• Member Since 15th Jul, 2016
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forbloodysummer


The Golden Crane flies for Tarmon Gai'don


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Immortals are few and far between in Equestria, and they are all known to each other. Two of them are about to get to know each other a little better. Because one has just turned up uninvited in another’s private chambers. Maybe it’s time they had a chat?

This story contains enormous spoilers for season 6, and won’t make a great deal of sense if you haven’t seen that.

Proofread, edited and significantly improved by NaiadSagaIotaOar. Any remaining problems with the story are from where I didn't heed the advice given.

Chapters (3)
Comments ( 251 )

excellent fiction can you do a sequel?

That was quite good. I enjoyed that.

That was pretty good! I really enjoyed reading the exchange between these two. Keep up the great work!

Interesting take on changeling biology and the attitude of immortals. Well done

While the story is good, though, I can't help but wonder how the feature box even works anymore. With barely over fifty views at the time of reading this and only two comments and seemingly having only been up for a couple hours maximum, I'm unsure how it made the feature box.

Again, not that it's not necessarily deserving I'm just puzzled by the mechanics of it.

7893953 Thanks :twilightsmile:

Without saying either yes or no to a sequel; I guess whether it would work would depend on what it was you liked about this story - for example, I don't think there are many more revelations about changeling biology that would be left to shock Celestia with, so I don't know how I'd write more of that. Any thoughts on where you'd see the story going?

7893960 Thanks!

I am glad to hear you enjoyed it. :twilightsmile:

I like this. I never thought about the changelings much after they turned into rainbow reindeers. I look forward to more from this headcanon or similar works. A sequel isn't necessary, but would be interesting to see. Note, though, that a sequel should only be written if you want it to, not your readers.

7894135 Thanks very much :twilightsmile:

I kind of agree with you, I'm a bit mystified by the feature box too.

I've never been featured before; I can definitely say that this story has picked up views and likes much much faster than anything else I've written (and more total likes), so its reception did feel quite different to my others, and on that basis I checked the feature box just in case and had my mind somewhat blown. :rainbowhuh:

But it also picked up two dislikes pretty quickly, and it's ranked 123,000th, which is almost twice as low as the lowest-ranked story I've written other than this one, so I thought that would sink its chances of being featured completely.

So on that basis, I don't really know how the algorithm works :twilightoops:

7894169 you really gave good explications to the behaviors of the changellings and you even combine it with the season 6 changelings . a sequel about Chrysalis accepting the proposition and the reaction of equestria + the developpement of Chrysalis behavior and the relation between her and Celestia , them becoming good friends and maybe more will be something good , that with the bases you gave.

Very nicely done.
Too often we have folks writing pivotal characters only to their cliches, ignoring the idea that those cliches exist for more than a quick label or dramatic splash. Fleshing them out, like you've managed to do, where they don't downplay their established traits, but expand upon them.... that's a difficult but wonderful accomplishment.
I liked this. I like this a lot. And dangit if I don't want that particular outcome to work.

7894195 Thanks very much, I'm aware that it will become invalidated the second the changelings make another appearance in the show and clearly aren't all dead, but at least until season 7 I can imagine it my way.

Thanks, that's good sequel advice :twilightsmile:

7894169
I'd probably focus on how Starlight, the rest of the girls and maybe the ex-changelings themselfs in a potential sequel.
How they handle the revelations, how to make sure their 10 years will be happy ones, stuff like that. That would be something I'm interested in.

Though I also wouldn't be suprised if they will never be told anything about it and Chrysalis lives in secrecy for those 100 years to start over when everyone involed is long dead.

7894231 Thanks, those are some good ideas. I hadn't even thought about how it might be received by the rest of Equestria as a whole, only one or two other characters, like Cadence as mentioned. I don't really have any plot ideas for a sequel myself, so right now I wouldn't say anything either way about making one, but would you for example be disappointed if a sequel was noticeably different in tone? Like if it was a fluffy shipping story?

7894238 Thanks very much :twilightsmile:

In a way that's what I feel they did with her in season 6, they took away most of the reasons she was great in A Canterlot Wedding (the manipulation, the audacity, the song!) and pretty much just played up the standard egotistical villain cliches. I get that they wanted to do something different, having the changelings take centre stage and her only appear at the last minute, but it didn't do her any favours, I don't think.

