Overview and Early History-
The first changelings took more after insects than mammals, but are still related to ponies, thus are able to crossbreed (though such a union would not give you a hybrid, much like the Cakes's situation.)
Long ago, changeling kind lived in the forest and tried to make peace with the ponies, but due to their horrifying appearance and rather strange social norms, in addition to the two population's inability to communicate, they were shunned and later purged until they were pushed back into caves and mountains and forgotten about for many generations. In these generations, they have grown and developed into a surprisingly sophisticated culture.
Physically, the changeling is a bit smaller than a pony, nine tenths of the average pony size, and is far weaker. They possess very limited magical ability, as most of their talent lies in shape shifting. If their horn is removed, their ability to channel said magical energy is lost temporarily while it grows back. They are frail but agile, thanks to an exoskeleton in place of stronger internal bones.
Their emotional vampirism takes two forms, active feeding and passive feeding. Passive feeding is done without effort or control. It isn't harmful to either party but doesn't provide any benefit to the changeling other than a feeling of empowerment. Active feeding temporarily drains the host and provides nourishment for the changeling, and when performed in moderation, harms neither party. All changelings can feed on Love, but each changeling also has the ability to feed off of other emotions as well, which emotions a changeling can feed on varies from individual to individual.
While the eyes of a changeling may seem to be compound, they are not. Changelings have a lighter coloured pupil, so light, in fact, that it is hard to see against the large iris (which comprises the entire visible eye.)
Changelings are highly resistant to disease, and live long lifespans compared to ponies depending on their environment. While it may appear that changelings are cold-blooded, this is actually not the case. While they lose heat much faster, they do appear to have some form of heat regulation. On the subject of heat, changelings are not suited to hot, dry climates.
Changelings have a thin layer of mucus which will fill in small cracks and divots in the exoskeleton and solidify to aid in repairing, as well as trapping in much-needed moisture. In a hot, dry climate this layer of mucus evaporates, and the body constantly tries to replenish it, leading to accelerated dehydration (which explains why spray bottles are a common item for a changeling to carry around.) and severely slowed exoskeleton reparation.
Some may notice different colours of changeling. This is to an extent, normal. The standard colouring is a black coat with a dark blue saddle and light blue eyes. The more common coat colours are darker shades of grey. Light grey and white are extremely rare, though not unheard of. Contrary to popular belief, colour does not indicate higher or lower status, and is thought little of in changeling society.
To an outsider, it is hard to tell the difference between changelings without a more obvious identifier such as colour or body markings, and as changelings lack these, they should all have the same difficulties. This is false, however, as changelings identify each other based on smell. Now, you're still probably thinking that this is a bad way to identify, as odor can be easily polluted, right? Light is also easily polluted. Yet, our specially trained eyes are able to sort through it to find the relevant information. The same goes for a changeling's nose.
Changelings are very fertile creatures, with a short gestation period and a longer period of "heat." Usually, it is the female that initiates sexual intercourse with a mate, and such intercourse is usually very quick. During intercourse, female partners will ingest the mucus of the male, which acts as a powerful aphrodisiac, quickening the process even further. Females carry foals for a period of five months, much shorter than the average pony gestation. The foals are born wingless and sightless, but both develop within a month or two of their birth. Young changelings (referred to as either larvae or nymphs depending on local dialect) mature quickly, and grow to full size in a period of four years. Most commonly, it is a male that is born.
Arguably the most important feature of the changeling is their shape shifting ability. One of the few magical abilities a changeling is capable of learning, it plays a large role in their vampiristic feeding habits. In a hive, a designated caste of gatherers will disguise themselves as ponies, and absorb love and other emotions from ponies, and bring it back to the hive. Designated feeding rooms are set up, in which changelings gather and share the energy that is brought back for sustenance. Let it be noted, however, that changelings do not need to feed on emotion, and are perfectly capable of digesting a wide variety of plants and meat, these foods are merely a supplement to the hive diet, as emotion is a very potent food source.
Culturally, the changeling is diverse. While they share the same language (a series of clicks, whistles, and hums in varying lengths and tones) the vocabulary is somewhat different depending on the area or even the caste. Miners speak with different vocabulary than soldiers or breeders, for example, but the differences are small enough to make a large, centralized union possible. Changelings are capable of learning other languages, and have shown little to no difficulties in adapting to different styles of speech.
