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The Alola Pokedex

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by Rediamond, Jun 2, 2018.

  1. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    minor edits were made to the primarina chapter as of the date of posting of this one. basically, I made them technically mammals and changed their reproduction from egg sacs to large litter pregnancy but kept pretty much everything else the same

    Arbok (Ekans)


    Introduction

    Before 1955, arbok was mostly notable as the link between the constrictors and the venomous snakes. The former group use their muscles and the element of surprise to wrap themselves around their prey and squeeze until their target dies of suffocation. The venomous snakes make a single strike and inject their prey with venom from their fangs. Then the snake slinks away and waits until their prey dies. Arbok is a constrictor, but they also have venom.

    This venom is a paralytic that has psychoactive effects on most mammals, reptiles, and birds. They deliver this venom by spitting it through the air onto their targets face. Arbok can reliably hit a stationary target from twenty meters, and they can usually hit a moving target from five meters. Once the venom reaches its target, it starts to give off noxious fumes. When inhaled, the target’s muscles begin to lock. This is not distressing. In fact, the venom has a strong calming effect. Mammals, birds and reptiles under the effect of arbok venom are perfectly aware of what is happening and can even feel pain; they just passively accept all of it.

    In 1938, the surgeon general of the United States released a report on the long and short term effects of hypnosis on the human mind. Hypnosis had previously been the preferred method of anesthesia in most of the world’s operating theaters. However, the surgeon general’s report suggested that hypnosis, especially from hypno and ghost-types, could add or delete memories, impair future sleep or memory formation, and cause or exacerbate serious mental illnesses. Congress had banned it for medical purposes within one year.

    However, there was no good alternative to take hypnosis’ place. Faced with the option between painless surgery with potential psychological risks or painful, often lethal surgery without anesthesia, most patients who could afford to do so left the country for operations. Many who could not afford to travel died or were left severely traumatized. In 1941, after just twenty months, the ban on hypnotism was reversed.

    In 1955, a monk from the Mount Otsukimi Monastery, was admitted to the newly formed NTT Hospital in Saffron. His particular sect did not allow priests to be hypnotized and the doctors advised him that he would almost certainly die without hypnosis. The monk recommended arbok venom be used, citing his experiences on the slopes of Mount Otsukimi watching arbok crush tranquil prey to death. The hospital consulted with the Sekichiki Dojo, the owners of the only captive arbok in Japan that had not been defanged. An arbok was brought to NTT for the surgery and, to the astonishment of all present save the monk himself, the surgery was successful and the patient woke up less than one day after the surgery’s completion with no ill effects. Arbok venom is now the standard anesthesia method across the world.

    People under the effect of arbok venom also retain their memories, albeit rendered less traumatic than they otherwise would be. This makes the criminal applications of arbok venom rather limited. Theoretically arbok venom can be used to paralyze a target in order to murder them, but there are far more efficient ways to kill someone with a pokémon. Studies on the addictiveness of arbok venom have shown mixed results. The current consensus is that if arbok venom is addictive at all, then it is only psychologically addictive and does not cause chemical dependence. Nevertheless, arbok venom was included in the 1971 Prevention of Pokémon Drug Abuse Act and most subsequent legislation on the topic. It is currently illegal to transport arbok or ekans across regional or national borders with intent to breed the pokémon. It is also illegal to keep the pokémon there for over thirty days. Violation of the act carries a forty year mandatory minimum sentence.

    In 1975, Alola found itself facing a shortage of arbok. No arbok had ever given birth to live babies in Alola and importation of more was impossible. In a last ditch effort to avoid returning to hypno within a decade, the regional government released twenty arbok into the wild on Route 2 to see if they would breed.

    They did.

    There are now nearly 1300 ekans and roughly 80 wild arbok on Melemele. The federal government has even granted a partial exception to the importation ban to keep the wild population genetically diverse. In 2017, the regional government began to allow trainers on the island challenge to capture ekans.

    Physiology

    Ekans and arbok are classified as pure poison-types. The ruling is not disputed.

    Ekans are long, thin snakes. Their backs are usually purple, but can also be green, pink, red, grey or gold. Their bellies are almost always a light yellow color. They have large yellow eyes, but they primarily sense the world through smell. Ekans and arbok often flick their tongues out to get a sense of the heat signatures and scents in their surroundings. Ekans and arbok are entirely colorblind. Both stages have nostrils. While they cannot smell with them, the nostrils are useful for breathing while they eat.

    Young ekans have no venom or poison abilities whatsoever. Older ekans gain some ability to use poison-elemental attacks, but they do not have natural venom. They do have powerful muscles that let them crush anything they are fast enough to wrap themselves around. Additionally, their jaw is detachable to allow them to eat meals larger than they are. Ekans have a rattle at the tip of their tail. This can be shaken to create a sound that has been described as a breathy scream.

    Arbok lose their rattle. In exchange, they gain a large hood directly beneath their head. This hood is usually not expanded and just appears as a slight bulge at the top of their body. When expanded, it displays a distorted face. The exact pattern varies (see Subspecies). It was previously believed that this pattern terrified opponents into freezing up, allowing arbok to safely constrict and eat them. It is now believed that this hood allows them to momentarily stun prey so that they can be more reliably poisoned. It is also useful for making the arbok look bigger than it is and scaring off potential predators.

    Arbok are not particularly large snakes; they are less than half the length and less than one third the weight of the largest constrictors. However, they are the strongest non-draconic constrictors on record. Arbok have been observed crushing oil drums and snapping trees and bones.

    Arbok can grow up to 3.5 meters in length and 65 kilograms in mass in their native range. In tropical environments they tend to grow up to 4 meters and 70 kilograms. They can live up to 17 years in the wild and 36 in captivity.

    Behavior

    On Honshu, ekans almost exclusively eat eggs. They are adept climbers and are generally shorter than the grasses in the rugged savannas they inhabit. This allows them to stealthily reach both grounded and arboreal nests and eat the contents. In Alola, ekans have run up against a slight problem. The most common bird pokémon is toucannon. Even if an ekans got into a nest, it would be no match for the mother toucannon inside. Pelipper, the next most common bird, fiercely protect their eggs.

    There are a plethora of birds that nest on the eastern side of Melemele. There is also very sparse grass cover, forcing ekans to be exposed if they want to enter the area. In addition to being their most common source of food, large birds are ekans’ most common predators. The risk of exposing themselves to an army of mandibuzz, braviary and fearow does not make up for the risk of entering the eastern cliffs.

    As such, ekans are confined to the western edge of Melemele. Their main targets here are honchkrow, delibird, golduck, fearow, and oricorio eggs. This predation has led to the near-extripation of oricorio from Route 2, as well as the decline of the local honchkrow , fearow, delibird and golduck populations. The latter four are invasive, and this decline is arguably a benefit for the ecosystem. The oricorio decline has been treated as an acceptable casualty. Melemele Meadow is routinely monitored for ekans; if any are found there, they will be removed to protect the oricorio population.

    Between the breeding seasons of their prey, ekans will target small pokémon. In practice, this is usually rattata. Ekans prefer to stay hidden deep in thick grass and wait for something to pass by them. They will also hide in trees and drop down on something that passes beneath them.

    Arbok have no common predators of Route 2 and suburban Hau’oli. Even arcanine are unwilling to pick fights with them. Arbok spend most of their time basking in well-lit areas. They seldom fully sleep, instead keeping themselves alert enough to be able to respond to threats. Arbok have no eyelids, making it difficult to tell if one is asleep or not. A wild basking arbok should be left alone. They are not dangerous unless disturbed.

    Arbok prefer to lurk at the edge of tall grass patches, although they can hunt down prey if their ambush is unsuccessful. When something passes by them outside of the grass, they will rise up and hiss. Arbok hisses sound like a mix of metal scraping against metal, a screaming infant, and a roaring flame. They are loud and scary enough that most creatures will reflexively look towards them, be frightened by the hood into a second of stunned stillness, and then get a blast of venom to the eyes or nose. When the prey is poisoned, arbok will slither over and crush it until death occurs. Then they will dislocate their jaw and eat it whole.

    Arbok’s main prey are raticate, and they will sometimes go well out of their way to hunt one. Arbok are diurnal and will approach a nest during the day, while the raticate and most rattata are asleep. They will hiss to wake up the raticate, poison it, and then either scare the remaining rattata away or kill them and leave the bodies for ekans or other scavengers.

    In addition to raticate, arbok often eat delibird, golduck, smeargle, growlithe (but not arcanine), and lopunny. They will sometimes deliberately kill pikachu, pichu and raichu to bait a hodad into attacking them. When the hodad approaches, they will get a shot of venom between the eyes before they can locate and attack the arbok. Given the type disadvantage, this is often a bad strategy. But some arbok seem to almost exclusively hunt hodad. These are usually removed from the wild to avoid straining the hodad population.

    Outside of their venom, arbok are most notable for their hibernation. The species never ventures far from caves in either their native range or in Alola. Even though they are generally territorial, during the winter arbok and ekans will all swarm together and descend into a nearby cave. They will huddle together for warmth and create a pile of hundreds of snakes. They seek out caves because they tend to stay warmer than the outside air during the winter. However, the caves are still not particularly warm. Arbok go into brumation in the winter, where their metabolism sharply drops. Arbok and ekans can go the entire winter without hunting, although they will sometimes prey on a cave pokémon unfortunate or reckless enough to approach the den.

    In Alola, some arbok brumate during the wet season (see Reproduction). Almost no ekans do. Even at the coldest point in the year, the surface is still warmer than the world beneath it.

    Husbandry

    Recreational use of arbok venom is strongly discouraged. While not chemically addictive, it can cause psychological dependency. It can cause fatal allergic reactions in some people. Even if it is not instantaneously lethal, someone under the effects of arbok venom will be unable to help themselves if danger appears. Some people have mild allergic reactions to arbok venom causing them to vomit; if they cannot move their head, this can cause suffocation.

    Ekans will require at least twenty hours of basking time a week, either in natural sunlight or under a heat lamp. If basking outside, they should be provided some protection from predatory birds. Arbok require thirty to fifty hours of basking time but seldom need to be protected. Ekans should be provided with enrichment in the form of climbing structures. Arbok will not use them. Both will play with pipe systems, although it is difficult to construct one large and sturdy enough for an arbok.

    Ekans can be housebroken rather easily. Arbok will generally refuse to learn if they are not already housebroken.

    Ekans and arbok are rather tolerant of pokéballs so long as they are sometimes allowed to train, explore and bask. They prefer balls designed for ectotherms and these roughly halve the required basking time. They can tolerate almost every pokéball.

    Ekans should be fed primarily a diet of eggs. One large egg a day is generally enough for a small ekans, although larger ekans may begin to eat more. Neither ekans nor arbok will eat when they are not hungry, which makes putting more eggs than necessary in an ekans living quarters a good strategy. This can also be used for enrichment as the ekans has to sniff out and find the eggs.

    Almost all carnivorous pokémon will eat dry food, or at least ground meat. This allows trainers some disconnect between the food and its components. Arbok and large ekans will only eat their prey whole. It should be recently dead or thawed out. Some general pokémon supply stores and almost all reptile specialty stores will sell frozen or freshly killed food. Trainers who are not comfortable feeding a dead creature, and often a dead pokémon, to their arbok should not train the species.

    Arbok can eat rattata and raticate, yungoos and gumshoos, most small- to mid-size birds, small fish, golbat, and some larger insects. They strongly prefer eating pokémon to ordinary animals, and should be fed a dead pokémon at least once a month. Arbok should be offered food one week after small meals, ten days after medium-sized meals, and two weeks after large ones. If they are hungry and go too long without food, arbok will kill and consume small pokémon around them, including teammates, pets, and endangered species.

    If they are captured as an ekans, arbok are generally harmless to humans. They will often wrap around their trainer as a sign of affection, but they will not squeeze tightly enough to kill. The very few cases where an arbok in captivity before evolution went on to kill their trainer were generally in cases of severe neglect or abuse. Arbok and ekans can even be trusted around children, although this is generally not recommended. Kids tend to either be traumatized by arbok or harass them while they bask.

    If an arbok rears up at you, it is best to slowly sit down, look away from them, and speak in soft tones. If they do not spit venom immediately, they are simply showing that they are irritated or threatened. They may also be sick (see Illness).

    Illness

    Snake illnesses tend to require professional care to treat. The most common symptoms are random displays of aggression and a refusal to eat. These could signal anything from a minor infection to a life-threatening illness. The pokémon should be kept in their ball and taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible in these cases.

    The most common disease in arbok is blister disease. This manifests as a series of blisters, warts, or sores on the belly of the snake. It is recommended that trainers examine their pokémon’s belly every few days to make sure that this is caught early. Ekans are often very hesitant to have their belly scratched at first, but will quickly warm to it and even turn over to encourage their trainers to pet them. Arbok and ekans should be stroked towards the tail. If an arbok has not yet been trained to accept scratches, it is best to have a professional handle the process. The disease is caused by excess moisture in the environment, something that often happens when a snake native to temperate scrubland is introduced to a tropical region.

    Another common symptom is mouth rot. This manifests as bleeding gums, open sores in the mouth, and white pus. Ekans are always reluctant to have their teeth checked, but trainers should always be watching for signs.

    Annual checkups are also useful for catching parasites, slight internal damage, developmental problems, and endocrine disorders.

    Arbok are necessary for most modern operations and the restrictions on importation have led veterinarians to try and find every possible way to keep one alive. Almost all illnesses can be cured if caught early enough. The one exception is inclusive body disease. The affected snake will be immediately euthanized. This has made many trainers unwilling to bring a snake showing signs of IBD in to be treated. This is selfish on two fronts: death from IBD is inevitable and painful, and the arbok might infect the wild and domestic populations the Alolan healthcare system depends on.

    Evolution

    Around the time they reach two meters in length, ekans begin to develop flaps of skin behind their head. These eventually grow into a full hood, with colorful scales growing in to form the facial markings. Their venom sacs mature around the same time. The formal demarcation line between ekans and arbok is the rattle falling off, temporarily leaving the new arbok with a stump tail before the tip grows back.

    Evolution usually occurs around twenty-four months of age in Honshu. Wild Ekans evolve around the sixteen month mark in Alola due to abundant prey year round and the lack of a hibernation period. Captive ekans can evolve marginally sooner than wild ekans, but this is a matter of six weeks at most.

    Battling

    Arbok are not often used on the competitive circuits. They are physically powerful and have a useful ability to disable opponents. However, they have some serious drawbacks. Like most poison-types, they respond poorly to earth and psychic elemental attacks. Psychic types are abundant on the competitive scene, and earthquake is a widespread attack among physical powerhouses. Arbok simply does not have the bulk to tank many of these hits.

    Arbok venom can theoretically disable an opponent in one shot, but there are some drawbacks here as well. Generally, arbok only carry enough venom to disable something the size of a tauros. This allows them to shut down many smaller Pokémon. In theory. The venom is nearly useless against mineral and phantom pokémon, and some organics with bizarre biology don’t experience any effects at all. Pokémon with very simple or extremely complex nervous systems can also resist the psychoactive effects, allowing some elemental attacks to be launched even as the pokémon remains paralyzed.

    Many of the smaller pokémon arbok could theoretically disable are psychic-types with some sort of a barrier move to block the hit. In the wild, arbok rely on catching their opponent off guard. This is not an advantage they have on the battlefield. The remaining small pokémon that see use are either too fast to hit (e.g. ninjask) or have tricks to block or mitigate the venom (e.g. smeargle).

    In practice, arbok’s use is limited to countering a small number of pokémon, or physically overpowering any pokémon without psychic or ground attacks that’s slower than arbok. Only one trainer in the top 100 uses one on their main team. That trainer, Elena Chirlov, is a dragon and reptile specialist who wanted a counter to most common fairy-types such as clefable, sylveon and florges.

    By contrast, arbok is very good on the island challenge. Seismic attacks are uncommon outside of stadium battles, and ground-types are quite rare in the South Pacific metagame. Most pokémon that the average trainer uses are small enough to succumb to arbok venom and most casual trainers will not have a premade strategy for dealing with the snake. The only issue is training an arbok to crush something to injury, but not to death. This may require professional assistance.

    Ekans can struggle before they evolve. Their poison attacks are not particularly potent, they are not particularly strong or fast, and as ambush predators they have few instincts to guide them in a one-on-one fight in the open. The best strategy is usually to poison the opponent with toxic or a similar move and then coil tightly and lash out when anything gets too close. This strategy is shut down by anything with a neutral ranged attack and more speed than the ekans.

    Acquisition

    Ekans can be captured or adopted with a Class II license. Arbok capture is prohibited but they may be adopted with a Class III license. Purchase of arbok and ekans is prohibited under federal law. Capture of arbok is prohibited by the regional government to ensure that breeding adults stay in the wild.

    Ekans may be found all over Route 2, but particularly the tall grass savannas near the coast. They can also be found in the forests north of Hau’oli, although many of these areas are nature preserves with restricted entry and tightly regulated capture.

    Breeding

    Female arbok attempt to eat as much as possible in the months before the wet season. If they eat enough, they will be willing to reproduce. These females will slither to the high water mark of cool, but not cold, caves. This describes the Melemele caves that are not either actively volcanic or in the Seaward Cave complex. The depths of Verdant Cavern, beyond the trial site, are closed off in the wet season because of the number of arbok there.

    In Alola, the females will refuse entry to most males. They will either fight the males themselves or force them to fight each other. A handful of winners are allowed to stay; the rest must leave the cave and either hibernate elsewhere or not go into brumation at all. In their native range, all arbok go into brumation, although only a handful of females are receptive to mating and they will ward off any male they see as an unworthy partner.

    If a female accepts a male, they mate. One female may mate with multiple males in the week before brumation begins. Once all mating occurs, all snakes tangle together into one large pile. The females undergo a five-month pregnancy during brumation. They give live birth to three to five ekans upon emergence. Mothers will monitor their children for one to two weeks and then abandon them.

    In captivity, it is essential for breeding that females (and males) be given extra training and food in the months leading up to brumation. They should also have access to a secluded area kept between 10 and 16 degrees C and big enough for multiple arbok to rest comfortably in. The arbok should be allowed to explore this area towards the start of the dry season, and then periodically return to check on it throughout the season. If the female decides she wants to reproduce, a powerful male who is already aware of the brumation chamber should also be introduced to it.

    Arbok will sometimes mate with other large snakes and will seldom kill or reject them from the chamber. However, the chances of mating, successful birth, and viable offspring all increase in arbok-arbok pairings. Even a well fed and powerful female may not decide to mate in a given year. This is not concerning. If she has never gone into brumation in the available chamber, then a larger one should be provided the next year.

    Subspecies

    There is some debate as to whether arbok with different colorations and hood markings should qualify as different species. But because they have the same general elemental wells, physiology, behaviors, and range, almost all scientific bodies have accepted that there are no subspecies of arbok. While arbok have a slight preference for mates with similar appearances, wild and captive arbok will pick a stronger mate with a different phenotype over a weaker one with the same.
     
  2. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Dunsparce

    Introduction

    The dragons hold special places in almost every culture. They are seen as messengers of the gods, or as gods in their own right. Even the cultures that do not worship them know the importance of approaching them with respect and fear. In general, dragons are split into three groups: the true dragons, the pseudodragons, and the elemental dragons. The latter category will be set aside for now.

    Pseudodragons evolved from snake pokémon and the true dragons evolved from pseudodragons. The true dragons are mostly bipedal or quadrupedal and often have wings. The pseudodragons, milotic and gyarados, are sea serpents revered as gods of peace and war around the world.

    Dunsparce is the third pseudodragon. They are not worshipped by any known culture.

    Rather than being fearsome apex predators like most true dragons and gyarados, dunsparce are scavengers and herbivores. They are extremely timid and flee into the earth at the first sign of trouble. All of this has led dunsparce being mocked as the little dragon that couldn’t.

    But all hope is not lost for the smallest pseudodragon. Research on the few captive specimens has shown that they easily outlive milotic and gyarados. And a partial skeleton recently unearthed in the Andes has raised the possibility that we may know far less about the species than we think we do.

    Physiology

    Dunsparce are classified as pure normal types. They are not true dragons and do not wield draconic energy as well as the elemental dragons can. Despite their digging abilities, dunsparce are not terrakinetic. These limitations rule out dragon and ground typings, and there is no other typing that would fit them.

    Dunsparce are relatively short, thick snakes. They are typically about 1.5 meters long and 0.3 meters wide. Most of their back is covered in yellow scales and their belly is lined with teal ones. The one exception to this rule is a patch of scales between their wings. This pattern, unique to each individual, is a mix of tan and teal scales.

    Dunsparce have two short white wings with soft feathers. The species is not capable of flight, but they can hover for short periods. Their wings beat rapidly while they do this, but the flight itself is an elemental ability and not the product of mechanical force. Dunsparce have two very wide eyes with eyelids. However, these eyes are almost always shut. Sometimes a captive dunsparce will open them for a minute or so, but they will then close their eyes continuously for nearly a decade. No wild dunsparce has been observed with their eyes open.

    At the end of a dunsparce’s tail is a drill. They can spin this drill rapidly to create a limited twister attack that carves out a tunnel behind the pokémon. Dunsparce slither backwards faster than they slither forwards; it is believed that dunsparce always move backwards in their tunnels, and only move forwards in large caverns and on the surface.

    Dunsparce have two large fangs. They are not venomous and do not hunt their prey. No dunsparce, captive or wild, has ever been seen using their fangs. Their purpose was entirely unclear until 2015; it is now suspected that the fangs are either vestigial or still developing (see Evolution).

    Dunsparce typically have a mass around 40 kilograms. One captive dunsparce, Don Velez, was captured as an adult in 1467 and has shown no aging-related health problems. He has grown five centimeters in this time.

    Behavior

    Dunsparce are extremely timid. This makes observation of them in the wild difficult. When approached on the surface, they will immediately burrow back underground. When approached inside of caves, they will immediately burrow even further down. Pokémon and drones sent into their tunnels typically send the dunsparce into a full panic as they try to tunnel away as fast as possible, occasionally lobbing out attacks if they get outrun. If anything gets too close, they will go limp and play dead. They will stop playing dead and escape the first time an opportunity presents itself.

    There are a few things that are known about wild dunsparce behavior. They frequent caves that are not flooded or part of an active volcano. In fact, they appear on every continent (including Antarctica) and have frequently shown up on Melemele and other volcanic islands. There is no record of the indigenous people bringing them to the island (why they would introduce them to Alola). Dunsparce were already established on Melemele when Europeans discovered it. This suggests that they can dig under or swim through the oceans if need be. Because dunsparce seem even more afraid of water than they are of people (see Husbandry), the former is far more likely.

    Dunsparce often share caverns with all subspecies of dugtrio. They appear to tolerate the presence of dugtrio and diglett in the wild. The only high quality study of wild dunsparce was done by attaching cameras to dugtrio and having them check in every few days on any dunsparce they found. It appeared as if most dunsparce stay perfectly still for months at a time.

    The study did manage to film a dunsparce eating. A cave fish killed a small crab in a nearby stream and the dunsparce slithered over, created a high-pitched grinding sound with their drill to scare the fish away, and then ate the crab. Captive dunsparce have never killed and eaten live prey. Between the two data points, it appears as if dunsparce are primarily scavengers. Captive specimens are fond of root vegetables and the roots of many grasses and shrubs. This suggests that part of dunsparce’s trips to the surface may be partially to eat plant material.

    Dunsparce are usually sighted on the surface after very heavy rains. Presumably, they surface primarily to escape their flooding tunnels. Some dunsparce are also seen surfacing in the winter in areas where arbok live. They could be avoiding the den of much larger snakes that is temporarily occupying their home. While on the surface, dunsparce prefer to hide in thick grasses, piles of boulders, or other places that provide them with cover.

    Husbandry

    Dunsparce are probably the most difficult species to capture and train in this entire guide, legends excluded but ultra beasts very much included. While the process is far safer than trying to tame a vanilluxe, volcarona or metagross, it makes up for the relative safety through the sheer time, inconvenience and frustration involved.

    Capturing a dunsparce is no easy task (see Acquisition). After a trainer manages to capture one, they then face the problem that whenever they are let out of their pokéball, dunsparce will attempt to burrow into the ground and escape. They will do this even if held in love, luxury, or friend balls.

    To avoid this, the trainer must immediately go onto a boat and release the dunsparce. The pseudodragon will burrow through the boat, hit water, panic, and stop digging. If the boat can take on water and not sink, then the trainer can stay inside of it. If not, the trainer should pick up the dunsparce (the pokémon will struggle and they are deceptively strong; many trainers break a rib at this step), get onto a ride pokémon, and then get onto another boat.

    The dunsparce will not attempt to burrow deeper so long as they can see and smell the ocean and feel the rocking of the waves. Now, the trainer can acclimate their pokémon to humans. The dunsparce must be left out of their ball for the entire process, ideally with a small, shaded and enclosed box or cavity they can retreat into. Their trainer must stay with them the entire time to slowly get the dunsparce to accept that humans are not a threat. Then, the trainer should feed the dunsparce at least ten times.

    This may sound easy. But, there is a catch. Dunsparce eat at most once a month. Their trainer will need to stay with them on a boat for up to a year. The trainer can leave the boat to take a break, but it is recommended that breaks be kept to one hour a week. The dunsparce will also need to be acclimated to all of the pokémon species they will interact with on the team, many of whom are more intimidating than humans. It is also difficult to acclimate a dunsparce to a steelix while on a boat. Or to convince any ground-types to stay on a boat away from solid earth out of their pokéball at all times for a year.

    Togekiss and blissey are among the best possible teammates for dunsparce as they have calming auras and eggs, respectively. They can halve the time it takes for a dunsparce to bond with a human, reduce the risk of flight, and all but eliminate stress-based diseases (see Illness).

    If the dunsparce is not acclimated to humans and used to taking meals from them by the time they are allowed onto solid land, they will immediately try to escape and render the whole process fruitless.

    Captive dunsparce should be fed roughly once a month. The recommended diet is a mix of fresh crustaceans, dog biscuits, wet cat food, fish, and root vegetables. They will not have the appetite to eat more than three standard servings of food at a given feeding. Dunsparce do not like to battle and will often burrow if spooked, although they sometimes will come back to a longtime trainer when they think the coast is clear. If a dunsparce is battled with, they should be fed once every two weeks. They should be provided with a stationary water dish in an easy to access place.

    Dunsparce urinate roughly once a week and defecate twice a month. They cannot technically be housebroken, but they move so little that if they are set on a plastic sheet or in a pool, they will probably just relieve themselves where they are at.

    It is unclear if dunsparce sleep or how often they do. But they prefer to stay motionless unless they need to move for food, to obey a command from a trainer they are loyal to, or to get away from something that intimidates them. Some dunsparce will explore their surroundings, but this is a relative rarity. The favored enrichment item of dunsparce is a network of plastic, metal or glass tubes big enough for them to slither through. The Lumiose Museum of Natural History has a popular burrowing species exhibit where the pokémon can move through a series of glass tunnels, concrete caverns and enclosed piles of dirt and rocks that spans nearly the entire museum. Their dunsparce, Lucille and Royal, are the most active captive specimens in the world.

    The species is not affectionate. They will accept petting from trusted humans, but they will never initiate it or show much reaction at all.

    Most dunsparce kept today are not pets, but are research or museum specimens. The others are the pokémon of long-dead sailors who thought that a months long transoceanic voyage in a massive ship was as good a chance as any to train a dunsparce. Even in the 1400s, having a tame dunsparce was seen as a monumental accomplishment in the nascent world of pokémon trainers. By 1700 the impossible had already been done a dozen times over and most of Europe’s naval academies had at least one donated dunsparce in their collection. Dunsparce weren’t captured again until the late 1800s, when it was theorized that they might be the link between the snakes, pseudodragons, and true dragons.

    Illness

    Sometimes dunsparce will hover in the air for no apparent reason. This will often be accompanied by a constant whirring of their drill. It is believed that this is a sign of stress, as they often stop when they are left entirely alone in the dark. Dunsparce will also rapidly shed scales when they experience prolonged stress. If they experience a serious illness or very acute stress, dunsparce will usually take care of it themselves by burrowing into the earth. One dunsparce died of stress when frequently used in battle for several months with while being held on a ship: this is the most recent reported accidental death of a captive dunsparce. That incident happened in 1550. Most of the world’s 45 captive dunsparce have had century-long runs of perfect health.

    Evolution

    In 2011, a paleontologist working in the Andes Mountains unearthed a giant rib bone over three meters long. The rest of the partial skeleton he found included a two-meter-long fang and a five-meter-long drill. The ribs, fangs, and drill are very similar to those of a modern dunsparce.

    The skeleton was only 12,000 years old.

