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The Changeling Winter Court
"To bear a mark of Winter is to bear a mark of shame."
The Winter Court is one of four seasonal Changeling Courts and, like the Autumn Court, is an informal one. Unlike Autumn, however, the Winter Court contains the lowest dregs of Changeling society, including murderers, oath-breakers, and practitioners of dark magic. Almost every member is vile, cruel, and remorseless, and for their crimes, they are driven out of proper Changeling society forever.
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- 0% Approval Rating: It's saying something when even the Changeling Kings of the Summer Court hate those who end up in the Winter Court. Of course, that won't stop them from threatening their rivals with the threat of "Condemned to Winter". Even the dissenters and free-willed Changelings of the Autumn Court will not hesitate to send someone to Winter, provided there's someone with enough leadership power to make the choice official (or, if there's no leader, a common consensus among the Hive). The only known Changeling to have such an atrocious reputation with both Changelingkind and the rest of Equus is Chrysalis, due to her long list of crimes and her failed attempts to conquer Equestria.
- Deadly Euphemism: "Condemned to Winter" became a common threat used by Royal Changelings to threaten their rivals, especially among the Kings of the Summer Courts. In reality, Kings who end up in Winter are less common than Queens, but the very idea of actually ending up there is so horrifying that they still toe the line anyway.
- The Exile: All Winter Changelings, both Royal and non-Royal, are essentially exiles of Court society, being forbidden from coming back and being seen as "dead" unless they atoned for their crimes. Ironically, Changeling Queens often end up in Winter than Changeling Kings, due to the Spring Court's more benevolent intolerance to wickedness.
- Lack of Empathy: Justified; a requirement for someone to become a Winter Changeling is to commit a crime without remorse.
- Mark of Shame: As stated by the page quote, being "Condemned to Winter" is an in-universe sign that a Changeling sent there has committed a terribly unspeakable crime. The only way it can be erased is if the Changeling in question atoned for their crimes in a satisfactory manner that would allow their sentence to be lifted.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Despite Changelingkind's rather atrocious treatment of Princess Apertus, it's implied that being "Condemned to Winter" only applies to the Changeling(s) who received the sentence, and not to any offspring that they might've had during their exile since the children themselves had not committed any crimes to stay in Winter with their parent(s). It's because of this that Blackrose wants Chrysalis's children (Imago, Slug, and Pupa) taken away from their mother's custody and transferred to the Spring Court.
- Snow Means Death: A non-fatal example. The Winter Court, obviously, is snow-themed, yet it is treated as the most atrocious Court due to containing the lowest dregs of Changeling society. Any Changeling who ends up in Winter is considered "dead", as generally being Condemned is the Changeling equivalent of a death sentence. For their crimes, they are treated with extreme prejudice and permanently driven away from home.
Chrysalis Avalon, the Great Renegade/the 'False Empress'
Court Affiliation: Winter; formerly Spring
"There is no revenge you can conceive that will compare to what I will do to you one day!"
Chrysalis Avalon (her entry here) is a member of the Winter Court and an infamous daughter of Empress Blackrose, with a highly deplorable and monstrous reputation that made her the target of hate from nearly all factions in Equus.
Chrysalis is a daughter of Empress Blackrose, yet her family's love didn't stop her from becoming one of the Spring Court's few "bad apples". While much wasn't known about her childhood (due to Blackrose's reluctance to reveal information about her vile daughter's past), Chrysalis was extremely self-centered and bratty, and bullied her older sisters to spite them for taking their mother's attention away from her. Once she was allowed to create her own hive, she ruled it like a Summer Court Changeling King, turning into her hive into a war machine that indoctrinated her subjects into fighting and dying for her. What further set her apart from her more benevolent relatives was her policy of deliberate starvation, ensuring that her subjects would be wholly dependent on her for survival and too weak to oppose her, while she received the lion's share of love.
During her reign, Chrysalis went on a destructive rampage, fueled by her personal belief that Changelings are the apex predators of Equus. She attacked the Empire of Trot, a once-powerful successor state of the Equestrian Empire that devolved into squabbling backwater nations. She also devastated the pegasus kingdom of Timbucktu, massacring a large majority of its Twinkle-Eye Pony population and leaving them a critically endangered species. It was this horrific act that earned her the undying hatred of her sister, Queen Buprestidae, who is half Twinkle-Eye pony herself and was devastated to hear that Chrysalis committed genocide against her father's people. But it was during the Siege of Trot that Chrysalis fell to Celestia, who had her and her hive imprisoned in the volcano, Mount Ignis.