The details of Changeling government varies, and the Swarm is just one manifestation, but most commonly it is a form of communistic government and the individual values others before himself, making them very productive and allowing their populations to expand far faster than ponies or other races. There is no "hive mind" of any sort, every changeling works and thinks independently.
There are two distinct styles of changeling society, and this is important to note. There are colonies, which are small settlements or towns independent of the Swarm, or any other settlement for that matter, and there are hives, which are far more militaristic and brutal. Think of them like Athens and Sparta. Colonies are responsible for most of the cultural and technological innovation of the race, while hives seek nothing more than conquest and expansion. The most well-known hive is the Swarm, led by Chrysalis.
Changelings form extremely strong familial bonds, and so long as there is a biological or marital union between changelings, such a bond is almost impossible to sever. Often, when a pony marries a changeling (which is exceedingly rare, but mixed families of this sort are possible) and attempts to divorce, it will be very hard for the changeling to understand such a concept. Large families can occasionally lead to large feuds, but oddly enough an inter-family relationship will quell such hostilities quite quickly. In the hive, a child raising caste is responsible for most of the early care, and often children meet their mother or father (whom raises them from there) for the first time in about two years.
What the hive and colony societies both have in common are coming of age rituals. When a changeling reaches adulthood, it is quite a proud moment in a parent's life. At this point in time, a changeling has more than likely found a talent, skill, or ability that makes them who they are, much like a cutie mark. One of the most bountiful materials a changeling has is stone. It is unknown where or how this tradition began, but it's durable enough to have survived for quite a long time according to written record. A Cleansing Rock, as it is known in Equestrian, is a special stone used to scrape peeling exoskeleton from one's body. These are made by the parent for the child, and are decorated and engraved with a symbol, word, picture, whatever makes that changeling unique and special. Given to the grown changeling on their Maturity Day (one of the two holidays in the swarm, next to the Day of Honour,) a special holiday that takes place on a changeling's fifth birthday.
Polygamy is a social norm in changeling society. In colonies, it is not uncommon for males to have multiple females (and those females in turn having multiple males) which further enlarges the family unit. In colonies, the group often pools together resources and share living arrangements.
Homosexuality, while it may be a controversial topic in pony society, is no big deal to changelings. With over 85% of changeling population being male, the pool of females to choose from becomes quite low, so it is not uncommon for male changelings to select each other as lovers. This is even less uncommon in hives, where the already small female population is usually locked behind closed doors for breeding. Thus, males often turn their sexual frustration and loneliness to each other.
Their architecture is universally the same. Structures are very spherical on the outside, and jagged, angular edges are common. Changeling housing varies between colonies and hives. Colonies have large, spacious residences which are decorated and renovated however the owner likes. Hives are a bit drearier, with long, dark hallways holding small cells in which a single changeling is assigned, containing no more than a bed and a chest for what little personal belongings they may own.
The hive is an ominous, large, intimidating structure. A series of tunnels, bridges, and specially designated rooms lit by torches and sun shafts, all carved into the side of a mountain and lined with crystals and gems, it looks like an evil, desolate place at first glance. But dig deeper, and you'll find a few glyphs some trickster scribbled in beside an order by the guard. The hive can be a very lively place, and contrary to its militaristic, desolate appearance, a successful hive is a very good place to be. When times are good, families have more down time, and often spend it with their families in one of the many entertainment rooms, which are filled to the brim with books and toys to share with the hive.
Colonies are the polar opposite in appearance. They are often thought of to be small, and this is because on the surface it appears to be nothing more than a few colourful houses. However, this is simply because changelings in colonies do not expand horizontally or upwards if they don't need to. Changelings build down into the earth, which may explain why most knowledge of their earlier civilization is found in strange rooms seemingly untouched, buried in the earth. Houses are like leaves to a stem. A set of staircases (with a series of holes in the floors for quicker access via flying, though holes are never placed to where you can fall through multiple of them consecutively to prevent injuries from high falls) going as far down as seventeen stories hold large, spacious houses in which families will live.
Slums are uncommon in colonies, as material wealth is not considered important; rather the amount of time spent working is used as a currency. In hives, slums are uncommon for a different reason: changelings are given what they are given, nothing more, nothing less. Jobs are assigned for life unless the individual is promoted or demoted, so unemployment is never feared. Only through military service or exceptional work can you improve your quality of life. Dying of starvation is relatively uncommon unless in hard times, as even the lowest caste has enough to eat and entertain themself with (hive entertainment usually consists of rudimentary books and play weapons.)
