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Pokémon A Good Year to Rawr

Venia Silente

For your ills, I prescribe a cat.
Hey everyone, am here bringing one of the newest stories I have written Elsewhere. This time featuring best pseudo, Dragonite Goodra Tyranitar Salamence!.

This was originally written for PokéCommunity as a contest entry under the prompt "contentment / frustration”. I kinda sorta picked contentment (because why not).

More details at the end. But for now, enjoy.


A Good Year To Rawr​


End of Winter​


The dragon woke up, but remained curled on the ground with his eyes closed. Isla Triángulo was a nice place to be if you wanted to be alone with your thoughts; that's what the Salamence had heard the human say when she first showed up on the island, and as a regular inhabitant of the place already the Salamence had been quick to agree.

Resting on the rocky ground of a cave somewhere in the middle of the island, the Salamence grumbled at having been awakened from his nap. He was sure he had heard something enter the cave, he was just not sure of what, as all he could hear was some weird shuffling across the ground, like fallen leaves being dragged across the ground. But this was his cave, and there were no trees in it.

Granted there were not many trees in the Isla to begin with, not even counting the Tall One, a majestic tree growing in the middle of a huge hole in the mountain that was perhaps the remainder of a long‑dormant volcano. Alone in its own cave, the tree grew into the sky reaching as tall as the mountain's peak. The Salamence had taken first notice of it in his welcome flight into the Isla... how long ago had it been?

The Salamence carefully tilted his head to put one of his ears to the ground, and listened for a moment to the source of the shuffling. It sounded small and heavy, and coming closer and closer, and the sensation reminded him of other things from the past. His mind went scouting for memories of days, weeks, months and years of waking up in the island's caves, until he accidentally fast-rewinded to the memory of a long night illuminated by countless homes and stores on fire, and humans rounding up other humans and killing them with strange stick-like machines that shot piercing metal projectiles.

The Salamence opened his eyes. His leg ached briefly at one of those old projectile wounds and his tongue recalled for a moment the scent and taste of human. The shuffling that he had been hearing was now much closer. Such old memory was always useful as a stopping point, for that was the second memory he had of being a Salamence and had now brought him almost fully awake.

The Salamence had to blink a few times more to let his sight focus, and realized now a fainter but persistent sound of countless droplets of water falling, coming from outside the cave; as the steps came closer and closer, the Salamence recalled more and more years of his life, spent travelling and hunting, until one morning when he decided to fly off the coast and ended up finding a particular island. Pretty, quite triangular pointing to the sky and also triangular in the shape of its coast, rich in small wild Pokémon unaware that they had now been marked as prey.

Listening to the shuffling some more, it became clear to the dragon that whatever creature had entered his cave was headed not for him, but for the mossy rock wall that was just a few steps besides him. He narrowed his eyes, still having a bit of trouble seeing from having just woken up. The creature was, perhaps, unaware of the Salamence's presence?

Any other wild Pokémon would probably have jumped at the intruder now that they knew their opportunity, but Taverna was the one Salamence, one of only two Dragons inhabiting Isla Triángulo, and he had nothing to fear. Barring the other dragon going out for food, the Isla was Taverna's, and Taverna's alone. So all the Salamence did was to turn his head only slightly, to try and gain sight of the creature approaching, and with his hearing was finally able to make out the presence of a small Pokémon that was apparently dragging or pushing a heavy object into the cave.

The Salamence moved his neck carefully, holding his breath, just a bit so he could be more comfortable. He finally got to see, just a couples steps away, a small purple-ish critter with a curled tail, dragging along a quite large green fruit as it ventured deeper into the cave. The Salamence remained in silence watching as the little prey, either bold or ignorant before the presence of the Salamence, headed to a crack in the mossy wall and made a minutes-long laborious effort of pushing the fruit into it without breaking it; then the critter disappeared into the hole as well, leaving the Salamence alone once again, his head tilted quizzically.

If anything, now the dragon knew he had at least one neighbour further into these caves, besides whatever could be said about the other sleeping dragon. Turning his head to face the opening of the cave, the Salamence wondered how long had he been napping that he had not noticed neighbours. The opening was well illuminated but the faint rain could still be heard outside.

Maybe it was a good idea to take a look outside? Maybe get some prey to eat, since he had in his amusement left the little critter escape, not that it would have made much of a lunch. With some effort the Salamence straightened his feet and propped himself up. He pointed his muzzle to the exit of the cave and decided to check himself. Was he hungry? Hmmm, belly seemed to rumble a bit in complaint. Was he sleepy? Well, he yawned, and he had had some issue getting his eyes fully open.

Nose up, he heard the sound of the rain outside for a moment. From what he recalled, rain ever only hit Isla Triángulo for two or three weeks of the year at most, at the tail end of winter. And winter was a time unkind to dragons, even in the little corner of isolated paradise the island was in. The Salamence pawed at the ground for a moment, flexed his wings, and decided to check himself once again. Was he hungry? The little purple critter and his fruit had not even rang his attention. Was he sleepy? Well, his legs and wings were still a bit sore and he yawned again and he really did not want to get out in the rain.

Besides all that, there was another issue – the other dragon inhabiting the island. Unseen for several months already, its presence known by the local wildlife mostly by the grumbles and snoring that came from down the hollow of the Tall One. The Salamence suppressed a snort; even if (big if!) the other dragon wanted to go out in winter, the Salamence would certainly not want to have to meet it in such ill weather.

The dragon let out a low grumble, breathed in for a moment and then breathed fire down around his feet, to warm his temporary bed a bit. With some effort he stood up and walked two or three circles in‑place, muttered something to himself, then lied back on the ground as he had been before, just with his head curved away from the cave's opening and his paws aimed at the crack in the wall, just in case he could catch himself some unaware snack later.

This way he delivered himself to yet another nap, for a week or so. The world could wait.


Nascent Spring​


High ground, difficult to reach, even harder to stay in, was always contested ground in the Isla. Even more once the various berry trees started giving better fruit.

The Krookodile took a step back nearing for a tree as one of the Rockruff lunged at her; with a swift movement of her arm he took the canine Pokémon's bite and swung her entire body around, crashing the still clamped Rockruff against the tree behind them. With a yelp the smaller Pokémon fell to the ground; but another canine tackled the Krookodile without leaving her any time to react, and the two Pokémon rolled past the tree.

The two sides had fought valiantly for the small plateau between two cliffs, rich in new berry trees, and perhaps one of the sides would have earned the right to rule it and loot it for sustenance. Most likely the Krookodile, as unlike the three Rockruff trying to surround her, she had few if any wounds and had managed to deal a crippling hit on at least one of the assailants.

The two groups growled at each other, and as the fallen Rockruff recovered and limped back to his partners, the two groups readied for another go at claws and bites.

They then heard a different roar in the distance, above them. Sharp, raspy, approaching and – above all – angry. Their heads turned in various directions; one of the Rockruff let out a cry when he saw a shadow moving in the ground. The four Pokémon turned their heads to the sky to the north, where they saw the figure of the blue dragon, blood-red wings, circling the area, eyeing them down.

Another roar, shorter and more laboured, and the figure of the dragon turning to dive towards the contested escarpment. The Pokémon all braced for what they knew was coming – for the island had only enough room for one apex of the skies; one of the Rockruff scurried behind one of the trees and the Krookodile braced to hold her ground just as streams of violet flame raged across the platform and very briefly engulfed it in shrieking burst of flames, knocking the Krookodile off to land on her tail and sending at least one of the Rockruff around to who knows where.

The Krookodile got back up fast; she looked around nervously for the blue dragon, but the tongues of dragonbreath had started smoking furiously, clouding her vision. She was sure she had heard the beast zipping past the plateau, so it would soon attack again, but from where?

Swinging her tail and raking her claws on the ground, the Krookodile took a look to the edge of the plateau, seeing one of the two Rockruff dragging one of its fallen allies out of the danger zone; the other, if still alive, she could not see amidst the smoke. The Krookodile had an idea and kicked some dirt to one of the tongues of dragonflame, trying to snuff it out.

It was too late; she felt a pressure in the wind, she heard a low grumbling sound, and she turned around just in time to watch as the Salamence diving for the plateau, holding an orb of what appeared to be steaming water before its muzzle. Tremors and explosions shook the plateau as the dragon crashlanded, exploding the water into a steaming blast; its armoured belly protecting it against the sturdiness of the terrain and the savagery of its own technique. The flames around were instantly extinguished by the water and the dirt, and two of the nearby trees were punctured by various pebbles turned into shrapnel, right before the steam overtook the plateau.

A few seconds later, the dust and steam cleared, Taverna paced around the plateau. He looked down inquisitively and dragged one of his feet across the ground. He smiled at the Krookodile under his feet, her belly and right arm burned by the steaming water, crying in pain but still trying to claw at the Salamence's foot to free herself. Taverna lifted his foot and slammed her with his tail, sweeping her away and sending her rolling down the plateau.

