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Just a guy who found out that a show about talking ponies is a lot better than I expected.


Nightmare Moon has been defeated by the new bearers of the Elements of Harmony. However, in a strange twist of fate, none of the bearers are ponies. In an Equestria that has a painful distrust of non-ponies, six creatures come together to ponder the courses their lives took, and the decisions that led them to Ponyville.

AU in which none of the Mane Six are ponies. My entry for Choices: A Species Change Contest.
Featured 11-12-2022
Also on Equestria Daily

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 42 )

Can you believe I saw this in my notifications just seconds after you published it?

It was a very enjoyable read and an interesting choice of species swap. I'm glad I gave it a try :twilightsmile:

Haven't read it yet, but amusingly I had TWO DRAFTS with a similar concept (EOH are all different species) before focusing on something different.

Edit - Yup, similar themes as well lol

Huh. Interesting.

Yeah, though mine took a darker more militaristic twist.

If you still want to write them you totally should.

Honestly I moved to my latest version because its different from that/this. I suspected trying to force that idea was my problem

Hey there. Thanks very much for sharing this one-shot story. Definitely understand the selection for other species for the Mane Six in this universe and how well you did keeping them in character despite the differences in species while still taking the species differences into account. Also like that this story takes place AFTER Nightmare Moon was already defeated. The backstories to how they all ended up moving to Ponyville certainly make sense. Yak-Applejack is a farmer who, while certainly stubborn and willing to smash when necessary, is less boastful than other yaks and ended up getting hired by the Pears (I'm guessing they took over Sweet Apple Acres after Bright Mac and Pear Butter died because Granny Smith was too old to do that sort of physical labor anymore, Big Mac couldn't do the job on his own and Apple Bloom was too young, so they DID need the help), Hippogriff Pinkie went looking for help concerning the Storm King, but didn't have much luck (well, outside the rest of the Mane Six [I could easily see the fight with the Storm King being THIS Mane Six's SECOND big adventure in this universe - AFTER Nightmare Moon, but BEFORE Discord]), Kirin Fluttershy refused to give up her voice because she loved communicating with and helping the animals too much, Dragon Rarity enjoyed fashion far too much for the tastes of most of the other dragons, Minotaur Rainbow believed in being assertive without being a bully (which most other Minotaurs disagreed with) and Changeling Twilight was positively inspired by one of Celestia's failed diplomatic talks with Chrysalis, even if most of the other Changelings didn't agree with her and met Pony-Spike when he gave her a job at the library (and I think it is only a matter of a couple of months before Twilight learns that earning and sharing love with no fewer than six good friends [counting Pony-Spike] has made her stronger than even she thinks and is proof positive that Celestia was absolutely right [and I could even see this Twilight eventually becoming the new Changeling Queen alongside Thorax as the King]). And I'm glad to hear that at least a few of the ponies (besides Spike and the Cakes, who already treat them with the respect they have definitely earned) have already started to warm up to them (and I'm willing to wager that at least three of those ponies who are already starting to warm up to them are a certain trio of fillies very well known to fans of the franchise).

Anyway, downright excellent work on this one-shot.

To kinda echo what 11421080 Comickook said, you did a great job integrating the Mane 6's canon personalities/motivations into the lore surrounding the various species you swapped them to. Nice touches aplenty; kudos!

With the Pears, it was more the idea that, in this universe, the Apples were the ones who moved away, instead of the Pears. Pony Applejack just doesn't exist in this world.

All right. That makes sense. Thanks very much for the correction.

This was a very good AU story and liked the choice of species that you swapped the Main 6 with. :heart:

interesting take
feels a bit off tho
like how Dash is a Minotaur and not a Gryphon
and Apple-Yak is a neat idea, but why not a Buffalo?
and on the more minor side, no mention of Smolder in Rarity's backstory? and no Ocellus or Thorax in Twilight's?
as an aside, i wanna see a crossover between this AU and canon circa mid-season 8

Now this is an AU I'd gladly read more of.

