Changelings are a race on Neighvada Nights.
Hives and the Hivemind
One of the challenges allowing Changelings as an accepted race is determining how they function in the world. The idea of hives to begin with is one that is solidly within fanon, and hasn't been touched on in the show - it is unlikely as well that it ever will be. To clarify the following sections of lore, we will define the untouched part of lore in order to make things standardized.
Changelings originally live in hives. These are in far-off places, a good distance from major cities and will likely not ever be reasonably found by a pony. Hives are underground fortresses where Changelings live and breed.
The hivemind is not an overwhelming power. More or less, it works as the real life military. Everyone is an individual, and retains their own persona, but acting on their own is forced out of them. You don't do anything without orders - and all changelings fear the wrath of Chrysalis enough to obey her. It does not mind control the changelings, and they are not bound to it's pull due to anything except fear. It is, however, telepathic.
In character, changelings may use the chat channel Hivemind to talk to each other telepathically. This is an exclusive channel just for changelings. Changeling characters may join it by typing addcom hive=hivemind and then using hive to chat in it.
Eleven years ago, Queen Chrysalis launched her attack on Canterlot, in which she captured Princess Mi Amore Cadenza and took her place in order to marry Shining Armor and, assumed, to attempt to take over Equestria. This was thwarted by Cadence herself, with the assistance of the Elements of Harmony.
Since then, Queen Chrysalis has been focusing more and more attention on the hives closest to Canterlot in order to scrounge up another attack, but the Changeling forces were so weakened by their loss that she hasn't put one together yet. Many changelings were killed in the assault on Canterlot, and Chrysalis was significantly weakened.
Recently, Changeling hives have realized that Chrysalis, while still their ruler, really cannot do anything to keep them in line. Her normally overbearing presence is lost, now - the fear that gripped the far away hives holds no more sway. As a result, the changelings in the places farthest from Canterlot have begun to go astray, abandoning their hives in order to strike out on their own.
This has not lead to acceptance, however. While player characters are free to play as they like, and accept changelings if their player would like to, the vast majority of ponies still have the events in Canterlot fresh in their minds. Changelings are not openly accepted in society - they are seen as vermin and disgusting creatures, out to steal the love that all ponies hold naturally. Changeling players should never come out as a changeling in public without being willing to accept the consequences (which is almost universally going to be getting chased out of wherever they are).
Changelings are pony-sized creatures, but are far different in appearance. When not shapeshifted, changelings appear as black and vaguely bug like. A hard chitin covers every inch of their body, rather than a soft coat like a pony. A dark blue shell rests across their back, providing them with even more protection - one may liken it to the shell that beetles and roaches have. Oddly, changelings also possess porous legs - forelegs and hooves are both riddled with holes that punch all the way through, allowing someone to see through their legs. These are not wounds, and are instead entirely intentional. It is unknown what the purpose of the holes are.
Changelings have a terrifying appearance, which extends to other parts of their body. Large, white fangs poke out of their mouths very visibly. Translucent, teal wings sprout from their back - again, very similar to a insect. Their eyes are the same color, and are solid, lacking any pupil or iris. Changelings also possess a horn, but their magic is limited to very basic things such as levitation. The only unique spell they are able to use is their trademark shapeshifting (detailed in "Powers", below).
Changelings feed on the power of love, rather than food. Changelings are able to consume food like a normal pony, but it will simply pass through their body without providing any real nourishment. A changeling can gorge themselves to near exploding, and still be hungry; a changeling's body functions on love, not calories. Love can be harvested in many ways: a simple affectionate touch or kiss provides a small amount, but larger portions of love comes from sexual relations. A real, committed relationship through a facade can nourish a changeling for years to come.
A changeling's driving force is feeding. They are not simple minded animals, but due to their nature, nourishment through love is their primary goal in life.
Changelings can land on clouds, but cannot manipulate weather.
Naturally, changelings are able to shapeshift. This does have some minor limits, however.
- Must see what they are attempting to shapeshift into.
In order for a changeling to shapeshift into something, they must be able to see it. This does not limit you to players - it is reasonable to assume, if you are changing into a standard, non-canonical pony, that this pony is visible as an NPC.
- Must be of a similar size.
Changelings can only shapeshift into things that are the size of a pony. Unicorns, earth ponies, pegasus - even zebras or goats are allowed. Dragons, minotaurs and other larger creatures are not possible.
Changelings can shapeshift into alicorns, however we ask that players refrain from doing this as it causes quite a ruckus in character and unfairly draws attention away from the scene in progress.
- Changelings have a "base form".
As a changeling, you are able to shapeshift back into a "basic" form that you are able to choose. This can be a standard pony, or any of the other allowed races. This is the one exception to the "must see" shapeshift rule. You can use this form at any time, but it should not be major canon characters.
In addition, changelings have their un-shifted form. Black chitin instead of hide, fangs, hole ridden horns and wings. They are as they appear in the show. This is also able to be shifted to at-will.
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