Monarchs and other esteemed positions-
Monarchs are the supreme rulers when it comes to changeling government. While the council has some power over law and policy, the monarch has supreme control and can veto and enact law without council approval, or at times even their knowledge. In a sense, the monarch is impervious. However, they must still follow law, and can be arrested for breaking said law. While you may be thinking that a monarch could make a law giving themselves immunity to laws, or find some loophole round it, there are usually measures taken to prevent a monarch from becoming impervious to judgment set in place, though the extent of these unchangeable policies differ from place to place.
Becoming a monarch is NOT strictly reserved for those who are related to the current monarch, nor do they have to be female. Rather, the next leader is selected by the current monarch on their death bed. If a monarch dies suddenly, and no heir has been selected, the council elects one. The selected changeling is granted monarch status on the spot, and is immediately trained in leadership and governing if they have not been already.
A monarch is given special palatial quarters, usually in the "town hall" area. Few are allowed in without appointment, even foreign leaders. However, days are not spent relaxing in luxury. A monarch is more often than not busy monitoring the council and taking reports from agencies that monitor things such as food production and the amount of wealth in the treasury. The amount of stress placed on the leader is great, and while they enjoy comforts such as private harems and high-quality foods to reduce tension and stress, often the pressure of running a successful kingdom is too much, and the monarch tries to offload some of the work to the council.
Other important positions shared by both forms of changeling society are the ambassador and the commander. The ambassador is the main link between the monarch and other societies. Relaying information and meeting with other leaders or ambassadors, they are vital to the relations between other nations and are handpicked from the council, though they receive no special treatment compared to the rest of the council. The commander is purely a military position. Lacking political power, the commander's sole duty is to direct military operations in the field and oversee the day to day operations. The commander is usually selected from a pool of officers and soldiers with exceptional leadership abilities or records of exceptional service.
The Hive and Castes-
In hives, changelings are under a caste system, with occupations, material allowances, and number of children allowed tied to each. The lowest classes are the miners, builders, and child raisers, who often get nothing more than enough food and water to get through the day and are allowed one child in their lifetime. The middle castes are allowed two children, the gatherer, the breeder and a caste known as the producer. The breeder is an all-female caste. Locked behind closed doors, they are given special accommodations to protect them from unwanted solicitation from desperate males.
The producer needs more explanation. While it may appear to be factory worker of sort, the producer is not only in charge of producing tools and equipment, but also testing and innovating upon them. Oftentimes, producer is an earned caste, in which a changeling my come to a producer with their idea, invention, or improvement, and if it is deemed useful they are promoted (or at times demoted) to the producer caste. This has shown there is some social mobility in between castes.
The highest are usually hereditary, though through exceptional service can be earned. The nobles are the social elite, holding the largest material wealth and biggest quarters. There is a catch, however. The elite hold large responsibility, often assisting the monarch in making executive, judicial, and legislative decisions. While this may appear to be a rather privileged position, which in a way it is, the position will be stripped immediately if a decision is made that is harmful to the hive or its interest. If corruption is detected among the elite, the entire caste will be held in for interrogation. Yet another difference between ponies and changelings is the nobility's military status. The nobles must serve in each and every major conflict the hive is involved in. This does not mean they are to sit back for commanding purposes (which is a separate caste altogether,) they are in fact the first to engage in conflict. They do not earn spoils from the war, as they are seen as privileged enough, and if they are found guilty of cowardice, their rank is removed and they are sent to the lowly miner caste with no room for advancement. The nobles are allowed three children in their lifetime.
Arguably the most interesting caste is the soldier, which in and of itself is a separate system. The soldier is both the most revered and the least desirable caste, as the life of a soldier is not easy by any stretch of the imagination. However, those who voluntarily join gain increased rations and an additional child, as well as a chance at moving upwards. By showing valor, dedication, and your willingness to sacrifice yourself for the good of your brethren, you gain respect and additional luxuries. However, these are by no means yours for as long as you live. A sign of cowardice or dishonesty will have you stripped of your rank and punished severely. Any caste can become a soldier, and with enough hard work any caste can move higher in rank and earn their way to a better life.
Colonies share a similar noble class, but is a casteless society. Each changeling is free to choose which occupation they choose to follow so long as a certain occupation is not needed. Jobs are not hard to come by, as changelings are always busy trying to find ways to make life better for themselves. Most work is either found in construction or resource gathering. Unlike in a hive, where monarchs are selected before the end of the current monarch's life with the help of the nobles, colony monarchs are elected through popular sovereignty.
