Back in the Crystal Empire, a long-running gag character, Beetlebrain the Changeling, comes to the forefront. He’s been the elephant in the room for a VERY long time, not being able to transform himself and still maintaining a persistent presence in the Crystal Empire. He declares his fealty to Quartzy in a very roundabout fashion, still seeming to believe that he needs to maintain his “disguise” in front of her. While she is alone with Beetlebrain, though, she is swept away by a dark blur. Upon being deposited in the snowy wastes, she looks up to see that her captor is none other than her mother Queen Chrysalis herself.
Beetlebrain runs off through the Crystal Empire to tell everypony that Quartzy has been kidnapped, taking the time to “reveal” that he’s been a Changeling spy this whole time. He is astonished that nopony was surprised, but persists that Quartzy needs to be saved. The Changeling Queen and her hive have seen better times, for sure. She is utterly woebegone in the twenty-odd years since she’s last been seen, and her drones are even more gaunt and starved than ever. But now, Chrysalis has put together a plan involving her long-lost son Quasimodo. Since ‘he’ has shown a powerful affinity for the Crystal Heart, Chrysalis will use 'him’ to overthrow the Crystal Empire, a powerful source of love to feed off of in anticipation of their overthrowing of Equestria. She minces no words; once Quasimodo has squandered 'his’ uses, Chrysalis will kill him.
Beetlebrain finds his way to Quartzy, with Skyla, Royal Beauty, Cute Curiosity, Benitoite, Carnelian Carnation, and the rest of her family and loved ones. Chrysalis senses Quartzy’s love in Beetlebrain’s belly, and attempts to siphon it. At Quartzy’s behest, Beetlebrain gives the love, and in a flash, he becomes a beautiful glistening creature. The wave of love propagates out from Beetlebrain, all of the Changelings save Chrysalis being affected by the wave and transforming into the shapes they took in To Where And Back Again, Part 2. Quasimodo Quartz is affected as well, becoming a more beautiful doe-like creature, the holes in her legs disappearing (though still needing her wheelchair) and her mane and tail becoming much more fabulous. Chrysalis, overwhelmed, weakened, and not understanding what love truly is, is brought into custody at long last. Quasimodo Quartz becomes the new Queen of the Changeling Hive, along with being Crown-Princess of the Crystal Empire.
[This idea for Quasimodo Quartz to become the new Queen of the hive was conceived long before Thorax and To Where And Back Again, but after that two-parter aired, StarryOak and I decided to incorporate that into the story of the blog. She is absolutely enamored of the deer-like designs of the new Changelings…!]
Now, at this point, the Tumblr would have ended, but StarryOak had the idea of an “epilogue” some time after we’d finished, where Quasimodo Quartz would speak to the mirror again some years later. Though she is infertile and will never birth a clutch of Changelings, she & her wife Cute Curiosity have adopted many children of many races. Her Changelings have taken up the mantle of birthing Changelings themselves, and when her time has come, Quasimodo Quartz will produce a 'royal jelly’ to feed to one to become the new Queen in her stead. Royal Beauty & Cascade Glimmer have tied the knot and given birth to a foal, an Alicorn foal whom they named Flurry Heart. Having a child with such prominent wings drives Royal Beauty to distraction. Sugar Rush has a little sister now, Skittle Splatter. Flame Burst and Muddy May are closer sisters than ever. All in all, the world is stronger and more loving than ever.
After befriending Cute Curiosity, Quartzy would return to her home and field further Tumblr questions, at which point it would officially come out that Queen Chrysalis is her mother. She fears that the Askers despise her, but her parents come in and reveal that they know about her magic mirror and that none of them hate her. After a bit of bonding with her parents, Quartzy is told by Cadance that she is going to be involved in the Sisterhooves Social, which has in the past several years escalated to a national spectacle for all of Equestria. This is in the interests of Quartzy meeting ponies outside of the socially backwards Crystal Empire, ponies who will be much more open-minded and forgiving about her half-Changeling heritage.
