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by on August 13, 2019
So! How to start?
Organized? Sections containing different things? Or a big sloppy mess of a paragraph?
organized sounds good let's see
DISCLAIMER: If bits of the paragraphs don't seem to fit well, or seem to interrupt the flow, that's my fault. It's mostly because sometimes I forget to put things in that I should put in it, and remember to do it after I've already moved on, so I go back and add that in.
DISCLAIMER 2.0: admins pls don't crucify me for the more "adult" things i put in, i'm trying to educate people and i did so in as non-explicit a manner as possible
Changelings! They're those cool bug-horse creatures that can shapeshift and are surprisingly cute for what they are.
Diet: Changelings primarily subsist off of positive emotions. Yes, not only love, but also other emotions like joy and excitement. However, love gives the most bang for your buck, as in a changeling would get more energy from love than from, say, gratitude. As well as this, changelings are able to store emotions and their energy for later use. That allows them to survive without feeding for longer, because it's like storing sandwiches in a bag that you carry with you. But emotions aren't the only thing a changeling can live off of! They can also eat and digest regular pony food, as well as meat. Of course, the changeling stomach isn't optimized for effective solid food digestion, so regular food doesn't give as much energy as it should to the changeling. So emotions are the primary food source.
Magic: Changelings can do magic much like a unicorn or an alicorn can. However, they can't do all the same spells. Much like an average unicorn probably wouldn't be able to do a rather complex spell such as, say, transforming a frog into an orange, a changeling won't be able to either. (This is excluding the changeling queen, the queen can perform much more complex magic, including alicorn-level spells.) The difference, however, is that the unicorn, with enough time, would be able to hone their magic skill until they're able to do such magic. Changelings just don't have as much inherent magical ability, and thus wouldn't be able to learn that magic no matter how much they trained and practiced. Of course, there's always the option of, say, enchanted necklaces that could be used, but that's different. Also, using magic as a changeling also uses up some emotional energy. More complex magic uses more energy. If the changeling has little to no energy stored, they can't do magic without risking self-harm.
Changeling infiltrators also have a few spells that they learn when becoming an infiltrator, one such being a memory spell. It allows the changeling to learn the recent (and sometimes more distant) memories of a creature so that the changeling can better mimic them.
On a note partially related to this section, Zaten can't do really any sort of complex magic because he has some form of magical deficiency that leaves him unable to do magic that's much more complex than levitation and temperature spells and the like.
Shapeshifting: Now! I'm sure a lot of you (if anyone reading this is genuinely interested in the bughorse species) wonder what the site's resident cuddlebug says about shapeshifting. Well, most any changeling can shapeshift. After all, they're called changelings for a reason. However, changelings aren't born able to be able to shapeshift right out of the egg, much like a unicorn isn't born able to do magic and a pegasi isn't born able to fly. Different though is that changelings don't go through the "magic surges" that pony infants do. Changelings usually are able to shapeshift once they reach a certain age, I'd say the average would be around 4 or 5 years after hatching. Some can shapeshift earlier than this. Usually those that do are more talented in it, or are just early bloomers.
Now, onto the shapeshifting itself. Changeling shapeshifting is an inherent magical ability unique to their species, and it can be trained and honed by an individual to be better at changing into other things or holding another form for longer. Usually, a changeling can't easily shift into someone or something much larger or smaller than themselves because as mass increases or decreases, so does the drain on the changeling's energy. Along with that, shifting form to an inanimate object such as a rock or a book is very, very difficult. Usually only a changeling queen can do such a thing. Now, when a changeling shifts to a pegasus, earth pony, griffon, or anything that doesn't have a horn or can't do magic naturally, the changeling's horn doesn't go anywhere. If it did, then they'd be stuck unable to shift back to normal! No, instead the horn is basically hidden. Also, changeling infiltrators are much more skilled in the art of shapeshifting than the average bug, however their abilities do not match those of the queen.
Now, there are two types of shapeshifting. There's a full-blown shift, which is harder to do but basically turns the changeling into what they're trying to become, and then there's a partial shift, which is like putting on a costume. Now, each have pros and cons, but using either type is a mostly situational decision. The pros of a full-blown shift are that the changeling is much harder to detect as to being a changeling, the changeling's horn and wings are hidden inside the body rendering the changeling further undetectable, and it's almost being exactly like who the changeling is trying to be. The cons are that it takes much more energy to do the actual shift as well as hold it, it's not so comfortable on the wings and horn over longer periods of time (since they're being compressed), and any harm or injuries done to the fully-shifted changeling will carry over after removing the form. Now, the pros with the partial shift are that it takes a lot less energy to perform the shift, and practically nothing to maintain it. It also is much more comfortable for the horn and wings, as those are just hidden from view rather than them being compressed, and the shift acts like an extra layer of skin rather than being the changeling's outer body, so it can act as a little bit of extra protection. The cons are that it's a lot easier to detect the changeling, the horn and wings are still physically there and can bump into things, and that if the changeling's form is damaged it'll be a dead giveaway.