Taverna eyed the Krookodile as she tumbled down and disappeared from sight. Good, she would not be returning, not today, not soon. He turned around to one of the edges of the plateau, where one of the Rockruff had been knocked out cold (or rather, hot) and another one was stepping ahead to defend its fallen companion. The dragon straightened his neck and growled in their direction. He was not hungry for meat, but they did not need to know that. He let out a roar and breathed in to signify he was about to breathe fire at them; in just a couple of seconds the second Rockruff decided to cut his loses and abandoned its comrade, scurrying and whining all the way.

Now alone atop his new perch, the Salamence wandered about for a moment checking the trees to make sure they had not suffered much damage from the attack, nor that they had been looted by previous intruders. He eyes one of the berry trees and approached, to notice he berries now pearly and steaming from the clash, but otherwise apparently unharmed.

Taverna tilted his head. He sniffed around and noticed another Rockruff sprawled near the tree. This one had not moved in a long while, the Salamence noticed, so he would very likely not be moving anytime soon anyway. The dragon eyed the sky looking for any clues that the other dragon was in the move but, as was the tune for many days already, the sky was clear save for some birds lazying about in the thermals.

With varied sources of food secured, the dragon turned to the tree once again to rub his legs against the tree, letting loose a few scales just so any future intruders would remember who this island belonged to. After that, he walked to one of the edges of the plateau, looking to the mainland, and decided that the best use of his time was to just lie belly flat on the ground, wings sprawled, to soak up some sunlight; he let out a long yawn of victory (that he really hoped it sounded like a warcry of victory in the distance).

His final thoughts before another nap were of his plans for the rest of the day, but nothing came up besides the foggy idea of flying off to the mainland to explore the coast, as well as scouting the Isla to ruin the day of the next loser‑down‑the‑food‑chain he would find wandering about.


Late Summer​


Ever since Taverna had first found the human and her Pokémon in the Isla, the two would make each other company every once in a while (long while, the Salamence would make sure of that). True, he liked to be feared and left alone by most of the wildlife in the Isla, but sometimes meeting up with other people and humans made the day much more interesting. Even though he would not openly admit it, he had even accompanied her party when they went on to hunts of their own, against some evil humans and their machines.

Taverna grumbled as a Krabby that he had been following and teasing with bites and clawings from rock to rock finally managed to escape him, slipping into the cracks between some rocks by the beach. The Salamence pawed and clawed at the rock for a few times… How did this happen? He had to guess he was just not that hungry to begin with. He tried peeking into the cracks but he was not able to gain any insight as to where would the little crab have gone.

Suddenly the Salamence heard plants – many of them – shuffling and cracking in the distance; as he raised his neck to see what was going on he saw some of the trees in the area grow taller, and he felt the ground shift slightly under his feet, a vibration strong enough to loose some of the random pebbles and snail shells around him.

Taverna listened for a moment and could barely hear in the distance what seemed to be the voice of the human and her Pokémon companions; deciding that they were already calling enough attention to themselves, he took flight and headed over to the next beach to see what were they up to. He landed a short distance behind them, making sure to stomp and land as loudly as he could as some of the Pokémon accompanying the human turned around to look at him.

The green leaf vixen leading the party – surely the cause of the trees' unrest – was the first to notice him, she turned around and greeted him with a concerned growl. Taverna waved his wings and growled in response, complaining that the human's party had interrupted his activities. The vixen growled back even louder, not very welcoming to his presence. Then Taverna turned his attention to the human, who greeted him with the usual wave of her arm and some warbles in human language, from which the Salamence could make the general idea that the team was busy with sparring and gathering fruits, and that they were surprised that the Salamence was not watching over the hollow of the Tall One (where, he had to remind himself, the other dragon was sleeping).

Taverna saw a skull lizard and a color-eye moth hushing at the development, and realizing that his presence in the beach was being questioned, the Salamence bat his tail and growled louder, declaring to the human and her party that as a dragon he would go where he wishes, when he wishes.

The leaf vixen replied matter-of-factly that in that case, the dragon was welcome to stay for the fruit gathering.

A brief silence befell the group as the Salamence found himself unsure of how to answer. He pondered briefly if to repeat his threat, perhaps punctuating with the usual show of fireworks, but then again it was true that the human's party had limited themselves to their own activities until he landed behind them.

Well, given that he had already lost crab for breakfast, Taverna was more than willing to receive a tribute of berry fruit to compensate for that loss, anyway – if anything, it would save the Salamence having to grab berries from the more isolated ridges. As if to emphasize their offer, the leaf vixen pointed her leaf to a half-full basket of berries.

Taverna let out a more friendly growl and agreed to rest by the beach's border until the basket was full, and warned the vixen he was a big eater. Even if what he preferred to eat was recently-live meat, but so long as the vixen was offering free food she did not need to know that.


Opening of Autumn​


Every once in a while, living creatures of all kinds, even a Salamence, would meet others of prowess far above their own or even of groups of their own. These unique creatures would look down at the world, and the earthly creatures would respond in reverence.

Taverna beat his wings hard trying to reach higher altitude and looked up – so far up – at the figure of the serpentine dragon that had emerged from the hollow of the Tall One. The “other” dragon living in the island, he had awakened from a year long nap yesterday morning, had ascended early to face the rising sun and capture its light in the yellow stripes that adorned its emerald green hide, to then let out a high-pitched roar challenging the sky. The few Pokémon that had dared to fly hat morning watched how, after dancing in its snake-like form for a while, the wyrm had shot up straight for the sky with a speed and grace that could only be found in the feather-mirage dragons.

Today was a different day, and Taverna found himself in an even better mood that he had found himself yesterday with the wyrm's rumbling.

The sea around them seemed calm and the island below was going with its day. The winds were strong, growing stronger as Taverna beat his wings to ascend, to reach to where the wyrm of emerald hide and streaming light was basking under the Sun that surveiled the horizon. Taverna straightened his neck and pointed his body towards the figure of the wyrm dancing in the ether. He breathed in as much air as he could.

Taverna pondered that the green dragon above had slept for quite long; the Salamence thought that, much like he himself did, the wyrm would love to stretch his muscles and to make himself known under the clear sky.

He would love, certainly, a greeting and a fight.

Taverna roared his welcome greeting, as loud as he could. He roared that he was Taverna, the chiefest hunter in the Isla, and that he was pleased to meet another dragon that would, like him, take pleasure in their dominance over land and sea and be no afraid to put it to the test. The Salamence's heart beat harder in anticipation as the wyrm stopped dancing and turned to look at him down. Down! He dared!

Any lesser being would have braked hard, right there, and relinquished their feeble claim to the skies; but Taverna liked the challenges and solaces the Isla had given him, so if he would find anything interesting in his day he would not stop climbing up to meet it.

The Salamence heard the wyrm roaring back his own challenge, and he slowed his ascent down just a bit; after all, he needed to aim.

The day was sunny and the high winds were graceful. The sea below was undisrupted by challenges. The human down at the Isla was resting or probably playing around with her party. Only the two dragons lorded over the sky, even if at a tall difference, and seized each other in the distance as they zoomed towards each other.

Taverna breathed in hard, collected his natural energy from every inch of his body, and shot out a white, hyper-charged beam of raw energy to open his new adventure of the day.



And now, for the usual

Author's Notes​


  • Taverna's steam attack comes from the Trading Card Game's Salamence (Roaring Skies) card, which entry describes a "Steam Blast" attack. I thought it'd make sense for a dragon lording over a small island to not blow everything to kingdom come.
  • If you play Monster Hunter and are getting a "why do I hear boss music?" vibe from Taverna's attack in Scene 2: you're not wrong. The scene was modeled to give off the same vibe as Bazelgeuse's ecology video in Monster Hunter Rise. Yeah they are quite alike a*oles.
For those wanting to provide feedback, remember Rattatouille's Essay on Critics; also, common sense: your feedback should make me want to write more, not less.

Official article: "A Good Year to Rawr" at the Suocéverse wiki
 
Last edited:

Spiteful Murkrow

Ace Trainer
Pronouns
He/Him/His
Partners
  1. nidoran-f
  2. druddigon
  3. swellow
Heya, @Venia Silente

So one of my objectives for Review Blitz has been to pay things forward to other writers who have given me support in the past. And while I've given you feedback over DM in the past for your writings, I've never done any proper reviews for you, so I figured I'd fix that, starting with your most recent one-shot. I'll be leaving suggestions of things to cut in struck-out text and things to add in bold text that I feel would improve the wording, but you're free to accept or ignore whatever portion of those you feel suit your needs.

End of Winter​


The dragon woke up, but remained curled on the ground with his eyes closed. Isla Triángulo was a nice place to be if you wanted to be alone with your thoughts; that's what the Salamence had heard the human say when she first showed up arrived on the island, and as a regular inhabitant of the place already, the Salamence had been quick to agree.

