Zecora (Friendship is Magic)
|Friendship is Magic character|
Zecora grew up in Zebrat, the capital of her homeland of Farasi. Like her future friend Twilight Sparkle, Zecora was a rather introverted child, spending more time reading than playing games. That changed when she befriended another young Zebra, Marini, and her Abada and Kelpie playmates Cactus Rose, Crystal, Dust Devil, and Medley Brook. The six youngsters grew close, and enjoyed such activities as Ogres & Oubliettes LARPing. They were also classmates under the tutelage of Ms. Alegre, one of whose lessons would later irrevocably alter Zecora's life.
Upon hearing that Zebras, unlike Abada and Kelpies, possessed no magical abilities or potential, Zecora became determined to gain magical skills. She studied the subject ravenously, and was surprised to learn of Mage Meadowbrook, who defied Alegre's statements that only Unicorns could learn magic. Zecora also took to speaking almost entirely in rhyme, having apparently learned that it was typical language for spells. This was to the chagrin of her five friends, whose responses to her aspirations varied but in general expressed little or no hope that she could achieve her goals. As Zecora later recalled, they would often tease her; eventually, Zecora left home with no intention of ever returning.
It's unknown when Zecora moved into the Everfree Forest, but when she did, she was not at all welcomed due to her strange (to the neighboring Ponyville ponies) appearance and choice of residence. Rumors also circus that she was an Enchantress who practiced Dark Magic. However, Zecora was apparently unaware of their reaction and the unease she generated, simply believing that the shops in town always happened to be closed whenever she came to visit. Despite this, she continued to enter the town, exploring while the ponies hid away from her.
Things changed after Twilight Sparkle became a Ponyville resident and had the chance to see Zecora from a distance. Twilight was able to identify her as a Zebra, whereas her friends had always mistaken her for a strange Pony. Apple Bloom, inspired by Twilight's attempts to reason with the others, decided to approach Zecora, only to be stopped by the older Ponies just before walking into a patch of Poison Joke. Spotting them, Zecora attempted to warm the group about the plants, but her words were mistaken for hostility.
The next day, when the Mane Six were all afflicted with the effects of the Poison Joke, even Twilight began to believe Zecora had cursed them. Apple Bloom, feeling responsible for the whole affair, sought out Zecora and learned the truth of the matter. Zecora quickly agreed to produce a cure for the afflicted Ponies, and Apple Bloom eagerly acted as her assistant. However, the older Ponies arrived at Zecora's hut while Apple Bloom was away gathering ingredients. As Zecora made a remark about the temperature of her cure and wondered about Apple Bloom's return, they misunderstood her words as intent to make soup out of the younger Pony.
Twilight and the others broke into the hut to confront Zecora, spilling her cauldron in the process. Their accusations roused Zecora's anger, but Apple Bloom appeared and soon joined Zecora in laughing at what the older Ponies had believed was Zecora's intent. The two soon straightened things out, with Zecora explaining that the “evil chanting” and unusual decor of her home were a nursery rhyme and traditional objects from her homeland. Shamefacedly, Twilight was even informed that the recipe for the cure came from Supernaturals, a book she herself owned but had dismissed because of its title.
As a new batch of cure required an herb only to be found in Ponyville, the eight new friends returned together. Twilight and the others soon convinced their neighbors of Zecora's true character, and she was able to produce the cure at the Ponyville Day Spa. Zecora was soon a welcome member of the community, with Twilight in particular seeking her out on occasion. These visits included an unsuccessful search for help with an infestation of Parasprites, and a planned visit while Twilight was on the Everfree Forest on business.
Zecora's friendship with the Ponies grew to the point where she took part in celebrating Nightmare Night, dressed as a witch doctor and using her magic to enhance her narrative about Nightmare Moon. However, she and her new friends were soon treated to an unexpected visit by Princess Luna, the former Nightmare Moon herself. Unfortunately, her efforts to mingle with her subjects and lack of understanding regarding the holiday eventually drove her to decree its cancellation. Zecora, seeming to make the best of things, led the young Ponies of Ponyville back to the Nightmare Moon statue to make what looked to be a final traditional offering of candy to the feared figure. Fortunately, this led into a happy reconciliation, with Luna reversing her earlier decree and joining Ponyville's festivities once again.
