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The Most Beautiful Warlord of Ransei (Yuletide 2016, G)

Discussion in 'Completed Fics' started by The Teller, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    This was my entry for the Yuletide 2016 event. My prompts, courtesy of Umbramatic, were "use these underutilized characters," "use these underloved Pokemon," and "use this underappreciated setting." I gathered up my ingredients, stirred them up in a pot, and BAM! Instant classic. Enjoy!

    The Most Beautiful Warlord of Ransei

    Once upon a time, a long time ago, in the ancient region of Ransei, there were three kingdoms. They were called Viperia, Nixtorm, and Dragnor. And in those three kingdoms there were three Warlords. They were called Juniper, Lorelei, and Drasna. They were considered the three most beautiful Warlords in all of Ransei. However, one does not become a Warlord without accumulating a little vanity on the side.

    “It is scientific proof that I am the most beautiful Warlord in all of Ransei!” said Juniper. “All the data goes towards showing that this hypothesis is true!”

    “It is I who is the most beautiful Warlord in Ransei,” said Lorelei. “With a body like mine, all who gaze upon it are knocked back, like being hit in the face with a sudden snowstorm.”

    “Oh ho ho ho. Dear children, you are coming along just fine as young and beautiful Warlords,” said Drasna, “but it would behoove you to remember that as long as I still draw breath, I am the most beautiful Warlord around.”

    None of the three Warlords would back down. All three had their entire kingdom’s support behind them, and the rest of the kingdoms of Ransei were evenly divided in their opinion on the matter. Normally, in days long gone, a beauty pageant would be held to determine who the most beautiful Warlord in Ransei is. This was the favored tactic employed by the old ruler, Nobunaga, and was occasionally used by his usurper, the Hero of Ransei. This was many decades ago, though, and most of the Warlords have either expired, retired, or bowed down to a new wave of tradition. There was also the curious incident where, one time, the male Warlord of Nixtorm, Mitsuhide, became the champion of such a beauty contest for women. With the current generation of female Warlords, a beauty pageant would just devolve into a shouting match of “Your kingdom is wrong! I am the most beautiful!” and “How dare you vote against me! I will raze your kingdom to the ground!” A different kind of pageant would have to be conducted.

    This is why the current ruler of Ransei, a more brutal person than the Hero ever was, decided on having the three Warlords have a battle to determine who was the most beautiful. And so, one day, the ruler declared to all in Ransei that an important event was to be held at the heart of the country, in the ceremonial coliseum located in Terrera, one that would ultimately determine which of the three Warlords was indeed the most beautiful. Crowds spanning from Greenleaf all the way to Spectra gathered to be part of the spectacle. The ceremonial coliseum, ornate in its design, started filling up, with the poor and the elite mingling as one. Crowds supporting different Warlords, however, segregated themselves neatly. Those who supported Juniper painted their faces ashen grey, those who supported Lorelei a sky blue, and those who supported Drasna a deep, dark purple. Their clothes typically aligned as well.

    In the challengers’ quarters, the beautiful Warlords prepared. In Juniper’s quarters, the air was humid, wavy, with no ventilated air coming through. Standing along one of the walls was a Garbodor. It was Juniper’s best Pokémon, one she delicately raised to be among the most toxic of foes. When Ransei did not have enough trash to feed to Garbodor, she would oftentimes import trash from other countries in secrecy, so that her fighter would retain its potency. In Lorelei’s chambers, a frost could be seen lounging lazily in the air, and no other mortal would venture in. Her Jynx, which was sitting in the corner of the room, could produce the sturdiest ice, rumored to have mystical water properties. The Jynx’s psychic powers always gave her an advantage in the battlefield. In Drasna’s room, one could feel the energy all around them. A sense of calmness filled the room, putting one at ease at once. Her Druddigon was old and withered, chipping away at the head due to molting season. It rested neither in a corner nor a wall, but rather next to Drasna’s feet, immobile as she stroked behind its coarse ear. To those unfamiliar with it, the sudden stream of fire that spews from its mouth would come as a sudden, and unwanted, surprise.

    “With your corrosive touch, you will surely net me the victory and ensure that all see me as the one and only beautiful Warlord,” said Juniper, gazing admiringly at her toxic creature.

    “When the enemy hears your sorrowful wail amidst the blizzard, only then will they know the chilling fact that there is no hope for them to claim the title of most beautiful Warlord in Ransei,” said Lorelei, playing with her Jynx’s hair, unaffected by the cold feel of its skin.

    “Once again, I must rely on you, dear friend,” said Drasna, eyes closed, at one with everything. “For our glory, we will prevail.”

    Outside, the crowds got restless, unable to wait any longer for the three-way match to start. The new ruler of Ransei stepped out onto the royal balcony that oversees the arena and raised their hands to the crowds, quieting a sizable portion of them. All eyes turned to the ruler.

    “The battle to determine the most beautiful Warlord in all of Ransei will now begin!” they shouted.

    They gestured to one of the gates on the battlefield.

