• Published 1st Mar 2013
  • 4,640 Views, 110 Comments

Love Lost - Eeveexpert

Everypony knows that a Changeling Queen is fiercely protective of every member of her brood, but what happens when that brood refuses her their loyalty?

  • ...

1 - Chrysalis

The Canterlot Wedding...

The ceremony that was to wed the Captain of the Royal Guard, Shining Armor, to the very niece of Princess Celestia herself, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza. That day was going to be perfect. Everything had been going perfectly...until the beautiful bride transformed into something Equestria had not seen in many years; a mythical beast, long forgotten, used only to frighten rambunctious foals into compliance; a changeling.

But, this changeling was no mere worker drone. No. She was their Queen. The Queen of all changelings. At least...of those within her own hive.

You see, changelings as a whole have a very widespread presence throughout Equestria, yet remain largely out of the public forum. A species this prevalent very obviously must have a respected hierarchy if any sort of order is to maintained amongst them. However, just because this hierarchy is respected does not mean that all changelings are happy with it.

Word of the failed assault on Canterlot spread quickly, both within the changeling colonies and without. In a mere month, there wasn't a soul in Ponyville or the royal city who had not heard the tale of how the Changeling Queen Chrysalis had been forcefully expunged from Canterlot, flung over the horizon in a most demeaning manner.

Similarly, not one of these souls knows what happened to the Changeling Queen after this undignified defeat.

It's a cold, unforgiving world out there. This is that story...


When the sun rises, everything under it accepts its light, wanted or not, even the Everfree Forest. How much of that light reaches the ground is a different story. The countless trees block much of this light, making the forest floor a very dark, gloomy place. Gasses from various decaying plants and fungi ride low to the swampy ground, eerily lit by the pale glow of those organisms not yet a part of the muck.

From a hollow under a dead, but still-standing tree, a low rustling was heard.

"Unnnh...” In the low light provided by the luminescence of the gooey, sickly green secretions coating the walls of the hollow and the legs of its occupant, a single bright green eye opened. "Where...where am I..." The owner of this eye and voice looked around groggily, fighting through her blurred vision. An attempt at moving met with a wet squelch. "I see..." These secretions had been laid down by a lone changeling. Judging from the paltry amount of it, a sorely underfed changeling at that. A long sigh slipped past her fangs. "Why...?" She hung her head disapprovingly. "Centurion Sylph! To me, at once!"

An insect-like buzzing of wings preceded the arrival of a new presence outside the den. In entered a black creature similar to an average pony in both size and shape. A pearlescent blue carapace upon his back folded down over tattered insectoid wings and a small horn protruded through a position-granted helmet of the same blue material. "Your Majesty! It is a relief to see you-"

The changeling queen was still groggy, but not enough to dull her anger. "Spare me your pleasantries!" she growled. "What is the meaning of this!?"

"Your Majesty, I-"

"These are your pheromones in this nectar! You were already weak before the assault; to give anything beyond that is nothing but foolish! You know what happens when you give beyond your limits!"

"Your Majesty, those injuries were too great to naturally recover from. It was a matter of life and death..."

The female changeling seemed to mellow at these words, if only slightly. "Very well. But, remember, it is not your position to place your life in danger without due cause."

Sylph nodded. "I understand."

"How long have I remained unconscious?"

"Approximately three days, your Majesty."

"And this nectar?"

"Roughly three days. I sheltered you immediately after your fall and laid down what nectar I could spare."

Silence reigned over the makeshift den. The queen glanced down to the sticky green substance covering much of her forelegs. One application of nectar in this manner would only be beneficial for three days before it would have to be replenished. In times where a source of love was readily available, this was not a problem. This was not one of those times, however. "And you planned to renew it today, yes?"

There was no anger in the queen's tone. Rather, she sounded like a mother reprimanding her misbehaving foal. The centurion played the part well, avoiding eye contact and fidgeting with a hoof.