Children raised in colonies often have a much happier childhood. There is much less need and more time for school and strong bonds to be made, as the parent is less exhausted at the end of the day. Schooling is an important part of a colony changeling's life, as young are taught in reading and arithmetic as soon as they reach maturity. Schooling is quite brutal, but if a changeling simply cannot grasp the material they can opt to instead dedicate themselves to a choice of careers instead.
It should be noted that colonies do in fact have electricity independent of Equestrian provision. Television and radio are used, though only very recently. Most changeling programming is informational, as practical knowledge is found to be more useful, although entertainment programming does exist. Information technology is a very slow growing field (such research has not even been considered in the hive,) as electricity was more used for lighting and heating the dark caverns. While it may seem as though colony architecture is prone to caving in and flooding, that is not the case. Architecture is planned thoroughly to prevent such disasters. Their methods have been so successful, in fact, that griffons have borrowed the techniques for their mining operations (which in turn, ponies have borrowed, albeit under the impression that such methods are of griffon creation.)
Immigration to colonies is allowed, however, it's generally viewed as too big a change to get used to. Those who do decide to adapt to changeling society find that it's hard to change to a lifestyle without currency and
Changelings treat crime as a serious offense. If a changeling takes more than he deserves, harms another, or destroys that which is owned by all, it is seen as treason and must be punished severely. Oftentimes, on the first offense, rations are cut into thirds of the regular. On the second offense, rations are cut even more and if they are soldiers in a hive, they are stripped of service benefits and are not allowed to be outside of their cell without supervision. In the hive, the third offense is death, and in a colony, it is jail time.
The judicial system varies between hive and colony. A colony has a high court comprised of randomly selected individuals, and the monarch is left out unless it deals with a foreigner or the jury is found to be conspiring. In a hive, the monarch personally oversees each and every case, and delivers the verdict with the input of a small council of trustworthy nobles.
Hives have no designated jail, as the third offense is death, a dishonourable death that all changelings fear. Colonies, however, find such a method barbaric and instead send them to a large prison facility in which they are forced to perform hard work without pay for a period of time. Unjustified murder, however, is punished by life in the labour prisons.
Changelings have a very unique military presence. While not responsible for much in the way of military technology, their style of fighting is quite brutal.
Hives are arguably the better military force. With a large number of soldiers (numbering around 75% of the population) on standby, the hive is not hesitant to use them, which works to their benefit. In each and every war a hive has fought in, they have had the largest force out of all combatants.
Most hive soldiers own a single set of armour, coloured deep blue and covering the head, torso, and legs. The armour itself is quite durable, made from solid steel. However, it is very thin and lightweight. However, this works to the changeling's advantage, allowing for superior mobility. The armor has sharp blades covering the front hooves, back hooves, and sides of the torso, these are used in addition to conventional weaponry such as lances and swords. Not only does the armour serve to terrify and intimidate the opponent, it serves an integral part in changeling war strategy, as you shall soon see.
The typical hive attack pattern is an opening charge involving whizzing past opponents flying at full speed, hoping to cut them on the way. The secondary charge involves a charge by lance wielding changelings, hoping to break up the front lines. Finally, the blade wielders enter the fray, dealing the majority of the damage. Through sheer numbers, the hive is most often victorious. While certainly not the most complicated plan, it has worked well enough so far.
Colonies, however, take a more intellectual approach. With smaller populations and even smaller standing forces, colonies use their natural abilities and higher intelligence to make up for their lower numbers.
What the colony brings to the fray is deception. Smokescreens, illusions, bluffs, anything that can be used to throw off the enemy will be employed in spades. One of the more well-known tricks is the "kidnapped mare." A changeling assassin will disguise themselves as a bloody, bruised mare after the main force fakes a retreat. After being given lodgings, the changeling will remain undercover and relay vital information before making the move. In the middle of the night, the assassin makes their way into a tent, cutting the throats of the occupants, and replacing them with stand-ins. These "sleepers" wait until the next battle, and take up the rear. When fighting breaks out, they drop their disguise and attack from behind. Such a strategy shows the ingenuity of the changeling military machine. The ability to change form adds a sense of distrust in the enemy ranks, disrupting their ability to function.