In terms of the outcome working, that'd be really nice. But also I'm always a bit sad when a villain gets softer, I rather appreciate how nasty she is right now. I'd definitely prefer that to her ending up alone, though, as she does after season 6, or imprisoned like Tirek.

7894347 That's an interesting idea, do you think it would be better to see more of the situation, then, rather than more of the characters?

Hiding her away for a century wasn't what I was imagining, but it's a great idea! The ultimate weapon of the immortal, they will live you to death.

7894169

Any thoughts on where you'd see the story going?

The obvious direction would be a very long and gradual showing of Chrysalis' adoption into Palace life. Start with Celestia inviting her to stay the night in her room, the two resting side by side together, Celestia closing her eyes, their breathign slowly synchronozing...then Celestia thinking to herself that she really can make this work and planning out how to most gently introduce Chrysalis to the Palace.

Then she's woken up the following morning by the guards, by Chrysalis decided it would be fun to take the initiative of introducing herself instead. Perhaps by going to the dining area to "feed." Because that's where ponies go to eat, right? Celestia can walk in just in time to stop Luna from attacking her. While Chysalis takes pleasure in putting Celestia in the awkward position of having to explain that no, she's a guest now. Luna is angry and insists that Chrysalis is taking advantage of Celestia's kindness, and vows to catch Chrysalis in the act of betrayal.

And that sets the stage for a very long and gradual progression of Chrysalis slowly adapting to pony life. Luna continues to disapprove, and shows up from time to time to remind everypony that she's simply waiting for Chrysalis to mess up. Eventually Chrysalis begins taking to the pony way of life, the free food, and starts to genuinely relate and wants to be there and try things their way. Along with the occasional misstep, perhaps an error or misunderstanding that results in nopony trusting her, unfairly, but her unable to prove her genuineness. However, Luna wasn't the one to catch her. Chrysalis then leaves or is cast out from Canterlot in a travesty of unfairness and cruelty that Luna had nothing to do with. Then calm before the storm. Then a growing new threat. A threat that many suspect is Chrysalis marshalling forces in vengeance. But Celestia is skeptical of this because she believes she genuinely did get through to her. "Of course you thought that, dear sweet unsuspecting Sister of Mine," Luna frowns. "She was manipulating her way into your confidence all these years, as I have so often told you." Eventually a catastrophe befall Equestria and in the dark moments when everypony expects Chrysalis to swoop in as the perpetrator, no she's there to save the day. Tears and hugs for everypony. Luna remains skeptical. "Clearly the entire affair was orchestrated to win our trust." "Oh, Luna."

You then write a sequel to that that takes place many years later. All the changelings have died, and there are now ponies who have lived their entire lies having never seen an old changeling. Chrysalis is known to the general pony population not as the invader of Canterlot, but as the savior of Canterlot from that event. She even has her own stained glass window in the palace. Everypony loves Chrysalis and is nice to her, and has no clue what she is or how things have come to be how they are. Most of the elements are dead and gone. Twilight is much older, wiser and less spastic. Celestia and Luna, eternal as they are, are the same as always.

In this story, Chrysalis faces her old dilemma. how dose she raise the next generation? It's been 100 years. Perhaps she's gone over because she's uncertain and stalling. Celestia has become a good friend, but she also knows that it was always a gamble to let Chrysalis stay. Does Chrysalis choose the course of cruelty or love? Eventually it is decided that the Hive will be created inside Canterlot, and you then deal with the politics of that decision. Ponies may have forgotten, but the griffins have not. "Do you seriously plan to allow these parasites to flourish in your land? You are a fool Celestia, and though it pains me I must save the world if you will not. Forgive me my old friend, but I do this to save us all. The griffons shall go to war." Twilight is dispatched diplomatically to the griffon kingdom to try to stop a war. Luna seems generally ok with the idea of war. Chrysalis is trying really hard to do the right thing, but circumstances make it difficult for her. Eventually, some external force becomes involved that requires Celestia to go away for an extended period of time. Perhaps something wrong with the sun, and she needs to personally leave the planet for some months to restore it, for She is the Sun, and if she doesn't take care of this all life on the planet will die. So...Chrysalis becomes temporary regent during her absence. Chrysalis fully expects Luna to be a contiunal thorn in her side as she has always been throughout every point of the story...until now. Seeing Chrysalis in a position of power and still trying to be good and genuine, Luna is finally convinced. Twilight returns to apologize to Luna and explains that the griffons are en route right now and their armies will arrive in two days. Luna dismisses this as if were nothing and says that it's the role of the Day Court to deal with this kind of thing, then goes to sleep. It's now up to Chrysalis to stop a war...despite the irony of her being the cause of it. Twilight, much matured, is not very much perturbed by this, and agrees to go along with it, much to Chrysalis' chagrin. After a night of contemplation, she commits to doing it. But rather than doing it the pony way, not-yet-beknown-the-readers, she decides to do it the changeling way instead: paragraph break, italicized letter to the griffon king explaining that the situation with the changeling has been resolved, and inviting him to meet with her, signed Princess Celestia. Griffon king shows up armored and with army camped outside the city. He flies in, has dinner with "Celestia," and Chrysalis magically locks the doors, reveals herself and lies to him, claiming that she has always been Celestia, she controls the sun, and if he wants his people to continue to exist he'd better swear allegiance to her and shut up about it.

