• Member Since 14th Jun, 2012
  • offline last seen July 20th

Feo Takahari

Mainly an editor. Currently working for Rakni.


Author's note: this story is still undergoing occasional editing as I figure out what the hay I'm doing. Some scenes may be added, modified, or removed.

Two months ago, a changeling posing as Rainbow Dash tried to abduct Twilight. Nopony was hurt, but Twilight became a bit paranoid--how could she make sure something like that wouldn't happen again? The best thing she could think of was to invent a spell, empowered with her full might as princess, that would forcibly remove the disguise of any changeling in the vicinity.

It's testing day, and Ponyville's about to get twenty percent buggier . . .

AU taking place between seasons 3 and 4. Trigger warning for one scene of implied dubcon.

Chapters (6)
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Comments ( 385 )

4757628 I'm still figuring out exactly what I want to do with her. I meant her to just be an exposition character, but she's becoming way deadpan to waste like that. (It's like if Maud Pie was bitter and hated her family.)

4757646 he follows twi around in this mess making witty quips


Five hundred years ago, there lived a changeling who called himself Margil Apple.

a fifth of the ponies in Ponyville have a blood connection to him

Ponyville's about to get twenty percent buggier

Actually, Ponyville will probably get one hundred percent buggier. :twilightoops:

Be careful with the math here. 500 years is a few dozen or so generations, long enough in the past that this guy is probably the direct ancestor to millions (if not billions) of ponies. Certainly everyone in a small region or town like Ponyville is his direct descendant. Especially since the Apple family founded Ponyville.

4758250 I started a thread back in March about this exact subject--given the various factors at work in Ponyville, what percentage of ponies would reasonably have changeling genes? No one who answered had any idea, so I just went with 10%, then changed it to 20% a couple months later because it felt too low. I don't mind the correction, but I don't think I can really implement it at this point, as it would change a lot of the storyline.

(For what it's worth, not every descendant becomes a changeling. This will become a big deal once the Cakes get more involved in the plot.)

Edit: On second thought, I can genericize it a bit. Does that help any?

The apples are part changeling:pinkiegasp: what a twist

This is going to get out of hand quickly O_O

So you made one twin a Ling and not the other,4758398? The only way I can think of that working is that not all changeling decedents are revealed as such, only the ones that inherited shapeshifting. Bonus if Pinkie is one of the 'lings:pinkiecrazy: The science of genetics actually supports this, so feel free to have only some of the revealed decedents have emotion feeding. And that dark tag makes me think you already know this, and plan on a bunch of ponies die from not having working 'ling genes:fluttercry:

Well,4758483, he DID say that the common ancestor of all these pony-'lings used the Apple name:pinkie crazy:

This sounds interesting. Gonna watch.

Kinda like Delta Three, although she needs a nickname, like Deedee, or so my inner Pinkie Pie says. :pinkiecrazy:


4758398 Well, my point was that for historical figures, or basically anyone who lived more than just a few generations ago, it's almost impossible for only 20% of people to be their descendants. It's going to be either 0% (their line died out) or 100% (their line includes everyone).

Think of it this way. If 20% of the ponies in Ponyville are descended from Margil Apple, that means that only a single generation ago, that number was closer to 10%, and a generation before that the number was 5%, etc. (Of course, I'm ignoring pedigree collapse, but you get the idea.)

Actually, there's a relatively simple way to get around this problem for your story. Instead of Twilight's spell revealing anyone with changeling DNA (which, as far as I can tell, you actually don't say anything about genetics or DNA so far, only family lines), her spell should reveal anyone who expresses a phenotype associated with changeling attributes and behavior. In other words, any pony who secretly consumes love, or who can use green changeling magic, etc. Then you just have to explain why no one ever noticed these traits before. Maybe their abilities are too weak to affect everyday life, but the spell is sensitive enough to pick them up anyway. And not everyone expresses those traits, because changeling-ness is recessive.

I could see a pony having the changeling gene for emotional feeding quite easily. Perhaps after a few generations it dilutes down enough that the only sign of it is that the pony in question is more empathic. Those ponies would go on to probably be counselors, teachers, or doctors/nurses due to how good they are with other ponies. Maybe even more dilute to the point where they are just more sensitive to the mood of the room.

Though of course, you are not taking into account people moving to or away from Ponyville. Ok, maybe not enough to account for only 20%, but the numbers wouldn't necessarily be 100% or 0%.


