• Member Since 29th Feb, 2012
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Rokas


Stay awhile, and listen.

T

It was supposed to be a simple day of rest for Twilight Sparkle. No invasions to thwart, no demigods to battle, no world-shattering revelations to deal with, not even a friend's dilemma; just the simple pleasure of a warm, sunny day spent with books, books, and more books. Maybe a friend or two later, for spice.

Then a crazy changeling drops from the sky and complicates matters with his insanity. The worst thing with the situation? He's very polite about it. And then Lyra gets involved and it all hits the fan after that.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 62 )

What is this, i don't even...

so random, weird, and perfectly show quality that this should be part of the show because of how random it is.

I like it.:twilightsmile::facehoof::rainbowhuh::twilightsheepish::rainbowlaugh:

alacorn

Most times I've seen it spelled that way, it's referring to the 'stuff a unicorn horn is made of' definition. :rainbowhuh:

6006603
Yeah, Rokas adopted that particular spelling when he was writing his BattleTech crossover. One of the tanks in BT was already called the Alacorn and I think he stuck with that spelling because of his fondness for BT, then came up with the rationalization that since ala=wing and corn=horn in (Latin? Greek? One of the two…) that it made more sense anyway. (Don’t quote me on that, he may well have come to that line of reasoning before his fondness for BT could influence but it’s been a while since I read where he said it and my memory is fuzzy.)

Anyway, it did free up alicorn so he could use it to refer to what a unicorn’s horn is made of like it used to be before the fans redefined it.

D48

Well, that was amusing so far, although it has not had time to really get going yet so there is not much to say. About the only thing I have to say is that I would like to see Lyra get a decent role in this story because you write a wonderful wacky/goofy Lyra who would fit into your concept for this story very well. You can also play off the various "human gets turned into a changeling" stories by having her decide he is a human and hound him on that to confuse the hell out of him.

6006833 I don't remember what he said, but I know I use the spelling "alacorn" because BattleTech was the only reason I ever wrote the word before MLP so I stuck with the same spelling out of force of habit.

I've really enjoyed this first chapter! Thanks for writing this story. :twilightsmile:

Comment posted by Rokas deleted May 23rd, 2015

6006344 Basically, this:
pinkie.mylittlefacewhen.com/media/f/img/mlfw11203-1402342067586.gif

6006543
Thank ye. :pinkiehappy:

6006603
It's the other way around: "alicorn" is the material a unicorn's horn is (supposedly) made of. "Alacorn" is a portmanteau of "ala", the Latin prefix for "winged," and unicorn.

6006833
U wot m8?

6006975
Hmm, maybe. Lyra Heartstrings, GENTLEMARE ADVENTURER, could come in handy here.

6007251
Thank you. :twilightsmile:

... huh. This is definitely amusing

6006344
...:rainbowlaugh: Your profile pic! On this fic! HAHAHAHA perfect!

this is completely and utterly ridiculous. LOL and I am loving every second of it.

I now have a new favorite character. Bakran! I am him in real life. Only waaaaaayy! more sarcastic and less innocent.

I freaking love this little changeling dude.

Keep up the great work.

6007697
Hmm. I must have misremembered, or something. :derpytongue2:

6007697
Hey, it’s what I remembered you saying and the reasoning for it. I got the broad strokes right if nothing else and I did say “don’t quote me on that, my memory’s fuzzy”. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

D48

6007697 Yes, she most definitely could. :trollestia:

Also, I am feeling like this is one of those times when I should probably be responsible and not encourage your insanity, but I enjoy your brand of crazy far too much to be healthy so I am just going to keep encouraging it and reveling in the chaos. :rainbowlaugh:

6009599
Insanity? Honestly, this is me toning it down. It's very, very, VERY loosely based on another story idea I had, even made an outline for it, but never wrote it because it involved an original character I rather hope to make into my own IP someday. Not a good idea to mix that with fanfic. Still, sometimes in my weaker moments I get the urge to write Doctor Core vs. Equestria, and so I have to channel it into stuff like this. Or Lyra. Lyra's usually the recipient of Doctor Core's urges. Lyra and the strange journals I sometimes write on this site. Lyra, the strange journals, and an absolute dedication to the pope. Wait, wait, hang on, I'll come in again.

D48

6009739 Ok, I can understand wanting to hold onto your OC because that is a very valid concern, but there is no reason to hold back on the rest. Your insanity amuses the hell out of us and we want to see more of it.

Thanks for the update!

D48

Well, I was going to make a joke about shipping after seeing Rainbow's comment, but then you went on about it so now it is just a matter of time until those two wind up in bed together. Really the only lingering question there at this point is if anyone else will get involved because that is a distinct possibility given the nature of this story. :rainbowlaugh:

Also, it looks like we are definitely going to be seeing a fair amount of Lyra in the future because I am getting the distinct impression that Bon Bon is his collector friend which should have some amusing consequences. :pinkiehappy:

Well, that is all until the riot that should ensue next time because Twilight clearly does not care enough to prevent it at this point.

Edit: Also, doesn't the Iowa completely outclass the Cleveland?

I would change "Yanno" to something different, they don't show this kind of slang and its looks strange especially when Twilight said it

6053427
No problamo

6053430
Dat name, though.

6053718
:twilightoops: "Don't give him any ideas!"
Pay no attention to the pony behind the curtain.
:twilightoops: "Help! I'm stuck in a universe factory!" *SLAM*
Bonbon... well, I just want to write a version of her that's jaded and very, very angry. I'm pretty sure I gleaned that from someone else, but to me that just seems likes the perfect counter-balance to my kind of Lyra. I suppose I could put spoiler tags here, but honestly I did telegraph it a bit.

Also Cleveland is outclassed by the Iowa, but I don't have an Iowa yet. ;p Only up to the Colorado so far.

6054351
Hm, I could have sworn I saw her say something like that in the series. But I don't remember specifically, so you could be right. I'll think about it.

D48

6054761 Heh, I am always happy to encourage your insanity. It amuses the hell out of me. :rainbowlaugh::twilightoops:

As for Bon Bon, I am not sure where you got that specific version, but she is usually a more stable counterbalance to Lyra's wackiness one way or another. I cannot say that I recall seeing her be especially angry like that anywhere which could make it an interesting bit of variety, but jaded is a perfectly reasonable way of stabilizing her so I see no reason it wouldn't work. I guess we'll see what she is like soon enough one way or another because there is no way she will fail to recognize her friend(?) and there are decent odds he has seen her disguise so he may recognize her as well. We will also get to see if Lyra knows Bon Bon is a changeling or not because I can see lots of interesting and amusing possibilities for both options so I have no idea what you are going to go with on this one.

Ah, that makes sense with the ships. The Iowa-class battleships were the greatest surface combatants ever built so it makes sense that the developers would hold them off until the very end.

