xD Perhaps I should make some adoptables to relieve the urge, if that's allowed.) And then once I decided what breed-build he was going to be I really did have to reference the wonderful Groningen painting by Otto Eerelman, and then I had to make a background in a sort of classical painting palette. So it is a bit sideways-pony, but I reeeeeaally wanted to try out the style (with lineart? wtf) and I've been doing a lot of ponies-flinging-themselves-at-improbable-angles recently (though...they're not up yet...), so nyaa. Pardon my hooves being a bit big. ^^' Background was great fun to do until I'd done about 1/8th of the grass. Then it was just wrist-numbing. |D But I like how it came out! AND NOW I MUST GO TO BED, JESUS. HAVE TO WAKE UP TOMORROW.

He has of course been named after Machaon, son of Asclepius and namesake of the Old World Swallowtail's Latin name, who was a doctor/medic/surgeon in Greek mythology in the Trojan War (and apparently led an army with his bro).

(HP) Machaon

Nickname: Mach ("ch" as in loch)
Sex: Stallion
Height: 16.1hh
Breed: Lepidoptequine (*Lily-Pad-Stables) (Groningen build)
Colour Phenotype: Old World Swallowtail (Yellow base, black lines and crescents with two long "tails" reaching down back of quarters to front of hocks, blue crescents on hindquarters, two large red-blue crescents on flanks; white mane, tail and hooves, yellow eyes; membrane pattern over body. Markings as shown.)
Other Markings: White mane, tail and hooves
Notes: Docked tail
-Major: Driving, halter, endurance
-Minor: Mountain rescue, dressage, cross country
Breeding: Yes (See breeding rules)

Info: Machaon is a born medic's horse. He's steady as a rock, mild-mannered and careful with his hooves, and isn't fazed by the noise of the battlefield. His fair size and solid build are a natural deterrant to enemy infantry, but his instincts run far more to protection than fighting, and he's more likely to back away from a threat than engage with it. His colour makes him highly visible, immediately marking him as a non-combatant and enabling him to do mountain rescue work as well (though he's not as fond of the snow as a lot of the rest of the mountain rescue team). He also does driving, being carriage-horse-built, and is of course trained to pull a medical cart. His trot is stunning; his canter is a bit more like an efficient lollop.


"I didn't realise horses came in a high-vis variety," Rainer Littman murmured distractedly. "Does it have reflective stripes, too?"

Daels had led the boldly-coloured stallion up to where the doctor was doing physiotherapy paperwork in the sun while Hester exercised Khalilah in one of the rings, and waited there while Rainer had pretended not to notice him until the end of the last page. Now he smiled mischievously. "What do you think of him?"

Rainer finished the sentence he was writing and tore his eyes from his sheet to glance up and down the quiet horse's body. "Uh, I'm sure it's a fine beast," he said, and pulled a face. "Not really my area, Major. It looks, er, solid?" Solid was right. The horse looked to all intents and purposes like a Groningen - all solid planes and muscle and bone, with a workmanlike head and powerful quarters. The only difference was the fact that it was yellow and black and white and blue and red rather than say, bay. Said horse put its nose down, whiffling gently at the new person before it. Rainer stroked the soft muzzle a little ruefully. "Yes, yes, you're very nice, but you're another warhorse, aren't you?" he murmured.

Daels huffed exasperatedly. "Give it a rest, Rai," he said. "It's just a damn horse, you can't say this one is offending your pacifist sensibilities, for heaven's sake."

Rainer snapped a glare around at him. "Gods take you and your stupid wars. And your need to drag innocent animals along with you."


