Tempora mutantur

by Tallow and Port

Cutie marks

Fluttershy sat on one of the many spires of her parents castle engaging in a simply delightful conversation with a sparrow.

“Oh, and did your friend see the flowers again?” She gasped in anticipation, it may just be a casual conversation, but sometimes simple things were the best things.

The bird chirped an affirmation ‘yep! Even managed to carry one home for the missus this time, said she looked the happiest he’d seen her since their first egg hatched.’

“How wonderful! I hope they stay that happy, please send them my regards If that’s ok with you?” The princess asked.

‘Certainly! I’ll just be off then, a pleasant time talking to you like always, dear fluttershy!’ The sparrow chirped happily before flitting off.

She smiled, it was so nice to have a regular conversation for once, without anyone pestering her to continue royal studies or sign paperwork...

The yellow Alicorn was content.

Until she heard a scream.

Her head shot up, ears pricked forward and stiff as she listened for further disturbances.

They started twitching as another equine squeal sounded down in the streets of the kingdom.

“What in Equestria could be happening down there?” She murmured before shaking her head defiantly “no, no, the guards will handle it.”

Another voice joined the first with a loud snort, presumably just spotting something new and more troublesome approaching; or, at least, that’s what Fluttershy decided to presume after hearing the original screamer change tactics and release the bellowing roar of warning only an equine could ever hope to release.

Fluttershys tail was clamped down between her legs, but she still found herself subconsciously leaping down towards the source of distress.

She gasped when she got close enough to see what was happening, snapping open her wings to descend into a hover over the heads of the four adults and two fillies.

A sooty blond stallion with a dusky purple mane with some mean pink eyes was snarling at a slightly shorter male of dusty red with a salt and pepper mane and green eyes standing over the two fillies.

The other two were a pair of fighting mares, reared up on hind legs and biting at each other near instinctively; both seemingly half blind with some kind of rage.

One mare, with a washed out pink coat and white mane, managed to snag a chunk of the others red mane only to let go after receiving a caramel brown hoof to the jaw.

The two fillies, one mint green with a pink mane and the other orange with a purple mane, huddled closer together as the blonde stallion reared at their protector.

Fluttershy saw red.

Her horn fizzled with silver light and a flash blinded all present for a few seconds.

Next thing anyone knew, she was standing in front of the protector of the fillies and the attacking stallion was frozen with an expression of tranquility on his muzzle before he slowly started dispersing into a cloud of yellow and purple butterflies.

And the two mares on the side were reduced to just one as pink and white butterflies also dispersed from the scene.

“T... thank you, your highness...” the stallion behind her uttered.

The Alicorn smiled serenely and waved it off “it was no trouble at all, sir, but I really should be off now. Good day!”



Oh, what had she just done?! She thought as she basically crash landed back onto the rooftops.

It was nice that she’d saved those fillies, but why had she done it? Why couldn’t she have let the guards get there first?

Oh, who was she kidding? she just hadn’t been able to stand by!

“Oooo, the NERVE of those ponies... wait, what did I DO to those ponies?!,” she gasped “I hope I didn’t kill them! No, no fluttershy, they looked pretty happy when they started turning into butterflies, it was probably something harmless... maybe?”

She felt a tingling against her flanks and looked back.

An ascending swirl of soft, pastel coloured butterflies looked to be her cutie mark this time around.

There was the sound of a gentle breeze and faint wind chimes behind her and she turned her head the other way, only to get a snout full of ethereal undulating pink hair with the vague shadows of butterflies fluttering through it.

It appeared that she had just received her cutie mark and magic mane.

And with that, she promptly fainted.


Rarity was pretty happy with her life as a princess; the fashion, though very old, worked surprisingly well with her new appearance.

And she could hardly wait until she was as tall as her parents, everything looked better on tall figures, more space to add more decoration and not as squashed together.

And by Celestia if being an Alicorn didn’t grow her gem finding abilities to astonishing heights! She could practically see every single precious stone in the entire kingdom with how strongly they resonated with her magic.

She sighed, brushing her hair thoughtfully as she stared out into the sandy bush covered landscape around the kingdom.

She wondered how long it would take for Equestria to come into existence, she missed the place, and Sweetie Belle... Oh, she felt bad for saying it, but she hoped this back in time business had erased any trace of their future, she couldn’t bear the thought that Sweetie Belle was currently all alone and wondering where she’d gone back in the present, so to speak.

One ear pointed forward and the other backwards as she slumped to the floor, wings fanning out on either side of her, resting across plush pillows as she relaxed.

How was she going to get her cutie mark? A thought she’d been dwelling on since she became aware of Fire Steams crowning, she couldn’t let a sixteen year old beat her like that! And also a thought that had been bugging her ever since Fluttershy rose to queen hood, too.

She could raid the royal dressmakers closet? No, no that wouldn’t work.

