For our lore we have determined that Changelings have separate hives that all have different ways of doing things – somewhat like individual nations. Recently, a hive just to the west of Roanoak was rather abruptly left without its queen (a long story) – and in true “love and tolerate” fashion we have taken in the drones.
A sort of Ponified “District 9” thing.
The difficulty here is everypony has a different measure for “love and tolerate”, and as such there has been some political strife.
It turns out that the Drones can be quite individualistic when they are separated from their Queen – and while many of them are quite happy to live amongst us and draw sustenance from the ambient emotions of the citizenry – there seem to be a group of them that are still quite loyal to their fallen Queen… And appear to be actively seeking to undermine the Roanoak crown…
Espionage and blackmail are complicated, dirty affairs – but when your opponent can look like anypony, it makes things quite a bit more complicated.
And it makes ponies very, very paranoid.
In this regard Roanoak is enacting the “Changeling Registry”, a mandatory identification law that requires Changelings to be registered. Registered changelings are given an amulet that they must wear which has a unique signature based on the changelings individual magical 'signature' – so no matter the form they wear, they can be identified - and the amulet only works for the Changeling it is attuned to. Changelings found not wearing the amulet are detained until proper identification is established.
The scene here is Imperious discussing the Registry with the Empress and trying to explain to her that, while the political ramifications are ‘complex’, it is required from a guard perspective. The map he is displaying is our world map, and he is showing the Empress the tactical things the Changelings did to get into Equestria and more specifically Canterlot… This is to illustrate the danger of unknown rogue agents in our midst to the Empress, who does not fully back this Registry idea…
Queens, apparently, are created when needed, and a recent complication in this arc is that a new Queen has been found amidst the local Changelings. She is a possible third faction to contend with as many of them begin to follow her.
It is certainly never dull in Roanoak.