    Given the exceptional lifespan of dunsparce, their close relationship to two of the largest serpents in the world, and the sheer breadth of what we do not know about the species, it is very possible that this skeleton does not belong to an ancestor of the dunsparce, but instead belongs to an evolution. The modern surface dunsparce may all be juveniles that eventually grow into far larger snakes that live deep in the crust.

    There is no known way to cause a dunsparce to evolve. Given that milotic and gyarados are flash evolvers that grow slightly as juveniles and then immediately become very large, it is reasonable to assume that dunsparce is as well.

    Battling

    Dunsparce have a strong aversion to battling. When threatened and unable to retreat, they rise above their opponent or try to scare them off with loud noises. Dunsparce can use some elemental attacks such as thunder wave, and even melee attacks such as bite and zen headbutt. They do not enjoy being tutored, but dunsparce can be trained to use TMs.

    Only trainers willing to risk scaring off their dunsparce for good should attempt to battle with them.

    Acquisition

    Dunsparce can be captured with a Class V license. Dunsparce can also be purchased or adopted with a Class V license, but trainers should be warned that all but the tamest of dunsparce will attempt to flee from a new trainer.

    The best way to find a dunsparce is to search the tallest, thickest grass of Route 2 after a particularly fearsome rainstorm. This is best done with thermal goggles or a tracking pokémon used to the scent of dunsparce. At this point, trainers have three options for attempting the capture:

    1) They can throw a quick ball or ultra ball and hope they hit the target and successfully capture it on the first try.

    2) They can use a trapper to block off escape. Chandelure, gothielle and mega gengar are among the most popular with professional hunters. Some telekinetics can also suspend the dunsparce in mid-air for a moment, and even guide the pokéball towards the target.

    3) Use a faster pokémon to defeat dunsparce in battle. Dugtrio have the advantage of being able to outrun and outfight dunsparce even when they try to dig below the surface. Some variants of dugtrio can also try trapping dunsparce on the surface, but they are usually able to slip through the trap. Some birds can also swoop in and pick up a dunsparce in their talons. The snake can then be weakened with a few solid pecks.

    The first strategy is entirely luck-based, the latter two require specialized teams. Between the trapper and a pokémon to ease the bonding process, many trainers need two rare and powerful pokémon to even be able to capture and raise a relatively weak, if interesting, new team member.

    Breeding

    Dunsparce have never been bred in captivity. It is unknown how they breed in the wild.

    Subspecies

    All dunsparce populations are remarkably similar in phenotype and genotype, despite their vast range.a
     
  3. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Arcanine (Growlithe)

    Introduction

    Arcanine may have been one of the first pokémon to be tamed. There are 30,000 year old cave paintings in Central Asia depicting human hunters fighting alongside an arcanine. The species’ bones are often found near Paleolithic archeological sites in the region. Yet, arcanine were not common in captivity until the Industrial Revolution.

    The Chinese Empire used tame arcanine as far back as 500 B.C.E. They were the mounts of the highest-ranking generals and imperial messengers, as well as the pets and guardians of the emperors themselves. All tame arcanine in the empire belonged to the emperor and were loaned out at their discretion. Occasionally a clan in Mongolia or the steppes would tame a pack of arcanine and use them in conquests, and in times of crisis the empire occasionally granted arcanine to other kingdoms in exchange for gold or military support, but for the most part the only tame arcanine were the property of the Chinese emperor.

    Two developments around 1800 C.E. changed that. Growlithe ownership had previously been restricted by the species’ unwillingness to leave their own pack to join humans. The pokéball made it easier to capture and tame individual growlithe. But it was large scale mining operations that made full domestication possible. Growlithe evolve very slowly in the wild. However, exposure to some elementally-charged stones can lead to their evolution occurring much earlier and faster with few long-term health consequences. When growlithe realized that humans had very large numbers of fire stones, entire packs began to approach human settlements and practically beg for capture. The massive influx of captive arcanine, the temporary weakening of China, and the rise of global trade networks led to the species quickly becoming commonplace guard dogs and pets throughout the world.

    There are still feral growlithe packs and arcanine, but they tend to be made up of particularly rebellious spirits or those with bad experiences towards humans. Some are deliberately released by governments to give trainers on journeys a chance to capture a powerful and loyal friend. The Alolan pack is a mix of the two.

    Physiology

    Both arcanine and growlithe are classified as pure fire-types. Neither ruling is controversial.

    Growlithe look like rather typical canines. Most of their body is coated in red fur with black stripes running through it. A growlithe’s strip pattern is unique to them. Their bellies, tails, and the top of their head are coated in light brown fur.

    Arcanine mostly resemble a very large growlithe. However, the brown tufts of fur expand to cover most of their face as well as the backside of their legs.

    The species has one of the strongest senses of smell of any pokémon species, as well as an above average sense of hearing. They can track prey from two-week-old scent trails if there has not been any rain. These heightened senses compensate for their rather weak vision. Growlithe can see large shapes and some colors, but they are usually not able to identify small objects from sight alone.

    Arcanine have no open flames at any point in their evolutionary line. This makes them more resistant to rain than other fire-types. They even enjoy swimming. The reason they are fire-types is that they have a series of flame sacs at the base of their neck and around their stomach and intestines. Their normal digestion process is slow and they have more capacity than most canines their size in their bowels. When needed, arcanine can radically increase the speed of digestion by physically burning all stored food. This reduces the amount of nutrients they can incorporate, but creates large amounts of flames and energy. With this boost, arcanine can run up to 500 kilometers an hour for 20 hours straight.

    Arcanine typically reach a height of two meters at the withers and a mass of 1100 kilograms. They can live for 350 years in the wild and in captivity.

    Behavior

    Wild growlithe live in packs of ten to thirty individuals. They are fiercely territorial and will attack or kill any other canines, including other growlithe packs, that hunt inside of their territory. Growlithe packs will tolerate arcanine since the adults will sometimes share their kills with the pack. The packs are also strongly hierarchal. Each pack has a dominant male and a dominant female who demand submission from all other members of their sex. Not submitting, eating too much, or other violations of social etiquette will lead to exile. Other packs will not allow in another growlithe without the permission of both packs’ dominant pair, or unless an arcanine insists upon it. In practice, exile is a death sentence for a growlithe.

    The species displays aggression through growls and barks. They communicate within the pack through whistles, yapping, whines, and sneezes. Because of their poor sight, growlithe do not have the elaborate body language that many other social canines do.

    Growlithe hunt by having three to five growlithe chase down their prey at a time. If they get tired, another team of growlithe will take over for them and continue the chase. Whenever their prey slows down too much, the nearest growlithe will tear into them with a fire fang. These tactics allow them to outlast anything that can’t fly (and even some things that can). It does not work on anything that growlithe cannot convince to run. This strategy is well adapted to the speed-oriented ecosystem of the plains and deserts of Central Asia. Despite the hierarchal nature of the pack, kills are shared equally among all members, including the young, injured, and sick who cannot hunt.

    Arcanine tend to be solitary in the wild outside of mating and childrearing (see Breeding). They hunt by chasing down prey and finishing them off with one or two bites, but they can also get into a direct fight and win against almost everything in their home range. This is riskier than simply intimidating something until it runs so it is not the preferred strategy.

    When they are not hunting, arcanine and growlithe tend to lie around doing nothing. They usually live near an oasis, lake or river inside of their territory. This gives them a reliable source of water and draws prey to them. If prey does not come to them, the species’ sense of smell is acute enough that they can track prey down themselves. In times where food is abundant (as it always is in Alola), growlithe and arcanine are far more playful and will patrol their territory, pick fights with local pokémon, investigate natural and man-made structures, and go swimming. They are usually not dangerous to humans unless provoked.

    Growlithe packs sleep together in a heap at night. They do not leave a sentry awake. Growlithe have virtually no natural predators in their home territory, as even flygon prefer to not risk angering any arcanine in the area.

    Husbandry

    Growlithe and arcanine can survive on as little as 0.5% of their body weight a day in meat. They can eat up to 5% a day and they will be more active and more powerful for it. The species can eat plants and most varieties of dog food, but they strongly prefer raw or cooked meat. Growlithe drink as much if not more water than other common canines. Many new growlithe owners make the mistake of assuming their fire-type will not need to drink water.

    Because they live in strict hierarchies in the wild, growlithe can adjust quickly to captivity. They should submit fully to their trainer within a few days of capture or adoption. The process is faster and more absolute if the trainer is the same sex as them. Because growlithe operate on scent, transgender people who are on hormone replacement therapy will be read as their identified gender.

    In the wild, rule-breaking can mean exile and a slow death from thirst or starvation. This makes growlithe very sensitive to the obedience of social norms (or at least, what they understand human social norms to be). They will typically refuse to work for or even outright attack trainers who harm or steal from other humans. The species can even be upset by the idea of battling for money, as they see it as akin to attacking another human and taking their food. Cash exchanges are best done away from growlithe.

    Growlithe are perfectly fine being inside of pokéballs during the day. Well-fed growlithe will still want to explore and play with their trainer around dawn and dusk. Growlithe will lose respect for their trainer if they are not allowed to sleep in their trainer’s bed at night in an imitation of their usual sleeping habits in the wild. They prefer to sleep with all other team members as well, but will sometimes make an exception for nocturnal pokémon, pokémon that do not sleep, or for pokémon that this is obviously impractical for.

    Wild growlithe share a community latrine. This makes them exceptionally easy to housebreak, as they just need a litter box placed near their trainer’s toilet. They will quickly figure out what to do from there.

    Growlithe can be overly territorial. They will bark at or even bite any unfamiliar human who gets near their trainer’s home. They have even been known to growl at people who bump into their trainer on a crowded street. Discipline and good training can reduce this impulse, but not eliminate it.

    Arcanine are not as hierarchal as growlithe are. This makes them far more difficult to train. The difficulty is only slightly offset by their respect for a trainer who got them to evolve before they naturally would have (see Evolution). Most of the above paragraphs on growlithe care also apply to arcanine. However, trainers should note that arcanine have substantially more energy than growlithe do. They will demand to play with their trainer for at least an hour a day, and they often object to being held in pokéballs for more than a few hours at a time. Arcanine will also insist on continuing to sleep alongside their trainer, even if they are now much, much larger. They are less sensitive to rule-breaking than growlithe are, although they will sometimes go too far in retaliating against anyone who threatens their trainer. This reflects their natural behavior of hunting down and killing any predators who attack growlithe.

    Fully grown arcanine can be trained to wear a harness and give rides to their trainer. Their fur is not particularly hot.

    Illness

    Arcanine are not susceptible to many internal parasites because of the intense heat that they sometimes generate inside of their body. They can still get flea and tick bites, and they should be regularly groomed to check for them. The most threatening diseases to wild and captive arcanine in other parts of the world are rabies and canine distemper virus. All wild and captive arcanine in Alola are vaccinated against these illnesses, and any imported arcanine must also be vaccinated.

    Evolution

    Throughout their lifetime, growlithe slowly develop larger flame sacs and more ability to control their own flames. Once they become very experienced and powerful in their use of fire, the evolution process will begin. Evolution takes roughly three years of growth to bring a growlithe to their full size. Growlithe grow very little between their tenth birth day and evolution, so any growlithe larger than the average and still growing is assumed to be evolving. In the wild, growlithe typically evolve between 100 and 200 years of age.

    They can evolve much, much earlier through the use of fire stones. These should be kept near the growlithe as they sleep. As a consequence, the trainer must also share a bed with a very hot rock every night. Fire resistant bedding is advised. The fire stone will stimulate the growth of the growlithe’s fire sacs as the body mistakenly believes that the growlithe itself is able to generate the fire aura and they need larger sacs to handle the flames. Evolution via fire stone takes roughly one year, as opposed to three.

    The advantage of this is that the growlithe will evolve within their trainer’s lifetime. There are several disadvantages, though.

    As mentioned above (see Husbandry), arcanine are harder to keep in line than growlithe. By virtue of being much larger they also require more space and more food. Most importantly, growlithe that evolve prematurely are not yet able to safely and effectively harness the flames they can now produce. This makes any use of their fire potentially dangerous for up to three decades after premature evolution. Even the most experienced of trainers will have to drop all other training paths and focus solely on their arcanine’s fire control. This process will still take several years to complete, even for professional arcanine breeders.

    Battling

    Arcanine are massive, have powerful flames, and can move faster than almost any other pokémon that can’t fly. This gives them several paths in battle. They can be zoners that use their speed and powerful fire attacks to keep other pokémon away. They can also be very effective rushdown pokémon, using a burst of speed to close the gap and ripping into their opponent with powerful elementally infused full body tackles such as close combat, flare blitz or wild charge. They can also use thunder or fire fang and crunch to take advantage of their powerful bite. Alternatively, they can play defense. They are very large and can repel anything that gets close, or scare them off with roar. Their speed also allows them to dodge many attacks. Morning sun or rest, combined with toxic and burns, let them outlast their opponent.

    Arcanine are not the best at any of these strategies. There are bulkier pokémon with more reliable methods of recovery or attack blocking. There are better zoners and rushdown attackers. There are even better fire-types at some of these things. But there is no single pokémon that is better at all three of them. This makes arcanine versatile, able to change up their playstyle to match the opponent or to take out particularly troublesome threats. They are used on the main team of nine of the world’s Top 100 trainers.

    No trainer on an island challenge is likely to have an arcanine. Their evolution takes longer than the average island challenge lasts and they cannot usually be adopted or captured (see Acquisition). Even if a trainer did have a recently evolved arcanine, they are unlikely to be able to safely wield their fire attacks and will have to rely on their size and other elemental moves.

    Growlithe function differently than arcanine in battle. They typically do not have the life experience to learn the sheer variety of moves that an old arcanine will know. Growlithe typically depend on bites, moderately powerful fire attacks, and a few utility moves such as agility or roar. They function as fairly typical rushdown pokémon, getting in close with an initial sprint and then tearing away with bites. Growlithe are strong for the first part of the island challenge, but they will be underpowered by the end of the second island.

    Acquisition

    Growlithe can be captured with a Class III license or purchased or adopted with a Class II license. Arcanine capture in Alola is forbidden without DNR permission. Arcanine can be adopted or purchased with a Class IV license.

    The growlithe pack hunts in the coastal plains of Routes 2 and 3. They rest along the Anahula River on Route 2. They have successfully driven zorua, furfrou and rockruff into the forests, urban areas, and mountains of Melemele. Ambushing a growlithe to capture them is not recommended; the entire pack will band together to resist an unwanted capture. The best way to capture a growlithe is to camp out near the Anahula river for a few days with non-canine pokémon. Eventually a growlithe may approach and test the trainer. If they decide the trainer is worthy, they will go willingly.

    Growlithe can also be purchased or adopted from most canine breeders and pokémon shelters in Alola. The Alolan government prefers to get arcanine out of the archipelago due to the disruptive effect they can have on local ecology. Aside from the occasional migratory salamence, arcanine would be the largest predator on Melemele.

    Breeding

    Arcanine are not as territorial with each other as growlithe packs are. They will often share overlapping ranges. They hunt separately. In times of scarcity, arcanine will more strictly enforce their territories.

    But in times of plenty, arcanine will sometimes cross paths and briefly socialize. Sometimes a male and female arcanine with overlapping territory will develop a respect for each other and, eventually, mate. The female has a forty-month pregnancy, during which time the male will typically guard and even hunt for his mate. Arcanine have litters of eight to twelve puppies. The arcanine pair will care for them until they reach roughly two years of age, at which point they will be able to eat exclusively solid foods. The female arcanine will go around to every growlithe pack in the range and give one to three puppies to each pack to care for.

    In captivity, a pair of arcanine can share the same trainer and space. They may eventually mate. Arcanine will trust their trainer to distribute the puppies once they are fully weaned. Arcanine will grow aggressive towards their puppies if they stay on the same team for more than three years.

    Subspecies

    N/A
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2019
  4. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Hypno (Drowzee)

    Overview

    Hypno is one of the easiest psychic-types to care for in Alola. They are intelligent and social, and each has a distinct personality. They don’t require the same level of enrichment as slowking and oranguru. They do not need to sleep, drink or eat physical food. Their diet is provided routinely and automatically by their trainer and teammates. They are protective of humans, especially children. Contrary to their reputation, hypno are an entirely safe family pokémon.

    Perhaps most importantly, they can respect and communicate with humans with even below-average PSY scores.

    Physiology

    Hypno and drowzee are both classified as pure-psychic types. Neither typing is disputed.

    Hypno are true psychics. Like most true psychics, their organ structure is usually similar to humans but contains many irregularities distinct to each individual. See the mime sr. entry for more details. They disappear upon death. Hypno and musharna make up a branch of the true psychics referred to as the dream psychics. They do not warp the fabric of reality to the same degree as mime sr., but they have extraordinarily powerful telepathy related to sleep and dreams. Their telepathy works on anything with a sleep or resting stage, even if the species is ordinarily very resistant to mental attacks.

    Drowzee are born with dark brown fur. As they grow older, golden spots and stripes begin to appear. Eventually, the colors settle into dark brown fur on their bottom half and golden fur on the upper half. The pattern at the border of the two areas is unique to the individual. Drowzee are primarily quadrupedal, although they can stand on two legs when necessary. Drowzee’s most notable feature is their proboscis. They have large mouths and often produce vocalizations that sound like whines or yawns.

    Hypno have golden fur across almost their entire body. The exception is a ring of thick, fluffy white fur around their neck. Hypno lose their proboscis’ mobility as it shortens and hardens into a hooked nose. Hypno also lose their mouths, although they often retain stomachs and lungs with no connection to the outside of the body. Hypno’s ears grow continuously until they die, growing more powerful with age. Both drowzee and hypno have functional eyes, but their light-based vision is very limited (see Behavior). They are almost entirely bipedal.

    Hypno typically grow to a height of 1.5 meters and a mass of 75 kilograms. Their lifespan closely tracks the average human lifespan in their habitat.

    Behavior

    Both drowzee and hypno feed upon dreams. They strongly prefer human dreams, or at least those of highly intelligent pokémon, but they will settle for any species’ dreams. They also prefer younger prey as they have more REM sleep than older members of their species.

    Drowzee do not yet have powerful hypnotic abilities. Their means of putting something to sleep are limited to yawns that carry a telepathic signal, relaxing everything that hears them. Two to five of these yawns (depending upon the age of the drowzee and the exhaustion of the human) can put a human to sleep. Once their prey is asleep, drowzee put their proboscis over the nostrils of their prey. Their breath keeps their prey knocked out for the duration of the feeding, and also stimulates dreaming. Drowzee are satiated after two to three hours of consuming human dreams.

    Hypno have more effective ways of knocking out prey. They can initiate a telepathic link by eye contact. This link can be manipulated by means of a pendulum whose pattern is slightly altered by telekinetic pushes. After establishing eye contact for roughly half of a second, hypno can convince a target to follow rudimentary orders or to enter into a dormant stage. This dormancy is similar to sleep, but differs in two key ways. The first is that the target’s eyes are open, aside from blinking. The second is that the sleep has proportionally more REM sleep than the prey would otherwise have. Hypno lose control of their target after three full seconds of broken eye contact. They typically order their target to sleep and forget when feeding ends, resulting in their prey waking up refreshed and confused after a few more hours of sleep.

    Both drowzee and hypno have a strong preference for happy individuals, especially happy children. This is because they often have happier dreams, which are more satiating and better tasting. To conserve their favored prey, hypno are very defensive of children of all species in their territory. When they believe that a parent or other adult is making a child miserable, they will knock out the adult and whisk the child away. Contrary to popular belief, hypno do not keep the child. They simply move the child away and leave them with a new adult. So-called “hypno orphans” usually wake up with all traumatic and otherwise unpleasant memories erased, along with all memories that could be used to identify their old parent. This process can make hypno sick for up to two months but the same hypno have been documented doing it multiple times, fully aware of the cost to themselves.

    Husbandry

    Hypno and drowzee are rather easy to feed. They should simply be let out of their pokéball while their trainer sleeps. Drowzee feedings will lead to less rejuvenation per hour slept, but they do not have to feed for very long so the total effect is the equivalent of a lost hour a night. Hypno trances are more rejuvenating in total, but then hypno takes some of the rest away as they feed. The trances are still more rejuvenating per hour than actual sleep, though, and they allow trainers to perfectly set their own sleep schedule.

    Hypno and drowzee will sometimes show their trainers very good dreams they have fed upon in the past. They can also prevent trainers from remembering nightmares, although this can make them sick for the next day or two (see Illness).

    This feeding is physically addictive. However, the only symptoms are felt upon withdrawal. Because hypno have a human-equivalent lifespan, a hypno trainer can freely feed their pokémon with very minimal risk of withdrawal. Hypno have been phased out of regular hospital use because getting someone addicted to the trances and then taking them away can lead to headaches, insomnia, nausea, dizziness, and forgetfulness for up to twenty days.

    Hypno will grow frustrated with depressed trainers. This does mean that they will do everything in their power to keep their trainer happy. However, chronic depression will limit the ability of a trainer to feed their pokémon. As such, depressed trainers should not capture drowzee or hypno. If a trainer becomes depressed after obtaining the pokémon, it is best to acquire other teammates that can feed the hypno.

    The best partner for hypno is komala (see Acquisition). Other good partners are intelligent pokémon that are not psychic- or dark-types. Pokémon of those types can make it more difficult for hypno to absorb dreams from them. Good dream providers include ninetales, sylveon, lapras, primarina, passimian, blissey, lucario, and dragonite. Other nocturnal pokémon and psychic-types can keep a hypno entertained while they are not feeding.

    Hypno prefer to hide and relax during the day, even if they do not properly sleep. They are fine being in pokéballs from dawn until dusk. They do not need much social interaction with their trainer while awake because of the form their telepathy takes. Trainers without a high PSY score will not be able to have a standard telepathic conversation with their hypno. All but the most powerful of telepaths will not be able to talk to their hypno without making eye contact.

    Hypno can talk to almost all humans in dreams. Shortly before or after feeding, hypno can create an artificial dreamscape and talk to their trainer. Hypno may retain their form, take a human form, or go with something else entirely. The majority of hypno use either a distinctly male or distinctly female telepathic voice and seem to identify with that gender. Hypno do not have an anatomical sex (see Breeding). Hypno do not have full control over the dreamscape and must integrate elements from dreams they have fed upon to create it. Older hypno have more options and more dreams in reserve and can create more elaborate dreamscapes. Most hypno are very pleasant to everyone, especially the person that feeds them, and will create pleasant experiences. Angry hypno can be terrifying in the dreamscape, as they control reality itself and there is nothing the victim can do to break free. Thankfully outside of child abuse or abusing the hypno itself, it is difficult to provoke this wrath.

    Hypno do not produce waste. They do not need to drink or breathe. Because their socialization needs are met while their trainer is asleep, they are a very easy pokémon to care for. Their intelligence and dreamscape control also make them a good and loyal friend. They can also be trusted to carefully protect children and other family members.

    Illness

    Hypno illnesses are temporary and untreatable. They can be brought on by injury in battle, consuming too many unpleasant dreams, or not consuming enough dreams. The solution to all injuries is rest, food, and a break from battles. Hypno’s more physical injuries can also be cured by some herbal medicines, pokémon moves, and artificial medicines.

    The usual symptoms of more mental hypno illnesses include grumpiness, antisocial behavior, a lack of energy, pained expressions with no apparent cause, and an aversion to light.

    Evolution

    Drowzee gradually evolve into hypno between five and eight years of age. The formal demarcation point is when the pokémon begins to play with pendulums. Hypno do not reach sexual maturity until they are roughly sixteen years old, although they otherwise reach their final size and appearance around twelve years of age.

    Their evolution can be accelerated a little by frequent battling, but not to nearly the same extent as most other species.

    Battle

    Hypno’s effectiveness in a metagame depends on what the relevant sleep clause is. The United States Competitive Pokémon Association holds that if a pokémon on the opposing team is already asleep, then no sleep-inducing moves may be used. However, a pokémon being asleep does not cause the switch timer to expire or move at a faster rate.

    This means that hypno is best used as the only sleep-inducer on a team. When they enter the field, they should immediately set about trying to hypnotize the opponent. Unfortunately, this is easily countered by the simple command, “Close your eyes!” Fortunately, this means that the opposing pokémon will be blind against hypno.

    Offensively, hypno has more physical strength than the average true psychic but not much more than the average pokémon. Their telekinesis is also somewhat limited. They can be absolutely devastating to the psyche of a sleeping opponent, warping the dreamscape to break the opponent’s will to fight. But outside of the dreamscape, hypno have to boost for a few minutes with nasty plot or calm mind to be a serious offensive threat.

    In practice, hypno are best played by trying to control the field and disrupt the opposing pokémon until they make the mistake of opening their eyes to navigate. Hypno can do this with barrier, light screen and reflect, poison gas, thunder wave, disable, and psychic terrain.

    Unfortunately, this dependence on many utility moves makes hypno rather hard to train for the island challenge. Part of this is that gaining proficiency in many moves is harder and more time consuming than gaining mastery over one. Part of the difficulty is just learning the basics of the moves themselves. Several of these moves are TMs or require specialist tutoring, which can be time-consuming or expensive. Hypno can bridge the gap a little by eating the dreams and combing the memories of pokémon that can use these attacks. However, this requires having teammates who already know these attacks. Sometimes memory eating destroys the memory itself, requiring a retraining of the pokémon the move was learned from.

    Drowzee are less able to inflict ranged sleep. As such, they are best used as somewhat bulky physical attackers who can hit up close with their fists or relatively weak elemental attacks. Both drowzee and hypno can take a few hits before falling, especially if those hits are weakened by a utility move. Drowzee can compliment their weak offensive abilities and decent bulk through poison gas or toxic, making them fit on more stall-oriented teams.

    Acquisition

    Drowzee and hypno can be purchased, adopted, or captured with a Class II license.

    The species has been introduced to all four major islands to help protect the local komala population. Because komala are always asleep and apparently always happy, hypno adore them. Hypno are incredibly protective of their preferred food source, and will fight any would-be predators of the endangered komala.

    Hypno were later removed from Ula’Ula when the komala population had recovered enough to allow for capture, as the threat hypno posed to trainers became greater than the boost to komala numbers was worth. Hypno and drowzee capture is allowed on Melemele and Poni, but not on Akala. They are most often found at the edge of forests along the coast. The species takes shelter in forests during the day, and dreams near the ocean are apparently more pleasant. Drowzee and hypno are best captured by waiting for them to come to you. Stay awake at night in prime hypno territory with only one pokémon out. If a drowzee approaches, try to capture it. If a hypno does, it is best to tell your pokémon to back down and try to reason with the hypno in the dreamscape. If the trainer’s dreams are good enough, the hypno will usually join the team willingly.

    Breeding

    Hypno often have identified genders. Roughly 40% identify as male, 40% as female, and 20% identify as both or neither. Hypno have no genitalia and no physical differences based on gender. Hypno can reproduce with any other hypno, regardless of the gender of the two parents.

    When a hypno finds someone with very good dreams, they implant part of their psyche into the prey. This is not noticeable outside of direct psychic attacks or scans. It does make the prey more resistant to telepathy and may provide a slight boost to intelligence, but has no other effects.

    If another hypno feeds from the same prey, and agrees that the dreams are very good, they will remove the embedded psyche, merge it with a fragment of their own, and give it physical form. The resulting drowzee will have an appearance and genome equivalent to a child made through sexual reproduction between the parents. The personality and instincts will be a mix of the two hypno parents and the host used to create the child.

    This may sound like a strange way to reproduce, but hypno are equally baffled by human reproduction.

    Hypno do not like sharing the same trainer in captivity. In effect, hypno breeding requires having two hypno and only using one at a time. Because they are social and intelligent pokémon that trainers can converse with, most are unwilling to do this. Hypno are generally fine with not reproducing if doing so would require leaving their trainer.

    After birth, drowzee is cared for by the second parent for the first eight to ten years of their life. Hypno can reproduce multiple times over the course of their life and are willing to raise multiple children at once. Newborn drowzee are only about ten centimeters long and spend most of their time in their parent’s soft neck fur. As they grow older, hypno allow their offspring to rest their head against the fur while being carried. When transporting “rescued” children between parents, hypno also comfort the child by letting them rest against their fur. It is believed that this fur induces calmness and drowsiness, but the effect is lost when the fur is removed from the hypno.

    Subspecies

    N/A
     
  5. bobandbill

    bobandbill Winning Smile Staff Member Super Mod

    I’ve read the first three entries so far, and have rather enjoyed them! This is a very neat and thoughtful expansion on the information we have from canon. You’ve put in some good ideas about not only training and caring for them, but also aspects such as subspecies and how they fit into the world, including which are good (or not) in the competitive domain.

