• Published 5th May 2019
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Change: The New Kingdom - tom117z



It has been forty-three years since Queen Twilight Sparkle first discovered her lineage and claimed her birthright. And never has it been harder on her than when The New Kingdom is unveiled to the world.

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1 - Prologue

It has been forty-five years since Queen Twilight Sparkle first discovered her lineage and claimed her birthright, forty-three years since she became Queen of the Hive. And never has it been harder on her than when a new power in the Undiscovered West makes itself known to the world.

But that is now. The seeds were sown long ago, in a land of eternal winter...

****

The castle was dreary, the distinct chill of ice permeating through the very air its inhabitants breathed. There was very little life to be found within its walls, many of the previous populace having already left in preparation for the coming exodus. Their ancestral home, the birthplace of their kind, all soon to be left to ruin.

But not just yet.

Two ponies still walked the halls, giving one final farewell to the home they would never see again. Each was adorned in a warm cloak, one blue with speckled stars while the other’s was a royal violet befitting of her status. Their route took them past an array of windows overlooking the snow-covered royal gardens, the more regal of the two taking a lengthy look of longing at the exterior. A place of such wondrous beauty, but one doomed to freeze until nought remained.

Then she continued forth, the stallion accompanying her dutifully following on in silence. Finally, their walk took them to a great pair of doors ornately carved with the histories of their people. From the moment they had crawled from their primitive herds to build the great city upon the mountain. A place of regality that all other dwellers far below would look upon in envy. And, behind those doors, was the centre of it all.

The throne room.

The guards who had formerly protected it were also gone, likely among the formations preparing to leave the city. The velvet throne at the end was empty and quiet, as so it would be forever more.

The mare signed, bringing an alabaster hoof to her forehead to rub the base of her temple, brushing aside her well-groomed purple mane to do so. That throne was one that had belonged to her father until recently, the king. But with the fall of their nation requiring the birth of a new one, the crown was now to fall to her.

She turned to her companion, a grey stallion in a wizard’s outfit. He had a short beard that was beginning to show signs of greying, the stallion rapidly reaching the mid-point in his life, and yet his eyes showed that he still had many years left in him.

“We should not delay for too long, Queen Platinum,” Starswirl the Bearded cautioned. “The wendigos will return soon, and they will bring with them those they have already claimed as theirs. We do not have the strength to hold off another attack, let alone survive the cold they bring.”

“You need not remind me,” she returned. “And it is still ‘princess’ for the time being, Starswirl. I am not a queen until I have a nation.”

“You do have one, and they are waiting for you to accompany them. Thousands of unicorns awaiting salvation.”

“I hope I can give it to them,” Platinum lamented. “Gah, if only Pudding Head and Hurricane weren’t so pig-headed!”

“Both stallions share the blame, but you cannot claim full innocence.”

She glared at the mage. “Excuse me?”

“My student told me all that occurred. None of you were willing to truly give the other a chance, but all it would have taken was one of you to extend the olive branch.”

“Why should I be the first when neither of them were willing!?”

“Perhaps you have answered your own question,” he told her. “With the three pony tribes remaining ununified, the birthplace of our species is doomed.”

Platinum sighed. “Perhaps. But I am royalty, they should have known their place!”

Starswirl regarded her with a disapproving look. “I do hope you reconsider your position, your Highness. But this is a talk for another day, we need to go.”

Princess Platinum was silent, her eyes remaining locked on her father’s throne. Some of the stallion’s words bore into her mind, and yet they were also in conflict with the teachings she had undergone ever since she came into the world. Unicorns were meant to be the superior race. The most dignified. The most intelligent.

And yet they had been brought to ruin just as the earth ponies and pegasi had.

Still in conflict, but stubbornly clinging to the superiority her blood was meant to bring, she finally tore herself away and regarded the mage.

“Very well. My ponies need me, I shall not-”

The Princess was interrupted when the throne room doors were flung violently open, Platinum recoiling in shock while Starswirl turned to stare dangerously at the intruders. Three ponies adorned in elegant robes, each clearly of the wealthy elite, stormed in under the escort of their personal guards. Another stallion, one with a yellow coat largely covered by a brown cloak, sheepishly followed them in.

“Clover,” Starswirl addressed the yellow stallion, a question on his face. “What is the meaning of this?”

“I’m sorry, Master. But these ponies insisted on speaking with Princess Platinum,” Clover the Clever replied. “I tried to tell them to stay in line and wait with the others, but they weren’t having any of it.”

“We are not like the earth ponies, doomed to fester with the peasants beneath us,” the lead unicorn noble scoffed. “Trudging through the dirt to find a new home when a perfectly good one is right here.”

