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Twelve Days of Christmas (Yuletide 2016 fic, PG)

Discussion in 'Fan Fiction' started by AmericanPi, Dec 26, 2016.

  1. AmericanPi

    AmericanPi Write on

    Twelve Days of Christmas (Yuletide 2016 fic, G)

    "Twelve Days of Christmas"
    A 2016 Serebii Yuletide fic
    for Cutlerine from American--Pi​

    This one-shot was written for Cutlerine, my recipient for the 2016 Serebii Yuletide. She asked for a fic about an Escavalier, with the following three prompts:

    1.) 'The only emperor is the emperor of ice-cream.'

    2.) 'The first Man I saw was of a meager Aspect, with sooty Hands and Face, his Hair and Beard long, ragged and singed in several Places. His Cloathes, Shirt, and Skin were all of the same Colour. He had been Eight Years upon a Project for extracting Sun-Beams out of Cucumbers, which were to be put into Vials hermetically sealed, and let out to warm the Air in raw inclement Summers.'

    3.) 'One secret which I alone possessed was the hope to which I had dedicated myself; and the moon gazed on my midnight labours, while, with unrelaxed and breathless eagerness, I pursued nature to her hiding-places.'

    I decided to at least somewhat fulfill all three prompts in my gift for Cutlerine, and the product, while long, was quite fun to write. Enjoy.

    Greetings, are you Cutlerine? My name is Ironheart, though I am content with being referred to by my species moniker, Escavalier. A young woman who goes by the name "Pi" told me that you are interested in meeting me and hearing my life story. She was searching for an Escavalier with a unique, interesting story, which would then be told to someone named "Cutlerine", who apparently has been requesting to enjoy an Escavalier story. That was Pi's request: An Escavalier who would be happy to share their story with a certain person named Cutlerine.

    I am very honored that out of the many interesting Escavalier in the world, Pi chose to interview me. Of course, I consider myself to be a cut above the average Escavalier – after all, how many Pokémon can claim to have traveled across many lands, helped perfect several world-changing inventions, and co-owned a very successful ice cream parlor? I have done all of the things I mentioned above, and more, throughout my very eventful life.

    Let's start at the very beginning of my twelve years of life, shall we? And since today is Christmas, I believe that it is fitting for me to tell you my life story through twelve Christmases. I will include some poetry in my story, because sometimes I like to rhyme. I will also spend more time elaborating on my earlier life as opposed to my later life, because chances are you already know what I was up to the past few years – after all, my whereabouts were quite public. So without further ado, let us begin. I promise that you will greatly enjoy my tale.

    On my first Day of Christmas
    I was a Karrablast,
    Hatched from a humble egg
    Just seven days past.

    The first seven days of my life were rather uneventful, and they are quite fuzzy in my memory. After all, I was very young. I do know that I was hatched as a female Karrablast in a forest northwest of the Unova Region, a forest so secluded that few humans knew of its existence. In fact, the forest was so secluded that the human species was but a tale among the forest Pokémon. We knew of the humans and their existence, but we also knew that most of us would never meet a human. For the most part we were perfectly fine with this fact. For the first year of my life I myself understood my place in the forest ecosystem as a lowly Bug-type, and focused my energies on surviving and learning the laws of the land.

    For the most part, Karrablast and Escavalier live in small family groups. Each family, usually led by two Escavalier parents, stakes out a small plot of forest territory that provides ample resources. Unlike some other Pokémon, who are always power-hungry and greedy for territory in the wild, my kind acknowledges that we should not take more than we need. We are raised with the mindset of noble knights who always hold the safety and well-being of other members of the community at the highest regard.

    Most Karrablast and Escavalier think that their primary reason for existence is to respect and protect the other members of their community. My mother and father always encouraged me and my siblings to evolve as early as possible, because, of course, Escavalier are far better equipped to fend off dangers than Karrablast. How do Karrablast even evolve in the wild, in the absence of a trading machine, you may ask? Well, I'm about to tell you.

    On my second Day of Christmas
    I thought I looked quite swell.
    I had evolved into a knight,
    And found a cozy shell.

    Karrablast like myself evolve when exposed to an electric current alongside Shelmet. It is widely known that, in human settlements, Karrablast and Shelmet evolve through trading. Trade machines invariably produce electric currents, after all. Not everyone knows how the two aforementioned Pokémon evolve in the wild, but I'll tell you how: thunderstorms.

    A few Shelmet and Accelgor inhabited the forest where I lived. For the most part, I actually viewed them as competitors – they competed against my kind for food, territory, and other resources. However, from an early age I was told by my Escavalier mother that, despite competing with each other over natural resources, the Shelmet line and the Karrablast line held a certain respect for each other. They recognized the other as necessary for their own advancement – after all, Karrablast cannot evolve into noble Escavalier without Shelmet, and Shelmet cannot evolve into swift Accelgor without Karrablast.

    To evolve, Shelmet and Karrablast wait for thunderstorms.

    "Hurry up, Stoneheart!" I called to my brother as we scrambled towards the tallest tree in the forest. "We have to be at least touching the tree if we want to evolve." I shoved a passing Petilil aside. "Move it, I need to get to the tree."