On another occasion, Zecora helped Apple Bloom repair a chipped tooth resulting from the young filly's latest attempt to receive her Cutie Mark. Zecora encourages her young friend to be patient, and informed her that even her potions could not speed up the process. However, after hearing Zecora explain her plans to help a rooster using the Heart's Desire plant, Apple Bloom sneaked some for her own consumption. Deducing the theft and its inevitable consequence of Cutie Pox, Zecora headed to Ponyville with some Seeds of Truth, the only known cure. Finding Ponyville's streets empty, she briefly suspected the residents had come to fear her again.
However, the matter was soon explained-and Zecora's suspicions confirmed-by Twilight, who with her friends had been on their way to Zecora for help. Planting the seeds, she explained their nature, and Apple Bloom soon admitted to her misdeeds. Zecora accepted her apology warmly, assuring Apple Bloom that her error in judgment would not make her an unwelcome guest. Zecora may have had cause to reconsider, as the Cutie Mark Crusaders soon decided to try their hooves at making potions.
Twilight later came to Zecora for help as Spike was experiencing growth spurts and hoarding tendencies. Zecora quickly deduced it as premature maturation provoked by feelings of greed. She then warned Twilight to put a stop to his collecting before he became a massive menace-only to discover that he had cleaned out her hut while she was speaking. In another incident, Pinkie Pie greeted Zecora while she was in town the day after her birthday.
Zecora later took Twilight in after she was driven out of Ponyville by Trixie Lulamoon, who had defeated her in a magic duel. Despite Twilight's account of Trixie's powers, Zecora was confident she could train Twilight to defeat her. Their efforts soon began, but Twilight struggled to concentrate, still baffled by Trixie's skill. When Fluttershy arrived with news that Trixie wielded the Alicorn Amulet, Zecora advised a distraught Twilight to meet the obstacle with a resource Trixie lacked: her friends. Zecora later took charge of the Alicorn Amulet after Trixie was tricked into exchanging it for one of Zecora's own doorstops.
On another occasion, Zecora was in town shopping when she observed Spike struggling to cope with the pets of the Mane Six: Angel Bunny, Gummy, Opalescence, Owloicious, Tank, and Winona. Thinking that Spike was once again indulging in greed, she convinced him to hand over one of the gems he had received in payment. She then donated it to the Filly Guides, much to his dismay. Despite this, Spike later suggested going to Zecora for help after Twilight's friends had their Cutie Marks switched by a spell written by Starswirl the Bearded.
Zecora later attended Summer Wrap-Up, where she encountered and walked with Big McIntosh. Running into him again later and finding him disgruntled, she helped him see that he had more reasons to be happy than he had considered. With her assistance, he was able to relax and truly enjoy the event. Unfortunately, another visit to Ponyville proved less pleasant, as Zecora fled Plunderseed Vines overtaking the Everfree Forest and the rest of Equestria. Seeking to uncover the cause, she gave Twilight a potion that could only be activated by her newly gained Alicorn Magic.
When a first dose of the potion failed to provide answers, Zecora urged Twilight to drink again. From this second vision, Twilight determined that the key to saving Equestria lay within the forest, and Zecora remained behind as the Mane Six and Spike entered it. Later, Zecora had the Half-Gilded Horseshoe, which had passed into her care by unknown means, stolen from her by Braze, a villainous fellow Zebra. She traveled to Ponyville and asked Rainbow Dash to prevent the horseshoe from being put to evil use. Rainbow later retrieved the Half-Gilded Horseshoe, which she presumably returned to Zecora.
Fluttershy later brought Big Mac to Zecora in hopes that she could cure his lost voice. Zecora had some medication, but it couldn’t get Big Mac back to normal in time to perform with the Pony Tones. When Fluttershy bemoaned their lack of a deep voiced singer to replace him, Zecora was amused, and reminded Fluttershy of how she had been affected by Poison Joke. She then produced a potion to replicate the effect, allowing Fluttershy-from backstage-to sing while Big Mac acted as though his voice was recovered. The truth was later discovered, with Applejack correctly guessing at Zecora's involvement.