6056501
Just about. The current American tech tree has the Iowa at tier IX, with the Montana at the top at tier X. Which makes it a counterbalance to the Japanese tier X BB, the mighty Yamato. But that's Wargaming for you; always making strange decisions without rhyme or reason. ;p It be part of the beast, 'tis all.

I guess angry Bonbon mostly comes from my ideas for her in The Aegis, where she's irritated at that version of Lyra for a variety of reasons. Sort of Odd Couple, but less messy/orderly dynamic and more:
"Hi, Bonbon!"
"Hello, space ape."
"Hugs?"
"You touch me and you die! Wait, what're you—stop! Stop touching meeeeeee!"
"Aw, you're all big and floofy."
"I AM NOT FLOOFY!"

Which would work there given the whole "ordered to work together" angle. Now if only I could concentrate on writing at all instead of opening a text file, staring at it, and feeling entirely inadequate to the task and that everything I do is utterly pointless, I could actually get some things done.

D48

6056660 Well, that is rather strange given the fact that the Iowas would have beaten the stuffing out of the Yamatos in a gun duel. Between the speed difference, shitty Japanese armor, superior American shells, and a fire control system good enough to remain in service well into the Cold War, an Iowa would almost certainly have trashed a Yamato in a head on fight. That is of course neglecting the fact that the faster Iowas were vastly superior for fleet actions because they could keep up with smaller ships and especially aircraft carriers, something that made the Iowas better ships overall than the proposed Montanas which is why the Montana-class was never built.

For the second part, that is making me want to see more of The Aegis so I can them interact for real there. That said, I am not really seeing how you could get that kind of dynamic going here, although the nature of this story is such that you do not really need to worry about it all that much. Still, it might not be a bad idea to write her a bit differently here to experiment or at least get a bit of variety so you can always mess around with it if you want to.

For your last point, I think it might not be a bad idea to do a bit of writing for And So? to get past the writers block. While this story is a bit loose, that one is a total stress relief valve for you so you can go be inadequate over there without worry because the whole story is stupid and pointless fun so adding pointless words to it is just fine.

6057530
Well it is more of an arcade-y style game than a strict historical simulator. Most of the ships are balanced for gameplay purposes. That said, they do try to adhere to reality whenever possible, and honestly the Iowas are pretty damn OP from what I've seen. The Montanas in game trade some speed for more armor and guns, which I think was their whole deal, anyway. And they were cancelled mainly because it became clear as the war went on that the era of the battleship was over and aircraft carriers were the order of the day and resources that could have gone into the Montanas were instead diverted to carrier production. But mainly WoWS is a game first and historical second, so you take everything there with a grain of salt and remember it's all for fun.

I do plan on writing this Bonbon differently, although I do want her to be a little disgruntled. Mainly just annoyed with Lyra and her beau and resenting the fact that they're her biggest source of "product" and so she has to put up with Lyra's shenanigans.

And never mention that story! Someone the other day just added it to their favorites. Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy? MY HEAD A SPLODE! Won't somebody please think of the ponies? *headdesk* Don't make me call upon the Hammer of the Emperor!

D48

6058527 That makes sense and you are about right on the design of the Montanas, although that is not quite right for why they were canceled. The Navy ultimately was at a bottleneck of drydock space because they only had a handful of slips large enough to build the Iowas, Essexs, and Montanas which they decided were best used to produce a mix of Iowas and Essexs because the Iowas were fast enough to keep up with and protect the carriers. This is clearly demonstrated by the fact that the last two Iowas were laid down after the Montana-class had been fully canceled and it was clear that the aircraft carrier was the primary weapon of naval warfare because the Iowas were still very effective as carrier escorts and shore bombardment ships, although they were never actually completed.

For the second, that can definitely work, although I feel like she would have to be at least a little bit attached to Lyra to be effective at her job.

For the last one, we all know that. Honestly, we just enjoy your insanity enough to watch where it goes when you do not even try to control it. Besides, the fact that it is terrible means you can write for it when you are feeling like shit as a way to keep yourself writing even though you know the quality will not be where you like it. It might help if you try to think of it as a tool to keep yourself in shape through your bad days rather than an actual story. You just happen to throw it up here for anyone who wants to read your ramblings when you are done so fimfic calls it a story.

Soooo..... How's the writing going? :twilightsmile:

6183722
I was just on a vacation, give me some time to ramp up.

Consider this story tracked!

Please write more! I'm hooked!!!!!

I see Chrysalis took lessons from Shining Armor while she was disguised as Cadance.

It's just that, while Shiny merely is able to launch his wife from a castle balcony skywards at the Crystal Heart, Chrysalis is able to launch a Changeling all the way from the Badlands to Ponyville.

I'm sure there's a fat/pregnant Cadance joke in there somewhere.

Well, I see we're treading into Bon Bon is a Changeling territory. I can't remember if Slice of Life showed before or after this episode, but I'm constantly amused by the idea of Secret Agent Sweetie Drops who's also a Changeling.

Rainbow Dash has the right idea. This fandom for some reason is like 90% on the side of 'Changelings would make good love bugs' and we love it.

“Why?” Lyra asked. “Because alternate realities are 'not scientifically possible'?” she countered, and then smirked as Twilight winced. “If you can go back in time and create a stable time loop, then isn't it a bit of intellectual dishonesty to refuse the possibility of alternate realities?”

Oh snaps!

I wonder what Lyra's whole story with Bon Bon is. Also, LyraMac? First time I've seen that in a story :eeyup:

D48

Well, to start I am going to address your questions in the beginning because you are clearly worried about it even though your writing is always excellent.

So is this chapter boring?

No, definitely not. You held my attention very firmly and kept me wanting to read more the entire time.

Did the first part drag on?

Not at all. You have always been great at these kinds of shenanigans, and this might just be your best work in this area that I have read. Lyra feels stronger than in your previous work which is very impressive because she has always been a staple of yours and perfectly capable of carrying a story on her own so getting a noticeable improvement in her performance is frankly amazing. You also did a great job with Bakran and the way Twilight is playing off him and Lyra is absolutely exceptional. The others are also going strong and Rainbow in particular had some great lines which really brought this all together into an exceptional read.

To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed the first part more than the second because of how amazingly well you handled the characters. This is not to say the second was anything less than excellent, it is just that the action and plot in the second by its very nature had to draw attention away from the amazing shenanigans.

Or was it interesting to read?

*looks up* Yes. :rainbowlaugh:

Am I doing well to keep it a light-hearted adventure with enough drama/stakes to keep it interesting, or am I mixing it too even to really fit into fun or serious?

This is a bit of an odd question. On the one hand it did feel like a bit too much drama at the end there, but on the other hand you really did have to take time to set up the plot or it would have gotten incoherent so I cannot complain at this point. Just make sure to shift it back towards more of your exceptional shenanigans instead of heavy drama in the next chapter and everything will be amazing.

