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Pokémon The Alola Pokedex

What summer project should I work on?

  • Walking With Pokemon: Clefable

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Walking With Pokemon: Mawile

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Walking With Pokemon: Vullaby

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Walking With Pokemon: Incineroar

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Haxorus Alola Dex Entry

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Steelix Alola Dex Entry

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Sandaconda Alola Dex Entry

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Aegislash Alola Dex Entry

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Landorus World Myth Encyclopedia Entry

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Zacian World Myth Encyclopedia Entry

    Votes: 1 12.5%

  • Total voters
    8
  • Poll closed .

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Noivern (Noibat)

Overview

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

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

Physiology

Noivern are classified as dual flying- and dragon-types. The dragon typing is disputed as noivern probably evolved apart from the “true dragons” descended from serpents. They are actually descendants of the pterosaurs such as aerodactyl. Scientists are unsure when and how the dragon-type evolved, or if it may have independently evolved several times. Noivern are reptilian like most dragons and are very competent at wielding draconic energy. There is fierce debate over whether pokémon other than true dragons should be allowed the dragon typing and, if so, whether ancient, extraterrestrial, or semi-mythical pokémon such as tyrantrum, guzzlord, and zygarde should be an exception. If noivern’s dragon typing is ever revoked, water, psychic, or normal are the most likely replacements.

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

Like most dragons, both noivern stages are warm blooded. The extinct and revived pterosaurs were and are also warm blooded. However, their large membranes require some behavioral supplements to their natural temperature control processes.

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

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

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

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

Noivern can grow up to 2.5 meters in length and weigh up to 25 kilograms. In the wild, noivern usually live for about twelve years. In captivity they have been recorded living for upwards of six decades.

Behavior

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

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

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

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

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

Husbandry

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

Some noibat and noivern are very accepting of pokéballs. Others will almost never enter them voluntarily. Be mindful of your pokémon’s preferences.

Noibat need a perch to hang from at night if they do not tolerate pokéballs. Noivern typically prefer to sleep near their trainer.

When content noivern purr in long, drawn out rumbles. When upset they rely on short but intense ultrasonic vibrations or high-pitched screeches. Tears are not a sign of sadness; they are simply a way of ridding the body of excess salt after dives in the ocean.

Young noibat can only really be housebroken by putting a tray under their preferred perch; as they get older they are rather easily trained.

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

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

Illness

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

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

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

Evolution

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

Battle

The European bluewing noivern is the main subspecies used in competitive battling. The remaining mountain noivern also see some use. Marine noivern are only used by trainers who cannot get their hands on one of the larger and louder subspecies.

All subspecies of noivern are moderately bulky, especially with the aid of roost or moonlight, and they are fast enough to avoid many hits. They are also devastatingly powerful; the bluewing noivern can pulverize granite boulders from a distance of five meters. While the marine noivern is nowhere near as powerful, they are equally fast and far more nimble. On the competitive pokémon scene bluewing or mountain noivern are used by several dragon specialists and a handful of quickstall users. Their main drawback compared to other large dragons is a lack of versatility in offensive options and lack of any especially powerful set-up moves. However noivern are one of the easiest dragons to train and they are fast and powerful enough to single-handedly defeat teams that are unprepared for them.

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

Noibat are best used as quick harassers that wear down their opponents through supersonic and/or toxic while firing off the occasional weak ranged attack. Powerful but undirected ultrasonic attacks can be used but hae the downside of hurting both trainers as much as the opposing pokémon, making them banned outside of properly walled stadiums.