He submits, and Celestia returns from the sun to a happy and successful changeling hive in Gryphonia.

Roll credits.

Would probably take 2 sequels over 20-30 chapters to do the story justice. Are you up for an epic, long story that will take a year to write? If you are, that's the way to write the sequel to this.





"I am NOT a spastic!" :twilightoops: *twitch*

Not a bad take, but it leaves me wondering.

From a biological point of view, you'd see some sort of transformation in nature to an adult form, and that would give some sort of tangible benefit. Butterflies get around fast, breed and make eggs, obviously. So here, it really wouldn't make sense for changelings to lose shapeshifting, grow up, and die so soon without getting something amazing out of it. More intelligence to make great wonders for their kind, the ability to breed, great power to protect the next generation. Something. Otherwise, it doesn't make sense.

Or it's just magic, don't question it, I know. :facehoof:

bep

7894491
Losing shapeshifting only happens if they decide to do the whole love sharing thing and become those garish abominations of 'design' you saw on the show.

7894467 So, just to check, I reread all the comments I've ever received on here, across all my stories, and can now definitely confirm that yours was the best ever. I loved it, thank you so much :pinkiehappy:

...And I don't think there's any way I could do it justice. Really, I'm not sure I could expand that synopsis into a story of the size it would require and make it better than the synopsis itself; I think it might be at its best as that synopsis. There are so many good ideas in there, from the conflict with Luna and the gradual mellowing of the characters, to the resolution with the griffons, and Celestia going on a Sunshine-esque space mission, I thought it was all great.

I feel bad not offering a reply of a similar length to your comment, but I don't know what else I could say beyond 'excellent idea, thank you so much for it, but there's no way I can do a decent job of writing that.'

:pinkiehappy:

7894491 This is a very good point. The transition usually occurs to bring about sexual maturity, as you say it adds advantages like flight and speed. With things like butterflies, it adds physical attractiveness in order to attract a mate, I think that's where it would overlap with changelings. Except the implication in this story is that Chrysalis doesn't really need them for mating, and is essentially born pregnant, gestating egg clutches whenever she chooses. Equally, it could be that she has to collar one of the adult drones each time shortly before they die off to do a bit of fertilising. I wonder if significantly more powerful magic might be an adult changeling advantage; it would be a good thing to have, but wouldn't actually solve the problem of their survival.

Unfortunately in this instance it may have to be a magical handwave thing, immortals have a way of slightly sidestepping biological principles.

That was incredibly endearing, sweet, and silly at the same time. I'd love to see a continuation!

7894592 Thanks :twilightsmile:

I'm really glad you thought that - can I ask what it was that gave it silliness, for you? As in because they're calmly sitting on Celestia's bed discussing things?

7894205 I swear there's an auto-downvoter somewhere. I had a story once posted that got two dislikes *literally* in the amount of time it took me to open the description and change a single word right after publication. Less than three minutes on the site, one up and two down thumbs.

You've captured the characterization of these two fairly well and used it to weave your own headcanon. Well done!
I feel like most authors I see start with their headcanon and bend the characterization to fit instead of the clever justifications you've used here.

Thank you for the read. This was a lovely story.

“I can’t promise I’ll use it publically,”

It's "Publicly."

Huh this seems interesting, you have my attention.