Also, I think the best way to wrap this up will be to make this mysterious external player totally benign one way or another so everyone winds up friends at the end. After all, mysterious does not necessarily mean evil and it is much easier to do goofy when everyone winds up as friend; a deep, booming laugh could easily just be a big jolly guy with a big deep voice (think Flutterguy); and Pinkie would be the pony to laugh off (or collaborate with :rainbowlaugh::facehoof:) abduction and become friends with him and the changelings so there is a benign explanation for this if you choose to go down that path. There are obviously tons of alternatives and ways to implement this broad concept, but I think something along these lines would fit in better with the tone of the story and show than a climactic battle.

Now for more general stuff. First, I am loving the fact that Lyra is back and taking a leading role in this story. You always do a great job with her and, as I said before, this might be the best I have ever seen so I am especially happy to see her here.

Second, I am getting some serious shipping vibes off the interactions between Twilight and Bakran which is making me think Twilight will be conducting some purely academic research into the compatibility of pony and changeling reproductive organs before the story is over. :rainbowlaugh::raritystarry:

Third, I am a bit disappointed it was Pinkie that got yanked. I was really enjoying watching her freak out Bakran and she had some great interplay with Lyra as well so not having her around is a tiny bit disappointing. That said, her humor can get old easily because she tends to be more about gags and popping out of weird places than anything else so it is not necessarily a terrible thing that she won't be a huge part of the story.

Fourth, I really hope Bon Bon gets dragged along for their "road trip". She is another character you always do a great job with, and this setting looks like it will make her even more fun than usual because I am 99% sure she is Bakran's friend and that Lyra knows she is a changeling which will add some fun chaos to the group dynamics.

Anyways, I think that is everything I wanted to talk about here (I probably should have pulled a Twilight and made a list :twilightblush:) so I will just reiterate the fact that this was absolutely amazing and I really hope to see more of it soon.

6574535 It's a reference to one of his other stories, In Medias Res, and seems to imply the two are in the same continuity. I am personally quite happy to see that because it was a fun little story and I was hoping to see him do more with it. Now to see if Big Mac comes along to really cement the connection.

So is this chapter boring?

No.

Did the first part drag on? Or was it interesting to read?

It was my favorite part of this chapter.

Am I doing well to keep it a light-hearted adventure with enough drama/stakes to keep it interesting, or am I mixing it too even to really fit into fun or serious? Let me know after reading, please. I'm trying to get back into writing by doing silly, random things like this, but if it's bad writing, then it's bad writing and I need to know that.

Second part I felt was a bit over the top. My suspension of disbelief was suspended. :pinkiesad2:

This is getting a little too weird for me. Knowing me, that's saying something.

Its alicorn not alacorn, other way you say that mlp is wrong and you should tag it as AU
Especially now with what are you doing

6583655
Sorry I don't accept wiki as viable source, and you too shouldn't.
In MLP:FiM its alicorn, no pegacorn and no alacorn even if they did it wrong that is canon for this (same with all puns names)

6584237
If you don't want to use it, fine, but I am using it. If you don't like it, don't read the story. I frankly cannot abide people who tell me how to use words. Especially when they have poor grammar and/or punctuation.

6575064
Firstly I want to thank you for the long comment. It's nice having some meaty feedback now and then.

I do plan on shifting things back to a more fun feel, as you've noted this bit is mainly to set up the conflict. Although I'm not sure how you or anyone else who didn't like the second part of the chapter so much will take the rest of the story, as I've imagined it in a similar, action-y vein with lots of silliness thrown in.

I'm rather surprised that you liked the first part more. I had fun writing it but the more I went on the more I feared I'd be killing the story with too much detail and conversation, the whole "talking heads" syndrome thing. Honestly I was considering going through and editing out large chunks of the whole lunch scene because it felt like it was starting to really drag on and become boring.

I don't want to spoil any surprises, but I'm afraid there won't be any super-happy ending where everyone has tea and cake and share a good laugh at a misunderstanding. In my head Chrysalis is a bad, bad person and she's getting written that way, and her mysterious benefactor isn't going to be Santa Claus. I will of course try to keep it light, but I'm a traditionalist and I like my bad guys bad and my good guys good.

As for Pinkie being nabbed... there's a reason it's her, specifically. :trollestia: And Bonbon will, of course, be dragged along. :pinkiecrazy:

And yes, Twilight and Bakran will be doing "comparative studies" at some point, I'm sure. Soooo tempted to write an omake kind of thing about that.

Bonbon: "I wish those two would [bleep] already. The unresolved sexual tension is like having every one of my emotional tastebuds stabbed with hormonal angst."
Lyra: "What the hay is hormonal angst?"
Bonbon: "When you went through puberty, did you ever feel like just ripping something apart, just to have something to focus on other than the unpredictable, insane feelings running through your head and/or groin?"
Lyra: "...Yeah?"
Bonbon: "Like that, but with whiny, teenage angst. Like, the whiniest, most teenage angst. The kind of angst that writes poetry. The kind of angst that makes teenagers so damn insufferable to those who've gone through it because we remember what we were like and oh gods I hate my past self SO MUCH."
Lyra: "Wow. Yeah, those two should totally [bleep]."
Bonbon: "I know, right?"
Big Mac: "Eeeeyup."

D48

6585871

Firstly I want to thank you for the long comment. It's nice having some meaty feedback now and then.

No problem, I'm good at walls of text when I have something to say. :twilightblush:

I do plan on shifting things back to a more fun feel, as you've noted this bit is mainly to set up the conflict. Although I'm not sure how you or anyone else who didn't like the second part of the chapter so much will take the rest of the story, as I've imagined it in a similar, action-y vein with lots of silliness thrown in.

"Didn't like" is really much too strong a way to put it. It was still very good and a lot of fun to read, it just wasn't as strong as the first part. I have no problem with you moving forwards with more "action-y" stuff as you so eloquently put it, I just think you would be better off if you shifted it more towards the shenanigans side of thing and used the action more as a tool to give them more things to have shenanigans about than making the action what the story is about directly.

I'm rather surprised that you liked the first part more. I had fun writing it but the more I went on the more I feared I'd be killing the story with too much detail and conversation, the whole "talking heads" syndrome thing. Honestly I was considering going through and editing out large chunks of the whole lunch scene because it felt like it was starting to really drag on and become boring.

Ok, you seem to be falling into the traps a lot of novice writers around here fall into so I'll just kick you back on the right track because I know you are better than this.

First, Write for yourself, not others. If you are enjoying writing it, your joy will come through in the quality of the writing and we will enjoy it as a result. If you try to write what you think we want to read when it isn't something you are enjoying, you will just sabotage your own efforts and hurt the story. That means you should keep going when you are enjoying writing something rather than forcing it to stop or be shorter because you will be able to keep it entertaining to read for as long as you are having fun writing it.