Acquisition

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

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

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

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

Breeding

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

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

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

Subspecies

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

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

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

The mountain noivern used to live in the Alps, Atlas Mountains, Caucuses, southern Urals, portions of the Hindu-kush, and a handful of mountains in Japan. They are smaller than the bluewing noivern and primarily hunt small ungulates and mammals. Some rarely leave their caves at all and simply find prey inside of the caverns. Unfortunately, in the early 2000s most mountain noivern subspecies began displaying blackspot disease. The illness causes vomiting, high fevers, rapid cognitive decline, the formation of black sores, diarrhea, and ultimately death. There was originally no vaccine or even a proven method of managing the symptoms, especially the cognitive impairments. While this would have been bad enough for mountain noivern populations, the disease was communicable with humans. Amid mass hysteria and a public health crisis, several military forces and private hunters went into the mountains to kill as many noivern as they could. In the end a vaccine was developed and the disease was found to originate from rattata who carried the disease with no symptoms. A handful of mountain noivern remain in the Hindu-kush and a reintroduction attempt is being made in the Alps. There are approximately 300 in captivity worldwide.

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

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Dugtrio (Diglett)

Overview

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

Physiology

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

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

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

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

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

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

Behavior

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

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

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

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

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

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

Husbandry

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

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

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

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

Illness

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

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

Evolution

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

Battle

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

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

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

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

Acquisition

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

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

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

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

Breeding

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

Subspecies

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

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

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

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

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

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

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Fearow (Spearow)

Overview

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

Physiology

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

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

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

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

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

Behavior

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

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

Husbandry

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

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

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

Illness

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

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

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

Evolution

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

Battle

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

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

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

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

Acquisition

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

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

Breeding

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

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

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

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

Subspecies

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

The Florida fearow was driven extinct by a combination of DDT, an oil spill, and mercury poisoning in the 1960s. They were golden in color and slightly larger than the Pacific fearow. This subspecies had an unusual habit of building an elevated nest on top of a bibarel dam. This protected them from terrestrial predators and made it difficult for feraligatr to strike them from the water. Despite the somewhat smaller Asian feraligatr overlapping with the Japanese fearow’s range this adaptation has never been observed in Japan.
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Braviary (Rufflet)

Overview

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

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

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

Physiology

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

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

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

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

Behavior

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Husbandry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Illness

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

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

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

Evolution

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

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

Battle

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

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

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

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

Acquisition

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

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

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

Breeding

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

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

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

Subspecies

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

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
This week’s entry of The Alola Pokedex was commissioned by @OldschoolJohto

Downloading from The Alola Pokédex Online Appendix . . .​


Applin (Flapple, Appletun)

Overview

Myths of a source of knowledge and/or immortality guarded by flapple and appletun date back to at least 1500 BCE. The details vary from place to place. In the earlier versions gardens, mountains, or other domains of an ancient, powerful god were featured. Later on the garden morphed into a library. Several cultures made the myths into reality by building grand libraries and rearing applin in the courtyards. The most famous of these libraries were in Alexandria and Babylon, although others were built in Persepolis, Jerusalem, Rome, Ninevah, and Athens. In the medieval and modern eras few people seriously believed that an applin-guarded divine oracle or long-lost library was to be found. Still the lore around flapple and appletun as guardians of knowledge and health, respectively, ensured that they would remain common fixtures in universities and monasteries.

Upon being introduced to South and Central America applin had to search for a new host fruit due to the initial lack of apples. They ultimately found one in the pinap berry. The descendants of the first applin introduced to the new world ultimately became the tropical flapple and appletun. While they were long banned from Alola due to their potential impact on the pinap plantations, the declining importance of the crop has led to a relaxation of the ban in recent years. Today a handful of defunct plantations have been turned into tourist attractions revolving around pinap-clad dragons.

As far as dragons go neither flapple nor appletun are particularly difficult to care for. While they are far from the most powerful of dragons both are quite capable of keeping up through the end of the Island challenge.