Blackrose initially decided against Condemnation to Winter, believing Chrysalis could be redeemed. She was utterly proven wrong when, after being unwittingly freed by the Great Wyrm, Sergio, Chrysalis infiltrated a royal wedding in Equestra by impersonating Princess Cadance, who she imprisoned in underground catacombs, and brainwashed Cadance's then-fiance, Shining Armor to subvert Equestria's defenses. Without Shining Armor's superb shield magics, Equestria would have been left completely defenseless to Changeling invasion... but the intervention of Twilight Sparkle allowed the real Cadance to escape and Shining Armor to break free from his brainwashing. The resulting love-powered shield spell blasted Chrysalis and her armies away from Equestria.
Chrysalis later love-drained an entire kingdom of Wuv-Cats, driving the Wuv-Cats into extinction, in an attempt to get her revenge on Twilight Sparkle. When that failed, she participated in Radiant Hope's plan to resurrect King Sombra and help him conquer both the Crystal Empire and Equestria. But upon learning of the existence of the dark goddess Rubia and her Umbrum children, Chrysalis apparently backed out of the bargain and fled.
Her second major attempt in conquering Equestria involved a magic-nullifying artifact, the Throne of Hunger. With that, she depowered the Mane Six, the Alicorn Princesses, and their loved ones in one fell swoop, and imprisoned them to be drained of their magic. She would then replace them with drones in a more subversive attempt to undermine Equestria, both in government and society. But Chrysalis was foiled again by Twilight's student, Starlight Glimmer, and a small rescue party Starlight hastily cobbled together in what was regarded as a desperate rescue mission. Though Chrysalis initially had the upper hand, Starlight encouraged Thorax to share his love with the deranged Changeling Queen when it was time for him to be executed for his supposed treachery. This led to a unexpected success - in sharing his love, Thorax became a Royal Changeling and a Progenitor of a new breed of purified Changelings, effectively ending Chrysalis's reign as Queen. Having lost everything, Chrysalis fled, vowing revenge against Starlight Glimmer.
In light of her actions, Blackrose finally banished her wayward daughter and her few remaining loyal subjects to the Winter Court. While she's not the first Royal Changeling to end up there, Chrysalis currently became the first to receive attention from both Spring and Summer Changelings - because of her long list of crimes, she is actively hunted not only by the Equestrian Alicorn Princesses, but by Blackrose, Blackthorn, and their children. Ironically, Chrysalis paved the way to Thorax's sanctification and Changelingkind's chances to cure their racial Curse, as well as Changelingkind becoming receptive to outside races. With the reveal that Chrysalis had a few children of her own, Blackrose made it clear that Chrysalis's fate does not apply to her spawn, and that she wants her grandchildren rescued from their mother's custody.
- 0% Approval Rating: No-Changeling likes her, save for the very few who remained loyal to her and whatever Winter Court renegades she could occasionally get her hooves on. The Spring Court loathes her with a passion, especially with Buprestidae, who has disowned Chrysalis as her sister for what she did to Timbucktu and the Twinkle-Eye Ponies. Interestingly, while the Summer Court generally treats her with disdain for being a "failure of a queen", they did approve of some of her more cunning plots, such as the Timbucktu incident. And to say nothing of the Autumn Court, who wanted nothing to do with her nor any other Winter Court Changeling (Though that's a given). In short, she's alone with nothing more than fanatics and failures.
- Adaptational Villainy: While Chrysalis was an unrepentant villain in canon, her Codex incarnation is even more monstrous, leaving behind a trail of destruction that devastated a few kingdoms and left a few species extinct (Wuv-Cats) or critically endangered (Twinkle-Eye Ponies).