Resting on the rocky ground of a cave somewhere in the middle of the island, the Salamence grumbled at having been awakened disturbed from his nap. He was sure he had heard something enter the cave, he was just not sure of what, as all he could hear was some weird shuffling sound across the ground, like fallen leaves being dragged across the ground. But this was his cave, and there were no trees in it.

Granted there were not many trees in the Isla on Isla Triángulo to begin with, not even counting the Tall One, a majestic [ ] tree growing in the middle of a huge hole in the mountain that was perhaps the remainder of a long‑dormant volcano. Alone in its own cave, the tree grew into the sky reaching as tall as the mountain's peak. The Salamence had taken first notice of it in his welcome flight into the Isla... how long ago had it been?

Some recommended phrasing tweaks here and there, though I think that it might make sense to come down hard on what sort of tree the Tall One is to make things a bit easier to visualize for your readers.

The Salamence carefully tilted his head to put one of his ears to the ground, and listened for a moment to the source of the shuffling. It sounded small and but surprisingly heavy, and coming closer and closer, and the sensation reminded him of other things from the past. His mind went scouting for memories of days, weeks, months and years of waking up in the island's caves, until he accidentally fast-rewinded to the brushed up against a memory of a long night illuminated by countless homes and stores on fire, and humans rounding up other humans and killing them with strange stick-like machines that shot piercing metal projectiles.

The Salamence opened his eyes. His leg ached briefly at the reminder, and glanced down at an old wound left behind by one of the infernal sticks one of those old projectile wounds and his tongue recalled for a moment the scent and taste of the human who had inflicted the scar on him. The shuffling that he had been hearing was now much closer. Such The old memory was always useful as a stopping point, for that was the second memory he had of being a Salamence and had now brought him almost fully awake.

I admittedly went a bit more out on a limb with some of these suggestions, but you're free to take from them or switch them around as you please.

Taverna: "What in the-?"

The Salamence had to blinked a few times more to let his sight focus, and realized now he could hear a fainter but persistent sound of countless droplets of water falling, coming from outside the cave. As the steps came closer and closer, the Salamence recalled more and more years of his life, spent traveling and hunting, until one morning when he decided to fly off the coast and ended up finding a particular came across the island he now called home. Pretty, quite triangular almost cone-like while pointing to the sky, and with an also triangular in the-shaped of its coast, rich in small wild Pokémon unaware that they had now been marked as his prey.

After listening to the shuffling some more, it became clear to the dragon that whatever creature had entered his cave was headed not for him, but for the mossy rock wall that was just a few steps besides him. He narrowed his eyes, still having a bit of trouble seeing from having just woken up. The creature was, perhaps, unaware of the Salamence's presence?

Taverna: "... Am I a joke to this guy?" >:|

Any other wild Pokémon would probably have jumped at the intruder now that they knew their they had an opportunity to strike, but Taverna was the one Salamence, one of only two Dragons inhabiting all of Isla Triángulo, and he had nothing to fear. Barring the other dragon going out for food, the Isla was Taverna's, and Taverna's alone. So all the Salamence did was to turn his head only slightly, to try and gain sight of see the creature approaching, and with his hearing, he was finally able to make out the presence of a small Pokémon that was apparently dragging or pushing a heavy object into the cave.

I personally feel that it might have made sense to introduce Taverna's name a bit earlier in the story. Like I know who he is as a character of yours from meta, and there's probably ways of explaining in passing how he got the name without going through his whole life story such as a throwaway "'Taverna', or so he'd come to be called by his peers thanks to the time he once spent among humans" earlier on, but something about the way his name is brought up here feels kinda sudden.

The Salamence moved his neck carefully, holding his breath, just a bit slightly so he could be more comfortable. He finally got to see, saw just a couple steps away, a small purple-ish critter with a curled tail, dragging along a quite large green fruit as it ventured deeper into the cave. The Salamence remained watched in silence watching as the little prey creature, either bold or ignorant before of the presence of the Salamence, headed to a crack in the mossy wall and made a minutes-long laborious effort of pushing struggled for a couple minutes to push the fruit into it inside without breaking it. After a few faltering attempts, the critter succeeded, then the critter disappeared into the hole as well along with the fruit, leaving the Salamence alone once again with his head tilted quizzically.

If anything, now the dragon knew he had at least one other neighbour further into in these caves, besides whatever could be said about the other sleeping dragon. Turning his head to face the opening of the cave, the Salamence wondered how long had he been napping that he had not noticed neighbours his smaller neighbour. The opening was well-illuminated but the faint rain could still be heard outside.

Taverna: "Just how hungry am I right now if that Rattata is looking tasty right about now?" o_ó

Maybe it was a good idea to take a look outside? Maybe get and hunt down some prey to eat? since He had been so bemused by the Rattata's efforts that in his amusement left he'd let the little critter escape, not that it would have made much of a lunch. With some effort the Salamence straightened his feet and propped himself up. He pointed his muzzle to the exit of the cave and decided to check himself. Was he hungry? Hmmm, his belly seemed to rumble a bit in complaint. Was he sleepy? Well, he yawned, and he had had some issues getting his eyes fully open.

Nose up, he heard the sound of the rain outside for a moment. From what he recalled, rain ever only hit Isla Triángulo for two or three weeks of the year at most, at the tail end of winter. And winter was a cruel season time unkind to dragons, even in the in his little corner of isolated paradise on the island was in. The Salamence pawed at the ground for a moment, flexed his wings, and decided to check himself once again. Was he hungry? The little purple critter and his fruit had not even rang registered his attention. Was he sleepy? Well, his legs and wings were still a bit sore and he yawned again and he really did not want to get out in the rain.

I see you're milking "dragons are cats" for all it's worth. Though I can just feel the "meh, screw it, I'm going back to bed" vibes coming off Taverna right now. :V

Besides all that, there was another issue – the other dragon inhabiting the island. Unseen for several months already, its it had made its presence known by the local wildlife mostly by the grumbles and snoring that came from down the hollow of the Tall One. The Salamence suppressed a snort; even if (big if!) the other dragon wanted to go out in winter, the Salamence would certainly not want to have to meet it in such ill weather.

The dragon let out a low grumble, breathed in for a moment and then breathed fire down around his feet, to warm his temporary bed a bit. With some effort he stood up and walked two or three circles in‑place, muttered something to himself, then laid back on the ground as he had been before, just with his head curved away from the cave's opening and his paws claws aimed at the crack in the wall, just in case he could catch himself some unaware snack later.

Ah yes, the "make the ground nice and toasty by breathing fire on it" route. I've seen this used in a couple places now, and actually kinda regret never having it occur to me, since it feel like a logical thing that something like a Dragon-type would do to try and beat the winter chill.

This way he delivered himself to yet another nap, for a week or so. The world could wait.

Heavy sleeper there, not that this isn't par for the course for reptiles going through hibernatory behaviors in response to cold temperatures.

Nascent Spring​


High ground, difficult to reach, even harder to stay in, was always contested ground in the Isla Triángulo. Even more once the various berry trees started giving bearing better fruit.

The Krookodile took a step back nearing for a tree as one of the Rockruff lunged at her. With a swift movement of her arm he took the canine Pokémon's bite and swung her entire body around, crashing the still clamped Rockruff against the tree behind them. With a yelp the smaller Pokémon fell to the ground, but another canine tackled the Krookodile without leaving her any time to react, and the two Pokémon rolled past the tree.

The two sides had fought valiantly for the small plateau between two cliffs, rich in new berry trees, and perhaps one of the sides would have earned the right to rule it and loot it for sustenance. Most likely the Krookodile, as unlike the three Rockruff trying to surround her, she had few if any wounds and had managed to deal a crippling hit on at least one of the assailants.

Must be some really good berries to put yourself this far into harm's way trying to get at it.
701630550720512120.png


The two groups Krookodile and her attackers growled at each other, and as the fallen Rockruff recovered and limped back to his partners, the two groups readying for another go at claws and bites.

They then heard a different roar in the distance, above them. Sharp, raspy, approaching and – above all – angry. Their heads turned in various directions; one of the Rockruff let out a cry when he saw a shadow moving in the ground. The four Pokémon turned their heads to the sky to the north, where they saw the figure of the blue dragon, blood-red wings, circling the area, eyeing them down.

Ah yes, just the thing a 'mon needs to see when squabbling over berries between two cliffs. :V

Taverna:
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Krookodile + Rockruff:
401074476474957834.png


Another roar came, shorter and more laboured, and the figure of the dragon turned to dive towards the contested escarpment. The Pokémon all braced for what they knew was coming – for the island had only enough room for one apex ruler of the skies; one of the Rockruff scurried behind one of the trees and the Krookodile braced to hold her ground just as streams of violet flame raged across the earthen platform and very briefly engulfed it in shrieking burst of flames, knocking the Krookodile off to land on her tail and sending at least one of the Rockruff around to who knows where.

The Krookodile got back up fast quickly; she looked around nervously for the blue dragon, but the tongues of dragonbreath had started smoking furiously, clouding her vision. She was sure she had heard the beast zipping past the plateau, so it would soon attack again, but from where?

