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The Changeling Summer Court
"Seek not the Summer Court. Speak not the Summer Court. Suffer not fools who caught their eyes; the fools might soon lose their own."
Also known as the "Court of Thorns", the Summer Court is the other 'official' Court of the Changelings and the second largest in general. The Summer Court is the shadow of Changelingkind to the light of the Spring Court, a dark and twisted reflection. Ruled by the male counterparts of the Royal Changelings, most - though not all - Changeling Kings are as ruthless, ambitious and calculating as their patriarch, the Changeling Emperor, ever seeking to advance their power, whether by subversion or conquest of other lands and races, or undermining and destroying their rivals among their ranks. Yet even in this den of vipers and scorpions, there are a few exceptions who don't share their siblings' unfettered ambitions...
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- Arch-Enemy: Several Kings have one in a hero competent and intelligent enough to take them head on. Dr. Toxikon managed to become this to the entire Court.
- Amazon Brigade: The Summer Court has the "Black Maidens", an all-female group of extremely powerful and deadly Changelings who serve both Blackthorn and the Crone as warriors, spies, and assassins.
- Berserk Button: Collectively they have a few. And it usually doesn't end well for the person who pressed it.
- Do not compare them to Dragons, Changelingkind's racial Arch-Enemy, even if the Scions of Summer themselves behave like them with their ambitious ruthlessness. Their mocking contempt for their brother Xestobium instantly turned into murderous rage once Xestobium accused them of acting like Dragons.
- Do not try to manipulate them or put them at the mercy of a power beyond their control. Usually, they're the ones who does that.
- King Brachion tried to kill Ahuizotl upon realizing he was manipulated into releasing a world-threatening biological menace.
- Were it not for Emperor Blackthorn holding them back, the Summer Court would had gone after Princess Stitching Time for briefly erasing them from existence with the Hooves of Oblivion while she was still the mad, corrupted time goddess Final Epoch.
- They don't dare go after Amareros, however, given the Love Primeval is a primordial deity powerful enough to (and HAD) brought them to their knees overnight.
- Big, Screwed-Up Family: Compared to the Royal Changelings of the Spring Court, which consists of benevolent queens with a few bad apples, the Royal Changelings of the Summer Court are far less adjusted as a family, with plots and ambitions galore. Most of it seems to stem from Emperor Blackthorn, who neglects his children at best, kills them when they fail him at worst, and favors those who prove exceptionally useful to him and his grand plans.
- Break the Haughty: Collectively suffered one from Amareros, the Love Primeval, one of the oldest and most powerful deities on Equus, after some Changeling Kings attempted to subdue Amareros for their own ends and the Summer Court caught Amareros' ire for how they abused Love for their own ends. No one knows exactly what Amareros did, and the Changelings will not discuss it, but it was known that the Summer Court was brought to its knees overnight and Blackthorn was forced to bargain for his and his Scions' survival. Afterwards, Blackthorn and the Summer Court are wary of provoking Amareros and his fellow Grand Primevals under any circumstances.
- The Chessmaster: A whole clan of them. They had move nations like pieces on a chessboard and made pawns out of other gods, with their patriarch being the greatest one among them.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: If the Summer Court has one weakness, it's that they for the most part view one another primarily as rivals for their father's attention rather than family, and as such will stab each other in the back the moment it suits them. They try their best to hide this from the world, as with all their weaknesses, but Toxikon managed to find out about it and exploited it relentlessly. Some like Heterometrus takes this Up to Eleven.
- Civil War: Has a relatively low-level and simmering one going on since the time of the First-Spawns known as 'The Fratricide', started by one of his 'First-Spawn' sons (if not the first) which saw the then-bloodless intracourt rivalry escalate to full-blown fratricidal conflicts. The Changeling Emperor let it continue, either as collective punishment for their stupidity, didn't care at all, or even engineered it as a means to weed out the unworthy from his Court's ranks.
- Consummate Liar: There's a reason why the Royal Changelings of the Summer Court called the 'Tyrants of Deceit'; like father, like son, they are masters at deceiving others into doing their will or exposing their weaknesses. They are also very difficult to be deceived themselves; it took Ahuizotl every trick he knew just to get King Brachion to unwittingly release the Dyvaos, for example.
- Deadly Decadent Court: Decadence varies between individual Kings and Hives, but they are certainly deadly as a whole, to each other and any who get in their way.
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?:
- Once, in retaliation of Dragonkind burning down the Changeling homeland and nearly pushing them to extinction, the Summer Court launched a campaign of genocide to return the favor aeons later. The fact that they nearly brought low all of dragonkind, one of the mightiest races on Equus and in most other settings, should be emphasized. Where most people and nations could only hope to challenge even one on most occasions, they took them all on and nearly did the job. This adequately demonstrates just how dangerous the Summer Court is.
- Although they themselves ended up being on the receiving end of this when 5,000 years later, 'Time Of Broken Scales' survivor Dr. Toxikon snaps and nearly returns the favor. If nothing else, they learnt from Toxikon that this trope could be done back at them in return...
- Father Wolfsbane I, the first of the Wolfsbane Legacy, was notable for being the first mortal to ever slay a Changeling King. He topped this by very nearly killing Blackthorn himself, coming closer than anyone else ever had.
- Divine Right of Kings: Much like Blackrose and her daughters, Blackthorn's sons are half-divine via their father having children with members of different races, making them demigods. And much like Blackrose's daughters, their biologically divine relations also gives them a sense of superiority and entitlement, believing that as children of a Changeling god, only they have the right to rule and their subjects must fall in line, or else. This makes them target Autumn Changeling hives because their mere presence threatens their royal legitimacy.
- The Dreaded: As one of the two main groups of Unseelie Changelings, they are this even among their own kind. Expect a horrible death if you ever find yourself getting in their way.
- Enraged by Idiocy: Generally in the Summer Court, if someone's plan somehow turns into an Epic Fail, then their life is forfeit, as Blackthorn doesn't tolerate idiocy, and his more ruthless sons will see it as a weakness to exploit.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Surprisingly enough, even they find the Winter Court in general abhorrent, which is saying something about the latter. It's rather common for Changeling Kings to threaten their rivals with the fate of being Condemned so they would remove threats to their power.
- They also hate Chrysalis and her ilk, and generally see her as a "failure of a queen", which also says something about how evil she is. It got to the point where Emperor Blackthorn secretly placed several agents in Thorax's hive of purified Changelings so he could root out hidden Chrysalis-loyalists. However, it's implied that much of their hatred of Chrysalis stems from her gradual decline in competence rather than being genuinely evil, as Blackthorn coldly scoffed at her idea of making magical copies of the Mane Six just to control the Elements of Harmony.Emperor Blackthorn: And that was her 'plan'? To create six magical replicates of the Bearers of Harmony which she cannot even properly control? Each representing the complete antithesis in every way of the very Elements she created them to subvert? All to restore her lost power by replacing it with one their very nature meant none of them can ever truly hope to wield? If that was her best idea for conquest and revenge, we would loathe to see her worst.
- It is mentioned their attempted genocide of Dragonkind during the "Time of Broken Scales" involved methods that utterly horrified even the most intractable Dragon-hating racists. Whether if this is just standard-practice or if they just hated Dragonkind that much is left unanswered.
- Evil Overlord: An entire clan/civilization of them, and noted to be more successful than many of their non-Changeling peers through a combination of genre-savviness, Pragmatic Villainy, meticulous planning, constant vigilance, zero tolerance for incompetence or failure, and sheer unadulterated ruthlessness.
- Evil vs. Evil: On many occasions the Changeling Kings had schemed and fought against each other for their father's favour, while the Court as a whole had clashed with other forces of evil whom compete against them for dominion over the world.
- They were mentioned to have fought against the Storm King and his Empire during the 'Storm King Crisis'. Although they have committed many war crimes, they ultimately got away with them due to them working against the enemy, and that the Summer Court is far too powerful and cunning for anyone to retaliate against them for said crimes.
- They've fought Dr. Toxikon because the dragon wants to wipe out both them in revenge for their attempted genocide (which includes his entire family), as well as other dragons who refuse to let go of their own arrogance and racism.
- They've also engaged in an eons-long gambit against the Shadowed Ones, including wiping out the entire Dökkálfar race and assuming their identities, with their supposed "allies" none the wiser. While the Summer Court is willing to help the Grand Primevals and their allies bring down the Shadowed Ones, it's only out of pragmatism - like the Shadowed Ones, they too, have been manipulating the "Ragnarok" cycles plaguing Cervidia for their own ends, but were smart enough to realize that said cycles are a diminishing asset that would bring them ruin once it is completely gone.
- Exact Words: More so than the Seelie Courts, owing to their nature as treacherous schemers.
- One notable example includes King Lepid the Silver-Tongued, who once got away with betraying another despite giving his Word not to do so covering all possible bases, a great taboo among Changelingkind by arguing that he never promised he wouldn't lie to him from the start about it, up to and including giving his Word.
- Heterometrus also pulled this on Toxikon when, after promising to leave in peace, he returned with other Summer Court Changelings to slaughter Toxikon's clan during the 'Time of Broken Scales'.King Heterometrus: "We never said anything about returning in peace."
- The Fair Folk: Fits the 'nightmarishly horrible' variety of legends, though the Winter Court is actually even worse.
- Fantastic Racism: Much like the Spring Court, the Summer Court hates dragons, heavily implied to have originated from "The Burning of Amorea" in which dragons burned and plundered their kingdoms to steal their riches. It's later deconstructed as their hatred of Dragonkind runs so deep that it also causes them to target those who had nothing to do with their people's cruel actions - Princess Apertus was horrifically tormented and abused by a sadistic Changeling King just for being a Changeling-Dragon hybrid, while Dr. Toxikon was brutally screwed over by King Heterometrus after he helped the latter; even more damning is the fact that, in Heterometrus' eyes, it wasn't personal. In both instances, the Summer Court would be devastated when the products of their hatred and racism would come rampaging through their territories, in addition to various non-Changelings rightly calling them out on their behavior.
- Final Solution: Attempted one against Dragonkind in revenge for the 'Burning of Amorea', known as the 'Time of Broken Scales', and nearly succeeded. Going by the entries, some of the methods in achieving such results horrified even those who hated Dragons. Of course, this eventually came back to bite them 5,000 years later, when Dr Toxikon, a survivor of the attempted genocide, tried to return the favour.
- Flower Motifs: Like the Spring Court, the Summer Court has roses as their motif, except it is represented by the rose's thorns, showing that the Summer Court is a dark, perverted shadow of the benevolent, blooming Spring Court. This is where it got its moniker, "The Court of Thorns".
- Horrifying the Horror: As terrifying and dangerous as they are, there are some things they themselves fear. The Grand Primevals are one, due to Amareros the Love Primeval's wrath having made even Blackthorn fear him and his siblings. The other is the Wolfsbane Legacy, Blackthorn's mortal archenemies, who are such competent and dangerous monster slayers that any Summer Court member besides the Emperor himself doesn't dare challenge them.
- Karma Houdini:
- The Summer Court had committed many atrocities over the ages in their ruthless pursuit of power and domination from the shadows, and gotten away with many of them due to the then-active Masquerade, and Blackthorn and his children making sure to cover up their tracks.
- The Summer Court was mentioned to have committed a lot of war crimes during the 'Storm King Crisis', ravaging the territories of the Storm Empire. Since they were on the side of the victorious international coalition and were too powerful as a whole to be held accountable, they got away with them largely scot-free.
- Subverted with the 'Time of Broken Scales', their attempted genocide on Dragonkind in revenge for the 'Burning of Amorea': it took 5,000 years, but the survivor Toxikon would snap and eventually return the favour, causing considerable damage to the Summer Court.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: They committed genocide against an Old Fae race, the Dökkálfar, and have been impersonating both them and the Dökkálfar leader, Malekith, for eons. However, since the Dökkálfar were allies of the Shadowed Ones who helped engineer the "Ragnarok" cycles that brought both mortal and divine Deerkind so much misery for their masters' survival and sadistic amusement, no one knew they were gone, and likely wouldn't shed a tear for their deaths if word of the Dökkálfar's deeds got out.