    "Hey!" Stoneheart said angrily as the heavy rain buffeted us. "Ironheart, that wasn't cool. You really need to learn some niceness and patience if you want to be a proper knight."

    "Stoneheart is right," my father, who was supervising us, said sternly. He quickly dodged to one side to avoid a scrambling Shelmet, who was also heading for the tree to evolve. "Ironheart, stop."

    "What?" I growled angrily, skidding to a halt and glaring at my Escavalier father. "I've gotta take this opportunity! Who knows when the next thunderstorm will hit?"

    "You can't just push another Pokémon aside," my father said through the howling wind. "Such rudeness is not the proper behavior for a noble species like us. A chivalrous Escavalier is always willing to sacrifice her own wants to do what is best for her community."

    "But we spend most of our lives competing against the other forest Pokémon," I said, confused.

    "True," my father conceded. "But even though all of us forest Pokémon are at odds most of the time, we understand the importance of sticking together and defending our home if it is under threat. Therefore, Ironheart, please refrain from unnecessary rudeness in the future."

    I nodded, understanding. "Sorry Dad," I said. "I promise I won't be rude to other Pokémon from now on." I glanced at the tall tree as a flash of lightning lit up the sky. "I can evolve now though, right? We don't know when the next thunderstorm will be, and I won't be a very good defender unless I evolve."

    "Good point," my father said, and my brother nodded. "Let's hurry. Thank you, Ironheart, for understanding what I was trying to say."

    We hurried towards the tall tree and soon reached it. Several other Karrablast, as well as some Shelmet, were already scrambling up the tree, chattering with each other with excitement.

    "I'll be faster than you!" I heard one Shelmet boast to another as we passed a branch. I continued climbing. I wanted to get to the very top of the tree.

    "Hey, Ironheart, I'll wait for you down here, okay?" Stoneheart said after a short while of climbing. He had picked out a branch to settle on. A few Karrablast and Shelmet had gathered on that branch.

    "Yeah, okay," I said, not daring to look down. I didn't want to be afraid at this critical moment of my life. "I'll be at the very top!"

    "That's so you," Stoneheart giggled as I continued scrambling up the tree.

    Soon, I reached the highest point on the tree I could possibly climb to. A single Shelmet was situated on the small branch, and I smiled at him.

    "Whew, thanks for coming all the way up here," the Shelmet said. "I was getting a little worried that no Karrablast would be willing to climb as high as me!"

    "Well, I'm here," I called proudly over the wind and the rain. "Are you excited? I sure am!"

    "Yeah!" the Shelmet exclaimed as a flash of lightning lit up the gray sky. "I think the lightning is going to hit us soon!"

    Sure enough, at that moment, a burst of white electricity struck the tree. I could see nothing but white as energy flowed through me. I noticed that I was growing and changing form. The lightning retreated back to the sky where it came from, but the white light still glowed intensely from deep within me. I had never felt so powerful in my life.

    All too soon, the process was over. The white light faded, and I looked down at myself. I was no longer a Karrablast – I was a strong, brave Escavalier, just like my parents. Standing in front of me was an Accelgor instead of a Shelmet. I smiled.

    "Yay!" I called, pumping one of my lances into the air.

    So, my second Christmas was spent as an Escavalier, testing out my newfound abilities and admiring my strong new form.

    On my third Day of Christmas
    I hoped to turn the tide.
    Living in the wild left me
    Quite unsatisfied.

    Unfortunately, by my third Christmas, the excitement of being an Escavalier had worn off. A few months after evolution, Stoneheart and I parted ways, deciding to stake our claims as mature Escavalier in different parts of the forest where we were hatched. Most of the other Escavalier that had evolved alongside me and Stoneheart spread out, staking their new territories and starting their new families in other ecosystems. I have no idea where they went – all I can hope is that they have found either vast swaths of unclaimed territory or those legendary humans all of us talked about once in a while. I hoped to join those Escavalier, because, quite frankly, I was getting bored of life in the same old forest where I grew up. However, my mother and father hoped that we could stay at least somewhat close.

    "Oh, come on," I complained to my parents. They had just gently turned down my request of moving somewhere else, and I was none too happy about that. "I'm not satisfied here. I want to see the world and make something of my life. Living in this forest is so boring."

    "Why are you always bored of everything, Ironheart?" my mother teased me. "What's wrong with where we live? It's really nice here."

    "Indeed it is," my father said, driving a lance through a nearby berry and crunching it in his mouth. "I'm sorry, Ironheart. But the forest needs you. Please stay here not just for yourself, but also for the happiness of your mother and I, and the safety of the forest as a whole. You're a fine warrior. It would really be a shame if you left the home you grew up in."

    "I understand," I said, nodding. The last thing I wanted to do was dishonor my parents, my home, and everything I had. "I would love to leave now, but I will honor your wishes and stay. Maybe one day you two will change your minds and understand why I'm not satisfied here, but I can't turn down my responsibility for the forest."

    "You are a very honorable dame, Ironheart," my mother said proudly, touching her lance gently on my shoulder. "Thank you for understanding the situation."

    "Yeah," I said, still hoping that one day my parents would understand that I thought it would be nice to be free from all my responsibilities for a while.

    "So, a mate," my father piped up after a moment of silence. "Have you found one yet?"