Yeah, this is the part where one would normally use Dig and nope out from the terrain that will kill you from an unwanted swan dive if you trip off of it. ^^;

Swinging her tail and raking her claws on the ground, the Krookodile took a look to the edge of the plateau, seeing one of the two Rockruff dragging one of its fallen allies out of the danger zone. If the other, if was still alive, she could not see amidst the smoke. The Krookodile had an idea and kicked some dirt to one of the tongues of dragonflame, trying to snuff it out.

It was too late; she felt a pressure in the wind, she heard a low grumbling sound, and she turned around just in time to watch as the Salamence diving for the plateau, holding an orb of what appeared to be steaming water before its muzzle. Tremors and explosions shook the plateau as the dragon crash-landed, exploding the water into a steaming blast; its armoured belly protecting it against the sturdiness of the terrain and the savagery of its own technique. The flames around were instantly extinguished by the water and the dirt, and two of the nearby trees were punctured by various pebbles turned into shrapnel, right before the steam overtook the plateau.

Krookodile: "I-I call hax!" >.<
Taverna: "TCG moves. Learn to love 'em." >:)

A few seconds later, the dust and steam cleared, Taverna paced around the plateau. He looked down inquisitively and dragged one of his feet across the ground. He smiled at the Krookodile under his feet, her belly and right arm burned by the steaming water, crying in pain but still trying to claw at the Salamence's foot to free herself. Taverna lifted his foot and slammed her with his tail, sweeping her away and sending her rolling down the plateau.

Taverna eyed the Krookodile as she tumbled down and disappeared from sight. Good, she would not be returning, not today, not soon. He turned around to one of the edges of the plateau, where one of the Rockruff had been knocked out cold (or rather, hot) and another one was stepping ahead to defend its fallen companion. The dragon straightened his neck and growled in their direction. He was not hungry for meat, but they did not need to know that. He let out a roar and breathed in to signify he was about to breathe fire at them. Within just a couple of seconds, the second Rockruff decided to cut his losses and abandoned its comrade, scurrying and whining all the way.

Yeah, nature's kinda a dick like that. Valorously picking futile fights is a quick way to get knocked out of the gene pool.

Now alone atop his new perch, the Salamence wandered about for a moment checking the trees to make sure they had not suffered much damage from the attack, nor and also to ensure that they had not been looted by previous intruders. He eyed one of the berry trees and approached, to and noticed the berries were now pearly and steaming from the clash, but otherwise apparently unharmed.

Taverna tilted his head. He sniffed around and noticed another Rockruff sprawled near the tree. This one had not moved in a long while, the Salamence noticed, so he would very likely not be moving anytime soon anyway. The dragon eyed the sky looking for any clues that the other dragon was on the move but, as was the tune case for many days already, the sky was clear save for some birds lazing about in the thermals.

Taverna: “Hrmph, and here I was hoping for some excitement beyond chasing off pests from my berry patches.” >:|

With varied sources of food secured, the dragon turned to the tree once again to rub his legs against the tree, letting loosening a few scales just so any future intruders would remember who this island belonged to. After that, he walked to one of the edges of the plateau, looking to the mainland, and decided that the best use of his time was to just lie belly flat on the ground, wings sprawled, to soak up some sunlight; he let out a long yawn of victory (that he really hoped it sounded like a warcry of victory in the distance).

Narrator: "It totally didn't sound like a warcry."
Taverna: "Shut up, it totally did!"
384521039972925441.png


His final thoughts before another nap were of his plans for the rest of the day, but nothing came up besides the foggy idea of flying off to the mainland to explore the coast, as well as scouting the Isla to ruin the day of the next loser‑down‑the‑food‑chain he would find wandering about.

Not that it would really surprise me for a Salamence to lord it over weaker Pokémon, especially one with what I know of Taverna's personality from elsewhere. But that sounds like a recipe for getting yourself humiliated by a FEAR Rattata at some point. Thar be sleepers amongst the apparent weaklings.

Late Summer​


Ever since Taverna had first found the human and her Pokémon in the on Isla Triángulo, the two would make contact with each other company every once in a while (long while, the Salamence would make sure of that). True, he liked to be feared and left alone by most of the wildlife in on the Isla island, but sometimes occasionally meeting up with other people and humans made the a day much more interesting. Even though he would not openly admit it, he had even accompanied her party before when they went on to hunts of their own, against some evil humans and their machines.

Taverna grumbled as a Krabby that he had been following and teasing with bites and clawings claw swipes from rock to rock finally managed to escape him, slipping into the cracks between some rocks by the beach. The Salamence pawed and clawed at the rock for a few times… How did this happen? He had to guess he was just not that hungry to begin with. He tried peeking into the cracks but he was not able to gain any insight as to where would the little crab have gone.

You really are shameless about the cat vibes there. Not that I find it bad, gives me Toothless vibes from HTTYD.
803821849384583219.png


]Suddenly the Salamence heard plants – many of them – shuffling and cracking in the distance – far more than he would've expected. The drake he raised his neck to see what was going on he saw some of the trees in the area grow taller, and he felt the ground shift slightly under his feet with a vibration strong enough to loose some of the random pebbles and snail shells around him.

Taverna listened for a moment and could barely hear in the distance what seemed to be the voice of the human and her Pokémon companions. He decided that they were already calling enough attention to themselves, before he took flight and headed over to the next beach to see what were they up to. He landed a short distance behind them, making sure to stomp and land as loudly as he could as some of the Pokémon accompanying the human turned around to look at him.

The green leaf vixen leading the party – surely the cause of the trees' unrest – was the first to notice him, she turned around and greeted him with a concerned growl. Taverna waved his wings and growled in response, complaining that the human's party had interrupted his activities. The vixen growled back even louder, not very welcoming to his presence. Then Taverna turned his attention to the human, who greeted him with the usual wave of her arm and some warbles in human language, from which the Salamence could make glean the general idea that the team was busy with sparring and gathering fruits, and that they were surprised that the Salamence was not watching over the hollow of the Tall One (where, he had to remind himself, the other dragon was sleeping).

I'll admit, I hadn't thought of the premise of Salamence fanning their wings out as a threat display, but hey, if people are recommended to do that with their jackets when encountering pumas, it's only logical that a dragon that might as well be a living aerial attack platform would have similar ideas.

Taverna saw a skull-headed lizard and a [color-eye moth] hushing at the development, and realizing that his presence in the beach was being questioned, the Salamence bat his tail and growled louder, declaring to the human and her party that as a dragon he would go where he wished, when he wished.

The leaf vixen replied matter-of-factly that in that case, the dragon was welcome to stay for the fruit gathering.

A brief silence befell the group as the Salamence found himself unsure of how to answer. He pondered briefly if to repeat his threat, perhaps punctuating with the usual show of fireworks, but then again it was true that the human's party had limited themselves to their own activities until he landed behind them.

I couldn't make out what species 'color-eye moth' was supposed to be, since there's multiple moth Pokémon floating around. You might want to pick some more defining features such as wing color or the like.

Oh, so basically he was considering doing gif related:
tenor.gif


Well, given that he had already lost his chance to have crab for breakfast, Taverna was more than willing to receive a tribute of berry fruit to compensate for that loss, anyway – if anything, it would save the Salamence the hassle of having to grab berries from the more isolated ridges. As if to emphasize their offer, the leaf vixen pointed her leaf to a half-full basket of berries.

Taverna let out a more friendly growl and agreed to rest by the beach's border until the basket was full, and warned the vixen he was a big eater. Even if what he normally preferred to eat was recently-live freshly-hunted meat to eat, but so long as the vixen was offering free food, she did not need to know that.

I'm a little surprised that Taverna is being this much more accommodating of a human and her Pokémon than the local wilds that he's happy to yeet off plateaus for the sake of some berries because "screw you, this is my territory". It might make sense to slip in a sentence here or there emphasizing why Taverna has this extra degree of respect a bit more, and whether that's because he respects the human for going up against the armed humans or some other reason.

Opening of Autumn​


Every once in a while, living creatures of all kinds, even a Salamence, would meet others of prowess strength far above greater their own or even of groups of their own. These unique creatures would look down at the world, and the earthly creatures would respond in reverence.

Taverna beat his wings hard trying to reach higher altitude and looked up – so far up – at the figure of the serpentine dragon that had emerged from the hollow of the Tall One. The “other” dragon living on the island. He had awakened from a year long nap yesterday morning, had ascended early to face the rising sun and capture its light in the yellow stripes that adorned its emerald green hide, to then let out a high-pitched roar challenging the sky. The few Pokémon that had dared to fly that morning watched how, after dancing in its snake-like form for a while, the wyrm had shot up straight for the sky with a speed and grace that could only be found in the feather-mirage dragons.

Oh, hello, Rayquaza.

Today was a different day, and Taverna found himself in an even better mood that he had found himself yesterday with the wyrm's rumblings.