I was originally gonna have Thorax be the king of the changelings in Twilight's story, but I decided that would raise questions as to where Chrysalis was, so I didn't.

and the other questions?

I'll be honest, I didn't think of Apple Buffalo until I was already done with Applejack's section. And the thought of using Smolder in Rarity's backstory didn't even occur to me.

If you ever do a sequel with the Young Six you could have Smolder end up at the Friendship School because secretly she really wanted to meet Rarity.
This extends to the others haveing slightly different connections to other secondary cast.
Thorax's defection could be because Twilight proved there was a better way.
Rutherford could see Applejack as a reason Yaks can trust ponies.
If Bight Mac and Pear Butter are still alive then AJ could help Grand Pear Swallow his pride and make up with them
I am sure Discord would find the chaotic nature Nirk Futtershy appealing and become her friend easier.
Rainbow and Iron will could have a rivalry.

Yeah. Those ARE some really good thoughts. I could see all of that too.

Of course, the Friendship School could be set up after Twilight and Thorax took over as the new Changeling Queen and King (so, shortly after Season 6 instead of the start of Season 8, so a full season early, which would allow more character development for the Student Six) with Twilight getting the idea from all the adventures she shared with her friends as well as how she and Thorax both realize that the Friendship School would be a great way for the other Changelings to learn to earn and share love. As Twilight is the new Changeling Queen, she isn't bound by Equestria Law per say (so Neighsay can't do a thing about it), but still has enough respect for Celestia (and probably Luna too by that point) to have a sit-down with the Princesses to discuss the plans for the School.

On another, earlier note, Starlight Glimmer encountering this Mane Six for the first time should be interesting (given her "Sameness Spell" would have no effect on any of them as they have no Cutie Marks to mess with - meaning that she would HAVE TO think of something else).

And the Crusaders could still be strongly inspired by the Six (in this case, six beings who CAN'T EVEN GET Cutie Marks still managing to accomplish so many great things [Scootaloo, particularly, could end up admiring that, if a Minotaur can be such a great all-around athlete even without being able to fly, there is still hope for HER]).

Fluttershy accidentally blurted out the truth about her nirik side during a casual conversation. It soon spread like wildfire throughout Ponyville


Tbf, Yaks are shown to travel on occasion, whilst Buffalo (as Native American stand ins) are more close knit and stay together

Huk #22 · Nov 13th, 2022 · · 1 ·

This was an interesting concept and a good execution. a good SoL, if you ask me. Have a like :twilightsmile:

I might write more stories in this AU in the future. Lots of places I could take it.

Would you believe me if I told you that was unintentional?

What a delightfully interesting one-shot. Thank you kindly for sharing it with us all.

"Applejack had work to do!" insisted the yak. "Applejack admittedly not early, but work too important for Applejack to skip out on!"

Applejack speaking in the third person was something I didn't expect to see today.

"Sure, the Pears that hire Applejack nice, but ponies act like Applejack dangerous!"

Man, the unexpected things with AJ just keep coming! :rainbowlaugh:

But upon her arrival in Canterlot, she was dismissed by Princess Celestia's guards, who didn't trust a hippogriff.

May those guards swiftly loose their jobs then once the Storm King inevitably comes a-knocking on Equestria's door. :ajsmug: Seriously, that wasn't their call to make anyway.

Though she did have to ask ponies not to pay her in gems. While she was fine with eating the occasional stone, they didn't pay the bills.

Not exactly legal tender, I assume. Though in canon Equestria, gems were readily used as a replacement for traditional currency more than once...but eh, this is an AU anyway, so what's it matter in the end, right?

"Have you heard about their Hearth's Warming Holiday?" asked Rainbow. "Apparently, a thousand years ago, they couldn't even get along with each other just because of wings and horns."

Yeah, points like that are a good reminder that, despite all the lessons learned against it throughout G4 and now G5, the ponies do seem to be naturally discriminatory unless they actively work to rise above it, and even when they do rise above it...it generally doesn't take much for them fall back into bad habits.