Big events and chaotic encounters
Zecora was later present when Twilight opened the doors of her new Castle of Friendship to the denizens of Ponyville. Some time afterwards, Fluttershy went to Zecora for help after her animal friends began speaking Ponish. She arrived just in time to witness an explosion, caused by Zecora mixing up some measurements in her latest potion. After hearing of Fluttershy's plight, Zecora strive to determine exactly what was going on. Eventually, she managed to trick a pair of cats into speaking to her.
Zecora tracked down a wandering Fluttershy, and arrived as the talking animals threw her a party in gratitude for her kindness. Discord appeared and revealed himself as the reason for the animals gaining the power of speech. As Fluttershy enjoyed herself, Zecora and Discord-apparently acquainted with each other-discussed the matter. Discord assured Zecora the he would return the animals to normal, and expressed his genuine desire to be Fluttershy's friend. He couldn’t, however, resist a crack at Zecora's rhyming speech.
When Cranky Doodle Donkey and Matilda were married, Zecora was among the guests at the ceremony. Discord's antics later affected her again when Twilight, believing he had bewitched the rest of the Mane Six, asked Zecora for an antidote. Though skeptical of Twilight's suspicions, Zecora gave her a potion; she also confessed to Spike that one cooking in her cauldron at the time was purely for visual effect. In an alternate timeline created by the actions of Starlight Glimmer, Zecora's counterpart served as leader of a village on the Everfree Forest. Back in the proper timeline, Zecora was among the attendees of the first Winter Moon Festival, and helped deal with the unexpected appearance of a Tarax Hippo.
On another occasion, Spike came to Zecora for help after Ponyville's residents fell ill. Employing various safety measures, including a friendly bird named Avery, Zecora accompanied Spike into town. As they examined the sick, they determined that only ponies seemed to be affected, with animals and Spike showing no symptoms. After Zecora was sneezed on by Fluttershy and remained healthy, it appeared as though she too were immune.
As the two worked together, a sense of comradery developed through both of them being different from their pony friends and neighbors, as well as separated from others of their respective species. In the process of trying to find a cure, Zecora fell ill, and Spike determined that both she and the ponies had eaten contaminated hay. He was thus able to assist the Canterlot Disease Corps in restoring everyone, including Zecora, to health. Grateful for their shared adventure, he and Zecora determined to spend more time together.
On another occasion, Zecora supervised the Cutie Mark Crusaders as they experimented with potions, only for Scootaloo and Sweetie Belle to cause some minor explosions. She later observed as Rainbow Dash unwittingly spread a Dreary epidemic around Ponyville, before intervening by sending in Rainbow's pet tortoise Tank. The Cutie Mark Crusaders later sought her out for help when the Mane Six were corrupted by Dark Water. Zecora returned to Ponyville with them, where they joined up with Spike and Princess Luna. Learning that Spike had been unaffected by the Dark Water, Zecora determined that he might be key to developing a cure. 
Using Spike's scales, Zecora created a working antidote, which was soon used to reverse the Dark Water effects on all of Ponyville. She later examined the Darkwater Springs, and determined that their effects were the result of magical pollution, which she counteracted with a potion. Fortunately, not all of her encounters with the Crusaders would prove so harrowing; on another day they introduced her to new friend Gabby, a Griffon who helped Zecora with one of her brews.
Mysteries and mayhem
Zecora is mature, kind, forgiving and benevolent. Zecora has the uncanny ability to rhyme just about anything, and exclusively speaks in it. Zecora often acts as a mentor figure to those younger than her, teaching them not only about Zebra Magic, but also guiding them through life. Over the course of her stay in Ponyville, Zecora has displayed amazing levels of patience and understanding. Even when she was ostracized, had her hut thrashed and was treated like a villain, she found it in her heart to forgive those who believed her to be evil. Similarly to Twilight, Zecora is extremely intelligent with a mastery over both science and magic, though unlike Twilight, Zecora's scientific know-how seems to be mostly based around medical work.
Zecora has become a close personal friend to most of Ponyville, but has become particularly close with Apple Bloom and Twilight Sparkle, both of whom often look to her for advice and help. Zecora has also become close friends with Spike as they both know how it feels to be the odd one out, given them being different species then their loved ones.
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