The sea around them seemed calm and the island below was going on with its day. The winds were strong, growing still stronger as Taverna beat his wings to ascend climb higher, to reach to where the wyrm of emerald hide and streaming light was basking under the Sun that surveilled the horizon. Taverna straightened his neck and pointed his body towards the figure of the wyrm dancing in the ether, breathing He breathed in as much air as he could.

[Taverna pondered that the green dragon above had slept for quite long;] The Salamence thought that, much like he himself did, the wyrm would love to stretch his muscles and to make himself known under the clear sky.

He would love, certainly, a greeting and a fight.

For the bit in brackets, you might want to emphasize a bit how long Rayquaza's been dozing. For example, if it's been for literal decades, something like the following might be worth considering:

[ Taverna thought about how the green dragon above had slept for quite long in the Tall One's hollow, long enough that he couldn't recall overhearing any of the Pokémon of Isla Triángulo mention the last time they'd seen it awake. ]

Considering how I distinctly remember ur-Taverna doing this in an RP once and getting sent into Low Earth Orbit briefly for his trouble... this seems like an ever so slightly ill-advised idea.
701630550720512120.png


Taverna roared his welcome greeting, as loud as he could. He roared that he was Taverna, the chiefest hunter in the on all of Isla Triángulo, and that he was pleased to meet another dragon that would, like him, take pleasure in their dominance over land and sea and be no afraid feared not the chance to put it to the test. The Salamence's heart beat harder in anticipation as the wyrm stopped dancing and turned to look at him down. Down! He dared!

Any lesser being would have braked hard in the air, right there, and relinquished their feeble claim to the skies. But Taverna liked the challenges and solaces the Isla Triángulo had given him, so if he would find anything interesting in his day he would not stop climbing up to meet it.

701630550720512120.png


Well, it was nice knowing you, Taverna.

The Salamence heard the wyrm roaring back his own challenge, and he slowed his ascent down just a bit. After all, he needed to aim.

The day was sunny, and the high winds were graceful. The sea below was undisrupted by challenges. The human down at on the island was resting or probably playing around with her party. Only the two dragons lorded over the sky, even if at a tall difference, and seized each other in the distance as they zoomed towards each other.

Taverna breathed in hard, collected his natural energy from every inch of his body, and shot out a white, hyper-charged beam of raw energy to open his new adventure of the day.

Oh no...

- 15 seconds later... -
Leafeon: "Hey, what's that blue-and-red thing pinwheeling off towards the horizon?"
Marowak: "Meh, it's probably nothing."

Alright, so for my overall thoughts:

Overall, I think it's a fun little piece. It helps paint a picture of a character that while not fully sympathetic, is still interesting to watch even if you're really heavily leaning into "dragons are cats" like the HTTYD movies. It's a fun glimpse into the mindset and priorities of something that's distinctly not human and doesn't try to be human, which is something that a lot of Pokémon writers gloss in their depictions of the critters.

I don't really have a ton of complaints here. Mostly related to some wording choices here or there I don't agree with, but the fic was originally a contest submission that shipped on a tight timeline, so I can understand why it was there. It might have been fun to see other scenarios that Taverna would've gotten into on Isla Triángulo as its would-be master, but brevity is the soul of wit. And it's fodder for a follow-up for when Taverna gets out of Low Earth Orbit after that ending there if you decide to revisit him as a character again.

Good work, and I'll be looking forward to throwing reviews at your other one-shots that are on-site here as part of this week's reviewing challenge. ^^
 
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Virgil134

PMD Writer
Partners
  1. sylveon
  2. weavile
  3. kommo-o
  4. noivern
  5. mothim
Here as part of our review exchange, just as promised!

His mind went scouting for memories of days, weeks, months and years of waking up in the island's caves, until he accidentally fast-rewinded to the memory of a long night illuminated by countless homes and stores on fire, and humans rounding up other humans and killing them with strange stick-like machines that shot piercing metal projectiles.

Wow, that sure took a dark turn quickly. Going from a Salamence waking up from a peaceful nap to people apparently rounding up and murdering a whole village in the span of just a few paragraphs. I certainly did not expect that when I started reading.

his tongue recalled for a moment the scent and taste of human

what-huh.gif


Also if that bullet is still in there I feel like it should affect him more than just make his leg ache a little occasionally.

Any other wild Pokémon would probably have jumped at the intruder now that they knew their opportunity, but Taverna was the one Salamence, one of only two Dragons inhabiting Isla Triángulo, and he had nothing to fear. Barring the other dragon going out for food, the Isla was Taverna's, and Taverna's alone.

Fairy-Types: “Allow us to introduce ourselves.”

Also “Dragons” is wrongfully capitalized here.

He finally got to see, just a couples steps away, a small purple-ish critter with a curled tail, dragging along a quite large green fruit as it ventured deeper into the cave.

Is it bad that I have no idea what Pokémon this is? I feel like I should ^^;

Tremors and explosions shook the plateau as the dragon crashlanded, exploding the water into a steaming blast; its armoured belly protecting it against the sturdiness of the terrain and the savagery of its own technique. The flames around were instantly extinguished by the water and the dirt, and two of the nearby trees were punctured by various pebbles turned into shrapnel, right before the steam overtook the plateau.

I mean even if Salamence’s belly somehow isn’t affected by all of this, wouldn’t the rest of Taverna’s body be?

Also I don’t really get why Taverna knows a TCG attack. I did a double take when I first read this part and it wasn’t until I saw the author’s notes that I understood what it was. It just seems like a very random addition that to me kinda felt like “Look at this cool thing my character can do.”

Taverna beat his wings hard trying to reach higher altitude and looked up – so far up – at the figure of the serpentine dragon that had emerged from the hollow of the Tall One.

Oh so the other dragon was Rayquaza. For some reason I was expecting some sort of twist that the other dragon wasn’t actually a real dragon.

Taverna breathed in hard, collected his natural energy from every inch of his body, and shot out a white, hyper-charged beam of raw energy to open his new adventure of the day.

And then Rayquaza fucking murdered Taverna and the Salamence never bothered anyone ever again.

The End
401074247574880299.webp


Anyway, I’ve finished reading the story, and… I didn’t like it. In fact, I really didn’t like it. ^^;

I wish I could say otherwise, since I always try to stay positive in my reviews and try to focus on things that I liked, but I just don’t have anything to say in that regard. I think the least I can do is explain what made me dislike this story and how I think it could have been executed better:

The first and biggest issue I have with the story is Taverna himself. He’s an extremely unlikable character, which as the story’s main protagonist, makes it hard to enjoy what is going on. Taverna is essentially an arrogant bully who likes to hurt and kill others, just because he can and he’s, in his eyes, the strongest one around. The worst part about it is that the narrative just seems to treat this as something that’s okay because “Well he’s a dragon, and you know how dragons are haha”. You might say that he’s a wild Pokémon and that because of your headcanon he needs to hunt and eat meat in order to survive, but I don’t really think that applies here. Taverna is a sentient creature who enjoys hunting and eating other sentients without showing any real gravity towards it that I’d have expected from a circumstance of “it’s unpleasant, but that’s just nature”, so it wound up making him come off as a psychopath. That bit in the beginning about him apparently having eaten a human in the past also didn’t exactly endear Taverna to me. I don’t care who that guy was, that detail didn’t really accomplish much for me other than to highlight other parts of Taverna’s personality later on that made me find him unlikable. When I read that part I was kinda ready to just clock out, since I’m not interested in reading fan fics that have Pokémon eating humans.

You also mentioned that this was a contest submission with the theme “contentment”, so if the purpose of the story was just to show that Taverna is satisfied living like this… then yikes.

Which brings me to the second issue I had with this story, the plot. Since the thing is… well, there wasn’t really a plot. The story consists of four scenes that aside from progressing through the different scenes, aren’t really connected in any way. I’ve finished reading the story and I just feel like nothing really happened. The scene just showed Taverna either acting like a dick or thinking about being a dick, and neither really made for a compelling story. Doesn’t really help that there’s stuff like that mysterious purple Pokémon dragging a fruit in Taverna’s cave, which I thought was setting something up, but ultimately didn’t really end up going anywhere.

The third issue I’ve had with this story was the lack of dialogue. It made it hard for me to get immersed, and the worst part is that there were several times where Taverna was saying stuff, but instead of actually showing that you just tell us that he said certain things. This was especially jarring in the third scene when he talked to that trainer’s Pokémon. Despite its short size in terms of word count the story was kind of a slog to get through since it’s just nonstop narration and description.

One way I think you can improve this story is by starting with toning Taverna down. Editing out things like him having eaten a human in the past, or him enjoying bullying that Krabby before wanting to eat him would go a long way. The next step would be to actually have Taverna’s character change over the course of the narrative. Having him get knocked down a couple of pegs by someone, for example Rayquaza, and then having him grow from the experience would honestly have been more interesting to read,. Perhaps it could result in Taverna getting seriously hurt for some time, and in his weakened state some other Pokémon treats him the same way he’s currently treating others. Maybe another Dragon-Type could even make him realize that he’s a pretty shitty person and that the way he acts to others has nothing to do with being a dragon. That way he could learn to change and even go through some character development. Perhaps he could even start using his strength to protect others. There’s a number of things like that that could’ve been done that I think would’ve ultimately left Taverna in a better place for me personality-wise, and I think it would have certainly made for a much more interesting story than what you currently got here.