- Kill and Replace: A canonical prelude drabble to the 'Final Ragnarok' Arc revealed the Summer Court did this to the entirety of the Svartálfar/Myrkálfar, an Old Fae race, at some point in the past (Likely after the 'Great Fae War'), with the Shadowed Ones that they used to work with being none the wiser.
- Laser-Guided Karma: Dr. Toxikon inflicts a lot of this on them, attempting and nearly succeeding in returning the favor for the Time of Broken Scales. Notably, he used many of their infamous dragon killing methods back against them. Even though he failed, he managed to seriously damage the Court by killing off a number of Changeling Kings and their hives, which is more notable due than it'd have been to the Spring Court due to their lower numbers to begin with.
- Logical Weakness: The Changeling Kings of the Summer Court are infamous for being meticulous schemers who can predict every possible outcome and plan accordingly... but that requires those they fight or manipulate to behave like any logical, reasonable opponent/pawn, and events to occur naturally like any sane reality when set in motion. This is the main reason why even Emperor Blackthorn and his Scions had yet to defeat the likes of Discord and Crazy Ant, and is genuinely worried about the likes of Queen Mab the Preeminent; their chaotic/crazy nature and abilities makes them too unpredictable to properly plan against.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Another reason they are so successful. Ironically, this also makes them slightly less evil than the Winter Court.
- Red Baron: Collectively, they're known as the "Black Court". Blackthorn and his sons are known as the "Tyrants of Deceit".
- Shocking Defeat Legacy: Due to their incredible competence and power, any major defeat suffered by any king tends to be this. While a hard-fought loss to an Archenemy can be overlooked, more major losses can potentially lose Blackthorn's favor, especially if it's the result of incompetence, and make one a prime target for their brothers. As such, it's not unheard of for one King to manipulate another into having one of these to severely hurt their standing.
- The Social Darwinist: Most have this worldview, including their patriarch. The Changeling Kings will pounce on their rivals and enemies at any moment of weakness, including their own brothers, and will show little remorse or mercy. Cunning and strength is valued highly among their ranks and the measure of all things. While this makes their numbers smaller than the Spring Court, it also has the benefit of churning out Changeling Kings who are not only physically powerful, but competent warriors in hoof-to-hoof combat. King Brachion embodies this trope the most; having spent most of his childhood fending for himself in a dangerous forest after his royal Deer family cast him out, Brachion has developed a dark fascination with Equus's predatory wildlife, which led to him becoming a sadistic Mad Scientist that experiments on people in order to create dangerous beasts.
- The Stoic: Overt emotions is considered a sign of weakness in the Summer Court. Most Changeling Kings thus emulate their patriarch in hiding their true feelings and intents behind composed, inscrutable masks. Needless to say, the best way to tell if something shocking or had gone wrong for a Summer Court Royal Changeling is when they lose their composure.
- Token Evil Teammate:
- Of Changelingkind and Faekind in general, especially in times of crises where they would work with the Spring and Autumn Courts to resolve them.
- They are also this to the Equestrians by implication: Like the Spring Court, they are allied with Thorax and his Purified Changelings due to them being key to breaking their racial curse - and since Thorax is also allied with the Equestrians, that means the Summer Court is also allied with the Equestrians by proxy. Needless to say, neither of them are likely happy with this arrangement, due to the general duplicitous temperament of Blackthorn and his sons.
- Mentioned to have allied themselves with the grand coalition of World Powers along with the Spring Court to fight the Storm Empire during the 'Storm King Crisis'.
- Token Good Teammate: In contrast to the Spring Court, which has (mostly) benevolent Changeling Queens and a few "bad apples", the Summer Court hold being consummate schemers and backstabbers as the norm with the exceptions being genuinely benevolent, or at least honorable and/or reasonable. Despite encouraging treachery on a regular basis, Blackthorn ironically favors the latter group since they are (presumably) much more useful to him if the Summer Court's needs are taken into account.
- Virtue Is Weakness: Played with; given how most Kings of the Summer Court are willing to exploit their rivals' weaknesses, it's a general rule that things such as trust and compassion would make one an easier target. However, Blackthorn has been known to favor more benevolent sons like Metamorphosis, Lasius, and Pholcidae, as they tend to put the needs of the Summer Court first. The only reasons why they weren't killed yet is because they're all quite capable of defending themselves, and killing the more "useful" members of the Court would also potentially incur Blackthorn's wrath.
- Wicked Cultured: The Summer Court is this to the Cultured Badass of the Spring Court. Some of the Changeling Kings are very flamboyant and sophisticated like the Kings Lepid and Thomisus. Others are intensely interested in preservation of cultural legacies like King Pholcidae. All of this is encouraged by their father/patriarch.
- You Have Failed Me: If you failed spectacularly, your life is generally forfeited as the Summer Court do not tolerate incompetence. That being said, you are given some leeway if you take full responsibility for it, your failure is beyond anyone's ability to control, was a hard-fought loss by an even more capable opponent rather than through any weakness on your part, or you are too valuable to be disposed off at least immediately. In that case, you may be given a chance to redeem yourself, or at least kept a little bit longer until it is definitively-confirmed You Have Outlived Your Usefulness.
Blackthorn, the Changeling Emperor
"Think what you will. While you try to discern truth from lies, all my plans will unfold in perfection."
The Patriarch of the Summer Court and the Father of all Changelings, if Empress Blackrose is the most beloved and known figure among the Changeling Courts, Emperor Blackthorn is the most feared and mysterious. Ruthless, calculating and ambitious, the Changeling Emperor endlessly schemes from the shadows to advance his inscrutable agendas even as his Scions gradually expand their influence across Equus, making pawns out of the greatest heroes and villains and manipulating mortals and gods alike, held in check only by those who could match him wit for wit. Yet the deceitful and amoral divine schemer is not without hints of Hidden Depths, showing among other things a complicated past and a relationship with his 'Beloved', Empress Blackrose, that he desired to be reciprocated...
- Abhorrent Admirer: Despite still holding a torch for Blackrose for all those years, Blackrose sees him as an utterly repulsive being, and even if she's willing to work with him on several occasions, she still loathes the very idea of doing so. Notably, during the First-Spawn Rebellion, when Blackthorn offered to help her end the conflict by sending in his sons, Blackrose's seething over the issue would create storm clouds before she accepted. She is also very suspicious of him, knowing that he would try anything just to get her standing by his side again, even if it's during a great crisis. It's implied that this hatred spawned from their past, before their Ascension and the creation of Changelingkind, where he seduced her with a love potion that caused both of their kingdoms to fall because they were made so infatuated with each other afterwards.
- Above Good and Evil: Seems to see morality as transient illusions and considers himself to be above them. To him, power and the pursuit of it is the measure of all things, even if not all that matters. Because of this, he is rightly seen as others as a "flank-hole", but he also helps benevolent forces if it'll benefit him and his plans.
- Abusive Parents: He's a terrible father by any metric, seemingly caring little for his sons other than as means to advance his agendas, and has little hesitation in exiling and offing them if they fail or cross him. Yet he still respects most of them, especially if they had proven themselves worthy, and is generally careful enough to retain most of their loyalty (mostly by letting them do whatever they want so long as they help him run errands, and avoid doing anything to make them resentful).
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-universe; because of his stoicism, and his great talent and experience in scheming and manipulating others, many creatures (including other Changelings and even his own sons) try to correctly guess the meaning of his actions. His more altruistic moments especially come under scrutiny - does he really mean what he says/does/feels, or is he a Bitch in Sheep's Clothing who acts the way he does purely out of pragmatism?
- Ambiguously Evil: He's definitely sinister for the most part, as he had done a lot of villainous things over the eons, but is frequently described as, at most, "amoral" and his motives are ambiguous enough to keep everybody guessing. He's also willing to work and bargain with the Spring Court and other forces of the good and righteous to advance his or mutual interests, like with Queen Dazzleglow. He also backed heroes as much as villains in the past for his own agendas.
- Arch-Enemy: Shares one with Empress Blackrose in Discord, and unlike Blackrose had not let Discord's reformation get in the way of his revenge. Also a rivalry with Dragon King Bahumet, Father of all Dragons and one of the few capable of matching his wits consistently and foil his schemes.
- Awesome Mc Coolname: His full name is Blackthorn Oberon Lyonesse. Like Blackrose, his true name is a long-lost secret that only he and his counterpart knew...
- Byronic Hero: While "hero" is a bit of a misnomer, he's described as 'his own absolute principle' - highly intelligent and capable but very self-centered? Check. Possess charisma and magnetism which retained him admiration and loyalty of his Scions and those he sires them with? Check. Intensely introspective due to being intellectually-minded, yet also obsessive with his goals and grudges (Blackrose and Discord)? Check. Cynical and experienced with the hints regarding a troubled and complicated past, again with Blackrose and Discord as well as his role at the Dawn of Changelingkind? Check. Adheres strongly to his own code and standards and is rather contemptuous of those who fail his standards, while respecting those who does like the worthy members of his Scions, his rivals and mortals in general? Check. Ambitious and power-hungry, intensely determined to fulfill his desires regardless of what stands in his way? Check. Yep, he fits.
- Canon Character All Along: Like Blackrose, is heavily implied to be the Hearts And Hooves Day Prince, but like Blackrose remains unconfirmed.
- Catchphrase: "Think what you will."
- The Chessmaster: Has a reputation for this, on truly epic scales, and is considered one of THE best at it to the point that no one is ever sure just how much of anything is merely him taking advantage of the situation or how much was planned all along. All his sons are chips off the old block.Emperor Blackthorn: Just as there are always chess pieces, there too would always exist chess-masters. It takes characters of true worth and will to see beyond their places on the board, and ascend to become the players themselves. We do not deny that we have such power over people and events, though they may appear complex. But to us, they are but pawns and moves, and we control the game...
- Consummate Liar: Has a reputation for this, as shown in his nickname 'The Prince of Deceit', and he's quite proud of it.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has a tendency to do this, owing to his personality, usually in the form of Lampshade Hanging.
- When Xestobium accused the entire Summer Court for being Not So Different from Dragonkind:Emperor Blackthorn: "No one likes being compared to their antithesis, my son."
- He also notes in the "Final Ragnarok" arc that the Shadowed Ones overseeing the Nine Realms are pretty lame and unoriginal when it comes to thinking up names for themselves.Emperor Blackthorn: (to Amareros) There are many such groups that called themselves or had been referred to as such, and we may have associated ourselves with a few of them. If nothing else, we had learnt there is a profound lack of creativity in how many choose to name themselves or others. You may want to be more specific, Lord Amareros.
- When Xestobium accused the entire Summer Court for being Not So Different from Dragonkind:
- Deity of Human Origin: He's classified as an Ascendant deity, so he might have been mortal at one point. It's implied that he's the Earth pony Prince from the Hearts and Hooves Day story.
- The Dreaded: Described as the most feared figure among Changelingkind where his counterpart Blackrose is the most beloved, on top of being among the most mysterious. Even his sons, who normally evoke this among their subjects and Non-Changelings, are absolutely terrified of him and his disapproval. He actively cultivates this as part of his manipulative nature as a means of intimidating those he meets to his advantage.
- Of course, there are other beings who are this to even him; Queen Mab the Preeminent is said to be one of few beings who can make him feel legitimate concern. And then there's Amareros, whom Blackthorn and his Scions does everything possible to avoid provoking him after he nearly brought the Summer Court to its knees literally overnight.
- Didn't See That Coming: Being a consummate schemer and Manipulative Bastard with eons of experience and a master of Xanatos Gambits, usually only the most unthinkable developments can legitimately take him off-guard - like Thorax's Purification, or Dragon Lord Ember forgiving him and Changelingkind for their actions against Dragonkind. Downplayed in that given his deceitful nature, he's very good at hiding it and few can ever tell how much of that is genuine and how much is an act. And he has an uncanny ability to quickly take advantage of any sudden unforeseen variables.
