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Desolate and depleted, barren and empty--black, scarred and forgotten, surrounded on all sides by lands equally backwards and inhospitable. The Changeling Kingdom was often described in such terms, though Luxuria often wondered if the same descriptors couldn't extend to the average changeling. It truly felt to her at least that the lives they lived there in the kingdom were as grim and barren as the wasteland upon which their homes were made. The kingdom was depressing. It always had been of course. That was why Luxuria had left it years ago, returning only when she heard tell of the new Queen's bold plan for invasion. The new queen was certainly bold and had promised them much but had thus far found them nothing but failure. The plan to take Roam was on the horizon, but Luxuria had her doubts that it would ultimately go much differently than Canterlot or Ponyville. Part of her wanted to leave again, but a greater part of her she supposed was still blinded by the waning hope that maybe their queen would lead them to a life that was better for them. That had to be better than a life spent on the outside, making the gift of her natural beauty in disguise, did it not? Hope was likely a mirage. Joy was fleeting. Love was the ultimate resource, craved in every corner but effectively imaginary. That was exactly why Luxuria was needed there to do her part. The Gypsy Moth Lounge almost seemed a glowing beacon standing up from the dread and the mire of what surrounded it. It was an anomaly, newly build and architecturally modern. Luxuria had seen it built upon returning to the kingdom, basing the design off of a free standing lounge she had once visited in Beakbreak City. It was atmospheric; dimly lit, comfrotable and clean. Too much rowdiness was discoraged. It was her brainchild, but Luxuria took a backseat role in its daily operations. She had set others up to manage it, make and serve food and drinks and whatever else needed to be done. No, her role, and the reason the Gypsy Moth had been made, was so that she could take to the small stage each night and sing for the patrons. Luxuria if asked would say that what she was doing with the Gypsy Moth was trying to infuse a little happiness and pleasure into their dreary lives. Perhaps it was more accurate to say it was all for the sake of stroking her own vast ego by making her the center of attention. Luxuria would maybe counter this accusation by making a point of how other singers and entertainers were featured, but it remained that she was always the headliner and the star. Such was the case on one evening not unlike any other at the Gypsy Moth. Luxuria was on her stage, dressed in lacy red stockings and a black gown of frills and feathers. A few extra feathers formed a crown which she wore in her her luxurious pink mane, gently curled and worn loose as opposed to in her usual twintail style. It was late and she was finishing up her prime hour set before someone with less talent and charisma took her place on the stage. The musicians set the mood with a droning dirge. It was hard to find changeling musicians, and Luxuria couldn't say her band was anywhere close to good, but most changelings she supposed wouldn't be able to tell the difference. Meanwhile, Luxuria sang a sweet and melancholy something of her own composition while standing still and serene before her microphone: "The cold wind howls across fallow fields in the shadow of the Ash Spoils~♪ Sorrow is something which seldom yields as the Ruin Sea brims and boils~♫ Pride alone can leave no one sated across these ill-graced sands~♪ But I suppose it is that we're all fated to be lovesick in the wasteland~♫ "Broken and empty but undefeated our eyes turn toward our fair queen~♪ Hope like our homeland depleted she promises us lands fair and green~♫ Yet pleasant thoughts remain strange things in the face of the best laid plans~♪ Can we truly expect that we changelings ever won't be lovesick in the wasteland~♫"
((OOC: This is the first thread in The Fall of Roam storyline. If you have a character who you would like to include in this thread, please sign up in the OOC thread here first. .)) Failure was humiliating; repeated failure was maddening. There were only so many times a changeling could have her plans, her hopes for her and her subjects, dashed so absolutely by inutile vermin and still keep her head held high and her eyes looking forward. Every plan that ended in failure sliced layers off of not only her pride, but her confidence and her reputation. She was far from deaf to the murmurs in the darker corners of her kingdom. In time, even her most loyal subjects might lose patience with her. Shouldn't they though? A leader's job was to produce results. Every time they failed, every time subjects ended up felled or captured as a result of one of her plans, every time they were forced to return to their wasteland with their hunger for love unsatisfied, every time the burden of it all was all on her back.No, things were not easy for a queen who was a failure. The shadow of dread cast by the thwarted Nightmare Night invasion plan was hard to escape. The changelings of the kingdom looked toward Chrysalis' keep with expectations now. Weeks of bleak and bitter reflection had followed for the queen. Oh how she hated them, those ponies! Like miserable cockroaches, they always found a way to survive. Even without their elements, even without their leaders, they had still found a way. Chrysalis had been unable to secure even one miserable little pony town. Was she a fool to be ambitious, to try and change things for once? Was the place of her kind in this world to just miserably subside on hapless forest creatures, never knowing how it feels to truly be satisfied? It couldn't