And that’s about it. I’m sorry this one turned out to be so negative, since I’m sure that this wasn’t the review you were expecting, but I hope it was helpful at least.
 

Umbramatic

The Ghost Lord
Location
The Yangverse
Pronouns
Any
Partners
  1. reshiram
Here for Review Blitz! It's him, it's the Salamence of legend, and I am here to write WORDS about him!

I do love how this ha no real plot or dialogue, it's just a slice of life slightly xenofiction fic of a Salamence living his best life on an island. What mor could you ask for? I like the use of different seasons to tell different parts of the Salamence's story in different "episodes" per say - helps showcase the nature of this fic pretty well.

the winter one was fittingly, the most chill - oof COURSE a Salamence needs to takle it easy in the cold, 4X Ice weakness! this also establishes his kind of detach3ed air of superiority twoard the other creatures on the island.

Spring gives us our first actual fight, and it's a doozy. Of course, the Salamence pervaiils, and mercifully spares a few puppies in the process. Think of the puppies. ;_;

Summer is where the Salamence finds a Trainer! Good for him! But he still maintains his typical air of superiority twoards other mons. Like that Krabby. Carcinization my ass.

And then Auttum is where he meeets his greatest challenge - som e OTHER dragon whjo thinks he's STRONGER and BETTER than him! This must be CHALLENGED. And it is challenged, in full glory, where -

...It just kind of ends. Mid fight. And I am kind of let down. I forget if this is a refrence to an event in a CERTAIN ROLEPLAY or the anime or soomething but I wanted to see more! Bit of a weird flex to put a cliffhanger in a ONESHOT.

But this was still very funny and ciute and stars second best Salamence. You know full well who's first. ;)
 

ShiniGojira

Multiversal Extraordinaire
Location
Stranded In The Gaps between Multiverses
Pronouns
He/him/they/her
Partners
  1. custom/zorua-gojira
G'day to you, Venia! Hope you're doing great! Just popping in to read this fic and to give my thoughts on it.

So starting with some of my thoughts on Salamence. He's a dick, plain and simple. The power's gone to his head and he has the ego of the entire Isla, he has a superiority complex and likes to look down on others despite hating it when other look down on him (so he's a bit of a hypocrite). He's an interesting character to write about but he's not exactly likeable.

Going into the mind of a narcissistic character is an interesting premise and I like the seasonal changes for the scenes, it has its own charm and I like the short season where Salamence bonds with a trainer and their Pokémon.

The ending was cool and a bit strange since does this mean Salamence's been living near Sky Pillar? Also, kinda a let down when the fight stops mid-way, would've been cool if you continued it but eh.

His mind went scouting for memories of days, weeks, months and years of waking up in the island's caves, until he accidentally fast-rewinded to the memory of a long night illuminated by countless homes and stores on fire, and humans rounding up other humans and killing them with strange stick-like machines that shot piercing metal projectiles.
Jeez, this got rather dark quick. A bit jarring since we were just talking about him waking up and now we're treated to what was essentially a war.
His leg ached briefly at one of those old projectile wounds and his tongue recalled for a moment the scent and taste of human.
Yikes, he ate someone before?
but Taverna was the one Salamence, one of only two Dragons inhabiting Isla Triángulo, and he had nothing to fear.
The wording's a bit weird here, but it's not too bad.
Hmmm, belly seemed to rumble a bit in complaint.
It'd probably be better if you added a 'his' (Crap, I made a typo! Oopsie) before belly since this sentence made him sound like a baby for a moment.
with a swift movement of her arm he took the canine
You used the wrong pronoun for Krookodile.

He eyes one of the berry trees and approached,
You slipped into present tense here.
notice he berries
'The' is missing a 'T'
a color-eye moth
Is this a Dustox?
it would save the Salamence having to grab berries from the more isolated ridges.
This sentence would probably be a bit better if you added 'the trouble of' between Salamence and 'having'.
at the figure of the serpentine dragon that had emerged from the hollow of the Tall One.
The other dragon's Rayquaza? What a strange turn of events!
Taverna breathed in hard, collected his natural energy from every inch of his body, and shot out a white, hyper-charged beam of raw energy to open his new adventure of the day.
Aw man, a cliffhanger?

Anyway, this oneshot was pretty well written even if I don't really like Salamence. It'd be great to see more from you.

Take care! Keep doing what you love!
 
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Venia Silente

For your ills, I prescribe a cat.
That's... a very lots of reviews in a very short time, so I had to sit back with a calculator and take some notes.

First of all, the obvious thanks.

I'll be leaving suggestions of things to cut in struck-out text and things to add in bold text that I feel would improve the wording, but you're free to accept or ignore whatever portion of those you feel suit your needs.

I'll be taking notes of those, and you gave me lots of Clippo vibes with the formatting for the edition (I understand this is US academic standard, actually? It's just something I've never seen around here in Best Hemisphere). Still, it be worth to note that a rewrite to incorporate too deep changes (involving apparently, some structural changes to the story as well) will either take a good while or have to wait until a continuation or overarching more general story is done.

Some recommended phrasing tweaks here and there, though I think that it might make sense to come down hard on what sort of tree the Tall One is to make things a bit easier to visualize for your readers.
I had wanted to leave it to imagination what kind of tree it was because not even the notable trees in Pokémon are described much, but yeah I might have to build up more into what kind of tree would it be, which I had initially conceived to be a Pokémonified, amped up variant of the Montezuma Cypress.

I personally feel that it might have made sense to introduce Taverna's name a bit earlier in the story. Like I know who he is as a character of yours from meta, and there's probably ways of explaining in passing how he got the name without going through his whole life story such as a throwaway "'Taverna', or so he'd come to be called by his peers thanks to the time he once spent among humans" earlier on, but something about the way his name is brought up here feels kinda sudden.
That's a fix that will definitively make it into a future revision (better than to leave it to the encompassing Sovereignty story you know from the meta) since I already have the rewording of the dream scene here picked apart for the proper places to bring up how that very scene made the name came to be. Alas, it's something that had eluded me and my two proofreaders while working within the constraints of the contest.

Ah yes, the "make the ground nice and toasty by breathing fire on it" route. I've seen this used in a couple places now, and actually kinda regret never having it occur to me, since it feel like a logical thing that something like a Dragon-type would do to try and beat the winter chill.
Stolen shamelessly from How to Train Your Dragon and it's something a certain dragon of yours living with a human family should totally be doing.


Must be some really good berries to put yourself this far into harm's way trying to get at it.
Not that they specifically *are* top-percentage berries, but then again in Pokémon even the most common berry can apparently cure about half of a low level pseudo's health. Perhaps they'd really do wonders for smaller critters.

Krookodile: "I-I call hax!" >.<
Taverna: "TCG moves. Learn to love 'em." >:)
Gotta love to not limit oneself to the boundaries of only one of... six concurrent canons that Pokémon has going on right now? But then again, wild mons would find it fairer to complain :p

Yeah, nature's kinda a dick like that. Valorously picking futile fights is a quick way to get knocked out of the gene pool.
Mind, this is a lesson also Taverna himself is about to learn and that followup fight is absolutely a thing that needs to happen :p — But hey, this "pick fights out of your league" thing seems to work for the Jaggis in Monster Hunter so by any sensible metrics, social species with elemental-spitting powers like... well, Pokémon versions of dogs, should also be able to make it work.


You really are shameless about the cat vibes there. Not that I find it bad, gives me Toothless vibes from HTTYD.
Like I said: shamelessly stolen. As great artists do. Plus, my cat seems to concur that the behaviour is catlike, since he *has* lost track of grasshoppers that way.

I'll admit, I hadn't thought of the premise of Salamence fanning their wings out as a threat display, but hey, if people are recommended to do that with their jackets when encountering pumas, it's only logical that a dragon that might as well be a living aerial attack platform would have similar ideas.
I did not even know about this recommend for people to threat display agaist pumas that way, so thanks, TIL. That said, the intent of the move (and something that probably has to be made more patent in a rewrite) is that it's also convenient prep for vertical takeoff so it serves a double purpose. You don't want to be all gangsta on the ground when a plant vixen sorceress starts literally whipping up all the nearby trees at you.

I couldn't make out what species 'color-eye moth' was supposed to be, since there's multiple moth Pokémon floating around. You might want to pick some more defining features such as wing color or the like.
That's intended to be a Masquerain (a specific Masquerain, even, since you know the meta) but yeah, that needs lots more clarifying.