7894757 Do something well enough, for long enough, and you're bound to upset someone in the doing of it. You can look at those as knee-jerk reactions, people who took one look at your description and noped out.

I'm on the fence on this story, I liked the writing and characterization but by the end of it i was feeling like i was reading a fix-fic. Chrysalis had instant answers for everything Celestia asked and she seemed a little too all-knowing. Also some things seemed a little far fetched to me like Chrysalis having seen the transformation multiple times without the other immortals having taken notice (also wouldn't she herself had jumped at the chance the first time it happened?) I think it would have worked much better if it had been the first time that this had happened and Chrysalis just came to that conclusion right before she accepted Starlights hoof in friendship (would have explained why it looked like she was about to accept.) Also there is no explanation on how Thorax survived so long without getting any love, I always assumed that it just confirmed that getting love passively without directly draining a pony was possible but that would put a big hole in the plot.

Interesting! Frankly, the notion that in the entire history of Ponies and Changelings none of them had ever thought of sharing love with each other struck me as incredibly silly (and how does that even _work_ for Changelings, how the hell are baby Changelings fed if the adults can't give them some of the love they have collected?) Although I don't see any reason why their transformation means they no longer can shapeshift: is that something from the comics or pure headcanon?

Interesting idea about why Changlings are so cruel. Overall was a good read, quite enjoyable as well.

This would never fly within the canon of the show, which has been very, very coy about just how old Luna and Celestia are, and about the nature of immortality. Mind, not sure how to feel about this one, as it implies a lot about the rules of the universe as a whole, and also begs the question, why not send the changelings through the mirror?

We know it converts life forms to other ones on stepping through, perhaps it can change them into something more survivable. Also is Thorax himself a common thing to happen? Because if other rulers are born from this, doesn't that imply something, like maybe even the Changedling form is just a transitional stage. Perhaps by truly opening themselves up to Love and the like, they'll ascend beyond this form. Perhaps that's even what others have done, and what Chrysalis has seen as 'dying' is in fact them evolving beyond her, and her heart is so closed she simply can't accept it.

That was awesome.

Extremely logical (but certainly emotional) discussion between two incredibly powerful beings deciding on the future of their respective races. Those are always fun.

Although it seemed weird to me that Chrysy seems to have done this many, many times before, and yet Celestia is only aware of them as a threat to her subjects after the very recent wedding? Unless the world is FAR larger than I had assumed, or Chrysalis is far older than Celestia, this doesn't seem to add up. Celestia would certainly be aware of Chrysalis as another player in the immortal game.

That's really the only thing I saw remotely wrong with the story, and it could easily be overlooked.
I kinda want to see Luna's reaction to all this.

*Ten years into Chrysy's stay, after Luna has gotten used to the current era*

Luna, exhausted after a long day, walks into her room to find Celestia waiting with a concerned expression. "Lulu, I nee--"

"Chrysalis, get out. I'm too tired for this." Luna walks straight past her and into her bathroom.

Celestia's mouth opens and closes a couple times. "Fine." Celestia is consumed in a flare of green light and replaced by Chrysalis. "How did you know it was me? I didn't even finish my sentence and I know for a fact I am physically identical."

Luna's voice carried from the side room. "It's the smell."

"...Smell?" Chrysalis sniffed herself. "What are you talking about?"

"Your transformation burns a minute amount of your surroundings. A hair's breadth of the ground, a bit of the air. It leaves an incredibly light smell of sulfur that follows you wherever you go. I have trained myself to recognize it."

"Wha... No it doesn't! That's not even heat! Don't bullshit me! I'm the li--er...almost literal Queen of bullshit!"

"Fine, you got me. My sister and I actually have a constant, very small telepathic bond by virtue of being linked celestia objects, which allows each of us to sense the general direction and distance of the other at all times. Obviously you were not my sister as my sister is in her room across the hall."

"That's...Wait, really?"

Luna poked her head back out and smirked at her guest. "Are you saying you can't tell if I'm lying, miss 'Literal Queen of Bullshit'?"

...etc

Banter is wonderful. Most stories I read that I really like have a tendency to bring up snarky conversations in my mind. I imagine Chrysy will be the one dishing out most of the snark, but Luna might very well give as well as she gets once she acclimates to modern humor.

I would read the shit out of a sequel. Fluff, serious, romance, slice of life, adventure, anything.

