The campaign setting for “Pathfinder Equestria” is a parallel universe to the canonical MLP universe called Equestria II. Most things about Equestria II are similar to the canonical Equestria, referred to here on out as Equestria Prime, with a few major exceptions.
The world of Equestria II followed a divergent path from the show, as of season 3’s finale. Ascending to Alicorn-hood, Twilight Sparkle became Princess of Magic, and the Archmage of Equestria. Celestia and Luna advised her reign for the first few years, but when they decided she was ready to face the challenge of governing Equestria alone, they disappeared, leaving only a prophesy that a time of great conflict was approaching.
Ruling a united Equestria in a time of prosperity and peace, Twilight made changes to the central Equestrian government that would strengthen their country. Since her ascension as an Alicorn, Twilight was able to use all six Elements of Harmony on her own but preferred to allow her five closest friends to retain them as badges of office, signifying them as Equestria’s champions against evil.
Twilight offered her friends key positions in the New Equestrian Government, as part of reforms that would balance the power of the monarchy and involve more of the vox populi. Applejack continued to live at Sweet Apple Acres and run the business there, but retained the position of “Royal Councilor” to the Princess whenever she needed good, honest advice.
Rainbow Dash achieved her goal of joining the Wonderbolts, and with a mandate from Twilight helped to turn them into a better military air force, instead of mainly a demonstration team. She holds the title “General Rainbow Dash”, but prefers “Captain of the Wonderbolts” instead.
Fluttershy expanded her animal preserve on the edge of the Everfree forest into a full-blown animal sanctuary, and having finally found her assertive side, has been granted the title of “Grand Warden”, tasked with keeping the monsters and creatures in the depths of the forest at bay, as well as maintaining good relationships with the more cooperative creatures.
Rarity finally got her wish and was granted a place in the nobility by Twilight, and opened up “Rarities”, a premiere boutique for the upper class in Canterlot. Her sister Sweetie Belle took over her old shop in Ponyville, turning it into the “Carousel Music Studio”. Twilight decided to indulge Rarity’s love of traveling first class and charming ways, making her “Grand Diplomat” and using her silver tongue to secure alliances with other nations.
Pinkie Pie decided that she wanted to make it her life’s goal to spread happiness and laughter everywhere, so she took to traveling all across the continent and beyond as Equestria’s premiere Bard. Secretly, she retains the title of “Royal Spymaster”, and keeps her ears pointed for any secrets that might threaten Equestrian national security while maintaining a network of Bards and Rogues that report to her.
It has been 10 years since Twilight’s ascension, and the current political situation is… worrisome. Equestria’s position as the world superpower has been cemented, but other countries have been eyeing Canterlot’s throne with ambitions of their own. The Gryphon Empire has long been a formal ally of Equestria, but their militaristic tendencies have always made relations between the two nations cool, if not tense. The Minotaur lords maintain their neutrality, refusing to ally themselves officially with anyone. Relations between Zebraland and Saddle Arabia have been tense as of late, with the aristocratic horses steadily claiming more and more Zebra tribal lands. Equestria is in a hard position here, as both countries expect aid from the Princess for their cause. And to the south, rumors of dragon attacks have been growing more and more frequent. Only the far northern Crystal Empire remains 100% loyal, tied to Equestria through the blood of its prince, Shining Armor, twilight’s brother.
In addition to the unsteady political situation, monsters have been appearing more and more frequently to attack towns, villages, even cities. With tensions running high, the last 10 years have seen a rise in criminal activities and organized crime. Balancing that out, however, are the professional warriors and bounty hunters that rose up to aid police and military in stopping crime.
Princess Twilight, having uncovered in the Canterlot archives many tomes of lore and locations of previously undisclosed artifacts, released much of that knowledge to the public in an attempt to encourage their retrieval and documentation. This gave rise to many professional treasure hunters, adventurers, traveling scholars, mercenaries, bodyguards, and all manner of creatures and professions that seek out the hidden relics of Equestria’s past, often for the sake of knowledge as much as for the reward in coin.
In the absence of Celestia and Luna, temples and monastic orders honoring both sisters sprang up all across the land, and Twilight encouraged their veneration, as well as the re-discovering of old Equestrian saints that stood for certain virtues and values. Unfortunately, more sinister cults that are dedicated to ancient forces of evil also have been growing in power, as well as a religious movement that puts the Element bearers themselves on the level of deity, despite them being still alive and very mortal. Sometimes, the strength of their conviction alone allows them to achieve greatness, and the general rule is that religion has done more good than harm as of late.
That’s the situation so far. Many characters will have their own Wiki entry, so for specifics of what they’ve been up to in the 10 year time lapse, check there!