"Sylph! Eye contact!"

"I-I was..."

"How many times were you planning on renewing this nectar?"

"As many as were needed to aid your recovery, your Majesty..."

The changeling queen shook her head. "We are still in a time of famine. I have already lost many of my children to this difficult time. I do not wish to lose any more. I can already feel my strength returning and I no longer need you to jeopardize your life unnecessarily." With these words spoken, the queen reared to her full height, towering above the centurion.

Sylph's pupilless blue eyes widened as his queen walked from the den. "Y-your Majesty...!" His wings sprang forth from under his elytra to carry him from the tree.

Intelligent green eyes looked across the swampy landscape. The queen's fangs glinted as she bared them in frustration. That blast must have carried me farther than I thought... The hive is a full day away!

"Your Majesty! You are not yet recuperated!" Sylph dropped into his queen’s field of vision from above.

Those emerald-like eyes of the changeling queen softened and she raised a hoof to touch her child's chin. "Your concern is welcomed, Sylph, but I am well aware of my limits. I still have love enough from my stand as the princess. You need not be worried. Rather, it is I who should be worried; when was your last feeding?"

"A-a week ago..."

A week... I have let my children go without food this long... This is a new hive...but times are this trying? "It has been a week since you last fed, yet you chose to weaken yourself further for my sake? Sylph, I am disappointed." She turned to the tree, planting a hoof upon the dead bark. The holes in her forelegs secreted a substance identical to that which she had awoken in. This painted a streak upon the tree before she withdrew her hoof. "Replenish your strength." she instructed, pointing at the nectar.

"But I'm-"

The queen's eyes narrowed. "That...was an order. If I can help it, I will not see another of my children dead before my eyes. Feed."

"Of course." Her majesty's tone all but implied that she would brook no further arguments. Truthfully though, the changeling centurion was starving. The scent of his queen's nectar was tantalizing. He landed before the tree and began lapping at the gelatinous substance. The taste of it upon his tongue was the sweetest thing he had tasted in days.

The queen maintained an eye upon her child, intent on seeing that he received his fill. Such an action was unnecessary; Sylph went at the meal with an impressive, if exceedingly sloppy, fervor. The queen was slightly taken aback. Changelings are not renowned for their table manners, but never before had she seen her children eat in such a slovenly manner. It was...eye-opening to say the least. I have failed to find you a source of food for so long that it has reduced you to this? To behavior befitting the bottom-feeders of the Miasma hive? When she could no longer bear to watch the display, she turned and looked out at the labyrinth of trees. To many other beings, that's all that this would appear as. But, to the changeling queen, a path of pheromones as clear as day wended its way through the forest. "How many others landed with us?"

Sylph hastily gulped down the last of the provided meal before answering. "Three others landed with us. They left shortly after we landed, to return with help from the hive."

"The hive is a day away at best. They should have returned by now..."

"Indeed. Not all is well. What course of action do you suggest we take, your Majesty?"

"We follow the trail back to the hive. I have left my children without proper food for far too long." The green carapace upon the queen's back parted and she took flight, following the pheromone trail of her changelings. A nameless fear rapidly grew in her chest; not for her, but for what she might find along this trail.


The changeling pair made excellent time through the wooded hallways of the forest. They traveled until dusk began blotting out the sun. Even then, the stop was not planned. After about five hours of flight, Sylph grew too weak to continue in such a manner. Such it was that the journey continued on hoof...

Fatigue had fallen heavy upon Sylph's shoulders, but he pressed on. The level at which his vision swam before him effectively rendered him blind; he followed his queen purely by her scent. The strength from his earlier meal had burned out an hour ago. Every step felt like walking through a swamp. In some cases, he actually was. Finally, his body just gave up. He was unconscious before he hit the ground.