Awesome read, can't wait for the sequel (if you decide to make one). Obviously, a century is a very long time for a single story, so why not do the first few months or so of Chrysalis settling in, maybe surprising/embarrassing the royals with a few changeling-specific bodily functions along the way :trollestia: . Also, I'd love to see the first meeting between Chryssy and Cadence, as well as shining's reaction

7894864

...So it is :rainbowhuh: I had no idea :twilightoops:

Thanks for pointing this out, I've changed it now :twilightsmile:

7894882
7894757

Only one of my stories has avoided gaining a dislike within the first few hours of publication, I'd hope it's not a bot but then people downvoting based on the title, image and synopsis alone would be perhaps even more depressing.

In this case I hit publish and then went off to watch something for 45 minutes, I think one or two of the dislikes were there when I came back, so there'd still be time to read the whole thing first, I think.

I'd like to think there's not anything hugely terrible about the way the story's written; I know some people don't take kindly to villains being presented favourably, but most of my other stories do that and it's mostly ok there, so I think part of it may be due to people having their own established changeling headcanons, and this not fitting with them, or how it twists the idealism of the show into a bleaker reality.

Equally, no story is going to appeal to everyone, and this one has received a lot of attention; the like/dislike ratio is way way more favourable than anything else I've done with a dislike on it.

7895666 Trust me when I say this: people can and do downvote for description, image, sometimes even because a certain author wrote it. But that's nothing to be depressed about. It's unavoidable.

7894788 Thanks!

The cynic might argue that's exactly what I've done, searching for some explanation that paints Chrysalis as something other than just not a very nice creature or ruler :twilightoops:

But the problem with the physics of them sharing love stood out to me the second I saw it in the episode, so the idea of Chrysalis knowing about that but denying them it out of necessity wasn't too far behind. Given how much effort she and the changelings as a whole had put into taking love by deception and force, not to mention taking over Equestria, it seemed that would have been a huge waste of time and resources if they could just share love with each other at home and get by that way, so I preferred thinking there was a reasonable explanation they hadn't done that besides Chrysalis being too evil and controlling to even think of it.

And then certain things fell into place, like why she rejected Starlight in that manner, and how she could be so dedicated but still so tyrannical.

So thanks, I'm glad you liked it and it came across that way. I do think I put character first, but I may have been taking 'Chrysalis is awesome' as a fixed, non-negotiable starting point. Maybe if I'd intended to write an explanation of the changelings story, it might have been more twisted to fit the headcanon, but I just set the two of them up having a conversation and it all simply came out. :twilightsmile:

A great story full of delicious changeling headcanon! Among other things, I never expected someone to take the idea of the 'changedlings' being a short-lived adult stage and run with it in a serious fashion; well done!

7895229 Thanks, I know what you mean about it approaching fix fic territory. That wasn't my intention, I just wanted the two characters to have a conversation, but once I decided to set the story after season six, those events pretty much raised themselves, and Chrysalis just answered with how I'd seen it in my head.

I had a hard time with the long description on this story; as such it's perhaps misleading. When it says all the immortals in Equestria are known to each other, it's only really talking about post-A Canterlot Wedding. I don't remember if To Where And Back Again confirms whether or not the changeling hive is in the badlands, but I think it's so barren and far away that ponies would have had very little reason to go there historically, and those that did would have been incredibly obvious in their approach, allowing the changelings to be safely out of sight long before the ponies arrived. So I would say that the cycle of birth and death has gone on unnoticed by ponies for a long time, and that they only became aware of changelings as more than distant myths when Chrysalis attacked the wedding. It does say here that the first few generations of the hive were attempted with the adult-form, love-sharing changelings, for which presumably the changelings wouldn't have hidden away, but it also says they never lasted long; I wouldn't see each generation surviving longer than a few months, a year at most, in adult forms with no food. So I think even though Chrysalis tried everything she could think of for ways they could share love, each generation had such a short lifespan that the experiment as a whole was over quite quickly, and could have gone unnoticed by ponies.