Or it's the author's story and candy-colored horses in a candy fictional world where they have mammalian sex to have candy-colored babies, and God knows how much fanon on how same-sex couples magic up their own foals - does not have to follow human laws of genetic coordination and hereditary lines. Thus making it not a problem, and more of an opinion that likely should not have extended beyond the first indication of what your opinion on the subject happened to be.

Does the show ever specify when Ponyville was founded? Consider the following: Twilight said (s1e11) they've been doing the winter wrap up for "hundreds of years". If we take that literally, and she is talking specifically about Ponyville, the city is at least 200 years old. Interestingly, since Granny Smith is one of the city's founders (s2e12), she has to be older than that.

Got my attention, I'll bite. Need to be wary of the genetic bit. Ybj has a point but might have gone overboard on some parts.

...They didn't include Attila the Hun. And he's the person who pretty much has the biggest blood relation to everyone. Since, you know, he had quite a few children. Maybe had the record.


4759908 That's true, there might be some immigrants to Ponyville that aren't part of the Apple-changeling line. Twilight, for example. :twilightsmile: (And Spike, obviously. :moustache:)

4760234 My headcanon is that Twilight was exaggerating in Winter Wrap Up when she implied that Ponyville has existed for hundreds of years. It's probably closer to 100, around Granny's age. But that's just my interpretation.

By the way, I never meant to imply that this story is bad at all. On the contrary, this is a very interesting premise and I want to read more. I only bring up the genetics thing For Science!™, and because it's a pet peeve of mine.

4760366 I should also point out that we don't know for sure that pony years are the same length as ours.

I wasn't aware that this, which is mostly ponies not from Ponyville, was 100% of Ponyville's population:

Now, logically the above image isn't the entire Apple family. But that makes it worse - there are only four Ponyville natives in that picture. If that is the whole Apple family, that's a rather small number. If that's not the whole Apple family (like I said, it probably isn't), that's an even smaller number.

And if a pony is genetically removed enough to no longer be considered part of the Apple family, how, exactly, are they genetically close enough to be completely and utterly changeling? Are changeling genetics some kind of ultradominant nonsense that treats <10% like 100% for the purposes of physiology?

Time until Twilight does something incredibly stupid: one (1) chapter.

Looks interesting, I'll give it a shot and see where this goes.


FINALLY! I'm not the only one pointing that out for once! Granny is at least three hundred years old! I mean look at Canterlot in her flashback, the grandest and richest city in Equestria was a collection of... market-tents! It barely qualified as a castle town, let alone the capital city.

wonder just who else road the apple and has a bit of hidden heritage?

anyone thinking diamond tiara just has to have changeling genes or vinyl probable has more then a few as well?

This was the first thing I thought of when I read the description.


Whaddayamean "might be", there ARE tons of non-Apples in Ponyville, definitely. Any unicorn or pegasus sure is a non-Apple.

They don't have to be "completely changeling" to have changeling traits. But you know what... maybe they are not a different species! Maybe changelings are one of the lost pony tribes, like the crystal ponies, sea ponies, or flutter ponies (many fics make them corrupted flutter ponies).


Uh, don't horses always have mammalian sex?


4761413 What, you don't think any of Margil Apple's descendants ever "spread their genes" with any unicorns or pegasi? :trollestia:

4761672 uhm, mammalian sex doesn't really mean much here, heck I don't think there are words to describe the different ways different species have sex, so we will just say humanoid sex, so sex in bed.

Yes, but that changeling was not really an Apple.

Do you mean "dolphin style"? (An human-in-equestria fic used that meaning face-to-face sex, which is unusual and kinky to ponies, like "doggy style" is to humans.)

:ajbemused: "Not. A. Word."
Oh, come on. I'm jealous, honestly. Anyways, this was a cool story. 3/3 derps! :derpytongue2::derpytongue2::derpytongue2:


If 20% of the ponies in Ponyville are descended from Margil Apple, that means that only a single generation ago, that number was closer to 10%, and a generation before that the number was 5%, etc.

Not true. In fact, one generation ago, it could have been 30%. How? Think of it like this; How many of the Mane 6 are Ponyville natives? Maybe two; Applejack is and Rarity might be. Pinkie is from a rock farm in another town, Fluttershy and Rainbow are from Cloudsdale, and Twilight is from Canterlot. How many other ponies are from out of town? The Apple family may have founded the town, but countless families have moved in since. After 500 years of ponies coming and going, 20% is a very reasonable number.