    When they come of age, most Escavalier find mates to raise families of their own. Not me, however. At that time, I couldn't really explain why. I just never found any of my possible male suitors to be attractive, desirable mates. In fact, I often observed myself admiring female Pokémon. I did not dare to mention this to my parents at this particular time, however, because I did not want to give off the vibe that I was even more dissatisfied than I had already appeared to be. Instead, I just laughed lightly and assured my parents that one of their children would soon start their own family. They seemed content after I told them that, even though they had no idea that it was Stoneheart I was talking about, not myself.

    My brother and I honored our parents' wishes by living the beginning of our adult lives in the same forest as them, though I found myself wishing that a thunderstorm would hit soon so that new Escavalier could learn the ways of defending the forest, and I would be free to explore the world outside the forest I always called home.

    On my fourth Day of Christmas
    The forest was in need.
    I helped defend my home with help
    From a Scolipede.

    Of course, I never at all thought about leaving my forest home without at least making sure that it was well-defended. If I had to pick one day out of my many days spent living in my birth forest, I would definitely choose my fourth Christmas.

    The forest was under attack. A Tyranitar that had recently reached adulthood decided that he would claim our vast forest as his own territory. It was clear what he wanted: food, space, and a place to show off his immense power. A Pokémon as powerful as Tyranitar needs a huge amount of territory in the wild, but we weren't giving up our forest without a fight. I understood that the Tyranitar needed sustenance, but there were so many other forest Pokémon, many whom had lived in this particular forest for generations. The forest Pokémon were in need of my knightly services, and I was happy to help my home.

    That wasn't to say that the other forest Pokémon just sat idly by, watching the Escavalier knights struggle against a powerful enemy. True, the timider Pokémon, especially the ones raising young, hid from the Tyranitar. So did the ones such as Tranquill and even Accelgor, who had serious weaknesses to Tyranitar's attacks. The several Scolipede living in the forest, on the other hand, used their shrewdness to help the Escavalier greatly. They might not be as brave or as gallant as the Escavalier, and they do compete against us for food, but I'll give them this: Scolipede are swift in both their movements and their thoughts.

    "Ugh, this armor is so heavy," I complained as I charged towards the rampaging Tyranitar. The Rock-type Pokémon dodged my attack far too easily, and I was getting frustrated at how slow my species was. Several other Escavalier, my parents included, were also fighting the Tyranitar. Stoneheart and his mate were watching their children in a hidden part of the forest.

    "Distract him," a male Scolipede by the name of Mark called to me from behind. "I'll use Agility, and then Baton Pass the speed boosts to you so you can be a lot faster."

    "Right," I called, floating upwards to divert the Tyranitar's attention from Mark. I wasn't completely sure what Mark was talking about, but a little bit of extra speed wouldn't hurt.

    "Dude, I need this forest," the Tyranitar roared as he readied a Stone Edge attack. I braced myself, ready to take the hit and fight until the very end, for the sake of my home.

    "I'm a lady," I replied curtly, trying not to flinch as the sharp stones barraged my armor. "And, for your information, we got here first. You can't just take our territory from us forest Pokémon."

    "Maybe I can, because all of you Escavalier are so slow," the Tyranitar taunted as he lunged forward, his jaws agape as he prepared a Crunch attack. Just as I thought I was going to get knocked out, a newfound energy enveloped me. I dodged to the side, avoiding the attack and being amazed at how fast I was.

    "It worked!" Mark called from below. "Now you're strong AND fast!"

    "Thanks," I huffed happily, flying in circles around the Tyranitar at high speed. It felt quite fun, being so fast while retaining the defense boost my armor gifted me. Now that the Scolipede had passed to me some of his speed boosts, my attacks were a lot more efficient. My naturally strong Iron Heads landed squarely on my foe, while my acquired speed allowed me to confuse my enemy and dodge his attacks.

    Several other Scolipede were also at the scene of the battle, and they too had apparently Baton Passed their Agility to the fighters, because all of a sudden the air was full of speedy Escavalier. Now that the fighting Escavalier had acquired speed as well as natural power and toughness, the Tyranitar didn't stand a chance. With a final grumble he retreated, looking for another swath of land to claim as his territory.

    You may have been wondering why Escavalier's Pokedex entry asserts that we fly through the air at high speeds, when we are actually very slow in most league-sanctioned battles. Now you know: In times of danger, other Pokémon, especially Scolipede, Baton Pass their Agility to us so that we can be better fighters. Without Agility getting Baton Passed to us, which is the case in most of the battles humans are familiar with, we Escavalier are very slow, but make up for our lack of speed with our high offensive prowess and tough defenses.

    Apparently, according to Mark, Scolipede Baton Passing Agility to Escavalier is a defensive strategy that Escavalier and Scolipede have learned throughout the course of the species' history. Scolipede and Escavalier normally compete against each other, but when the going gets tough, the two Pokémon species work together. You may be wondering at this point, why don't the Scolipede just fight their adversaries themselves, instead of leaving all the dirty work to the Escavalier? Well, not only do Escavalier enjoy bravely fighting against various opponents more than Scolipede do, but Scolipede also have several weaknesses to attacks that Escavalier can easily take. For example, Scolipede are weak to Flying-type attacks, while Escavalier can take them as neutral hits. By using the Baton Pass Agility strategy, Scolipede ensure that their weaknesses are not exploitable, all while contributing to the defense of their habitat.