    The writing style is also quite on point – bonus points there! I’m looking forward to reading even more entries here. =)

    A few things I noticed during reading:
    This read a bit oddly to me (around the “and very mych untamed”, specifically).
    Would a semicolon rather than a comma at the end here fit better?
    Is this referring to New Zealand, perhaps? I thought so given the north and south island references, in which case it is a bit odd to me to see it referred to without the ‘New’.
    While infrequent, I did notice that at times you would start consecutive sentences with the same word. In this paragraph there are three ‘The ___’ starts in a row, and the rest use Torracat or They. A touch more variation may help remove the slighty listy feel that can emerge from this.
    The first bolded sentence sounds a bit odd as-is by itself. I would find it easier to read if written as part of the previous sentence (e.g. joined by a hyphen: “...one or two reprimands – to humans they have respect for, anyway.”), or if as its own sentence rewritten slightly.

    The second imo ought to be replacement, or “to be replaced”.
    hodad...?

    Quite enjoyable – keep them coming! Maybe after I get caught up on what has been already written, though. ;p

    [BTW – The OP is partly in black coloured font which doesn’t show up well on the forum skin I am using – may want to adjust that.]
     
    Rediamond likes this.
  6. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Thank you!

    Will examine in context tomorrow when I do proper edits.

    Maybe? Unsure. Will have to think on what in-universe style would be.

    It is. Early installment weirdness. Originally I wasn't sure how close I wanted this world to match ours, so I kept "Zealand" as a way to add a subtle indicator that things aren't identical. But I can't think of a good in-universe reason for that so I'll change it.

    I think I rambled about this over Discord, but yeah. I acknowledge this. I try to fix it where I spot it in my own edits, but it's... sort of inevitable for what this is. I have a few ideas to reduce the frequency, and I've tried to limit it to just Physiology, but I accept the point.

    Agree. Will fix.

    Future entry ;)

    I update most Saturdays. So, uh, you'd have to read pretty fast to get through all of it between updates. Also the table of contents is incomplete as of now. Will fix that and add threadmarks tomorrow.

    Please tell me when you see this, here or over discord. It's a known problem but I don't know what chapters it applies to.
     
  7. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    This week’s entry of The Alola Pokedex is a tribute to Ghost Town by Cutlerine for tying for the top prize in Serebii’s 2018 Fan Fiction Awards. You can check it out here. Be forewarned that this entry contains massive spoilers for the ending of Ghost Town.

    Downloading from The Alola Pokédex Online Appendix . . .
    Spiritomb (Dr. Tacoma Spearing)

    Overview

    Human psychics are well-studied. We may not understand why their powers work, but we understand how they do. There are other classes of humans with uncommon, pokémon-like abilities that are more poorly understood. These include channelers, humans who can communicate with the dead. Channelers are well documented in the modern era, even if modern science cannot yet explain much about them at all.

    Mages and magic are a blind spot for researchers. Magic is here defined as incantation or text based “spells” that perform a non-psychic or channeling effect impossible for most humans. There are reports of magic in almost all ancient cultures, but almost no verifiable reports among modern humans. Some very well-respected scientists believe that magic never existed at all. What passed for “magic” were just humans performing elaborate tricks with hidden pokémon, or the interventions of extraordinarily powerful legendary pokémon.

    Spiritomb is one of the main arguments against this theory.

    Humans on six continents created spiritomb. There are depictions of them in the crypts of Old Kingdom pharaohs, although the oldest continuously documented spiritomb only dates back to the Song Dynasty. The myths of spiritomb creation, powers and behaviors are remarkably similar across cultures. Between spiritomb and golurk, our ancestors clearly had a way to engineer phantoms. This might be explainable as sufficiently advanced science, but depictions of spiritomb are not correlated to a civilization’s level of social and scientific advancement.

    The most plausible explanation is simply that there are ways not currently understood for humans to exercise control over the world of phantoms. Spiritomb is also a strong argument that we may have been better off unlearning this control. By all accounts their creation process required mass death, ritual suicide, and the traumatization of scores of souls. The end product is a powerful and unpredictable pokémon prone to fits of murderous rage.

    Physiology

    Spiritomb is classified as a dual ghost- and dark- type Pokémon. The ghost typing is undisputed. The dark-typing is in review, as spiritomb are vulnerable to telepathic attacks unless they go out of their way to shield themselves. Their other characteristics (shadow manipulation, most active at night, shocking displays of brutality, hostility towards humanity, above average intelligence) are definitely in line with a dark typing. It is widely expected that the Department of Agriculture will maintain the typing after their review.

    There are three superkingdoms of pokémon: organics, machines, and phantoms. Organics are carbon-based and physiologically similar to ordinary plants, animals, and protists. Machines are not carbon-based and usually reproduce by external assembly of offspring from raw materials, or at least from parts of the parent’s body. Phantoms exist primarily on another plane, with portions of their being overlapping in the physical realm. Phantoms must derive their energy from the mental processes and psychic radiation of other species.

    There are pokémon that blur the lines between these categories. The true psychics often feed on mental processes and exist primarily on another plane, but they have a physical carbon-based body.

    Another borderline family of pokémon are the constructs. Many phantoms possess objects and use them to interact with the physical world. Constructs were originally objects that, through means still poorly understood, were given life by humans. The constructs do not need to feed from the minds of others: all of their energy comes from the process that created them. While this well is theoretically finite, no known construct has ever expired from hunger. Unlike other phantoms, they can be killed by destroying their physical body as they cannot reform one or possess another object on their own (see Illness).

    Spiritomb’s body is a single smooth stone, usually conical in shape, with a small opening at the surface. The stone is hollow, and sonar scans confirm that the hole does lead into the interior. However, no object can pass through the hole and no light comes out. There is often, but not always, at least one crack running along the stone’s surface.

    Active spiritomb can create projections from the hole. These are usually spinning discs of purple gas with green dots scattered throughout it. A green face usually appears on the disc. Aside from their disc, some spiritomb project a purple and green version of the currently manifesting spirit’s face at the time of death.

    Spiritomb can weigh as much as 108 kilograms, but most are considerably lighter. Ten to twenty kilograms seems to be a more typical mass. Spiritomb’s keystones are typically 0.3 to 0.5 meters in length. The height of their disc is highly variable depending on the spiritomb’s power, energy, and emotional state.

    Behavior

    The first thing to know when interacting with spiritomb is that there are 70 to 200 souls sharing one body. Sometimes there is one dominant spirit and no others will ever take charge of the disc. Sometimes multiple spirits share the disc at once. For most spiritomb, a handful of spirits take turns controlling the disc, with one to five in control most of the time and others occasionally taking the reins. Different spirits can either broadly cooperate or go out of their way to undo whatever the last controlling spirit did.

    Each soul has a different personality, emotional state, level of intelligence, and relationship to others. One spirit can be very fond of a trainer and would never harm them. The next might kill their trainer at the first opportunity. This makes interacting with them extremely dangerous and never safe, however docile the pokémon appears to be.

    Spiritomb also have varying levels of activity across time. Some spiritomb, while not technically dormant (see Illness), can go for centuries without manifesting a disc. Other spiritomb keep a disc up near-constantly. Most spiritomb will wake up every night for a few years or decades, and then spend about the same amount of time silent.

    Motivations vary by spiritomb. Many are very bloodthirsty, going out of their way to kill everything they possibly can. Others can have long, peaceful conversations with passers-by. Some can go from one extreme to the other in the blink of an eye. A minority of spiritomb attempt to fulfill some goal that the dominant spirit had in life.

    Dr. Spearing has suggested that spiritomb’s individual spirits may still be human enough to warrant traditional psychiatric diagnoses. Their violence stems from their nature in life and circumstances of creation (see Breeding), the shock of death, being confined with other rage-filled spirits, having a human mind but no contact with living humans, dysmorphia, and the stressors of being near-immortal. These stressors include watching everyone the spirit cared about inevitably die, the human mind not being built to hold up for centuries or millennia, and the increasing inability to recognize the world around them.

    This theory goes a long way towards explaining spiritomb behavior. Application of traditional talk therapy has substantially calmed a captive spiritomb owned by Castelia University’s ghost studies department. However, even that spiritomb is still prone to fits of violence and withdrawal.

    Husbandry

    Many pokémon that occasionally attack and eat wild humans can be trained rather easily. Pyroar and incineroar are social felines that adjust well to human care when raised from birth, for example. Even most dragons can be kept complacent so long as they are well fed and given outlets for their hunting instincts. Another group of pokémon often kill their trainers on accident due to their sheer power and obliviousness to human life. Volcarona is the best example of this in Alola.

    Then there are the pokémon that don’t prey upon humans for food, but rather for sport. They cannot be tamed. Even specimens raised from birth in captivity can and will kill their doting caretaker on a whim. These pokémon can never under any circumstances be trusted. The best, and perhaps only, way to train them is to keep them on a team stacked with other powerhouses that love their trainer and will put down the attacker the second they step out of line. This usually works to deter vanilluxe. Metagross often just see it as a puzzle to be solved.

    Spiritomb cannot be killed (see Illness). They know they cannot be killed. Some know this, but still want to die badly enough that they will lash out at anything that might overpower them in hopes of it being their final fight. As such, mutually assured destruction usually does nothing at all or backfires when caring for spiritomb.

    Most captive spiritomb are communicated with through intercoms and video feeds. There are constantly pokéballs ready to withdraw them. If that fails, the cells have a built-in weapons system. This is not viable for traveling trainers.

    If you absolutely must care for a spiritomb on the road, the most reliable means of doing so is through consistently kind, empathetic interactions. This works best on spiritomb with a single dominant spirit, and even then it only works on one with the right temperament. If a spiritomb has a motivation that the human can assist with, they will be far less likely to kill their trainer or break reasonable rules. The most common motivation is seeing more of the world, as some spiritomb have been stuck in the same place for millennia. Even non-violent spiritomb can be verbally abusive, so consistent calm can be difficult to maintain.

    Spiritomb cannot eat or drink. They do not produce waste. Most sleep, but this is apparently not strictly necessary.

    Only two spiritomb are trained by individuals (as opposed to institutions) in the world. For legal purposes, Dr. Spearing is owned by Jodi Ortega. The other spiritomb is trained by Shirona Karashina, regional champion of the Sinnoh League in Japan.

    Illness

    Spiritomb get tired after sustaining heavy damage to their disc and projections, or after using offensive attacks. The pokémon will rest, if not sleep, for a time after their injuries. Pokémon Centers and conventional medication are useless on spiritomb, and ultimately unnecessary as the pokémon can fully recover from virtually anything on their own. They also do not suffer from any of the typical phantom diseases.

    The pokémon’s keystone is practically invulnerable. Famously, Karashina’s spiritomb retreated into its keystone right before taking a meteor mash from a mega evolved metagross. The impact of the stone shattered the mime sr. created walls of the arena. The spiritomb came out apparently unharmed a second after the stone fell to the ground. The keystone had not been scratched.

    This stone is also the only way to kill a spirtomb. While no spiritomb has been killed in the modern age, images and texts from the Achaemenid Empire and twelfth century Cahokia have depicted a spiritomb being killed by a sword blessed by the gods slicing through the keystone. The species’ weakness to fairy attacks, traditionally viewed as holy or divine energy, suggests that this may be a viable way of killing one.

    One spiritomb has been temporarily sealed in the modern era. This involved detonating a fairy-tinged attack with the equivalent force of a small atomic bomb right on top of a spiritomb. The stone went inactive for fifteen years with channelers reporting that the dominant spirit was simply gone, and the others were nearly destroyed.

    That spiritomb reactivated as soon as someone died near it, trapping that soul in the process. All attempts to neutralize spiritomb were quickly abandoned as not worth the effort.

    Evolution

    Spiritomb may be capable of evolution. There is only one instance of this in the modern era and no ancient records, legends, or drawings suggest it had happened before. In January 1977, Dr. Tacoma Spearing underwent a radical change in appearance. She initially appeared as a woman with roughly the same appearance as she had before death. At present, she resembles her initial appearance altered to match her chronological age. She has demonstrated the ability to instantly revert to her initial appearance and has suggested it is her true form. Any deviations are illusions.

    She deviates from her pre-death appearance in a few ways. Her body is slightly translucent, especially when she is tired. Her keystone, now with several more cracks, floats where her heart should be. The edges of her body are always indistinct and blurring into mist. Her hair is made up of purple tendrils that move with a mind of their own but generally hang down.

    Dr. Spearing has consistently refused to submit herself to more detailed testing. As such, this is the extent of our knowledge on her physiology.

    She has theorized that spiritomb have a bond-based evolution. If one ever gets close enough to a living human, their keystone will shatter and all spirits will have a choice of moving on or staying in an evolved state. She chose to stay and all other spirits passed. Dr. Spearing has stated that she could still pass if she desired to do so. While spiritomb feed off of the energy well imbued in them at construction, she has a more traditional phantom diet of strong emotions. Her preferred emotion is love, but she has stated that she can feed on hatred, disgust, irritation, envy, sadness, anger, and the feeling that comes from knowing that you’ve forgotten something very important but can’t remember exactly what it was.

    Battle

    Because there is only one spiritomb that regularly battles, almost all of what we know comes from it. This is complicated by Karsahina’s reputation as a fearsome strategist and trainer. Her garchomp, for example, is the only pokémon to ever knock out Richard Conrad’s victini. There are no other reports of victini ever being defeated.

    Spiritomb appears to be entirely invulnerable while retreated into its keystone. As such, spending more than fifteen seconds in the keystone over a sixty second period is considered to be a knockout. It does take roughly half a second for spiritomb to finish withdrawing, which still leaves it vulnerable to some very fast and powerful attacks. Even with its disc out, Karashina’s spiritomb has taken hits from a Battler-ranked trainer’s signature pokémon for over an hour without going down. This was not an anomaly, as it has never been knocked out in less than thirty minutes in an official match.

    While not as strong as it is durable, spirtomb can still spew out plumes of ghostly flames, send out anti-telepathic bursts and actual telepathic attacks, and control shadows in the environment. Spiritomb has shown the ability to harden shadows into blades and move them with enough force to penetrate a rhyperior’s skin.

    Spiritomb has no reliable means of recovery, outside of some weak energy sapping. This makes it vulnerable to being worn down by repeated hits, especially from fairy types. Still, Karashina’s spiritomb is almost as feared as her garchomp. Unprepared trainers, even world-class ones, have found their team systematically destroyed by it.

    Other spiritomb are similarly powerful, if not quite as well trained. Their biggest weakness is that they like to toy with their prey rather than finishing it off immediately, giving chances to retaliate. While these retaliatory strikes likely will not knock out the spiritomb, they may stun it for long enough to escape.

    Dr. Spearing is less durable than the average spiritomb. She has been harmed by attacks that a normal spiritomb would laugh off, although she has kept battling through them. When genuinely upset, her offensive powers dwarf even Karashina’s spiritomb. While spiritomb can manipulate small shadows, Dr. Spearing can move all darkness in an area as a single mass, and even extinguish light sources. Her main difference from spiritomb is that she can fly at speeds up to eight meters per second, while spiritomb are incapable of moving their keystone more than a centimeter or two a minute.

    Acquisition

    Spiritomb require a Class V license to purchase, adopt, or capture.

    Outside of Karashina’s visits, there is only one spiritomb in Alola. It resides in lāh Palace, the old home of the Hawaiian monarchs. While it was dormant for nearly two centuries, the spiritomb awakened at some point over the last three years and has slowly been moving through the castle. At least two people have been killed after encountering it, with another three surviving encounters. Two of those three were badly injured.

    The palace is a restricted area. Permission to enter is at the discretion of the Ula’Ula kahuna. Capturing the spiritomb is unwise, as it is presently confined to an abandoned area, but it is technically legal.

    According to legend, this spiritomb was created in the 15th century after the Lanakila War when the losing chief, her family, her best warriors, and some other Ula’ula chiefs were bound into the keystone as punishment for the Lanakila Massacre. There she killed the three island chiefs on sacred ground in a bid to take over the archipelago. Her name was struck from history and few other details about her have survived. It is believed that she is the dominant spirit in the pokémon.

    Breeding

    Spirtomb were created by a high priest of the local gods sealing seventy to two hundred sinners into a ritually prepared stone. The incantations used to create spiritomb have mostly been lost to time, but the fragments found appear to be phonetically similar to each other across centuries and oceans. The process appeared to involve ritual human sacrifice of the sinners. At the end, the priest would kill themselves on top of the keystone and complete the ritual. Whether the priest was one of the sealed sinners themselves seems to vary by culture.

    A handful of modern cults have attempted to create spiritomb. None have succeeded.

    No spiritomb has ever reproduced with another pokémon. Encounters between spiritomb tend to end in fights or both parties withdrawing into their keystones and refusing to talk. The one evolved spiritomb, Dr. Spearing, has not produced offspring. She is in a long-term romantic relationship with a human of the opposite gender and self-identifies as a lesbian.

    Subspecies

    None known.
     
  8. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    This week’s entry of The Alola Pokedex is a tribute to The Curious and the Shiny: New Game Plus by NebulaDreams for tying for the top prize in Serebii’s 2018 Fan Fiction Awards. You can check it out here. Be forewarned that this entry contains moderate spoilers.

    Downloading from The Alola Pokédex Online Appendix . . .​

    Luxray (Shinx, Luxio)

    Overview

    Pokémon are not equally intelligent. Some, such as slowpoke, may not be sapient or sentient at all. Many have intelligence roughly equivalent to a non-pokémon animal or a human toddler. Others roughly equal us in intellect. Slowking see us as toddlers, metagross as dumb pets.

    Pokémon are also not mutually intelligible. Members of Carnivora can’t understand the language of most ungulates, and vice-versa. There is an open debate over the extent to which pokémon even have languages, in the human understanding of them.

    At some point, perhaps as early as 1980 and perhaps continuing to the present, at least one group set out to change this. No records survive and all of our knowledge comes from the few participants in the programs who want to talk about their experience. Their reports mostly align, and the results, talking pokémon from several species that have never spoken before, lend credibility to them.

    Some of the survivors have settled in around the world. Many have begun to raise families that display similar intelligence. The results appear to be more pronounced in less intelligent species, with affected alakazam being only marginally smarter than the baseline for their species (albeit with fewer of the mental health drawbacks). These new populations have been preliminarily dubbed gestalt pokémon.

    The only gestalt population on Alola is a group of luxray on Akala. Given the large number of gestalt luxray around the world, most of whom claim to be from different facilities, as well as the slight genetic variance in gestalt luxray, these were probably genetically modified and captive bred by the responsible organizations.

    Gestalt luxray are a protected species in Alola. Capture is only permitted with the luxray’s consent. Please be aware that these luxray are considered to have slightly above average intelligence by human standards. Furthermore, they have the most human-like mentality of any other pokémon species in Alola. Trainers who are not prepared to treat their pokémon as equals should avoid training this species.

    Physiology

    Gestalt luxray are pure electric-types.

    Outside of some slight genetic differences, a more elastic brain structure, and more complex vocal chords, gestalt luxray are identical to standard eastern luxray.

    The back half of shinx is coated in black fur, and most of the front half in blue. A yellow star tops their long, thin tail. The star and the tail are the shinx’s primary tool for channeling electric discharges. Shinx have ringed golden eyes and a black “collar” of fur. They also sport yellow bands on their front ankles and yellow inner ears. These are not used to channel attacks and are purely ornamental. The size of the ears gives shinx the best hearing of the feline pokémon.

    Luxio develop a more complex ornament on their tail, allowing for more powerful and accurate discharges. They gain another stripe on their forelegs. Shinx’s thin black collar grows into a head-framing black mane of fur as they grow. Luxio’s ears are proportionally smaller than shinx’s, but they are larger overall and shinx’s senses get stronger with age until they are fully grown.

    Luxray have a different coat pattern than shinx and luxio. The back legs are covered in blue fur, while the black mane expands to cover the front of the forelegs. Another stripe develops on the forelegs, but all stripes are now only visible from the back. Luxray have a very large headcrest, but it sticks back in large tufts rather than encircling their full face like a male pyroar. A small blue patch develops in their midsection.

    The species is one of two electric cats, along with umpaka. Their electricity is generated by muscle movements and stored inside of their fur as static. The fluffier a luxray is, the more danger it presents in a fight. Their bolts are channeled with their tail. Alternatively, they can be steadily discharged from their fur to create a glowing effect or a temporary shield of static electricity, depending upon the amount released.

    Luxray (and, to a lesser extent, luxio) also have the ability to sense electrical currents around them. This ability includes the currents in the nervous systems of other animals and pokémon. While using this ability, the pokémon’s sclera glows red.

    Adult luxray are typically around one meter in height and weigh around forty kilograms. The lifespan of the eastern luxray is fifteen years. Several gestalt luxray have reached this age with no serious deterioration. In fact, no gestalt luxray has yet showed signs of aging.

    Behavior

    Young shinx often have only a limited ability to speak, although they can understand most feline pokémon from birth and begin to develop an understanding of other spoke languages before their first birthday. They will usually not be able to speak fluently and without stutters or other errors in any non-feline language until they are nearly two years old.

    Because luxio and luxray can track patterns much more complex than letters, luxray are among the most literate of the gestalt species. They can often read in several languages before they master speaking other feline dialects.

    The Alolan charge of luxray live as one large family group.

    While male and female luxray look very similar (although the males manes are a little longer), they are very different in temperament. Male luxray shy away from all violence and are generally laid-back, social, and considerate. They raise the kittens in the wild. Females are high-strung, somewhat rude, and love violent play. Female luxio and luxray hunt for the charge. Both genders and all three stages are obligate carnivores.

    Husbandry

    Gestalt luxray have many of the same advantages and drawbacks as other intelligent, social species. Males can be taught rules and routines from a very young age and will attempt to obey them, even if there is very little in the way of reinforcement. Females will at least understand rules, but see no need to obey them.

    Luxray should be provided with an abundance of reading materials as books are their preferred toys. While they are capable of reading electronic books, they strongly prefer paper books as they are easier to use without breaking them. Females will also entertain themselves by hunting or through battle. Males are reluctant battlers and prefer socializing and exploring. Some sort of a fitness regimen should be given to a male luxio right after acquisition to ensure they stay in shape. It is best if the trainer engages in the same activities to avoid building resentments.

    Eastern and gestalt luxray are ambivalent about water. Eastern luxray will sometimes swim in the wild for entertainment, hunting, or transportation. Gestalt luxray prefer not to get wet as it interferes with their ability to store charge, but will do so for baths. Because the bathing and grooming processes necessarily entail electric discharges, anti-static gear should be worn at these times.

    Male luxray will eat dry cat food or well-cooked meat. Female luxray enjoy fresh meat and tend not to enjoy cat food at all.

    Most intelligent pokémon have mindsets that are entirely alien to humans. Even if they are as smart as a human, these pokémon should not be treated exactly like one. Zoroark and luxray are the two exceptions in Alola. Luxray need trust, respect, and freedom. They should be allowed to use their own preferred name and should not be forced to do or refrain from anything outside of dire circumstances. Suggestions, rewards and compromises are the best ways of getting them to do something that they do not want to do. Luxray will develop their own hobbies, friend groups, and interests. Gestalt luxray understand the concept of purchases and, if given an allowance, are quite capable of making their own financial choices.

    Adopting a luxio is equivalent to adopting an adolescent human. You may be their legal guardian and primary caretaker. The luxio may respect and love you for it.

    You will never, ever own them.

    Illness

    Gestalt luxray are incredibly resistant to almost every common feline disease, including rabies.

    The bigger challenge for the line are mental health issues, as their brains do not have centuries of evolution to adapt to high intelligence.

    Depression is the most common problem in males. It can be hard to tell a depressed male luxray from a normal one due to their natural temperament, but a total loss of interest in things they used to enjoy is the easiest symptom to identify it by. No anti-depressant works on luxray. Talk therapists willing to take on a pokémon client and qualified to do so are very rare. This means that the trainer will usually have to do their best to make sure that the luxray is regularly socializing, exercising, and eating the proper amount of food.

    Females have different issues, some of which might just be the natural disposition of the species rather than a problem that should be treated. ADHD-like symptoms are one such example, as female luxray tend to have high energy and low concentration and see nothing wrong with it. Many could be diagnosable with a personality disorder, but most luxray object to this diagnosis. Even if it useful for describing the symptoms, they contend that they should not have to fit inside of human norms for no discernable reason. If their behavior is actively self-destructive, the trainer should try and subtly help with the luxray’s permission. Otherwise, it is best to let sleeping cats lie.

    Anxiety is the most common problem in female luxray that they will need help with. Merely being high-strung is not a problem. However, if they find themselves not engaging in things they want to do because they are constantly obsessing over risks, than they should probably be helped through it. Talking through choices with the pokémon and offering frequent reassurances are the best way for a trainer to assist.

    Evolution

    Shinx evolve for the first time between two and four years of age. Luxio evolve for the second time between three and five years of age. The pace of development is strongly linked to battle and hunting experience. In practice, females usually evolve before males.

    Both evolutions are classic flash-evolutions that occur over a matter of seconds. The newly evolved luxio or luxray is absolutely brimming with charge upon evolution.

    Battle

    No Battler-ranked trainer uses a luxray on their main team. Grounded electric-types struggle to justify their spot over mangezone, eelektross, vikavolt, and hodad. While they are less rough on personal electronics (luxray can even safely use computers), the lack of power and maneuverability makes them unpopular. They also struggle to compete with the faster manectric, which can also mega evolve. Despite these drawbacks, several noteworthy trainers on the Asian and European regional circuits use either an eastern or northern luxray.

    Shinx, luxio, and luxray all fight in effectively the same way. They defend themselves with a shield of static electricity that grows stronger as they run around the field. The longer the battle goes, the harder it is to hurt the pokémon. Then they discharge the shield either all at once or in smaller blows. Luxray hit hard, but they are unfortunately not very durable beyond their shield. If an opponent gets in one or two strong hits very early on it will be difficult for the luxray to pull off the round. Discharges also temporarily weaken the shield. These drawbacks mean that luxray struggle as revenge killers because they need time to set up themselves, and they also have serious difficulty pulling off a sweep.

    In a bind, luxray can release electricity from their claws to create long, thin electrical burns on their opponent.

    Fortunately, luxray are not very common in Alola and were only recently introduced. This means that opponents may not know to hit luxray early on and keep them from running. If they try to ignore their opponent and set up, they may find themselves in for a nasty surprise.

    Gestalt pokémon have the benefit of being intelligent enough to think on their own feet. This lets them handle basic responses and strategies without needing to receive commands while their trainer focuses on longer term strategies and watches for threats that are not immediately obvious.

    Acquisition

    Luxio require a Class II license to capture.

    Per commonwealth law, only luxio may be taken from the wild. Even then, this can only occur with the luxio’s explicit and ongoing consent. The charge can usually be found within the bounds of Akala National Park, usually in the lowland plains. Once or twice a month they will come to the Northern Shores Resort or Dividing Peak Tunnel. On one occasion they went all the way to the Pink Fields Stadium. They are not shy and will usually approach nearby humans.

    Breeding

    All luxray breeding must occur in the wild in Alola.

    Getsalt luxray usually mate for life, but can end long-term relationships for many of the same reasons humans do. The female enters a twenty day pregnancy and lays four to six eggs. These eggs will hatch after roughly two weeks into shinx kittens. Newborns are usually less than six inches long and grow to their full size over the course of six months. Infant mortality rates for all subspecies of shinx are among the highest of any feline pokémon.

    Curiously, gestalt luxray that spend enough time around either non-gestalt eggs or growing shinx can convert them into a gestalt shinx. This process even changes the genetic code of the converted pokémon. Neither pokémon scientists nor the luxray themselves understand how this works, and gestalt luxray almost always refuse to submit to rigorous examination.

    New shinx eggs and young shinx are occasionally given to the Alolan charge to expand the population without causing severe inbreeding.

    Subspecies

    There are four other subspecies of luxray.

    The eastern luxray are native to coastal China. They are physically near-identical to gestalt luxray. The pokémon live in charges of a dominant mated male and female pair and their descendants. Female children stay with their parents; males go to other charges to be with their new mate. One charge can consist of the dominant pair, several female children, their mates, and their children. Up to fifteen luxray have been spotted in a single charge.

    When the dominant female dies, her children split up and form their own charges. If the male survives, he will typically live with one of his children until he passes. If the male survives and has no fully evolved children of his own, he will probably choose a new partner. The new dominant female will kill all of the male’s surviving children before mating with him.

    The subspecies sticks to dense forests near open grasslands. At night, the females go out onto the plains and try to spot their prey with their electric vision before they are spotted in turn. They will silently creep as close to their prey as they can, sometimes staying in the forest edge during this process, and then break into a run. Females can run at speeds of up to twenty miles per hour for mid-distances. If they cannot outrun their prey in the initial charge, they will keep up the hunt until they have enough stored power to strike their prey down from a distance.

    Eastern luxray are reasonably popular as pets due to their exaggerated facial expressions, and escaped individuals have formed charges on the outskirts of Kotobuki City, Atlanta, and several Western European cities.