Second, stories are about characters, not events. Character interaction can never be a bad thing for a story as long as you are having fun writing it because that is the core of a story. Action is not part of a story because it is inherently fun on its own, it is part of a story because of how it allows characters to interact with each other and/or learn about themselves. The excellent interactions are why the first part of the story was so amazing, and the weaker interactions as they were dealing with minimally characterized antagonists was why the second part was not as strong. This is why I say you should focus on using the story as a vehicle for shenanigans rather than putting the focus on the events themselves like a history textbook does.

Third, details are not the enemy. I am perpetually frustrated by people saying to cut out details on this site because details are how you build the world and draw in interest which makes them a critical supporting element of a story. It is why great authors like Tolkien and Michener have long descriptions all over the place in their books and why those books are so deep and immersive. Conversely, the lack of those lovingly detailed descriptions is why many stories here fall flat and fail to make a significant impression on readers, yet idiots are constantly claiming details are the enemy and scaring authors like you into ruining great stories. If you want an example of what I mean, just give me something to describe and I'll show you exactly what can be accomplished with a little love no matter how simple it is.

Anyways, I hope this helps get you to stop second guessing yourself and get back into your groove because you really are a great author when you stop worrying and let yourself write.

I don't want to spoil any surprises, but I'm afraid there won't be any super-happy ending where everyone has tea and cake and share a good laugh at a misunderstanding. In my head Chrysalis is a bad, bad person and she's getting written that way, and her mysterious benefactor isn't going to be Santa Claus. I will of course try to keep it light, but I'm a traditionalist and I like my bad guys bad and my good guys good.

Eh, it's up to you, but you should remember that "evil" is a literary construct which is not applicable to the real world so you should really avoid it wherever possible. Real conflict usually stems from some combination of miscommunication and a refusal or inability to compromise. Using Chrysalis as an example, she is a changeling so she has a biological need to feed on love, and as queen of the changelings she also has the duty to make sure her subjects are fed. That need does not make her "bad", and a very strong argument can be made that the fact that she did what she did for the good of her subjects and personally took the most dangerous role in the plan makes her "good". Yes it does set up an obvious conflict between her and the ponies, but there is no inherent reason they could not reach a compromise, especially given the fact that Bakran (and presumably Sweets/Bon Bon) is currently proving the fact that changelings and ponies can peacefully coexist. Frankly, given what we know of Chrysalis and Celestia who clearly both put the well being of their subjects ahead of themselves (even if Chrysalis does seem to be a bit of a jerk on a personal level), the evidence is stacked in favor of a compromise being possible. Also, circling back to point two above, working out a compromise between flawed characters offers far more in the way of character interaction and development than "smash teh ebil" which makes it inherently stronger from a storytelling perspective. Also, "beat the baddie" is horribly predictable and leaves very little room for plot twists and surprises if you play it strait, although there is no reason that you cannot leave the story looking like that with no direct insight into what is going on with Chrysalis until the end and then pull a giant plot twist out at the end. Anyways, just remember the rules I laid out above and that tradition is not always a good thing and I'm sure you'll be fine.

As for Pinkie being nabbed... there's a reason it's her, specifically. :trollestia:

I figured that was the case and I figured you wouldn't say why it was her, although I am personally hoping it is something ridiculous like The Professor wanting her to plan a birthday party for his/her daughter.

And Bonbon will, of course, be dragged along. :pinkiecrazy:

:pinkiehappy:

And yes, Twilight and Bakran will be doing "comparative studies" at some point, I'm sure. Soooo tempted to write an omake kind of thing about that.

Bonbon: "I wish those two would [bleep] already. The unresolved sexual tension is like having every one of my emotional tastebuds stabbed with hormonal angst."

Lyra: "What the hay is hormonal angst?"

Bonbon: "When you went through puberty, did you ever feel like just ripping something apart, just to have something to focus on other than the unpredictable, insane feelings running through your head and/or groin?"

Lyra: "...Yeah?"

Bonbon: "Like that, but with whiny, teenage angst. Like, the whiniest, most teenage angst. The kind of angst that writes poetry. The kind of angst that makes teenagers so damn insufferable to those who've gone through it because we remember what we were like and oh gods I hate my past self SO MUCH."

Lyra: "Wow. Yeah, those two should totally [bleep]."

Bonbon: "I know, right?"

Big Mac: "Eeeeyup."

Do it! :rainbowlaugh:

6586613
That's the thing, I don't consider "evil" to be an artificial construct. It is a very real thing and sometimes people are just terrible.

And as for Chyrsalis, I don't understand where everyone keeps getting the impression that she's anything but a greedy tyrant. She invaded Equestria with the intent of enslaving them all, and clearly shown that she has no compunctions about taking out any obstacle that stands in here way with prejudice (most likely extreme prejudice, but this is a children's show after all). That is the only canon representation of her in the show and I have no idea where people get the idea that it's a miscommunication.

SHE. IS. A. B*TCH.

I will NEVER understand this whole mindset that wants to punish the heroes and praise the villains. Yes, there are shades of gray, but gray is nothing more than a mixture of black and white. Turn the dial too far one way or the other and you get something close enough to evil or good as to have no practical difference.

I like some "Chrysalis is actually not so bad" stories, I like "changelings are not so bad" stories, I'm writing the latter now. But fucking Hell, I'm getting sick and tired of being told that I HAVE to write changelings as the whole "misunderstood" thing when THE FIRST CANON APPEARANCE WE HAVE OF THEM IS BEING AN INVADING ARMY MADE UP OF CRUEL BASTARDS WHO LAUGHED AT THE PONIES' MISFORTUNE.

What the [eehf] do you need to need to accept them as a true bad guy? Watch them eat babies? Commit genocide? Enslave an entire race to become food for them? OH WAIT.

I don't tell others how to write changelings. I don't tell them how to write Chrysalis. Even though sometimes I really want to just slap them when they start portraying the victims of the changelings—the ponies—as some sort of racist bastards who started the whole thing somehow.

You suggest I write what I want? That is what I want. A genuine form of evil, a clear sense of good, and none of this hackneyed idiotic moral equivalency crap. If you don't like that then I suggest you stop reading any and every one of my stories, because that's the underlying premise I operate and write with.

D48

6587273 Huh, someone's in a mood. Oh well, since you asked for an explanation I'll give it to you, although you might want to take some time to cool off before responding if you are still feeling emotional about this. I am doing my best to approach this as logically and dispassionately as possible and would appreciate it if you could do the same to at least develop an understanding of the other side of this situation. It might also be a good idea to read this through at least twice and take some time to really think about it before you reply because there is a lot of interconnected content here which all needs to be logically considered to fully understand the situation.

