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Fan Fic / The King Is Dead Long Live The Emperor

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"...And in another timeline, it was not his end. Instead, he would meet his end a thousand years later, at the hooves of an alicorn princess and the citizens of the Crystal Empire. And in another, he was banished eternally to the realm of shadows by a wise-cracking mule armed with a magical kazoo."

Such is the silliness that occasionally goes on in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic story The King is Dead, Long Live the Emperor


Pandinus Imperator (You can call him Pan, he won't mind) is knocked back in time during the Canterlot Invasion, and accidentally kills King Sombra on arrival. Instead of being executed, the changeling is surprised to find himself being hailed as a hero, and is promptly put on the throne as the new monarch, the Crystal Emperor. However, Pan now faces a great many problems, among them Celestia and Luna, who seem certain that the changeling is secretly up to no good, as well as several political factions secretly plotting to undermine his reign. There's also the tiny problem of the constant snowstorm that threatens to cut the city off from the outside world permanently.

The Crystal Ponies need a hero now more than ever before. Why did they get a changeling instead?


This fanfic provides examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Pan is a very heavy drinker whenever he gets his carapace on any spirits. Good thing he can hold it better than anypony else; he can even burn love to kick his liver into overdrive. It was even his job to take hold of the wine cellars any time the swarm captured a settlement.
  • Alternate Universe: Due to Cadance and Shining Armor expelling the Changelings from Canterlot. It's complicated.
    • Created due to accidental time travel.
  • Anti-Villain: Surprisingly, King Sombra!
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: The reason why Pan dedicates himself to being the best ruler he can be for his subjects: The Crystal Ponies accepted him, in spite of the fact that he's a changeling.
    • Likewise, why Sombra ends up helping Pan and the others out.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Crystal Meth apparently makes Changelings' heads explode, with the text including a "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer.
  • Blood Knight: Ruggiero
  • Chekhov's Gun: An entire armory's worth. Lines that seem like throwaway exposition often become very important as the story goes on.
  • The Corruption: The Circle, due to their evil deeds, are slowly corrupting the Crystal Heart, which in turn is corrupting the rest of the city.
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  • Fantastic Racism: Celestia is guilty of some when Morning Glory, an Earth Pony from the future, and the Element of Magic, comes back to the past and claims to be the Element of Magic.
  • For Want of a Nail: Because of his actions, and how the Crystal Heart works, Pan accidentally undoes the events that will create the Changelings in the first place. Whoops.
  • Heroic BSoD: Pan, after seeing Pen Stroke struck in the face with an ice arrow.
  • Irony: Celestia and Luna first decide to keep an eye on Pan as he is settling into his rule to assure themselves that they are not leaving the Crystal Empire in the hooves of a pony-eating monster. Pan is a changeling. To him, the Crystal Empire is an all-you-can-eat buffet.
  • Libation for the Dead: A tradition in Pan's family which he practiced despite being disowned by them, making him do this for Sombra. With the finest wine in the former king's wine cellar, right before he drinks the rest of it.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Possibly inverted, as Pan was the disposed heir to the title of Lord Scorpion, while his possible ancestor, the first Lord Scorpion is the leader of the circle. Pan is the one who knows most of his heritage, while Lord scorpion does not.
  • Meaningful Name: Pandinus Imperator, the scientific name for the Emperor Scorpion. See also, his most likely ancestor, and big bad Lord Scorpion.
  • Mood Whiplash: The author, Bucking Nonsense, is guilty of this sometimes. Some chapters can start out silly, then suddenly get very serious... or vice versa.
  • Nice Guy: Pandinus Imperator, the changeling.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • As mentioned in the page quote, the mule with the magic kazoo that defeated Sombra in one alternate timeline.
    • Present were both of the princesses, the Crystal Emperor, the chancellor and his son, the chancellor's caretaker, Shimmering Radiance, Straight Arrow, Wild Wing, King Sombra (via the previously mentioned mirror), and the Crystal Heart.
  • Offscreen Momentof Awesome: Sombra had conquered Tartarus by chapter three.
  • Oh, Crap!: Pan, upon realizing that he and Luna had been been drinking wine laced with Love Poison.
  • Precision P Strike: Pan screaming the word Pluck at the top of his lungs.
    • Likewise, Celestia after learning what the love poison would require Luna to do over the course of the next year.
  • Shout-Out: The list of things Ruggiero has fought includes carebears, and a mutated loaf of bread.
  • Time Travel: Combined with Alternate Universe.
    • Crops up again several times in the story, including when Morning Glory and Nannette Cream Pie, two members of the future timeline's elements of harmony, show up.
  • Training from Hell: Ruggiero's father had him fight monsters five times a day, every day. Sometimes either blindfolded or with his claws bound. Or both. And a couple of times while on fire.
  • Trapped in Villainy: Nopony, the aide of Scarlet Wake. He deeply regrets the fact that his ancestor swore allegiance to his master's ancestor, and due to the antiquated rules set by the feudal society of the time, he cannot turn against his master, not simply because his master would hurt those he loves, but because there's every chance that he would go to prison, rather than his master. This is one of the first revelations that shows that something is very, very wrong in the Crystal Empire.
    • This is also a recurring theme in the author's other fics featuring changelings: The majority of the race lives in fear of their aristocracy. Given that said aristocracy is comprised of the direct descendants of The Circle it is quite understandable.
  • Utopia Justifies the Means: The founders of The Circle, the villains of the story, created their organization in order to ensure that Equestria would never be attacked again by an outside force. To that end, they employ users of dark magic, necromancers, and even a cannibal, all for the sake of ensuring the safety of Equestrians everywhere.
  • Wham Episode: The chapter PREPARE FOR UNFORESEEN CONSEQUENCES. Up until this point, a number of readers had commented upon the fact that everything had been going Pan's way and that nothing bad was likely to ever happen to him. Since, by the end of this chapter, Pen Stroke the royal chancellor is nearly dead, Pan is trapped in a stupor brought about by the horrible trauma of his brother's brutal murder years before, and both Luna and Celestia were at a loss for how to fix this, readers promptly quit saying that.
  • Xanatos Speed Chess: The Gambit Pileup caused by the three factions (Pan, Winter, and The Circle) as well as the involvement of several Wild Cards (Ruggiero, Summer, Sombra.) involves plans that have been in motion for several years now, or in Pan's case, were concocted one thousand years in an alternate future. As a result, the conflict went down in history nearly unanimously as the Three Day War.
  • Year Inside, Hour Outside: Time passes much slower in Tartarus [[spoiler: Giving Sombra ample time to take it over for himself, and cool his head for a few millennia, leading to a heel face turn.]

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