    Northern luxray have thicker coats and are generally larger and lighter, growing up to 1.5 meters at the shoulder. The northern, southern, and western luxray usually live alone, with pairs coming together for around one year to mate and care for their young until they reach their full shinx size. Then the shinx are left to fend on their own. This subspecies lives in the forests of the Amur watershed. All hunting occurs within forests, and despite their size northern luxray are primarily ambush predators and scavengers. Electric vision is helpful for identifying buried pokémon, and their size allows them to scare off many predators from their recent kills. The subspecies is the most popular in zoos due to their size and fearsome appearance, as well as their docile nature and ease of adjusting to captivity.

    The southern luxray lives in the rainforests and swamps of Southeastern Asia. They are about 30% smaller than the eastern luxray and have a much thinner, waterproof coat. Thinner coats mean that this subspecies has the least ability to store electricity. Their preferred hunting method is sitting motionless on the edge of cloudy water and waiting for something to swim nearby. Then they will send a quick burst of electricity out to stun their prey before diving in to make the kill with their teeth and claws.

    The western luxray is the smallest and most endangered subspecies. They have the fluffiest coat and even more expressive body language than the other subspecies. Large paws help them move in the deserts they inhabit. Small, digging species are their primary prey. Unlike their relatives, western luxray do not usually release their stored energy as electric bolts. Instead, the stored charge is converted into a temporary surge of kinetic energy released in one direction. Western luxray run around looking for prey with their electric vision. When they find a tunnel, they stand above it and send a pulse downward to collapse it. They will then either dig through the rubble to eat the crushed prey, or catch anything they tries to flee the tunnel through the new hole. Come morning, western luxray return to their own burrows and sleep.
     
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  9. NebulaDreams

    NebulaDreams A Dense Irritating Miniature Beast of Burden

    Hello! Thanks for reminding me of this entry, and right out of the gate, I’m very flattered you paid tribute to my fic for this. While I haven’t checked out this type of glossary/entry fic before, the ideas presented can be very interesting, and this dex entry is no exception.

    I think you’ve put a lot of thought into the worldbuilding here, and from the get-go, the intro sets the tone for the rest of these entries. A lot of Pokedex entries in-game seem to contradict themselves a lot, assuming the same is for every member of that species regardless, so any attempt at a more fleshed out dex entry is admirable. The explanations I like in particular are the acquisition and licensing laws (makes me curious about what the other license classes are) and the different subspecies of Luxray. The subspecies explanation I like in particular because it introduces different kinds of Luxray depending on their region with different skillsets, types of coats and electric conductivity. Though I find the idea of the most dangerous Luxray having the fluffiest coat oddly amusing. I think it would overcomplicate the games if the subspecies was used as a mechanic, but it would still be a cool feature to have. I also thought the plural for the Shinx line as a ‘charge’ was cute.

    For the nature of the tribute, it was very entertaining to see the different explanations for the gestalt Luxray and all the nods to Shine’s character in my fic. While he wasn’t referenced by name, I can see how you integrated his personality and temperament into an entire subspecies and expanded on how to properly take care of them. I love how his affinity for books becomes a subspecies trait. I found the explanation about mental health for both gendered species interesting in particular, since it reinforces how hard it would be to take care of a naturally depressed Pokemon like the male Luxray or the mercurial female Luxray. It’s also easy to see how you’ve taken liberties with that for your own Alola setting, and even added new things such as the breeding cycles and hunting dynamics.

    So yeah, I really enjoyed reading this. Thanks for that, and I’ll keep an eye out for more of your works to come in the future.
     
  10. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Hariyama (Makuhita)

    Overview

    Hariyama were not the first pokémon to be tamed on Alola. The wayfarers brought their dartrix with them. A brionne choir quickly took interest in the new human inhabitants and developed a close relationship with the Alolans, especially the Seafolk who kept the wayfaring tradition alive. According to legend, the first kahuna of Poni Island wrestled with an incineroar for control of Poni Island. Upon defeat, the incineroar gave some of her cubs to the kahuna so that they might learn his strength. True or not, torracat breeding programs were well established by the time of first contact with Japan. A handful of other species frequently interacted with humans as intellectual equals (oranguru, slowking) or hunting companions (lycanroc). Some kahunas managed to bond with one or two pokémon of other species, such as minior or jangmo-o.

    The importation of hariyama is viewed as the start of training for sports, pokémon battles as an alternative to war, and the island challenge itself.

    Hariyama are eager to train, generally submissive, and terrifyingly powerful. For the first time in Alolan history, pokémon trainer could reliably wield the strength of two dozen soldiers. Training went from an accessory to hunting, agriculture, or scholarship to a means to political and military power. The island challenge was instituted to present aspiring trainers with a relatively peaceful way to prove themselves to the tapus as potential kahuna material and, later, as a means of replacing the monarch.

    Today the political significance has been stripped away from the island challenge and scores of species are routinely trained. Hariyama still remains one of the best choices a trainer can make given their relatively modest care requirements, willingness to work, and raw power. They also have very distinct personalities and can make good companions (and a good reason to exercise) long after the island challenge ends.

    Physiology

    Both makuhita and hariyama are classified as pure fighting-types.

    Makuhita loosely resemble a fat human. Thin, fuzzy fur coats their body. Most of this fur is yellow, but black stripes around the neck and hands are common. The hands have three very short fingers and a thumb. Their hands are nearly useless for anything but punches and push-ups. Makuhita generally have red rings on their cheeks and a long tuft of hair on top of their head. They have ear slits, but they are not very good at identifying where a sound is coming from. Much of their body is fat, but they are still far stronger than they look.

    Hariyama, by contrast, have virtually no body fat. In fact, they have so little that it can cause them health problems (see Illness). Evolution makes them substantially bulkier, but this bulk is almost entirely solid muscle. Their hands are giant and flat with three wide fingers. The hair on the upper half of their body falls out, and their skin is very light grey. A tan plate of armor on their chest helps protect their internal organs, and a bony blue visor on their head protects the brain and new outer ears. Hariyama’s lower half retains its fur, but replaces the old yellow coat with a blue one. They gain a series of flaps around their waist that help them regulate their internal temperature while exercising.

    Hariyama can grow up to 2.5 meters tall and have a mass of 500 kilograms. Hariyama typically live for twelve years in the wild, but can live up to thirty in captivity.

    Behavior

    Fighting-types tend to be split into two groups. One are naturally powerful pokémon that always act feral, even when raised from birth in captivity. The other are relentlessly focused on improving their body and martial arts skills through training. Hariyama are a quintessential example of a Type II fighting type.

    Wild hariyama prefer to form dojos with other Type IIs and humans. Lucario are their preferred pokémon partners in Alola. This partnership instinct is because makuhita can struggle to feed themselves as they are herbivores that lack useful fingers or a prehensile tail and are not tall enough to browse. Absent partners, they typically feed by hitting berry trees until the fruit (or the tree itself) fall down. Then they do push ups to eat the berries off of the ground. This method is inefficient enough that makhuita and hariyama without a mixed-species dojo can spend up to two-thirds of their waking hours eating.

    In exchange for the assistance with feeding (and tying their hair), hariyama will use their bulk to scare away any would-be predators. Lucario are skilled and have fearsome ranged attacks, but they can struggle to slow, much less kill, very large predators. Hariyama can take on almost any wild pokémon in Alola and overpower them. Only powerful telepaths, large groups, salamence, volcarona, metagross, and particularly clever pokémon stand a chance at defeating a fully grown hariyama.

    Hariyama revel in challenging anything approaching their power. They are known to take on buses, trains, and even airplanes during landing and takeoff. Members of the Melemele dojo routinely pick fights with visiting salamence, who are often quite happy to oblige for the sheer thrill of battle. Cameras in the Poni Colosseum have recorded several matches between kommo-o and hariyama with makuhita and jangmo-o sitting in the audience.

    Makuhita are less aggressive in finding challengers. They mostly fight within their dojo, although they will defend themselves from anything that attacks them. Some particularly oblivious makuhita on Poni Island have mistakenly attacked exeggutor only to get launched thirty meters back. The exeggutor make no attempt to warn makuhita of their mistake, and have even been seen shuffling into groves and standing dead still whenever makuhita approach.

    Husbandry

    Makuhita have fairly normal food needs, although they will need their berries handed to them. They should be fed until they refuse food. . Mint leaves are also a favorite snack of the species. Litter box training isn’t an issue. As long as a water bowl is tall enough for them to reach it mid push-up, neither is water.

    The main problem with makuhita training is the training part.

    Makuhita rise at dawn and they go to sleep at sunset. Between the two they are almost exclusively concerned with food and exercise. Trainers who want a break can simply give makuhita a berry pile. On the trail, makuhita view hiking and carrying gear as an exercise. They can also be left alone with barbells or a punching bag while their trainer goes about their business.

    Ideally, a makuhita trainer will be very fit and capable of exercising alongside their makuhita. Being able to teach the pokémon martial arts moves is the best way to gain their respect. Balancing their strengths and weaknesses, makuhita is the best partner possible on the island challenge for athletic, motivated trainers who want to be the best and are willing to put in the work. Otherwise, they should be avoided in favor of Type I fighting-types like passimian, pancham, crabrawler, and scrafty make for a better companion.

    Hariyama are more concerned with showing off their strength than improving it. Unlike makuhita, hariyama are willing to go into pokéballs for several hours a day (and all of the night) if they are routinely given worthy fights. In the absence of high level battles, they will need a gym with weights of at least a metric ton. After an island challenge is over, hariyama can be safely released on either Poni or Melemele if their trainer is unwilling to make the lifestyle or monetary concessions needed to raise a hariyama.

    Illness

    Very young makuhita and very old hariyama often develop cancers or respiratory problems. Most of these problems can be easily treated if caught early. The line can also catch and transmit several common diseases in humans, such as influenza.

    The main health problem that hariyama suffer from is internal organ damage. Hariyama have very little body fat, relying instead on layers of powerful muscles to protect themselves. When flexed, the muscles form a nigh-unbreakable shield. However, if a hariyama is caught off guard with a sufficiently powerful hit to the torso, the shockwave can rupture an organ and potentially kill them. A hariyama should always be made aware that it is about to go into battle, and even playful sneak attacks should be avoided.

    Evolution

    When makuhita are strong enough, experienced enough, and have stored enough food, they begin the process of evolution. During the two to four month evolution period, makuhita drop all training and spend all of their waking hours eating. When the process is complete, they will set out on a path of wanton destruction to test their newfound strength. Evolution typically occurs between four and five years of age in the wild, and two to four in captivity.

    Trainers wishing to hasten the process should provide their makuhita with plenty of training and interesting fights. For the year after evolution ends, the new hariyama will need to be used in several battles a week against worthy opponents. Otherwise they will begin to seek out their own challenges, some of which can be quite costly.

    Battle

    Hariyama is one of the most physically powerful pokémon in the world. They are also very, very tough and can keep on fighting at full strength for hours. While slow, this seldom matters because eventually a hariyama will land a hit and it is difficult for most pokémon to land meaningful blows on them. They fight mainly with their open palm slaps, shockwaves, and thrown rock attacks. Hariyama have a few other tricks, such as whirlwind and elementally charged punches, but for the most part hariyama does one thing and they do it terrifyingly well. Any team without a solid hariyama counter or a few checks will be crushed by a well-trained hariyama with a competent trainer.

    Unfortunately for hariyama, their counters abound in the competitive circuits. Although they are not particularly weak to telepathic assaults, hariyama also do not resist them. This makes alakazam hariyama’s hardest counter, since the psychic-type can hover above shockwaves and teleport away from whirlwinds, thrown rocks, and physical assaults while simultaneously tripping hariyama up with utility moves and hitting them in the brain. Gardevoir, espeon, gothielle, mega slowbro, and mime sr. are not quite as effective but can still usually take down a hariyama.

    Floating steel-types and very fast ranged fliers can also put a stop to hariyama. Neither has much to fear from rock attacks (due to natural resistance or speed) and can stay well out of range of physical blows and shockwaves. The fliers are usually strong enough to power through a whirlwind, and the steel-types are too heavy to really care. This makes the relatively common bronzong, skarmory, magnezone, vikavolt, yanmega, dragonite, noivern, and talonflame solid counters to hariyama. More exotic picks such as harpyre and metagross are even more effective.

    Quickstall teams can also make hariyama much less useful. They are usually fast enough to outpace hariyama, bulky enough to take the shockwaves or thrown rocks, and tricky enough to slowly wear their enemy down while keeping themselves healthy.

    Finally, bulky ghost types such as South Isle decidueye, dusknoir, and jellicent can phase through the worst of hariyama’s hits while using a variety of trips to bypass hariyama’s natural defenses. These matches tend to be close and hariyama prevails more often than not, but the sweep ends very shortly afterwards.

    Almost every professional trainer has at least one counter to hariyama at the ready. But a clever hariyama trainer can still play the long game, wear down or take out the checks, and then unleash an unstoppable force at the end. Hariyama can also be played as a mid-game wallbreaker, since they can break down common stall pokémon such as milotic, goodra, blissey, steelix, ferrothorn, forretress, hippowdon, or clefable and allow a teammate to sweep. It is also inadvisable to try and set up a sweep with a pokémon hariyama can defeat so long as the fighting-type is still reasonably healthy.

    If the metagame were any less hostile to hariyama, it would be the single most threatening pokémon commonly held by professional trainers. Even as things are, hariyama is still one of the biggest threats in the world and skilled professional and amateur trainers should always have a counter plan in mind.

    On the island challenge, makuhita are effective in battle but require patience. They are reasonably bulky and quite powerful, but rather slow. The trick is setting up a situation where the makuhita can get in a solid hit or two. If this is possible, they can defeat most young pokémon. If it isn’t, they will probably be worn down and defeated in the end.

    Hariyama’s rather limited pool of tricks makes them a good choice for the island challenge. Simple hand slaps with a few rock and seismic attacks to hit distant foes is all hariyama really needs. Be wary of the counters listed above, but otherwise hariyama is likely to carry the match.

    Acquisition

    Makuhita can be found on Route 2 and on the eastern end of Poni. Only makuhita at least one meter tall may be captured. They require a Class I license to capture or purchase.

    Hariyama can be found in many of the same places as makuhita. The ones that do not wish to go with a trainer have already been captured by the Melemele Dojo and the Poni National Park rangers. All others are legal catches with a Class III license (purchase requires a Class I, adoption is impossible as unwanted makuhita and hariyama are released to the wild).

    Both stages are very insistent upon a proper capture battle. If a trainer cannot overpower them with any single team member, the pokémon will refuse to listen to them just because a piece of technology or superior numbers restrained them.

    Breeding

    Hariyama can be bred in captivity, but they strongly prefer being released to the wild to reproduce. The species can form emotional attachments to fighting-types of any gender. However, only heterosexual pairings with other hariyama, machamp, or primeape will produce offspring. Mating tends to happen after a hariyama’s tenth birthday, but they reach sexual maturity upon the end of evolution. Older hariyama often settle down, have kids, and devote the rest of their lives to training makuhita.

    Subspecies

    The Alolan hariyama is slightly taller and substantially heavier than the Asian hariyama. This is due to the abundance of food in Alola.

    Asian hariyama live in the temperate portion of Asia’s Pacific coast, from southern China to the Korean peninsula and Japanese isles. They typically live in caves, only leaving to eat. Alolan hariyama sometimes take shelter in caves from bad storms, but otherwise avoid them. There is no consensus on why Asian hariyama prefer to live underground when they are large herbivores that need to spend several hours a day grazing.
     
  11. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Smeargle

    Overview

    Smeargle might be the first pokémon partner humans ever had. Neanderthal settlements in Southwestern Europe tend to have smeargle bones or objects stained in smeargle ink nearby. In many areas, early cave paintings are right next to ancient smeargle marks. Ancient kingdoms the world over prized smeargle for their dyes, which are vibrant, easily produced, and capable of lasting for millennia under the right conditions. Kamehameha the Great imported smeargle to the islands to paint the new capitol city of Hau’oli when Ihā Palace was deemed too traditional for the new era.

    Many of those smeargles’ descendants now live on Melemele. While technically invasive, the DNR allows them to stay as a tourist attraction and force for peace among wild pokémon. Capture by trainers with an artistic bent keeps the population in check.

    Smeargle is not useful in a fight unless very well trained. Still, they are creative and affectionate companions for trainers concerned with their future after the island challenge ends.

    Physiology

    Smeargle is classified as a pure normal-type. They are capable of wielding every wavelength of the elemental spectrum in a way that only eevee, ditto, and the recently created silvally can begin to match.

    While they are sometimes mistaken for canines, smeargle are actually feliforms. Gumshoos is their closest relative in Alola. Smeargle have long and lithe bodies and large paws, eyes, and ears. Their tongue is rather long and is often left hanging out of their mouth. This also helps them regulate their internal temperature. A floppy cap of skin and fur adorns their head. There is not a scientific consensus on what purpose, if any, the cap serves. Most of their fur is short and white, except for brown patches on the ears and around the eyes. Smeargle also have brown bands above their paws; the exact number and width of these bands varies by individual.

    The species is most famous for their ink secretions. Smeargle has a long prehensile tail with a tuft of fur and an ink gland on the end. The color of the ink varies by the individual, and the shade varies with diet, mood, exhaustion, and the solar and lunar cycles. This ink is resistant to almost everything except for smeargle’s saliva. Sanding the surface, extreme high and low temperatures, and some corrosive attacks will also work in a pinch.

    Smeargle can reach heights of 1.3 meters and masses of 60 kilograms. They live for up to seven years in the wild and ten in captivity.

    Behavior

    Smeargle ink has mild psychoactive effects until it dries. Prolonged exposure can cause hallucinations, calming, hunger, decreased aggression, and bursts of inspiration that are quickly forgotten. The species is not entirely immune to the effects of their own ink; smeargle with amputated or dried tails (see Illness) display far fewer typical signs of smeargle ink exposure.

    A palette of smeargle typically have a distinct territory map. There will be a center area where socialization freely happens, disputes are resolved, and collaborative art projects are undertaken. Radiating out from this hub are various wedge-shaped territories that grow wider the farther they are from the center. Each wedge is occupied by a single smeargle, or a female and her young offspring (see Breeding). The edges of each territory are full of elaborate markings. Every smeargle uses thirty to one hundred individual marking patterns. Over 12,000 patterns have been identified worldwide. No two smeargle have been found with the same set. Smeargle are quite aggressive towards other conspecifics entering their territory, but are quite friendly with their neighbors in the center.

    Smeargle’s circadian rhythm changes over the lunar cycle. They are fully diurnal on new moons and fully nocturnal on the nights of full moons. Individuals get about twelve hours of sleep in every 24 hour period, regardless of when they get it. If the weather is good, all the smeargle in a gallery will convene in the hub on the days of new moons and the nights of full moons to collaborate on elaborate art projects, socialize, court potential mates, and trade objects and art tips. Smeargle with a very close bond (platonic or otherwise) will often ask their friend to place an ink-coated foot on their back as a permanent sign of their bond. When they groom themselves to remove excess paint, smeargle very carefully avoid their back. That is washed by water alone.

    Because of their ability to track energy patterns as well as their perpetually altered mental state, smeargle are excellent at seeing through lies, illusions, and supernatural activity.

    In the wild, smeargle tend to be accidental peacekeepers. Their bodies are toxic enough that few predators will bother to eat them. Most moderately intelligent pokémon appreciate the markings they leave across their territory. In turn, smeargle eat only plants and the occasional small scavenged carcass, and they don’t eat enough or breed quickly enough to be a nuisance to other pokémon. Smeargle territories, especially territory edges and the central hub, tend to be home to unusually high amounts of wild pokémon. Predator and prey typically have a truce period during smeargle conventions during new and full moons. Several inter-species summits have been seen during these times, and violent organized inter-species conflicts are almost non-existent in the places where smeargle are common. Many pokémon will take advantage of the opportunity to trade items with other pokémon and human onlookers, as well as to evaluate potential friends, trainers, rivals, and mates.

    Husbandry

    In spite of their general appearance and attitudes, smeargle are reasonably intelligent pokémon and should always be treated with a certain amount of dignity. Many have aversions to pet names, strict schedules, or insults. Anything that suggests the pokémon is not viewed as a relative equal can set them off. These triggers can include lies, making important decisions without their consent, forcing them to use a more degrading place for urination and defecation than their trainer uses, excessive amounts of time spent in a pokéball, ignoring their feelings, or routinely being given food that their trainer would never settle for. In short, the relationship between a trainer and smeargle is best handled like a relationship between two human friends.

    Smeargle make poor partners for dark, fairy, and ghost types because of the tendency of those species to pull pranks and create illusions. Both tend to stress smeargle due to their ability to track energy signatures. Ditto and zoroark are also unsuitable teammates for similar reasons. Lucario make for very good partners. So long as they each have a personal space to retreat to that they can freely mark up, most smeargle will tolerate other conspecifics on the team.

    The bulk of smeargle’s diet should be made up of berries and vegetables. They will also happily eat meat, but this should not be the core of their diet. Almost all smeargle prefer their meat to be cooked rather than raw. Kibble will be taken as an insult, either immediately or when the smeargle realizes that their trainer doesn’t and won’t eat it.

    The species requires relatively little in the way of exercise unless being used as serious battlers. Instead, they need time to socialize and practice painting. They prefer artistic trainers who can offer them meaningful advice on their craft but will tolerate any trainer willing to give them reasonable respect, independence, and praise. Trainers should be mindful of the pokémon’s rotating circadian rhythm. They should also accept that if easels and canvas are not provided, smeargle will mark up walls.

    Illness

    Smeargle can share diseases with gumshoos, among other pokémon. They should receive a full round of vaccinations within one or two months of capture, or within six months of birth. It helps to explain to the pokémon what is going to happen in advance, as randomly suffering a serious of seemingly unprovoked attacks can make smeargle distrust their trainer and medical professionals.

    Ink well problems are a set of maladies that are unique to smeargle. These can range from amputated tails to frequent muscle spasms or seizures to heavy or very low ink flow. All of these problems have different causes and treatments. Some will result in a permanent loss or impairment of painting ability. These pokémon will require substantial emotional support and assistance in learning how to paint with brushes meant for humans. Smeargle unable to create anything at all will quickly become depressed and stop feeding.

    Evolution

    N/A

    Battle

    Smeargle can use nearly every pokémon technique, even those that rely on unique anatomical structures, by copying the elemental patterns. The species is also intelligent enough to learn about one new attack every month. Some older smeargle can use over 100 moves, which gives them one of the largest effective movepools of any pokémon.

    Unfortunately, just because smeargle can use an attack does not mean they can use it well. They are incredibly frail, have less physical strength than a yungoos, and their elemental wells are equally unimpressive. The species is reasonably agile, but even their speed is below average in competitive circuits.

    In the past, smeargle was almost always a lead that used a technique to incapacitate an opponent for a long period of time and then used a series of powerful boosting moves while the opponent was down. When the switch clock ran, smeargle would then baton pass the boosts to either another member of a baton pass chain or to a sweeper capable of using them well.

    After the Global Battle Federation banned baton pass chains and several other leagues followed, smeargle’s typical strategy changed. Now they are mostly used to incapacitate the opposing lead, set up a full suite of arena hazards and effects, and eventually get knocked out. Smeargle teams can effectively start with the terrain in their favor, but at the cost of fighting with five pokémon.

    No ranked trainer currently uses a smeargle. Even in their one good use, some pokémon manage to prevent smeargle from setting up. A handful can not only block smeargle, but use them as set up bait. Even though smeargle can unleash hydro cannons, frenzy plants, and blast burns, the species’ limited elemental well means that they hit about as hard as a water gun, leafage, and ember from any other competitive pokémon.

    Smeargle fare worse on the island challenge than in competitive circuits. The average trainer will be able to teach their pokémon six to twelve moves during the full course of the challenge. Other common utility pokémon such as pineco, blissey, toxapex, and gengar, are able to learn as many or more utility moves while also being powerful or bulky. Early on, smeargle can use a myriad of super effective attacks and their not-yet-outclassed offensive stats to win battles. By the middle of the second island, smeargle will be near deadweight.

    Acquisition

    Smeargle can be adopted, captured, or purchased with a Class I license.

    Because of their role as a keystone of the Route 2 environment and tourist attraction, there are limits on the species capture. Any wild smeargle must come willingly with a trainer. A Pokémon Center nurse will need to verify that the capture was consensual within thirty days or the capture will automatically be classified as illegal. There is a healthy captive breeding program of smeargle and importation is legal, making adoption usually the better option. Wild pokémon can be most easily convinced to follow by showing them your own art. Other smeargle simply want an opportunity to see new sights and learn new moves and will actively seek out trainers. Smeargle not only don’t require a battle to test their prospective trainer, but get angry when a potential friend chooses to beat them up as an apparent show of superiority and a threat against future misbehavior.

    Capture of all wild pokémon is forbidden during smeargle conventions and in the three hours before and after them.

    Breeding

    In the wild, courtship can take several years or several minutes before any mating occurs. Sometimes both parents help raise the child, sometimes the male leaves immediately after conception. Relationships can last anywhere from a few days to the full adult life of both partners. Smeargle are about as likely to form homosexual bonds as heterosexual ones, although only heterosexual unions produce offspring. Most wild smeargle will engage in both types of partnerships in their lives.

    Smeargle pregnancies last two to four months and result in a single child. The child undergoes a rite of passage at their thirteenth convention, at which point they leave their mother and take their own territory.

    Because smeargle are free spirits with often brief, passionate relationships and specific preferences, it is difficult to breed smeargle in captivity unless a full palette is held in a large territory that mimics natural conditions. There is no farm in Alola that currently breeds smeargle, but there are several dozen throughout the world.

    Subspecies

    N/A
     
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  12. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Crabrawler (Crabominable)

    Overview

    When measured from base to peak, Mt. Lanakila is the largest mountain on Earth. It is also the only mountains with year-round snow cover in Oceania, courtesy of the ninetales that call it home. This unique environment—a tall, frozen mountain in the middle of tropical lowland—provides a home for many species not found elsewhere in Alola, as well as two species and two subspecies of pokémon that are not found anywhere else on Earth. Crabominable is uniquely adapted to the Lanakila ecosystem. They begin life as a small herbivorous species that hugs the warm shores before some move up to hunt in the perpetual cold.

    Crabrawler are not particularly intelligent or affectionate. Evolution does little to fix these problems. They are powerful, easy to care for, and adjust well to captivity. At the end of a challenge, they can be taken to the nearest berry tree and released with little fanfare. For trainers who want a fighting-type powerhouse without a constant need to train or an expectation of lifelong friendship, crabrawler is as good a pokémon as any.

    Physiology

    Crabrawler are classified as pure fighting-types. Crabominable are dual ice- and fighting-types.

    The hardened carapace of crabrawler is purple. They have four long, spindly legs with hook-like hairs at the end. Shortly after molting (see Evolution), crabrawler are light tan in color. Two of crabrawler’s legs are shorter and have very large pincers at the end. Unlike other crustacean pokémon, these pincers are not primarily used for crushing objects. Instead, crabrawler punches things. Actual gripping attacks are rare and their crushing strength is unimpressive. Crabrawler have a long, sharp spine on top of their head. This makes them harder to attack from above.

    The species has crude lungs instead of gills. They are unable to breathe in water after their planktonic stage (see Breeding).

    Crabominable tend to be far bulkier than their preevolution. Their legs remain about the same total length, but are no longer spindly on their form. This makes crabominable rather slow. Thick, wooly hair covers crabominable’s entire body, including their legs. The hook-like hairs used for climbing are replaced, as there are very few trees on Lanakila. The horn on top of their head is replaced by tufts of blond fur. When crabominable is buried, this fur resembles a lichen patch. Finally, crabominable have massive pincers that are no longer capable of gripping anything at all. They are spectacularly effective blunt instruments and crabominable can break even sandslash armor in a few solid hits. The pincers can be fired off in an explosive blast if needed, but this leaves the crabominable down a pincer and is rarely done in the wild.

    Crabrawler grow up to one meter across and can weigh up to 20 kilograms. They typically live for eighty years in the wild. Crabominable can grow up to two meters across and weigh up to 100 kilograms. They can live for over a century.

    Behavior

    Crabrawler are primarily herbivorous. They climb up berry and coconut trees, get a solid grip on the with their legs, and then punch the trunk until the food they want falls down. In the case of coconuts, if the fruit is not shattered on impact the crabrawler will punch it until it bursts. Once the fruit has been cracked or splattered, crabrawler will lower their mouth to the ground and eat. Crabrawler don’t care about picking up grass or sand alongside the berry flesh and juice; any minerals that aren’t needed for shell growth will be harmlessly excreted.

    They will fiercely defend any food they knock down, even taking on far stronger birds in defense of what is rightfully theirs. This extends to humans; if a berry has fallen from a tree near the coast, it’s a good bet that taking it will trigger a crabrawler attack. Unless provoked or feeding, crabrawler are relatively calm and will seldom initiate hostilities. When attacked, crabrawler prefer to defend themselves with a barrage of quick, untrained punches. If this does not succeed, they will attempt trickery to make an escape (see Illness).

