In the very first thread, some unexpected guests showed up. Queen Chrysalis had returned, and attempted another plan to take out the Elements of Harmony and invade Canterlot, successfully this time. To do this, she sought out the 'weakest' of the group, Fluttershy, in an attempt to render the Elements useless.
Unfortunately, having not been around since her banishment via love-bubble, she was unaware that Fluttershy was not alone, and that Discord was not amused.
But the newly minted Princess Applejack decided to show them mercy, and attempt to reach peace with them. She offered them to stay in her ballroom, and forgave Chrysalis of her crimes.
...It's not on her "top ten best ideas I've ever had list", let's just say.
But since then, a great many things about Changelings has been learned. Some good, most bad, and everything in between. But there was one big revelation that was learned early on.
This is the last hive, and Chrysalis is the last Queen. If this hive should fall, the Changelings are essentially extinct.
Following the events of thread 65, the changelings relationship with Canterlot reached a breaking point, and since then they've moved to the Empire!
Only now they're even more hated than before, and if they don't fix their image they may run out of room in the Empire.
Unlike most speicies, the Changelings did not have names except for the Queen. Occasionally a couple would pick numbers for themselves or make up random names that are impossible to pronounce, but on the whole they were just namesless fodder. Having none of that, Applejack told them all to pick their own names. They wanted Applejack. She said no. So they picked Chrysalis, she said no to that too.
And then they all decided to just go with Applejack. All of them. At the same time.
As a result, all of the Changelings in the ballroom are named Applejack, and then followed by a number. Such as Applejack 2, Applejack 3, Applejack 4, excetera. There are a few exceptions, of course, such as Jugglejack or Potatojack, or those that have a number but no Applejack beginning such as 77 or 32, who was not around for the naming, but mostly, they've decided to go by the shorthand of just their number.
The last hive is mostly stocked by the brood of Chrysalis's mother, who's name has not been revealed, but it is also a large mish-mash of multiple now-dead hives, with sole surviving members being picked up by said mother as the Queens fell one by one. Chrysalis herself has not had any children yet, and has no intention of ever doing so.
Unlike ponies, Changelings do not ascend to Queen states with the white glowing room of joy. Instead, there is only one way to make them become Queens. A female has to wait until her mother, the current Queen, truly loves her as a daughter.
And then eat her heart.
Note:This process has been known to affect her disguise abilities for the following few months.
The way to make a new hive has always been the following. A changeling will ascend as previously mentioned, and after she has settled comfortably into the position she will seek out an influential pony of high social or economic stature, who is also in a relationship. She will 'remove' one part of this relationship and take their place. Then, using a combination of her natural abilities and mind control, she will use this influential position to gain wealth for herself, and of course use this position to absorb as much love as she can. Among the Queens, it was a source of pride to get one of higher status than the others, and if someone could "Only" manage something on the level of an exceedingly rich but not politically powerful individual, it was a source of shame.
Once she has enough love and is pregnant, she will either then take out her target and erase all trace she was there, disappearing into the night, or use the love to burn the place they have infiltrated to the ground and force out more love this way. Mostly, they went with the former in order to prevent possible discovery, and it was exceedingly uncommon for the male to survive in any sense. Chrysalis herself attempted this, with Shining Armor being her target, but eventually went with invasion instead.
Once a new hive is hatched, the current Queen will pick a single female for an heir to raise and mold into the next Queen, and dispose of all the other females to prevent compeition that inevitably ends with all of them dead.
This rule became far more lax in the final days of the Queens, however, and as a result more females were allowed to live but were forced to hide the fact they were female with male pheremones, notable users of this are 42 and 2. However, Chrysalis is either unaware of or does not care about this rule, and has no desire to off any of the females, and as a result they now openly are allowed to show their gender for the first time in Changeling history.
Non-royals - MaleEdit
It has been confirmed it is possible to for a male to impregnate a female pony. However, regardless of who he mates with, the child will always be a Changeling when it comes out due to their DNA naturally adapting to always result in Changeling when mated with pony thanks to their Queens method of reproduction.
Non-Royals - FemaleEdit
It is unknown if non-Queen females are fertile and can produce offspring. Due to the nature of ascension, no non-Queen was allowed to become pregnant before taking over as Queen, as this would be a sign of a takeover attempt on her part, and the fact there were no other Females around prevented outside data from being accumulated.
When a changeling is born to a non-Queen, it's a little different. In order to keep up the charade, the child is infused with disguise magic when born so that it looks like an exact cross of the mother and what the father looked like during the disguise. This is so the male changeling knows for sure the child is his and doesn't accidentally abduct a pony baby in addition to just keeping the pony from giving birth to something that would obviously blow their cover. Normally, it went that after birth, the babyling would sap all of the love from its mother, causing 'birthing complications' that would end the mother's life, and allow the changeling to steal it away to the Hive without arousing suspicion. This way, the hive gained a new member, and an absolutely massive dose via a mother's love.
The newest born one, born to Glimmer and Dadling, will not be following this plan.
There are currently between 70-90 changelings left alive in the stadium, with the newest one being little Babyling, recently delivered via Bat-mom, AKA Glimmer.
There are Four currently known types of changeling positions.
Soldier class do the fighting, the heavy lifting and carrying out the more brutal aspects. While any changeling can be called upon for a swarm-fight, the soldier class are normally reserved for after the decoys have gone out and weakened the fighting force in this case, such as when they fought the mane-six at the wedding and then captured them.
Sometime after a soldier is chosen but before they reach maturity, four or five are placed in a pit and told to fight until only one remains. This is for three reasons, 1, to keep the changeling population low to prevent discovery, 2, to encourage them to learn tactics such as turning a crowd against itself before dealing the final blow yourself, and 3, to ensure only the best fighters live. This is why their relatively small army utterly defeated Catnerlot's far, far larger and better armed one without a single casualty.
Any changeling can be moved to Soldier class later if they register a powerful enough blast and/or show extreme proficiency in fighting.
- 77(Note, it is extremely likely, though unconfirmed, he was originally Infiltrator class before being moved)
These are the ones who do the sneaking, the sleuthing, the getting in, getting love and getting out. Tasked with subterfuge and love-gathering, this class is one of the more respected due to the hives dependance on their skill. It is not known what test they must accomplish like the soldier class.
The bottom of the barrel, so to speak. Charged with the doing the rest of the normal work of the hive, any menial task, they have to do and quickly. Their only skill of notes is their increased durability and stamina. Before Chrysalis's hive, they were little more than an extremely disposable grunt, with little value beside a glorified battery in hard times. However, this line has mostly blurred in Chrysalis's reign due to lack of resources.
The most powerful member of any hive, bar none. Each must have the best qualities of all three, though each one has their preferences(such as Chitania much favoring Soldier Class, while Chrysalis favors Infiltrator). The center of the hive, when the Queen falls, the hive falls apart.
Every single Hive had their own unique abilites, for more see Queens.
They were pretty much all useless or outright fatal, with only a few exceptions, such as Chitania's Titan magic.
The names and first appearances/mentionings of all Changeling Queens, and their respective powers if known, are listed here https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1PsMAwLcIdC3IYxezAV9Ko4neEguNvc3eQqQqiTCxdDs/edit#gid=2119378650