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe. Both Changelings and non-Changelings still argue whether Chrysalis would have succeeded in her plans to conquer Equestria, the Changeling Courts, and the rest of the world. Chrysalis's detractors decry her as an overly ambitious, incompetent idiot whose failures attribute to poor information gathering, poor planning, and overconfidence. And even if she did try, there's still the fact that her most powerful enemies are gods and goddesses, especially her mother, who had modified her own body to become a "Discord killer". However, Chrysalis's supporters point out that incompetent she may be, she still managed to directly subdue Princess Cadance, infiltrate and subvert the Equestrian government, neutralized the powerful Shining Armor, flawlessly captured all of the Alicorn Princesses, Discord, the Mane Six, and their loved ones, and manipulated everyone into thinking that Twilight is a distrustful paranoiac and abandoning her.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Exaggerated to horrifying degrees. When she was younger, she would give her older sisters hell to spite them for stealing their mother's attention away from her. After becoming Queen, Chrysalis would attempt to take over Equus so she could kill/subjugate her entire family.
- Ax-Crazy: By the time of the 'League of Domination Crisis' she had suffered so many defeats and became so obsessed with revenge and power she's become little more than a hateful, power-mad nihilistic lunatic that's even worse than her pre-usurpation self, who's willing to kill any of her siblings in the Spring Court and let the Windigoes wreck Equestria if she can get to rule over what's left. Even her fellow allies in the League of Domination were unnerved by her, as in canon.
- Black Sheep: Justified. Chrysalis is very amoral, selfish, and petty, and several of her heinous actions served to completely estrange her from her own family.
- Cain and Abel: One of the Spring Court's few Cains to her many sisters' Abel, and the only Spring Court Changeling who actively tries to kill both her siblings and mother.
- Epic Fail: One of her plans involved an attempt to subvert the Elements of Harmony by creating fakes of the owners that she could not control and act the very opposite of the very element they were supposed to trick and steal. The Tree of Harmony pretty much saw through the paper-thin fakes and destroyed them. Emperor Blackthorn's reaction lampshades how monumentally idiotic the whole idea was.
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...
- Even Evil Has Standards: Is more than happy to join King Sombra's Legion of Doom in his conquest of the Crystal Empire until she found out about Rabia and the Umbrum, in which she fled along with her swarm.
- From Bad to Worse: Her entire situation after she was overthrown by Thorax is one of increasing dire straits and desperation. First, she loses all the remaining sub-hives - satellite settlements and outposts supporting the main hive - in the ensuring 'Hive Trot Civil War', along with most of her Changelings subjects, resources and infrastructure save for a hidden base in Mount Ignis, where she would hide with most of her remaining loyalists and all her children she could grab before she ran. Then, she made repeated attempts to get back her hive and have her revenge on her enemies - organizing the Winter Onslaught, allying with the Storm King, trying to subvert the Elements of Harmony, among others - that not only failed or backfire but also dearly cost her much of her remaining meager resources, helped by a growing loss of performance from stress and rage. These missteps eventually leads to her Mount Ignis base being exposed and neutralized by Equestrians/Changeling Court forces, her remaining minions killed/capture and her children rescued or scattered, leaving her alone and lost in the Everfree Forest, bereft of everything. The entry indicates that by the time of Season 9 in the show she was on the brink of utter defeat, and would had eventually gone mad from isolation and/or neutralized by the forces of Harmony closing on her were it not for a last-minute rescue by Ibexian Overlord Grogar II, the Emperor of Darkness/Father of Monsters when he put together his Legion of Doom, which gave her one last, desperate chance together with the similarly on-the-brink Cozy Glow and Lord Tirek to exact vengeance and conquer Equestria (and the world). And then she lose even that one too.
- God Save Us from the Queen!: She's even more monstrous than in canon. Notably, she introduced the policy of deliberate starvation to ensure that her subjects remained loyal to her, and used "Kin-Draining" to execute those who betray her hive, which are both very heinous crimes in Changeling society. When Thorax defeated her and helped purify the Curse from his fellow Changelings, they had no problem siding with him.
- I Have No Son!: It took two destroyed kingdoms, and two major attempts to conquer Equestria for Blackrose to finally banish Chrysalis to the Winter Court permanently. Chrysalis's more benevolent sisters have followed suit, with Queen Buprestidae disowning her as her sister for her actions against Timbucktu. In Changeling society, being disowned by family is a serious matter since it leaves the victim with low chances of survival, so it shows what kind of monster Chrysalis is to deserve it.
- Irony: It's noted that for all of her horrific actions, she did pave the way for Thorax's sanctification and the possibility of Changelingkind curing their Curse, as her subjects purified themselves shortly after Thorax Ascended.