be. Action was needed. She had been defeated, but only when she gave up would she have truly failed irrevocably. Her subjects were restless. If left to just sit and lick their wounds, the bitter sentiments stirring in the hive would just start to boil over. No, as queen, Chrysalis needed to do her part to set morale right. That's why, after only a few dark weeks, Chrysalis emerged from her doldrums with all of her usual vigor, her eyes set on the future. A new plan was needed, a plan that would not fail. Chrysalis needed to pick a target that could be overwhelmed effectively and without drawing the immediate gaze of Celestia and those loyal to her. If they could secure any pony settlement of size, they could feast on the love of the inhabitants. Then, with the power they had acquired, overpowering even Canterlot might be feasible this time. After consulting some of the books in her library and a map of Equestria, a new plan started to piece together in the queen's head. Once she had it all sorted out, she sent for her lieutenants. She was positive that this plan, her most fool-proof yet, would be just the thing to restore all flagging spirits. "I must start this meeting off with an apology," Chrysalis spoke in a low voice as she stepped toward the front of a hall in her castle, full of many of her most loyal followers. She had issued a general summons across her kingdom that morning. What she had to relate to them she felt could wait no longer. "More than once now, have I failed you all. It is difficult for all of us to look back at the recent Ponyville invasion and not feel an overwhelming disgust...yet, I urge you, my subjects, to dwell not on the failures of the past any longer. We changelings, we need to look now toward the future. We must look not at why we have failed, but how we can succeed!" "Canterlot and Ponyville both were precarious targets, sitting squarely under Celestia's nose. Surprise is a powerful tool, but it alone is not something that can win the day for us. You see, my subjects, our truest problem is that we are simply not strong enough. All these years we have grown weak and complacent, wasting away in these remote lands surviving off creatures pathetic and meek. We deserve better...! We deserve the rich and abundant resources of Equestria, but, can we truly make them ours as we are now? What can a pack of frail and starving dogs do but get batted easily away by their stout and vigorous would be prey time and time again?" the queen continued, getting increasingly more intense. "If we are ever to set hoof into Equestria's heartland again, we must first feast. If we can make ourselves stronger, even the best defenses of Celestia and her princesses will crumble." "And so I have come to announce a new plan we shall now work toward making a reality, a plan by which we can acquire enough love to make ourselves unstoppable!" Chrysalis started loudly, just as a large banner at the back of the hall was unfurled. It was a map of Equestria. Circled on it was a single Equestrian city, far, far to the southeast of the changeling kingdom, further east in fact than any other city on the map. "For our next plan, we will lay hold to the city of Roam. It is a large city, but a remote one, separated from the Celestia and the cities of the heartland by the high Eponnine Mountains. It is on the very opposite end of the continent from our homeland, making it a target few would expect. Moreover, the city is of curious design; made as it is of bridges, islands and canals, it should be easy for us to block off and control the population there." A deep smirk got very readily deeper then until the queen gave a soft giggle. "But most importantly of all, Roam is famed by the ponies as the 'City of Romance'. Young lovers swarm to the city in droves to vacation. There is more saturated love in this one pony city than possibly any other. If we can secure it, it will be the springboard we need to, in time, make all of Equestria fall at our hooves!" She concluded, flying upward a little and giving an intense laugh. Her speech concluded, Chrysalis smirked and looked out upon her minions. Many seemed worked up, happier than they had been since before the recent invasion. She looked a them expectantly, wondering if any might be bold enough to step forward and speak their mind.
The Changeling Kingdom pretty much committed an act of war against Equestria in Canterlot Wedding. Something like that I don't think is going to be just forgotten anytime soon. Perhaps a major part of the background for season 3 could be a Cold War of sorts that is developing between the two nations as it did between the USA and USSR in the 20th century. As such, an intense rivalry begins between the two nations in which they attempt to one-up the other in various ways, including technology, sport, etc. This can cultivate into an episode based on the Olympics, but influenced by the intense rivalry between the Americans and Soviets at the Olympics during the Cold War era. This can also allow for more world building, showing different kinds of creatures competing, such as Griffins, zebras, etc. Not to forget, it would be happening in the same year as the London Olympics, so that's quite convenient. The episode can result in two competitors (RD would make a great candidate) from the countries actually coming to respect and possibly befriend each other, realising the other side is not as bad as they thought and how their rivalry is taking the fun out of the games. If you really think about it, this background and possible could best epitomise the 'love and tolerance' theme of the show. Because in the end, these two species learn to do that with each other when for the most part they were expected to actively hate each other. You guys know what I'm getting at, right?