    During low tides, crabrawler burrow into the sand on beaches and sleep. When the tide comes in, crabrawler leave their nests en masse to feed. A single beach can house hundreds or crabrawler. Despite living in close quarters, crabrawler are not particularly social creatures and only interact to fight over burrow or food territory or to mate.

    Crabominable are primarily carnivorous. While they can eat plants in captivity (see Husbandry), they have never been observed eating any in the wild. Crabominable’s ice-type attacks are the product of endothermic reactions inside of their gut. These attacks, along with their fur, keep crabominable warm in even the harshest of conditions. This allows them to hunt ice-type pokémon with relatively little risk of harm. Crabominable are primarily ambush predators that disguise themselves as a lichen before lashing out with one or two powerful hits. Alternatively, they will leave half a kill and bury themselves nearby to attract other carnivores. Sandslash, weavile, and snorunt are their primary prey. They may attack ninetales and vulpix, but this has never been observed. Video evidence suggests that crabominable have begun to hunt vanilluxe.

    Outside of their feeding habits, very little is known about wild crabominable. The Alolan monarchs and Ula’Ula kahunas have historically prevented scientific studies on the mountain. Even after the construction of the Alolan Pokémon League, interference from ninetales and vanilluxe has made observations difficult.

    Husbandry

    Crabrawler spend almost all of their days buried or searching for food. This makes them very tolerant of pokéballs. So long as they are adequately fed, they are willing to spend almost all of their time in one. Net balls are preferable, although nest balls and regular pokéballs are also fine. They should be let out of their balls to eat, defecate, and explore for at least a half hour a day.

    While exploring, crabrawler will often try to climb things. If something resembles a coconut or fruit, they may try to punch it until it breaks. Crabrawler almost universally believe that vases look like coconuts. Most believe the same about lamps and light bulbs.

    Crabrawler cannot technically be housebroken, but they generally prefer to defecate on wood shavings, grass, mulch, or damp sand. If there is only one area around that fits, they will conduct their business there.


    Crabrawler, but not crabominable, get stand-offish around birds. Type I fighting-types like hariyama, machamp, and lucario will often grow frustrated with crabrawler’s refusal to discipline themselves or train in a martial art. Sometimes crabrawler will start fights with crawdaunt, araquanid, and ariados. Crabominable may view ice-type teammates as food and try to eat them. Conversely, they are very wary around canines.

    Crabrawler should be fed a fruit-rich diet, with mice or small fish occasionally thrown in as treats. They will need water bowls to drink from. Because they lack gills and are relatively dense, crabrawler cannot swim nor walk along the bottom of a pool for long. All water dishes should be shallow.

    Crabominable are primarily carnivorous in the wild, but they can be fed a fruit-heavy diet in captivity with few apparent side effects. They can drink water from dishes, but they prefer getting it from ice crystals or snow. Evolution makes them more curious, and they will appreciate a chance to hide in a box or buried under dirt or blankets while watching others go by. The trainer should always be at the ready to withdraw the crabominable if anything gets too close. Even the best trained crabominable will seldom pass up a tasty meal that walks right by them. Crabominable are very fond of back rubs; crabrawler are not. The same goes for cuddling with a known and trusted human.

    Crabominable should either have an ice-specific pokéball or a cold place they can retreat to at least once a day. A crabominable kept in a blizzard ball will only need two to three hours a day outside of it.

    Illness

    Most crabs foam at the mouth as a means of regulating their internal salinity. Crabrawler don’t have to worry about that, but they still foam. This is their means of producing relatively weak bubble attacks that can serve as a distraction for an escape. It can also intimidate predatory mammals away out of fear that their prey has rabies. Crabrawler are incapable of developing rabies. Foaming is a normal behavior and nothing that a veterinarian needs to be consulted about.

    The overwhelming majority of legitimate health problems occur during molting. Very young crabrawler can shed their shell in favor of a new one once a week. For the first year of their life on land, crabrawler don’t even bother to grow a hard shell between molts, instead moving between gastropod shells and other found objects. During molting, wild crabrawler burrow to a point just above the water table and stay there for several days until their new shell hardens. In captivity, crabrawler should be kept in one place and not withdrawn into their pokéball during the process. Ideally they should be given a dark, cramped safe place to hide in. Until the process is complete, crabrawler are soft and very vulnerable to injury. Wounds that ordinarily wouldn’t be felt can be fatal in this state.

    As they grow older, crabrawler molt less frequently but each molting gets more dangerous. Getting out of their shell and growing a new one is increasingly energy expensive, and eventually crabrawler can have a three week softshell period during which they will have to go out and hunt for food. In captivity this danger is somewhat alleviated.

    Crabrawler never really stop growing, although their molting becomes less frequent as they age. They will eat everything they can, and well-fed crabrawler will grow (and die) faster. Trainers who don’t intend to evolve their crabrawler should limit their pokémon to one-fifth of their body weight a day.

    Crabominable don’t usually molt unless their carapace is badly damaged. Their molts can take a month, during which they will almost certainly have to hunt to get enough nutrients to build the new carapace. Captive crabominable usually survive, but the process is best handled under inpatient veterinary care.

    Evolution

    There is a healthy amount of debate as to whether crabrawler should be classified as a second-stage pokémon. Their larval form is planktonic, and even after emerging from the water young crabrawler have very different behaviors than adult crabrawler (see Breeding). The official stance of the USDA at this point is that crabrawler is the first stage of a two-stage line, as tiny planktonic forms are not counted as proper evolutionary stages and juvenile crabrawler look very similar to adult crabrawler.

    Crabrawler on Melemele, Akala, and Poni Island will almost never evolve. On Ula’Ula, crabrawler approaching adulthood will begin to migrate towards Mt. Lanakila. They will spend a few weeks foraging near the base, usually in Ula’Ula Meadow, before they begin their ascent. Evolution is triggered by a combination of cold and elevation. Stimulating it in a lab requires thinning the air as well as cooling it.

    On top of the mountain, crabrawler will retreat into one of Lanakila’s slightly warmer caves, tuck themselves into an isolated, dark corner, and begin to molt. They typically molt four times in rapid succession, growing larger with each stage. At the end of the final molt, the newly evolved crabominable will exit the caves and begin hunting.

    Trainers who wish to evolve their crabrawler are best off going up Lanakila with their crabrawler usually out of its pokéball. At the top, the Pokémon League Center has an area devoted to evolving crabrawler. Trainers who completed their island challenge within the last year may use the facilities once free of charge.

    Mt. Lanakila is the most dangerous location in Alola due to difficult weather and terrain, as well as an abundance of pokémon strong enough to deal with those obstacles. The mountain is currently infested with vanilluxe who go out of their way to kill vulnerable humans. Weavile won’t hesitate to finish off a badly injured human or pokémon. Crabominable themselves can and will kill anything that gets too close to them. Ninetales will seldom kill a human outright, but they will stir up the weather to make further progress impossible and then escort the trainer down when they finally give in and decide to leave.

    Even with marked paths, summitting Mt. Lanakila on foot is an incredibly dangerous endeavor. Only trainers who have completed an island challenge or otherwise earned the permission of all four kahunas are permitted to attempt it.

    For whatever reason, crabrawler taken up the lift or flown up to the summit will not begin to evolve.

    Battle

    Neither crabrawler nor crabominable sees any use in professional battling. Both are strong, but they are relatively slow and undisciplined. Crabominable has modest bulk, but crabrawler is very frail. When options like machamp and hariyama exist, it’s difficult to justify using crabominable. Theoretically the ice crab has a niche as a hail-team counter, but hail teams have never been common enough to dedicate an entire team slot to dealing with them.

    Ice-types in general are rare in Alola, as most of them are restricted to the inhospitable Mt. Lanakila. Crabominable’s main advantage over hariyama, machamp, and other Type I fighting-types is simply that they require almost nothing in the way of training. Put them in front of a target and they know what to do. While they are not as strong as a well-trained machamp or hariyama, they are stronger than either of the two untrained. They are also easier to train than other Type II fighting types such as passimian, bewear, pangoro, and primeape.

    Most trainers on an island challenge will be using crabrawler, and not crabominable, until at least the Elite Four. While crabominable are bulky and powerful enough to hold up until the very end of the challenge, crabrawler start running into serious problems on the second island. By the end of the third they will be near deadweight. They can be taught some useful moves, such as thunder punch, power-up-punch, and rock-type attacks. But they will never hone their technique in the same way that Type I fighting types can, and their supporting movepool and willingness to use it are both limited.

    Acquisition

    Aside from the handful of cities and resorts that bother to try and keep them off the beaches, crabrawler can be found on almost all of Alola’s shores. As the tide starts coming in, camp out near a berry or coconut tree near the coast. A crabrawler will probably come. They can be captured or purchased with a Class I license. Alolan shelters usually release crabrawler unless they are seriously injured; crabrawler adoptions are handled on a case by case basis.

    After a quick proving battle and a few days with a steady provision of food, water, and shelter, crabrawler are usually bonded enough to listen to orders. It can take them a few days to make a connection between an attack and its name, and a few more to actually use the attack their trainer tells them to.

    Crabominable capture is illegal due to a lack of information on how many exist in the wild and what impact recent disturbances on Mt. Lanakila have had on the species. They can be purchased with a Class II license.

    Breeding

    Crabrawler mate in late September. After the eggs are fertilized, females wade into the water and release their clutch before moving back onto land. The eggs hatch after one to two weeks into microscopic zooplankton. If the plankton approach a shore after a ninety day period, they will begin to grow and develop into crabrawler about the size of a grain of sand. The new crabrawler will swim towards the land. Once beached, it will begin to rapidly grow and develop lungs. They are typically thirty centimeters across within five months. Crabrawler do not reach their maximum size or reproductive maturity until they are at least thirty years old.

    Crabominable do reproduce. Occasionally a female can be seen coming down to the surface, dozens of juveniles about twenty centimeters across clinging to her body. She deposits them and heads back up the mountain. At the time of deposit, the juveniles have a phenotype and genotype identical to their crabrawler-born peers. It is not known how crabrawler mate or raise young.

    Crabmominable have never been successfully bred in captivity. While crabrawler have been, it is best left to biologists in laboratory settings.

    Subspecies

    There is one species of crabrawler that ranges from the southeastern coast of Africa to coastal India to northern Australia to Alola. They live anywhere in the Indo-Pacific with large fruit-bearing trees near the coast. There are no subspecies documented.

    All crabrawler have the potential to evolve into crabominable. This has been shown with crabrawler from Madagascar and Australia transplanted to Ula’Ula. The crabs quickly understood what they needed to do and began to climb the mountain after a few weeks of gorging themselves. Mt. Lanakila is the only place with the right conditions (a permanently snow-capped mountain within five kilometers of a tropical coast) to trigger evolution.
     
  13. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Gengar (Gastly, Haunter)

    Overview

    Throughout history, ghost pokémon have been treated with a mix of fear and reverence, and often both at the same time. Gengar are the most common ghost worldwide, and worldwide they have been treated with far more fear than reverence. They have been historically seen as malevolent tricksters that sometimes form partnerships of convenience with human trainers. Now there is an increasingly popular theory that gengar may have complex emotional lives and a tragic misunderstanding of their circumstances.

    This does not mean that they are harmless.

    Many trainers mistake “common” with “easy to train.” While often true, this is not the case for gengar. Trainers who want to be eased into ghost husbandry are advised to start with another species. However, gengar are one of the most powerful ghosts in Alola and they can form close bonds with their trainer under the right circumstances. This makes them a good pokémon for trainers confident in their ability to handle phantoms and intent on dominating the battlefield.

    Physiology

    All stages of the evolutionary line are dual ghost- and poison-types.

    Gastly are primarily formed from purple-grey spectral fog. Their most common form is a sphere surrounded by a loose halo of gas. Large eyes and a mouth with fangs adorn the face. No part of their body is solid and gastly are perfectly capable of altering their apparent features. Unlike most spectral fog, gastly fog is very toxic. Inhaling just a few grams can kill a human. Beyond inhalation, the fog burns and corrodes any living tissue that it touches. Gastly have relatively little control of their bodies and they can be disrupted by a stiff breeze (see Illness). While they can move at speeds of up to five meters per second if given time to compose themselves beforehand, they seldom move faster than two to three meters per second in the wild.

    The species does not need to be visible, or even tangible, on the physical plane. They can move into another realm and move through it, allowing them to get through solid barriers that even their gaseous bodies cannot penetrate. However, they are incapable of affecting the physical world in this state. It takes them several seconds to move between planes.

    Haunter are far more condensed than gastly, typically forming a large homogenous body with only a small gaseous tail. Some haunter form two separate hands connected to their body by thin, almost invisible strands of spectral fog. Others incorporate their hands into their body. Haunter typically have a large, toothless mouth. Their tongue actually does not exist when not in use and is only formed as needed. It can be up to two meters long and inflict either the usual chemical burns of the spectral fog or different effects altogether such as paralysis, sleep, and even encasement in a thin layer of ice.

    While gengar appear smaller than haunter, they are actually far heavier. Most gengar have a large ovular torso with small, stubby limbs extending from it. There are usually spiky tufts on top as well. Most of the face is comprised of red eyes and a wide mouth with white teeth in it. These teeth are not actually solid, just illusions designed to intimidate their victims. In fact, no part of gengar is solid; they are just very dense orbs of gas. This density makes them very fast, capable of reaching speeds up to thirty meters per second in pure darkness and ten meters per second under natural moonlight. It also grants them a high resistance to wind. Curiously, it also seems to make them weak to light. Gengar move slower and appear less capable of using attacks under lighting more intense than the average streetlight. Under very bright light they fade out of the physical plane entirely, only to fade back in the same place when darkness returns.

    Gengar are typically about 1.5 meters tall, but their height can vary considerably. The mass of a healthy, fully developed gengar is exactly 40.5 kilograms.

    Behavior

    All stages of the line are animivorous. That is, they feed upon emotions in particular and mental health more generally. They have been documented feeding upon other intelligent species, but they have a strong preference towards feeding on humans. For gastly and haunter these feedings usually take the form of repeated and escalating harassment, starting out with objects moved around and soft voices at night and escalating into potentially lethal pranks. Any fear they evoke is physically and psychologically draining, and a particularly severe haunting can potentially render the victim comatose. At that point, the pokémon will move on to a nearby victim. While both stages are capable of living out on the streets, they strongly prefer residing inside of buildings to shut out the wind.

    Gengar are more aggressive hunters, albeit less committed ones. They prefer to roam city streets at night, making shadows move and sending chills through the air. When exposed to enough fear they can create elaborate illusions and gain insights into their victim’s memories and psyche. They seldom stick with one victim for long, and their hauntings are usually less fatal than their preevolutions with rare but very notable exceptions (see Breeding).

    During the day, all stages of the line typically fade out of the physical plane. Only dimension-disrupting attacks or very vulnerable prey will bring them out.

    Husbandry

    All stages of the line must be handled differently, as they have different behaviors and mindsets. In general, they are best held in dusk balls and are fine staying inside of them during the day. The pokémon will get upset and pull increasingly mean-spirited pranks if confined for most of the night.

    Gastly are often confused, violent, and obsessed with hunting. Trainers will either need to battle with them near-constantly or accept that some of the feeding will be at their own expense. There should be a powerful ghost- or dark-type present to keep them in line should they act up. Flying-types and pokémon that can generate strong shockwaves or gusts of wind can also do the trick. Even when well-fed, gastly will habitually pull pranks on their trainer.

    Haunter are the calmest stage. If a trainer puts up with them for an extended period of time as a gastly, the pokémon will often gain sympathy for their trainer and obey commands even without deterrents. Wild-caught haunter or those raised by another human tend to be more apathetic towards their trainer. Hunting is done only for food. They will often, but not always, leave their trainer alone so long as they are battled with enough to be well-fed. Haunter are also capable of feeding upon positive emotions and avoiding the need to battle altogether, but this can only be done with trainers they share a close bond with. This is complicated by haunter’s incredible jealousy; even if they are fond of their trainer, they will attempt to sabotage all of their close relationships with intelligent pokémon and other humans.

    Gengar are the most intelligent and self-aware stage of the evolutionary line. This does not inherently make them easier or harder to train. If raised from a gastly and treated well throughout their more unruly formative years, gengar can be very protective of their trainer and feed almost entirely off of the positive emotions generated by the partnership. They are also capable of scanning memories to quickly learn the human language in full and then use illusions to speak. Gengar have human comparable intelligence and are generally capable of being treated as a close human friend.

    If gengar evolves and does not yet have a close bond with their trainer, the situation is more complicated. Gengar inherently yearn for close relationships and purpose, and being deprived of them makes them desperate. They may engage in unhealthy behaviors such as stalking, continuing harassment, and even murder in an attempt to gain their trainer’s affections. Deterrent pokémon will be necessary in this case, although violent punishments can cause gengar to escalate instead. It is also far more difficult to overpower a gengar than a gastly. Patient demonstration of healthy relationship skills and the understated punishment of misbehavior are the best way to earn a gengar’s trust.

    No stage of the evolutionary line can be safely touched without an airtight inorganic suit. Trainers who intend to have a haunter or gengar long-term should invest in such a suit because both stages can be very affectionate. A chronic lack of physical affection will remind them of their condition and send them into rages. Gengar do not sleep in the same way that most pokémon do but they do go inactive during the day. They produce no physical waste.

    Illness

    Because they usually feed on negative emotions, gastly are at low risk of contracting most ghost illnesses. Their body can be torn apart, but given enough time in their alternate world they will pull themselves together as if nothing had happened.

    Haunter and gengar often suffer from illnesses, especially in captivity. Aminivores that feed on positive emotions and relationships can be seriously affected by spectral diseases. These are usually triggered by strong negative memories or neuroses. Gengar are capable of digesting these memories easily enough, but too much negative energy can make the positive feelings around it toxic.

    Ghost sicknesses are strange and best treated by a specialist in the field. Any prolonged change in physical structure or behavior that appears to distress the pokémon is an illness. These are typically not subtle changes and can include liquidification, time loops, an inability to control their own movements, prolonged periods of stillness, radical changes in behavior, sudden and apparently unprovoked aggression, and clear facial deformities. These symptoms typically will not go away on their own, and even cured illnesses will almost always resurface if the emotional damage in their partner is not fixed.

    Gengar with a meaningful connection to a human partner will usually pass on when their trainer does. The species does not fear their own mortality and most channelers describe gengar as wishing to move on eventually but in no rush to do so.

    Evolution

    Ghosts are shrouded in superstition and myth. Even most of the Ghost Studies literature is working through old folklore in the closest thing possible to controlled experiments. Several prominent scholars are channelers. The chair of Goldenrod University’s ghost studies department is even a ghost-type pokémon herself.

    The current consensus is that some, but not all, ghosts are formed when a human or pokémon dies. Whether the new ghost is the old being, some psychic echo of the original, or just a creature that comes out of dormancy after a death is very unclear. Some of the more philosophical researchers believe that there is no difference at all between the three so long as the new ghost believes itself to be the old person.

    Gastly are formed from human deaths. Gengar typically believe themselves to be the deceased person in a new form. Most of the evolutionary process is about remembering and accepting who they are and what happened to them.

    Newly formed gastly are emotionally chaotic and run entirely on impulse and spite. The rare flashes of memory they do get just make them angrier and more confused. Gastly are best treated as existing in a stage between toddlers and infants. They are still figuring out how their body works and they have very limited self-awareness and higher brain functions. While drawn to humans for food and perhaps some vague glimmer of recognition, even channelers and psychics capable of speaking with them describe their thoughts as rather inhuman.

    After a certain amount of feeding, gastly begin to grow heavier and gain better control over their form. They typically switch shape from a cloud of gas to the typical haunter’s form almost instantly, but they will take several more months to refine the details and grow steadily larger.

    Haunter begin to remember things. At first these memories have almost no impact on their behavior outside of drawing them closer to familiar places and people. As they develop haunter become progressively more distressed by the clash between their current parasitic existence and decidedly inhuman form and their steadily resurfacing human psyche. Haunter become desperate for affection and validation and will seek out humans for more than food.

    This ends in one of two ways. If haunter have a stable emotional outlet and a human willing to treat them as a friend, they can become a loyal shadow and life partner and reach some measure of inner peace about their situation.

    Alternatively, humans react to them the same way they always have: fear and disgust. After all, haunter still need to feed and their hauntings are decidedly unpleasant. Their possible victims have very good reason to shun haunter away. Even sympathetic people have to deal with haunter being possessive, violent, and unable to fully comprehend their emotions. Combined with their need to feed and toxic body, even the most patient people can leave the haunter or be killed (or both). Now fully convinced they are unlovable and overwhelmed by feelings they cannot control, haunter reach a breaking point and develop a deep loathing for all humans.

    Either scenario triggers evolution. The new gengar will grow steadily heavier and more dexterous until they reach their final weight and shape. Gengar set out to either terrorize the world that let them die and kicked them while they’re down or to protect the human who saved them from going down a very dark path.

    Because they do not pass until they accept their situation, malevolent gengar tend to roam the world until someone finally manages to reach them. It is not impossible to redeem a gengar that has grown to hate humans, but doing so requires steadily negotiating with a powerful and hostile party. It is not recommended for anyone but experts in psychology and ghost pokémon.

    Battle

    Gengar are glass cannons on the competitive circuits. They are reasonably powerful and very fast. More importantly, they have many disruptive tricks at their disposal and a high enough intelligence to learn several of them. This forces opponents to think quickly on their feet as offensive attacks, debilitating status conditions, or even perish song or destiny bond are thrown at them. However, one good hit will bring all but the strongest of gengar down. They are slower under bright, meaning that most trainers will not use one during outdoor daytime matches.

    Three of the Top 100 trainers use one on their main team. Almost all ghost specialists have one. They fit best on hyper offensive teams, but perish trapping and destiny bond allow them to act as revenge killers on stall teams.

    Gengar are very good on the island challenge. While trainers will not have enough time to teach their pokémon every trick they can learn, just a few can force an opponent to guess well or face the consequences.

    Defensively, all stages of the line benefit from being incorporeal. Most attacks that rely upon precision or power instead of elemental energy will pass harmlessly through incorporeal fog. Almost all contact attacks on gengar, even if technically super effective, are likely to leave the attacker in worse shape than the attacked after chemical burns take their toll.

    Powerful elemental projectiles can seriously hurt gengar, but at the amateur level it’s usually best to exploit a weakness. All stages of the line hate telepathic damage as it hits their already fragile and confused psyche. Mud or fine sand particulates can get stuck in their bodies and take a moment to filter out. Until cleared, debris inside of the fog substantially slows the pokémon down. This is not a common weakness for ghosts and appears to be related to the toxic nature of gengar’s fog. Attacks that manipulate shadows, light, or spectral fog can make it much harder for gengar to remain tangible. Strong wind and shockwave attacks can also take out a gastly in a hit or two, although powerful lights affect them a little less.

    Gengar are capable of fading out of the physical plane to avoid all damage. This is allowed in most professional leagues as it gives the opponent a chance to set up without any fear of retaliation. Most amateur leagues, including Alola’s, ban fading out as comparatively few amateur pokémon have setup moves.

    Good partners for gengar can dim sunlight. They fit well onto rain, hail, and sand teams. Gastly struggle to keep up in any weather but harsh sunlight, which they are often very reluctant to battle in.

    Acquisition

    Gastly can be captured, adopted, or purchased with a Class IV license. Haunter can be captured, adopted, or purchased with a Class III license. Gengar require a Class V license to possess without the gengar’s consent. With consent they only require a Class III license.

    Gengar, like most ghosts, are attracted to graveyards and other places that are tied to death. They can often be seen frequenting Hau’oli Graveyard, Memorial Hill, or the ruins of Tapu Village at night. Gastly and haunter will usually take shelter in residences close to their main territory. Gengar prefer to roam the nearby city streets when not visiting the graveyards at the core of their range. No evolutionary stage is visible during the day.

    Breeding

    Gengar do not breed. Some human deaths, for reasons currently unknown, produce a new gastly. Folklore and recent history suggest that gastly are most common following mass tragedies involving the air such as towns choked by volcanoes or smoke, tornadoes, hypothermia or heatstroke, the rampages of flying-type legendaries, or the use of chemical weapons on soldiers or civilians.

    Some haunter and gengar in the throes of deep loneliness and emotional pain come to believe that killing another human will create a new partner who understands their pain.

    This is not the case.

    Subspecies

    None known.
     
  14. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Drifblim (Drifloon)

    Overview

    Ghosts are often thought of as being tricksters at best and demonic at worst. Many ghost-types do come off like this, at least to humans unused to dealing with them. Despite being deeply tied to legends about ferrying off dead souls and living children, drifblim mostly avert the stereotype. They are actually fairly sweet and playful pokémon, albeit ones with some bizarre obsessions. While not the strongest ghosts on the battlefield, they are strongly recommended as a first step into the strange realm of phantom husbandry.

    Physiology

    Both stages are classified as dual ghost- and flying-types.

    The bulk of drifloon’s body is a purple orb. The orb is hollow with the inside filled with a mix of spectral fog and normal gasses. The exterior is only about one centimeter thick, but only very sharp blades and very powerful attacks can outright puncture a drifloon. The rest will simply cause drifloon to be pushed back. This is because the exterior layer is made of very condensed spectral fog that acts as both a solid and a gas at different times.

    Drifloon have two small black eyes and a yellow “X” on their face. The eyes do appear to be functional; the X is not a mouth and serves no apparent purpose. A small mess of white fog tops the orb. The fog is known to change shape and billow in the wind. The bottom of the orb has a small purple crown on it. Extending from the crown are two very thin but deceptively strong arms with small yellow hearts at the end of them.

    Drifblim are substantially larger than their preevolution. The bottom third of their orb is also a much lighter shade of purple, with eight small petal-shaped markings at the edge of the light and dark areas. Drifblim’s eyes are slightly larger than drifloon’s and red in color. Their crown also turns red. The main difference between drifloon and drifblim is that the latter have four substantially wider legs. These are equidistant from each other and look like long, thin ribbons. The top of the ribbons are the same light purple as the bottom of the orb, and the ends of the ribbons are yellow.

    Drifblim gas is slightly flammable. Burns and very high temperatures can cause it to ignite in pale blue flames. Before they faint, burning drifblim have access to far more power than usual. Punctured drifblim also leak gas, but this does not increase their power. Instead leaking drifblim gain a substantial boost to their speed until they fully heal or deflate. Unconscious drifloon are taken to food sources by the rest of the party and usually recover.

    Drifblim do not die of natural causes. They can reach diameters of 1.2 meters and masses of ten kilograms.

    Behavior

    Drifblim spend almost all of their nights in the clouds, sometimes moving in a particular direction but most of the time just floating where the wind takes them. If they are above humans when daylight comes, they descend down to the earth below. Like most ghosts, they often flock to sites closely tied to death. But drifblim actually have something else driving their choice of daytime haunts: they are fascinated with endings.

    Recent deaths are likely to attract drifblim. So are births, divorces, bankruptcies, coming-of-age ceremonies, drug relapses, and anything else that abruptly changes an existing status quo. One novelist has reported a dozen drifblim and nearly one hundred drifloon descending upon their yard as they sent their publisher the final draft of the last book in a popular young adult series. Drifblim have also been known to show up at watch parties for the series finale of long running television shows, provided that those parties occur during the day or just after sunset.

    Both evolutionary stages, but drifloon in particular, are endlessly curious. If they have been in an area before they will spend all day looking for changes, however minor. Otherwise they will explore whatever catches their attention. A 2007 viral video showed a drifloon playing with a doorbell for over two hours before becoming fascinated with the camera recording her. They will often play with people and pokémon.

    Most parents do their best to instill a fear of drifloon in their children. This is because drifloon sometimes lift a child into the sky with them after a few hours of play on the ground. There is proof that this happens about fifteen times a year across the world. However, recent studies complicate the idea of drifloon as malevolent child killers. To start with, most abducted children are eventually found with their mind and body intact. The overwhelming majority of these children admit that they wanted to run away from home but had no idea where to go. This suggests that the drifloon believe themselves to be doing their playmates a favor.

    Drifblim have never been observed eating. It is believed that they are a peculiar sort of aminivore that feeds upon feelings of loss and closure in humans. In any case, ghost researchers are almost universally convinced that drifblim do not damage the mental health of the people they feed on. If anything, their playful antics and bizarre appearance might bring their “victims” some happiness at a moment when it is desperately needed.

    Wild drifblim live in parties of ten to fifty drifblim and three hundred to six hundred drifloon. They usually do not all go to the same places on the surface, instead spreading out as they descend. At night they reunite and slowly lift back into the clouds. When directly observed at night, either in person or via livestreams, the entire party will disappear in an instant. This behavior is very seldom replicated in captivity, even when explicitly trained towards and rewarded. Satellite images that are later viewed during the day do not cause drifblim to vanish; drifblim do not appear to do much of anything at all at night except drift. Why they go to such lengths to conceal themselves is a mystery.