- Enraged by Idiocy: Emperor Blackthorn will not suffer fools in his presence, even if they are his sons. He cared little the morality and motives of his Scions, but those who spectacularly fail his standards or display gross incompetence will be condemned to the Winter Court, which is considered to be a horrible fate considering how much the Summer Court loathes them. His sons frequently use that as an excuse to off their rivals on the grounds that their negligence threaten the survival/interests of the Summer Court as a whole. Two of the theories behind his allowance of 'The Fratricide' between his sons were that either he could punish the less capable of their incompetence, or to weed out and eliminate the weakest of his court.Emperor Blackthorn: "We expect our sons to indulge in deceit and treachery... but we will not tolerate INCOMPETENT deceit and treachery."
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: It's implied that Blackthorn still deeply loves Blackrose, even though the latter can't stand him at all; the only time they're able to work together is during Court-threatening situations, and even then Blackrose is extremely reluctant to work with him. In the story of Final Epoch, Blackthorn thanked the Equestrian Princesses for saving Blackrose from one timeline (apparently she met a horrible fate there), and if the Toxikon incident was of any indication, Blackthorn may have been plotting anything that would get her to work by his side again. And if certain theories and the few remaining historical records on Changelingkind are to be believed, this love goes far back to when Blackthorn and Blackrose were the Prince and Princess of their own realms, respectively, with Blackthorn being infatuated with the latter so much that he was willing to give her a love potion just to woo her. Despite the fall of their kingdoms, their Ascensions, and the cursing/transformation of their people, Blackthorn's feelings for his "beloved" hasn't changed any.
- Even Evil Has Standards:
- Has banished his sons to the Winter Court in the past for reasons other than incompetence on these grounds.
- According to King Serfyr, even Blackthorn thinks Queen Mab I was a 'right lunatic,' and he assisted in sealing her away. Given the character of some of his sons, that is saying something.
- Hiliariously, even he considers using Count Perpetual Annoyance as an instrument of torture too cruel, as being annoyed by the Count is considered a Fate Worse than Death, and has forbid the Summer Court from doing so.
- Evil Mentor: He's actually closer to "Amoral" mentor, but otherwise served as this to Propagare (to no one's surprise). Both of them knew he's mostly doing this to serve his own ends.
- Eldritch Abomination: Capable of assuming these forms as a shapeshifter and it's implied his true form is also this as well. Legends record of how he turned into a titanic, monstrous form to counter his Count Dracolt rival's titanic, monstrous form during the climax of their most epic conflict. His implied true-form is also been seen during the final battle with Dr Toxikon along with that of his beloved Empress Blackrose's true-form.
- A Form You Are Comfortable With: When interacting with his sons and/or non-Changelings, he takes the form of a Royal Changeling with a charcoal-blue carapace and tattered moth wings. His true form is implied to be an Eldritch Abomination made of shadowy mists and bluish-green flames.
- To Empress Blackrose, obviously. While Blackrose and her daughters/Scions are known for being benevolent, fair, and cultured rulers, Blackthorn and his sons/Scions are known for being ruthless, manipulative, and amoral tyrants who use harsher methods in ruling that the Spring Court's Royal Changelings would balk at. They also have flower and seasonal motifs that show them as being opposites of each other - Blackrose and her daughters are represented by the blooming rose and the Spring season, which has milder weather, while Blackthorn and his sons are represented by the rose's thorns and the Summer season, which has harsher weather. Furthermore, while Blackrose is a deeply flawed individual, she is still a highly beloved Empress and a good parent to her daughters, and strives to better herself if her flaws are made known to her. Blackthorn, on the other hand, represents Blackrose's darker potential, encouraging his sons' inner treachery and ruthlessness, favoring those sons who started showing an inclination for benevolence and/or competence, while manipulating both them and his mortal subjects for his own plans, like pawns on a chessboard. There's also the implication that he encouraged the Summer Court's highly toxic and fratricidal environment to see which ones of his sons are "worthy" or to punish them by letting them die of their own folly... or he just plain didn't care.
- He's also one to Golden Scepter, the Radiant Emperor of Ponykind. Despite being an Emperor, it's implied that Blackthorn is much younger than Golden Scepter, as the latter has referred to him as "Young Prince" just as the Grand Primevals did, and has lived a long time even before the Known Ages themselves. And while they are both fathers of demi-divine royals, Blackthorn is very much a "hands-off" parent who birthed his sons through many flings with mortal females, and is largely indifferent to their activities, only directly intervening when his sons' plans threaten the existence of his entire Court. Golden Scepter, on the other hand, only had one mortal Pony wife (though it's implied that he was romantically involved with both genders before the Alicorns' fall) and stayed faithful to her until she died, and would continue being a good father to his own sons afterwards, resulting in them Ascending to demi-Alicornhood by achieving Character Development to rectify any flaws they had. Most prominently, Blackthorn has all the traits that Golden Scepter used to have and now hates with a passion, such as arrogance, cruel ruthlessness, scheming, and manipulation of even his trusted associates, which is why he hates the Changeling Emperor. In addition, Blackthorn is a changeling, whose people are often seen as grotesque and predatory monsters, while Golden Scepter is an Alicorn, whose people are beloved and worshiped by mortal races. In a canonized Codexverse drabble, the two are walking in a dark hallway of his Summer Palace - while Blackthorn is depicted as a being who fits right at home by being cloaked in the shadows of his home, Golden Scepter is completely out of place, appearing like a bright star brimming with power.
- God-Emperor: A straightforward example; much like Blackrose, who is regarded as the Mother Deity of Changelingkind and the Matriarch of the Spring Court, Blackthorn is known for being the Father Deity of Changelingkind and the Patriarch of the Summer Court.
- Hidden Depths:
- He is indeed capable of genuinely loving someone, as he harbors affections for Empress Blackrose as implied by the Hearts and Hooves Day tale, though they aren't reciprocated.
- King Lasius, one of his more benevolent sons, states that he is more than a power-hungry tyrant. Lasius also speculates that the reason why he tends to favor his more benevolent and/or competent sons is because his own children had emulated him for eons without thinking to do anything that would make them stand out in a meaningful way. Indulging in the same treachery, cunning, and ruthlessness as one's family members can get a little boring after a while, after all...
- I Hate Past Me: It's revealed in a canonized Codexverse drabble that Golden Scepter hates being around him based on this reason - Blackthorn has the arrogance, ruthlessness, and his indulgence in callous manipulation of even his own allies and children, which Golden Scepter used to have during his reign over the Imperium of Ponykind before its fall.
- I Know You Know I Know: In a testament to his genius and that of Dr Toxikon, he was able to deduce that Toxikon's seemingly unwitting premature reveal of his plans to his sons is likely another ploy, so that he could restrict their response to the way he wanted them to respond, planning around the plans they're planning around his plans.
- It's Personal: Like Blackrose, he has a massive grudge against Discord, and has not let anything stop him from getting his revenge, though so far he has yet succeeded.
- Just as Planned: Famous for this as part of his chessmaster forte. Barring the most unforeseeable or unlikely event or outcome, if something happens that has his involvement in it, he likely had planned for it or even intended it as part of grand designs, however it appears to be detrimental to his interests at first. Part of it comes from his uncanny ability to take advantage of any outcome, his generally engimatic nature and his reputation, all making it nearly-impossible to determine whether it has gone Just as Planned or Not as Planned for him.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: It's revealed in the "Final Ragnarok" arc that he replaced Malekith, ruler of the Svartálfar/Myrkálfar, an Old Fae race, and used his victim's identity to play the Shadowed Ones like a fiddle. But since the Svartálfar/Myrkálfar helped the Shadowed Ones by engineering "Cycles" that doomed countless innocent divine pantheons and mortal civilizations to horrible fates so their masters can survive and get their kicks from watching their victims die, no one ever missed them.
- Lack of Empathy: Owing to his personality and worldviews, he seemed indifferent to the suffering or feelings of others. The only person who brings out a shred of genuine empathy/love is Blackrose who is hinted to be the Hearts and Hooves Day Princess he fell in love with pre-Curse.
- Let's You and Him Fight: Implied to do this on occasion, as part of his manipulative nature. Best exemplified by how he handled Demon King Dynastinae; when his gigantic son issued a challenge to him for the leadership of the Summer Court, believing he now has the power to overcome his father so after absorbing Sixth Demon King's essence, Blackthorn merely laughed and told him he couldn't take this challenge seriously when Dynastinae couldn't even defeat a mere Queen - knowing full well that would set him off on a warpath towards Queen Supia for a rematch. It worked, and Dynastine died in the battle.
- Macabre Moth Motif: Whenever he appears as a Royal Changeling, he's depicted as having tattered moth wings. Moths are often depicted as symbols of death, mystery, and transformation. While he isn't outright evil and in fact sees himself as above evil, he's still a highly amoral Changeling deity who schemes and manipulates others for his own designs, and is a rather secretive person, too.
- The Man Behind the Man: He has dealings with the young god of Propaganda, Propagare, and had taught him many ways of deception and manipulation, with full intention of using him as a pawn for his own plans, even as Propagare and his pantheon pursues theirs. To be fair, it was acknowledged that Propagare would do the same in his position and neither of them will hesitate to stab each other in the back. And both of them knows this. Also likely not the first time he's done it...
- Manipulative Bastard: Has a reputation for this, having made pawns out of mortals and immortals, nations and pantheons alike.
- Mysterious Past: He is a walking enigma, and even less is known about him than his female counterpart, Blackrose. All which is known by the world thus far is that he is the co-creator of Changelingkind, was once mortal, and has a complicated history and relationship with Blackrose and Discord...
- Not as Planned: RARELY happens to him, giving his forte, though it does happen. Notably where it involves deliberate action, it's by those who can match him enough to decisively foil him (Like Dragon King Bahumet), or those whose nature are so unpredictable it's nigh-impossible to adequately plan for (Crazy Ant of Machina, Queen Mab the First, and by implication Discord, the Spirit of Chaos).
- Offing the Offspring: Won't hesitate to eliminate his own Scions if they step out of line or failed so spectacularly, and he judges them a threat to the continued existence of the Summer Court.
- Parental Favoritism: He tends to favor those who had proven exceptional by themselves and also being very useful to him, which caused many of his sons to kick-start convoluted plots so they could gain his attention. Currently, his favorite is King Metamorphosis, who despite his young age had enough of a moral compass to put the needs of the Summer Court above his own and his father's. He also has lent his praise to his other sons, King Lasius and King Pholcidae, especially when they worked together to build a Spring Court palace so their Father can give it to Blackrose as a token of goodwill.
- Pet the Dog:
- Blackthorn's great interest in Thorax's ascension and purification of his racial Curse led to him offering advice on how to rule his new hive. It's also implied that he planted hidden Summer Court agents into Thorax hive to protect them from Chrysalis-loyalists and ensure that it prospers. Whoever they find, they're given to King Brachion to be studied.
- While he does encourage treachery and scheming in his children, Blackthorn does support his more benevolent sons, since he appreciates those who put the Summer Court's needs first.
- Red Baron: Two nicknames are mentioned: The 'Prince Of Deceit' and the 'Sovereign of Schemes', which sums up what sort of being he is.
- The Rival: In addition to the ones he have with Discord, King Bahumet and Lady Wolfsbane, he is also apparently has an enmity with one of the Count Dracolts that had existed throughout history. He had defeated him at least nine times, with the greatest of the struggles immortalized as an epic legend in Summer Court history/mythology.
- Royal "We": Usually, Blackthorn refers to himself in plural even though he rules alone, which implies that he still may love Blackrose despite their separation. However, he does say "my son(s)" when talking directly to his children.
- Screw Destiny: Scoffs on prophecies and has a rather contemptuous view on those who decide to let destiny or fate control them, if his views on what happened with the previous Princess of Power is any indication. He seemed hell-bent on making sure that even if something is 'destined' to happen in a certain way no matter what he does, it will be on his terms.
- Secret Test of Character: It's heavily implied that he encourages his sons' tyrannical and scheming behavior so he could see which of them prove exceptional to the norm. Anyone who succeeds earns his respect and become his favorite(s). Anyone who fails, he usually won't hesitate to let his other sons tear the offender apart.