(Honestly, because of that, I don't know why so many fans have such a hard time accepting the idea of the ponies separating again by the time of G5--there's plenty of evidence throughout just G4 that ponies were swift to forget the good and unity, and slow to learn it again)

Anyway, this was a nice little what-if kind of fanfic and definitely fits perfectly for the contest. Though there are two minor points I'm mildly disappointed about--for my own WIP entry for said contest, I also have Twilight as the changeling and Rarity as the dragon, so now I feel a little like I've been beaten to the punch. :derpytongue2: Oh well, I'm at least covered plot-wise, and that's probably more important anyway.

Twilight smiled a sad smile, but there was hope in there as well. "For now, at least we have each other," she said, prompting Pinkie to pull everyone into a giant group hug.

The moral: no matter what species you are you can still enjoy cuddles!

The only species change that I disagree with is Dash being a Minotaur, while I can see her as one, I just can't see her as a species that can't fly, so I imagine her as a Griffon, since they tend to be selfish and look out only for themselves.

Damn this AU be straight up bussin fr fr

Fluttershy, the quietest Kirin being the one refusing to give up her voice is almost poetic.

Making Dash a Griffon would have been an obvious choice for many but your interpretation of her being a Minotaur is interesting and it works.

Was expecting Rarity to be a Diamond dog, but now I do think Dragon Rarity would make a better character, along with the potential reversal of pony Spike having a crush on dragon Rarity lol.

And of course, Twilight being a changeling gives a lot of room to build and speculate. Especially since even though she's not a pony, she can still "ascend" through either by fanon "changeling queen metamorphosis" growth, or through canon transformation like how Thorax did it. Would be fun to see her become a changeling queen with a little crown on her head.

Really looking forward to seeing more of this AU.

This is an interesting story. I don't recall coming across another story where the Mane 6 were non-ponies.

Thank you.

Yeah, plot is probably more important than what species they are. Good luck with your entry.

I considered making Dash a griffon, but I thought I could do more with her being a minotaur, since we only ever saw one in the whole show, and didn't know that much about them.

Yeah, I COULD see the Pony-Spike having a crush on Dragon Rarity thing (and, as this Spike is implied to be in his late-teens at the youngest, there is actually more of a chance of that crush eventually being requited though with Rarity pointing out that dragons have life spans of well over a thousand years barring violent death, so the odds are that she would long outlive him [as well as all of her friends with the possible exception of Changeling Twilight, but that didn't stop her from befriending them]).

And all of your other points are great too.


Yeah, just about all of those points are great, especially the one concerning the hope that the guards that snubbed Hippogriff-Pinkie getting fired (Celestia, Luna and probably Shining Armor would certainly not be too pleased to hear about something like that) and how they overstepped their authority.

Honestly, the bigger issue I face is whether or not I can finish it and get it all posted before the deadline. :derpytongue2:

But everything changed when the Storm King attacked.

ATLA reference?

This is just as interesting as the actual show's storyline. I would love to read more about it. I really liked your rationale behind each species being chosen for each individual. Kudos on a great ficlet.

But everything changed when the Storm King attacked.

Only the avatar, master of all 6 elements could stop him but when the world needed her most she vanished~
Lol, sorry I couldn’t resist, that was the perfect set up and no one else seemed to do it

It was then that Twilight was approached by a pegasus named Spike. Spike ran the Golden Oaks Library, and was looking for an assistant. He didn't care about her status as a change.

Yep, she's definitely a change from the norm.

Rainbow shrugged. "Anxiety, I'm guessing. You know how that kirin is with social situations. Then again, maybe she some pony just brought her a sick animal, and she got held up, too."

I think you've got one too many "She" in there.

This was a nice fun story to read, and it's done some interesting worldbuilding, and it feels a little more inventive to have them talking about their histories after dealing with Nightmare Moon.

Thanks for the comments. Fixed that error, too.

Quite the standout group, huh. (I wonder if they'll one day teach friendship to a bunch of mostly-pony students.)

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