First, I want to make it very clear that I am not saying Chrysalis is not a bitch. She has made it very clear that she is not the most likable of individuals in the show (at least at that point in time, if she is as old as Celestia like I suspect it is entirely possible she has changed a lot over the centuries just like Celestia could have), but being unlikable does not make her evil. There have been plenty of jerks over the course of history that accomplished great things just like there are plenty of likable people that have done horrible things. You really need to make sure you do not let her personality obscure your judgement here because her abrasiveness does not necessarily indicate deeper problems and could easily be used as a character flaw which strengthens her character. Hell, Rainbow is a great example of this because she can be an abrasive bitch at times, but we both know how wonderful an individual she is deep down. Now that we have established that, the real crux of the issue is her motives and actions so I will discuss each of those in detail to explain where the sympathy comes from.

First is motives which she makes very clear in the episode with this line:

Right you are, Princess. And as queen of the changelings, it is up to me to find food for my subjects. Equestria has more love than any place I've ever encountered. My fellow changelings will be able to devour so much of it that we will gain more power than we have ever dreamed of!

Her first priority is very clearly to feed her subjects, and there is no way you can argue that there is anything wrong with that. After all, if they don't feed then they will starve to death and there is no moral theory I know of that says starving to death is acceptable. Thus her core motivation for her actions is undeniably noble and there is no way to fault her for that.

It is true that the bit about gaining "more power than we have ever dreamed of" could be a sign of greed or something else negative, but it is highly likely that her changelings are already starving based on her core motivation, choice of drastic action, and the pitiful performance of the changelings in the fight with the mane six so it is entirely possible that what she really means there is them not having to worry about going hungry which is just her being a good ruler and looking out for the well being of her subjects. The only other line that gives any indication of her motives or plans is the line "Everypony I'll soon control" which is similarly vague because it could apply to her taking Celestia's place as the ruler of Equestria rather than mind control or something, although it does at least indicate that she has no intention of killing anyone. Thus her motives are morally neutral at absolute worst and realistically paint her in at least a moderately positive light.

Moving on to her actions, things start to get complicated here because of how little we see, although there is still a lot that can be inferred from both the actions and the situation if you really think about it. These points will be in no particular order and will cover as much as I can think of because there are a lot of data points to consider.

To start with something I mentioned earlier, the pitiful performance of the changelings in the fight against the mane six provides strong evidence that they were starving and weak. That starvation strongly implies that the changelings were desperate and looking for a quick way to solve the problem no matter the cost. It is worth noting that none of the other ponies besides Celestia and the Elements seemed to make any attempt to fight back and the guards are clearly trained for low-intensity police work rather than combat so the changelings really just had to look strange and herd the panicked ponies where they wanted them rather than actually fighting so this is not necessarily an example of hero power in action in light of what happened with Zecora at first, although the combat does have to be taken with a grain of salt.

Next, Chrysalis and the changelings clearly went out of their way to avoid hurting anyone even when it would have been smarter to do so. From imprisoning Cadence to the battle with the mane six, the changelings were very clearly careful to avoid even minor injuries which is simply unnecessary. If they were being efficient and ruthless, Cadence would have had a bunch of broken limbs to immobilize her and the girls would have visibly roughed up after the fight. They also avoided serious long term restraints on all the prisoners we saw including guards and Cadence even though we know they had the time to bag Celestia up good. Applying some logic to the situation, it is clear that if the changelings had been planning on putting all the ponies in a pod farm like some people here think, they would have crippled Cadence before putting her in the cave and bagged her up like Celestia after recapturing her. This excessive care and relative freedom strongly suggests a more peaceful long term plan behind the changeling's actions, probably resulting in the two eventually peacefully coexisting with Chrysalis in charge. This also makes far more logical sense than any kind of brutal regime or pod farm because the changelings depend on positive feelings to survive so they have to make the ponies feel good to be able to feed, and keeping ponies in a pod farm (assuming it is even possible) would be a logistical nightmare between growing enough food to feed them all without their own labor and the fact that ponies need to breed to be useful long term so it is hopelessly impractical.

As for Chrysalis personally, the fact that she was the one imitating Cadence and the issues with her performance says a lot about her as a character. She is clearly not the best infiltrator in a species that literally evolved to infiltrate so she is not the most logical choice for the role based on skill. However, because of the inability of the infiltrator to get reinforcements if they screw up and the possible ramifications of detection, that is the most dangerous role in the plan. When combined with the clearly established motive that it is her responsibility to find food for her subjects, that means Chrysalis most likely took the role on herself to avoid putting her subjects at risk. This means she most likely cares so deeply about her changelings that she is willing to risk her own life to protect them from harm which says a lot about her as a person no matter how abrasive she might be.

Moving on, the fact that there was an invasion at all says a lot about the bigger picture. As students of history, we both know full well that wars do not happen on a whim. War is always a last resort used when all peaceful alternatives have been exhausted, so the fact that there was an invasion very clearly says that Chrysalis believed she had no viable alternatives which has a number of very troubling implications, although fully working through it requires some effort.

Given the fact that changelings are perfectly evolved to slip into pony populations to feed undetected and that ponies on the whole seem to be very accepting of strange ponies, changelings should have no problem inventing a disguise and just walking into town to start a new life as a "pony" while they unobtrusively feed on their neighbors. This completely avoids the need to worry about maintaining a fake personality like Chrysalis had to because the ponies will not know the newcomer ahead of time so the changeling can just be him or her self and everything will be fine. The fact that the changelings had to invade for food clearly indicates that something happened to make this kind of low-profile feeding impossible. My best guess is that it was some kind of government identification system like American social security numbers, and while it would most likely have been completely innocent on the ponies part, it would have looked like a direct attack to the changelings because it would make this kind of infiltration nearly impossible. There are certainly a number of other possible explanations for why the changelings could not do this, some of which are quite brutal, but the point is that something must have happened to keep them from peacefully infiltrating Equestria because that would have eliminated the need for a risky invasion.

Regardless of what happened to keep them from infiltrating peacefully, the next step is diplomacy. The changelings must have either tried something to reach out to Equestria to find a diplomatic solution to the problem which failed or had something done to them which made them believe there was no hope for a diplomatic solution. My best guess is that they tried to set up a meeting with the officials of some little border town who freaked out and ran from the diplomatic party like they ran from Zecora and no amount of coaxing could get them to come out and then the process repeated in several more towns, but once again there are a lot of possible explanations including brutal options. Regardless, at this point the situation is that the changelings cannot infiltrate for food and they cannot negotiate for food, so their only options are to go to war or starve to death. That is really not a choice in any reasonable sense, so the changelings would have been forced to take military action to feed themselves, and their biggest advantage is stealth so it makes the most sense for them to open with a decapitating strike aimed at seizing control of the government and knocking out the key defenses before they can be brought to bear which brings us to the wedding.