“You know that this city can no longer be our home,” Platinum decreed, clearly very tired of arguing with these very same ponies. “And those peasants are unicorns like us and, moreover, they are my people. My duty is to them, we have to leave.”

“Then send them on their way. Have them mingle with the pegasi and the earth ponies as they too seek out new lands,” the pony dismissed. “There are enough of the pure-blooded to rebuild here without their kind. The noble families shall survive!”

“Many have already agreed to leave,” Starswirl pointed out. “Your peers know that there is no future here.”

“They would reconsider if our ruler did.”

“Which she shall not,” Platinum retorted.

The noble glared at her. “Even still, enough wish to remain to continue on. Not just with the best of us, but with the servants and guards we would take with us. Even without you, with careful propagation, Unicornia will rebuild.”

“Don’t be fools!” Clover blurted out. “You will be condemning yourselves!”

“Watch your tone, colt!”

“That ‘colt’ is my protégé,” Starswirl pointed out. “He knows of what he speaks, we have both see the horrors lying in the blizzards. If the wendigos come for you, you will not survive. Those who are not slaughtered will become possessed, their bodies twisted into monsters beyond imagining.”

“We will take that chance.”

“Will you now? You truly believe you can survive where so many have not.”

“Those who did not clearly were not worthy of it,” the noble shot back. “Princess, please. Consider our position.”

“I have long considered it, and I still know where my destiny lies,” Platinum stated. “And it is with my people and those not so foolish as to remain in a doomed city. We will find a new home and rebuild there.”

“And we shall remain. We will see who is right.”

“Perhaps,” she agreed. “And maybe, if we both are, our peoples will reunite one day.”

The noble smirked. “Yes. And then we shall see who became the stronger.”

Platinum frowned at his words. It almost sounded like a threat, a very punishable crime under unicorn rule. One many ponies had made the mistake of taking, often resulting in lives behind bars or even execution depending on the severity.

But that time had passed, there was no room for such things. Not anymore.

“I suppose we shall,” she chose to reply simply, turning to regard both Starswirl and Clover. “Come. It is time.”

The three ponies passed the nobles by, each group giving the other looks of bitterness and resentment. The nobles watched as their monarch and her advisers departed, moving on into an uncertain future.

And then, with barely a glance, they too left the throne room behind. They walked back through the corridors of the castle until they found a nice balcony at the very front, the view stretching out before them showcasing the whole city and the valley spread beneath it. Unicornia in all its glory, so many streets now empty while the most direct route to its road down the mountain was packed to the brim with ponies of all shapes, sizes and colours. Unicorns, each and every one of them; the inhabitants of Unicornia as they had existed for countless years and generations. All were wrapped as warmly as they could, carrying all they were able to as they prepared to face the arduous journey ahead.

The journey would take them east, far away from the three tribes and to the sea. From there, ships had already been prepared to take them across the sea. Wooden ships with sails to guide them, meant to take the population to an empty land rumoured to exist beyond the great blue divide. A new home. Names were already in circulation for the first settlements of this ‘New Unicornia’, intended to be far more vast than the singular city-state of Old Unicornia ever was.

Everfree. Manehatten. Vanhoover. All planned, but time would tell if they would come to be.

And yet the nobles above would have no part in that future. They watched from their balcony as the unicorns, with Princess Platinum and Starswirl the Bearded at their head, moved out of the city and towards their destinies.

“And there they go,” one of the nobles said to another. “There are so few of us now. The wendigos will undoubtedly follow them. Swallow them whole.”

“With luck, it means they will leave us be while they consume those cowards,” the other replied. “But our couple hundred ponies will grow over the centuries into a new kingdom, one to rival anything they might build. Not that they will make it.”

And so, they watched. They watched longer still even for a while after all other unicorns had long departed. The earth ponies and the pegasi would not be far behind, leaving the land of this new kingdom solely to the unicorns. And it is in this world that the remaining of the elite would rule over the ponies sworn to serve them, even as the long winter continued around them…


“Wow! So fascinating!” Princess Avia of the Equestrian Hive gushed, closing the history book detailing the final accounts of Unicornia’s abandonment. “I wonder what happened to those ponies?”

She had been reading the tome for some time, absorbing all the information it had to offer. She had no idea that some of the nobility had been so foolish as to stay behind, even with the wendigos all but knocking on their door. Despite what those few had believed; Platinum had made it to the land across the sea. There, she had done as Starswirl hoped and put her differences with her counterparts aside after the wendigos were seemingly decimated by the Fires of Friendship, going on to be the first and only Queen of Equestria. It was in this new land that Starswirld had found two alicorn fillies, taking them in as his new students. It was in this new nation that said fillies eventually grew to take over from Platinum, remaining the Princesses of Equestria well into the modern era.