- Smart People Play Chess: Actually, this consummate chessmaster plays Go, usually with those who could match him wit for wit like Dragon King Bahumet. This highlights his intelligence as Go is considered by many to be more complex than chess.
- Super Intelligence: Even among Royal Changelings and Gods, he's incredibly intelligent, which also made him a supremely capable schemer and manipulator.
- Social Darwinist: Shares this with the rest of the Summer Court and likely its originator. In his eyes, those who do not have the strength and skills to attain and retain their power and position is undeserving of either. He doesn't mind if they try to off him and succeeds, but he does mind if they screw up and prove themselves incapable and incompetent. It's also implied that he engineered 'the Fratricide' to come about in order to weed out his more incompetent sons for precisely this reason.
- Almost seemed to find it regrettable that his most treacherous son King Heterometrus got killed by Toxikon before he manages to pull off his ultimate betrayal against him near the tail-end of the Crucible Crisis, given it might had been the best chance he will ever have to pull one off against his father.
- So Proud of You: Seems to genuinely respect those of his sons who had proven their worth, whether in both deeds or character, caring little of their motivations. He was greatly impressed by Xestobium's cleverness and competence, for example, as was Polistes, even though neither of them are exactly fond of him or their brothers.
- The Stoic: remains calm and composed even in the most intense situations. All descriptions point to him being so cold, indifferent and experienced personality-wise that almost nothing fazes him, barring the most unthinkable developments like Thoraxs Ascension/Purification of the Curse, and what Ember did at the end of the Crucible Crisis. Usually, the most you can get out of him is his signature 'disconcerting smile' and a snide comment.
- As noted under It's Personal, he does seem capable of harboring intense emotions. It's just that he kept it so well under control no one could really notice it. His enmity for Discord, for example, is said to be enough to 'level mountains if unleashed', making Discord likely the only being capable of making him truly lose his cool.
- The Svengali: Is a mentor to Propagare in the art of deception and manipulation, but it was abundantly clear that given who he is, he's only optimizing his pupil to use as a pawn for his own schemes even as Propagare pursues his, and would not hesitate to betray and discard Propagare once he outlives his usefulness. To be fair, it is acknowledged in-universe that both are aware of this, that Propagare would had done the same in his position, and the propaganda god had already made two attempts to back-stab his mentor first.
- This Is Gonna Suck: He wasn't very impressed with ex-Queen Chrysalis's scheme to gain control over the Elements of Harmony by making crude copies of the Mane Six who wield them, which unsurprisingly failed epically. He loathes what plan Chrysalis will come up with next afterwards, fearing that it'll be even more terrible.
- Touché: Had this reaction to Crazy Ant's blackmailing of both Official Courts to leave his Free Hive alone.
- Übermensch: Described as 'His own absolute principle', seeing himself above conventional morality and is beholden to others only on his own terms (except if said other happens to be Blackrose).
- Worthy Opponent:
- Has a relationship of mutual respect with Dragon King Bahumet, one of the few gods wise and experienced enough to match wits with him and had consistently been able to foil his schemes. They play games of Go from time to time, mirroring the legendary games of intrigue that they had embarked against each other through the ages.
- Respects Dr Toxikon for being able to challenge him and the entire Summer Court during the Crucible Crisis, remarking that there are 'no bounds to brilliance' in his comments on Toxikon's strategies.
- Acknowledged the insane genius of Crazy Ant, Grand High Engineer of Machina, after he was able to outwit his own sons and blackmail both Official Courts into leaving Machina alone.
- Xanatos Gambit: Has a reputation for these, owing to being the Sovereign of Schemes, to the point that in-universe his sons called it a 'Blackthorn Gambit'. Whatever happens, he will have planned for it to benefit him in some way.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: Played this along with the rest of his Summer Court during the entirety of their confrontation with Dr. Toxikon, due to all sides being incredibly intelligent and rapidly adjusting their plans.
- You Cannot Grasp the True Form: As with most Gods of the Codexverse, his true form is actually something much more eldritch and inequine, though apparently not to the same degree as Blackrose's 'Discord-Killer'. At the climatic battle of the Crucible Crisis, some observers caught glimpses of it as 'curtains of shadowy mists' and 'tendrils of bluish-green flames'.
- You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: In a canonized Codexverse drabble, he states that he is more than willing to help play a role in the Shadowed Ones' downfall, as he sees the villainous pantheon as an asset that has since diminished in usefulness over the years.
"I do many things for the young master. Mostly, I serve him tea."
A mysterious figure in the Summer Court (And Changelingkind), 'The Crone' as she is known is Blackthorn's loyal servant since time immemorial, acting as her master's caretaker, personal maid, confidant, adviser and emissary among his Scions and subjects. Despite her seemingly quaint exterior, few underestimate her for like all things Changeling, her appearance could be deceiving...
- Almighty Janitor: Served as this for Emperor Blackthorn. On top of usual caretaker duties expected of a maid and estate manager, she's also rumoured to be the Spymaster of Blackthorn's own intelligence network and responsible for his dreaded praetorian guards, the Black Maidens.
- Cool Old Lady: Has the appearance of such, looking like a tall, elderly Changeling mare under a simple grey cloak. The entries repeatedly reminds us that she's far more than she seems; the Changeling Emperor seems to trust her, while the Changeling Kings respects her.
- The Dreaded: Shares this with her liege, being his closest and most loyal servant. When she speaks, even Blackthorn's sons listen as if she is speaking with the Changeling Emperor's authority herself - and most likely, she does.
- Foil: To Puck Avalon of the Spring Court, being essentially his counterpart in the Summer Court and serving roughly the same roles. Contrasts include being elderly to Puck's seeming youth, her solemn and soft-spoken demeanour to Puck's humorous and carefree attitude. Like Puck, she is not one to be trifled with.
- Only Sane Man: Unlike Blackthorn and his Scions, who are generally consummate schemers and backstabbing tyrants, the Crone is a very wise and (seemingly) elderly Changeling who serves as the voice of reason in the Summer Court, just as Puck serves as the voice of reason in the Spring Court. She's one of few people Blackthorn himself genuinely respects and trusts, and thus lets her get away with things that would've gotten a Changeling King punished for insolence, such as calling Blackthorn "young master".
- Secret Keeper: Is a confidant of the Changeling Emperor and his personal spymaster, meaning she knows A LOT about what's going on around the Summer Court and Changelingkind.
- The Spymaster: Rumoured to run Blackthorn's own spies and assassins. If the Changeling Emperor wants some secret known or some affair dealt with personally, she's likely the one responsible for carrying it out.
- Time Abyss: Had been around since the Dawn of the Changelings, making her likely aeons old. Given her habit of calling Emperor Blackthorn 'young master' - and get away with it - there are hints that she might be older than that.
Summer Court members
King Metamorphosis Lyonesse
"I only do what is necessary, and no more than that."
Ruler of Hive Metamorphosis, Emperor Blackthorn's current favourite and one of the four Kings/Hives composing the Tetrarchy Compact, among the Summer Court, Metamorphosis is considered unusual in that, in contrast to many of his tyrannical and insidious brothers, King Metamorphosis is one of the few truly noble, benevolent Changeling Kings, and one of the most capable. Despite his relative youth, he has recently become his father's current favourite and entrusted with executing many of his father's most important tasks. Also first among equals of Tetrarchy Compact, an alliance of four Changeling Kings including him which is the first of its kind and overhauled the Summer Court's political system.
- The Ace: Has a growing reputation for this despite his relative youth. He's an able administrator with a rapidly prospering hive, a capable fighter and strategist who could hold his own against his older brothers like Mantid, known for solving problems and completing his fathers' tasks effectively, served as a role model for younger Kings, and managed all this while maintaining his morality and conscience despite being a member of the cutthroat Summer Court. All this contributed to him becoming his father's current favourite.
- The Alliance: Part of the Tetrarchy Compact, among the first of such blocs to emerge in the Summer Court and brought considerable stability to its then fickle and unpredictable political environment.
- Awesomeness by Analysis: Known for his ability to analyze problems and information and develop effective solutions to resolve situations or deduce critical details. He managed to figure out or helped figuring out what Toxikon was planning several times during the 'Crucible Crisis'.
- Boring, but Practical: Hive Metamorphosis handles logistics for joint-efforts of the Tetrarchy Compact. While that doesn't sound like much, the implication is that where King Metamorphosis and the other Kings and Hives do the planning together, Hive Metamorphosis do most of the heavy-lifting necessary for making their plans operational.
- Canon Immigrant: Appeared initially in Alex Warlorn's "Ponies And Dragons" round-robin along with the Summer Court (All of which had since been Put on a Bus over there after a nasty spat between the authors), where most of his character is originally developed.
- Cincinnatus: Has no real ambition beyond the prosperity of his Hive and more amiable relationships with non-Changelings. This is cited as a reason why Blackthorn made him his current favourite, as he can be trusted not to put his own ego and self-interest ahead of his father's and the Summer Court's.
- Cool Big Bro: Acted as this for both Polistes and Pholcidae. Ironic considering he isn't that much older than they are, especially compared with the centuries/millennia-older brothers they all have.
- The Conscience: Like Puck and Blackrose of the Spring Court, he's considered to be this for the Summer Court at this time, with growing influence within the Court and on Blackthorn despite his young age.
- Good Parents: He recalled her mother being a 'remarkable mare', who raised him with love and kindness. It is speculated to be the reason why he arose to be such a benevolent figure even within the Summer Court.
- Mysterious Past: Very little is revealed about his origins, as like many Kings he kept it close to his chest lest it be used against him by his rivals. The most he had revealed was that he was born 'roughly two centuries ago' in a village 'long since abandoned and left to ruin'. His Errance - the journey that ultimately led to him discovering the truth of himself - is said to be 'quite a story' by itself.
- Necessary Evil: The only evil he is known to do. He won't like doing it, but if he can't find a better option to resolve a problem short of committing one of these, he won't hesitate to do what needs to be done. This was stated as one of the reasons why Blackthorn is impressed with him.
- Nice Guy: Benevolent and diplomatic, he would rather his brothers stop killing each other and focus on engaging the world in more positive ways, which earned him his nickname as "Summer's Conscience" among the Seelie Fae.
- Parental Favoritism: The youngest known Changeling King to hold the unofficial position of his father Emperor Blackthorn's 'favourite', entrusted with some of the most important tasks his father has for his Scions, much to most of his older brothers' jealousy and consternation.
- Reasonable Authority Figure: Goes without saying, he's this, and his subjects LOVED him for it. He's also rather sane and stable compared to many of his brothers, which may be a reason for his effectiveness, owing to the fact Sanity Has Advantages.
- Red Baron: Called 'Summer's Conscience', due to his benevolence and reasonableness. Given the character of the Summer Court, that's quite an achievement.
- Take a Third Option: Known to do this when running errands for his father. He will always try to find a better alternative method to complete his objectives more effectively and with minimal harm to innocents. What really impressed his father was the fact that he was always able to rationally justify his decisions with reasoning beyond that it was simply the right things to do.
- The Unfavorite: Played with; it's easy to think that his compassion and noble behavior would've marked him as useless in the scheming Summer Court, but it's because of those traits that Blackthorn made him his current favorite, because he could always be counted on to do the right thing for his Court overall. Once The Masquerade was broken, he was important enough to be made his father's diplomat in the outside world. However, he's resented by many of his brothers (outside notable exceptions like the Tetrarchy Compact and many younger Changeling Kings), being considered an 'upstart' who had stolen attention and respect from their father that they believe themselves more deserving. So far they haven't succeeded in offing or undermining him, however, due to his power and ingenuity.
- Token Good Teammate: What really made him stand out - one of the few benevolent Changeling Kings where most are ruthless, scheming and calculating tyrants, and a very young and successful one, to boot. At least a few younger kings have become this directly because of him, or seek him out because they desire to be this trope. Pholcidae is an example of this.