Now, that should about cover the bulk of understanding why people sympathize with the changelings, although I do want to take a second to specifically hit the crazy racist homicidal ponies because there is a frustrating root cause to that bit of stupidity. Remember how I mentioned that something must have prevented the changelings from infiltrating peacefully and negotiating? You know how there is a subset of this fandom that clings to the idiotic idea that Celestia is some kind of evil tyrant despite the fact that that goes against everything we have ever seen of her in the show? Ok, good. Now think about what happens when you put the two together. Yeah, the result is evil tyrant Celestia hunting down and murdering the innocent changelings for no good reason, and it is painfully stupid. :facehoof:

Anyways, I hope you find this explanation useful because I respect you far more than most people on this site and hope I was able to clarify this for you regardless of what you chose to do in this story. Also, don't feel like you are wasting my time making me write a two thousand word comment (I checked), I'm going to be saving a link to this so I can point other people at it in the future to avoid wasting hours typing it out again. :twilightblush:

6587983
I appreciate the attempt to explain, but I disagree deeply with those interpretations.

Let's take the diplomacy example. Celestia, for starters, is a pony willing to give Discord a second chance. Discord. A being she was visibly fearful of when he escapes, one she put in stone the first time and helped put in stone the second time. A being who mind-raped individuals for his own, personal enjoyment, and she gave him a second chance. And somehow she, or the persons/ponies she picked for her diplomatic corps, would not give a foreign envoy a chance just based on their looks? The inference here is that all ponies are as panicky and reacted out of fear an rejected all attempts at diplomacy, despite the fact that they clearly have peaceable relations with the griffons (who haven't invaded themselves despite their clear economic troubles), dragons (they let a migration of thousands fly overhead), minotaurs, and possibly other aggressive, morphologically different races. Clearly ponies, or at least the ones in charge of foreign relations, are more than adept of handling such contacts and in fact as you said, would strive to avoid all-out war.

Secondly, there is the idea that something is preventing the changelings from infiltrating normally. This despite the fact that after a dramatic personality change no one even thought to apply any sort of test and/or concern over "Cadance" suddenly acting as if she were someone else. If anything can be inferred it is the fact that ponies were, until that point, unconcerned or unaware that any one could be replaced with a shapeshifter and assumed everything to be "nerves". This indicates that not only did the changelings not even attempt diplomatic contact, the ponies were completely unaware that they even existed at all, or at best not something they had to worry about. (Like, say, an Old Mare's Tale.) Which means how can there be measures implemented to verify identity when no one thinks such things would be necessary? A system like social security only applies to long-term habitation, visitors should have no problems unless we want to assume Equestria is a police state with checkpoints for papers at every entrance or exit to a town or city. Even in the US we do not ask for SSNs every day, and typically most keep our cards in fire safes because they're seldom needed unless applying for jobs. You don't need one to go into a shop and buy pastries or hang out at a bar or something.

As for keeping Cadance alive, well, when she dumped Twilight into those caverns, she appeared on those big crystals and taunted her. Even seem to lead her to Cadance while she was enraged. Twilight almost nails the crap out of Cadance, thinking she's Chrysalis. More than likely, it fed into her Ego to keep her victims alive, taunting them with visions of what she was doing in their place, and probably was hoping to sit back and enjoy the spectacle of watching Twilight beat the snot out of her actual old foalsitter. And then gloat afterwards when Twilight realized the truth. it certainly would fit into her screen personality, since she seems rather sadistic and gloaty.

As for keeping ponies alive, well, you don't kill your food source if you don't have to. There's nothing sympathetic or empathetic about that, especially when it looks like the 'lings are enjoying the terror they're inflicting on the ponies. A farmer doesn't beat his cows with a stick just because he can, and even if he does he is accused of animal cruelty; something that is regarded as a severe moral flaw in western culture. So why do changelings get a break for enjoying inflicting panic and fear on ponies?

And for Chrysalis, I agree that feeding her subjects is a reasonable and moral thing for her to do. But that only means she is just like ever other being in history in that regard. That does not make her special, that does not make her especially moral, or good. That makes her a being with a species survival instinct, just like every other thing that we consider alive. You might as well say she's doing something moral by respiring, or masticating. Technically it's true, but it's a red herring tossed out to obstruct the fact that she is assaulting another sapient species for what she and her changelings need instead of negotiating (which as I've established she could not have tried because Celestia is not a heartless tyrant, and ponies are more than capable of making peace with predatory races morphologically different from their own, and it's in all sides of a negotiation to try and avoid war unless one has entered in bad faith).

And war. As a student of history, you know that wars also happen because of giant, over-inflated egos or contrived reasons used as an excuse for international land grabs. I consider it far more likely, given the apparent lack of any form of diplomacy, that Chrysalis simply wanted power and used the excuse of "feeding her subjects" to validate her grandiose plans to conquer land she had no other claim on, otherwise.

As for the "weak from starvation" argument, I find that fallacious. A person who is starving is desperate, but in no shape for an invasion or other military operation. If they were truly that weak it would be in their better interests to surrender and beg for mercy, because once you are at the point where starvation is actively sapping your military's strength (since it stands to reason they would get more rations of "food" to ensure their combat effectiveness) to the point that you are beaten by untrained civilians, then you've lost already. Either Chrysalis doesn't know that, or doesn't care, and is willing to see her subjects suffer for her vainglory. Either way makes her a terrible leader and the latter a horrible person, which fits in to the rest of her character attributes shown on screen.

I propose an alternative explanation: Changelings are inherently inferior in strength and magic to ponies. This is why they have been quiet and hiding in the background, perhaps the reason they evolved or developed their shapeshifting abilities in the first place: as a survival mechanism. Why compete against a superior species when you can co-opt their strength by appearing to be one of them? This would go a long way to explain why changelings were unheard of before the invasion, why they got their butts whupped by girls, and why they enjoyed abusing their power of the ponies in the short time they had it (those who live as parasites usually come to resent those they depend on).

All in all, I go by what I've seen on the screen. Chrysalis is malicious and vile, downright evil, and her soldiers are sadists at best, war criminals at worst. I can accept the idea of good changelings, but from what I've seen there's plenty to use as bad guy material, and nothing other than that one changeling at Cranky and Matilda's wedding to indicate anything else.

I'm sorry, but this fandom is stuck up its own ass when it comes to changelings. I have some theories as to why, and it has nothing to do with the actual show itself. But that's neither here nor there, my point is that I am not with the fandom on this.

I do appreciate you trying to help. I understand you're trying to explain this all to me. But I don't see anything here that's changed my mind.



Also—and this is entirely unrelated to anything else, so please don't take this as any criticism of yourself or your arguments—but this has been bugging me for some time: It's "role". "Roll" is where something rotates, usually along a long axis, or a small, round bread product consumed at dinner. "Role" is a part or position in a story or social construct, such as an organization. Examples:

"Pass me another dinner roll, please?"
"She stepped into her role as a princess very well."