At the Social grounds, Quartzy and her sisters Skyla and Royal Beauty are a great number of groups of sisters from throughout StarryOak’s TFIM/Quartzverse. Twilight’s daughters Starlight Twinkle, Moonlit Bloom, and Love Letter; Soarin & Spitfire’s daughters Flame Burst and Muddy May; Rainbow Dash and her sister Feathermay; Rainbow & Pinkie’s daughter Sugar Rush and the adopted Scootaloo; Sugar Belle & Night Glider’s daughters Milky Way and Jinglebread; Dinky & Pipsqueak’s daughters Autumn Tumble and Golden Tales; Applejack & Caramel’s daughters Blue Ribbon Beats and Brass Apple, etc. Also among them are a mysterious mare named Mother-of-Pearl and her “sister” Sprinkle Medley, who seems to be a Unicorn and not a Pegasus as she normally is…
Milky Way, Sugar Belle & Night Glider’s eldest daughter
Jinglebread, Sugar Belle & Night Glider’s youngest daughter
Autumn Tumble (below) and Golden Tales (above), Dinky & Pipsqueak’s daughters
This would have been a way to expose the Tumblr crowd to the broader world of StarryOak’s characters, and see their dynamics. Twilight’s daughters are incredibly dysfunctional; Love Letter bums off of Starlight Twinkle’s multiversal adventures for her “hardcore romance” novels (read: porn) and the pair of them despise each other, while Moonlit Bloom drives the pair of them to distraction with her desire to be Twilight Sparkle 2.0. Flame Burst despises her little sister Muddy May for being… well, it would be initially thought that Muddy May is a Unicorn, until the camera pans down and we see wings as well. Turns out she’s not an Alicorn, though, but a Pegacorn, and the horn on a Pegasus body kinda gives her a bit of a more… simple mind. Muddy absolutely adores her big sister, oblivious to Flamey’s resentment. The only reason Flame Burst is doing this Social is because her fillyfriend Sugar Rush put her up to it. (She actually named her Social team “Team ‘My Marefriend Is Forcing Me To Do This’”, which Skyla would continually make snort-inducing jokes like “Team 'My Marefriend Is Macking On Me After This’”.)
Flame Burst, Spitfire & Soarin’s firstborn daughter [pictured in her Gala dress]
Muddy May, Spitfire & Soarin’s secondborn daughter
Angel, Fluttershy & Bic McIntosh’s son
Also present despite not being involved in the Sisterhooves Social, are Regality Blueblood, son of Prince Blueblood & Trixie, Quartzy’s best friend; and Fluttershy & Big Mac’s son Angel, who is Muddy May’s boyfriend. Applejack and the incumbent mayor of Ponyville are also present butting heads.
Quartzy and her sisters’ team basically performs midway on the leaderboard, but at least they do better than her cousins the daughters of Twilight, who are so dysfunctional that they placed dead-last. The top of the board is taken by Autumn Tumble and Golden Tales, who pass the medal on to Quartzy as a means of providing a boost to her esteem. Around this time, we learn behind Quartzy’s back that Mother-of-Pearl and Sprinkle Medley are Changelings, the former being specifically Queen Chrysalis. Before any Askers can inform her of this, though, Quartzy is informed that she must return to the Crystal Empire at once, alongside (surprisingly) Rainbow Dash and Regality. Two ponies attempted to break into the Crystal Palace and require questioning by the princesses.
Seriously though, this is one bizarre yet charming movie.
It’s basically an update on the classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, except instead of the protagonist being a money-grabby jerk, he’s a jerk who works for a TV channel (which is a pretty clever update). The ghosts, however, are the ones who steal the show. They are really funny, really quirky and really intimidating respectively, and their designs are so memorable!
The writing, the pacing, the tone, it’s all in check for a movie that balances cynicism and innocence really well. I wasn’t expecting a movie like this to carry on the spirit of the season so much, but it really does. Definitely give this one a shot, you won’t be disappointed.
And now, if you excuse me, I have to avoid a rift from happening between the present and the future. It seems not even time can get along with itself these days.
“It’s a ton of fun! I love being able to take any form I want. But I don’t think Chrysalis and I would be a compatible fit. Ya know, since Changelings feed on love and Garden Fairy Changelings feed on plants.. Last I checked, there’s not any good land for planting things in or around Chrysalis’ hive.”
Day 27: Draw a pony doing science/ draw a pony pushing boundaries
Okay, before you think I’m insane, hear me out. I’m an elementary school janitor and one of the grades, I think all third graders, are doing sciency stuff with little crayfish. I have no idea what they do with them, but when I come in with my vacuum after school and see these containers with two or three crayfish each, literally all I’ve observed them do is fight. I can only imagine that these kids are coming back to school in the morning to find a portion of them dead as a doornail. Is that part of their experiments? I really want to know.