- It's All About Me: A selfish narcissist even at a young age, she wanted to hog all of mother's attention and affection for herself, and made her sisters' lives miserable out of jealousy and spite. Whether she was spoiled rotten or always such a wicked witch (latter implied as her father was said to be 'not a nice person'), it only got worse when she grew up and became a Queen. She literally believe she's superior to everyone else and is entitled to rule the Spring Court and the rest of the world.
- It's Personal: The attempted Canterlot Wedding invasion was Chrysalis trying to avenge her defeat against Celestia in the Siege of Trot. After she was personally defeated by Twilight Sparkle and then Starlight Glimmer, she focused her hostility on them as well.
- Kick the Dog:
- She ensured her subjects' loyalty to her by deliberately starving them with strict love rations, while saving the lion's share for herself, so that her subjects would be utterly dependent on her for their next meal, and too weak to turn on her. This resulted in a large majority of her hive turning against her as soon as they discovered they didn't have to starve all the time.
- She forcibly harvested love out of an entire species of Wuv-Cats, driving them to extinction, in order to power herself and satisfy her petty revenge against Twilight Sparkle.
- She massacred a significant portion of the Twinkle-Eye Ponies during her invasion of Timbucktu, for no other reason than to prove her racial superiority. This led to her sister Buprestidae suffering an extreme case of Break the Cutie, and developing an undying grudge against Chrysalis.
- Made of Evil: According to her, she and her hive were born from the trunk of an accursed tree that grew from the bones of dead ponies in a cemetery. This turned out to be a lie that Chrysalis has peddled to her subjects for entirely selfish reasons, leaving Thorax and his peers ignorant of Changelingkind's true history. (It did however inspired Changeling King Brachion to invent mass-producible 'Spawnling' menial clones via biomancally-created 'spawning trees')
- Make an Example of Them: She executes those who betray her hive by using "Kin-Draining", a particularly heinous way of receiving love by forcibly draining it from her victim(s). Like in canon, she tried doing this to Thorax in order to show her subjects the price of rebellion. However, it backfires when Starlight Glimmer encouraged Thorax to willingly share his love, leading to Thorax's ascension and causing most of Chrysalis's hive to turn on her.
- Master Race: She saw Changelingkind as the apex predators of Equus, while other races are little more than cattle for her and her subjects to derive love from. This is what drove her to conquer Trot and Timbucktu. It's mostly about her own superiority, though.
- The Most Wanted: Because of her numerous horrific crimes against Equus, and her role in busting her people's Masquerade wide open, she is hunted by the Alicorn Princesses of Equestria, as well as both the Summer and Spring Courts. This made Chrysalis the first Winter Changeling to receive such attention.
- Not So Different: Chrysalis's profile compared her behavior as Queen to being "like a Summer Court Changeling King". Considering how she ruthlessly led her hive and devastated a few places with her cunning intelligence, the description is quite apt. However, her evil got to a point where even the Summer Court started hating her.
- Power Nullifier: Her aptly-named "Throne of Hunger", a throne-shaped artifact that was crafted from a mysterious dark stone and depowers even divine magic, leaving gods and demigods them completely helpless to other forms of attack. It was destroyed during Thorax's ascension and her hive's purification.
- Pyrrhic Villainy: It's implied that her plans to conquer Equestria, all Changelingkind and the rest of the world is doomed to failure due to her own faults and multiple factors beyond her or anyone's control. Yet while this fueled debate over whether she's an incompetent maverick or an ingenious mastermind, it is emphasized that it does not diminish her threat to peace and harmony of Equestria and the world in any way, as even in failure she can do a lot of damage.
- As mentioned under Take Over the World: her plan to take over Equestria, harvest its love, use the power boost to usurp her mother and sisters and then use the Spring Court to take over the world sounds simple, but in practice it does not consider facts, such as: 1) Her mother being a goddess whose magnitudes older and more powerful than Chrysalis is and is prepared (to the point of drastically modifying her own body in various ways) to take on Discord himself; 2) That many of her sisters are generally older and more experienced, and their hives possess more resources than her hive; 3) that the Changeling Summer Court would intervene in accordance to Throne Accords between the Spring and Summer Courts (not to mention Blackthorn's more personal relationship with Blackrose); 4) and last but not least, the other Gods of Equus, like the ones in the Cosmic Council, would not sit back and watch Equestria and the Spring Court get taken over by Chrysalis, especially since many are friends with Celestia and Blackrose. All things considered, it is believed that the absolute best Chrysalis would hope for is keeping large parts of Equestria and holding the rest of the world off in a stalemate.
