A My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan novel in which a young sapient wolf finds himself trapped among ponies, disguised as a pony, in an Equestria on the brink of paranoia after the Changeling attack on Canterlot, and hence alerted to the possibility of non-ponies disguised as ponies. Add in angry ponies hunting for the 'murderous wolf', an angrier dragon looking for the lupine thief who stole from his hoard, jumpy Changelings fighting for survival, lecherous griffins, and a blackmailing baby dragon, and what seems to be a magical attempt to destroy all shapeshifters in Equestria, and things get crazy fast.
Also has a completed sequel: Manehattan Madness, involving both Rarity's appearance at the Manehattan Spring Fashion Show, and her 'model' Queen Vespid's efforts to locate stray Changelings who lost their hives to Chrysalis' attack in the hopes of fending off any other would-be conquering Hive Queens. How unfortunate that there just happens to be one living incognito in Manehattan.
Another sequel, called Ardi's Return, has Ardi return to Ponyville, announcing the return of the Crystal Empire as well as needing some clothes for the resulting ball, with a suggestion from Celestia to see Rarity. The same pony he impersonated. It goes downhill from there. Again.
A prequel titled First Contact, which shows Ardi's first interaction with Fluttershy, is also available to read.
Tropes appearing in the stories include:
- Action Prologue: The story begins with our protagonist, Ardi, running through the Everfree Forest literally a few steps ahead of an angry fire-breathing dragon. Happily for Ardi, he soon escapes from the immediate menace.
- Abhorrent Admirer: The griffin Slitclaw would certainly count. He gets aroused by 'Rarity's' ability to pack meat away and immediately starts hitting on 'her'. Fortunately Spike comes to the rescue.
- Adorably Precocious Child: The Cutie Mark Crusaders play an important role in the first half of the tale.
- Ain't Too Proud to Beg: Queen Vespid doesn't hesitate for one second to outright grovel for Celestia to have mercy on her Hive.
- Attractive Bent-Gender / Attractive Bent Species: Both of these happen to the poor fool of a wolf when he ends up inside the magical Rarity costume.
- Awakening the Sleeping Giant: What Queen Chrysalis did by attacking Canterlot, much to the dismay of hidden non-Ponies Ardi and Hive Vespid, who only want to be left alone.
- Bad Powers, Bad People: Equestria's opinion of the Changelings, due both to how creepy are their abilities (Shapeshifting Emotion Eating, and Empathy used to seek out food); and to Queen Chrysalis' recent massive and unprovoked attack. This is untrue of Changelings as a whole. Queen Chrysalis was unusually and irrationally aggressive, and was at least as dangerous to other Changeling Hives as she was to the Equestrians. Most Changeling Hives simply hide and try to gather up emotions; they avoid hurting Ponies because they know that if they did so they would only attract attention and invite retribution from magically-powerful beings who massively outnumber them.
- Bad Powers, Good People: Hive Vespid has existed under Canterlot for many centuries without harming the Ponies, and this is apparently the norm for Changeling Hives. It is the megalomaniacal Queen Chrysalis who has inexplicably decided to make war on Equestria, not the Changeling species as a whole.
- Baleful Polymorph: Ardi's disguise as a Pony keeps the hunters from realizing he's a Wolf. Unfortunately, he's not just disguised as any Pony. He's disguised as Rarity, who is locally-famous and nationally-known. And he can't just shed the disguise: it's enchanted to stay on him.
- Bee Afraid: How Ardi manages to escape the first hunt by the Apples. He runs right through a couple of beehives to throw off pursuit.
- Disguised in Maresuit
- Dressing as the Enemy: How Ardi hides in Ponyville. He means to only do it for a short while, but ...
- Fantastic Racism: Ponies...don't like wolves very much. When Ardi is spotted in the initial chase scene, a massive mob of angry ponies is soon on his tail, and it's strongly implied that everypony in the mob (even Applejack and Rainbow Dash!) want to straight-up kill Ardi, not just catch him. And of course, there's the paranoia about Changelings.
- Subverted in the climax: Celestia and the Mane Six are horrified when Queen Vespid reveals that she thought they planned to exterminate all Changelings, and there's a re-opening of Equestrian relations with remaining wolf-packs in the closing chapters.
- Fantasy Counterpart Culture: Aloe and Lotus, the Spa Twins, hail from Stalliongrad, their accents are pseudo-Russian, they refer to Russian folk myth tropes and creatures (rusalki, zmei/Russian dragons, and myths of ferocious wolf attacks), and they get bent out of shape by the word nekulturny.
- Fiery Redhead: Apple Bloom, convinced at first meeting that Ardi wants to eat her, responds by kicking him in the head. And biting him. Ardi is even impressed at her courage and ferocity in doing this.
- From Bad to Worse: Much of the plot, from Ardi's point of view.
- Ardi goes through the same thing in Ardi's Return.
- Full-Body Disguise: Ardi does this to hide from angry ponies. It works all too well.
- Humiliation Conga: Two examples in this story:
- First is Ardi himself, who goes from being chased by a dragon to being hunted by the Ponyville ponies to being trapped inside the mare-suit. And he gets hits hit on by a lecherous griffin. And after all that things get even worse.
- Blueblood comes in for this in the second half of the story, starting with him getting seduced and punched out by Queen Vespid, getting sent on a fear-driven race through the royal palace, and finally having to give his OWN palace to Hive Vespid for a place to stay.
- Imagine Spot: Ardi frequently has terrified daydreams about what the ponies may do to him if he's discovered. The fates somehow manage to be both hilarious (in how over-the-top they are), and terrifying (considering what he imagines ''Celestia'' in particular doing to him).
- Loser Protagonist: Describes Ardi at the start of the tale - he's an outcast being hunted by a dragon. Soon, he's an outcast also being hunted by all Ponyville. Fortunately, things eventually improve for him. After first getting much worse.
- Poor Communication Kills: Within his first few minutes of entering Ponyville, Ardi has managed to not only convince the Cutie Mark Crusaders he was trying to eat them, he has (far more dangerously) managed to convince Applejack and Big Mac that he was trying to eat their little sister Apple Bloom. This leads to the most Bad Ass Family in Ponyville leading the hunt for Ardi.
- Prince Charmless: Who else but Blueblood, of course, He tries to help his 'auntie' Celestia by leaking news about their plans for the Changelings to the press. Unfortunately, this includes a shapeshifted Queen Vespid, giving her the wrong idea about what Celestia plans to do.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: From Celestia's story in the end chapter, it seems the ponies were this back in the day, to the point of looking to Celestia as something of a war goddess, as implied by bringing her a captured griffon as a sacrifice when she visited a colony a few centuries back. Celestia had to work to ween these tendencies out, and repair inter-species relations over the years.
- Red Baron: Ardi refers to Princess Celestia as "The Burning Queen" for much of the story. Said name is for a near-demonic figure in Lupine mythology and culture In-Universe...that also happens to be Celestia.
- He also calls Luna "Nightmare Moon", much to her annoyance.
- Would Eat A Filly: What Applejack and Big Mac along with the CMC think Ardi is up to when they first meet him. They're wrong, but he gets little chance to explain.