    Husbandry

    Despite living in large parties in the wild, drifblim are quite content to live alone with a trainer and other partner pokémon. Drifblim are relatively affectionate towards their human and pokémon friends and enjoy physical contact. Larger drifblim really enjoy taking their trainer or teammates on long flights before descending in roughly the same place they ascended from.

    The main problems when caring for drifloon are their curiosity and need to feed. Drifblim dislike all pokéballs, although they will tolerate luxury balls and premier balls. Unlike most ghost-types, they do not appreciate dusk balls. During the day they want to explore and at night they want to fly. The only times they will happily accept their pokéball are when winds are too strong to make flights pleasant or returns easy or when their trainer has some clearly defined reason for doing so, such as an eminent battle.

    Drifblim’s rather unique diet makes them almost impossible to feed in captivity. Reading a good book to the end and basking in the feelings it brings is one decent way, but this is not practical for most people to do almost every day. If allowed to roam, drifblim will usually go off and satisfy their own hunger and curiosity before returning at dusk and dawn. Drifblim instinctively know where to find their trainer and will return, even if they are separated by entire oceans. Sometimes drifblim allowed to roam will still stay with their trainer for an entire day or night.

    Unlike most ghosts, the species has no aversion to daylight and can be battled or bonded with at all times of the day.

    Illness

    Drifblim that have not been allowed to feed upon endings for more than two to four days will begin to deflate and have more sluggish movement. Very strong endings, particularly deaths or funerals, will usually be enough to revive them. They will remain distrustful of trainers who allowed them to deflate in the first place.

    Strong damage in battle will eventually go away on its own. Being stored in their pokéball and taken to an ending will make the recovery go faster.

    Drifblim sometimes fade away and pass on when their trainer does. Other times, they do not. Drifblim that survive their trainer will either attach to a close relative or friend of the deceased or simply float back into the sky to find a new party to join. Outside of voluntary passing, prolonged starvation, and possibly reproduction (see Breeding), drifblim may be immortal.

    Evolution

    The exact trigger of drifloon evolution is not known. At some point, drifloon will steadily begin to grow in size and change in shape. The whole process takes about one week from start to finish. Captive drifloon typically evolve at a much younger age than their wild counterparts, but there is no apparent means of making a drifloon evolve faster. Experiments where two drifloon of roughly the same age were taken in by the same trainer and treated the same have resulted in one drifloon starting to evolve two months after capture and the other evolving three years later. Six months in captivity is the median point of evolution, but everything from two days to ten years has been recorded.

    Battle

    Drifblim are stuck between offensive ghosts such as gengar and mismagisus and defensive ghosts such as jellicent. The former are faster and stronger than drifblim; the latter has more staying power in a fight. Mimikyu and Alolan marowak even compete with drifblim for a spot on bulky offense teams. Instead drifblim is left to a niche as a baton passer and bizarre sort of revenge killer.

    As they take more damage from fire or stab wounds, drifblim gain more power and speed, respectively. These injuries also cause drifblim to leak, giving them far less staying power than they otherwise might have. But, drifblim are well suited to boosting up with stockpile, substitute, or calm mind at the start of a match while they can float above the fray and use their slippery surface and general bulk to take hits. Status moves such as will-o-wisp can let them wear down opponents and buy more time to boost. Then if they start burning or leaking, drifblim can start to unleash a barrage of powerful or fast shadow balls, hexes, or thunderbolts. As things wind down to the finish, drifblim can baton pass their earlier boosts or use destiny bond or explosion to take care of their current opponent. This does make drifblim a tad predictable and smart opponents can use tricks such as toxic, perish song, or blunt force impacts to wear drifblim down without unleashing their late game wrath. Bulky ghost-resists such as blissey and snorlax also have little to fear from drifblim outside of baton passes. But, most of the common anti-flier tactics (electrical burns, ice shrapnel, sharp rocks) run a high risk of setting drifblim off. Teams with a drifblim answer will handle it easily enough; teams without one can find themselves losing a pokémon or two without much to be done.

    On the island challenge, drifblim are best off running some combination of a boosting move, a status move, an offensive move, baton pass, and a finishing move. If there is time and money to teach more tricks, go for offensive moves. While drifblim are not the best ghost on the island challenge in terms of power, they are perfectly serviceable and when played well can continue to win matches to the end of the challenge.

    Acquisition

    Drifloon can be captured, adopted, or purchased with a Class I license. Drifblim can be captured with a Class II license or be purchased or adopted with a Class I license.

    Drifloon are most common in the wild around graveyards and funeral homes, but they can also be spotted with some frequency around restaurants and businesses that are about to close or museums that are about to have a temporary exhibit rotate out. Almost all drifloon will agree to go with a trainer after a quick proving battle. Some will gladly accompany a new human partner even without a formal battle. This makes them a somewhat popular starter pokémon, especially since many journeys almost immediately follow an ending of some sort.

    Breeding

    Drifblim clearly reproduce. If they did not, eventually the wild population would be almost entirely drifblim. Instead, wild drifloon considerably outnumber wild drifblim. Drifblim have never reproduced in captivity, been recorded doing so in the wild, or explained to a channeler how they breed. The most we can do is speculate.

    Reproduction probably happens high in the atmosphere where humans have historically been unable to observe drifblim. Drifblim are exceedingly shy around cameras in the atmosphere; usually they will gently play with or observe weather balloons, but if one has a camera attached it will almost always be destroyed. Thankfully they vanish when a plane passes instead of destroying it.

    Reproduction also probably results in the death of at least one drifblim. The total number and size of drifblim parties has not changed much since worldwide data collection became possible. If new drifloon are created and the total population is not growing, then drifblim must die at rates that starvation and voluntary passing cannot account for.

    Subspecies

    None known.
     
  15. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Honchkrow (Murkrow)

    Overview

    Honchkrow have their flaws as a pokémon. Murkrow are fond of engaging their trainer in psychological warfare for one thing. Honchkrow are less sadistic but less likely to obey commands. Still, their intelligence and folklore make them extremely popular among a certain subset of trainer: teenage girls with no friends, a goth-inspired wardrobe, a chip on their shoulder. At least one literal vampire has befriended one.

    Physiology

    Both stages are classified as dual dark- and flying-types.

    Murkrow have dark blue or black feathers over most of their body. There is a small tuft of feathers at the base of their tail, which fans out from a single point in all directions. Murkrow’s talons and beak are devoid of feathers and pale yellow in color. The eyes are red and glow in the dark. The species strangest feature is their ‘hat.’ The hat has a circular brim of feathers extending horizontally from the top of their head. These feathers are quite dense and are easily mistaken for a solid layer. Three large tufts protrude above the brim.

    Honchkrow are substantially bulkier than the rather scrawny murkrow. Evolution changes their tail pattern to something more typical of a bird, with a long horizontal row of feathers flowing out behind them. The talons become black with sharp white claws at the tips. White crescent markings form beneath the eyes. The tufts sticking out of the hat condense into only one or two short peaks, while the brim of the hat becomes longer at the front and back and stays roughly the same length on the sides.

    Males have a white “beard” of long, soft feathers covering up the lower head, neck, and most of the chest. The inside of their wings are coated in bright red feathers. Females usually have pure black feathers; males have dark blue ones. Both sexes’ feathers are iridescent.

    Murkrow and honchkrow have a keen sense of smell for birds, as well as acute night vision. However, their hearing is limited to relatively high pitched sounds. Even honchkrow have relatively shrill cries despite their appearance and size.

    Male honchkrow can grow up to 1.2 meters in length, including the tailfeathers, and weigh up to 15 kilograms. Females are somewhat smaller, seldom reaching lengths of one meter. They can live up to thirty years in captivity or forty in the wild. The average murkrow lifespan is closer to five years in the wild.

    Behavior

    The species tends to live in social groups with one mated pair of honchkrow and one to three dozen murkrow. Honchkrow are notoriously harsh bosses that punish failure through physical violence or ostracizing the offender and rallying other murkrow to bully them. However, the belief that honchkrow deliberately starve the murkrow like raticate starve rattata is false. While honchkrow prioritize their survival over the murkrow in extremely difficult times, the distribution of food in good times is usually rather equitable when adjusting for body mass.

    Murkrow disperse at the start of the day. If one finds a kill, it flies back to the central nest and alerts the honchkrow. The honchkrow then fly out from their nest and stake their claim on the kill, bullying away anything that tries to take it. Historically this worked very well as most large native predators are either insects, fighting-types, or birds. The former two can be scared away by two very large corvids arriving. The latter can be beaten back by swarms of murkrow confusing them and honchkrow making strategic hits. The introduction of pack-hunting canines and snorlax has complicated this strategy. Even gumshoos and raticate can make staking a claim far harder than it otherwise would be.

    The newly introduced competition has led to honchkrow gradually shifting to more of a predatory role. Their favored prey are raticate. Murkrow will swarm a raticate’s nest and start carrying off food or beating up rattata. Eventually the raticate will become enraged and leave the nest. The murkrow take turns guiding the rat to the honchkrow, which descend from a high tree branch and kill or wound the raticate in a single hit. This “harass and lure” strategy works for most species that are unintelligent enough to fall for it and small enough to be killed in one strike.

    Honchkrow have long been revered as psychopomps. In Alolan mythology, murkrow guide the dead to the base of Mt. Lanakila where ninetales take over and bring the souls up to the gods for judgment. “Honchkrow are psychopomps” is a common belief worldwide, largely because they are ominous and intelligent scavengers that flock to dead carcasses and scare off other would-be scavengers. The birds also tend to share territory with ghosts out of coincidence: honchkrow and ghosts prefer dense, dry forests with tall trees and abandoned human settlements. Part of the species’ reputation of bringing souls to the afterlife is more literal. Murkrow have a habit of playing pranks on humans, including chasing or leading them off the trail and away from other group members in the middle of spirit-infested woods.

    In terms of more benign pranks, murkrow are prone to stealing anything that interests them and can be carried away in their talons. The latter is not strictly a requirement, as one murkrow was observed trying to drag away a small television set several times larger than itself. A honchkrow eventually appeared and dragged it off into the forest. Shiny objects in particular are not safe. One of honchkrow’s main activities in the wild is guarding and exploring the murder’s stash of objects. This stash is usually kept in plain view to attract meowth and persian, which are promptly killed by either murkrow or one of the honchkrow.

    A typical resting site is a very large tree with many branches, at least one of which needs to be thick enough to support a honchkrow or two. Ideally there will be few branches near the base of the tree so that other predators have a hard time sneaking up on the birds as they rest at night. Honchkrow periodically change nests. This involves every murkrow in the murder flying in several loops about one kilometer above the nest. Then the honchkrow take flight and all of the murkrow swoop down to join them in one large group. When the new nest is reached, the honchkrow rest as the murkrow again fly up and circle the nest. It is not known why they move nests or why the murkrow need to circle.

    Husbandry

    Murkrow are not an easy bird to raise. The only Alolan bird that might be smarter is xatu. And while xatu are mostly benevolent, if a little lacking in personality, murkrow are not. Murkrow are prone to pushing boundaries and playing pranks on their trainer. While they can be affectionate, breaking them in takes time and emotional energy that most trainers are simply unwilling to give.

    Fortunately, murkrow are hierarchal. Unfortunately, murkrow only take orders from their parents. Unless a murkrow imprinted on their trainer at birth (see Breeding), they will not initially respect a human. Gaining their respect requires acting like a honchkrow. Many trainers assume that this just means bullying their pokémon. While setting expectations and boundaries and doling out punishments (ideally social punishments and not physical ones) is important, it is only half of the required behavior. Trainers must also subdue powerful enemies and routinely provide food. The latter is easy, but to build a connection murkrow must either only be fed when the trainer wins a battle or be allowed to eat multiple animals or pokémon the bird saw their trainer kill. Some level of physical affection is required, even when the murkrow is still prone to biting the trainer’s ear whenever it gets a chance.

    Honchkrow are prone to treating trainers like their children. This is true even if the honchkrow imprinted on their trainer at birth. Wild honchkrow are not particularly kind to their children. After losses in battle, they will harass their trainer just as much as a newly caught murkrow does. However, honchkrow are willing to share any kills they make and will occasionally cuddle with their trainer at night.

    Both stages are very intelligent and easily bored. They will devote most of their creative talents to provoking their trainer and teammates if not given anything else to do. Sometimes training can be turned into a game of sorts, especially if puzzles are created that require a particular use of a move or combination of moves to solve. These are not easy to dream up, but there are several example training exercises online that work well. Alternatively, small puzzles that work well for humans tend to work well for corvids. Rubix cubes are a notable exception, as murkrow usually just take it apart rather than try to solve it. This is still entertaining for them, but only for a moment.

    Honchkrow cannot be housebroken. They are certainly smart enough to understand the concept of it, especially when raised with other birds. The species just refuses to only defecate in one area. Murkrow waste is rather solid, but still has enough liquid to make it difficult to clean up. On the trail this isn’t a problem, but it does become an issue when staying in a city or building for more than a few minutes.

    The best diet for honchkrow is raw meat, bones and all. The birds will not eat the bones, but it will force them to solve a small puzzle while they eat. When they are done they even get new toys. If raw meat is not feasible, dried meat or primate biscuits can work for short periods. Unless it is particularly hot outside or they are not being fed raw meat, honchkrow do not need to drink water.

    Honchkrow will usually pick up a handful of human words. While they are not the most skilled mimics of bird pokémon, they are capable of understanding the meaning of words and phrases. No fully fluent honchkrow has been observed but they can generally make their intent clear. Alola has several far nicer pokémon capable of communication and lifelong friendship, but some trainers adore their talking honchkrow companions.

    Illness

    Vaccination for avian cholera and the West Nile Virus is required within thirty days of capture.

    The most common problems that captive honchkrow face are avian pox and parasites. Avian pox initially appears as wart-like growths on the beak or legs. If left untreated, the growths might turn into open, festering lesions that can cripple or wound the bird. There is no cure, but if treated by a professional veterinarian or birdkeeper recovery with only minimal scarring is likely.

    Parasites include ticks and fleas. These are generally uncomfortable and can carry illnesses. If they latch on near the eyes they can cause permanent blindness. Grooming other pokémon and removing their parasites in front of a honchkrow will teach it that their trainer can remove the insects that they cannot. The pokémon will ordinarily groom itself, but approach their trainer and make a show of grooming themselves when they need help.

    Unlike most birds, honchkrow bones are not hollow and are in fact very sturdy. If a bone does break it is unlikely to ever heal. Trainers should exercise caution in battle and immediately withdraw their pokémon and take it to a veterinarian if a bone does break. Murkrow bones are far less durable and far more likely to break, but they can recover when very young.

    Evolution

    Murkrow begin to evolve at around three years of age in the wild. The process takes another year. In captivity, especially when exposed to concentrated dark-type energy from a dusk stone, they can mature far faster. Evolution is marked by a period of rapid weight gain and bulking up. In the wild, this is when the new honchkrow leaves the nest. They do not immediately form their own murder, instead grouping into murders of sub-adults that roam between territories, scaring off other scavengers when possible and doing their own hunting when necessary. These sub-adult murders do have strict hierarchies with males at the top and females at the bottom. Every male and female knows their relation to every other member of their sex. While facially deferential to dominant honchkrow, the inferior bird will often do everything in their power to undermine their superior without getting caught.

    Battle

    Honchkrow in the wild finish their prey in one strike. They are not particularly adept fliers due to the weight their bones provide and their general bulk. The adults function mostly as a deterrent for mid-sized predators and a means of finishing off prey that murkrow cannot handle.

    Unfortunately for honchkrow, there are several heavier birds that also rely on powerful impacts. Braviary and staraptor are two of their main competitors, although rarer choices such as haastile and harpyre are even stronger. The tricks that honchkrow can learn are not enough to compensate. Murkrow, while fast enough to effectively use disrupting moves, are too frail and weak to be considered a viable option.

    On the island challenge things are quite different. Honchkrow do compete with braviary, but the latter is difficult to train as an adult and have a long maturation period. A single full body tackle from honchkrow plus a follow-up attack or two is strong enough to seriously hurt or knock out most opponents. The final few trials may be difficult, but honchkrow can still put a dent in almost anything. Brave bird or sky attack are ideal moves with sucker punch or dark pulse serving as a compliment. Heat wave, steel wing, or superpower provides useful coverage. Roost can keep honchkrow in a fight if it cannot win in a single hit.

    Murkrow are fast tricksters. Even early on they are not very useful offensively, but their speed and intelligence let them fly circles around most opponents. Roost, a good offensive move or two, and a supporting disruptive move such as taunt, torment, or featherdance is all a murkrow really needs to annoy their foe and ultimately outlast their opponent. They work well on quickstall teams and when they evolve they can make for an effective breaker for any single pokémon the team cannot deal with.

    Acquisition

    Murkrow can be captured, purchased, or adopted with a Class III license. Honchkrow cannot be legally captured, but can be adopted or purchased with a Class IV license.

    Honchkrow live on every island in Alola, usually in dry forests. They are most common on the lower portion of Route 2 and the Hau’oli suburbs on Melemele, Route 4 on Akala, Route 10 on Ula’Ula, and the upper levels of Vast Poni Canyon on Poni Island. It is best to capture a murkrow while it is scouting for food in the early morning. Approaching the main nest for a capture is a bad idea because the honchkrow are likely to get involved. While they are ordinarily reluctant to approach humans, much less attack them, honchkrow will kill trainers that stir up trouble near their nest.

    Breeding

    Honchkrow courtship occurs inside of sub-adult murders. A male will approach a female and display for her. If she shows interest, she will follow the male as he goes out to hunt. If successful, they will share the carcass and then go off to form their own nest. The female takes the lead on building the first nest while the male gathers sticks and other materials for it. Subsequent nests have their materials gathered by the older murkrow and assembled by the female honchkrow, who also mentors the female murkrow on the art of nest building. The male takes a more active role in hunting during these times to compensate for several murkrow being occupied with constructing the nest.

    Honchkrow lay three to six eggs with an incubation period of about one month. The male and female take turns guarding the eggs, which are durable enough for a full grown honchkrow to sit on. Newly hatched murkrow are entirely dependent upon their mothers for regurgitated food. Murkrow that beg loudest tend to get fed more, regardless of whether they need the food as much as their quieter siblings. After leaving the nest at about fifty days old, murkrow are insatiably curious and investigate everything they see. They are escorted by a honchkrow everywhere they go outside the nest for the first three months. Older murkrow take over for another three before the young birds are accepted as full-fledged members of the murder with the same duties and supervision as their older siblings.

    The species is difficult to breed in captivity largely because of the difficulty in finding a suitably partner. Female honchkrow typically accept less than 10% of their suitors. Surprisingly given their selectivity, females and males are willing to mate with other birds such as corviknight, toucannon, and mandibuzz. They can even have fertile offspring with the former. Honchkrow will also build a nest and insist on staying in one place. In captivity they are prone to stealing pillows, blankets, clothes, and other soft objects to line the nest with. Between egg laying and the chicks leaving the nest, honchkrow are prone to dive bomb anything that gets too close, including their trainer. While they seldom kill a human they know, broken bones are common. This is made worse because honchkrow usually nest near their trainer’s residence, making it dangerous to just walk outside to get the paper.

    Subspecies

    Honchkrow range across Europe, Northern Africa, Australia, Oceania, and Asia. There are more than two dozen documented subspecies. The smallest are typically found on the Pacific Islands, although honchkrow in Alola are rather large due to competition from mandibuzz. Perhaps the most famous subspecies is the Siberian honchkrow due to their very fluffy appearance and tendency to puff themselves up around humans, forming a black ball of feathers.

    The largest subspecies is the near-flightless Indian honchkrow that live in the foothills of the Himalayas. Male Indian honchkrow can reach two meters in length and are fearsome predators in their own right. They use their intelligence and keen hearing to track down nocturnal mammals while they sleep during the day. Indian honchkrow are large and powerful enough to batter their way into tree cavity nests and tear into burrows. Insects and other pokémon hiding higher up on trees are harassed by the murkrow until they fall down to the waiting honchkrow. Unfortunately, an antibiotic used in miltank farming proved lethal to honchkrow in even very small doses. Dead miltank were often left out in the fields as they were not used for meat. While the cause of the “honchkrow plague” was eventually discovered and the antibiotic is banned, the damage was done and the Indian honchkrow is now critically endangered.

    Unlike most other species, honchkrow also vary substantially in behaviors across space and time. Murkrow seem to inherit very few instinctual responses and pick up most of their behaviors through teaching and experimentation. Hunting, housing, social, and childrearing behaviors can be rather different between closely related populations.
     
  16. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Crobat (Zubat, Golbat)

    Overview

    Zubat have a reputation of being more of an annoyance than a potential boon to a traveling trainer. This is unfortunate as crobat are reasonably intelligent and affectionate companions that, unique diet aside, are rather low maintenance. Trainer who are squeamish around blood are generally advised to opt against training the species, as are trainers with several furry or carnivorous mammals as companions. Crobat are a natural fit on poison-type and flying-type specialist teams and do reasonably well in battle as a disruptor.

    Physiology

    All three stages are classified as dual poison- and flying-types.

    Zubat have primarily dark-blue bodies. The legs are long and relatively thin. They have wings with a purple membrane in place of arms. Zubat have small and rather weak eyes. Their large fangs and ears balance this out.

    Golbat are proportionally longer. While many people believe that their mouth makes up nearly 90% of their body, this is not the case. Golbat have a large black patch of fur on their chest with small bone growths resembling teeth growing out of their torso to scare prey and predators alike. Their actual mouth is relatively small and contains their real fangs. Golbat have much larger wings and much smaller outer ears than zubat.

    Crobat look far more like zubat than golbat. The body is covered in a very thin layer of purple fur. They possess four wings, each with a unique muscular system that lets them extend or retract the membrane of their wing to their armbone, letting them crawl or fly relatively easily. The wing structure makes crobat virtually silent fliers. One crobat was observed flying for nine consecutive days without rest by switching off between the front and back set of wings when they needed to rest. Crobat have no external ears, but they do have internal ears. For reasons unknown, crobat’s mouth is white on the inside.

    Outside of zubat, the evolutionary line has more powerful vision than the average human. This is useful for seeing in the dark. They also have an extraordinary sense of hearing. All evolutionary stages use echolocation to scout out the world around them. Similar clicks are used for communication. All three stages have long hooks at the end of their hind-legs; crobat also have claws on their front wings. The Alolan subspecies possess multiple safeguards for their ears that let them hear very faint sounds but also cover their ear canal before very powerful vibrations can damage their hearing. This is an adaptation for routinely sharing caves with noivern.

    Crobat are hemophages. They exclusively feed on blood. An all-liquid diet is not good for their digestive track and they must limit their feedings or risk overloading their kidneys. Most zubat are not patient enough to drink too much blood and crobat know their limits; golbat often have problems with overfeeding in the wild. Additionally, the liquid diet means that crobat must eat at least once every two days. Bats that do not get enough to eat will receive regurgitated meals from other members of the colony.

    This unique-among-mammals diet is facilitated by the bat’s specialized fangs. These are very thin and hollow on the inside. Unlike most fangs, these are used for sucking blood into the body rather than injecting venom (although crobat are venomous and can spit bloody, infected, slightly corrosive acid). Due to their frailty, these fangs often break. Crobat do not regrow fangs; upon injury, they must rely for the rest of their life on the generosity of other colony members. Defanged bats focus on protecting the colony’s roosting grounds and providing assistance with childrearing.

    Crobat can live up to nine years in the wild or fourteen in captivity. They can reach wingspans of 1.6 meters and can weigh as much as seven kilograms when hungry or nine kilograms when very full. Wild crobat can live up to six years; captive crobat can live up to nine.

    Behavior

    Zubat and golbat live in large colonies deep inside of caves. Any type of cave will do; in Alola colonies live in the dry caves of the Vast Poni Canyon system, along the banks of underground rivers in Seaward and Sandy Caves, in the frozen caverns of Mt. Lanakila, and in scalding hot tunnels beneath Akala Volcanoes National Park. Even large abandoned buildings will do. The largest colonies can contain upwards of 800 zubat and golbat at a time. The pokémon spend the day inside resting and engaging in social behaviors such as grooming. At night all but the youngest of zubat and one of the clutch’s parents will fly out to hunt.

    Zubat and golbat prefer to feed off of large diurnal pokémon. The bats are quiet and gentle enough, and their fangs sharp enough, that most prey do not even wake up. Smaller creatures, like humans, do occasionally fall prey to zubat in other parts of the world. However, in Alola food is almost always abundant. Attack is only likely if a trainer enters into the colony itself and either stirs up trouble or gets too close to baby zubat. Golbat will occasionally attack and kill rattata in a single impact or wing attack. They will then bring the rattata back to the colony or drain it on the spot. Tauros, miltank, ampharos, and mudsdale are some of the most common targets of zubat and golbat. Other observed prey species include kangaskhan, gumshoos, braviary, salamence, stoutland, snorlax, blissey, wigglytuff, magmortar, bewear, lickilicky, and hariyama.

    Crobat tend to live in bonded pairs usually, but not always, consisting of a male and female. They either sleep or relocate during the day and then go on to hunt at night. Abandoned toucannon nests are some of crobat’s favorite places to roost as they are large enough to fit two bats and still relatively difficult to access. Crobat will sometimes actively kill small pokémon to drain even in times of abundance.

    Due to the many bloodborne illnesses crobat are carriers for, they have virtually no natural predators. Metagross, which are not subject to any known terrestrial diseases, do regularly hunt crobat. However, there are not many metagross in Alola and they tend to hunt more interesting prey than small bats. The zubat line’s mortality rate is still rather high given the risk that feeding on much larger creatures carries.

    Husbandry

    The main problem with caring for captive crobat is their diet. So long as the trainer stays in one place, they are relatively easy to feed. Crobat and golbat can be provided with a dish full of blood placed at the edge of a counter. The bat will fly over and drink from it while hovering in place. Zubat can be fed from ice cube containers filled with blood. Tauros blood is rather easily obtained from butcher shops. A mix of blood and an anticoagulant (12 grams dextrose, 4 grams citric acid, 11 grams sodium citrate per gallon) should be used rather than raw blood. Crobat naturally apply an anticoagulant when absorbing blood through their fangs, but blood they drink can clot and cause health problems. The coagulant mixture can be homemade or purchased from some specialty pokémon stores. Some specialists recommend a mix of different bloods. Other experts recommend putting multivitamins into the mix. The efficacy of either dietary option has never been empirically proven and both can be rather expensive.

    Crobat must be fed once every two days, although daily feedings are recommended. Recommended feedings are five to six milliliters a day for a zubat, ten to twelve for a golbat, and fifteen to twenty for a crobat. Any more and there is a risk of overwhelming the kidneys. Lower end feedings should be applied to relatively sedentary pokémon and higher end portions should be used for frequent battlers or delivery pokémon. Water is not needed on days where blood is provided. It must be provided on days where blood is not given as crobat dehydrate very quickly.

    Golbat and crobat are intelligent enough to be housebroken or learn to urinate outside. Zubat can be “trained” by putting a litter mat underneath their preferred roost. This will solve most problems. Speaking of roosts, zubat and golbat need one when out of their pokéball. While they can be kept in pokéballs for a few hours a day (or in dusk balls for two six hour shifts in a twenty four hour period), all stages want to spend a lot of time out of their pokéball. They are social creatures and want to play, explore, or interact with their trainer or other pokémon. While technically nocturnal, crobat only sleep about five hours a day split into many short naps. Ideal crobat roosts provide a relatively sheltered area and a place to hang from. Shower rods work well enough, and small zubat can use coat hangers. Crobat are perfectly capable of staying in near-perpetual flight, but they also appreciate a place to roost from time to time.

    Crobat rely on other bats to groom them in the wild so their trainer will need to take over this role. This is a good way to earn the pokémon’s trust. Music and other strange vibration patterns can serve as toys or bonding experiences.

    Some trainers let themselves be food for their crobat. While this is a cheap way of obtaining blood, it messes with the bat’s bonding instincts. Furthermore crobat are known to carry many bloodborne illnesses, including HIV, malaria, West Nile virus, and rabies. The risk of contagion and their innate hunting instincts make training a crobat on a team full of diurnal mammals somewhat inadvisable, although it can be done with firm boundaries and frequent blood tests on the crobat.

    Illness

    Crobat are immune to almost all bloodborne illnesses. They are one of the only mammals that are extremely resistant to rabies. The species’ unique immune system makes most vaccines ineffective on them. Battling trainers will need to give their pokémon periodic physicals to make sure they are not carriers of rabies or one of the other pathogens that make them unable to participate in League sanctioned battles.