Physiology

All stages of the evolutionary line are classified as dual grass- and dragon-types. Applin’s grass typing is often disputed as their berries are merely homes and disguises and not a part of their body. Still, applin can release chemicals that manipulate the berry. Some scholars contend that appletun or flapple should have, respectively, a poison or psychic typing due to their venom and telekinesis. There are good cases to be made for these typings. But as dragon-types are often capable of wielding many different types of elemental attacks there is a standing policy to keep the designated dragon typing when more than two typings are plausible. Grass remains the best secondary typing for flapple as they are physically fused with a plant. Appletun’s venom and poisons are plant derived.

Juvenile applin are small green lizards with short legs and a large pseudo head. Applin’s actual head is located below two large green stalks with eye spots. While these are capable of detecting light and movement, their actual mouth and eyes are located just below it. When predators strike for the head they are far more likely to hit the pseudo head than the actual one. Even by pokémon standards applin heal non-lethal wounds very quickly. Complete destruction of the tail or pseudo head can be healed within ten days.

Applin primarily live inside of their host pinap berry. Very large berries are created by appletun and flapple (see Breeding) for applin to live in. Shortly after birth applin will dig into a berry. Special chemicals secreted by applin prevent the fruit from rotting. Applin will fully consume up to five berries, steadily growing each time.

Flapple fuse with their final berry and use the chemically hardened peel as armor and a disguise. The pseudo-head stalks remain but are now primarily yellow with a small black dot in the center. This can make the stalks look like a seed. As with applin these stalks contain eye spots and are useful for detecting wind currents but are not the true eyes. Those are small and located near the stalk’s base. A set of crown-like horns juts from flapple’s head. The tips can secrete mild bromelain-based venom that can cause chemical burns to organic material. Flapple’s feet each have hairs that allow them to grip onto trees and other substances. Each arm and leg is also attached to a broad but thin slice of the original fruit’s husk. The lizards use these segments to glide from tree to tree.

The segments are also good for exploiting one of flapple’s signature abilities: vertical telekinesis, or gravity control. Several pokémon have a unique sort of telekinesis that has the effect of increasing, decreasing, or even reversing gravity in a certain area. Whether this ability actually warps a fundamental law of the universe or merely exerts telekinetic pressure to mimic the effect is presently a subject of fierce debate. In any case the combination of lowered gravity effects and high vertical air resistance can let flapple glide for up to 250 meters. This distance is seldom needed as flapple prefer to live in dense temperate or tropical forests.

Appletun are substantially bulkier and less agile than their counterpart and base form. Their heads are covered in a hard yellow dome that protects their brains, eyes, and ears. Only the strongest pokémon can pierce the dome outright, although some smarter pokémon realize that the bottom of appletun’s head is much less well protected. The main section of appletun’s body is overshadowed by its massive swollen back. Much of the back is actually hardened armor. In stable environments some is usually left hollow. In areas with more variable conditions appletun will usually keep the otherwise empty spaces full of reserve sugar and water.

Predators that can pierce or circumvent appletun’s armor must deal with their secondary line of defense: venom and poison. Both are bromelain based and extreme concentrated. Unless prepared in an extremely specific way appletun flesh can be lethally toxic to humans and most organic pokémon. Bromelain is a digestive enzyme that, combined with other chemicals in the acid, causes flesh to start breaking down on contact. Appletun can also spit this acid as venom and cause chemical burns or even decomposition of would-be nuisances.

Appletun are perhaps better known for a second substance they produce. Around the crown on top of their back appletun sometimes secrete sap. This sap is very sweet and, when diluted, is a common ingredient in high-end candies and baked goods. In higher concentrations it can also serve as a disinfectant. This, combined with appletun’s long lifespan, probably contributed to their mythical status as guardians of immortality.

Flapple typically grow up to 1.8 meters long and can weigh up to 15 kilograms. Appletun grow up to 1.5 meters long and can weigh up to 180 kilograms when full. Flapple typically live eight to eleven years. It is difficult to gauge appletun’s lifespan because by the time one dies of natural causes the records of their birth have almost always been lost.