I'm a little surprised that Taverna is being this much more accommodating of a human and her Pokémon than the local wilds that he's happy to yeet off plateaus for the sake of some berries because "screw you, this is my territory". It might make sense to slip in a sentence here or there emphasizing why Taverna has this extra degree of respect a bit more, and whether that's because he respects the human for going up against the armed humans or some other reason.
It... really escaped notice yeah. I did wanted to leave it more clearly than what can be gleaned at from the further narration but the gist of it (and something their introductory scene skipped to do) is the emphasis that the human Trainer and her mons are periodic visitors; Taverna is already used to the idea that if he just lets them be for the day, they'll be gone for a few weeks and he'll be back at being Properly Alone.

Oh, hello, Rayquaza.
Imagine the annoyance when you wake up from your lengthy nap and your downstairs neighbour starts shouting and shooting at you :p

For the bit in brackets, you might want to emphasize a bit how long Rayquaza's been dozing. For example, if it's been for literal decades, something like the following might be worth considering:

[ Taverna thought about how the green dragon above had slept for quite long in the Tall One's hollow, long enough that he couldn't recall overhearing any of the Pokémon of Isla Triángulo mention the last time they'd seen it awake. ]
Hmmm... this will be somehting to look into for better wording, and probably a change that is precise enough that won't have to wait into a full rewrite to happen (though I'm definitively not sure what the policy is here and in other forums re: editing or patching works, which would leave previous reviews hanging senseless unless the original is somehow preserved). This since Taverna does actually know the precise duration of the nap (he was there when it began).


Considering how I distinctly remember ur-Taverna doing this in an RP once and getting sent into Low Earth Orbit briefly for his trouble... this seems like an ever so slightly ill-advised idea.
I mean, back then for ur-Taverna that literally landed him in jail once he fell from Low Earth Orbit, so it'd be interesting to see what happens to this version of the character. It *was* an interesting way to abuse the concept of Dragon Tail back then when you consider the entire atmosphere can be Rayquaza's "field" of battle, so... Anyway. Writing a fully contained battle fic of this sometime would be fun, since that's something I have not done in... since forever.

Well, it was nice knowing you, Taverna.
Taverna:
nope.jpeg
(the lil'bird is intentional)

Overall, I think it's a fun little piece. It helps paint a picture of a character that while not fully sympathetic, is still interesting to watch even if you're really heavily leaning into "dragons are cats" like the HTTYD movies. It's a fun glimpse into the mindset and priorities of something that's distinctly not human and doesn't try to be human, which is something that a lot of Pokémon writers gloss in their depictions of the critters.
Thanks; I tried for Taverna to read distinctly animalistic in his priorities while at the same showcasing him as a creature that doesn't really feel a lot of stress towards chasing those priorities. And it's important for me to know if it works well to portray such creatures as non-human, because as time goes and I start writing more stories, putting on the screentime on those creatures that live diverse lifespans and have divergent needs will be an important element for cohesiveness. I can't really afford to skip on learning important mistakes early.

All in all, thanks for your review.

Wow, that sure took a dark turn quickly. Going from a Salamence waking up from a peaceful nap to people apparently rounding up and murdering a whole village in the span of just a few paragraphs. I certainly did not expect that when I started reading.
Certainly neither did he, apparently. Of a number of backstory scenes I could have chosen to put forth, I had to quickly choose one that would be easy to sell as "believes to have put in the past, but obviously hasn't". Alas, such kind of trauma is easy low-hanging fruit.

Also if that bullet is still in there I feel like it should affect him more than just make his leg ache a little occasionally.
Aaaaand I'll really need to fix that, yeah. In particular because "leg / arm joints hurt when it rains" is also a known phenonemon I could have added that makes it easy to sell a characters as "old man yells at cloud" yet until you mentioned this one, I really didn't see it.

Fairy-Types: “Allow us to introduce ourselves.”
While I headcanon dragons as not having anything to drastically fear from fairies (other than the scope of their magic, but that's an Everyone problem), it *is* a shame that no Fairy types live in the island because a Salamence would have had to learn to tiptoe around them if he ever wanted to stand a chance.

Plus it'd probably humble him down enough to consider asking for help.

Taverna: "Rayquaza, hey, some help here?"
Rayquaza: "You're on your own." - zips away to next continent.


Also “Dragons” is wrongfully capitalized here.
klngnwgnwgkrwnglrkw how did I miss that one. That's def a "doesn't need to wait for rewrite" fix.


Is it bad that I have no idea what Pokémon this is? I feel like I should ^^;
Yes, it is bad for me >_> I should have used "mammal" or something, or point to whiskers popping out behind the dragged fruit, to indicate it's a Rattata.

I mean even if Salamence’s belly somehow isn’t affected by all of this, wouldn’t the rest of Taverna’s body be?

Yeah, but then again it's not that much different from any dragon making landfall. If anything, this fixes some cultural issues with everyone else's dragons, because the mythological, legacy western dragon has precisely the belly as its ISO Standard weak point. If any dragon can take landfall well, a Salamence's extra protection only makes it even easier for them (and allows them to weaponize it as a strategy).

Also I don’t really get why Taverna knows a TCG attack. I did a double take when I first read this part and it wasn’t until I saw the author’s notes that I understood what it was. It just seems like a very random addition that to me kinda felt like “Look at this cool thing my character can do.”
Welcome to my worldbuilding. Pokémon are not limited to what only one canon out of ~six shows them to do, the TCG (and the Rumble games to a lesser extent) are a very good showcase of skills and abilities that Pokémon would naturally be able to use, or would have to come up with, so this is not at all exclusive to Taverna, though I also don't write enough combat in stories that this facet of worldbuilding more properly shows up.

Basically, stick around (when I publish, lol) and you'll get used to it. Intercanon adaptations was already one of my signatures from my time back at RPing.

Oh so the other dragon was Rayquaza. For some reason I was expecting some sort of twist that the other dragon wasn’t actually a real dragon.
Combine that with the Fairies issue and just imagine the humiliation once it's found out that the other dragon that Taverna was so mindful of was just an old Clefbale that snores real loud. and Taverna can't really complain about it because he wouldn't be able to take a hit.

Would have made for a good comedic AU, I guess.

I'm really lucky I didn't end up abandoning the character the first time he tried pulling off something like this :p

Anyway, I’ve finished reading the story, and… I didn’t like it. In fact, I really didn’t like it. ^^;

I wish I could say otherwise, since I always try to stay positive in my reviews and try to focus on things that I liked, but I just don’t have anything to say in that regard. I think the least I can do is explain what made me dislike this story and how I think it could have been executed better:
That's understandable. Not all stories, not even the majority, are for everyone, and technically speaking you probably wouldn't have bothered to review it if you had neither liked or disliked it, yes?

The first and biggest issue I have with the story is Taverna himself. He’s an extremely unlikable character, which as the story’s main protagonist, makes it hard to enjoy what is going on. Taverna is essentially an arrogant bully who likes to hurt and kill others, just because he can and he’s, in his eyes, the strongest one around. The worst part about it is that the narrative just seems to treat this as something that’s okay because “Well he’s a dragon, and you know how dragons are haha”. You might say that he’s a wild Pokémon and that because of your headcanon he needs to hunt and eat meat in order to survive, but I don’t really think that applies here. Taverna is a sentient creature who enjoys hunting and eating other sentients without showing any real gravity towards it that I’d have expected from a circumstance of “it’s unpleasant, but that’s just nature”, so it wound up making him come off as a psychopath.
To be fair, his (and everyone else's in the story) lack of gravity towards the issue of live beings being part of the foodchain is... well, because that's how it's intended to read for creatures that have lived and developed in that circumstance for that long. Taverna and everyone else in the island other than the human Trainer are non-human and are dealing with non-human issues in a way that also patently doesn't always work out for them. While they are sentient, they are not that highly sapient (big difference) that they'd care that they are leaving a bad image (Taverna) or that they might be causing environmental damage (the Leafeon) or that they are picking really bad matchups if they intend to learn something about a threat that can be passed down (the Krookodile) if there's nothing external that can show it to them.

It *is* more notable for Taverna but that's mostly because of his position in the relative environment; if Rayquaza spent more time awake and out in the open, Taverna's situation and bad choices would not really be that different from Krookodile's (and see: they really aren't).

That bit in the beginning about him apparently having eaten a human in the past also didn’t exactly endear Taverna to me. I don’t care who that guy was, that detail didn’t really accomplish much for me other than to highlight other parts of Taverna’s personality later on that made me find him unlikable. When I read that part I was kinda ready to just clock out, since I’m not interested in reading fan fics that have Pokémon eating humans.
That merits some tone down yeah but there is no intent for it to come out as Taverna is a serial maneater or something like that; more like he had to defend from humans (with weapons) and in the process he likely had to bite down and chomp. Something he, he likes it or not, will recall along other parts of the trauma (and he certainly doesn't engage in this behaviour with the human Trainer, to boot).

You also mentioned that this was a contest submission with the theme “contentment”, so if the purpose of the story was just to show that Taverna is satisfied living like this… then yikes.