- To maintain her power, she cruelly implemented a strict rationing regimen for love-energy for her hive in order to make them too weak to turn on her and make them dependent on her for their next meals, while ensuring she would have the lion's share of power for herself. While this worked for a while, it eventually backfired when her subjects became so starved and desperate, they turned on her anyway the moment they realize thanks to Thorax that they don't have to steal love from 'Cattle' races to survive.
- Royal Brat: While she's Changeling royalty due to being a daughter of a divine Changeling Empress, Chrysalis was one of the Spring Court's few "bad apples", and she continued to get worse from there.
- Semi-Divine: She's a Royal Changeling, and one of Blackrose's many demi-divine daughters.
- Sins of Our Fathers: Subverted. With the reveal that Chrysalis had a couple of children of her own, Blackrose made it clear that Chrysalis's banishment and persecution for her crimes only applies to the parent, not the children. In fact, she wants said children - Imago, Slug, and Pupa - to be rescued from Chrysalis's custody and brought back to the Spring Court where they could be raised with love and care away from their vile parent.
- Small Role, Big Impact: Her constant invasions would spark the events that would ultimately undo The Masquerade of the Changelings. Meta-wise, it's noted that BrutalityInc came up with the Changeling Courts to distance them from her, indirectly resulting in the creation of the entire codex.
- Undying Loyalty: Enforced. While all Royal Changelings are capable of exuding an aura of charisma that is attractive to Common Changelings, Chrysalis took it further by personally having her subjects be indoctrinated into dying for her, and by deliberately starving her subjects so they wouldn't turn on her.
- The Unfavorite: Chrysalis was treated as this by her family when she was younger, due to being a selfish, greedy, and spoiled brat who made their lives miserable for stealing their mother Blackrose's attention away from her.
- Your Soul Is Mine: She makes it a policy of love-draining any Changeling who betrays or disobeys her, as shown with her attempted execution of Thorax in canon. Since love-draining is often fatal and the equivalent of murder, it's treated as a very heinous crime in Changeling society, and warrants being Condemned to Winter.
Hesperus Avalon/Blackheart the Accursed
Court Affiliation: Winter; formerly Spring
"The hive exists for their Queen, and should be willing to die for them."
- Red Baron: Known as "Blackheart the Accursed". It's noted by her entry that it was her mother, Blackrose, who gave her that name, as her long list of crimes - including sacrificing her own Hive in a dark magic-based ritual to gain immortality - has made her heart as black as her actions.
Court Affiliation: Winter; formerly Spring
"We feed on love. And what great love is there than the one for the all mighty bit?"
Unlike most of her Spring family, who hate dragons with a passion, Charidotella ironically emulates the dragons' legendary greed.
- Insult to Rocks: Her entry notes that many of her sisters commented she should have been born a Dragon, considering how greedy they are. Dragons would consider that sentiment an insult, due to their collective hatred of Changelingkind.
- Slavery Is a Special Kind of Evil: What got her banished to the Winter Court; she viewed her subjects as disposable servants at best and cattle at worst, and was even willing to sell them into slavery in exchange for money.
Court Affiliation: Winter; formerly Summer
"When I return, I will cast them all down before my throne."
Rhyniognatha is an unusual case among Winter Changelings in that very few Changeling Kings actually make it to the Winter Court. A First-Spawn Royal Changeling, Rhyniognatha was once the favorite of his father, Emperor Blackthorn, and the pinnacle of his family. No one dared question him for fear of his retaliation and wrath.
- Meaningful Name: He's named after Rhyniognatha, the oldest known insect.
- "Well Done, Son!" Guy: His descent into villainy was kick-started by his desire to forever remain his father's favorite. To that end, he engineered what would be called "The Fraticide", sabotaging and murdering his upstart brothers while fanning the flames of hatred between them by telling lies, so they could decimate each other with everyone none the wiser. When his brothers eventually discovered who the true culprit was, the Summer Court devolved into full-blown war until Blackthorn intervened and Condemned Rhyniognatha to Winter. Or put into a stasis coccoon. Even so, even as he was being imprisoned, Rhyniognatha vowed that he would one day return and murder all of his siblings so he could regain what was rightfully his.