Like I said, it's just been bugging me and every time I see it I feel an urge to bang my head on the desk because everything else you write is very good and this thing is like watching a good orator talk with a piece of broccoli in his teeth. :twilightsheepish:

D48

6588205 No problem, just remember that changelings are shapeshifters which means appearances can very easily be deceiving so you have to do a lot of digging and thinking to work out what is really going on. Now let's get to it. :twilightsmile:

Let's take the diplomacy example. Celestia, for starters, is a pony willing to give Discord a second chance. Discord. A being she was visibly fearful of when he escapes, one she put in stone the first time and helped put in stone the second time. A being who mind-raped individuals for his own, personal enjoyment, and she gave him a second chance. And somehow she, or the persons/ponies she picked for her diplomatic corps, would not give a foreign envoy a chance just based on their looks? The inference here is that all ponies are as panicky and reacted out of fear an rejected all attempts at diplomacy, despite the fact that they clearly have peaceable relations with the griffons (who haven't invaded themselves despite their clear economic troubles), dragons (they let a migration of thousands fly overhead), minotaurs, and possibly other aggressive, morphologically different races. Clearly ponies, or at least the ones in charge of foreign relations, are more than adept of handling such contacts and in fact as you said, would strive to avoid all-out war.

You have some valid points here, but it is all based on the assumption that the changelings were aware of Equestria's willingness to negotiate and accept them. Perception is critical, and if they believe negotiation is impossible for some reason then it does not matter if Celestia would be open to negotiations because they will not show up. If some changelings had wandered into Ponyville out of the blue, they would have most likely been met with a similar reaction to Zecora from the common ponies and word would not have made it up to the diplomatic corps that they were needed so they would never have gotten involved. That leaves the changelings thinking there is no way they can negotiate with the ponies while Celestia is not aware they even exist so negotiations would not happen even though Celestia would undoubtedly be accepting of them.

In fact, given Celestia's proven willingness and unrivaled ability to negotiate peaceful relations with other races, I would say that the fact that there was an invasion at all is strong proof that she was not aware of their existence because she would have been able to reach a compromise with them if she had known about them so this entire paragraph ultimately contradicts itself. Something had to make the changelings believe they could not negotiate for a peaceful settlement in spite of Celestia's strong diplomatic history because we as the audience know she would have given them everything they wanted if they had come to the table. No leader ignores getting everything they want handed to them on a silver platter, so Chrysalis must have believed that negotiations were impossible for some reason or she would have taken the opportunity to get everything she wanted for free.

Another possibility I should mention is that there was some past conflict which made Chrysalis believe there was no negotiating with Celestia which is no longer true. This could be due to changes in Celestia and/or Chrysalis's personality over the centuries, some external circumstances which Chrysalis does not realize were as significant as they actually were, or a combination of the two. This does of course require a lot of backstory which is not alluded to in the show so it is more something that an author could do in a significantly expanded setting than a major possibility, although there is nothing stopping the writers from doing this in the show so it is not technically AU at the time of writing no matter how likely it is that something will happen to change that in the future.

Also, on an unrelated note, I am not entirely convinced they are really all that settled with the dragons. There have been multiple conflicts with dragons in the show after all, and the migration is really not the kind of thing you can stop without a major war so I get the feeling that is more the ponies staying out of the way and hoping the dragons do not make too big a mess than anything else (just imagine how much shit that many dragons bomb the migration rout with...and how hard it lands :twilightoops::rainbowlaugh:). Of course, that really does not affect your argument as a whole in any way, but I felt like I should point it out.

Secondly, there is the idea that something is preventing the changelings from infiltrating normally. This despite the fact that after a dramatic personality change no one even thought to apply any sort of test and/or concern over "Cadance" suddenly acting as if she were someone else. If anything can be inferred it is the fact that ponies were, until that point, unconcerned or unaware that any one could be replaced with a shapeshifter and assumed everything to be "nerves". This indicates that not only did the changelings not even attempt diplomatic contact, the ponies were completely unaware that they even existed at all, or at best not something they had to worry about. (Like, say, an Old Mare's Tale.) Which means how can there be measures implemented to verify identity when no one thinks such things would be necessary? A system like social security only applies to long-term habitation, visitors should have no problems unless we want to assume Equestria is a police state with checkpoints for papers at every entrance or exit to a town or city. Even in the US we do not ask for SSNs every day, and typically most keep our cards in fire safes because they're seldom needed unless applying for jobs. You don't need one to go into a shop and buy pastries or hang out at a bar or something.

That is exactly why this is a big puzzler and a critical piece of the setup for an invasion. The main way changelings would infiltrate is by inventing a disguise and moving into town with the ponies which is nearly undetectable and basically guaranteed to leave them set for life so there is no reason for them to do anything else unless something upsets their way of life. Frankly the only way I can see that failing at all is if there is some kind of impossible check they have to pass like the SSN, although that is still very much a concern even if you do not need it every day. After all, they will probably have trouble getting love on the first day so they will need to build a life for themselves among the ponies, and that means getting a job and some form of housing. If either one of those requires a proper government ID check for tax purposes like they do here, that will leave them totally screwed because they cannot create a life like they normally would to infiltrate. This could easily make them think that a system like our SSNs was specifically made to catch them and the tax processing explanation was a cover up even though it was implemented in good faith without knowledge of the changeling's existence.

As for keeping Cadance alive, well, when she dumped Twilight into those caverns, she appeared on those big crystals and taunted her. Even seem to lead her to Cadance while she was enraged. Twilight almost nails the crap out of Cadance, thinking she's Chrysalis. More than likely, it fed into her Ego to keep her victims alive, taunting them with visions of what she was doing in their place, and probably was hoping to sit back and enjoy the spectacle of watching Twilight beat the snot out of her actual old foalsitter. And then gloat afterwards when Twilight realized the truth. it certainly would fit into her screen personality, since she seems rather sadistic and gloaty.

That is possible, especially given how much trouble Twilight had just caused her, although I think Chrysalis was fully aware that Twilight would not kill Cadence no matter how angry she was. Yes that makes it a serious dick move and nasty personal revenge, but it is not wasteful and I have never once claimed Chrysalis was nice.

Of course, that is all irrelevant to my original point because when Chrysalis captured and locked up Cadence she would have had no way of knowing Twilight would be a problem like this. That means she decided not to hurt Cadence when there was no reason to believe she would want to use her for revenge later so my argument still applies. Chrysalis could have crippled Cadence to make escape impossible without ruining her source of food which would have been the ruthlessly pragmatic thing to do, but she chose to avoid hurting her even though that added risk to her plan.

As for keeping ponies alive, well, you don't kill your food source if you don't have to. There's nothing sympathetic or empathetic about that, especially when it looks like the 'lings are enjoying the terror they're inflicting on the ponies. A farmer doesn't beat his cows with a stick just because he can, and even if he does he is accused of animal cruelty; something that is regarded as a severe moral flaw in western culture. So why do changelings get a break for enjoying inflicting panic and fear on ponies?

