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Crystal Empire

The Crystal Empire, home of the Crystal ponies, is a remnant of the old Equestrian Empire that managed to rise to power during the Age of Chaos. The first Crystal Empress, who founded the empire, created the Crystal Heart and used it to defeat Rabia, the primordial goddess of darkness, and seal her alongside her race of Umbrum ponies in a prison realm beneath the frozen lands. The Crystal Palace that would house the royal family was originally built as a large, magical artifact that channeled the Crystal Heart's power, keeping Rabia and her followers imprisoned for eternity. Since then, the empire has always been ruled by a long line of wise and benevolent Empresses.

However, the Crystal Empire's successes caused the people to become decadent and arrogant, leading to a disastrous war with the Giants that they barely managed to survive. Combined with King Sombra's terrible rule and other traumatic events that occurred further in the past, the Crystal Empire's power and affluence faded drastically. While it still retains its name as an empire, it is misleading - just like its crystalline sheen, it is a facade used to hide the fact that the former powerful successor state was reduced to a pitiful minor city-state that's still recovering even today. It is currently ruled by Princess Cadence and her consort Prince-Regent Shining Armour, as in canon.
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    General 
  • Baby Factory: It's implied that stallions who marry into the royal family are more or less treated like this; some people, especially the Crystal Empire's nobility, see Shining Armor as nothing more than a glorified "throne-warmer" whose real duty is to produce female heirs for his wife, Princess Cadence. This would enrage Twilight Velvet, and it's implied that Cadence is also aggrieved by the contempt for her husband.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Used to deal this to many of their enemies and conquests thanks to their command of powerful magic and elite troops, back when it was a powerful successor state, which made them quite arrogant. Then they met the Giants of Queen Colossos' Empire...
  • Curb-Stomp Cushion: Managed to rally and fight more effectively after catastrophic losses in the early stages of their war with Queen Colossos' Empire. That being said, they still barely managed to survive, not even winning the conflict.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Likely a more cultured, successful and fantastical version of the Western Roman Empire, given the Empire of Trot is the Eastern Roman/Byzantine expy. And also the long forgotten state of Khwarezmia, up to and nearly sharing the same fate as them...
  • Fatal Flaw: Pride. Its stupendous success made them arrogant and decadent, and contributed to their eventual decline and downfall when poor decisions borne from their pride quite literally awakened an empire of Giants and filled them with a terrible resolve.
  • Heir Club for Men: Inverted; the Crystal Empire have always ruled by mares, even though their ruling titles have been switched from "Empress" to "Princess" following the adoption of the Princess rank system. As such, it's implied that the throne can only be passed down from mother to daughter, while stallions can only become royalty through marriage and are just glorified heir-makers. This would give both Shining Armor and Cadence no shortage of grief as several people don't see the former as Cadence's royal equal despite ruling alongside her as a Prince-Regent.
  • Hegemonic Empire: Inherited this from Classical Equestria, though also acted as The Empire.
  • Hopeless War: Engaged in one with Queen Colossos' Empire... of Giants. Worst part is that it was entirely avoidable, were it not for their arrogance and foolishness (though the Giants were not entirely blameless either). Needless to say, their power and pride received a painful and profound pummeling.
  • Long Game: Engaged in one with the Principalities of Equestria and the Empire of Trot following the end of Discord's reign and the rise of the successor states.
  • Matriarchy: Like its Equestrian neighbors. In ancient times, the Crystal Empire was always ruled by benevolent Empresses since its founding, right until Queen Colossos' War, whereupon they switched to a Princess system. The last Crystal Empress is Coronam III "the Adamant", whose ultimate fate remains unknown. As shown with Shining Armor, stallions who marry into the royal family only become consorts and regents of the empire; Celestia confesses to Luminiferous sometime after the Storm King Crisis that Cadence has to deal with local nobles contemptuously treating Shining like a Baby Factory whose only purpose is to give female heirs and being "throne candy" that makes the Princess look good.
  • We Have Become Complacent: As mentioned above, countless victories have led the Crystal Ponies to become arrogant and decadent, so sure that their power made them unstoppable. The arrival of the Giants completely took them by surprise.