- Undying Loyalty: Hive Metamorphosis is known to be incredibly loyal to their liege even by most Royal Changelings' standards, precisely because King Metamorphosis is both a benevolent and effective ruler.
- Younger Than They Look: He's actually one of the younger Kings, being around only two centuries old. Many of his ageless brothers has lifespans measuring in multiple millennia. This makes his achievements so far even more impressive.
- Youngest Child Wins: He's described as one of the youngest Changeling Kings (it's implied that King Lasius is not too far off in age), and he became Emperor Blackthorn's current favored son by prioritizing the needs of the Summer Court and continuing to stick to good morals in the process. Those who try to off him out of jealousy often find themselves outmaneuvered by one they consider an "upstart".
King Lepid Lyonesse
"Sometimes the spoken word is the most dangerous thing."
King Mantid Lyonesse
"Comfort is the refuge of the spoiled and the weak. I have no need for such."
A large, militant Changeling King. Despite being mistaken as a warmongering brute, Mantid is a deceptively intelligent strategist, and has the reputation of birthing one of the strongest hives of the Summer Court. Currently a member of the Tetrarchy, after his younger brother, Metamorphosis, managed to gain his grudging respect with his military skills.
- Genius Bruiser: As mentioned above, he's usually mistaken as The Brute because of his talent in fighting, and not much else. However, he's deceptively intelligent, which presumably works in his favor against those who underestimate him.
- Underestimating Badassery: Often on the receiving end of this. Due to his large size and talent in military matters, he's often seen as a dimwitted, bloodthirsty fighter. He's actually a lot more than that.
King Photinus Lyonesse
"Information is power; be sure to guard it well."
King Thomisus Lyonesse
"Those who stand at the top can decide the definition of "evil". Ponies like to say 'justice prevails'. Of course it will! Because the winners ARE justice!"
King "Kaki" Kakkerlak Lyonesse
"This is the most dangerous, the most despicable creature that I have ever encountered! This monster must be ended!"
— Fetlock Homes, world-famous detective and high-functioning sociopath.
King Zorpheus Lyonesse
"The key to conquering any foe is to endure whatever they can unleash upon you."
King Brachion Lyonesse
"The Law of the World is the Law of the Jungle."
Of all the members of the Summer Court, none embraced the court's 'Survival of the Fittest' mentality than the ruler of Hive Erlking, King Brachion Lyonesse. Born the prince of a Alvslog Deer Forest Realm, he was cast out into the dark depths of the forests by his own family and people when his dormant Changeling nature was discovered. Forced to survive for many years on his own against the elements and predators, the once innocent Deer prince was traumatized and warped by his ordeal into developing a twisted fascination with the dark side of nature and the beasts that follow the laws of the jungle of natural selection, the strong crushing the weak, and in time wholeheartedly embracing it.
When his Changeling traits manifested, he combined the gifts from both his Changeling and Deer heritages to learn how to alter the beasts that he had learnt to tame, becoming obsessed with making them stronger and better as a means to an end and an end in itself, becoming a master biomancer with his twisted genius. When he met his True Parent Emperor Blackthorn and embraced his True Nature as a Changeling King, he would find himself fitting right into the Changeling Summer Court, delighted to be among fellow 'Apex Predators' who despises weakness and seek to be stronger, better and dominant over their rivals within its internecine meritocracy. In time, his Hive would become dedicated to the law of the jungle and to mastery over biology as their liege had.
Brachion would see to it that the Alvslog Deer Realm of his birth is razed to the ground, allowing him to claim his revenge and establish his Hive in its place. With that final act, so fully went the young, innocent Deer Prince he once was. But Brachion cares not: As far as the Changeling King is concerned, he has finally come home.
- All the Other Reindeer: In his youth, he was ostracized and alienated by his fellow does and bucks, including his siblings, because he seemingly lacked the same affinity to 'connect' with nature as other Alvslog Forest Deer could from birth. One wonders how much this influenced his decision to return home with an army of Changeling warriors and bio-crafted monsters to slaughter everyone in revenge for casting him out.
- Arch-Enemy: Has one in the form of Kickhopper, who was once a member of his hive, but disagreed on his philosophy and his hive's atrocities and was caught sabotaging his projects. Yet when Brachion attempted to inflict a cruel and ironic punishment on Kickhopper by turning him into a living weapon, he escaped and used his newfound powers to oppose him wherever he could. Brachion considers him a Worthy Opponent, but had continued to try and kill Kickhopper to this day.
- The Atoner: While he is considered one of Blackthorn's strongest and worthiest son, Brachion is currently on thin ice with his father the Changeling Emperor after he got his hive wrecked by a 'Visitor' parent reclaiming their hybrid child, as well as unwittingly releasing the Dyvaos upon the world in his quest for creating new, deadlier bio-weapons and super-predators. He lived only because he was strong enough to beat back opportunistic attacks from his rival brothers and takes full responsibility for his mistakes without excuses, which impressed his father, and also just so happened to be best suited for fixing both problems. Even so, he would have to work hard to regain his lost favour.
- Boomerang Bigot: Hated Deerkind with a passion despite being a former Alvslog Deer Prince. Justified in that his family threw him out when they discovered him to be a yet-manifest Changeling, leading to him to flee into the the dark depths of the forest, struggling desperately to survive for years against its harsh conditions and vicious predators, which traumatized him and led him to become who he is now.
- Best Served Cold: When he returned a Changeling King, he led an army of Changeling Warriors and his own bio-engineered beasts to raze his birth kingdom to the ground in revenge for casting him out into the forest to die, all because he was discovered to be a dormant Changeling. The rumoured things he did to his family were the stuff of nightmares, from subjecting his surrogate parents to horrific experiments to hunting, ravishing and eating his own surrogate siblings in forms of predatory beasts.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Even he considers the Dyvaos too vicious, dangerous, and destructive to exist. Notably, he admits releasing them was a mistake in a rare moment of humility and is actively trying to help destroy them.
- Evilutionary Biologist: What he and his hive specializes in, after his experiences exiled in the dark depths of the forest resulted in him developing a twisted fascination with the dark side of nature and embraced it. Once he Awakened to his power and intellect as a Royal Changeling, he went on to try and 'improve' the vicious predators and organisms even more with science and sorcery.
- Fantastic Racism: Hates Deerkind, especially those from the Alvslog Herds, despite being once one of them. That said, it's not without understandable reasons.
- Freudian Excuse: The reason why he's so fascinated with the dark, Darwinist side of nature is because when he was young, his royal foster Deer family cast him out and left him in the harsh forests to die. This experience traumatized him so much that he was bent on survival, turning him into a King that is bent on becoming the apex predator that dominates his foes.
- Friend to All Living Things: Averted. The fact that he was born seemingly without the Alvslog Deers' intrinsic ability to 'connect' with nature around him as well as the other does and bucks was the first sign cluing in to his fellow Deers and readers that he is not what he seemed.
- Half-Human Hybrid: A Changeling-Deer hybrid, thanks to Blackthorn having a fling with a royal doe from the Alveslog Forest. This mixed heritage was what led to his maternal family casting him out once his still-dormant Changeling heritage was discovered; something which he held against Deerkind for to this day.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: While Brachion is infamous for conducting extremely unethical experiments, one of his victims was a traitorous Changeling of Thorax's hive, who pretended to side with the ascendant Royal Changeling by purifying himself of his racial Curse, and then frame his leader for the murder of unpurified Changeling children so he could garner Chrysalis's favor. The Summer Court was not pleased, and Brachion made him his test subject after their secret agents caught and hoofed him over for dissection and experimentation.
- Mad Scientist: Of the Evilutionary Biologist variety, with an unhealthy obsession with predators and the dark side of nature in general. He even has the obligatory laboratory/stronghold, located in the forest of his birth - populated and twisted into a primeval nightmare by his creations - where he ever experiments to craft new biological horrors, both as means to an end and ends in themselves.
- Mouth Stitched Shut: After a purified Chrysalis-loyalist was caught trying to frame Thorax and brought to his labs, Brachion had the Changeling traitor's mouth stitched shut so he wouldn't scream during the experiments.
- Odd Friendship: Strangely, despite being The Social Darwinist, he managed to strike up a friendly rapport with the meek Fluttershy. Of course, Fluttershy doesn't know who he really is beneath his disguise...
- Pay Evil unto Evil: He eventually got revenge on his foster Deer family for casting him out for bearing a heritage he was not yet aware of and forcing him to survive alone in a hostile environment by driving its king into mad tyranny, siccing his soldiers and biologically-altered monsters on some, and kidnapping the rest to use for his personal experiments.
- Pet the Dog: Despite their differing views on nature and their acceptance of its vicious side, Brachion respects Fluttershy for retaining her compassion in the face of learning of nature's horrors, and her steadfast determination to rise above and change nature itself. When Fluttershy wrote him a letter of thanks for (secretly) donating half a million bits for her new animal sanctuary, Brachion made that letter a treasured keepsake (as well as one of his many well-kept secrets).
- Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: One of his victims was a purified Chrysalis-loyalist who attempted to frame Thorax for the murder of unpurified Changeling children. Brachion turned him into a test subject as soon as the traitor was caught.
- The Social Darwinist: Embraced this philosophy more so than many of his Royal Changeling brothers and nephews, owing to his embrace of the dark side of nature, despising weakness and adheres to 'Survival of the Fittest' in both letter and spirit on all things.King Brachion: "The Law of the World is the Law of the Jungle."
- Sadist: He greatly enjoys taking apart his test subjects For Science! and inflicting cruel fates upon those he perceives weak and unworthy.
- Where I Was Born and Razed: Returned to the forest of his birth after becoming a Changeling King to raze his surrogate family's forest realm to the ground, both to claim as his own to establish his Hive and in revenge for casting him out to die. It is implied that was what his father Emperor Blackthorn intended all along, since it allows the Changeling Summer Court access to the Alvslog Deers' valuable druidic lore on manipulating nature, which his son Brachion would put to good use on his behalf.
- Worthy Opponent: Considers Kickhopper this, being a Empowered Badass Normal (By his own indirect hooves) who became a superheroic figure dedicated to stopping him and his schemes wherever he could. As far as he is concerned, Kickhopper has shown himself to be a strong, cunning and worthy survivor and foe, always quietly relishing his fights and attempts to kill him.
- The Worf Effect: Is considered one of the Changeling Emperor's strongest Scions, ruler of one of the strongest Hives, but both ended up on the receiving end of beat-down from a 'Visitor' after Brachion captured and tried to dissect its apparent child. Needless to say, this demonstrates just how advanced the 'Visitors' are that they could all-but-casually walk into his hive, pass all his vaunted monsters and warriors, and hold even him - a demigod - off long enough to get back someone they took.
- Villainous Valour: He respects Fluttershy for still keeping her convictions despite learning the horrors of nature, and actually making him question his Darwinist beliefs. He also, on some level, respects his mortal archenemy Kickhopper for being a survivor willing to stand against him. Does not extend to the 'Visitor' who invaded his hive, took something from him and humiliated him in his father's eyes, quietly vowing revenge no matter what he is and how long it takes.
King Metriini Lyonesse
"Refrain from breathing in my labs, and you should be fine."
King Metriini is a Changeling King within the Summer Court whose Hive specializes in chemistry and alchemistry, and is a genius innovator in those fields.
Not much is known about his past, although one popular story that even he seems to speak of tells of how his surrogate 'father' was an alchemist who wanted to benefit the world with his potions and brews - but his work attracted the attention of his kingdom's tyrannical ruler, who forced him to create weapons and poisons for war, assassinations and oppression. This ruined his good name and resulted in him dying in disgrace - which his 'son' bitterly remembers well after his True Nature revealed itself and returned from his Errance a Changeling King.
Metriini now applies his genius solely for his own benefit and his True Father's, inventing and using chemical weapons of terrible potency to destroy his enemies and advance his power. But brilliant he may be, he is not without peer, for like several Changeling Kings, he has a heroic mortal rival who not only challenges him on an intellectual level, but also on a philosophical level with his diametrically opposed worldview...
