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A Crystal Question by MLP-Silver-Quill A Crystal Question by MLP-Silver-Quill
My eyes! These hole-riddled limbs do nothing!

I went into the season 3 premier with a lot of reservations. Chief amongst them was that the Crystal Empire wouldn't amount to much beyond the obvious toy sale pitch.

Watching the teasers didn't help. When Celestia explained the Empire's power, the first question that popped into my head was why Equestria would need such a thing. Just send Pinkie Pie on a country-wide tour. You'd go deaf from all the parties!

But I watched the premier and enjoyed it. While not my favorite episodes, they were well done and I enjoyed the world building. And after some reflection I answered my own question while establishing a bit of headcanon and the premise for this comic.

Special thanks go to :iconbeckiergb: and :iconjessicat0: for their excellent stain glass windows. All other backgrounds are products of my own vectors.

Special fonts come courtesy of fontspace.

This will likely be my last comic of 2012. Which isn't saying much since 2013 is only a week and a half away. Still, I'll think back on this year as when I entered the MLP community as a comic artist and was overwhelmed by the support and encouragement of the fan base. Thanks for everything and happy holidays!

Update Dang, those folks at Equestria Daily work fast. I was going to submit this when I got home, but I find I've been featured with several fun comics. (I'm hoping I'm one of the two comics that made Sethisto laugh aloud).

Thank you to all the folks who posted comments and added this to their favorites and collections. It's a real treat!
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Israel42 Featured By Owner Nov 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
thumbs up best idea ever =w= 
BestF Featured By Owner Oct 19, 2015
ladyblackbird13 Featured By Owner Sep 25, 2015
Hurhur! :evillaugh:
fractalvariation Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015
Skyilere Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2015
Um........... a thousand years ago,the Empire was under Sombra,and a thousand years ago,ponies were happy under the rule of Celestia. -.-
MLP-Silver-Quill Featured By Owner Sep 11, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Who said anything about a thousand years ago? This only says, "in darker times".

See MLP staff? I can be vague about the timeline too!
Skyilere Featured By Owner Edited Sep 12, 2015
I never said anything about your comic. Celestia~ said a "thousand years ago" in the episode... if I remembered correctly. -.-
MLP-Silver-Quill Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
So the Empire ended 1,000 years ago. Which really does make that the most active year in all of Equestrian history.

But we don't know how long the Empire has been active or the role it's served in the past. :)
Skyilere Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2015
I think I was just nitpicking. I don't remember stuff so accurately after sleeping. 
FlairTheDark Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Student Artist
O.o wow.
I REALLY shoulda seen this coming.
AgentCAW Featured By Owner Aug 19, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This reminds me of Bugs Life.
Bright-Elf-Boy Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2015
the changelings are mere insects in the face of the Crystal Empire.
Jareksobinski Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2015
I find something weird about Chrysalis. She is basiclly a succubus that feeds on love. Shouldn't Cadance and Shining Armor's "love wave" give her power than?
Dragonlover1986 Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2015
Consider this: if love is like a sandwich, and it gets bigger the more there is...

Would you be able to deal with a 20-layers-sandwich being blasted into your face?
Skyilere Featured By Owner Sep 12, 2015
Eat it. 
Jareksobinski Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015
Another dude on youtube came up with hamburger example. Comparing energy to matter is a bad explanation.
Dragonlover1986 Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015
Do you know a better example then?
Jareksobinski Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2015
I've got nothing. I find the ending to that episode phony. Creature that feeds on love, was defeatedby love.
Flimflanboy Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Wreck-it Ralph reference FTW.
meluvcheese22 Featured By Owner Jul 8, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
DiscordantPrincess Featured By Owner Jul 5, 2015
LOLOLOL, the bug zapper bit was the best.
Anti-Viruse Featured By Owner Jun 26, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
sleepystarspider Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2015
Mmm charred changeling.
OtakuDanny Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconpatrickplz:: Oooo...pretty lights!
CreativeQ Featured By Owner May 10, 2015
😅😅😅😅😅😅 silver's comedy never fails meh!
BananasDontStopMeh Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I get the refence.
grisador Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015
İts funny yes but when secondly think about it... kinda 'sad' :/
RoseDragon1 Featured By Owner Apr 21, 2015
(Insert picture of Snips and Snails joining in!)
CrackedTrack Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
i find this kind of dark. i mean chrysalis did have the best reason of any mlp villain to attack, what if her changelings were suffering a famine and they needed to think of something quick? that would explain the rushed plan and then it seems that it's the ponies who are bad guys in that case. just my headcannon... god my mind is a horrible place.
corperalking Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2015
my headcannon too, and I'm a pacifistic marshmallow who reads mostly comedy and dáww fics...