    Princess Cadence 
See her folder here

    Prince-Regent Shining Armor 
The husband of Princess Cadence, father of Princess Flurry Heart, and older brother of Princess Twilight Sparkle. Unlike everyone, who are all divine Alicorns, Shining Armor is the only mortal in the family.
  • Baby Factory: Some nobles of the Crystal Empire see him as both this and "throne candy", due to the Crystal Empire being matriarchal and Shining having become a Prince-Regent via marrying Princess Cadence. Celestia mentions that Cadence knows the nobles look down on her husband because her empathy allows her to sense their contempt. Hearing of the insults would also enrage Twilight Velvet, who would go after those mistreating her son in such a way.
  • Barrier Warrior: Like in canon, he can produce magically strong shields, and when powered by Cadence's love magic his shields can reach new heights. The evil Alicorn, Blood Fang the Dark Conqueror, is said to rival him in this area, being capable of producing strong shields himself. It's revealed that he inherited his shield magic from his mother, Twilight Velvet, who specializes in "Armament magic" that focuses on summoning and enchanting both weapons and shields.
  • Deity of Human Origin: Luminiferous tells a tearful Celestia that it's possible for Shining to become an immortal Alicorn in the future, but the choices he makes depend entirely on him. A Codexverse drabble reveals that it might be happening after all.
  • Divine Date: He's a mortal unicorn who's married to Princess Cadence, the Alicorn goddess of Love and ruling Princess of the Crystal Empire. The fact that he is mortal is rather distressing, since every single Alicorn he's related to either biologically or by marriage is immortal and will definitely outlive him.
  • Happily Married: To Princess Cadence, like in canon. However, Cadence is worried that she'll eventually outlive him due to Shining being mortal, and is concerned with her subjects treating her husband as a glorified Baby Factory.
  • Mayfly–December Romance: Celestia mentions to Luminiferous that Cadence is worried that she'll eventually lose Shining to time and age due to her being an immortal Alicorn goddess, while he's just a mortal unicorn.
  • Mutants: Like his sister and mother and unlike canon, he's a So Soft Pony. This mutation gives him thicker and softer fur than normal, which also act as natural armor. Unlike Twilight, he's mastered a lot more of the advanced techniques with it to make if more effective armor.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: His relationship with Prince-Regent Blueblood is implied to be this, as they constantly snark at each other. After he married Cadence, Blueblood reportedly congratulated them both before threatening to do bad things to Shining if he ever did something to his "Caddy". However, Shining's described in Blueblood's profile as part of his close circle of friends and therefore one of few people he trusts, and they're both willing to work together in times of great crisis.
  • Warrior Prince: Much like Blueblood, he's a prominent figure in the military, a Prince-Regent (though in the Crystal Empire), and a skilled mage himself.
  • What You Are in the Dark: Despite wishing that he could be seen and treated as an equal to Cadence, he only wants to be an Alicorn so he could protect his subjects better, and be with his family forever. Turns out that Luminiferous was looking for this kind of response and was quite pleased with him.
  • Winged Unicorn: In a possible future shown by Luminiferous to placate a tearful Celestia, Shining Armor was shown to have become an Alicorn whose talent in shield magic increased to the point where only the most powerful gods could break his shields.
  • The Un-Favourite: Averted. Despite Twilight Sparkle being more intelligent, more accomplished, and magically powerful as well as the first of her family to Ascend and become an Alicorn goddess, she isn't favored over Shining Armor. This is because in his parents eyes, Shining Armor has a lot of unique traits and skills that make him just as lovable as his talented sister.
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    Princess Flurry Heart 
See her folder here

    Empress Coronam III, the Adamant 

    King Sombra 

    Radiant Hope 

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