- Archenemy: Has one in Professor Soulfre, the Grand Chemist of Mephitia, a heroic Great Skunk scientist whose genius rivals his and is one of the few mortals capable of matching Royal Changelings through sheer intelligence and brilliance, and to top it all of also has a diametrically opposed worldview to his. Their enmity for each other is mutual and very personal (especially from Soulfre's end).
- Apocalypse How: Class 0. His chemical weapons are capable of laying waste to entire regions and lands, and his masterpiece the Despoiler Toxin is considered so potent that his father personally forbid him from refining it any further in case it results in even worse outcomes than Class 0.
- If the origin story he himself prefers is true, he inflicted this on his own homeland by supplying it and the kingdom it was at war with some of his chemical weapons in secret and let them sort themselves out. Done partly in revenge for how they treated his disgraced surrogate father and partly to field test his inventions.
- Chemistry Can Do Anything: His forte is this, and thanks to his genius and magic, his chemical inventions really comes off with this vibe. His entire Hive and sub-hive is also devoted to inventing and manufacturing his chemical inventions for his and the Summer Court's use.
- Deadpan Snarker: Has his moments. See above quote.
- Deadly Gas: Pioneered chemical warfare for the Summer Court. See entries relating to the Despoiler Toxin for just how evil and diabolical his inventions can get. Even those that are not Despoiler Toxins are pure nightmare fuel in terms of effects.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Once tried to make Soulfre see his worldview (Elaborated below) by recreating the circumstances of his (possible) origin story on him, taking one of Soulfre's chemical inventions and modified it into terrible chemical weapon, then unleashing it while making sure everyone knows who (Soulfre) originally invented it. However, Soulfre not only refused to accept the 'futility' of altruism, but declare to his face that one of Metriini's assertion - namely something created for good would inevitably be twisted for evil purposes - can also happen in reverse as well, and got even by taking one of Metriini's chemical weapons and modified it into a beneficial creation: a cure for the toxins Metriini had turned his invention into. According to Soulfre's entry, this marked one of the few times Metriini was taken off-guard.
- Evil Genius: Again, this is the Changeling King who pioneered chemical warfare for the Summer Court. That should tell you everything you need to know about what sort of person he is.
- Evil Overlord: Like many of his Changeling King brothers, he's this.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: If his backstory is accurate, he does love and respect his surrogate father. His stint as a ruthless Mad Scientist Changeling King is motivated by bitterness of seeing his father's life and work was ruined by vile exploitation and ingratitude. Revenge was part of his reason for razing his homeland with chemical weapons, besides field-testing his work.
- For Science!: Frequently deployed his chemical creation in his conquests or schemes, causing death and misery, partly to field-test their efficacy.
- Freudian Excuse: Assuming he's not making it up, his worldview stems from bitter experience of seeing his alchemist surrogate father's work being perverted for malicious use and his life tarnished by disgrace, those he helped forgetting all the good he's done and cursing his name until his death despite him never wanting to do harm. As far as Metriini is concerned, all this proved Hobbes Was Right, altruism is doomed to fail and one's talents are better used for one's own benefit before anything else.
- Gas Mask Mook: His Changeling minions and warriors are this due to their forte, and he himself wears a master-craft custom 'Hazard Armour' that also doubles as a mobile chem lab.
- Gaia's Lament: His hive and sub-hive is one massive chemical research complex/factory dedicated to inventing and synthesizing his chemical products, and is contaminated wasteland surrounded by a toxic smog that mandates NBC gear for all Hive Metriini Changelings to survive in.
- Humans Are Bastards: Or rather, Sapients Are Bastards in general. After seeing what happened to his surrogate father, he does not have faith in the goodness of others and sees any cause for 'the greater good' as futile and pointless. Leads to him becoming a ruthlessly self-interested Mad Scientist Evil Overlord.
- It's All About Me: Downplayed. While he's not a narcissistic egomaniac like Thomisus, one of his defining character trait other than being a chemistry/alchemy-themed Mad Scientist Evil Overlord is that he's a 'Randian Villain', believing that benefiting the world with his inventions is a waste of time and effort as even the most benevolent creations can be perverted for malevolent use and those they benefited would ungratefully turn on their benefactors at a heartbeat.
- Mad Scientist: Specializing in chemistry/alchemistry. Another origin story has both parents being brilliant chemists and him getting degrees on the subject prior to his Errance.
- Mundane Utility: Also invents and manufactures various enhancement drugs and construction materials on top of chemical weapons for his and the Summer Court's own use.
- Mysterious Past: Like many of his brothers not much is known about his pre-Errance times, considering how close the 'Tyrants of Deceit' hold their secrets to their chests lest it be used against them. He has personally retold one of the most commonly believed accounts to Thorax in private, but knowing his ilk even its reliability is called into question.
- Not So Different: While this hasn't been pointed out to him yet, what he's doing now is not so different from what the tyrannical king who coerced and ruined his father's work and life is doing. The only difference is that he doesn't need a Reluctant Mad Scientist to do the work for him, since he IS the Mad Scientist now.
- Silly Rabbit, Idealism Is for Kids!: Firmly believes this and cynically advised High Prince Thorax to ditch his.
- Super Intelligence: Is intelligent and knowledgeable even among Royal Changelings, who has this as a stock trait, which contributed to his brilliance in his field of chemistry.
- Ungrateful Bastard: Sees people as this by default, owing to his assumed pre-Errance experiences. Tying to his lack of faith in the goodness of others Metriini believe that altruism for their sake are ultimately pointless as they would forget all the good you have done and turn on you at a heart-beat.
- Unreliable Narrator: Has multiple contradictory origin story, and personally related the most commonly retold one to Thorax which gave insight to his 'Randian Villain' motivations. It should be reminded that he's a Changeling King of the Summer Court who are not exactly known for their honesty, but it's still better than nothing.
- Weapon of Mass Destruction: His Despoiler Toxin is one of the most destructive and frankly nightmarish weapons available to the dreaded Summer Court Changelings, next to whatever Synthetic Plagues King Brachion can unleash and whatever secretive arts and magic the Summer Court possess.
King Asbolus Lyonesse
"I understand you planned to stab me in the back. Unfortunately for you, I just stole your dagger when you weren't looking."
King Lasius Lyonesse
"Why merely conquer and destroy when you can do better things with your talents?"
Like his brother, King Metamorphosis, King Lasius is quite the intelligent and capable Royal Changeling, with astounding morals and a progressive attitude... which, unfortunately for him, didn't come from having loving parents. Lasius was born into a noble House that was known for being extremely incompetent and lazy; all the wealth his foster family had was spent on themselves and their luxurious lifestyles, while their subjects lived in dire poverty. The emergence of Lasius's intelligence and his voracious desire for knowledge proved to be a problem in itself, since there was almost nothing that could stimulate him.
At first, he joined his half-sister Golden Bell in Robin Hood-like shenanigans, stealing from their own family and giving the stolen riches to the poor. At one point, he aided his brother Polistes in a heist, though he didn't know who he was at the time. Eventually, Lasius's frustration and boredom reached the point where he and Golden Bell conspired to take care of their decadent, useless family... permanently.
When he sensed the approaching Blackthorn (who was disguised as an unknown visitor), Lasius threw a massive party in order to make a good impression. Everyone who attended included his foster family, the kingdom's royal family, and the kingdom's top elites in general. Once the party started, he secretly assassinated his most troublesome relatives, then killed off the rest by lacing their food with a tasteless, slow-killing poison. By the time Blackthorn arrived, everyone was dead, except for Lasius and Golden Bell. Pleased with how his son exceeded his expectations, Blackthorn declared him a King right then and there, allowing Lasius to fully embrace his Royal Changeling heritage.
Lasius cemented his reputation as a benevolent ruler by using his foster family's statues and palaces to repair the roads of his foster kingdom, firmly ensuring that the memory of his predecessors would not be missed. His high standards of living also applied to his hive, causing his Changeling subjects to experience a higher quality of living. Despite earning resentment from his more tyrannical brothers for gaining his father's favor, Lasius doesn't care, as he is dedicated to improving the Summer Court and, by extension, its standing with the Spring Court.
- Benevolent Boss: Both in his hive, and in the kingdom he grew up in. His Changeling subjects live a high-quality life and are fiercely loyal to him. When the Changelings' masquerade was broken, the people in his childhood kingdom didn't really care since he was such a huge improvement compared to his incompetent predecessors.
- Berserk Button: Will not tolerate laziness or incompetence of any kind, due to growing up with people who refused to change their lazy, incompetent ways.
- Big Brother Instinct: Despite being half-siblings, Lasius loves Golden Bell dearly and would do anything for her. When one of his brothers tried hurting him by sending an assassin after Golden Bell, Lasius built a table lamp out of the assassin's exoskeleton, while also turning it into a bomb that emitted the odor of a molting dragon. The Changeling King who received the lamp found himself surrounded by a flock of predators such as Rocs and Hydras.
- Brother-Sister Team: Before he became a Changeling King, Lasius and his half-sister, Golden Bell, often collaborated on a lot of things, since Golden Bell was the only noble in his foster family who wasn't fantastically stupid, lazy, or incompetent.
- Child Prodigy: He showed signs of high intelligence even at a young age and quickly amassed knowledge even at a young age. Notably, he's this even as an adult: he's an extremely young Changeling King, having been born so lately that his mortal sister is still alive, and thus could be considered a 'child' by their standards. Despite this, he's considered extremely intelligent even by Changeling King standards (which is saying something), and has completely outsmarted and humiliated several of his older, more experienced brothers when they chose to cross him.
- Defector from Decadence:
- He didn't participate in his foster family's lavish lifestyle, seeing them as incredibly boring. And when they refused to change their ways, he killed them. It's mentioned that his half-sister, Golden Bell, was also disgusted by her relatives, but the only reason she didn't kill them herself was because Lasius beat her to it.
- While not outright rebelling like his Autumn Court brother, Prince Polistes, he considers the Summer Court's inclination for treachery and manipulation incredibly boring, because everyone and their brother has done it since the First-Spawn era. Thus, he often participates in intellectually-stimulating pursuits such as construction projects or anything that could benefit him and/or the Summer Court in general. In a conversation with Pholcidae, he equates their brothers' activities as exciting as a simple office job.King Lasius: (to Pholcidae) Our siblings wonder why Metamorphsis and you have gained Father's favor despite not conquering and forming grand conspiracies...well, I think the answer is quite obvious: EVERYONE does those things. From the First Spawns to our generation, that is just what we DO...which while I wouldn't say Father is bored of it, but it's much harder to stand out when you're little different than the rest of your family for eons. Father, despite appearances, is not simply a power hungry conqueror, to call him such is a massive disservice...Well I AM bored with it. Conquest is just so...dull, really. Doesn't interest me more than a boring office job. So let our brothers bicker and kill each other over Zebrafrica, I'm with you: let's try something new and novel.
- Dramatic Irony: In-universe; Lasius wasn't aware that he and Polistes were brothers, and only helped him at the time because he wanted some excitement to stimulate his incredibly bored mind. Once he became a Royal Changeling, however, he gave Polistes a call and they stayed on decent terms.
- Enraged by Idiocy: He shares this trait with his True Parent, considering his incompetent, selfish foster family useless and unworthy of life.
- Good Is Boring: Inverted. He discovered that his brothers have been conquering tyrants for aeons, and thus considers that done to death and boring. As a result, he considers being The Good King, an extreme rarity among the Summer Court (and his birth family), far more interesting, exciting, and fun. The fact his sister approves is decidedly a bonus.
- Good Is Not Soft: By Summer Court standards, he's remarkably benevolent and dedicated to being The Good King. This doesn't change the fact he's as ruthless and dangerous as his more malevolent siblings, as his birth family and several of his brothers have found out the hard way.
- The Good King: He considers being the best he possibly can a hobby.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Half-Changeling, half-pony.