Hester glanced round as the voices of her fellows rose. She let Khalilah walk out on a long rein, cooling her down after their training session. The warmare had been perfectly responsive, as usual, rising to the challenge of taking up her ancestors' mantle of battle with aplomb, and though it was a little odd working backwards - having to introduce a horse to saddle and bridle work rather than to bareback work - it was going undeniably well. Undeniably except, perhaps, to Rainer Littman. The doctor had a long-standing disagreement with war from basic principles, like many in the medical profession; but unlike most of the medics she knew, it bothered him enough that he had in turn a long-standing disagreement with one Major Callum Daels, who it seemed was one of the few people who didn't either agree, humour him or refrain from comment. Under normal conditions, they generally avoided each other. But with the transfer to Horsepoint, Rainer had been shovelled along for the ride to be in charge of their collective recovery. Whether that had been the Colonel's idea of a joke or an opportunity, Hester wasn't sure. They'd mostly managed to keep it civil, but a few moments had been unavoidable. Daels's caustic comment that if Rainer rolled his eyes every time he saw a warhorse he wouldn't be able to see to do his job had been met with an equally venomous barb about the likely relationship between going back to war and what remained of Daels's sight; when Rainer had noted that without treatment from him they wouldn't be able to go back to war - though he would do it anyway - Daels had snarled that the wars he fought had kept Rainer alive - but he fought them anyway.

As far as she could tell, the current argument was going over very old ground.

"If you hate them so much why do you hang around?" Daels's arms were crossed, his shoulders stiff and his jaw tight. Neither of them had ever made a secret of it; Rainer all but had his hackles up, his lips snarling.

"In case you hadn't noticed, wars provide a distinct abundance of people lacking in immediate health," he retorted. "And you don't exactly help that fact."

That hit a very specific nerve. Daels made an abortive, furious motion towards Rainer, stopping himself before his fist rose more than half a foot. "I try, at least," he growled with an mirthless laugh. "I could bring back Gen-"

"Don't flatter yourself," Rainer said, cutting him off with a disgusted look. "It's still "Major" before your name, isn't it. Not "Mister" or "Doctor"."

Throughout all this, the horse had stood quietly by, shining gold in the sun. It blinked placidly, glancing between the two combatants, and rested one white hoof.

"When they come for you in the night, then, shall I leave your defence to the Misters and the Doctors?" Daels spat. "Better still, everyone else's, too?" Rainer opened his mouth, an equally snide reply most likely on his lips, but it died as Daels threw the leadrope unceremoniously at him and, surprised, he only just caught it. "He's for you," Daels muttered. "You lot." He gestured vaguely, irritation turning it into a sharp jerk of the hand that meant you medics. "He doesn't fight, doesn't startle, stands out like a red cross and protects his charges with every drop of blood in him."

Rainer stared at Daels, searching the major's face as if for an answer.

"He's the perfect not-warhorse," Daels finished, and turned on his heel, striding off to the fields.

Hester led Khalilah out of the ring to the sight of Rainer standing there, staring dumbstruck after Daels, the leadrope hanging loosely from his hand. At the end of it, the bright stallion regarded him calmly from soft golden eyes. Rainer glanced at the beast, then back at the direction Daels had gone in, and sighed. "Thank you," he muttered to the empty air, and raised a gentle hand to the horse's neck. When he saw her out of the corner of his eye, though, he straightened stiffly and tugged the horse behind him towards the stables.


When she found Daels again, she leant against the rail of the ring and didn't flinch as Howitzer thundered past her in extended trot, firmly on the bit and happy not to be doing any of this recent pansy collecting business. They circled at the end, and Daels brought him up next to the fence. Immediately the mongrel relaxed, un-arching his neck and slouching, pulling a face as he did so. Daels meanwhile scowled down at her, but it wasn't at her per se; more that it had simply probably been his expression for the past twenty minutes. She held his gaze impassively for a moment, then nodded.

"He took him to a stable," she said. He grunted, turning to glare at the other end of the ring. She watched him for another moment. "He'd show up all the brass, you know, on that horse," she commented, relaxed but watching his expression closely. He dropped his eyes from trying to sear a hole through the arena gate, and gave the smallest of nods.

"Good," he muttered. When she raised her eyebrows at that, he shot her a flat look. "I didn't say that." Hester held up her hands in mock surrender as he urged Howitzer straight back into trot.

"He'll never know," she said to the dust.

Image © to me (=apocalypsebunny)
Lepidoptequines © *Lily-Pad-Stables
Continue Reading: Asclepius