The wet thud from his meeting with the ground drew the attention of his hive mother. She glanced back to find the spent changeling on his side in a puddle of thick sludge, breathing weakly. "Sylph..." Had anypony been present, they would have been witness to a rare moment indeed. Compassion welled in the queen's eyes, producing a single tear. Green magic surrounded her crooked horn and Sylph an instant later. The spell plucked him from the fetid muck and draped him across her back. His body convulsed as it instinctively coughed up a mouthful of swamp ooze. "My poor Sylph..."

This manner of travel did not draw on very long. The arrival of dusk brings with it the hunting packs of timberwolves. Their plaintive, howling calls had already started drifting through the trees. A lone changeling queen traveling upon the forest floor would be too inviting a target. She needed to take some sort of action. Sylph was placed upon the ground and the queen positioned her horn over the center of his body. A quick spell was cast and the centurion's body began changing. A magic green flame spread over his body, leaving behind the perfect illusion of an injured timberwolf cub. With her charge safely disguised, it was the queen's turn. She washed herself in the same green flame. Her body responded to the green flame, rebuilding itself into the wooded body of the predator of the Everfree Forest, right down to the sharp fangs and claws. Even her eyes took on the proper yellow-green glow. This convincing appearance alone would be enough to fool many creatures, but timberwolves possessed a remarkably powerful sense of smell, capable of identifying others with but a sniff. The queen knew this, but wasn't concerned; she was the queen, after all, and for her to flawlessly imitate a creature as simple-minded as a timberwolf, even down to their scent, was a mere parlor trick. Sylph had been sheltered with the same foolproof transformation. Not a soul alive, save for another changeling queen, would be able to see through this facade.

She might have just established a new hive in an as of yet unfamiliar location, but she had observed timberwolves before and the queen had heard their cries many times and was familiar with their habits. She let out a pathetic, haunting wail. The timberwolf signal for injury and distress. Not ten seconds later saw an answering call returned across the treetops. The proverbial die had been cast; they were on their way. The changeling-turned-timberwolf curled up around her offspring and waited.

The wait was not a long one; timberwolves move quickly. The two changelings were soon surrounded by a hunting pack of the lumbered predators. One of the timberwolves stood a full head taller and carried himself stronger than the other five. The alpha of this particular pack. That was the best chance for her appeal to take. This large timberwolf took a step toward her and barked. She responded to this with a ferocious snarl, being careful to reveal the fake cub.

That did the trick. The large male froze in his tracks. Perhaps he was weighing the risks of approaching a defensive and possibly injured female? Finally, he directed a short bark to one of the other timberwolves. The instructed timberwolf gave a yap to the queen before turning to walk into the trees.

Her ploy had worked perfectly. The queen retrieved her changeling incognito and followed her escort. A moderate trek through the trees placed the small company before a burrow dug into the ground. The fake timberwolf nodded and descended into the earth. This dark, dusty hole in the ground was a far cry from the comforts of her hive. In any other situation, the proud changeling queen would not call upon such crude...beasts for sustenance or shelter. However, pride is often the enemy of survival and she had no choice. She chose a spot near, but not too near, the other timberwolf females.

At length, one of them cautiously approached the new arrival, eyeing the unconscious Sylph. A low warning growl rattled from his queen's disguised throat. The encroaching female quickly retreated, respecting the negative signal. Finally, the queen lowered her head and began her search for sleep.


The hours separating the present from the dawn passed quickly in slumber, soon presenting the morning sun to the Everfree Forest again. With the sunlight seeping into the den, the changeling queen was roused enough to register a presence before her. When the identity of said presence dawned upon her, it was all she could do to avoid crying out in her own voice. Before her, limp upon the dirty ground, lay a dead changeling. Upon the poor creature's neck, painfully visible against its jet-black exoskeleton, were four deep fang wounds, bleeding green... The timberwolf's killing bite... N-no...! The queen knew all the pheromones of all the changelings in her hive; as much as she wanted to deny it, this was one of her children...