    On my fifth Day of Christmas
    I traveled through the night,
    Pursuing Nature with my hope
    That she'd be in my sight.

    I was four years old when I first encountered the kind, beautiful, and gentle Foresterra. This event would change my life forever.

    At that time – eight years ago – most humans did not know who Foresterra was. Not even that many Pokémon knew of the Grass Guardian's existence. I am one of the few individuals in this world who can claim to have seen the majestic bird before the Restoration, the monumental events that happened five years ago and led to her current post of the Legendary Guardian of Grass. In the present day, Foresterra, Her Guardianship, collaborates with the likes of Armoroach, the Legendary Guardian of Bug, and Steelspeed, the Legendary Guardian of Steel for the general betterment of the Pokémon World. Foresterra is one of the eighteen Legendary Type Guardians who work under Arceus, the God Himself, to protect the world as a whole. How the Legendary Type Guardians came to be is an entirely different story, an intriguing one that I am not too familiar with. Perhaps you can ask Pi to tell you the story of the Legendary Type Guardians. Let us not digress from the main point, which is that Foresterra will always be a very big part of my identity. What a wonderful moment that was, when I first set my eyes upon her.

    A fire had raged through the forest where I lived and defended the wild Pokémon. To this day, I still do not know what caused the inferno that destroyed my home. My current hypothesis is that it was man-made, but who made the fire and why remains a mystery. That is not important. The important thing was that this fire was an enemy that, for once, my kind could not fight. The way Escavalier bodies are structured makes them particularly vulnerable to intense heat. Instead of finding the source of the fire and battling it bravely, I focused my energies on helping the forest Pokémon escape from the wrath of the flames. As night fell, I was on the verge of collapsing, and I was sure that I was going to die. As I succumbed to the vicious fire, I took solace in the fact that I had spent the final moments of my life as the heroic knight that I was proud to be.

    Then, in my weakened state, I felt her presence. A calm had descended over the burning forest, and I could feel the fire slowly but surely dying down. Green energy filled the air. Some wonderful Pokémon was here. But who?

    I lay on my side, still aching from my fight against the fire, looking around in amazement as the fire continued to dwindle. That's when I saw her: a large green bird, with golden flower-like feathers on the sides of her round head and wings that glowed with yellow and orange energy. Her talons were shining with a green light, and the flames shrank back every time she attacked the fire with those sharp claws.

    I was awestruck. You might even be able to say that I was in love. Never in my four years of life had I encountered such a marvelous, magnificent, majestic individual. She was the epitome of mystery, beauty, and grace. I don't think anyone else in the forest saw her – either they were hiding, or they were knocked out by the flames. The mysterious bird appeared to not want to be seen anyways, as she darted into a nearby tree every time she spotted a movement. I dared not to move a muscle as I regarded the unfamiliar bird Pokémon with intrigue. She vanquished the raging fire all by herself, with those talons that seemed to glow with vitality.

    Then she rose above the singed treetops, and, with a single mighty swish of her flowing tail, restored the forest to its healthy, original state. I watched in amazement as green sparkles fell from the mysterious bird's tail. As the sparkles fell gently towards the ground, the trees became basked in a warm, green glow. Smoke disappeared as leaves and grass began sprouting. It was still nighttime, but the forest was bursting with vitality.

    The light green motes of energy landed gently on my aching, charred body, and, just like the forest, I felt myself becoming restored to full health. I stirred slowly, not daring to make any large movements for fear that I would startle the goddess who was currently perched on a nearby branch, surveying her handiwork with a sort of bittersweet expression in her dark eyes. I waited, my breaths quiet, as the green bird Pokémon turned her head towards me. As she glanced at me with those beautiful eyes, I felt as if my heart was bursting out of my chest. At that moment, I was no longer hesitant to tell my parents that I would never hatch young Karrablast of my own, because I was only attracted to females. I knew that they would understand. If they admired this beautiful bird the way I was doing now, they would gladly come to terms with the fact that their daughter was never going to find a male mate.

    I think the bird saw that I was admiring her at this moment, for she took off silently into the night, her feathers still shimmering. Part of me yearned to chase after her right then and there. There was no way I would just let her leave like that. But the sensible part of me realized that I had to be patient. There was no point in running after a stranger, no matter how beautiful, without telling my friends and family where I was going to be. That would be violating the codes of chivalry.

    So I found my family – parents, brother, nieces, and nephews – and explained to them that I loved them and my home very much, but I could not stay. I yearned to find the beautiful bird Pokémon, and be a part of something bigger than a forest community. I wanted to see the world and help more Pokémon, and maybe even some humans as well. I had been itching for an adventure for years now, and my encounter with this mysterious Pokémon just confirmed that I was not meant to stay forever in the forest where I was hatched.

    My family understood me. They were saddened to learn that I was dissatisfied with my current life, but they accepted my wish to leave home and make something big out of my time in the world. I pointed out that Stoneheart's children would become Escavalier soon, so the forest would definitely not be short of defenders. I explained my longing for something to be a part of, and they understood. They came to terms with my attraction to females, as well, because they had also felt the healing power of the mysterious bird. My family commended me for being brave enough to tell them that I was a deviant from the norm. I knew that I could not make the concrete promise of returning home, but I assured my family that I would be safe, and that maybe one day, I would go down in history as the bravest, most heroic knight of them all.