What both forms have in common is a black market for spies. Changelings are revered as the best intelligence agents available, and can perform any operation with ease. While Equestrian government will never admit it, they have, on more than a few occasions, hired and employed changeling spies in return for a pardon from charges relating to the attack on Canterlot.
Beliefs and Holidays-
Changelings are superstitious creatures. There are many rituals and performances that must be done before things such as mining or battle can begin in earnest. While Spirits (changelings do not have gods, rather, they believe inanimate forces that can be influenced to work in their favour are behind natural occurrences,) and holidays may vary, there are several that are near universal.
Changelings believe in Spirits. The list of Spirits varies wildly between settlements, but a few are universally acknowledged. They are the Spirit of Honour, the Spirit of Life, the Spirit of Mind, and the Spirit of Stone. The Spirit of Honour is the ultimate reward for a life well lived, a battle well fought, and a day well spent. When a changeling's life ends, it is said their body decomposes into the Spirit of Honour and become one with it. The Spirit of Life runs through every leaf of every plant, everything that breathes has the Spirit of Life running through it. The Spirit of Mind is a more abstract Spirit. When one is focused, attentive, and "in the loop," it is said one is in tune with the Spirit of Mind. However, if one is confused, inattentive, and frustrated, they are out of tune with the Spirit. The Sprit of Stone is representative of an elemental spirit. When a pocket of gems or ores are found, it is said the Spirit of Stone has been merciful.
Also important to note is the changeling's refusal to label any Spirit as inherently good or evil. Spirits are forces, which can be manipulated or can act on their own, and are simply how the natural world works.
The first is Maturity Day. This is a changeling's fifth birthday, and is viewed to be their coming of age. A Cleansing Rock is presented to them on this day, and is one of the single most important items a changeling will ever have. Changelings will never let a fellow changeling go without one, going as far as to make a rock individually for each and every orphan in the hive or colony.
The second, and probably closest to a genuine religious holiday the changelings have, is the Day of Honour. The Day of Honour is a solemn day in which changelings give offerings to a great fire in respect and thanks to their ancestors, whom they believe become a part of the Spirit of Honour when they die, and this offering will give these possessions to them.
Another holiday, specific to colonies, is known as Day of Harvest. It is the day when all the food and resources are gathered and counted, and a large feast is divided up and provided. Often, songs will be sung and music will fill the halls, along with the consumption of wines and ales.
The Invasion of Canterlot-
An important event in the histories of both civilizations, the attack on Canterlot was a major military failure on the Swarm's behalf.
The attack on Canterlot was a culmination of factors coupled with generations of hate boiling over. Of course, the ponies of today had very little to do with what happened long ago (minus Celestia, whom undoubtedly brushed a lot of things under the rug, including the wrongs to the changeling race) but the majority of changelings in the Swarm felt as though they had been wronged (which was not far from the truth) and despised them with a passion. To make matters worse, resources were low. Even the nobles were struggling in this harsh time, and it showed. Death rates were at an all-time high and the population was declining. Military production ceased, soldiers were converted into gatherers full time, and producers were ordered to stop focusing on military production and switch their efforts to maximizing food production (an area the Swarm foolishly labeled as unnecessary.)
Chrysalis was another catalyst. While she was not an awful Queen, she wanted to gain something from the ponies, mostly material wealth and land, in addition to food for her subjects. Seeing the perfect opportunity, and severely miscalculating the odds she faced, Chrysalis stirred discontent and hatred to create a volatile hive. Within months, her subjects convinced they were fighting a holy war, struggling for the freedom of changeling kind everywhere. While the other major hives and colonies may have shared the distrust, each and every single one of them refused to offer the Swarm any assistance, and one leader, Monarch Swift of the Badlands Colony, threatened retaliation if the Swarm went through with the act, claiming it would simply worsen the already bad blood between ponies and changelings.
Then came the time of the attack. As any changeling from the Swarm will tell you, tensions were high. Chrysalis had been in place, gathering her strength, and the swarm was ready to deploy at a moment's notice. When the Queen's cover had been given up, it was clear the time to act was upon them. After some fighting and more than a few casualties thanks to the severe lack of armour, training, and weaponry, it seemed as though the dust had finally settled and the battle had been won. However, this was not the case. Thanks to the Captain of the Guard, Shining Armour, and his wife, Princess Mi Amore Cadenza, a magical seal was cast, sending the changeling army flying every which way, defeated in the blink of an eye.