- Villainous Legacy: Rhyniognatha was ultimately responsible for the current state of the Summer Court, setting the standard that in order to advance on the social hierarchy and earn Blackthorn's approval, a Changeling King must participate in schemes and treachery. Despite the damage it inflicted on the Summer Court, Blackthorn let his sons continue engaging in treachery either as punishment, to root out the weak among his sons, or he just plain didn't care.
The Nameless Queen
Court Affiliation: Winter; formerly Spring
"This is atonement."
- Token Good Teammate: She's the only member of the Winter Court who is actively trying to atone for the many sins that got her "Condemned to Winter". The others are either tragically insane, or genuinely monstrous and unrepentant.
Court Affiliation: Winter; formerly Spring
"Once I have you in my collection, you lovely puppets will always be PRETTY!"
- Tragic Villain: She's an insane puppeteer who kidnaps and drains her victims so she could turn their husks into puppets... but she's genuinely insane, having lost her mind after her mortal father was murdered by a criminal gang to the point where she suffers various hallucinations of her father's "spirit" speaking to her, and making puppets is the only thing that keeps what remains of her sanity intact. It's also implied that she had untreated Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, but her mental condition was regulated due to her father's presence and growing up in a loving household.
Court Affiliation: Winter; formerly Spring
"I am the hunter, and you are the game...!"
Daguva Lyonesse, the Bloody King
Court Affiliation: Winter; formerly Summer
"Survival of the fittest is nature's game! And we're all players!"
Diversus Lyonesse/Demon King Dynastinae
Court Affiliation: Winter; formerly Summer
"We will crush and conquer all beneath our hooves! That is our right, as king and titan both!"
Court Affiliation: Winter; formerly Summer
"When vengeance is all that remains, nothing else matters."
- An Arm and a Leg: Lost one of his front hooves to the dragon that destroyed his kingdom and killed his whole family, prior to his True Nature's awakening. It stuck after he became a Changeling King and he replaced it with an enchanted combat-prosthetic that is also packed full of magical weapons and artifacts that he could use in battle.
- Arc Villain: Serves as one with Apterus and Toxikon, the first of the 'Changeling/Dragon Trilogy'
- Because You Were Nice to Me: Hated neither Polistes nor Metamorphosis among his family, due to them never indulging in the Evil Overlord stuff their siblings are often up to, with the former being a 'Black Sheep' who had caused his brothers trouble in the past and the latter having tried to help him. Too bad he ended up antagonizing the former during his rampage, as Polistes ended up becoming one of those instrumental to his defeat.
- Berserk Button: Do not mention Dragons or take the shape of one in his presence. Changeling Princess Mimetide found out the hard way when Xestobium responded to her doing the latter by punching her so hard with his combat-prosthetic, it blew off the roof of the temple they were fighting in and knocked her out-cold.
- Boomerang Bigot: Despite being a Royal Changeling King himself, he loathed and resented being part of the Summer Court due to their conduct, to the point of seeing them as no different than the Dragons he hated and tried to wipe them out at the same time.
- Changeling Fantasy: Like his brothers, he's Emperor Blackthorn's son and thus is a Royal Changeling. Unfortunately, he only Awakened to his True Nature just in time to kill the Dragon before he, too, is killed, yet too late to save his family and kingdom.
- Determinator: As noted elsewhere: Nothing, not his hive being defeated, not himself being defeated, not his plan to blow up the 'Ring Of Fire' foiled, not even his own death, will stop Xestobium from his goal of destroying all of Dragonkind (And his own family) in revenge for all the loss and suffering they had inflicted upon him and others.
- Death Seeker: Didn't really care that his plan, if successful, would wipe him out along with Dragonkind and everyone else, nor that he had no hope for victory fighting his father and Blackrose in his last stand. He even told Polistes that he wouldn't mind him coming over to kill him in revenge after Xestobium interrogated and offed an associate of Polistes for information he needs during his rampage. Unsurprising all things considered, given his backstory.
- Doomed Hometown: A kingdom that's been destroyed by a Dragon and is now long forgotten, with him as the Sole Survivor.