4761945 In those 500 years of ponies coming and going, a huge number of them have interbred with other ponies in the places they've come from and gone to. And then those ponies have gone on to more places and interbred with those populations, etc, etc. This is the idea behind the "genetic bucket chain" in the video I posted in my first comment (4758250).

For example, let's say Margil Apple fathered a child in Canterlot (Ponyville didn't exist back then). That child then produced two more children, one of which moved to Las Pegasus. Those children produced four more children, and one moved to Manehatten. One of those children started a family with a pegasus, and their children moved to Cloudsdale. The family line has now spread extremely far in only a few generations, and it's certainly possible for Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy, and Twilight to be descended from this line, even though they aren't from Ponyville and have no idea of their family connections. And as for Pinkie Pie, well, there was a whole episode about her connection to the Apple family. :pinkiehappy:

So actually, it turns out that most of the ponies coming to and going from Ponyville are (unknowingly) distantly related to the Apples.

Now, that's not to say that necessarily everyone in Ponyville is a descendant of the original Margil Apple. The actual figure isn't 100%, but it has to be pretty damn high.

4762036 Thing is, in that time the changeling portion of their genome would be incredibly diluted.

UNLESS, changelings are breeding with ponies ALL THE TIME!!

And then everypony was a changeling... :facehoof:

I hope you keep updating, This is going to be good and I know it. I do like it so far.

4761413 They were Flutterponies who were freezing to death due to the fighting of the tribes bringing the windigoes and freezing Flutter Valley. The Flutterponies, being too weak to flee, were left to a frigid fate by the others.

In despair, their queen, Lacewing, the most beautiful of her kind, cried out in despair as more and more of her people fell from the sky and perished when they tried to escape the bitter gales. Her desperation to survive and lust for revenge against the selfish ponies who'd fled the ice age and left them to die were heard by a chaotic spirit looking for a way into the harmonious land.

As with many such demons, he needed an invitation. And the Flutterponies agreed quickly in return for their lives and the power to avenge themselves.

The wicked spirit gave them their desire: great powers unlike any other creature, the ability to mask themselves in any form, and devour the love from the ponies in revenge for being shown neither love nor pity from them.

Alas, there was a twist, a proviso, a quid pro quo as often there are when one makes deals with devils.

The spirit twisted their shapes into hideous forms, proclaiming that they would forever as their true shape bear the vision of what they'd become within, with holes penetrating every part of their bodies unless they learned to fill the hole they'd dug in their hearts.

Lacewing, upon beholding her grotesque new form, seemed to go mad as she cackled manically and anointed herself 'Chrysalis', the mechanism of transformation for their race.

And Discord was pleased.


Whaddayamean "might be", there ARE tons of non-Apples in Ponyville, definitely. Any unicorn or pegasus sure is a non-Apple.

Who's to say unicorns or pegasi have never married into the Apple family? Pony genetics are weird, just look at the Cakes.

4761413 There was a pegusus kid at the apple family reunion is think.

4762036 But there would also be a point where the bloodline becomes so diluted that those changeling genes don't matter anymore. It would only be because of ponies that share that bloodline coming together that the changeling traits manifest. So, yes, it is plausible that upwards of 70-80% of Ponyville is descended from Margil Apple, but only 20% have enough changeling DNA to manifest.


... That was the point, yes. I keep forgetting I should make things more clear for the lay when I'm telling someone they should stop being pushy and demanding.

The whole point can be consolidated thusly: It's a magical world of creatures who are notably different from both humans and our realistic equines. For all we know our knowledge of genetics and breeding has absolutely no meaning to them. Which means it is up to the author to decide what they want it to be, and therefore no one in the comments should be telling the author "such and such" had best be one way or the other.

Not only is it rude, it's closed-minded.

4759835 Congratulations! You have scientifically described why Sweetie Belle cannot use magic, you win a Scootaloo! :scootangel:if you want to be dark, it could be because Sweetie doesn't have any love to consume but we know that isn't true.

hook-kicking one crystal after another to knock them outwards

Rarity is a pirate now, and later Twilight says that she kicked the crystals inwards.

4763002 I'm grateful for your enthusiasm, but I don't have a problem with Ybj's posts. I don't think the story needs defending right now.

One other thing, something my mother always told me...

Ain't ain't a word, now ain't it?

Now to figure out why my phone knows it....

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