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[Lore] Changelings


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Changelings
When you can be anyone or anything, who are you?

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Until recently, changelings have appeared regularly only in myths, legends, and old mares’ tales. Any prior historical references were short, sparse, and lacking in detail. Since the attack on Canterlot, however, new information has come to light. The changelings that attacked Canterlot have a very characteristic appearance: their bodies are roughly equine in shape, having four legs and a mane and tail. The changelings in Canterlot were seen to have different body shapes and sizes, much like ponies.

Unlike ponies, however, their bodies are not covered in hair, but instead a shiny exoskeleton-like skin, much like an insect. Changelings appear to bear the marks of decay on their bodies; their limbs are pocked with holes and dimples, their manes and tails are wispy and brittle-looking, and their wings appear torn and ragged while still granting them flight. A shell-like structure covers their backs where an ordinary pony would wear a saddle.

A changeling’s key trait is his or her ability to shapeshift. Scholars of magic suggest that this ability is a “glamour,” a special spell built specifically for deception. Changelings appear to be able to cast glamours naturally. During the transformation, all of the physical features of the identity they steal are recreated perfectly, down to the last hair.

The glamour, however, is merely cosmetic. It only alters the changeling’s appearance and does not grant them access to the individual’s personality, memories, or unique mannerisms. Close friends can easily unmask a disguised changeling who is acting “out of character.” Changelings appear only to be able to assume the form of somepony close to their size. Most changelings appear to be within the same size range as ordinary ponies, save for the queens.

Based on what is known about Chrysalis, queens stand taller than their broods, being proportioned more similarly to alicorns than average ponies, though her physical traits remain similar to lesser changelings. Like the smaller changelings, Chrysalis showed marks of apparent decay, with pocks in her wings and her legs and a crooked twisted horn upon her head. Her wings and mane and tail were similarly ragged and worn-looking. It also appears that queens can extend their glamours into powerful charm spells, preventing all but the most strong-willed of individuals from seeing through their deception.

The actions of Chrysalis and her brood left a lasting mark on Equestrian views of Changelings in general. Since the only recent contact with changelings was during the Canterlot attack, very little is understood about changeling motives other than their overwhelming hunger for love. This hunger seems to be an intrinsic part of their culture, leading scholars to ask questions about where it came from in the first place. Due to the visibility of Chrysalis’ attack on Canterlot, It is easy to assume that changelings are malicious creatures willing to do anything it takes to acquire love, even if their methods are less than scrupulous.

Still, there are some scholars who are reluctant to believe that Chrysalis and her hive should serve as a benchmark for the species. Scattered reports suggest that there are other extant hives ruled by other queens whose methods differ from those of Chrysalis and her brood. Some even say that these other changelings already walk among Equestrian ponydom today! These claims, however, are unsubstantiated and require further investigation, research, and perhaps diplomacy.

- Canterlot Research Journal

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RECENT DISCOVERIES & DEVELOPMENTS:

 

Transformation for the changelings! Overthrowing the tyrannical Queen Chrysalis by sharing the power of Love, the former outcast Thorax has shown that there is another way to live aside from constant starvation. By freely sharing Love, a changeling can metamorph into beautiful insectoid equines with colorful coats and bodies without holes. When not forced to live as a hive-mind, changelings additionally adopt any combination of horns, wings, tails, or gemstone-encrusted chests. When every changeling in a hive constantly exchanges Love with one another instead of avariciously consuming as much for themselves as possible, nobody ever goes hungry.


It remains to be seen whether other changeling hives — those who never swore loyalty to Chrysalis’s Kingdom — will follow King Thorax’s example.....

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