- Fallen Hero: Was one of the few members of the Summer Court to be benevolent and heroic, but eventually fell to madness and became a genocidal maniac. The tragedy of his character is that but for his vengeful genocidal hatred (And being part of a clan of shape-shifting demigod tyrants), he really was and could still be a hero.
- Fantastic Racism: Against Dragons, but not without good reason.
- Father to His Men: Implied to be this, given how utterly loyal his Hive is to his cause even when the Changeling Courts bore down upon them on Infernos Isle.
- Genius Bruiser: His father considers him one of his more clever sons, and it shows in how well he planned his Dragon Extinction Operation. He's also, due to his past-self being a knight, an incredibly capable fighter whose skills had only improved over centuries fighting dragons.
- It's Personal: Dragonkind can't make it any more personal for him than having a Dragon take away his kingdom, his family and one of his leg, then have him facing the absolute worst of their kind and seeing his tragedy repeating over and over again when he goes out to fight them with his Hive. It became personal for Xestobium to literally genocidal levels.
- Irony: A member of a family of scheming chessmasters, and considered one of the smarter and capable Changeling Kings by his own father the Changeling Emperor, but still got played like a fiddle by Propagare to fully giving into his desire for revenge.
- Jumped Off The Slippery Slope: A slope made slippery with the blood of his family and kingdom and made steep by all the traumas that came with it and everything that followed. Though Propagare did give him a little nudge to fully sent him off the precipice.
- Kill 'Em All: Wants to do this to all of Dragonkind, which was unsurprising considering his backstory. What really shocked everyone was the fact he also had the Summer Court on his kill-list with the Dragons, and just how far he's willing to go to do them both in.
- Knight in Shining Armor: Was once this whilst still mortal, with a family whom he loved and a kingdom whom he served. Then came the Dragon and his Awakening...
- Last-Second Chance: Was offered one by Empress Blackrose of the Spring Court, who recognize his Tragic Villain status and was willing to help him despite everything. Xestobium ultimately turned her down, as it won't bring back all that he had lost, which was what he really wanted in the end.
- Last Villain Stand: His Hive neutralized, his plan almost foiled, himself defeated by Polistes and Mimetide, Xestobium was left confronted by the Parent Deities of Changelingkind themselves. Rather than face execution or sealing, he charges them with a sword and fights to the bitter end.
- Magnetic Hero: While all Royal Changelings are naturally charismatic, it takes a special form of charisma to have his whole Hive willing to fight and die for him, holding the line against the united Changeling forces long enough for Xestobium to effectively end the world destroying Dragonkind.
- Mask of Sanity: Described as outwardly 'easy-going' and normal at first, but inwardly his mental health was deteriorating from centuries of building grief and hatred for his loss and for dragons. Nobody realized his growing madness until it was too late.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Nearly caused a mass extinction event trying to wipe out the Dragons. There are indications he no longer cared if it destroyed the world in the process, or that he likely won't survive it too.
- The Order: Xestobium's Hive is organized like a crusading order, with him as the 'High King' and various ranks and sub-orders of knights below him. They accompanied him on his constant crusades against marauding Dragons, feeding from the love non-Changelings give for saving them. Might explain why they fought to the bitter end for him during the final stage of his 'Dragon Extinction Operation', between their code of honour as knights and coming to share the same hatred for Dragonkind from constantly seeing evil Dragons' atrocities and fighting them.
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Delivered one to the Summer Court present at his defeat, calling them out for the death and suffering they had inflicted upon the world and each other, capping it off by declaring they're all Not So Different with the Dragons. Most of his brothers don't take it very well.
- Red Baron: The Last Knight of a Forgotten Kingdom.
- Revenge Before Reason: It doesn't get any more unreasonable than being willing to cause an extinction event to wipe out Dragonkind in revenge from all they had taken from him and the world.
- Semi-Divine: Being a Royal Changeling whose heritage came from his father, Blackthorn, he was this.
- Sole Survivor: It's in one of his nicknames - he's the last knight of a forgotten kingdom that was destroyed by a Dragon. Needless to say, he didn't take it very well.
- So Proud of You: Not from King Xestobium, but from his father Emperor Blackthorn, who respected Xestobium for being one of his most capable son, admired his intelligence as shown in his plan and is impressed by his resolve even in the face of defeat and certain doom. Despite everything, it seems his father is proud of him. Too bad Xestobium doesn't reciprocate, and it won't stop Blackthorn from stopping him with Blackrose.