    The species suffers from one big drawback: they aren’t built to last. Zubat and golbat rarely recover from serious wing or fang damage, and both areas are very fragile. In the wild this is counterbalanced by the many, many able-bodied members of the colony stepping up to provide for the disabled. In captivity a broken wing isn’t a death sentence, although the bat may never fly again. Broken fangs do not regrow but are not a serious health problem unless the site becomes infected; captive crobat lap up blood in containers rather than pulling it in through their fangs. Defanging is even a standard operation for families who just want a zubat as a pet rather than a battling companion.

    The vast majority of crobat health problems either are a result or cause of dehydration or overhydration. Mid-range portions should be given every day until a veterinarian can be consulted.

    Evolution

    Zubat usually evolve into golbat around sixteen months of age. The process is one of gradual growth, with the formal demarcation line marked by all four faux-fangs breaking the skin. Golbat flash evolve into crobat. Severe injury appears to prevent evolution but minor wounds are instantly healed in the process. Only the best of hunters evolve. Fewer than one in fifteen wild golbat evolve, but nearly one-third of captive golbat do. The leading theory is that consistent feedings and occasional combat fool the body into thinking that the bat is a very successful hunter. Crobat evolution can take place anywhere between the golbat’s third and seventh birthday.

    Battle

    Crobat are too fragile and not powerful enough to have had much impact on the competitive battling scene. Even trainers who want to use a bat have the stronger kelawapi, swoobat, and noivern to pick from. In the very limited use they have seen, they served as fast disruptors firing off taunts, toxics, hypnoses, defogs, tailwinds, and supersonics before the opponent can react. Their frailty makes them an awkward fit on quickstall, though.

    On the island challenge crobat can be rather effective due to the sheer difficulty of hitting it. Crobat can fly up to 200 kilometers per hour in shorts burst and they average about 120. Their moderately powerful aerokinesis and venomous spit can be used to slowly whittle away at an opponent’s health. Trainers willing to shell out money on special TMs and tutoring can teach coverage moves such as heat wave and dark pulse. Nasty plot can be used for boosting, but requires a crobat to stand still for longer than is advisable.

    Draining moves can be used but put crobat’s delicate fangs at risk. They should only be used to finish off sleeping opponents with a powerful bug bite or giga drain. The same goes for contact moves. While crobat moving at max speed can hit opponents very hard, the impact is likely to hurt crobat far more than their opponent.

    Acquisition

    Zubat and golbat can be found inside of almost every cave in the commonwealth. However, wading into a colony and attempting to stir up trouble will lead to a fight. Golbat are not polite enough to charge their opponents one at a time, which makes fighting difficult and potentially dangerous. The best way to catch a zubat or golbat is to wait outside of a cave entrance at dusk. When the bats come out, try and isolate one and start a battle. As soon as they’ve exited the cave, only crobat looking after their children will bother to stay back and defend fellow colony members. Zubat can be purchased, captured, or adopted with a Class III license; golbat and crobat require a Class IV to purchase, capture, or adopt.

    Crobat are far more difficult to find than their preevolutions. The best way to bait them is to leave a large mammal asleep in a clearing at night and wait to see if anything shows up. Alternatively, looking around forests with very large trees in hopes of finding a toucannon nest can work. Sometimes there will be something more aggressive than a crobat inside of these nests, though, and partners will back each other up in combat. All things considered, it is recommended that trainers look for a zubat or golbat instead.

    Breeding

    In the wild, a mated crobat pair return to the male’s colony once a year to mate. Pregnancy lasts for six weeks. The female will then give birth to a clutch of eight to twelve zubat. Both parents, along with other colony members, assist in raising the children. Only one crobat will leave the cave each night, the other staying back to defend the children. As mammals, crobat nurse their young. Babies don’t begin to get some regurgitated blood until they are four weeks old. They still nurse until their parents leave the colony four months after birth.

    Captive breeding and even hand-raising zubat is possible. Newborn zubat require a cramped, dark place with adequate roosting space and a place to put food. For the first three weeks, hand-raised zubat will need to be fed with a syringe filled with milk. The bats will lap milk off the end of the syringe rather than suck on it. They instinctively understand to do this. After this bowls and ice cube containers can be used to facilitate the gradual introduction of blood. If a female crobat is watching after the babies, she can be trusted to nurse and regurgitate enough blood to allow for proper development. Otherwise a mixture of blood and milk should be used until the babies are four months old, at which point they can be fed blood alone. A good list of appropriate blood-milk ratios at varying ages can be found online in the AZA’s guide to zubat husbandry.

    Subspecies

    Crobat occupy a wide range of habitats. In spite of this, their geographic range is limited to eastern Asia and remote Pacific islands, with a handful of introduced colonies in Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, and North America. Most subspecies are relatively similar to each other, with slight variations in wing power and fur thickness. The European crobat, which historically shared much of its range with noivern, has developed safeguards to their hearing similar to the Pacific crobat.

    The Pacific crobat, the dominant subspecies in Alola, has the strongest wings of any crobat. However, they are somewhat slower than the other subspecies. Northern crobat can fly up to 300 kilometers per hour in short bursts, compared to 200 kilometers per hour for the Pacific crobat.

    The Northern crobat have thinner fur than the harsh winters of their environment would suggest. This is because they seldom leave their homes in the winter, instead slowing their metabolism and draining other hibernating creatures who retreat into the caves with them. Snorlax are a favorite of theirs, but finding blood vessels beneath the fat can be challenging and risk waking the bear up.
     
  17. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Noivern (Noibat)

    Overview

    Dragons have always loomed large in the human imagination. They are on average the strongest pokémon and almost all are aggressive carnivores. Most are large enough to prey upon man. Some were powerful enough to fight ancient cities or even empires and win. Even in an age where most species have been trained, dragons are still among the hardest pokémon to handle.

    Noivern is as good a start to dragon-type training as any. They aren’t particularly aggressive towards humans, are easily conditioned to obey commands, are rather affectionate, and they are big enough to win battles without being so big that logistics become troublesome. Even then, they are still large and powerful carnivores with long lifespans and high intellects. Trainers should think twice before putting any dragon on their team.

    Physiology

    Noivern are classified as dual flying- and dragon-types. The dragon typing is disputed as noivern probably evolved apart from the “true dragons” descended from serpents. They are actually descendants of the pterosaurs such as aerodactyl. While scientists are unsure when and how the dragon-type evolved, or if it may have independently evolved several times, this is evidence that tyrantrum’s dragon typing may not be a mistake of the cloning process. Noivern are reptilian like most dragons and are very competent at wielding draconic energy. There is fierce debate over whether pokémon other than true dragons should be allowed the dragon typing and, if so, whether ancient, extraterrestrial, or semi-mythical pokémon such as tyrantrum, guzzlord, and zygarde should be an exception. If noivern’s dragon typing is ever revoked, water, psychic, or normal are the most likely replacements.

    Noibat have primarily dark grey scales with thick tufts of black feathers around their midsection. These feathers help keep them warm in relatively cool caves. Noibat also warm themselves in caves through huddling with zubat (see Behavior) and their very high metabolisms.

    Both noivern stages are warm blooded like most dragons but unlike most reptiles. The extinct and revived pterosaurs were and are also warm blooded. However, long thin membranes require some behavioral supplements to their natural temperature control processes.

    Noibat have long, thin legs tipped with fourwhite claws. They have two wings with light blue membranes. Another set of claws are located in the middle of their wings. Their wings are supported by three long fingers. Other fingers form small claws on each wing. Noibat have large faces, but the size is exaggerated by the very thick feathers on their head and their proportionally large eyes with yellow feather markings that make the eyes appear even larger. Their nose is coated in purple scales.

    The line’s most notable feature is their giant ears. These ears can be moved independently and each are about the size of the rest of the head. Concentric circles line the interior and bright blue scales cover the back. Massive vibrations can be created from these ears. Contrary to popular belief, wild noivern are not very loud at all. Their wingbeats are virtually silent and almost all of a wild noivern’s vocalizations are above or below the range of human hearing. Instead humans are likely to feel very intense but silent vibrations. Captive noivern tend to learn the range their trainer can hear in. This makes them very, very loud.

    Noivern vibrations can shatter glass for a kilometer around them or kill small animals within a few meters. Alternatively, the frequency of these waves can be adjusted to disrupt thoughts or transfer crude psychic messages. Their hearing is the most sensitive of any pokémon and noivern can use echolocation to see the world for miles around them. Noivern have good, but unexceptional, senses of sight and smell.

    Noivern are generally lankier than their pre-evolutions. Their main body is long and featherless Alolan noivern continue with the dark gray and black color scheme of their preevolution, although wild noivern that have interbred with other subspecies can have green stripes or even bright red feathers. Noivern retain grey scales on their face, aside from green inner ears and a purple crest over their eyes. Compared to noibat, noivern have rather long legs complete with knees and webbed feet big enough to walk on for short distances. Their tail has grown to be long and sturdy and it contains a thagomizer at the end for spearing anything that gets behind the bat.

    Noivern can grow up to 2.5 meters in length and weigh up to 20 kilograms. In the wild, noivern usually live for about twelve years. In captivity they have been recorded living for upwards of six decades.

    Behavior

    Noivern typically share caves with zubat. The adult noivern provide protection to the golbat colonies and the golbat and crobat in turn provide socialization and basic care for the noibat. Noivern themselves rarely sleep in caves and prefer to rest on beaches or rocky cliffs.

    Noibat primarily hunt non-pokémon insects. Powerful vibrations are used to stun or kill the bugs around them. The bat then cleans up, finds another swarm of insects, and then kills and eats them. If possible, they do not leave the cave to hunt. As they grow older, they venture outside and start searching for berry groves. Adult noivern, even those not related to the noibat, may take the younger pokémon on flights over the ocean.

    Noivern primarily hunt fish. Wishiwashi and luvdisc are some of their favorites. The hunting strategy they use is rather similar to that noibat use on insects. Noivern fly low above the surface of the water and use echolocation to scout for schools of fish. When they find one, they fold their wings and dive into the center of the school before letting out a massive vibration. Their powerful lungs and tail let the noivern eat almost one-third of their body weight in fish before swimming back to shore. While returning to land, noivern are vulnerable to predation from gyarados and sharpedo. Wishiwashi schools are highly vulnerable to sonic blasts and seldom attempt to avenge their brethren.

    Once they reach dry land, the noivern hauls itself onto the beach and spreads its wings. This serves the dual purposes of drying off the membrane and warming the pokémon. When they are not hunting or sunning themselves, noivern graze on land or in the sea. The species is fond of eating algae off of rocks and corals in relatively shallow waters. They also seek out orchards and use echolocation to identify the best berries to eat. Noivern are not particularly social but they do tend to spend the night in bands of six to eight, if only for mutual protection from larger predators.

    Noivern tend not to mind humans approaching them while they are sunning and sometimes even appear to pose for pictures. They have been known to approach humans and rummage through their things with or without the owner’s consent. Close contact with noivern is discouraged and feeding them is illegal. Once a noivern has tasted human food they tend to spend more of their time begging on the streets of coastal cities than hunting or foraging in the adjacent waters.

    Husbandry

    Noibat can be fed most insect mixes and supplemental water. The core of noivern’s diet should be made up of fish with algae and seaweed occasionally added. Noivern should almost always be able to access a water dish due to their difficulties regulating their internal salinity (see Illness). Fresh fruit is an excellent motivator and reward but not a necessary component of their diet.

    Some noibat and noivern are very accepting of pokéballs. Others will almost never enter them voluntarily. Be mindful of your pokémon’s preferences. Noibat need a perch to hang from at night if they do not tolerate pokéballs. Noivern typically prefer to sleep near their trainer. When content, noivern tend to purr in long, drawn out rumbles. When upset, they tend to rely on short but intense ultrasonic vibrations or high-pitched screeches. Tears are not a sign of sadness; they are simply a way of ridding the body of excess salt after dives in the ocean. Young noibat can only really be housebroken by putting a tray under their preferred perch; as they get older they are rather easily trained.

    Noivern will need daily opportunities to fly and at least weekly opportunities to swim. They are capable of swimming in either salt or fresh water, although they seem to prefer fresh water in captivity. Noibat do not require much space to fly in. While they are not as intelligent as many other dragons, noivern still need frequent stimulation in the form of grooming sessions, exploration of new places, games, or exposure to new music or other vibrations. As a note on the last point, noivern prefer their music to be played very, very loudly and are prone to humming their favorite tunes at deafening volumes. Some enterprising trainers have ‘fed’ their noivern live concerts or at least concert recordings and used them, occasionally alongside a zoroark, to replicate the experience of a live show. In any case, noivern seldom quiet themselves so living in one place with one requires either having no neighbors, paying them off, or accepting that fines for disturbance of the peace will be a recurring expense to budget for.

    Most noivern tend to have distant relationships to their trainers, seeking food, attention, and occasional cuddles while maintaining a high degree of independence. Others are far more social and have been nicknamed “lap dragons.” Like most intelligent pokémon, all noivern have very distinct personalities their trainer will need to account for.

    Illness

    In the wild, oil spill-related illnesses have killed up to two-thirds of other marine noivern subspecies. These illnesses most commonly kill by making it nearly impossible to fly on oil-coated wings or through poisoning when consumed. The blackspot disease that led to the collapse in global mountain noivern populations (see Subspecies) has been documented in marine noivern, but it is rare and the marine subspecies seem to have a higher resistance to it than the terrestrial ones.

    Noivern’s very large wing area and the thinness of the membrane makes them very vulnerable to water loss while in the sea. They developed the ability to shed incredibly salty tears to shed salt and help maintain homeostasis. Tear duct injuries can be fatal. If a noivern stops crying or starts needing much more water than normal without a proportional increase in time spent in saltwater, keep the pokémon in their pokéball as much as possible and keep them away from salt water. Then consult a veterinarian at the earliest opportunity. Most problems can be fixed with relatively minor surgery if acted upon quickly enough.

    Respiratory problems are common in marine noivern. Breathy hisses often indicate pneumonia. Lots of panting or vigorous wing flapping on the ground can be signs of hypo or hyperthermia. In the wild noivern can retreat into caves or the water if they become too hot or sun themselves if hypothermia starts to set in. Captivity often deprives noivern of these options. While they are technically warm-blooded, noivern’s homeostatic systems are rather weak compared to most mammals and require some behavioral compensation. Their body temperature is about 28 degrees Celsius.

    Evolution

    Noibat evolve into noivern around their third birthday. Evolution is rather distinct from growth, which occurs gradually and happens for years before and after evolution. In the wild, evolution is marked by the near-total cessation of insect hunting and the start of fish hunting. In captivity it is better measured by the shift from a nocturnal sleep schedule to a diurnal one. If a diurnal sleep schedule was enforced on the noibat, an uptick in daytime energy is the best signal that evolution has occurred.

    Battle

    The European bluewing noivern is the main subspecies used in competitive battling. The remaining mountain noivern also see some use. Marine noivern are only used by trainers who cannot get their hands on one of the larger and louder subspecies. All subspecies of noivern are moderately bulky, especially with the aid of roost or moonlight, and they are fast enough to avoid many hits. They are also devastatingly powerful; the bluewing noivern can pulverise granite boulders from a distance of five meters. While the marine noivern is nowhere near as powerful, they are equally fast and far more nimble. On the competitive pokémon scene, bluewing or mountain noivern are used by several dragon specialists and a handful of quickstall users. Their main drawback compared to other large dragons is a lack of versatility in offensive options and lack of any especially powerful set-up moves. However, noivern are one of the easiest dragons to train and they are fast and powerful enough to single-handedly defeat teams that are unprepared for them.

    Marine noivern are not quite so fearsome. Still, their boombursts are powerful enough to defeat many opponents in a single hit and their draco meteor and hurricane attacks are also very difficult to tank. As somewhat large dragons they can also shrug off some weaker attacks. In the air noivern are fast enough to outspeed most opponents and wait for a good opportunity to strike. Unfortunately, noivern are very vulnerable to slashing attacks powerful enough to tear their membrane as well as spread ice- and fairy-type attacks. Noivern also have somewhat shallow offensive movepools and, while their utility movepools are rather good, they are not quite bulky enough to successfully serve in a supporting role.

    Noibat are best used as quick harassers that wear down their opponents through supersonic and/or toxic while firing off the occasional weak ranged attack. While they are very weak, don’t worry: someday they will be much, much stronger.

    Acquisition

    Noibat can usually be found around the entrances of large cave systems at night. They are somewhat easily scared and may retreat back into the cave where their nimble flight and echolocation will make them very difficult to keep up with. Their capture is currently prohibited on Akala and Ula’Ula to allow for population maintenance and growth. On Melemele they are most abundant in Verdant Cavern and on Poni they are most often seen around the south entrance of Terminus Cave.

    Noivern are usually found in warm, shallow waters, on rocky shores, and along cliffs. It is illegal to disturb a noivern while it suns itself, even for the purposes of capture. Fruit groves that noivern are known to frequent are the best places to find and battle one. As with noivern, capture is currently prohibited on Akala and Ula’Ula.

    Noibat may be purchased, captured, or adopted with a Class II license. Noivern may be purchased, captured, or adopted with a Class III license.

    For both evolutionary stages, fruit and exposure to music are the best ways to gain the respect of the newly captured dragon.

    Breeding

    Male noivern claim territory in the resting spots of their bands. During the breeding season (September to October), males will release very powerful mating calls and perform elaborate dances to attract the attention of females. If one is interested, they will mate and stay close together for the next four to eight weeks. Then the female will go to a golbat colony and enter negotiations. She will offer some measure of protection in exchange for raising and protecting her young. Newborn noibat are only ten to fifteen centimeters long. Three to four are born in a single litter. The mother will stay to nurse her young for a few weeks and then head back to her band’s sleeping area.

    Noivern breeding is extremely difficult in captivity and essentially requires large plots of rural land. Thankfully, noivern mating cries are almost entirely ultrasonic. The vibrations are still among the most powerful noivern ever produce and can be felt for up to a kilometer away. Every city in Alola has an ordinance against keeping male noivern within city limits and out of their pokéball for more than one hour at a time or three hours a day during the months of September and October.

    Baby noibat are rather self-sufficient. Unlike zubat, they do not require milk. The babies should still be provided with an enclosed dark space with several good perches and many small insects for their first few weeks of life. Crickets are preferred as they cannot climb up to bother the noibat if they are not immediately eaten and their songs provide entertainment to the baby dragons.

    Subspecies

    There are four broad categories of noivern subspecies. The smallest are marine noivern, the group that Alolan noivern fall into. These subspecies are distributed across the tropical and subtropical Pacific. While their anatomy and behaviors are similar, their color schemes vary from the pitch black of Alolan noivern to bright red in the Caroline Islands to green stripes in the Galapagos Islands to patches of blue skin in the Solomons. Mixed-breed marine noivern can have combinations of their parents’ color schemes or even new patterns altogether. This has made them rather popular in captivity, although most zoos are starting to avoid mixing subspecies to better facilitate release to the wild

    The bluewing noivern spend their summers on the plains of Western Europe and travel to the Sahel in winter. They are giants with wingspans of up to twelve meters and lengths of up to seven meters. While far from the heaviest dragon by mass, they are still one of the largest by size. They have the largest wingspan of any living pokémon, although the extinct Caspian noivern were larger.

    Unfortunately, bluewing noivern’s size makes them dependent upon the availability of large grazing ungulates, their preferred prey. The decline in wild populations in Europe was a substantial blow to them. The replacement of the old grasslands with pastures stocked with delicious gogoat but vigorously guarded by humans with ice-types and powerful weapons led to a sharp decline led to the bluewing noivern becoming critically endangered. Only the installation of strict conservation laws (some of Europe’s first) and large preserves such as the Galarian wild area has kept the subspecies alive. These efforts have been bolstered by captive breeding on large ranches in the United States and Australia.

    The mountain noivern used to live in the Alps, Atlas Mountains, Caucuses, southern Urals, portions of the Hindu-kush, and a handful of mountains in Japan. They are smaller than the bluewing noivern and primarily hunt small ungulates and mammals. Sometimes they rarely leave their caves at all and simply find prey inside of the caverns. Unfortunately, in the 1980s most mountain noivern subspecies began displaying blackspot disease. The illness causes vomiting, high fevers, rapid cognitive decline, the formation of black sores, diarrhea, and ultimately death. There was originally no vaccine or even a proven method of managing the symptoms, especially the cognitive impairments. While this would have been bad enough for mountain noivern populations, the disease was communicable with humans. Amid mass hysteria and a public health crisis, several military forces and private hunters went into the mountains to kill as many noivern as they could. In the end a vaccine was developed and the disease was found to originate from rattata who carried the disease with no symptoms. A handful of mountain noivern remain in the Hindu-kush and a reintroduction attempt is being made in the Alps. There are approximately 300 in captivity worldwide.

    The Caspain noivern had wingspans of up to thirteen meters. They are believed to have preyed upon large desert species, similar to the behaviors exhibited by bluewing noivern in their seasonal migrations over the Sahara. Traditionally, their extinction was believed to have occurred around 150,000 BCE, along with their main prey, bactrigyn and armorossum. A discovery of a cave painting with what appears to be a noivern was recently discovered in the Gobi desert, far away from any living subspecies’ range. The painting was dated to 5,000 BCE.
     
  18. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Dugtrio (Diglett)

    Overview

    Alolan dugtrio are not the best battlers. Traditionally they were associated far more closely with peace and agriculture than war. However, they are scientifically fascinating creatures with enough power to make it through most of the island challenge. While “cuddly” is not a word often used to describe dugtrio, they are loyal and relatively easy to please. They are also a fair bit more expressive than most of the inorganic steel types and easier to obtain than all but one of Alola’s ground-types.

    Physiology

    Diglett and dugtrio are classified as ground- and steel-types. The ground typing is due to their terrakinesis and subterranean habitats. The steel typing is due to the metallic core of their whiskers and slightly metallic nature of their subdermal armor. There is increasing consensus that the armor is more stone than metal and their secondary typing should be changed to either rock or water. Still, dugtrio are competent at wielding metallic elemental energy.

    Diglett rarely put anything more than their head above the surface. As such, most people know diglett as a dark brown creature with a long straight neck, a thin mouth, wide eyes, and a large pink nose. A small tuft of golden whiskers adorn the top of their head. Below the surface, diglett are a fair bit longer and have two sets of legs with waterproof brown fur, webbed feet, and sharp claws.

    Above the surface, dugtrio resemble a group of three diglett huddled together. The one major difference is that their hair is much, much longer. In the wild it is usually unkempt and somewhat dirty, with differences in texture and length varying between heads. In captivity it has often been kept very clean and styled along the lines of human hair. While it is perfectly fine to gently clean dugtrio’s hair, cutting or styling it is no longer recommended as it makes the pokémon uncomfortable and may cause actual pain. At minimum it interferes with the pokémon’s ability to sense the world around it, navigate, hunt, and battle.

    Beneath the surface, dugtrio are rather different than diglett. While diglett are relatively slender, dugtrio are very stocky and bulky. All three necks are able to rotate 360 degrees independently of each other. Each head seems to possess a degree of independence, but outside of occasional food squabbles they are remarkably in synch with each other.

    Compared to most dugtrio, the Alolan dugtrio have very hard subdermal armor. Contrary to popular belief, this is not because the dugtrio need to dig through volcanic soil. All dugtrio subspecies are capable of digging very deep into the earth and withstanding relatively high heats and pressures. However, the crust under Alola is mostly composed of basalt. Most continental crust is made of the far less dense granite. Because the Alolan dugtrio takes these dense minerals and trace metals into a thin layer of armor under their skin, they are somewhat more durable. Furthermore, the Alolan dugtrio has some of the lowest physical strength of all subspecies as they seldom need to dig very fast and mostly stick to the loose soils around wetlands, coasts, and the Haina Valley.

    What makes the Alolan dugtrio extraordinary are their lengthy whiskers. In addition to being aesthetically interesting, the whiskers are extremely sensitive and can detect an average car from up to ten kilometers, footsteps from up to a kilometer away, and virtually every vibration within fifty meters of them. Each whisker is coated in nerve endings and taste buds that allow them to decide if something is edible and then ignore it or move to eat it in less than one fiftieth of a second. Stranger still, dugtrio can smell underwater by rapidly blowing bubbles and inhaling them.

    Behavior

    Dugtrio typically live in three locations: very loose sandy soils, subterranean rivers, and shallow ponds on the surface. In deep subterranean waters, dugtrio hunt by digging beneath the lake and letting their hair rise up and sense the world around them. If they find food, the dugtrio springs into action and kills it before quickly retreating below the surface, using a strange secretion and terrakinesis to seal up their hole before it can become flooded. If they do not find food, they will seal the hole behind them and rapidly swim towards vibrations in the water until they find food. Then they will rise to the surface, catch their breath, and prepare to dive back down and back into their hole.

    In shallow surface waters dugtrio do not need to dive up into the water to find prey. Instead they move along the bottom, raking up the substrate to drive out invertebrates. If they sense a fish or small dewpider on the surface they will burst out of the water and try to kill it in one go. This is when dugtrio are most often seen on the surface.

    The dugtrio that live in shallow sands typically either use their vibration sensing abilities to hunt for other substrate dwellers or stay beneath the surface and wait for something small to walk over them. then they will rush out and attempt to kill their prey in a single hit. While continental dugtrio have often been observed using antlion traps to capture prey, the Alolan dugtrio has never been seen doing so and prefers to rely on blunt force impacts.

    When they are not hunting, dugtrio typically relax in the elaborate tunnel system they dig beneath their territory. For sand dwelling dugtrio these burrows can be deep below the surface where the sand ends and the clay and bedrock begin. Coastal dugtrio often dig their burrows a little inland to avoid having their tunnel networks flooded.

    Because taro grows best in very wet soils or patties, dugtrio naturally show up around taro farms. There they serve the dual purposes of tilling the soil in and around the taro and killing the insects that would have devastated the crops. Dugtrio’s agricultural importance, and not their hair, was why they were regarded as minor fertility gods throughout the archipelago.

    Outside of evolution and maybe mating (see the relevant sections), dugtrio are relatively solitary. They do not allow other diglett or dugtrio to use their tunnels unless they are merely passing through to a different hunting ground not currently occupied by either pokémon.

    Husbandry

    The biggest problem in caring for dugtrio is their extreme reluctance to be entirely exposed on the surface. While they do not suffer the near-instant sunburns that other subspecies do, they still get extremely uneasy when they cannot retreat into the earth. Dugtrio will often try to dig through pavement or floors to get most of their body underground. They are strong and fast enough to make a good start before being withdrawn. Thankfully, dugtrio are incredibly tolerant of pokéballs and can spend up to twenty-three and a half hours a day in one so long as they are well fed. This probably stems from their natural tendency to relax in cramped dark spaces when not hunting.

    In captivity dugtrio should be fed a mix of fish, crustaceans, insects, and occasional kibble or red meat. Small quantities of iron, obsidian, and basalt should be mixed in with their food. Dugtrio can eat up to one-third of their body weight each day. They will need to be provided with a water dish every few hours. Ideally dugtrio will have frequent access to shallow ponds or pools. Many trainers make taro patties as a source of income and a home for their pokémon.

    So long as they are well fed and their other needs are met, dugtrio will often stay nearby trainer. When newly captured they may make frequent escape attempts and require constant vigilance and many withdrawals. Even the most loyal of dugtrio will rarely initiate physical affection. They generally tolerate touch when initiated by familiar humans or pokémon but will otherwise bolt away from the potential attack. Outside of grooming sessions, which are not necessary, their whiskers should never be touched.

    Because of their tendency to dig when stressed or startled dugtrio do not make good housepets.

    Illness

    While dugtrio have lived alongside humans for millennia, they have only been held in captivity for the last three decades. The initial forays into dugtrio captivity led to many deaths from stress, starvation, infection, cuts, blunt impacts, or thirst. As such the more natural health problems that plague dugtrio have only just begun to be understood.

    Rabies has been documented in the Alolan dugtrio and vaccination is required. Tapeworms and fleas are more common problems. Unfortunately, veterinarians have not yet worked out proper insecticide doses for dugtrio and medication is not advised. Coastal and subterranean dugtrio do have higher mercury concentrations in their whiskers and blood than dugtrio in the Haina Valley, but the metal doesn’t appear to have any ill effects.

    Evolution

    Dugtrio evolution is poorly understood. While captive dugtrio have evolved, it has been rare and poorly documented. It appears that three close diglett may make a pact to evolve and subsequently dig several kilometers into the earth. They will sometimes reemerge at the same spot several weeks later and seek out their human caretaker. Because evolution is not possible to replicate on the surface, requires three separate diglett, and often leads to abandonment trainers who want a dugtrio are recommended to catch the evolved pokémon in the wild.

    Battle

    The Alolan dugtrio has only been used by two unranked professional trainers, both within the last five years. Both trainers have their pokémon take advantage of loose soil and the cover of a sandstorm to make fast strikes with their sharp whiskers or undermine the opponent’s footing through seismic attacks.