Equestria, the very place in which the changeling hive around Avia now sat.

The young lavender changeling gently moved the book aside, it joining a stack of other three tribes-related material she had collected from the bookshelves around them. These bookshelves belonged to her mother, Queen Twilight Sparkle, whose room she was currently in sat on a comfortable chair alongside a small table.

“Froze to death, probably,” her father, Façade, mused back from his position at the table. “We know the land is still caked in snow to this day.”

“Not that we know much else. It’s not called the ‘Undiscovered West’ for no reason.”

Façade hummed. “Well, then it’s a good thing your mother will soon change that, hm?”

“That’s why I’m reading up on this stuff. She gets to go on this expedition while I’m stuck here!”

“Ruling,” he pointed out tersely. “A big responsibility you need to learn.”

“Yeah, I know,” she conceded. “I’m still jealous, though. It’s a HUGE opportunity!”

He levelled her a deadpan look. “You do know that all travellers to that land have never returned, right? It’s why it’s been lost.”

“Well, no Changeling Queen has ever tried,” Avia shot back. “Besides, it’s Mum. She’s good at danger and stuff.”

Façade chuckled. “That she is. And she will have more than enough guards with her. Both pony and changeling.”

“But not you,” Avia noted.

“Someone has to keep an eye on you. Besides, adventuring is a younger changeling’s job. Or ones with impressive longevity, like your mother.”

“Oh please, you’re only fifty-five.”

“And she’s sixty-three, but still as hot as Tartarus.”

Avia blanched. “D-Daaaad!”

He laughed again. “And despite being twenty-three, you still let your father have an easy time in making you embarrassed.”

She pouted. “It’s not my fault you’re so good at it.”

“Technically it is. If you weren’t here, I wouldn’t be a father. And fathers are designed for this sort of thing.”

“Whatever you say…”

They were silent for a few moments, Avia just quietly fuming over her father’s continuing smug smirk. But then her irritation fell away, her expression becoming more forlorn.

“I had a nightmare last night.”

“Oh?” Façade asked curiously. “Anything big?”

“I’m not sure,” the Princess admitted. “I fell asleep after writing to my friends in Ponyville, and after talking with Mum for a bit about the expedition. It was… oddly real. Everything was burning… There was a pony there. An alicorn.”

“One of the Princesses of Equestria?”

“I don’t know. Maybe? But… they attacked me.”

“Huh. Well, I wouldn’t let it bother you too much, Avia. Your imagination was probably just on overdrive given how much you have been excited to learn about the Undiscovered West.”

“I don’t know… but it was so real.”

“If it bothers you again, I could always write to Princess Luna.”

“I don’t think that’s necessary. It was only a one-off. So far, anyway.”

“Alright then. But I’m here to talk if it happens again, okay?”

She gave him a grateful nod. “Thanks, Dad.”

“Any time. After all…” He raised a hoof, one filled with holes seeing as he, unlike his wife and daughter, was one of the few remaining changelings not affected by the metamorphosis caused by the Elements of Harmony so many years prior. “I am a holy changeling.”

Avia just groaned. Loudly.

“Princess, a moment?” Carduus’ voice sounded over the hive, Avia glad for the distraction while her father just looked pleased with himself. “Your mother wants to see you in the throne room. It’s about her coming trip, and your duties meanwhile.”

“Thanks, Carduus. But why are you pinging me and not her?”

“Because she has her muzzle buried in maps and verbally asked me to so not to distract herself.”

“Right, of course, that’s why,” she internally deadpanned at him. As much as she loved books almost as much as her mother, it only would have taken a few moments of thinking… “I’m on my way.”

She cut the link with the old changeling, standing up from her seat. She was more than ready to escape her father's teasing, but was also equally nervous about hearing what her mother had to say in regards to her coming dominion of the Equestrian Hive. Even if it would only be for a short while.

She was not ready to be a queen, not yet.

But she would do her mother proud, on that point she was determined…

And yet, even as the Princess left to find Twilight Sparkle, other forces were stirring far across the world. Far from the hive, far from Equestria, long across the vast ocean… There, in a land long thought empty and lifeless, two fiery amber eyes looked upon a land of ice and little vegetation. They looked out upon all that had built upon this desolation, musing on just what challenges were now to come.

Author's Note:

And so the next story in the Change series begins! Welcome to the finale, folks. It's going to be a wild ride...