- Thanatos Gambit: As noted under Determinator, despite being physically destroyed by the Progenitors, he still won't quit, and even manages one final gambit - driven by his dying will, the divine-halve of his demigod soul rose up from where he was annihilated and attempted to dive into the ritual he set up to detonate the Isle of Infernos, which would trigger his 'Final Reset' and destroy Draconia. Luckily, his father saw it coming and stopped it with a prepared spell, ending Xestobium's genocidal goals for good.
- Token Good Teammate: One of the few rather benevolent members of the Changeling Summer Court like King Metamorphosis before he went mad. Also a Deconstruction, in that living among and being related by blood to a clan of shapeshifting tyrants contributed to the erosion of his sanity as he come to loath (most of) them as much as Dragonkind, and didn't hesitate to put them on his kill-list - ironically becoming just as bad, if not worse than they are.
- Tragic Villain: King Xestobium is an Omnicidal Maniac, but at his core he's a product of loss and trauma left to fester for centuries until there was nothing left in his once noble heart but vengeance. The tragedy of his existence is recognized and lamented.
- Plus, he was manipulated by Propagare, the god of propaganda into becoming fully committed to his revenge on the night he was deciding whether or not to go through with it. Even though (and perhaps precisely because) he already had hatred for Dragonkind and thoughts of destroying them beforehand, and Propagare merely amplified it, it still doesn't change the fact he became a pawn in Propagare's own scheme to remake the world in the Tyrannos Pantheon's image, and there might just be a chance it could all had been avoided
- Trauma Conga Line: By the Gods of Equus, where do we even BEGIN?
- First, his entire family and kingdom were killed by a rampaging Dragon, with him only surviving (At the cost of a leg) by Awakening to his True Nature as a Royal Changeling and slaying the Dragon in turn.
- Then, he was adopted into a clan of deceitful, shape-shifting tyrants and conquerors who ruled a major part of an ancient, hidden civilization with a historical/racial enmity against Dragonkind, which upon learning of it only fueled his hatred. His true family and people encouraging that enmity and not giving him a sanity-conductive environment to which he could recover caused that hatred to fester, and his brothers' fratricidal scheming and conquering/ravaging of other lands also caused him to hate them as well.
- Even while trying to do good to feed his Hive, he was constantly exposed to the absolute worst Dragonkind has to offer, and seeing his tragedy repeating itself over and over again in all the places he had saved from marauding Dragons further eroded his sanity and hardened his views on Dragonkind.
- Despite trying to act normal and others like Metamorphosis trying to help him, the final straw was learning following the Fall of the Masquerade that Thorax and Ember had become friends, and children of both Changelings and Dragons would be attending the School of Friendship in Equestria together. Unable to accept this, with prompting from Propagare, he finally snapped and try to wipe out Dragonkind, not caring if it would wipe out the world in the process.
- The Unfettered: He's willing to go any lengths to have his revenge on Dragonkind - even if it means causing an extinction event and killing everyone else.
- Villain Has a Point: He was right on target in his rant at his defeat about how Summer Court is not so different from the Dragons, willing to destroy anyone and anything in their way - even their own kin - to advance their power over their rivals and all others (Though his father then pointed out not ALL Summer Changelings are like that e.g. Metamorphosis, Absolus, Polistes, and many of their subjects, but Xestobium didn't really care by that point).
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: See Trauma Conga Line above.
Princess Imago Avalon
Court Affiliation: Winter (technically Spring/Autumn)
"HEEEY, EARWIG! WHATS UP, YOU FAT OLD C**K SUCKER!"
— Imago to Viceroy Earwig, demonstrating her basic level of respect for others.
- Thicker Than Water: At least Vordul sees his relationship with her this way; she may be a deranged "psycho", but she's still family.Vordul: Imagos a bucking psycho, but she's our big sis, you know... so what can you do?
Prince Slug Avalon/Vordul
Court Affiliation: Winter (technically Spring/Autumn)
"YOU EMBARRASSED ME IN FRONT OF HER!"
Vordul, during the Lake Incident.
Court Affiliation: Winter
"My time will come! We would have had Equestria if I had been calling the shots!"