    The Saharan dugtrio has been used extensively in competitive battling, including by three ranked trainers. Indoor stadiums inhibit the pokémon’s movements and often outright ban dugtrio, but most high-end general purpose stadiums are either outdoors or have a deep pool of loose dirt under the battlefields. Six of the seven Continental Conference tournaments use arenas with deep soil cover. This is a relatively recent change as the finals of the Uluru Conference took place on Uluru itself until 2013. The Southern Conference takes place on an ice sheet with chalk markings delineating the field. Because it is held in the Antarctic winter only ice-types, fire-types, and other extremely cold-resistant pokémon are used.

    The antlion traps used by the Sahara dugtrio block pokéball withdrawal on anything stuck inside of them. This makes dugtrio very effective slayers of steel, rock, and electric types whose opponents cannot switch out regardless of a conference’s rules. On balance, dugtrio are rather weak and incredibly fragile. One moderately powerful hit to the head will shatter the pokémon’s armor and force surrender.

    On the island challenge dugtrio and diglett work best in very loose soils with sandstorm support. They struggle to do much on concrete or pavement and often immediately panic over being unallowed to dig. Under more ideal conditions, dugtrio are rather fast and can duck into the earth to avoid most attacks. Slightly precognitive pokémon can hit them when they surface and seismic moves can collapse dugtrio’s tunnels and cause substantial damage. Because newer trainers are unlikely to have either option available or the raw power to collapse tunnels by striking the ground indiscriminately diglett is very effective early in the island challenge. Dugtrio is somewhat less useful later in the challenge when opponents are bulky enough to take some attacks, fast enough to strike dugtrio when they surface, and powerful enough to win in one or two good hits.

    Acquisition

    Diglett require a Class I license (and $20,000 of mandatory insurance coverage) to capture, adopt, or purchase; dugtrio require a Class II license (and an identical insurance premium to diglett).

    While dugtrio are most easily found in taro farms, the owners are unlikely to let trainers capture their very helpful resident moles. As such, the best places to catch them are in sandy soils and in wet caves. An exception to this rule are the terrace streams of Route 5 where dugtrio often hunt in the shallow ponds in front of waterfalls.

    Beaches and the sandier portions of Haina valley are prime dugtrio habitat. Unfortunately, dugtrio seldom even peak above the surface for long. The best way to find and capture a dugtrio is with bait. While it may not be ethical to subject one of your pokémon to a (often lethal) sneak attack, follow around small pokémon and animals for long enough and you might see a diglett or dugtrio strike. The window of opportunity is very short unless a sleep-inflictor or dedicated trapper is available. It’s usually better to just throw a pokéball and skip the battle.

    Dugtrio also live in the subterranean rivers, lakes, and coves of the islands. Sandy Cave, the lower levels of Verdant Cavern, Seaward Cave, Diglett’s Tunnel, and parts of the Altar Cavern-Poni Crystal Mines-Terminus Cave complex are all prime habitat for diglett and dugtrio. It is important to stay near motionless beside a stream or pond away from the most traveled paths. Ideally no lights should be used and a pokémon capable of navigating in total darkness should be on hand to initiate a battle when a mole shows up. Dugtrio completely surface when an upward dive is unsuccessful providing as good a chance as any to start a fight. The pokémon will usually be surprised enough at a large threat appearing deep in their tunnels that a few free hits can be put in. Sudden blinding light from a flashlight or headlamp can also stun the pokémon for long enough for a pokéball or two to be thrown.

    Breeding

    Like evolution this is poorly understood. It is not even known how to determine the sex of a dugtrio. Or how courtship works. Or whether dugtrio mate for life. Or how frequently dugtrio breed or what the size of their litters are. They have never been bred in captivity and this seems unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

    Subspecies

    Broadly speaking, dugtrio can be grouped into five groups of subspecies found throughout the Old World and Pacific islands. While there is extensive fossil evidence of dugtrio populations in the Americas, it is believed that excadrill led to the extinction of these subspecies.

    Cave dugtrio are most common in Japan, China, and Southeast Asia. These dugtrio are blind and have very thin skin and light subdermal armor, making them incredibly prone to sunburns and ill-suited for life on the surface. They tend to hunt in subterranean caves. Unlike the Alolan dugtrio, cave dugtrio subspecies are usually reluctant to enter the water for even very brief periods of time. Cave dugtrio sometimes hunt with precise strikes from below but are just as likely to hunt by collapsing the ground or an entire cavern onto their prey. There is evidence that cave dugtrio can live for over 100 years and can go half a decade between hunts.

    Farm dugtrio typically live in the fertile grasslands of Europe. They face competition from the burrowing rattata in Africa and have been unable to establish a foothold in the savannah. Farm dugtrio do not hunt in ponds or have much affinity for water. Instead they carefully move around the root systems of grasses and other plants and eat the insects that try to feed on the roots. While they are slightly less sensitive to sunlight than cave dugtrio, they still almost never put their head above the surface. Because they both till farmland and eat parasites they were and are revered by farmers.

    Sand dugtrio include the Sahara, Kalahari, Kalosian, and Gobi subspecies. While there are slight differences between the three, most notably in the properties of their traps, they follow the same general approach to hunting. All of these subspecies except for the Kalosian sand dugtrio are social. They use antlion traps to abruptly collapse the earth beneath their prey. When they hunt individually, dugtrio can snare and kill small desert species such as katsmere and sandshrew. In packs dugtrio can take down entire herds of domestic camerupt and the humans who ride them. Desert-dwelling peoples have traditionally viewed them as gods of vengeance and have often hunted other species to leave on the ground as offerings to the dugtrio. This pact has led to greatly reduced mortality rates among the nomads. In fact dugtrio often defend caravans from predatory pokémon and invading humans that do not pay proper tribute.

    Mantle dugtrio probably do not live in the actual mantle. But they do live deep in the Earth, well below the seafloor. Very little is known about them. Their existence is only known through seismic tracking of small earthquakes, the existence of the Alolan dugtrio an ocean away from the other subspecies, and a single half-melted corpse found after the eruption of Mt. Saint Helens. This dugtrio specimen was nicknamed Helen by the discoverer and the media.

    The Alola dugtrio is in a subspecies class of its own due to its behavioral similarities to desert, farm, and cave dugtrio. While the other subspecies are distinct from one another even when they share a range, Alolan dugtrio in all three habitats are very closely related. Dugtrio that hunt on the beaches have been known to move to caves or rice patties. Genetic testing on Helen confirmed that mantle dugtrio are the Alolan dugtrio’s closest relatives.
     
  19. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Fearow (Spearow)

    Overview

    Fearow are often overlooked by trainers. While it is true that they lack the raw power of toucannon or braviary, the intelligence of honchkrow or xatu, or the durability of mandibuzz or skarmory, fearow have a niche. One of the two flying birds that is stronger is braviary, which is infamous for its slow maturation rate. The other, archeops, is incredibly difficult to obtain. Trainers who want a powerful bird that won’t take up all of their time or money are advised to consider fearow.

    Physiology

    Both evolutionary stages are considered dual normal- and flying-type pokémon. Neither ruling is disputed.

    Spearow are small birds with relatively long featherless legs. The stomach feathers are white and the feathers on their head and back are primarily dark brown with red stripe patterns. The beaks are somewhat longer than the average bird their size. Spearow are most famous for the loud whistles they use to communicate with each other.

    Fearow have longer legs and wings. The coloration of their wing and back feathers changes to a pattern of white stripes on black feathers. Fearow’s most notable features are their long flexible neck and their sharp beak. These are both employed in hunting fish: the neck lets fearow stand in rather deep water and the beak can be used to grab small fish or spear larger ones. The birds have excellent eyesight and hearing to locate their prey. Like noivern, fearow cannot fly with wet feathers and need to stand still in the sunlight with wings spread out in a semicircle as they dry. Anything that approaches a sunning fearow will be given a warning whistle before receiving a series of powerful stabbing attacks.

    Despite being primarily aquatic, fearow do not have waterproof feathers or webbed feet. They are wholly unable to swim and must rely on wading to move through the water. What they lack in swimming ability they more than compensate for in flight. Fearow’s long broad wings are excellent at catching thermals and fearow can dramatically lower their metabolism when they glide. This lets them migrate up to 500 kilometers without having to touch the ground or feed.

    Fearow can live up to ten years in the wild or twenty in captivity. They often obtain wingspans of two meters and can weigh up to five kilograms.

    Behavior

    Spearow primarily live in brush and tall prairies. Farmers who grow crops on dry soils love spearow because they hunt the insects that plague crops. They have been dubbed the diglett of the air. Spearow are rather social and live in flocks of five to fifteen birds. Both stages are primarily diurnal, although fearow often take midday naps and have brief periods of activity at night. When spearow are not hunting they prefer to take refuge in trees.

    Fearow are piscivorous. Unlike the many other piscivorous birds in Alola, fearow prefer to hunt in relatively shallow estuarine waters and inland streams. Their main competitors in this role, araquanid and bewear, are deterred by the prospect of an elementally-charged peck. Fearow spend almost all of their time sunning, sleeping or fishing. They live in mated pairs rather than large flocks. While one hunts, the other watches for vikavolt and predators. At night both fearow fly into a large tree to sleep.

    Husbandry

    Spearow are relatively easy birds to care for. The bulk of their diet should be made up of insect mixes. Popped or unpopped popcorn serves as an effective treat for reasons that are still not well understood. Dishes of water should be provided once or twice a day. Spearow are diurnal and rather social birds and will prefer to be out of their pokéball and near their trainer for as much of the day as possible. The first major drawback to this is that spearow, like most birds, have a tendency to defecate when they take off. This means that it is difficult to housebreak them. More importantly for some trainers spearow have a tendency to stay perched on their trainer until something catches their attention and they fly after it, defecating on their trainer as they do so. The second drawback to having a spearow out is that they are territorial birds that will sometimes attack other pokémon that get too close.

    Fearow are less of a hassle in public, but the larger amounts of (more expensive) food they require them somewhat more difficult to care for. Fish should be the core of their diet with periodic additions of tarantulas or other large insects. Coconuts make good training tools and treats as the birds love to stab into them and drink. When thrown they can work as a target as the fearow tries to strike through it in midair. Dips in water are also good for calming fearow and potentially even providing them with free food. While spearow are tolerant of pokéballs at night, fearow are not and prefer to roost near their trainer. Unfortunately, they are also difficult to housebreak and produce a rather large amount of waste. Stationary trainers are not advised to have carpet installed in their bedrooms.

    Spearow require shows of dominance to bond with at first, followed by a slew of battles or games to keep the pokémon entertained. Fearow are best bonded with through displays of kindness and affection. Other birds are useful for enticing either bird to stay and take orders. This makes them common on bird specialist’s teams. Both stages are quite capable of cleaning themselves from anything but oil-based attacks.

    Illness

    Like many bird species, fearow can be carriers of avian influenza. The disease generally causes no harm to fearow, but may kill other birds. Bird-to-human transmission has been documented but is extremely rare, even among bird trainers, so long as basic sanitary measures are observed. Trainers should thoroughly wash their hands after handling fearow waste. Because of the lack of symptoms it is difficult to diagnose carriers. If another bird in the party comes down with avian influenza, a more thorough test on the fearow can be conducted.

    Avian botulism has been a recurring problem among fearow in Alola. A series of outbreaks between 2004 and 2009 strongly contributed to the Alolan swanna’s numbers plummeting to twelve captive birds, all off the islands. Fearow fared little better but populations began to recover due to the lack of competition from swanna and the decreased concentration of waterfowl making it more difficult for the pandemic to spread. Trainers should be very mindful of the symptoms of avian botulism such as partial paralysis in the wing, difficulty swimming, and labored breathing. The bird stands a decent chance of survival if the disease is caught early.

    Mercury, pesticide, and insecticide concentrations are problems for all piscivorous birds, fearow included. These symptoms can be best avoided by limiting the pokémon’s ability to feed in the wild, or at least to feed near agricultural or industrial sites. High concentrations of toxic chemicals tend to cause problems in reproduction such as sterility and thin eggshells. They seldom have visible consequences outside of breeding.

    Evolution

    Spearow gradually transition to fearow. A relatively rapid increase in size occurs between eighteen and thirty months of age. This is the evolution period. The formal demarcation is the replacement of the old coloration of the wing feathers with the black and white pattern of a fearow.

    Battle

    On the competitive scene where trainers have the time, experience, and money to invest in stronger birds or flighted dragons, fearow sees relatively little use.

    Spearow are reasonably powerful for their size and are brutal scrappers. They seldom need or take orders once they get into the thick of things. This means that they win or lose almost purely by their relative strength and defenses to the opponent.

    Fearow can be played a little more tactically. The first and biggest choice is whether they should take off or stay on the ground. Unlike honchkrow or braviary, fearow do not rely on full body tackles powered by gravity. Instead they primarily attack through beak strikes. In the air fearow are faster and better able to dodge attacks. However, they must get close to attack which leads to a lot of signaling. Furthermore wing damage while flying can cause a lot of damage and potentially even a one-hit knockout. Grounded fearow are slower but often able to use their long neck and beak to zone opposing melee fighters. They can also strike very quickly and are difficult to block. A good rule of thumb is that flight is better against ranged attackers and a grounded stance is better against melee-oriented opponents.

    While fearow while struggle on the fourth island, they are otherwise quite capable pokémon. Even spearow can hold their own for the first few trials.

    Acquisition

    Fearow can be found along ponds, rivers, and wetlands in the interior of all four islands, as well as in a few cold-water estuaries such as Kala’e Bay. They are most easily seen in the day. Unlike noivern, sunning fearow are fair game. Trainers pursuing fearow should be advised that the bird probably has a mate that will hound the human who took partner. For these reasons, only spearow is recommended for capture. It is still legal to capture fearow, although it is usually best to capture both mated pokémon or to watch a fearow over the course of several days to make sure that it does not yet have a mate. In addition, spearow can be purchased at some agricultural specialty stores.

    Spearow can be purchased, adopted, or captured with a Class I license. Fearow can be purchased, adopted, or captured with a Class II license.

    Breeding

    Fearow choose mates the third spring after they reach full size. Once bonded pairs stay together for life. Widows and widowers do not pick new mates.

    The male begins building a nest in the early autumn by bringing sticks into the tree and building a skeleton. The female eventually adds in the fine details. Only two or three eggs are laid at a time but mated couples breed every year and survival rates for chicks are rather high. One bird will always be incubating the eggs and the nest is big enough for both parents to stand in. Fearow and spearow do make sure to defecate outside of their nest, but they seldom bother to go very far. As such fearow nests often have white rims.

    Around their first birthday spearow are taken to a farm or prairie by their parents. The fearow will go back to the marsh and the spearow are left to find others and find for themselves.

    Fearow can be bred in captivity. However, doing so requires staying stationary for several months at a time and accepting that one partner will always be on the nest. Fearow can breed with pelipper although they rarely do so in the wild. If there is another bird on the team of the opposite sex, fearow may still bond with it and even mate. No viable offspring will result. Mated fearow are less attached to their trainer than fearow that are single or in a non-reproductive pairing.

    Subspecies

    Despite being closely related to swanna, pelipper, cramorant, farfetch’d, and other waterfowl and shorebirds, the Japanese fearow seldom gets near the water. Japanese spearow are very similar to the Pacific spearow. Upon evolution, fearow keep much the same color scheme as their juvenile stage. Also unlike the Pacific fearow the Japanese subspecies must compete with pidgeot. This causes the fearow to stay near the fields where they lived as spearow. They use their sensitive hearing to listen for bugs and their beak to stab through trees or earth to snap them up. Because they share their range, fearow continue to watch out after their offspring until and even after evolution.

    The California fearow was driven extinct by a combination of DDT, an oil spill, and mercury poisoning in the 1960s. They were golden in color and slightly larger than the Pacific fearow. Because they were free from competition from large piscivorous raptors or dragons, the California fearow nested on the ground and hunted for prey in the ocean.
     
  20. Rediamond

    Rediamond Middle of nowhere

    Braviary (Rufflet)

    Overview

    Braviary is the heaviest raptor in the world. They are renowned throughout their range as either war gods themselves or the servants of one. Several of the greatest heroes and warriors of ages past were said to ride a braviary into battle. In the medieval era they were revered for their ability to crush plate metal.

    The modern era has not been quite so kind to braviary. The birds often defend their coastal homes to the death. In the past this served them quite well as no one picked a fight with them. Now that humans have the tools to eventually win and the desire to build large coastal cities many braviary have been killed in battle and pushed out of much of their former range. The decline in their prey, large marine pokémon, has also hit them hard. DDT was the final blow that almost drove them and most other raptors to extinction. While conservation programs in Europe, Russia, Canada, and the United States have led to a rebound in their numbers, braviary have yet to rise back to their former glory.

    Trainers on the island challenge should be advised that for all of braviary’s power they are still not recommended. Braviary themselves are very reluctant to respect a trainer. Anyone who can command one in battle is almost certainly already strong enough that they don’t need one. While rufflet are faster to warm to humans and braviary are often willing to part with a chick, they mature so slowly that they will quickly become outclassed.

    Physiology

    Both braviary and rufflet are classified as dual normal- and flying-types. Neither ruling is disputed.

    Rufflet have small and underdeveloped wings. Outside of newly hatched birds, which have white down feathers, rufflet have grey, black, or blue feathers on their legs, wings, fan, and the lower portion of their body. Their head and back are coated in thick white feathers. Rufflet also have a red crest. All feathers but their down are waterproof.

    Braviary are massive and powerful birds. They have long feathered legs and large talons. Braviary’s wings are extremely powerful and supported by massive muscles obscured by feathers. Between their strong grip and windbeats they have been known to lift objects up to twenty times their own weight. the bottom of braviary’s body is made up of the same dark blue feathers as rufflet. The white feathers are limited to their neck and the back of their head. A blue and red crest rises above their keen eyes and sharp beak. Braviary’s back feathers are dark red or brown. The tail is tipped in rings of yellow and blue feathers. Scar tissue does not grow feathers. This makes it visually obvious how many scars a braviary has accumulated.

    Braviary can reach wingspans of 3.5 meters and weights of fifty kilograms. They can live for up to ninety years.

    Behavior

    Braviary companies have rather strict hierarchies with one bird in charge and the rest generally subordinate. he exact structure can be fluid across time as subordinate birds challenge the ones above them to battle. Successful challengers can claim the spot of the challenged. The challenged bird is not always obligated to accept the challenge. A long record of past leadership combined with prior successes in hunting and defending the company can give a braviary enough social standing to reject challenges from birds with lesser records. If a braviary declines a challenge but does not have the clout to do so they will be marked with dishonor and mocked by even subordinate birds until they accept the challenge and perform one great feat to restore their honor.

    Braviary hunt large marine creatures in the seas around Alola. Sharpedo are their primary prey but mantine and dewgong are also on the menu. Juvenile alomomola, gyarados, and wailmer also fall prey from time to time. The raptor glides above the coastal seas keeping an eye out for prey. When a potential victim is spotted the braviary glides higher on thermals and then begins a dive towards the water. The impact force will usually kill the prey. At this point the braviary will use its powerful wing muscles to pull itself and its prey out of the water and bring it to the company rookery.

    The hunter will eat first. Then the rufflet will feed. Finally the adults will eat in order of decreasing rank. Sick birds will sometimes, but not always, be allowed to go before other healthy adults. This allowance appears to depend on the severity of the illness or injury and the rest of the company’s opinion of the bird. If any food remains it is donated to nearby mandibuzz prides.

    Companies typically live near cliffs above the sea where it is relatively easy to catch thermals and prey need not be dragged too far inland. There are typically ten to twelve adults in a company alongside three to five rufflet.

    Combat defines the life of a braviary. Newly hatched rufflet immediately challenge the head of the company to a play battle in order to establish themselves. Members constantly jostle for rank. Wars are started with nearby braviary companies and other birds for territory and honor. When a braviary grows old and begins to decline physically it seeks out a dragon and engages in one final battle as witnesses from the company watch on. The bones of their fallen comrade are collected and buried in a communal service. Other flocks may attend the burial of a very well respected bird.

    There are two non-prey species that braviary have well-established relationships with. Vikavolt seldom bother braviary as there are far easier targets. However it is common for a braviary seeking to improve their status to seek out and kill a vikavolt as a sign of their power.

    Mandibuzz prides often live near braviary companies and the two frequently interact to exchange food, bones, and information. It was formerly believed that mandibuzz were the females of braviary, which in turn were held to be an all-male species. This is not correct. Mandibuzz are an all-female species but they do not mate with braviary or any male pokémon. Braviary females exist but are identical in appearance to males unless they happen to have a scar in one particular area. The idea that they are all-male stems from human conceptions of masculinity and the extreme shyness of mating birds (see Breeding). Regardless, braviary are exceptionally protective of mandibuzz.

    Husbandry

    The mandibuzz-braviary relationship is relevant to husbandry. Braviary bond far faster with humans who present themselves in a stereotypically feminine way. The trainer’s sex is mostly irrelevant. Only appearance (long hair, jewelry, makeup) matters. Wearing black clothing is also a good way to gain a braviary’s begrudging trust. Ivory or bone jewelry can also help.

    Gaining a braviary’s trust, even with mandibuzz imitation, is very difficult. Unlike most species, braviary do not associate the power and accomplishments of a trainer’s pokémon with the power of the trainer themself. Physically challenging a braviary is not recommended and mere attempt does little to gain respect. While it is legal to capture and possible to bond with an adult, only trainers with very high powered pokémon, a stereotypically feminine appearance, and lots of experience with bird keeping are likely to succeed. Even they will face issues of near-constant challenges to their other pokémon and their own authority.

    The easiest way to obtain a loyal braviary is to train one a young rufflet. While easier than a braviary, raising one is still no easy task. The rufflet will expect to battle constantly. They will expect to have play fights with their trainer. Access to TMs and a clever strategic mind are the best ways to win over a rufflet. Despite their fearsome reputation rufflet enjoy cuddling and being groomed by their trainer or other trusted pokémon. Braviary with a very healthy respect for their trainer will also seek physical closeness.

    Almost all rufflet and braviary despise pokéballs as symbols of subjugation. While they will tolerate them for special occasions (such as battles and sickness) ordinarily pokéballs will be rejected out of hand, even at night while they sleep.

    Braviary require a lot of flight time and exercise challenges such as lifting heavy objects. Rufflet are not skilled fliers but will still want exercise out of their sparring. Strength tests like breaking a board with a peck tend to work. Many rufflet enjoy the challenge of trying to sit on a durable but lightweight ball.

    Both rufflet and braviary are exclusively carnivorous and will only eat raw or lightly cooked meat and seafood. They prefer seafood they caught on their own. Check the laws related to the hunting of large marine species as it is outright illegal to catch several of them and there are strict quotas on almost all others. Young rufflet eat meat just like their older brethren and will reject insect mixes. If a rufflet or braviary is on the team then feeding order will matter. If a pokémon was instrumental in a recent battle they can go first. Then pokémon should be fed in a set order that reflects power, seniority, or the braviary’s opinion on them. Curiously, braviary will get upset if they are fed before pokémon they see as higher ranked than they are. Do note that this ritualistic feeding order can anger other species.

    Rufflet can be housebroken rather easily. Braviary will quickly learn what they are supposed to do but will often refuse to do it until sufficient respect is earned. Reinforcement, positive or negative, will be ineffective in training braviary. They will do what they feel obligated to. Nothing less and nothing more.

    Illness

    Many of braviary’s illnesses stem from one of their greatest assets: their very quick healing. Braviary rapidly regenerate from cuts and form a layer of scar tissue over the wound. This prevents the wound from becoming infected. But if the wound was already infected bacteria and fungi can grow beneath the surface and cause serious problems. Bumble foot is the most common of these illnesses. It is marked by a hard bump on the braviary’s talons over a healed wound. These infections can lead to death and should be treated as soon as possible. Frequently check recent injury for discoloration, tenderness, or swelling.

    Avian pox is relatively common in braviary. This is marked by warts growing near the eyes and beak. While seldom outright lethal, prolonged illness without treatment can cause blindness or respiratory problems.

    Braviary can suffer from a number of other health diseases. Head-bowing, sudden changes in the color and volume of crops, wheezing, and general lethargy are common symptoms. Almost all avian diseases require professional care and cannot be treated by amateurs.

    Evolution

    Rufflet evolution is gradual. Very, very gradual. In both the wild and captivity it takes twelve to fifteen years for a rufflet to evolve. Most rufflet given to trainers by braviary are less than five years old. Increased combat does nothing to accelerate evolution. While nothing special needs to be done to trigger growth beyond adequate feeding, sleep, and exercise even these things will not lead to a quick evolution. Unless a trainer captures a braviary on the trail or obtained a rufflet in early childhood they are unlikely to own one during the island challenge.

    The formal demarcation of evolution is the bird’s first solo hunt.

    Battle

    Braviary harm their opponents primarily through blunt force strikes. A fifty kilogram bird dive bombing their opponent from ten meters can hit with enough force to knock out many frailer opponents. The rest can be scooped up in braviary’s talons, flown into the air, and dropped. Upon impact they will take another hit from braviary. This combo is extremely effective against relatively lightweight opponents that lack full-body elemental attacks such as flare blitz or discharge.

    Even on the ground braviary benefit from powerful muscles and beaks. Many opponents can be overpowered and even outrun by a grounded braviary. A common tactic on the competitive battling circuits is to have braviary use bulk up or hone claws while circling an opponent that cannot hit them. By the time a proper bird check comes in braviary can take often them out in a single strike and finish the rest of the match on the ground.

    On the island challenge braviary need few moves to succeed. Brave bird and super power form the core of an effective set. While roost and a boosting move are nice they are not necessary to clear the challenge.

    Rufflet is a fair bit tricker to use. Early on they have an advantage over other birds by being relatively strong and eager to train. Eventually those birds will start growing and even evolve while rufflet barely experience any physical changes at all. They also are not adept fliers. Rufflet must fight on the ground relying on relatively strong pecks and their absolute refusal to back down. While this attitude is helpful at first it will only get them hurt later on. For these reasons and others rufflet are really only recommended for trainers who will have no trouble completing the island challenge with five pokémon but plan to go pro afterwards.

    Acquisition

    Braviary live on all four of the tapu islands and some of the smaller ones. They are presently illegal to capture on Ula’Ula and Akala to allow the populations to build back up. On Akala they primarily live on Mauna Wela and the mountains near the southern coast. On Ula’Ula they live on the abundance of coastal mountains and cliffsides, particularly around Mauna Hokulani, Route 12, and Route 17. While there are braviary companies at low altitudes on Mauna Lanakila none live near the peak. Braviary on Melemele typically live in a stretch of coastline running along Route 3 down to Ten Carat Hill. Companies can be found along almost the entire coast of Poni Island.

    Rufflet and braviary capture is best done by slowly approaching a company’s nesting area with one pokémon out. When the braviary take notice, bow your head and wait for a braviary to screech. Make eye contact with that bird as it approaches and prepare for a one on one battle. Afterwards the company will deliberate. Sometimes they will entrust a rufflet into the trainer’s care. On rare occasions one of the braviary will decide to go with the trainer.

    Braviary and rufflet can be captured with a Class III license. Rufflet can also be adopted or purchased with a Class III license; braviary require a Class IV.

    Breeding

    Braviary have never reproduced in captivity. They have also been never captured mating on film. The exact mechanics of copulation are thus unknown. Around the mating season in early July braviary will get very defensive towards outsiders including drones and cameras that had been tolerated for months.

    Eggs are typically laid in mid-February. They hatch around the first week of July which contributes to the unease braviary have around outsiders at that time. All braviary, male or female, help raise all rufflet. Good parenting is a way to increase social status. While strict discipline is enforced on rufflet they are also doted on and given far more attention than most young birds. Sometimes a braviary will leave to another company that defeats their own in battle. Otherwise rufflet of both sexes stay in the company they were born in for life.

    A handful of rufflet eggs have been taken from the wild and hatched in captivity. None responded well to humans. While they do imprint to a degree they remain distrustful of bipeds until around their third birthday. Other birds or sock puppet braviary are now used as surrogate parents.

    Subspecies

    Braviary tend to be anatomically similar across their entire range. However their feather colors and patterns vary considerably. Unovan braviary have a deep blue belly speckled with white dots. Their back is composed of red and white stripes. Alaskan and Yukon braviary tend to have very thick fur. While their backstripes are the same as their southern cousins they tend to have leaf or clover shaped patterns on their chest. Galarian braviary tend to be bright red from tail to beak with a much puffier headcrest. They are unusually stoic for braviary. Russian braviary have longer and sharper talons than other subspecies. While slightly smaller than their brethren they make up for it with their intelligence. They have even crafted rudimentary hammers to bludgeon small prey trapped in their long talons.
     

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