One of her children...cruelly murdered by these filthy brutes, then presented to her as a meal!

She respectfully nosed the deceased changeling onto her wooden back, placing Sylph alongside him. The creaking of her disguised pawsteps faded along with her transformation as she strode to the exit...and the alpha timberwolf sleeping before it. The queen made no effort to soften her hoofsteps in walking past him; she wanted him to awaken.

And awaken he did. The beast came to with a furious snarl, sensing his natural prey. He lunged for the queen, claws and teeth ready for the kill.

He never got to her.

The Queen's horn and eyes sparked to life with a green light. The timberwolf was instantly and completely enveloped with an unnatural green flame. She watched with detached interest as the timberwolf fell at her hooves, writhing in agony and screaming like a beast possessed, while the flames literally consumed it.

The mortal throes of the dying animal quickly woke its eleven denmates, who noticed the dancing flames and promptly cowered against the back wall of the cave.

With slow, deliberate steps, the Queen started toward the back of the cave, the very essence of vengeance burning in her eyes. In passing the still-alive, still-burning timberwolf, she pointedly slammed a hoof down on its hind leg, splintering it. Wails from the mortally wounded timberwolf filled the entire cave and still the Changeling Queen advanced. "You would not hesitate to claim the life of an innocent changeling and call my wrath upon you, yet you cower at the mere sight of flame?" A familiar pheromone floated across the queen's senses, silencing her rage, but only for an instant. The timberwolf in the middle of the group...that was the one that had slain her child. Her anger returned with explosive results. "Pathetic beasts!" At her will, the guilty timberwolf spontaneously combusted.

Whether it was volume of voice or the fact that one of their own had burst into flame that caused the remaining timberwolves to flee was irrelevant. A magical explosion rent the burning timberwolf into dozens of flaming pieces. Each one of these sought a different target, spreading the arcane flame on contact.

The debt upon her child's life had been repaid; the queen had no further reason to stay. As she exited the den, she cast one final spell, sealing the cave's mouth with a wall of magic flame. Nothing would enter or leave this place until it ceased burning, which would not happen until the flames and lives inside burned out.

Green firelight danced in the queen's eyes, refracting off the angry tears welling there. "An act against a child of the Chrysalis hive commands a steep price..." She fell silent, listening to the guttural wailing of the burning timberwolves. "A steep price that Queen Chrysalis will always come to collect..."

When the Queen’s fury had waned enough to return rational thought to her, she moved off to give her proper respects to her fallen child. As she lay his body before her, new pheromones reached her nostrils. The scent of the passed changeling was there, yes, but fainter, almost as if off in the distance, there were hundreds more, each unique. This changeling had been within the hive recently. Even fainter than that, but still there, and absolutely unmistakable in its repulsive stench, was another scent. That of an intruder within her hive.

Chrysalis’ face twisted itself into a hideous, fang-revealing snarl.


Author's Note:

Remember in Inception when they said that once you have an idea in your head, it's almost impossible to get it out? I'm here to tell you that they were oh so right.

Damn, were they right...

Exactly a week ago, I came across a rather magnificent piece of artwork, backed by an equally magnificent headcanon dreamed up by the mod of the "Ask Velvet" Tumblr, Carnifex, that slugged me with inspiration. Seven days later, here you are, seeing the fruits of that inspiration; a fusion of a few of my own changeling headcanons with quite a few more of his.

For those of you worried about how this will affect Storms On the Horizon, do not; that will always be my main fic. I will also hold myself to keeping chapters for this particular fic to roughly 3k words, or about half the length of a SOtH chapter, for quick and easy work.

Stay classy and enjoy, y'all.

*A huge thanks goes out to Carnifex for allowing me the use of headcanon and artwork for this fic and another huge thanks out to my real-life brony friend and fellow FiMFiction author, SpiritofthwWolf, for providing pre-reading services and also calling me out on a good deal of my timberwolf representations!