She could make some dresses? No, too plain...

Oh... OH! She could go out and retrieve the rarest gem she could find!

“Right, off we go then!” She announced before flying right out the window, feathers shimmering in the sunlight.


The cool afternoon air slipped past Rainbow Dash like liquid silk as she gently glided far above the palace rooftops.

The setting sun casting the ground beneath her in glowing shades of burnt orange, amber and gold.

The sky above her ranging from gold to purple to navy blue speckled with stars.

She smiled, flying always gave her a sense of freedom, as if she didn’t have any problems in the world.

Which was an especially nice feeling when you’d just pulled off a stunt like that and earned your cutie mark; thus making you a queen.

Of course, she’d had a suspicion that if she pulled it off, she’d get a cutie mark, but she’d wanted to preform one too much to resist.

She frowned in equal parts disappointment and satisfaction at the rippling circles of a sonic rainboom that now rested on her flanks, brushing a strand of her ethereal rainbow mane that was now literally made out of a rainbow, water particles and all.

An air current caught under her wings and she adjusted herself accordingly, now facing towards the mountains that belonged to Fire Steam and now where her new kingdom resided.

She couldn’t place it, but there was something... off about that kingdom of the new queens; It exuded a slowly growing sense of wrongness with each passing day.

But, Fire seemed like an ok mare, so she didn’t give it much thought, especially when she spotted Rarity winging her way back to the castle carrying a giant red diamond in her front legs and wearing the biggest smile she’d ever seen her wear.

Ignoring her flashback to when she was about to catch that criminal with a red diamond, she made a smooth dive down to fly alongside her sister.

She noticed the mane and tail first, as both were billowing out and ethereal with shards of diamond and the shadow of needles threading through the air visible in its wavy depths.

And then the cutie mark, which was the depiction of a very intricately carved red diamond.

“Hey, Rares, looks like your a queen now!” Dash observed.

The white queen then decided to hug her.


Applejack and Pinkie Pie were making pies, simple as that.

Pinkie was working with the doe and AJ was preparing the sweet apple filling.

“I’ve figured out my destiny, it’s to be an apple farmer and be as honest as possible” Applejack droned.


Nothing happened.

She sighed heavily “welp, so much fer that plan, got any ideas, Pinkie?”


The orange pony frowned in disappointment “how are we gunna get our marks? Ah’ve already lost mah bet with RD, but this is gettin’ ridiculous.”

“Oh, c’mon silly, you don’t HAVE to do something extravagant to get your cutie mark, ya just gotta realise what your destiny is and sometimes preform said destiny,” Pinkie reasoned “soooo, we just gotta think in queeny terms! What was your destiny before hand and how can you apply said past destiny to the role of a queen?”

Applejack stared at Pinkie “that was the most understandable thing ah’ve ever heard ya say, sugar cube.”

She put a hoof to her snout “hm, how would I incorporate the cutie mark of an honest apple farmer into the role of a queen? Add an orchard to the palace grounds?” She shook her head “no, no... wait a diddly darn second! Honesty! How does that sound, Pinkie? Queen of honesty!”

“It looks like it works!” The pink mare replied with a giggle and pointed down.

AJs flanks now possessed the images of three golden apples, her hair becoming ethereal and if she listened closely, she could hear it whispering small truths.

“Hey, what do you think mine will be?” Pinkie asked excitedly.

“Pinkie, you’ve already got yours, remember? It appeared last week when you threw that orphan a ‘congrats on getting adopted’ party?” The other mare rolled her eyes in amusement.

Pinkie Pie giggled as her ethereal mane tickled her neck, tiny balloons ascending from its depths and popping once they breached the surface; looking down at her mark, a ballon twisted into the shape of an ancient pony rune that stood for celebration.


Twilight frowned as she looked up at the vast night sky, following the patterns in the stars as she thought about everything.

Magic was a complex power, it disobeyed every fibre of reason and rhyme, but also WERE said reasons and rhymes at the same time.

It thrummed through the very pillars of existence and nonexistence.

She sighed; dark magic wasn’t so much a thing that existed... but more of a thing that didn’t want to be done.

It was like trying to use a cloud walking spell to stand on lava, it wasn’t designed to do that, but you force it into the position anyway.

You could’ve invented a spell to achieve what you wished for, but instead you tried to use an already made spell instead. That’s where dark magic came from, because if you used it the wrong way, it would fulfil your desire in a terrible way.

As an Alicorn, she didn’t really get tired or need to drink or eat and such, but she found it comforting; she yawned and stretched out her wings before pushing off from the balcony and gliding smoothly through the cold air.

Batting her ethereal mane filled with galaxies, nebulas and stars out of her eyes as she passed over the kingdom, cutie mark of a shimmering golden version of her original hexagram like star and sparkling silver smaller stars and backdrop.

She decided she might actually be ready to take a throne this time.