Well, it sounds like we are firmly in agreement that the changelings did not hurt the ponies because doing so is stupid if nothing else.

As for scaring ponies, we have seen that pony instincts seem to strongly emphasize escape (or cowering in fear) over confrontation when confronted with something scary and flying changelings are presumably faster than running (non-Pinkie) ponies because flying is almost always faster than ground travel so that is also very pragmatic way to catch ponies with minimal risk. This is especially important given the poor fighting condition of the changelings as demonstrated against the mane six, so I am fairly certain that apparently sadistic behavior we saw was an act (something they should obviously be good at as a species) which they were trained to put on to intimidate ponies and avoid fights during the invasion. This is strongly supported by the fact that the changelings were so controlled because, when genuine, that kind of sadistic behavior among military forces is almost always connected with serious human rights abuses in the real world, yet the changelings were apparently very gentle with the mane six even after taking a serious pounding from them in the fight. Based on this extraordinary restraint, I think it is most likely that the changelings genuinely cared about not hurting ponies, although rock hard discipline is also a possible explanation because there have been real military units that showed that kind of discipline throughout history.

And war. As a student of history, you know that wars also happen because of giant, over-inflated egos or contrived reasons used as an excuse for international land grabs. I consider it far more likely, given the apparent lack of any form of diplomacy, that Chrysalis simply wanted power and used the excuse of "feeding her subjects" to validate her grandiose plans to conquer land she had no other claim on, otherwise.

Frankly, we both know that war is far more complicated than that. Just one look at the size of the wiki pages on the causes of World Wars I and II makes that much abundantly clear. Giant over-inflated egos and a desire for other countries stuff does not cause a war on its own, it just makes diplomacy harder because desires and egos are only a part of the larger diplomatic puzzle. You can work around egos and desires to come up with an acceptable solution in a lot of cases if you work at it, or you can at least get them to agree to do nothing significant rather than fighting. Actual war requires things to get to a point where one party cannot accept the existing situation like the mess the Treaty of Versailles made of Germany after World War I, so it could not have been nearly as simple as you claim.

If we assume you are right about Chrysalis wanting power in this particular case despite my previously presented clear evidence that she was more concerned about her subjects than herself, Celestia could have easily negotiated a solution where the changelings eventually become Equestrian citizens and Chrysalis becomes a co-ruler and everything would have worked out fine. Yes there would have been a lot of details that needed hammering out and some kind of integration period would have obviously been required to get the changelings processed, get the ponies used to them, and teach Chrysalis about how the government works, but that is just details. Chrysalis gets the food and power she wants, Celestia gets the peace she wants, and everyone leaves happy.

As for the "weak from starvation" argument, I find that fallacious. A person who is starving is desperate, but in no shape for an invasion or other military operation. If they were truly that weak it would be in their better interests to surrender and beg for mercy, because once you are at the point where starvation is actively sapping your military's strength (since it stands to reason they would get more rations of "food" to ensure their combat effectiveness) to the point that you are beaten by untrained civilians, then you've lost already. Either Chrysalis doesn't know that, or doesn't care, and is willing to see her subjects suffer for her vainglory. Either way makes her a terrible leader and the latter a horrible person, which fits in to the rest of her character attributes shown on screen.

I propose an alternative explanation: Changelings are inherently inferior in strength and magic to ponies. This is why they have been quiet and hiding in the background, perhaps the reason they evolved or developed their shapeshifting abilities in the first place: as a survival mechanism. Why compete against a superior species when you can co-opt their strength by appearing to be one of them? This would go a long way to explain why changelings were unheard of before the invasion, why they got their butts whupped by girls, and why they enjoyed abusing their power of the ponies in the short time they had it (those who live as parasites usually come to resent those they depend on).

That is certainly a possible explanation for why they performed so badly in the fight, although it does not do enough to explain what we saw. Animal strength is usually fairly proportional to size so there should not be a major difference between healthy changelings and ponies, but malnutrition is very capable of weakening creatures to significantly below where they should be. That said, starvation does have some obvious problems as you pointed out so I think it is more likely that it is a combination of the two along with a doctrine of not hurting ponies if at all possible because that is the only way you are going to get a major performance hit like that in any kind of realistic scenario.

All in all, I go by what I've seen on the screen. Chrysalis is malicious and vile, downright evil, and her soldiers are sadists at best, war criminals at worst. I can accept the idea of good changelings, but from what I've seen there's plenty to use as bad guy material, and nothing other than that one changeling at Cranky and Matilda's wedding to indicate anything else.

I can easily demonstrate how you are letting emotions cloud your judgement here. Based on the Merriam-Webster website, the definitions of the words you used to describe Chrysalis are:

Malicious:
having or showing a desire to cause harm to someone : given to, marked by, or arising from malice <malicious gossip>

Vile:
1
a : morally despicable or abhorrent <nothing is so vile as intellectual dishonesty>
b : physically repulsive : foul <a vile slum>
2: of little worth or account : common; also : mean
3: tending to degrade <vile employments>
4: disgustingly or utterly bad : obnoxious, contemptible <vile weather> <had a vile temper>

Evil:
1
a : morally reprehensible : sinful, wicked <an evil impulse>
b : arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct <a person of evil reputation>
2
a archaic : inferior
b : causing discomfort or repulsion : offensive <an evil odor>
c : disagreeable <woke late and in an evil temper>
3
a : causing harm : pernicious <the evil institution of slavery>
b : marked by misfortune : unlucky

Note how similar all those definitions are and how little actual information they give about her as a character. What you have done here is pick several synonyms for "she's a bitch" (thesaurus.com lists both malicious and vile as close synonyms of evil) and presented them as if they are all there is to her character without deeper analysis. You are treating superficial appearances as unquestionable truth for a race of shapeshifters. Creating a deceptive appearance is quite literally their greatest strength. That should be a very clear sign that there is more going on than meets the eye at first glance and get you thinking about piecing together clues using logic to figure out what is really going on, yet you saw them snarling at ponies and decided that "evil" is all there is to them.

Also—and this is entirely unrelated to anything else, so please don't take this as any criticism of yourself or your arguments—but this has been bugging me for some time: It's "role". "Roll" is where something rotates, usually along a long axis, or a small, round bread product consumed at dinner. "Role" is a part or position in a story or social construct, such as an organization. Examples:

"Pass me another dinner roll, please?"

"She stepped into her role as a princess very well."

Like I said, it's just been bugging me and every time I see it I feel an urge to bang my head on the desk because everything else you write is very good and this thing is like watching a good orator talk with a piece of broccoli in his teeth. :twilightsheepish:

Yeah, I know. It's just that I don't give my comments more than a basic editing pass for total grammatical catastrophes and things that get flagged by spellcheck so things like that slip by me sometimes. :facehoof: Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off to fix it because that is just embarrassing. :derpytongue2:

Holly walls of text batman! We're in a forum!

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