I imagine that yes, Chrysalis might very well have been very surprised the first time her changelings tried sharing love, but at this point she's seen the events so many times over and thought it through from every imaginable angle, and so the answers really are that apparent and obvious to her. She's had a millennium to think of not that much else, so if she doesn't immediately know what she's talking about when responding to questions Celestia raises after having learned about the situation only minutes before, I'd say there'd be a bit of a problem with her thinking. By the end of their century together, Celestia may well have thought of some angles and solutions that Chrysalis has never considered, but at the point when this story is set it's almost a pupil-asking-teacher level of imbalance with the familiarity of the situation.

With regard to your idea of To Where And Back Again being the first time the transformation had happened, and Chrysalis working it out on the spot, it would be interesting, but I have real problems with the idea that the changelings have been around for a thousand years or so but somehow never thought of sharing love before. That just seems implausible to me, when they're clearly not unintelligent or completely irrational, and since I had noticed the physics problem anyway, that seemed a more reasonable answer to me of why they hadn't already done long ago what Thorax did.

...I had forgotten that Thorax survived the whole way from season 2 to season 5 without directly receiving love. Can't say I liked that episode (terrible song!), probably should have rewatched it before writing this, didn't :twilightoops:. I think there is a headcanon that says that the seasons of the show are quite close together, and only a year or so has passed between seasons 1 and 5, but I don't think that fits this story too well, as the immortals need a bit of distance to think more fondly of the wedding. So I would say that the changelings, in their larval forms, are really very good at surviving their hunger, and are used to getting by on tiny scraps here and there (whereas I'd say that in their adult forms they require a lot more energy, and so they'd only survive a few months, possibly a year without love as adults). It could also be that changing form requires a lot of energy, which presumably Thorax didn't have to do too much in his cave.

I don't think them being able to passively receive love, as in picking it up from the air when around ponies like in the Crystal Empire, would invalidate the things mentioned in this story, they'd still be feeding on each others' love when sharing love between them as adults, which would still be using up the same fixed supply.

I hope none of this comment comes across as defensive, I really liked your response and was glad to have the chance to think about the things you raised and discuss them, so thanks :twilightsmile:

This is probably the kind of reaction the real Celestia would have for a situation like this.

“I doubt she was too happy to see you again, especially via abduction, but you probably need not fear for your safety.”

Cadance: "We will see about that..."


Small note:

It's Cadance, not Cadence.

Excellent fic! You've managed to work around the godawful new changeling lore without ignoring it. Chrysalis' reasoning for being such an evil love bug was very creative IMO. If this fic ever got a sequel or a side story, you can bet I'd read it, but it definitely stands well on its own.

7895242 Eeyup, tell me about it :twilightoops: You raise a very good point about their hatcheries, I hadn't thought of how they could feed the newborns with love without sharing it in the way Thorax did. I don't like complaining about what the show's writers do, that's their prerogative and all, and even though I thought season 6 was a step down from the incredible season 5, it had plenty of good moments. All the same, though, I don't think they thought it through from the angle you just suggested it :facehoof: One could certainly argue that we're taking a kids' show far too seriously, but... I like doing that, and it's often necessary when expanding stories to the written format, and it's usually been possible in the past, it's just that that episode caused some really big changeling problems, I thought.

I checked the end of To Where & Back Again before writing this, you never see any of the adult changelings change form on-screen. Of course, that, along with most of the rest of this story, will probably be rendered completely canonically impossible the second the changelings show up on screen again, but I thought at least setting it after season 6 would be better than condemning it to the realms of the already-impossible, had it been sometime after A Canterlot Wedding and just ignoring their later appearances.

I think, thematically, it fits in the show that they'd no longer change form, the implication being that they're now happy with who they now are, and not so hungry they have to trick others into loving them. In terms of basic evolutionary abilities, though, it seems like a significant step down to me. Added to the shorter adult lifespan idea I added here, I'd rather stay in their larval form :twilightoops:

7895513 Thanks! I don't like redeeming villains, I like them how they are :twilightsmile: So it's nice to think someone as obviously intelligent as Chrysalis might have a reasonable explanation for some of her ways which otherwise seem counterproductive at best. Also I find the idea of sapient species preying on other sapient species quite interesting, and it seemed a good strategy for dealing with that.

7895621 Definitely not, no, it's way too bleak. I don't think the canon to-date invalidates it, so if the changelings somehow never appear again on-screen, I think this can fit, but no, it would never ever be confirmed on the show. And you're right, they've said very little about immortality; we don't for example know if Cadence, Twilight and Chrysalis are immortal, or the sirens in Rainbow Rocks, and even Celestia and Luna could simply be long-lived. They've revealed a bit more here and there on Twitter, but some bits are contradictory.