Behavior

Applin do very little. When one berry is almost exhausted they will briefly leave their old home behind and find another. In the meantime they digest the inside of the berry and produce chemicals to harden the outside, signal their presence to conspecifics, and prevent rot.

Flapple are arboreal year-round in the tropics. They rest in the high branches of trees at night and jump between them in the day to find food, escape prey, or play with other pokémon. Flapple are insectivores and use their keen sense of hearing to detect insect colonies inside of trees. The horn is then used to penetrate the bark before flapple lap up small bugs with their long tongue. Small bug-type pokémon can also fall prey, either by being physically overpowered or through a clever strategy. Flapple will often leap above potential prey while carrying a rock or hard seed or fruit. Their gravity manipulation powers are then used to launch the object beneath them and strike small or poorly armored animals or pokémon. The flapple will then descend to the ground, use their acids to start partially dissolving the meal and then use their tongue and teeth to lap up the liquified parts and chew the remaining solid bits.

Once in a while a curious flapple will descend closer to the ground to observe humans or other species. Sometimes they play games with other flapple, pokémon, animals, or people. This curiosity and the ingenuity of their hunting method likely earned them their reputation for cleverness and knowledge.

Appletun live exclusively on the forest floor. Most of their time is spent grazing on grasses and shrubs. Despite being grass-types merged with a plant, appletun struggle to produce their own chlorophyll and prefer to steal chlorophyll or sucrose from other plants. When they are not seeking out food or water, appletun are typically sunning themselves or sleeping. At night appletun burrow a few centimeters into the ground to protect their underside from ready attack. In temperate climes appletun almost entirely submerge themselves in dirt during the winter. Once in a great while an appletun will engage with something curious in their environment. While they live in large social groups (especially when compared to the mostly solitary flapple), appletun almost never interact with nearby conspecifics.

Husbandry

Applin are best left undisturbed in a warm, moist area. They do not typically interact with their surroundings and are best left alone in the presence of another berry to move into as needed. Many trainers who own an applin leave them at a breeder until evolution as applin react poorly to pokéballs. The pokémon itself is not merged with the berry and every time it is withdrawn it is taken out of its food source and home. Flapple and appletun do not form any especially strong bonds with trainers who watched over them as an applin.

Flapple are very energetic pokémon with reasonable intelligence and high curiosity. This can make them resource and time intensive to care for. Still, they are highly unlikely to harm their trainer or cause extensive property damage. This qualifies them as one of the easier dragon-types to care for.

Stationary trainers should design at least one room to be flapple friendly. This space should have several hiding or climbing places off the ground at different heights. At least one five+ meter gliding alley should be established. A heat lamp will be needed and natural or very good artificial sunlight exposure is necessary for regenerating their plant-based body parts. Ideally several toys will be provided and rotated out once the pokémon gets bored with them.

Traveling trainers or those without resources to build a dedicated flapple enclosure can still keep the species so long as sufficient play opportunities are presented. Visits to forested parks, especially ones the flapple has not been to before, are good for entertainment. The bunk beds in most Pokémon Center rooms can also keep a flapple occupied for a while. Games involving vertical and horizontal space such as games of catch or frisbee in a forested area or near buildings can also work. Some flapple enjoy climbing on their trainers. They should be allowed to do this for bonding and stimulation.

Flapple are not easily housebroken but can be gradually taught to use a litter box or pan. A large pan placed on the floor of a flapple enclosure is usually the best way to do this as the pokémon can come to see it as a game to hit the pan while gliding above it. At first they are often quite messy and a large tarp should be laid down over the pan. Litter boxes placed at elevation and designed to mimic a tree hollow are sometimes used. In any case it is easiest if another lizard teaches the flapple where to go.

Most commercial insect fixes are good for flapple, with whole bug-types provided as an occasional treat. They are greedy and will overeat if allowed to do so. Daily intake should be limited to 5% to 10% of body weight, depending upon how often injuries must be healed. Flapple are strongly averse to pokéball confinement.