I'm also insane, tho.
ImaginaryPicture Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is the beacon and the changeling things are reference to Wreck- It Ralph?
mlpartsisters Featured By Owner Feb 18, 2015
I love this
Kenzelli Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Perfect use!
Maruraba Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
The comic itself if well-drawn and hilarious, but the extra touches like the shadow of Discord and the sunglasses and ESPECIALLY the light shining through Queen Chrysalis' legs are what really make this comic work for me.
Nimaru Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
StardustLive5 Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2015
trollduck2001 Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2015  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
toonbat Featured By Owner Jan 2, 2015  Professional Traditional Artist
Light shining through Chrissy's leg holes.  Nice!
bugsbunnyfan123 Featured By Owner Dec 21, 2014  Student Writer
when you mentioned the becon and when the changelings flew into the light it reminded me of wreck it ralph but anyway great pic btw i made a new story called litwak high so yeah
DungeonBrony Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2014  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
LOL Wink/Razz 
SterileRitalin Featured By Owner Nov 23, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Insect royalty and large fire-like pillars do not mix

if you get the refrence you get 400 internets
bh18 Featured By Owner Nov 20, 2014
That's why we haven't seen the changelings!
rnko26 Featured By Owner Nov 17, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
headcannon for the win
FireheartTheInferno Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Bahahaha! Brilliant! xD

This reminds me of this scene from A Bug's Life:
& the finale of Wreck-It Ralph:
rollingthunder75 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2014
That's right for all the wrong reasons.
dayle14 Featured By Owner Oct 22, 2014
ok that's funny
kysoshadowblast Featured By Owner Oct 17, 2014  Student General Artist
this is something from wreck it ralph :P
Fujin777 Featured By Owner Oct 15, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
Bugs Life for the win!
MagicMan001 Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2014

I definitely do have to give credit to a dark, absurd comic when I see one! Nice job, mate!


Now having looked over some of the comments below, well… this is in response to one of your older comments in your replies with CommanderEX:


"Let me preface this by stating that I don't think the ponies in the show would ever do something like this. Part of the humor is based on absurdity. 

But I do want to point out that the Changelings started the aggression with abduction, impersonation, and brainwashing. They then attempted to conquer the entire kingdom. And if we consider IDW comic book to be canon, then we get to see just what the Changelings do to a love-filled race, which is surprisingly dark. So I can't feel any sympathy to a species that seems to possess a bottomless hunger and never gives anything. I don't think they'd ever agree to a compromise without trying to drain Equestria dry of all positive emotions.


…Unfortunately, the show has only shown the Changeling horde as villains. I might have thought them less evil if they didn't seem to be enjoying terrorizing ponies during the invasion. Too many smiles. As for the Changeling who honored Pinkie... well, it's Pinkie Pie. I don't anything could say no to that enthusiasm!  

My hope is that we learn that they were a more peaceful race, but something corrupted them and forced them to feed on love. But for now I can't give a show of sympathy until we see if there's more to them."


Well, I honestly think the main problem with the fandom and Chrysalis and the changelings is that so many of us have become SO hung up on the idea of them being misunderstood, innocent woobies that they cannot see as anything but. Devout changeling fanboys end up one: simply excusing/handwaving anything bad the changelings do, and two: get outraged if anyone dares do anything to ‘hurt’ their ‘poor, pwecious changelings’, even when it’s clearly done in an absurd, dark joke that’s not meant to be taken seriously. I myself am quite the changeling fanboy, but understand when a joke is a joke (I especially do love dark, absurdest humor) and I honestly do agree changelings are not the blameless innocents apologists paint them as.


It’s actually a good thing you mentioned the IDW comics, because it’s funny how some fans whine about ‘Changeling genocide’, yet that’s exactly what Chrysalis’ Army did to an ENTIRE RACE! It’s pretty much like if the changelings do it it’s perfectly excusable, but if anybody even thinks of doing something remotely similar back to them, “Shaaame!” Talk about double-standards.


Now yeah, I would personally love for changelings who are guys to be shown in the show or comics, but can understand that the chances of that actually happening aren’t that great. The sad thing is, the writers clearly designed and portrayed them so far to be seen as the faceless horde of Always Chaotic Evil mooks who we’re not expected to sympathize with. And Chrysalis is certainly not meant to be seen as this martyring crybaby bewailing “I just wanted to feed my people! Feel sorry for MEEE!”, but rather a ruthless, blood-thirsty, battle-hardened Amazon-like Warrior Queen bent on conquest. I’m starting to think a lot of fans love the changelings more for what they want them to be rather than what they are.


They’re just simply not meant to be the Fire Nation or the Klingons, however much I’d love them to. And all we’ve currently got in hopes of that are the countless apologist fics that reduce them to victimized, self-loathing woobies, whilst simultaneously demonizing pony-kind as their “evil, fascist oppressors, especially Celestia!’


… wow, I’ve really gone off on a tangent. Sorry about that.

alexwarlorn Featured By Owner Jan 7, 2015
Is Chrysalis evil? YES SHE'S EVIL! I just think it's bad writing to have every single changeling alive evil.

A tumblr webcomic I like (I will NOT say which one, nor will I answer if asked), had Celestia sentence all changelings to be found in Equestria to life in the dungeon without trial. That is NOT Celestia!!!!!!
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Submitted on
December 18, 2012
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