Which brings me to the second issue I had with this story, the plot. Since the thing is… well, there wasn’t really a plot. The story consists of four scenes that aside from progressing through the different scenes, aren’t really connected in any way. I’ve finished reading the story and I just feel like nothing really happened. The scene just showed Taverna either acting like a dick or thinking about being a dick, and neither really made for a compelling story. Doesn’t really help that there’s stuff like that mysterious purple Pokémon dragging a fruit in Taverna’s cave, which I thought was setting something up, but ultimately didn’t really end up going anywhere.
Sucks that it is interpreted that way but yeah not all stories need a plot in the "Three Acts, Five Stages of Grief, Seven Arcs of the Hero's Journey" sense. Sometimes a story is you wake up to go with your everyday life, you do, you earn your wages, you get back to sleep, and that's the plot (there are entire historical genres built around this actually, not just slice of life). I would concede that what the story strongly lacks in that sense is change, but like I said: at the same time it's not for everyone.

The third issue I’ve had with this story was the lack of dialogue. It made it hard for me to get immersed, and the worst part is that there were several times where Taverna was saying stuff, but instead of actually showing that you just tell us that he said certain things. This was especially jarring in the third scene when he talked to that trainer’s Pokémon. Despite its short size in terms of word count the story was kind of a slog to get through since it’s just nonstop narration and description.
I can concur that the lack of tagged dialogue makes it feel weird. "Second-handing" the dialogue was an important design choice in the brink of time because otherwise I'd have had to walk into the issue of "Salamence Salamence Salamence Salamence!" "What? Timmy fell down the well again?" or have to put more emphasis on some of the mons doing the translating, which was extra words and extra shifting focus that the scene definitively did not need; but given the needs of the actual story if it had not been for a contest I would just have done the dialogue in the tried and true Digimon way (no inherest communication restrictions between species) instead of the Pokémon way.

One way I think you can improve this story is by starting with toning Taverna down. Editing out things like him having eaten a human in the past, or him enjoying bullying that Krabby before wanting to eat him would go a long way. The next step would be to actually have Taverna’s character change over the course of the narrative. Having him get knocked down a couple of pegs by someone, for example Rayquaza, and then having him grow from the experience would honestly have been more interesting to read,. Perhaps it could result in Taverna getting seriously hurt for some time, and in his weakened state some other Pokémon treats him the same way he’s currently treating others. Maybe another Dragon-Type could even make him realize that he’s a pretty shitty person and that the way he acts to others has nothing to do with being a dragon. That way he could learn to change and even go through some character development. Perhaps he could even start using his strength to protect others. There’s a number of things like that that could’ve been done that I think would’ve ultimately left Taverna in a better place for me personality-wise, and I think it would have certainly made for a much more interesting story than what you currently got here.
It's so fun that you happen to mention this because those things in more or less that precise order (except the being treated himself that way once he's seriously hurt, that goes vastly differently) are the plans for his life to be in the meta. It's just, well, the meta is a much longer story, it covers about 300 years, having to lose to two Legendaries and having to take part in at least two wars, and almost certainly doesn't fit within a short-writing, prompted, oneshot. What I can show here, or in most of my oneshots, is just pieces of a larger world to be, and it's important that those pieces do get out even if perhaps they are not the best pieces to get out (I'mguessing most of everyone was expecting the fight against Rayquaza more).

Hey, it's one of the reasons why I host a wiki: so that the content is not fully lost simply because I can't make it into a written story (let alone an animated movie). So I do like that you can foresee and expect how things would have to go to make a more proper "life story".


And that’s about it. I’m sorry this one turned out to be so negative, since I’m sure that this wasn’t the review you were expecting, but I hope it was helpful at least.
I mean, I didn't like it that you didn't like it, but it's not like it's something to pour blame over, you did dislike it enough to comment, well-soundedly, on why, with a solid proposal on how to make it better without losing track or context of what the story actually is about. Hey, that's miles (kilometers, here in Best Hemisphere :p ) better than whatever the Random Internet Disliker will ever give you, so. Net win? :p

And next time there's more Salamence I hope it ends up being more of your liking.

Here for Review Blitz! It's him, it's the Salamence of legend, and I am here to write WORDS about him!

I do love how this ha no real plot or dialogue, it's just a slice of life slightly xenofiction fic of a Salamence living his best life on an island. What mor could you ask for? I like the use of different seasons to tell different parts of the Salamence's story in different "episodes" per say - helps showcase the nature of this fic pretty well.
Y-yeah, that was totally planned, and not just a way to make time pass more reasonably so that the Salamence's naps made sense.

...What? :p

Spring gives us our first actual fight, and it's a doozy. Of course, the Salamence pervaiils, and mercifully spares a few puppies in the process. Think of the puppies. ;_;
Krookodile: "What about me >_>"

Summer is where the Salamence finds a Trainer! Good for him! But he still maintains his typical air of superiority twoards other mons. Like that Krabby. Carcinization my ass.
Hey, a crab *did* properly escape from a dragon! They must surely be doing something right, evolutionary-wise. But yeah, this is where the world is winding down from the changes of spring and now the paths for potential changes are presented. Even if Taverna becoming a trained mon or more like a temporary Monstie or a temporary Ranger mon is more a story for another time.

And then Auttum is where he meeets his greatest challenge - som e OTHER dragon whjo thinks he's STRONGER and BETTER than him! This must be CHALLENGED. And it is challenged, in full glory, where -

...It just kind of ends. Mid fight. And I am kind of let down. I forget if this is a refrence to an event in a CERTAIN ROLEPLAY or the anime or soomething but I wanted to see more! Bit of a weird flex to put a cliffhanger in a ONESHOT.
This is my blessing and curse as a contest writer: the concepts for the stories might be good, but the constraints of the contest also mean having to drop scenes or cut the story where the added complexity would otherwise have made for a more enjoyable story (which hey, it also means being able to avoid the extra complexity). You precisely commented on that re: Overlord back in the day, I think? I don't recall exactly but yeah this is not the first time it happens and due to the very nature of contests it won't be the last.

But this was still very funny and ciute and stars second best Salamence. You know full well who's first. ;)
Thanks for letting me use precisely that Best Salamence for a story back in the day! And thanks for commenting on the story.

G'day to you, Venia! Hope you're doing great! Just popping in to read this fic and to give my thoughts on it.

So starting with some of my thoughts on Salamence. He's a dick, plain and simple. The power's gone to his head and he has the ego of the entire Isla, he has a superiority complex and likes to look down on others despite hating it when other look down on him (so he's a bit of a hypocrite). He's an interesting character to write about but he's not exactly likeable.
That's a pretty good snapshot of his mental place about right now, ten seconds before he opens up his fight with Ray, yeah :p You also point out to one of the precise factors that drive this current personality: he does have an entire island for himself. He's probably going to change his tune a bit (or grumble about it) when he finds out there are other, larger, better islands other dragons have.

Going into the mind of a narcissistic character is an interesting premise and I like the seasonal changes for the scenes, it has its own charm and I like the short season where Salamence bonds with a trainer and their Pokémon.
T-the seasonal changes were totally planned I swear d:

The ending was cool and a bit strange since does this mean Salamence's been living near Sky Pillar? Also, kinda a let down when the fight stops mid-way, would've been cool if you continued it but eh.
Ooooh no, not really anywhere close to Sky Pillar, but in functional terms you do hit the fact that the story takes place in "Rayquaza's home" (more than in "Taverna's home", this is just a place he took control over, as you mention of his personality). This is a home post-G3, let's just say if you were a big snek and some random kid woke you from your decades-long nap and you had to go smack Kyogre and Groudon silly and probably also have to deal with human armies / air forces while at it and also potentially blasting a meteor and an alien invader, you'd have good incentive definitively to take advantage of being able to pick any real estate on Earth as your next vacation spot.

Meta-wise, if we could say that the events of G3 take place somewhere in southern Japan, this story takes place somewhere along the Pacific coast anywhere between San Francisco, US, and Guadalajara, MX.

Yikes, he ate someone before?
Not necessarily, but I see the choice of words and choice of scene did give off that impression. It's more about he had to defend himself from lethal attackers, and if he had to bite and chomp down on humans to fend off, well, he had to. It was definitively not for feeding.

It'd probably be better if you added a 'he' before belly since this sentence made him sound like a baby for a moment.
Taking note of tis change in particular as one of those "won't need to wait for a full rewrite to fix", thanks!

You used the wrong pronoun for Krookodile.
gslgsrglrsbglhrbhrbhr whyyyyyy, thanks!

Is this a Dustox?
It's a Masquerain but yeah I def need to make that one more patent.

This sentence would probably be a bit better if you added 'the trouble of' between Salamence and 'having'.
Another change I'm taking note of, tho this will need some extra adaptation since that scene has to be changed a bit more anyway.

Aw man, a cliffhanger?
Welcome to my contest nightmare! :p

Take care! Keep doing what you love!
Thanks for taking the time! And will see what can I do re: more stories.

All in all, thanks everyone for the reviews and for considering this kind of oneshot. May your points rain down as a golden shower.
 
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