Now, obviously, such a defeat would be more than enough to make one lose one's trust in their leadership. The Swarm began to rethink its position as it licked its wounds and limped back to the caves it resided in. Those who were involved either recognized the Queen as a fallible mortal like themselves and decided to give up on the Swarm and leave for other colonies or hives, regrouped in hopes of surviving to the next generation, or tried to assimilate into pony society with varying success.
Changelings and Griffons-
Changelings and griffons have a long, intertwined history. The scarcity of written history of the griffon rivals that of the changeling, so myth is all that can be relied on for their relation to other species. One old griffon myth talks about "cave crawlers" that "spoke in sounds similar to "the snaps of branches." While this may be a description of changelings, it's debated whether or not these depictions are true, as the same myth refers to their bright red colour.
Changeling records, on the other hand, are much clearer. The earliest record of interaction comes around the time Canterlot was established from a colony known as Whitewind, and spoke of "warbirds" passing through a hive and trading fish for iron the changelings had mined. From that point on, the colony's treasury reported a steady exchange of fish, carved totems, and other griffon goods for iron. It can only be assumed that the "warbirds" were griffon merchants who had come passing through and decided to make the colony a permanent stop. Curiously, other colonies and even hives began to report similar exchanges of precious metals and ores for food and curiosities, implying that word spread quickly of the riches one stood to gain by trading with changelings.
While one can only theorize about early interactions, more recent times have seen a much larger amount of cooperation between the two. Changelings and griffons often shared mining operations, and split the findings (or more often, the griffons would take a larger share while the changelings received things such as technology and crafts, which they deemed more useful than gems and ores.)
In modern times, griffons are the only race other than changelings allowed in hives, and are among the highest foreign population living in colonies (though that number is still very small,) and changelings are the most populous foreign race in most griffon towns (this number is substantially higher, though this is in part to the changeling's high fertility rate compared to griffons.)
While griffons and changelings have very little in common in terms of culture, they have strong historical connections, and that's enough to foster a peace between the two, however frail it may seem at times.
Changelings and Ponies-
Changelings and ponies shared important interactions whether either side wants to admit it or not.
Early records of changelings from the perspective of ponies come from ponies' (admittedly well documented) accounts from journals and diaries as they traveled and spread out across the land. The earliest writings illustrated a cautious, but not quite hateful opinion. Changelings were described as "bug ponies" and their manner of speech was called "curious." Early ponies traded and exchanged ideas with the changelings, and for a while all seemed like it was quite amiable. But the good relations did not last, and ponies, for whatever reason, began to hate their changeling neighbors, calling them "demons" and "soul-suckers." Exactly why the sudden massive shift in relations occurred, none know. Changelings were forced into caves, burned at the stake, and lynched until there were few in sight, and in the generations that followed, they were known to little but the most studious of scholars, whom took an oath never to mention them for fear of public backlash at the sad piece of history.
However, after the catastrophe that was the Invasion of Canterlot, changelings and ponies on both sides were reminded of each other in the worst way possible. Tensions grew worse, if such a thing was even possible, and it seemed as though changelings had solidified their position as a demon and monster in the eyes of pony kind.
However, that is not the case, surprisingly. While first impressions are everything, learning more about each other can heal said wounds. Changelings have been moving to pony cities and towns in droves, more often than not undisguised. Some have even stared mixed-race families with ponies and produced children, so it has shown great progress in fixing the broken relations between the two. But racism and hatred still runs deep, and changelings are considered second class citizens in most of Equestria. On the other side of the coin, ponies that attempt to move into colonies (hives won't even let them in) are met with similar sentiments and difficulties.
The cultures of the two are vastly different, as evidenced, and some don't particularly mix well. While both believe that you earn what you deserve, ponies feel less of a deep bond than changelings do, and it's rare to see a changeling refuse to help brethren, even at their own expense. Changelings find concepts such as divorce alien, as a bond made is a bond that should last, and often leads to jail time for stalking and harassment, when in reality the changeling didn't quite understand that the relationship had finished. The openly polygamist and homosexual tendencies changelings harbor seem unwelcome and unnatural to most ponies, and as a result social tension mounts. Ponies and changelings find difficulty agreeing on government, and law, with changelings demanding much harsher punishment over ponies' insistence on rehabilitation and forgiveness.
Still, activists for equality on both sides of the fence are fighting each and every day in hopes that the races can get along and live in harmony, and each step, no matter how seemingly insignificant or small, is one more step further towards their goal.