    I spent most of my fifth year of life looking for the green bird Pokémon, who you know as Foresterra. My life was full of adventure and excitement as I explored new lands that I had never even dreamt about. I think I may have gone as far south as Alola at some point.

    Sometimes, I would miss home, but my love for Foresterra and my desire to meet her continued motivating my search. I talked to many different Pokémon and found out that Foresterra was a traveling being whom very few individuals have had the opportunity to see. I discovered humans and observed them with interest, though Foresterra remained at the forefront of my pursuits. I chased leads, sometimes becoming quite frustrated as my travels yielded no apparent results. The good thing was that, as I traveled, I learned so much about the different Pokémon and cultures of the different regions of the Pokémon World. The world I lived in was vast and exciting. Never once did I regret leaving home.

    As I traveled through many swaths of varying terrain, meeting new Pokémon and learning new things along the way, I knew that my home forest would be alright. My family were brave, the Scolipede were clever, and the forest was strong. During all these years I have not heard a single bit of news regarding bad things happening to my home forest, so I am sure that everyone back home is fine. I have never gone back there, however. I am guilty of this because of the many things I have been doing with my life. Maybe, if you like, after I am finished telling you this story, we can go back to my home forest together, just to see how things are. My gut feeling is that nothing has changed, and that is a good thing.

    On my sixth Day of Christmas
    I wondered what to do.
    I finally found Nature,
    At least that part was true.

    I finally found Foresterra during the fifth year of my life. Well, it was more like she found me. I decided that chasing after the bird was not producing the desired results, so I tried a different approach: making my way to a ruined forest, and waiting there for her.

    From talking to different Pokémon, I learned of Foresterra's name, and found a pattern behind her appearances: she appeared at forests, meadows, and other natural places that had been blighted somehow – whether by human activity, Poison-type Pokémon, or disasters – and, with her talons, fought the intruders who were marring the natural landscape with their destruction. With swishes of her tail, Foresterra revived the dead plants and sowed the seeds of energy into injured Pokémon. I thought that was amazing. For some reason, however, Foresterra was elusive. She always did her best to hide away from the eyes of people and Pokémon. She never stayed in one place for very long, and was especially wary of humans. I wondered why such a beautiful Pokémon would shy away from everyone. I thought that many people and Pokémon would look upon her with admiration and respect if she showed off her healing abilities freely. I knew that I myself, however, would always remain the most devoted to her. I had a feeling that such a fair maiden was far too goddess-like to be a mate for a common knight like me, but I still hoped to meet Foresterra and understand why she was so hesitant to make herself known to the general populace.

    Sometime during my pursuit, I decided to situate myself at a certain forest in the Kanto Region. This particular forest was more like a decrepit swamp, with its scraggly trees stripped free of leaves and its inhabitants few and far between. I smelled something unpleasant in the air, and guessed that a particularly vile Poison-type had just been through the area. Nevertheless, I made myself comfortable at that particular forest. My steel overcoat offered ample protection from the stench, and from my past experiences I had a feeling that Foresterra would soon descend upon this forest, sowing new life into its very core.

    I was right. I do not remember how long I waited in the deserted forest, but one night, as the moonlight bathed the ghostly trees in a silver glow, I saw her. I watched in awe, unmoving, as Foresterra flew in majestic circles around the forest. As she flew, her tail swished gently from side to side, small green orbs of energy descending upon the lifeless terrain. As greenery sprouted everywhere in the forest, I was once again amazed by Foresterra's immeasurable power.

    I continued watching the forest come back to life, sprouts peeking from the barren earth and leaves growing from the gnarled branches. Foresterra perched lightly on a branch, as if to admire her handiwork. I took a deep breath. It was now or never.

    "Your abilities are admirable, my Lady," I said in a clear voice that I hoped sounded friendly enough. I inched forward from my hiding place behind a tree and gazed up at the majestic bird. Foresterra's eyes widened as she turned to face me. She tensed, her feathers fluffed up, and then relaxed slightly.

    "I know you've been following me for ages," Foresterra said, "and, quite frankly, it's been bothering me. I know, it's kind of my fault for letting myself be visible and all, but I honestly wonder what you want. No offense."

    Her casual tone surprised me. I did not expect such a graceful Pokémon to speak so quickly and crudely, but this did not diminish my love for her. In fact, I admired her openness and the fact that she was not hostile. At least she was willing to make conversation. She seemed to carry an air of sadness about her, however hard she tried to hide it. I wondered why, and hoped that I could be of service.

    I bowed. "My name is Ironheart, fair Lady," I said with as much politeness as I could muster. Despite being away from my home forest for so long, I was not one to forget the lessons in knighthood I had learned. "Please do not be alarmed. I do not intend to hurt you in any way. I only wonder why you wander as if you do not want to be seen. Your power is extraordinary, after all." I looked up at Foresterra, who was now more relaxed. "After witnessing your abilities that day in my home forest, I knew that I had to meet you."