I hadn't thought of sending them through the mirror, that does seem a good solution. We know a baby dragon became a dog, but also that a siren became human, so I don't know what would happen to a changeling. I've never hit an Equestria Girls interpretation of Chrysalis that I liked; some go with the mother angle, some the queen of love, and some the identity thief, but none have managed to capture all three.

Sorry, I don't quite follow what you mean about other rulers being born from it. My impression from the episode was that Thorax was the new leader as he was the first to try sharing love, and had shown them a new path, rather than because there was anything biologically different from him, as there was with Chrysalis.

I think the implication absolutely is that the familiar changeling forms are only supposed to be temporary, and the rainbow reindeer are how they're 'meant' to look when healthy adults. So I added in something in this story from various butterflies, moths and mayflies, that the adult form can't survive very long, and I thought it might also require a lot more food to sustain for even a short period. So unless they gain something amazing from looking as Thorax does, personally I'd rather stay as their bug-like larval form.

7895627 Thanks very much! :twilightsmile:

I agree it does seem odd that they'd be unknown to each other after being around for so long, but I didn't see any recognition between Celestia and Chrysalis at the royal wedding, and there was no suspicion from Celestia that Cadence might have been replaced, despite the protestations of her most trusted student, even when Canterlot received a direct threat and was keeping its shield up. Which implies to me she hadn't thought of the changelings as being a possibility for that, and therefore suggests that ponies didn't really know about changelings until that point. I think the ultimate goal for a species developed as the ultimate deceivers is to have others, especially those they are preying on, be unaware of their existence. The question would be why Chrysalis then broke that and attempted the wedding plan.

Luna and Chrysalis interactions are almost always great, A Princess And Her Queen is one of my absolute favourite stories, and it's sad we've never really seen those two have a conversation on-screen. I really liked the dialogue you wrote for them in your comment, and the suggestions for how Luna knew were great :pinkiehappy: I could also see Luna and Chrysalis ganging up on Celestia, banter-wise, backing each other up on the more morally dubious side of arguments until Chrysalis inevitably goes too far and Luna has to switch to her sister's side.

I'd also like to see how they'd interact with Twilight, who's probably been more involved with Chrysalis as a character on-screen than any other, and belongs to the family she's hurt most, but also has a vested interest as Princess of Friendship in former enemies making amends and getting along.

As you say, the snarky back and forth most of them would inevitably have would be great to see. I think past a certain point Celestia might keep Chrysalis around just to make life more fun.

Thanks, I don't have any plans for a sequel beyond the odd vague thought, but I'd be tempted to go more in a fluffy direction, so I'm glad to hear you'd still be interested in that :twilightsmile:

7895634 Thanks a lot :twilightsmile:

I have no plans for a sequel at the moment, the reception this story has received has taken me completely by surprise, but those are some good ideas that could create some great scenes. It sounds like they'd be more comedic or fluffy in nature, do you think that would still work as a sequel to the sombre and headcanon-heavy tone of this story?

7895669 ...I dunno, my instinct is still to say that's kind of depressing, even if unavoidable...

7895690 :facehoof: I've been seeing 'changedlings' in comments and assuming it was a typo :facehoof: Makes a lot more sense now, thanks!

Thanks very much, I'm glad you liked it and hope it didn't shatter too many personal headcanons about changeling biology. It's hard to know how much the larva/adult form is supposed to be implied by the episode, but I think it fits with how insectoid they are, and the name of their queen. And making them short-lived gave Chrysalis a reason to keep going independently of them, as she'd need to raise the next generation afterwards, rather than living out the rest of her days as a deposed monarch from a continuing society. I felt it also gave her a kinder side, in that keeping her offspring as children extended their lifespans.

Of course, evolutionarily the reason for the adult form in nature, however short-lived, is to mate, but with her as the permanent mother of her race that's hardly necessary here. Immortality and magic can get in the way of nature sometimes :twilightoops: Or it could be that one of them still has to help Chrysalis out before dying to fertilise the next generation; I guess it would still be possible that she could suspend the process for a century after fertilisation, and resume it when she's ready, magically, maybe?

Damn this is all too interesting. So... what happens now?

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