Appletun are comparatively subdued. Enrichment can be limited to shell stroking and the occasional introduction of balls or other simple toys. Please note that sticky or sharp areas of the shell should not be petted. The underside of appletun’s head and neck are very good stroking spots for trusting appletun. Heat lamps and/or sun balls are highly recommended, although appletun are usually quite comfortable living outside in Alola. Fencing should extend beneath the ground as appletun enjoy digging and will often attempt to escape from their home. Be aware that appletun will often attempt to dig burrows outside. Trainers concerned with pitfalls in their yard should fill any burrows with stone after they are discovered.

Most of appletun’s day in the wild is spent searching for food. Even in captivity appletun should be given a few hours a day to eat leafy greens or forage under the sun. At night pokéball use is perfectly acceptable, although some appletun prefer to cuddle with their trainers. Trainers wishing to do so should be advised that appletun will often try to burrow into the mattress at night. The pokémon are also prone to urinating or defecating whenever they want as walking all the way to a litter box and back can seem like an unnecessary hassle for a slow-moving species.

Appletun trainers will also need to consider where the pokémon shall live upon their trainers death. This alone can make them more of a hassle to care for than the energetic but short-lived flapple.

Illness

Most flapple illnesses result in daytime lethargy or a loss of appetite. If these symptoms manifest the environment should first be assessed. Has the flapple been unusually cold recently? Trips to the mountains or even excessive air conditioning can cause respiratory infections or other illnesses. Rectal tract blockage or pain from a recent injury can also result in a loss of appetite or apparent illness. If cool weather can be ruled out the flapple should be taken to a veterinarian at the first opportunity.

Most appletun problems stem from either respiratory infections or prolapsed organs. Respiratory infections often have visible symptoms such as discharges from the eye, nose, or mouth. Routine anorexia or lethargy can also be symptoms. Unfortunately appletun respiratory infections can be difficult to treat and may not heal for several months even if caught early. In the worst cases they can be fatal.

Organ prolapse occurs when there is too much of a buildup of the species’ non-water-soluble uric acid. The hard mass of urea will accidentally press tissue or even entire organs out of the cloaca. These organs can wither or even rot outside of the body. Do not attempt to reinsert these tissues. Go to a veterinarian at the soonest possible opportunity. Keep the appletun in its pokéball as much as possible, even if they must be withdrawn for several days. In an emergency appletun can go for some time without eating.

Given applin’s general lack of visible behaviors it is extremely difficult to notice their illnesses. Even attempting to observe symptoms can cause undue stress. As such most applin illnesses become fatal before they are noticed at all.

Evolution

Once applin are sufficiently grown they enter their final berry. Rather than consuming it they begin to physically merge with the fruit. Over the course of several weeks the fusion will be completed before the new flapple or appletun emerge. New flapple appear when the husk begins cracking into distinct segments. The flapple will uncurl and rush off, the reptilian body now exposed. Appletun take longer to evolve. Their head and legs slowly begin to poke out through the newly hardened fruit. Even after they begin to move it can take months before the tail is fully developed and the shell reaches its final appearance.

Flapple grow for about eighteen months after evolution. It takes newly evolved appletun over three decades to reach their final size.

Battle

Applin should not be battled with. They find the experience jarring and are unlikely to do much of anything in their own defense.

Flapple are relatively fast attackers. When offensively pressured by an opponent they cannot avoid they can always curl up in such a way that their armor forms a complete berry-shaped shield. Unfortunately flapple’s greatest advantage, flight, is very limited in most arenas. Even between gravity control and dragon dance flapple can struggle to maneuver in the air. Clever tactics and a lucky set up can allow for sweeping amateur teams but at the professional level flapple struggles to find a niche against larger, fully flighted dragons.