Whew, that took a long time.
Procreation: I'm gonna just kinda gloss over some of this because this is a 13+ site and I dunno about whether or not more sexual statements used in an educational manner are allowed.
So, there's a changeling queen. Usually. Sometimes there's a king, but I can't say anything about that. So, the queen is usually who lays changeling eggs, and the eggs are what hatch baby changelings. She will pick a suitable adult male changeling, usually one who is strong and/or intelligent or otherwise is just a good choice for a breeder, and will do some adult wrestling with him to create more changelings. Sometimes, though, it's not the queen who lays the eggs. Sometimes female changelings can also do the act of procreation, at the queen's discretion, and usually this is done when there's a rather low population of changelings. But yeah, that's the gist of it. Oh, and one more thing. Changelings can procreate with ponies or other creatures and have little babies with them, and no, the babies won't be a weird changeling-notchangeling hybrid. The babies are still susceptible to the same health problems a pure-born baby would, but there won't be any other problems with them. The only catch is that the changeling has to 1) be using a fully-shifted form, and 2) remain in this form for the entirety of the pregnancy (if the changeling is being a female creature).
Hive structure and changeling types: So, as you could have guessed, changelings live in hives. Usually the hive is an underground structure made by the changelings, but other times they're natural caves and caverns, or are above-ground. The hive is also, as needed, expanded and made larger by worker changelings if there is a need for it.
Now, changeling types. You don't just have your changelings and then your changeling queens. No, there are quite a few types of changelings, all working to benefit the rest of the hive. There are worker changelings, usually these are adult males, they do most of the manual labor stuff and expand the hive when necessary, or reinforce/maintain parts of the hive that have been weakened over time or are just in need of a bit of maintenance. There's the infiltrators, who can be any changeling who're a bit better in shapeshifting or are better at subterfuge, they go out and infiltrate pony or other creature society, take the place of a loved one in a relationship (oftentimes a child), and collect love to be sent back to the hive. Occasionally, if times are hard, they'll capture ponies and take them back to the hive to stuff them in a cocoon and extract their love from there. There are nurturer changelings, these are oftentimes female changelings but not always. They are in charge of feeding, educating, and protecting unhatched eggs and newly-born grubs until they become old enough to take care of themselves, upon which they will be educated based on what skills or abilities they have. There's warrior changelings, they're usually stronger and faster and trained for combat. There's the elite Queen's Guard, these are very highly trained warrior changelings who are tasked with protecting the Queen and making sure that the younger changelings do what they're supposed to do. And then there's the Queen, leader of the hive and source of new changelings. She also controls the hivemind, but I'll discuss that later.
Biology: Changelings do not have 6 stomachs. That is a false rumor. They only have one of them. They do have an internal skeleton, as well as their exoskeleton. The exoskeleton does provide some protection against blunt impacts and cuts. Changelings do have special fluids and such that are unique to their species, and these do a variety of things. Their fangs excrete two types of ichor that is able to be either a very lethal poison or a fast-acting tranquilizer. They can excrete a type of goop (i don't have a better word) that can be used as an anesthetic and in place of bandages or gauze, as it will dry quickly. They can excrete another type of goop that can be used to create cocoons for either the changeling or for another creature, which act as a comfy bed and as a natural source of healing for the changeling. Changeling wings are rather fragile, they can be crumpled or bruised more easily than those of a pegasi or griffon. They also have large veins running through them, meaning if you cut one in half then the poor bug-horse is gonna bleed to death. Changeling blood is naturally green. You can put things like your hand/hoof or a pencil or something inside of a changeling's legholes, but the changeling is more than likely going to give you a nasty new bruise on the face, because A) that's rude and B) it's a weird feeling for the changeling. Changelings do not have manes or tails, or even ears. Instead, they have spine-like protrusions from their body in place of that. A changeling's ears are often called ear-fins (at least by me). Aside from all of what I said, all the important organs are the same as for ponies. yes even the dongly bits for males and the extra private hole for the females.
The Hivemind: Each changeling hive has its own "hivemind", which is basically a big ol collection of each changeling's thoughts and stuff. All of a changeling's thoughts don't get sent to the hivemind, though. That'd overwhelm it. No, each individual changeling decides what thoughts they're speaking to the hivemind. And the changeling can mostly tune out the hivemind, however they cannot tune out the queen. If she speaks through the hivemind, the changeling is physically unable to not hear it. Now, of course, the hive mind can be taken away. If a changeling is exiled, their connection with the hivemind will be severed, permanently. There's also the possibility that magic could be used to sever the connection to the hivemind. It could, but it's not certain.
So, uh, I think that covers it all. If you have any specific questions, even after thoroughly (or not) reading this, go ahead and ask me in the comments or in DMs if you want to! I'll try my best to answer ya.
Anyways, if you've made it this far, thanks for reading, and have a nice day! Or night.
Topics: changelings, lore
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Chiller Sway
You did it! Nice
very good