- Insufferable Genius: Implied. He's described as having a high opinion of himself, but he backs it up with a good work ethic, and was a Child Prodigy when he was younger.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: Lasius suffered this a good deal while growing up, as both his aristocratic foster family and his instructors were incredibly dull-minded, lazy, and incompetent by a huge comparison. The only friend he had was his half-sister, Golden Bell. At first, he helped Golden Bell participate in thievery against his own family a la Robin Hood, hoping it would stimulate his genius mind. But when it became clear that his foster family refused to change their ways, Lasius decided to assassinate them himself.
- Klingon Promotion: He inherited the throne in the kingdom he grew up in, by killing off the entire nobility and royalty for their lazy incompetence. Fortunately for the people, he turned out to be The Good King who introduced to them a higher quality of living.
- Meaningful Name: He's named after moisture ants, who make their nests in moist, rotting places. He was born in an extremely corrupt, incompetent, and lazy noble family, and eventually grew fed up with their behavior to the point of assassinating them all save for his half-sister, Golden Bell, who supported him all his life and was similarly disgusted with her relatives. Once he inherited the throne, his childhood kingdom and its subjects were finally given a higher quality of living.
- Pay Evil unto Evil: Slaughtered his entire foster family, as well as the royal family and other elites, except his sister Golden Bell... but they were all lazy, incompetent tyrants who let their subjects suffer just to line their own pockets and continue living high. To note: Golden Bell inevitably would've done it herself to free their people and helped him. He also left one of his (evil) true brothers to rot in an inescapable death trap with the only key being in Blackthorn's possession and got another (who tried to murder Golden Bell) attacked by hordes of predatory monsters.
- Royal Blood: While he was born into a noble House, some of his relatives were royalty, making him royalty by default thanks to Blackthorn's secret fling with one of the mares there. While he proved himself to be capable and progressive, his family... wasn't.
- Self-Made Orphan: During the welcoming party he threw for a visiting Blackthorn, Lasius assassinated almost his entire family either with poison-laced food, or by picking them off himself. Golden Bell turned a blind eye to this, for she had the same idea, but he beat her to it.
- Sins of Our Fathers: The problems both his foster noble family and the royal family caused in his childhood kingdom were inherited by him once he killed them all. In an opposite example, Lasius proved himself to be a Superior Successor by using his foster family's statues and palaces to pave the roads, and improved the kingdom in general to the point where his family's subjects were able to experience a high quality life for the first time in years. This resulted in said subjects praising him, and when he was revealed to be a Changeling, they simply didn't care as he did so much for them.
- Superior Successor: Once Lasius killed off the nobility and royalty, and inherited the throne to his childhood kingdom, he quickly proved to be The Good King who looked out for the well-being of his subjects. He brought them out of their poverty and used his family wealth to improve their living conditions, to the point where said subjects simply didn't care when he was revealed to be a Changeling.
- Surrounded by Idiots:
- Growing up surrounded by lazy and incompetent aristocrats left the intelligent Lasius incredibly lonely and frustrated, to the point where he eventually murdered all of his foster relatives except for Golden Bell, his half-sister. When he became a Changeling King and founded his own hive, one of the things he will not tolerate is if his subjects started becoming lazy.
- It's stated in his entry that he doesn't participate in in his brothers' treacherous and ruthless schemes because everyone and their brother has done it already, without thinking of trying something new for once. He even speculates that this is why Blackthorn tends to favor those who are incredibly benevolent and/or competent, because doing the same thing as his sons/Scions for eons can feel a bit boring, as well as make it hard for his children to stand out in a meaningful way.
- Token Good Teammate: One of the few good Changeling Kings in the Summer Court, and one of the most hardworking and progressive. In his foster family, however, he was the White Sheep who wanted to make his impoverished people's lives better. While he does have selfish motivations to a degree, he notably considers every citizen of his kingdom as being a better pony than his foster family ever was.
- Toppled Statue: Invoked; after murdering both his foster noble family and the royal family, his first act as king was to use every statue that depicted his dead relatives, including the founder's, to pave the roads. When that ran out, he used their palaces.
- Unperson: He ensured that the memory of his childhood kingdom's incompetent nobility and royalty, including his foster family, would be completely forgotten by using their statues and palaces to pave the roads. It shows what kind of bastards he grew up with.
- Upper-Class Twit: Averted with him, as he was intelligent enough to recognize incompetence when he sees it and resolve it. On the other hand, his entire foster family, royalty included, was this trope. He eventually got fed up and killed almost every single one, except Golden Bell, who felt the same way as he did.
- White Sheep: He's one of two members of his foster family who wasn't a lazy, incompetent, and greedy asshole who used their wealth to benefit themselves while letting their subjects suffer. The other one would be his half-sister, Golden Bell.
King Macrodontia Lyonesse
"Size, strength and standing means nothing without the will to use them well."
King Macrodontia is the gigantic Queen Supia's counterpart in the Summer Court, succeeding where his older half-brother King Diversus failed to be. Born the prince of a Jotunn clan-kingdom, King Macrodontia is massive and mighty even compared to other Jotunns, a status which he reveled over Tinies and even his fellow Jotunns, embracing many of the worst traits among Giantkind in lording over his size and status over those smaller and weaker than he is.
Unfortunately, this excessive cruelty and arrogance alienated his subjects, peers and even family, such that when the time came to choose a successor to the throne, his surrogate 'father' the King judged him unworthy and gave it to his younger brother instead. This enraged Macrodontia, who launched a coup in an attempt to take what he believed to be rightfully his by force. Unfortunate for him, despite holding all the advantages, karma would bite him in his colossal rear as those he had held in contempt, the ill-treated Tinies and lowly Jotunn subjects, helped turned the tide and defeated him and his forces.
Macrodontia would had been executed, but for all his faults, he had contributed greatly to his 'father''s realm and was respectful of his kin (attempted coup notwithstanding). At the behest of his uncle, he was banished instead, taking his followers with him and swearing to one day return. He would eventually become a King, but not one of the Jotunn - for his true father was Emperor Blackthorn of the Changeling Summer Court, and from his Errance he would become a Changeling King, more powerful than ever.
Even so, the lesson he had learnt from his painful defeat and exile would remain with him, making him never again underestimate his foes or indulge too much in the worst traits of Giantkind. And that, as many find to their misfortune, would serve to make him even more dangerous...
- And I Must Scream: Loves inflicting this through his inherited Jotunn's Big Eater tendencies. He tends to eats his Tinies victims alive, and rather than just straight up melting them down afterwards, he keeps them trapped inside his belly and digests them slowly so his body could harvest as much Love from them as it can before they finally expire. And since some of his victims are brothers who crossed him, they could spend centuries squirming in his bowels before they finally die off - and Macrodontia will enjoy every moment of it.
- Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: This guys is size of a skyscraper, as expected of a Changeling King born to Jotunn royals. Whether he or Supia is bigger is one of the most popular debates among Changelingkind regarding Royal Changelings, the other being who would win in a fight.
- His hive is noted to be one of the smallest in existence, numbering only a few thousands. But what made it so dangerous is that a vast majority of its members are Giant- or Jotunn-sized.
- Berserk Button:
- Don't cross him as one of his brothers - he despises kin-slayers and betrayers due to his upbringing and experience, and won't hesitate to inflict a Fate Worse than Death on any sibling foolish/arrogant/mad enough to take him on.
- Don't try and measure his height or compare him to his rival in the Spring Court Queen Supia. He's REALLY testy about not matching or surpassing her on that front.
- Big Eater: As standard of many Giant races and individuals, he's this. And as a Changeling, he and his Hive needs Love in their diet on top of everything else, meaning that he has even more reasons compare to other Giants to eat Tinies, since his body harvests Love from them as they are slowly digested.
- Break the Haughty: Suffered this while he was still a Jotunn Prince, when his coup failed and he was defeated despite his strength and advantages, foiled by those he had tormented and believed were too small and weak in size and status to be a threat to him. This serve to teach him never to underestimate anyone, no matter how small or weak they are compared to him, and not let his own size, strength and status cloud his judgement.
- Blade on a Stick: Fights with with a traditional Jotunn/Deer pole-arm against enemies whose size rivals his. And trains frequently with it as he had learnt that depending too much on his natural size and strength alone to win the day is a potential weakness in itself.
- The Coup: Attempted this on his surrogate father, a Mountain Jotunn Falkyr, when he was passed over for the throne of his Clan-Kingdom to his younger brother. Interesting, because of his upbringing, he's not actually planning to kill his father or brothers, merely challenging his father to a Trial by Combat for the throne and then exiling him and his brothers. It's implied that the reason he went beyond that is because he realized even if won the throne rightfully, he won't have the support of many in the royal court and nobility, who dislike him, thus necessitating a full-fledged coup in order to replace them with his supporters for his power to be secure.
- Eaten Alive: Something he can do to his enemies thanks to being larger than most of them, and counts as a Fate Worse than Death as he drags out their digestion both to harvest as much Love as possible before they expire, and also because he enjoys feeling them suffering and squirming inside his body. He ate many of his brothers who crossed him and also their entire hives.
- Even Evil Has Standards: He is disgusted by the fratricidal conflicts between his brothers and generally stays out of it, having been brought up to value family and kinship under Jotunn culture. Those mad, arrogant or foolish enough to try him on are usually the only ones he stomps/eats, and his paybacks are often extra-vicious as he has no tolerance for kinslayers.
- Fratricide: Played With. Being raised to value kinship and family by his part-Jotunn heritage, he is disgusted by his brothers' fratricidal conflicts and often stays out of it. But even as a Jotunn prince he knows how to 'play the game' if he had to, and if any of his brothers are mad, arrogant or foolish enough to cross him, he won't hesitate to kill or eat them (And their hives) in retaliation, due to his hatred for kin-slayers and betrayers.
- Genre Savvy: He is known to be much more genre savvy than the average Jotunn or Giants in general, having learnt to never underestimate anyone no matter how small or weak. This serve to make him even more dangerous as a Giant AND a Changeling King.
- Giant Foot of Stomping: Or rather, sabaton-clad hoof, like all Giants/Jotunns. And given his size, he can crush whole armies.
- Half-Human Hybrid: Half Changeling, half Jotunn, thanks to Blackthorn having a fling with a Jotunn Doe.
- Height Angst: Implied. While Macrodontia is estimated to be as tall as Changeling Queen Supia, they often argue on who's taller, and the thought of being proven inferior to the Changeling Queen gets him rather testy. As such, no one wants to get close to him lest they risk being stomped on or eaten.
- I'm a Humanitarian: Developed a taste for his own kind, both Common and Royal Changeling. And owing to his size and that of his hive he can literally eat whole hives of his brothers' subjects, on top of eating his own brothers. Though that usually only happens if his brothers crosses him.
- Kaiju: While not known to be officially classified as one like Supia, he and his hive frequently disguises themselves as one via shape-shifting to cover his tracks or whenever his father needs an 'inconvenient monster attack' for his schemes.
- The Marvelous Deer: Or rather Jotunn, a race of Cervine Giants and one of if not the biggest among Giant races of Equus. His name is derived from Macrodontia cervicornis - the Sabertooth Longhorn Beetle, one of the biggest 'Deer Antler' horned beetles in Real Life.
- Not So Above It All: You would think that he and Supia would be mature enough to not bicker like children over things like who's bigger, but they do every time they meet, much to their Parents' annoyance.
- Logical Weakness: They're big, they're strong, they're virtually indestructible to anything but heavy weaponry among the Tinies and enemies of similar sizes, and they can shape-shift. But Hive Macrodontia are few in number and rarely appear outside of Giant Lands because all that size and strength requires lots of magic and Love energy, making the logistics needed to sustain them difficult.
- Our Giants Are Bigger: Was born a Jotunn Prince, a royal among one of if not the biggest Giant race of Equus, and he, his Hive and fellow brothers in the Colossi Compact serve as the Summer Court's primary means to infiltrate and manipulate Giantkinds of Equus for their schemes.
- Pragmatic Villainy: Part of his Genre Savvy character; having those subjects he used to treat with contempt turning on him and contributing to his coup's defeat while a Jotunn Prince. He now treats his subjects with more respect and dignity and generally curb down his vicious, domineering side, if only to avoid making too many enemies, even among the Tinies.