Appletun is a solid grass-type wall. Their shell is remarkably resistant to even heat damage and very short cold shocks can be shrugged off. While opponents struggle to break through their shell appletun can spew acidic spit to wear the opponent down or use recovery moves to repair minor damage. Despite their bulk, appletun suffer three major weaknesses. First, appletun spit can only go so far. All other offensive attacks are a little lacking. This makes appletun struggle in matchups against ranged attackers. Second, appletun are near helpless if something manages to knock them on their side. Third, appletun acid only works on organic pokémon. Ghosts and steel-types can present potentially insurmountable challenges to appletun. Still, against organic melee attackers appletun is a very solid wall that has seen some use on competitive circuits.

Acquisition

Wild applin, flapple, and appletun populations have yet to properly establish themselves. Currently the only members of the species in Alola are owned by game parks, universities and other schools, and private trainers. Every institution has its own rules for capture. The Royal Trainer’s School allows students to capture a single applin for their own use. Game preserves often allow capture opportunities for a price. For the average person routine adoption or purchase is the easiest way to get a member of the line.

Applin and Appletun require a Class I license to adopt or purchase. Flapple require a Class III license to possess.

Breeding

The evolutions of applin reproduce in two ways. The first is the creation of suitable berries. Appletun and flapple can chemically alter pinap berries with their saliva, causing them to grow far larger but more toxic. Appletun-nourished berries usually cause an applin who fuses with it to become an appletun. Flapple-nourished berries always produce more flapple. Flapple’s higher nourishment and reproduction rate ensures that where flapple are well-suited there will be a comparative abundance of them. A small population of the more durable appletun will always remain to potentially restart the species in the area if the flapple population dies off due to short term stress.

Flapple mate after elaborate gliding displays. The father immediately leaves. About six weeks later the mother will set down near pinap berries, dig a burrow, and deposit roughly a dozen eggs into the burrow before covering it back up. The new applin will emerge and seek out nourished berries to dig into.

Appletun mating is comparatively casual. Two appletun will stand next to each other and the male will insert his phallus into the female’s cloaca. In roughly fifteen months three dozen eggs will be laid and buried. The male and female will take turns guarding the eggs until they hatch after another three months.

Flapple and appletun produced applin are nearly identical and can evolve into either.

Subspecies

The temperate, Eurasian, or original applin are native to a stretch of land between Central Asia to Western Europe. The one notable exception is Kalos. During the Kalosian revolution flapple was placed on the state seal and were deliberately introduced to “People’s Orchards” around the region. When the counter-revolution came and the Enlightenment-loving revolutionary government was removed from power the Archbishop of the Church of Life ordered the gathering of every apple, flapple, and appletun in the region to Lumiose. They were all held in one central pen and lit on fire in front of thousands of onlookers. The Church has stridently lobbied against any attempts to allow applin into the country again. In mainland Europe radical leftists still embrace applin as a symbol of their movement.

Temperate applin bond to apples over pinap berries. As a result they are slightly smaller and produce a cyanide-based acid instead of bromelain. They also only have a single spike on their crown. Temperate flapple dig underground and enter brumation in the winters. The appletun bury almost their entire body before hibernating. Temperate appletun are surprisingly cold resistant and can tolerate having the upper portions of their shell exposed through a Northern European or Central Asian winter.
 

OldschoolJohto

Never not editing
Pronouns
She/Her
Partner
solrock
The horn is then used to penetrate the bark before flapple lap up small bugs with their long tongue. Small bug-type pokémon can also fall prey, either by being physically overpowered or through a clever strategy. Flapple will often leap above potential prey while carrying a rock or hard seed or fruit. Their gravity manipulation powers are then used to launch the object beneath them and strike small or poorly armored animals or pokémon. The flapple will then descend to the ground, use their acids to start partially dissolving the meal and then use their tongue and teeth to lap up the liquified parts and chew the remaining solid bits.
Good murderbaby.


Flapple are not easily housebroken but can be gradually taught to use a litter box or pan.
This is the first one that has sounded exactly up my alley. This I could manage.


