|Parlys the Pale|
|Residence|| Crystal Empire|
|Nicknames|| The Pale One|
|Inspiration|| En Sabah Nur|
Mastery of many schools of magic
Confinement by magical portrait
|Theme||Yuga's Acquisition (A Link Between Worlds)|
- "But you've got some fight in you too... Shame. I wish you'd model for me, but if you won't offer me your beauty, I will have to take it."
- — Parlys to Lady Justice
Parlys the Pale is a mysterious "hybrid changeling" and formerly the court mage of the changeling royal family. For generations, he entertained and aided the kings and queens of the horde with his sorcery, and he observed their power struggles for just as long. Were his position and his appearance not so ignoble, he would have been suspected of pulling strings long ago.
It is said that a changeling soldier of forgotten days found the foal Parlys in the dust, alone and exposed. He was a bizarre creature with shrunken wings and a ghastly coloration, but he appeared to be a changeling nonetheless. The soldier turned the creature over to the slave drivers, who raised him and then put him under the yoke. When Parlys reached adulthood, his talents began to show; he was a masterful diviner and an even more masterful painter. The pale changeling soon made his way into service to the royal family, where his remarkable skills earned him an enviable reputation (for a slave). Since then, he has been a close friend to many kings and queens, including the infamous Queen Chrysalis. Although his wings are shrunken and deformed, the magician has transformed his chitinous backside into a cape to conceal them.
Parlys acquired the greater part of his magical knowledge and expertise during the reign of King Ariovystis, who permitted him to travel as he pleased. During this time, he encountered the unicorn wizard René Hayscartes, the Umbrum shadow ponies of the frozen north, and other strange magic-users. Parlys learned their ways and thus became the first true changeling wizard. However, the fascinating rumor of the Inspiration Manifestation spell drove him to roam Equestria for years longer than he originally intended, ironically inspiring his mission to rid the world of all ugliness. Although he has given up his quest for the spell book, he longs for the power its myth promised.
Over the eons, Parlys has managed to piece together most of his history. He believes that the ancestors of Queen Chrysalis's changelings were once subjugated by an analogously evolved race of super-changelings, who were superior to their thralls in every respect. According to but one fragmented tablet, the queen of this bygone empire had an affair with a lesser creature—the scarce and ambiguous traces of the fallen civilization suggest either a pony or one of the slaves—and hid the misshapen foal begotten from this union deep underground. Almost immediately afterward, a pestilence struck the empire and annihilated the conquerors, allowing the inferior changelings to roam free and establish their own hive. Not being a true member of the ancient race, the half-breed Parlys survived the plague and desolation. Only years later, after the original thralls themselves had gone extinct, did the new horde discover the pallid foal stumbling through the sand.
Parlys is a flamboyant, epicene, and vain changeling who treasures beauty above all else. His "survival of the prettiest" philosophy permits him to loathe all that he finds inferior to himself in appearance, and he takes it upon himself to beautify the world around him by eliminating imperfections. However, when he comes across any creature whom he finds truly stunning, he transforms it into a painting for safekeeping. He would sooner see a creature imprisoned forever than subject to aging. Parlys finds himself a paragon of pulchritude, and thus few are safe from his wrath when he is provoked.
Although Parlys prefers a considerable level of artistic license, he is well accustomed to taking orders from the likes of his queen. Provided that his power, skill, and dramatic flair are respected, he is capable of operating on a team with the utmost proficiency.
Parlys loathed the royal family by the time Chrysalis came to be, so much so that he spitefully dropped the foal on her head when no one was watching. For the greater part of Chrysalis's life, Parlys played the faithful servant and stayed on her sunnier side (relatively speaking). However, when her power began to wane, Parlys seized the opportunity to overthrow her. During her third diplomatic trip to Canterlot, Parlys appeared with a cohort of changeling behemoths and transformed both the horrified Queen Chrysalis and the ignorant Princess Luna into paintings. Chrysalis was heartbroken by this betrayal (again relatively speaking), but he felt no remorse as he struck down his queen and collected her portrait.
Parlys the Pale seems to regard Discord with antipathy and a grudging measure of respect. The spirit of chaos has proven a constant obstacle in his quest for the most beautiful ponies alive, driving him away from Princess Twilight and nearly saving Princess Cadance from his pursuit. Discord's chaos magic is ironically the most reliable countermeasure against the painter's powers, as the draconequus can easily remove Parlys from walls and forcibly teleport him away from his targets. Discord claims that Parlys manages both to "amuse and horrify" him.
Parlys has encountered Dazzling Light on numerous occasions and bested her on several. Dazzling despises him for his pursuit of the princesses and once vowed to destroy him after he imprisoned Princess Cadance. Parlys, however, never pays her much attention and considers her unworthy of his paint. Ultimately, she was instrumental in his defeat, when Captain Orbit used the force of gravity to strike him with his own portrait spell.
Though the two have never spoken, Parlys considers Princess Amore, who was petrified and shattered by King Sombra in the distant past, a vital symbol of his mission to preserve beauty in Equestria and beyond. Over the years, he has gathered several shards of the Crystal princess, but he has yet to come close to reassembling her in her entirety. Parlys believes Amore is a victim of an ugly and flawed world's cruelty and occasionally defends his goal as justice for the likes of her.