    “From the venomous swamplands of Viperia, we invite Warlord Juniper to battle, alongside her Garbodor, Garbliath!”

    Juniper strutted out to the middle of the battlefield with her Pokémon behind her. She waved to the crowds and her confident smile never left her face.

    The ruler gestured to a different gate.

    “From the frozen tundra that is Nixtorm, we invite Warlord Lorelei to battle, alongside her Jynx, Jynst!”

    Lorelei walked confidently out to the battlefield. She did not wave, but the cheering was nonetheless deafening. Her Pokémon left a slippery trail of ice behind it.

    The ruler signaled to yet another gate.

    “And from our ancient kingdom of Dragnor, we invite Warlord Drasna to battle. Accompanying her is her faithful servant for three decades, the powerful Druddigon known only as Dreadagon!”

    Drasna walks slowly to the field, her age clearly showing in her gait. She smiled warmly and politely waved to everyone around her. Her Pokémon walked ahead of her, eyeing everyone near and far, and shot out fire as a warning once it reached center stage.

    The three Warlords eyed one another fiercely before turning to the ruler. The ruler looked down upon each of them one by one before returning his attention to the adoring crowd.

    “Only one of these Warlords may claim the title of the most beautiful in all the land. This will be an all-out battle! The last one standing takes the title! May Arceus bless each one of you. Begin!”

    From miles away, passersby could see the coliseum light up every now and then, with earth, wind, water, and fire shooting up into the sky frequently. Minor explosions rocked the earth and deafening noises could be heard even at a distance. It was always accompanied by the sound of an entire kingdom’s worth of people cheering for their favored Warlord to win. All who saw the coliseum from beyond its walls were jealous, and a new queen of beauty was marked that day. Queen though she may be, she would have to continuously fend off attackers of her title for the rest of her days, but in the end, she would say that it was worth it.
     
  2. Umbramatic

    Umbramatic The Ghost Lord

    First, The Teller? Smack me for not reviewing this gracious gift sooner.

    -is presumably smacked-

    Second, I really am super grateful for this Yuletide present; I was not expecting anyone to combine my prompts the way you did (that you avidly summed up in your opening description) and the result is absolutely lovely.

    I love how the whole thing is written like a silly children's fairy tale, one with modern players to make the whole thing more absurd. I also decidedly approve of your choice of modern players and their Pokemon - on the note of the latter Garbodor and Druddigon are two of my favorite "fandom unfavorite" Pokemon and while I don't have quite the same opinion of Jynx it definitely could use some love. (I don't really dislike any Pokemon species, but.) And the ambiguous ending is a nice touch that adds to the atmosphere of this story.

    Overall I had fun waking up to this little Conquest AU on Christmas morning and it really made me smile.

    (Also I have a soft spot for Mitsuhide and the gag about him made me giggle.)
     
  3. Blackjack Gabbiani

    Blackjack Gabbiani Clearly we're great!

    Awesome, I'm not the only one writing Ransei fic!

    Cute story. I like that it showed time moving on. Though, is this an AU or have these characters just moved there?

    I'd love to see their outfits, since all the warlords dress like gijinkas of their pokemon (well, except Oichi, who looks like a Sylveon despite that not being a thing yet...)
     
  4. The Teller

    The Teller King of Half-Truths

    @Umbramatic: First, you are unambiguously smacked. Second, I don't really hate any particular Pokemon (except the Klinklang line...and the Djinn trio back when all we had were their original forms...and Charizard...eff those guys), but I happen to really like Jynx (hey, didn't I write about Jynx in my LAST Yuletide?), so I was happy to write about this Jynx, whose name is a combination of "Jynx" and "frost," btw. I forget exactly what characters you listed in your prompt, but I chose three characters I either liked myself (Juniper reminds me of my old academic advisor), or knew that no one would ever write about them (Drasna), or were Lorelei (lol i dunno). Finding an underloved Pokemon for Juniper was hard (she's basically only confirmed to have a Minccino), but then I figured since I was making her an ancient Japanese warlord already, I could probably throw in perhaps Unova's BIGGEST unloved Pokemon and get away with it. You asked for Conquest, and I want Gamefreak to make another Conquest game (I don't know who's actually in charge of Conquest games), so you got Conquest. When I was working on the story, I had a coworker on standby to make sure I was actually working on the story and providing feedback (when she could get past all the Pokemon references), and she suggested leaving the ending up to interpretation (hey, didn't I write AN ENTIRE ANTHOLOGY based around the concept of "Interpretation"?), and I was starting to become concerned about how to end the story, because I certainly didn't know which character YOU wanted to win, so I went with that idea, and I think it's a pretty standard The Teller move.

    @Blackjack Gabbiani: The story takes place in an AU that's set many decades after Conquest wraps up. I wanted to have my artist friend draw Juniper, Lorelei, and Drasna dressed in their Warlord clothes (can you imagine Juniper dressed in what amounts to stylized trash?), but she thought it was too complicated in design and also didn't have enough time. Well, that's what the fanart section of this website's for!
     

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