    The green bird ruffled her feathers with her beak slightly and turned back to me. "I'm Foresterra," she said, introducing herself. "Really, I'm quite flattered that you're talking about me like that, but I honestly wish I didn't have my powers. I love to grow things and I want the world to be brimming with nature, but…" She looked down at her talons, which were gripping the branch she was on.

    "My lady, if telling me more discomforts you, by all means, feel free to not do so," I said hurriedly. "I can promise, however, that if you choose to tell me anything, I will guard your secrets with my life. I am a knight, after all, and I cannot do something as awful as betray the trust of a fair maiden like yourself."

    Foresterra studied me curiously. "You kind of dig me, do you?" she asked.

    "I beg your pardon?" I said, feeling foolish.

    Foresterra chuckled. "I dunno," she said, "but I'm getting the impression that you like me, in a way where you want to be my mate. Is that right?"

    I was surprised, to say the least, and Foresterra must have read the confusion on my face because she added quickly, "Sorry to put you on the spot. But really, I'm flattered, with the way you're so knightly to me."

    "Well," I said, my heart hammering in my chest, "if my fair lady is interested in a mate, I would like to say that I want from the bottom of my heart to be yours. I swear that I will guard and guide you with every fiber of my being. Anywhere you go I will go too, if that is what you wish."
    I continued gazing up at Foresterra, the lovely moonlight highlighting her exquisite features. The bird looked at me with wonder and sadness.

    "I'm sorry, Ironheart," she said, with sincere regret in her voice. "You seem like a really decent Pokémon, and I admire your dedication, but I can't be your mate. I'm not interested in ladies. Besides, I need to hide from humans and Pokémon alike, while you want to help them. It just won't work."

    I bowed my head, my heart shattering in disappointment. I could not show it though, because I hoped Foresterra could be happy.

    "I understand if you are not interested in pursuing a relationship with me," I said, my voice steady. "However, I must say that I do not understand why you must hide. You are beautiful, and your power is amazing. I think people and Pokémon would cherish you."

    Foresterra stared off into the distance. When she spoke, her voice was low, and contained little of the verve it had until this time.

    "I have been used in the past," she said, sighing, "once by Pokémon, from before the time of the humans, and once by humans themselves. A group of Pokémon, from ancient times, wanted my ability to grow forests. They wanted forested land, more and more of it. I said no, the world must have a balance between land, sea, and sky. They didn't listen. There were so many of them. I was forced to do their bidding, left powerless as I watched the forests swallow up the seas. Mermressa, Arceus rest her, fell into a deep slumber because she used up all of her energy to restore the ocean to its former state. The second time, I learned my lesson – I wasn't going to let anyone, not Pokémon, not humans, use my powers for destruction. I didn't let that group of humans catch me, and I learned to better control my abilities."

    Foresterra took a deep breath. "I am sorry, Ironheart," she said sincerely. "But for your sake, and mine, and the world's, I have to keep doing my work in secret. There's still so much left for you to do. Being with me will only stop you from doing that, and I don't want that to happen."

    I nodded and assured Foresterra that I understood the situation. I was sad, but at least assured that I finally met the bird of my dreams and had a conversation with her.

    We soon parted ways, though I for one was at a loss for what to do with my life now that I finally figured out the mystery behind Foresterra. I was going to respect Foresterra's wishes, but I did not know what to do with myself. Foresterra changed my life in that she was the one who prompted me to leave my birth forest, but after I found her I was not sure whether I should return to my home forest, or find a Trainer, or do something else entirely.

    So I spent most of the year wandering aimlessly across the Pokémon World, wondering what I wanted to make out of my life.

    On my seventh Day of Christmas
    I had just become friends
    With a strange man
    Who intrigued me to no end.

    The Restoration – the event where Arceus formally gave the Legendary Type Guardians their current titles – occurred a few months after my meeting with Foresterra. The event was in the news everywhere, and I felt happy with the knowledge that Foresterra was finally getting the recognition she deserved while also having a fair amount of protection from those with unscrupulous interests. What happened during the Restoration is widely known to everyone in the Pokémon World, but if you would like to relive what happened during that fateful event, I will be happy to tell you after I finish this story.

    A few days before my seventh birthday, another event changed my life forever: I met and struck up a friendship with a very interesting man. This fellow was, of course, my current partner-in-business, the famous, well-rounded Renaissance Man, Einstein McKenzie.

    When I first came upon him during my travels in northern Unova, he was of meager aspect, far less impressive than the individual you recognize today. He was already an old man, but one who was most certainly not the well-groomed individual he currently is. His hands and face were covered with soot; his clothes and skin were the same dull gray color; and his hair and beard were long and singed at the edges. He lived all by himself in a humble hut at the edge of a lake, where he took it upon himself to perfect what the world now knows as Cucumber Lights. In addition to that, his main project, Einstein had several side-projects that he worked on as well. One of these, the prototype for what eventually became the PokéTranslator, was in use as I happened upon the hut, weary from the day's travels.

    Needless to say, I was surprised when the man approached me and talked to me, and even more surprised when I found out that he could at least somewhat understand what I said. After a conversation that contained several misinterpretations, I agreed to become Einstein's research partner. It was not like I had anything better to do, after all.