Enlightenment-loving revolutionary government was removed from power the Archbishop of the Church of Life ordered the gathering of every apple, flapple, and appletun in the region to Lumiose. They were all held in one central pen and lit on fire in front of thousands of onlookers.
Eep. But hell yes Flappletun for the far left!

❤
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Mandibuzz (Vullaby)

Overview

Mandibuzz are widely known as a female-only species take great pains to adorn themselves but never seem to attract a male to mate with. This is mostly propaganda. In the 1940s the United States introduced mandibuzz to Alola to bond with the existing braviary. The juxtaposition of brave warrior birds protecting stereotypically feminine “civilians” was used to motivate troops by reminding them of home.

Even at the time scientists largely knew that this image was partially false. Mandibuzz are hermaphrodites that lay and fertilize eggs. Their adornments are partially to attract mates but are also used for hunting and to satisfy their own vanity. The mates they attract are other female mandibuzz. While they are often portrayed as carnivores, mandibuzz are carrion birds with jaws too weak to pierce the skin of many pokémon. This misinformation was spread because their scavenging is far more reliable than braviary’s hit-or-miss approach of hunting large aquatic game. Sometimes the mandibuzz feed the braviary. This undercuts the image of brave soldier birds.

Mandibuzz are relatively intelligent and social birds. Many trainers are surprised to learn that in captivity they are actually very clean eaters and reliable groomers with the added bonus of being easily housebroken for a bird. While their bone decorations can be a little expensive, they need to be replaced infrequently enough that mandibuzz are not substantially costlier to care for than the average large bird.

It should be noted here that, like gumshoos, mandibuzz ownership carries political subtext. Specifically the vultures are very popular among LGBT trainers. A female trainer with a mandibuzz will probably be read as lesbian more often than not. Mandibuzz were used for decades as a small sign of self-expression and a means of identifying other lesbian trainers. This has only become common knowledge in the last few years as many, but not all, mandibuzz trainers have publicly revealed their sexual orientation. The intersex community also uses mandibuzz as a symbol. This has caused some public conflict between activists over which group has a better claim to the species.

Physiology

Both stages are classified as dual dark- and flying-types. This typing is uncontroversial.

Vullaby are small and plump birds. Most of their plumage is brown, black, or grey. Hatchlings have pure white down feathers. Aside from a small tuft on top of their head, vullaby have no feathers on their head or neck. Their wings are very small and vullaby are functionally flightless. A fluffy collar of soft feathers rings their neck. In addition to being flightless, vullaby are ungainly on land and must awkwardly waddle around.

Mandibuzz have long wings. The feathers at the tips of the wings are lighter than those towards the base. Vullaby’s collar has grown into a mess of long and fluffy feathers that extends onto the chest. Mandibuzz also gain a skirt of similar feathers to keep them and their chicks warm. Upon evolution a mandibuzz’s tail grows in length. Young mandibuzz retain a hair tuft; older birds have entirely bald necks and heads. Mandibuzz have powerful wing muscles to compensate for their own weight.

Mandibuzz reach a maximum wingspan of two meters. Unadorned mandibuzz typically weigh about ten kilograms but bone ornaments can raise this to twelve or even fifteen kilograms. Mandibuzz can live up to fifty years in captivity or thirty in the wild.

Behavior

Contrary to popular belief, mandibuzz are exclusively scavengers. In fact their beaks are so weak that they struggle to break the skin of many pokémon. This leads to symbiotic relationships between mandibuzz prides and other large birds. In Alola, Galar, and parts of North America this relationship is formed with braviary companies, but in other parts of their range the prides attach to birds such as harpyre, rherhea, or South Island decidueye.