- Thicker Than Water: His upbringing among Jotunns ingrained upon him the value of family and kinship, and despite being a vicious bastard in general, he is notable for never participating in fratricidal conflicts his brothers indulges in, finding it and them abhorrent for it.
- Even when he was throwing his coup as a Jotunn prince, he didn't actually plan to kill his father or family, only intending to win the throne by trial in combat against his father and replacing his father's court with his supporters. This saved his flank when he was defeated, as they exiled him instead of executing him for attempted usurption for it.
- The Rival: To Changeling Queen Supia of the Spring Court. They don't get along and bicker like school children over many things (Attributed to Giants' instinctive Domineering nature), though they have yet to actually fight it out or even spar (it is commonly believe however Supia would win in a fight by virtue of her greater seniority and experience). They did form a grudging Enemy Mine during the Crucible Crisis to defeat one of Dr Toxikon's generals.
- Wave Motion Gun: Capable of performing one with his magic. What he lacked the finasse compare to his more magically-proficient half-brothers, he gained with sheer raw power, especially when he use a trick where he would shrink down to half his size temporarily: which, while reducing his strength and stature, freed up enormous reserves of magic no longer tied up holding up his enormity against the laws of physics, which he can use to fire a beam from his antlers that could melt a hill or stronghold to slag.
King Heterometrus Lyonesse
- Arch-Enemy: To Dr. Toxicon. In the climax of the battle with the Changeling Progenitors, when he was betraying his father Blackthorn, Dr. Toxicon kills him, indirectly saving Blackthorn instead of utilising the chance to kill one of the two Changeling Progenitors. 5000 year grudges are nothing to sneeze at.
- Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Taken Up to Eleven, as more or less every person to ever associate with him ends up stabbed in the back and he actively prides himself in his skill at betrayal. Blackthorn uses him to weed out subpar Kings by teaming them with him knowing if they're below his standards, Heterometrus will betray and kill them. He bears no ill will to anyone who betrays him, as he views it as the nature of the entire Court and fully expects it. This is eventually deconstructed when he executed a particularly cruel betrayal against the dragon that saved his life by allowing his entire family to be killed by Summer Changelings, leading to the birth of Dr. Toxikon.
- Create Your Own Villain: Downplayed. While the Dragons and Changelings will hate each other any way for the "Time of Broken Scales", his actions made it more personal for the smog dragon that would become Dr. Toxicon. If he wasn't involved, Dr. Toxicon wouldn't have become unhinged to the extent that he would actively plan to destroy the Summer Court rather than the passive-aggressive apathy most other dragons would do instead.
- Exact Words: When attempting to kill Dr. Toxicon during the "Time of Broken Scales", he said that he would leave in peace, he never said anything about returning in peace or leaving him alone in general.
- Karmic Death: 5,000 years ago, Heterometrus betrayed and stabbed in the chest a dragon that saved his life previously. That very same dragon survives said betrayal well into present where he kills Heterometrus by shooting him in the chest just as he was about to betray his father, Blackthorn.
King/Prince Pelcia Lyonesse
"He brought his indemnity upon himself; and the Scions of Amorea always pay their debts."
— Emperor Blackthorn, on Pelcia's punishment
King Holotrichius Lyonesse, the Hidden Blade
- His backstory has one with Alabast the White Sultan, a Sorcerous Overlord who when he was young killed his surrogate Emir father and usurped the throne. Holotrichius would swear revenge and spent the rest of his pre-Awakening life training to become a deadly assassin and rebel leader so he could kill Alabast and take back his home.
- His current biggest rival in the Summer Court is King Megacephala, who operates in the Near East like he does and is a sorcerer and necromancer, which he dislikes with a passion due to past experiences.
- Like many Changeling Kings, he's acquiring a mortal nemesis in one particularly capable member of Equestrian Princess Luna's newly-established 'Night Sentinels', a black ops unit in the Night Guards specializing in infiltration and espionage.
- Assassin Outclassin': Usually averted with Holotrichius' assassins. They are considered the best in the Summer Court, and often only strike after elaborate, meticulous planning that would leave no room for error on their part or room for escape for their targets. If they fail and fail to escape, their lives are forfeit, either by their own hooves or even their own Hive.
- Berserk Button:
- He has a strong dislike of sorcerers and spellcasters, due to his past conflict with an evil Sorcerous Overlord. His hive also specializes in countering and killing them. Has no aversion to magically-enchanted weapons and armour, however.
- While an autocrat himself, his war with Alabast also causes him to develop a dislike for tyrants who come into power through illegitimate means, and his pastime is infiltrating their realms and assassinating them. This criteria ironically fit many of his brothers themselves, and one of the reasons he ultimately joined the Summer Court is because his father Emperor Blackthorn enticed him with the chance to 'stab his more vicious-ruling brothers in the face'.
- Do not hurt his surrogate family. He devoted his entire mortal life to Alabast' destruction after his surrogate father and most of his surrogate family were killed by Alabast.
- Boring, but Practical: He's a ruthlessly efficient killer, so he's willing to use any conceivable means to make his kills besides stabbing them to death. He sees nothing wrong, for example, with electrocuting a target while bathing with an electric appliance (And was in fact one of the first to realize this potential).
- Byronic Hero: Or villain, or antihero (He's very morally ambiguous). One thing that is shown for certain is that he's a brooding figure who is fiercely independent and incredibly ruthless, all of which fits Byron's character mold.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Lost his home, family and birthright to an usurping tyrant sorcerer whom he then spent the rest of his youth and early adulthood in an underdog struggle to kill/overthrow. No wonder he turned out to become a cynical, ruthless killer who dislikes mages, tyrants and mage-tyrants.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Kept watch over his surviving surrogate siblings' and their descendants, who took the throne of the Emirate after Alabast' demise, and actively work to make sure he and his dynasty stays in power with his hive and his assassin order. That they were only half-related by their mother's side is irrelevant; he made a vow to protect his half-brother and they fought together as brothers-in-arms during the long struggle against the White Sultan, so he WILL see them protected with as much ruthless determination as he do everything else.
- Fragile Speedster: Hive Holotrichius relies on speed as well as stealth and surprise as their main strategy in combat, with little in the way of protection beyond light armour and protective charms.
- The Hashshashin: He and his entire hive are essentially Changeling version of this in both appearance and style, being fanatical, ruthless, merciless and efficient killers. Even more so considering he basically modeled his original (And still existing) assassin order, Qatal-Alnizam, on an ancient predecessor that's more or less implied to be the Hashashin themselves. It's no wonder that in a Changeling Court where assassins and assassinations are the norm as part of everyday fratricidal scheming, Holotrichius' assassins are widely considered the best.
- Hero of Another Story: Holotrichius' own son with a Neighponese mare ninja master, a young assassin in the Qatal-Alnizam order who doesn't know his own heritage yet, is heavily implied to be an expy of Altaïr Ibn-LaʼAhad, being a more noble and honourable antihero who is currently engaged in an investigation/conflict against an ancient conspiracy called the 'Knight Mantlers'.
- Hit-and-Run Tactics: Having fought at a significant disadvantage for most of his life, Holotrichius, his rebels, and later his Order and Hive are masters of asymmetric warfare, avoiding direct confrontation whenever possible against the enemy's strongest and strike at every chance upon the enemy's weakest.
- Knife Nut: Downplayed, as in practice they are trained to use a wide range of assassination weapons, but he and his Hive make use of a lot of blades, owing to their inspiration. Their Weapon of Choice are tailor-made Changeling Assassin Daggers.
- Mage Killer: Holotrichius dislikes sorcery due to his past with Alabast, and he and his hive also specializes in countering and eliminating spellcasters on top of general assassinations. However, they're pragmatic enough to use magically-enchanted weapons and armor.
- Manipulative Bastard: Like any Changeling Kings worth their salt, he's this. You'll be surprised how good he could be at it just by liberally applying assassins.
- Named Weapon: Holotrichius wields a Near-Eastern scimitar named 'Serpent Fang' in Arabic, and a master-craft Changeling Assassin Dagger named 'Scorpion Sting'. Both are specially enchanted and poisoned such that they could kill or paralyze at the slightest touch.
- Pet the Dog: Holotrichius apparently sympathizes with those who had endured plights like his own, and his hive accepts with little reservation (but great caution) Changeling refugees and orphans fleeing from war and oppression by his more tyrannical brothers, while his Qatal-Alnizam assassin order is remarkably egalitarian and accepts 'the lost, the damned and the forgotten' among their ranks. That being said, they also recruit them to become assassins themselves.
- Stealth Expert: While all Changelings have stealth and infiltration as their forte, Hive Holotrichius' assassins often rely particularly on stealth as well as speed and surprise to make their kills.
- The Unfettered: Is known to be incredibly ruthless even by Summer Court standards when it comes to achieving his goals. His past experiences make him see things like 'honour', 'justice' and 'fairness' are little more than fictions that would get in the way or get one killed, especially against the likes of Alabast and his rival brothers. As far as he is concerned, you do whatever it takes to get things done; everything else is secondary.Qatal-Alnizam Motto: "When nothing is true, then everything is permitted."
- When All You Have Is a Hammer...: Or rather, a blade, and it's played with. His hive may seem far too specialized with killer assassins, but despite appearances, it's noted that Holotrichius is very versatile in using what he little he has got. He managed to do many things his brothers could in scheming and manipulating, simply by having his assassins kill the right person in the right place at the right time, or leverage his power out to other Kings by offering services of his assassins.
King Pholcidae Lyonesse
"It is said that from ashes we came, to ashes we will return - as would all things we had achieved and built, over and over again. But we don't intend to follow our predecessors into unremembered graves if we can help it."
Pholcidae is a member of the Summer Court, and a member of the newest generations of Changeling Kings.
Born into royalty as the prince of a kingdom in Southern Equus, Pholcidae was taught by his father, King Ozymanedias, to see himself as a person whose royal birthright entitled him to privilege, power, and superiority over his subjects and all who met him. This would have set him on the path of becoming like his older brothers in the Summer Court, who were known for being arrogant and ruthless "Tyrants of Deceit". But after his true nature as a Royal Changeling emerged and he was welcomed into the Summer Court as one of Blackthorn's Scions, Pholcidae returned to the kingdom of his childhood, only to find that the Storm King conquered it and reduced the place to utter ruin, poverty, and depravity. Seeing the ruins of his father's statue filled Pholcidae with rage and a strange feeling that confused him.
During the "Toxikon Crisis", when the Summer Court was being threatened by the maddened and vengeful dragon, Dr. Toxikon, Pholcidae overheard Ember calling Dr. Toxikon out on squandering his potential as a teacher and inspiration for future generations. This motivated Pholcidae to look up the origins of his dead foster father's name: An old poem brought to Equus by the Rainbow Empress from another world, which spoke of a king boasting of his superiority through his works and legacy. It was because of this discovery that the newly-Ascended Changeling King realized something: Many ancient civilizations and societies had left behind a legacy in one way or another. The Spring Court has made many benevolent contributions to the world that would definitely still be admired long after its death... but what would become of the Summer Court's legacy should it fall, too?
Since then, Pholcidae has been seen consulting the advice of his benevolent brother, King Metamorphosis, seeking to turn the Summer Court's reputation into a positive one. One of his accomplishments is inventing a form of Changeling Slime and Webbing that is better suited for construction, resulting in the creation of a Summer palace that made Blackthorn quite pleased with his young Scion. While weapons and poison were good, Blackthorn wanted more castles, lairs, and fortresses in which he could plot and scheme away from prying eyes. Some of Pholcidae's brothers became jealous and resentful towards him for "stealing" their True Father's favor, though nothing came out of it as Pholcidae has also proved to be quite competent in surviving assassination attempts.
Pholcidae's presence proves that there may be hope that the Summer Court's reputation can change for the better. Notably, he has entered a Compact with King Lasius, who would help him with construction by laying down new roads and building new palaces and fortresses - a Spring Court palace built by them was handed to Blackthorn, who proceeded to gift it to Empress Blackrose as a token of goodwill.