    Over the next year or so, I would help with various tasks related to his research, such as tending to the cucumber garden, testing out the accuracy of the PokéTranslator, and going into the nearby town to shop for food and other necessities. Now that I was assisting him, Einstein would no longer have to don disguises in order to go shopping, because I could do the shopping for him.

    At one point I asked Einstein why he was so reluctant to show himself to other humans. He simply said that he wanted to perfect his research and inventions without outside observation and interference, because he cannot stand being pressured to finish things quickly.
    "I don't want people saying to me, 'What are you doing? When will you be done?' Stuff like that," he said to me as he carefully cut a cucumber in half. "That's why I hid away in the first place. I don't work well under pressure."

    Einstein tinkered with cucumbers a lot, using various machines of varying sizes to extract light and heat energy from the plants. He would then tightly seal the energy into vials that could easily release the light and heat when necessary. I was amazed at the fact that such a simple vegetable had such a practical use.

    I could tell that the poor man was quite lonely, because his eccentricity pushed away many of the Pokémon who would be his companions. I personally was intrigued by Einstein's odd personality, and decided to roll along with him and help him in any way I could. He visibly lightened up as the weeks passed, his mannerisms becoming more assured and his voice becoming stronger and clearer. Thanks to the PokéTranslator, he was able to understand me, and I took solace in the fact that my company made his life better. I was fulfilling my niche as a knight, making the world a better place one kind deed at a time, and I could not be more satisfied.

    On my eighth Day of Christmas
    Our research made some gains.
    I provided heart and soul, while
    My partner had the brains.

    I had an idea, however. I suggested to Einstein that, once we perfected our inventions, we should unveil them to the world as a whole. Think of all the honors we would receive, I said. Realizing that I had just sounded quite selfish and not very knightly, I followed up this statement by pointing out that Cucumber Lights and the PokéTranslator were amazing tools that would benefit the world greatly and therefore should not be kept a secret for too long. True, a big part of me wanted to go down in history, or at least do something big. But I knew that the Pokémon World would definitely become a better place if more people and Pokémon had access to Cucumber Lights and PokéTranslators.

    Einstein chuckled and said that he had always intended to show his finalized research to the general public, and reminded me that he had only intended to spend a few years hidden from the public eye. To be honest, I forgot about this, but reminded my partner that if he wanted to present his work to the world we both had to become, well, more presentable. At that time, Einstein still looked quite shabby, with his body covered with a seemingly permanent layer of soot from the machines he worked with. When I mentioned the fact that our appearance needed some work, Einstein told me that he was never one to care much about appearances, but thanked me anyways and set about cleaning himself up. We continued working together, though Einstein was now a lot more presentable than he was when I first encountered him. Eventually, our inventions – Cucumber Lights and the PokéTranslator – were ready. And so…

    On my ninth Day of Christmas
    We both were quite well-known.
    We won quite a few awards
    For the work that we had shown.

    …We became famous.

    During the ninth year of my life, I was quite the busy Pokémon, considering that Einstein and I had to work with many people to market and sell our inventions. We traveled a lot, making presentations with the help of the PokéTranslator, the blueprints for which we ended up selling for a fair price to Silph Corporation. We also sold to them our methods for Cucumber Lights. The selling of our research was a good, informed decision on our part – by entrusting one of the biggest companies in the Pokémon World with the blueprints of our inventions, we ensured that the world would have access to the tools for generations to come.

    On my tenth Day of Christmas
    I discovered something sweet.
    Something related to ice cream
    Was to be our next feat.

    "Now what do we do?" I asked Einstein one day during my tenth year of life. We were sitting on the balcony of our new comfortable home in Undella Town in Unova.

    "What do you mean, Escavalier?" Einstein asked, sipping his lemonade.

    "We do not have to worry about the Cucumber Lights or the PokéTranslator anymore, because they are in the safe hands of Silph Corporation," I said, sipping my drink through a straw. "What is our next project? Do you have anything else in mind?"

    Einstein was silent for a while before he spoke. "To be honest, Escavalier, I'm seriously thinking about just relaxing. I'm an old man, you know. I would love to spend the rest of my life settled down in one place, where I won't have to run around all the time."

    "That makes sense," I said. "I was thinking about the same thing, because I've spent most of my life wandering. I do not want to do absolutely nothing, though. Perhaps we can settle down here in Undella, but still do things to make the world a better place."

    Einstein chuckled. "You're quite admirable, Escavalier," he said, gazing at the twinkling stars in the night sky. "Always wanting to be your best so you can help more people and Pokémon." He stroked his short beard, deep in thought. "Maybe we can start a business here?"

    "Hmm, that is a good idea," I said. "What do you have in mind?"

    "Ice cream," he murmured. He nodded, and added, "The only emperor is the emperor of ice cream."

    I chuckled, and said, "I beg your pardon?"

    "That is an inside joke from long ago," Einstein said, smiling. "My brother and I used to joke about dropping out of university to run an ice cream parlor, because we loved ice cream so much. That was back when we were young, and did not realize that finishing college was generally a good idea." He leaned back in his chair and shut his eyes. "Bill and I talked about running an ice cream parlor after we graduated and had some time on our hands, but he got into his research, and you know what happened with me."

    "Well, partner, you have some time on your hands right now," I pointed out. "Maybe you can start up an ice cream business. Well, you and me. That way, we can keep ourselves busy while relaxing here in Undella. And you would finally be doing what you said you'd do so long ago."

