A quick overview of the Sky Cowboys world from the perspective of the people who live there:
Chasms cut across the landscape, breaking the surface into “land islands” of all sizes. They range from a scant few hundred feet across to hundreds of miles wide. No one knows how deep the chasms are. The floors (if they have floors) are shrouded by mist, and everyone who’s ever ventured below the mist has never returned.
Only creatures with the power of flight can cross the chasms. Many animals evolved some sort of flight mechanism or adapted to live in the sky. Those that did not remain isolated and further adapted for their highly specific ecosystem.
The people of the world often live in humble dwellings made of timber or brick. The general technology level is that of the 1700′s of our world: steam, coal, iron, some steel. Pegasus feathers have also become a useful commodity due to their lightweight but sturdy properties.
Mankind tamed the pegasus so they could cross the chasms. Those who fly pegasi are called “pilots”. Pilots herd other creatures and carry goods/messages across the chasms. They are the center of trading between the “islands”. It’s considered a dangerous job. Most pilots are courageous, rough, wild, daring, and highly talented. They consist of both men and women.
Over the years, pilots and craftsmen have developed specific gear and specialized saddles with which to ride pegasi. Most saddles are narrow in front to rest between the pegasus’ wings with a high cantle in the back. The pilot’s knees rest on the base of the wings (they look like how a jockey sits on a racehorse). Heel slings strap around the heel of the boot to hold the foot in place. Most of the pilots weight in flight rests on the strap, rather than on the wings. Pilots don’t often use bridles. They rely on voice and leg commands to steer their pegasus.
As for the pegasi themselves, there are 3 main species:
The Broadwing Peagsus is the workhorse (har har) of the world. Most pilots ride these. Found all over the world, they’re sturdy, reliable, and robust. They’re based on quarter horses and mustangs or similar breeds. Their wings are comparable to eagle, owl, kite, and hawk wings. Broadwings are technically omnivores, though the vast majority of their diet is vegetarian. They are not considered predatory, and travel in flocks up to 50 strong. Like horses in our world, there is a clear herd hierarchy with a boss mare and protecting stallion.
The Longwing Pegasus is a coastal breed. They live largely solitary lives and roost/live on the cliff sides of the oceans. Based on lighter horse breeds like Akhal Tekes, Warmbloods, and Thoroughbreds, they are a bit more fragile but have more stamina than broadwings. They tend to be energetic, flighty, highly intelligent. Their wings are similar to gulls, albatross, and terns. They eat mostly fish by skimming the tops of the waves, or diving down into the water.
The Shortwing Pegasus is the draft horse of the world. They are generally flightless unless aided by intense winds. They’re steady, slow, and flashy. Based on songbirds, pheasants, ducks, and peacocks, they’re quite colorful. Often used for heavy farm work, or hauling over land. They eat seeds, nuts, and grasses. Untamed they also travel in flocks, but tend to keep nearby forests for the safety of tree cover from flying predators.
Things I want to explore are pegasus competitions, the floors of the chasms, the coastal regions, towns in general, and clothing (flight and day clothes)
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