    Einstein grinned. "I think that's a great idea," he said.

    On my eleventh Day of Christmas
    We finally settled down.
    We started a little ice cream shop
    At the edge of Undella Town.

    The rest, of course, is history. If you visit Cones and Cucumbers in Undella Town, you'll find me, Ironheart the Escavalier, and Einstein McKenzie, working there and making fresh ice cream every day. We offer exactly thirty-two flavors of ice cream, which is the same number of versions the PokéTranslator had to go through before being perfected. No, really.

    On my twelfth Day of Christmas -
    Oh, wait, that is today!
    The ice cream shop is thriving.
    Come visit me, okay?

    So there you have it, the story of my life. I hope this was interesting enough to be worth your time. It has been a pleasure to meet you and tell you my story, and I would like to thank you greatly for being very respectful and sitting through it. Merry Christmas, and have a wonderful year.

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016
  2. Bay


    I thought this was a nice life and times kind of story of a Pokemon, there. I like you give the Escavalier a lady knight personality. I admit to be mixed on fanmade legendaries as we already have several canon ones to use, but Foresterra does sound interesting. And of course you would use a legendary bird, haha. Her and Einstein selling ice cream is also very cute. Overall, enjoyed this very much!
  3. Cutlerine

    Cutlerine Gone. Not coming back.

    Oh, I liked this. I mean, obviously that was sort of your goal when you wrote it, so you know, well done for that. You judged my tastes very well indeed – way better than I had any right to anticipate – and so you ended up with something with a lot of thought behind it about pokédex entries, the design philosophy behind various pokémon, and the types of stories that suit them. Aside from being one of my all-time favourite pokémon, Escavalier is obviously a knight (possibly partly inspired by those snail knights illuminated on the borders of medieval manuscripts, I've always thought, though I've never seen anyone acknowledge that), and the obvious genres for stories about knights are the medieval romance and the quest-narrative.

    And if you'd just written a quest-narrative, with knights and fair damosels and all the rest of it, I'd have been happy enough – but you did even more, and found a way to string the episodes together with the poem and the whole 'telling my story' thing. Which was great, I thought, and the fact that some of the episodes verged on the bizarre didn't spoil it too much, since that's kind of the deal with quest-narratives; weird, earth-shaking stuff happens, with a healthy disregard for any ideas about unity of plot, and everyone bumbles along as best they can.

    I also didn't expect you to use all three prompts! I'd selected them to try and give whoever got them a range of options, so that they could write pretty much whatever they wanted, so to see three such diverse ideas worked into one story was a pleasant surprise. If I'm going to be nitpicky, I guess you might have got a tighter story by dropping one or two of them and unifying the story behind the 'questing for Foresterra' plotline, but like, I'm not totally sure I'd want you to do that. I like the looseness of medieval romances, where you literally get lines like 'and then the knight went riding around in the woods looking for adventures', and this feels like it's aiming at that sort of spirit. Of course, the Christmas theming is absolutely welcome as well, given the twin Christian and chivalric concerns of medieval romance and the event this was written for. All in all, I don't know if I'd make an unbiased judge of this story as a story, but as something written for me, designed to appeal to my interests and make me smile in the middle of a bleak season, it really does get the job done. Thank you!
  4. AmericanPi

    AmericanPi Write on

    Gah, sorry about taking so long to reply to these reviews. I kinda lost track of things with my art shop and FFN shenanigans, y'know? Now that I'm here, though, thank you both for the reviews. :)

    Thank you! I'm glad that my fanmade legendary wasn't too obnoxious lmao. The thing is, when I saw the phrase "pursued Nature to her hiding places" in the prompt list I immediately thought of Foresterra, the Fakemon I created a while ago. I was hesitant about shoving my Fakemon into a Yuletide gift, but I honestly didn't think any other Pokemon would fit with that prompt. Celebi is too gender-neutral and not princess-like enough, y'know what I mean? The only other nature-based Pokemon I could think of were the genies, and those three were out of the question too because they're on the masculine side. I just thought Foresterra would fit well, because she's like the damsel to Ironheart's knight. Glad you enjoyed this! :D

    You're welcome! I don't know how I got the idea to address all three prompts, but I addressed all my prompts last Yuletide and I kind of felt like keeping up the tradition. XD I'll admit that the three prompts felt pretty dissimilar to each other, which is why the only way I felt I could combine them was through a life story - after all, any life can be full of a lot of seemingly disconnected events. I'm glad that the way they combined worked fairly well, although I think a story with just one of the prompts could have worked as well. Maybe I included all three prompts because it was funner that way? IDK.

    And I'm glad that you brought up medieval romance, even though I wasn't considering medieval literature at all when I wrote this. I just threw together a character - I went like, "Okay, Escavalier, I'm going to shake things up a bit and make her a lady knight whose homosexuality is incidental and not made a big deal out of. The important thing is that she's an elegant, chivalrous lady knight who has dorky tendencies." After I made Ironheart as a character, I kind of just fit the prompts around her and rolled with how she would see her experiences. The result was much longer than I expected it to be, but I'm glad you enjoyed it.

    Thank you both again for your reviews! :)

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