Mandibuzz play a key role in the lives of Alola’s rufflet. While braviary are off hunting, some of the mandibuzz pride will stay back and keep an eye on the rufflet and vullaby. Others will fly over the land and use their keen sense of smell to find recently dead pokémon. The mandibuzz carries an older rufflet with them when they hunt. When a carcass is found the rufflet is dropped off on a tree branch. The mandibuzz will then carry the carcass up into the tree where the rufflet will cut it open. Both birds will share in the kill and the mandibuzz will pick out any bones she wants for herself or her vullaby. The pair will then return to the pride’s nesting grounds.

The adornment of vullaby is primarily for defensive purposes. The young birds are periodically given skulls or other bones to guard themselves with. The bones are held in place with the thick, sticky spit of their mothers. Dense bone plating guards all the most vulnerable areas of a vullaby.

Mandibuzz adorn themselves with bones partially for defense. Some bones are carefully hidden under their feathers to safeguard organs. Others are visible. These bones are believed to be used for similar purposes to jewelry in humans. They are partially used for attracting mates, partially as a sign of their ability to successfully provide for their pride, and partially for simple self-expression. When members of two prides meet they often trade ideas for adornment. Trendsetting mandibuzz can have their fashion innovations spread across their entire archipelago in a matter of weeks.

Mandibuzz occasionally kill cubone. They only do this when food is abundant and there is leisure time. A mated pair or an unmated female and one of her mothers will perch in cubone habitat. When a cubone is alone, one mandibuzz will swoop down in front of it and begin to act aggressively. The goal is to take the cubone’s club, but sufficient distraction will also work. When the cubone is open the other mandibuzz will fly in from behind, grab the cubone, and fly it into the air. After catching a thermal and rising as high as possible, the cubone will be dropped. If it survives the impact the process will be repeated as much as necessary. Cubone clubs are considered to be extremely valuable for ornamentation and their skulls, intact or cracked, are good for protection.

Prides tend to consist of five to eight mated pairs, a handful of unmated young adults, and their children. Young adults occasionally move between prides. While children are attached to their parents, childcare and almost all other tasks sans hunting and bone gathering are communal. Sick birds will be supported by other pride members.

Husbandry

Mandibuzz are relatively self-sufficient. They are easily housebroken and keep themselves clean. Mandibuzz and older vullaby will happily eat almost all forms of meat. Unlike most carnivorous birds, they will eat kibble on occasion. Raw or cooked meat is strongly preferred, though. In most areas it is legal to let mandibuzz scavenge on their own as they do not actively kill their prey. They will need to be accompanied by another pokémon capable of slicing skin open when prey is found. Some mandibuzz have learned how to use knives. This allows them to scavenge unsupervised. However, mandibuzz often see knives as very valuable bones and refuse to give them back under any circumstances.

Mandibuzz will often get their bones from their prey. Gifted bones will make them exceptionally happy. Cubone clubs and skulls are viewed as the highest quality bones of them all. A handful of specialty stores sell bones for mandibuzz. Vullaby will need proper skulls and feather-safe glue to secure them in place. If there is no mandibuzz around to do it, the trainer should either take lessons on bone crafting or have their armor custom made by a professional. Both options can be rather expensive.

Both mandibuzz and vullaby are very affectionate. While resting they prefer to cuddle with their trainer. They will often groom long-haired trainers whether or not it is wanted. Sometimes mandibuzz will present their trainer with interesting bones or shiny rocks or bits of metal as gifts. Wearing these will make the pokémon very happy. Many trainers are shocked to know that mandibuzz only communicate in growls and whistles. They do not have the ability to chirp or make many common bird sounds.

Vullaby will tolerate pokéballs for up to twelve hours a day. Pokéball tolerance varies by mandibuzz but most prefer to spend their day scavenging or socializing and their night near their trainer or teammates. The relative safety and comfort of pokéballs allow for neither and are therefore often rejected.

Mandibuzz are very caring Pokémon. They will look out for young teammates, children, and even their trainer. Several guides list mandibuzz as one of the best pokémon for households with young children as the birds will happily guard and play with infants, toddlers, and preteens. Teenagers hold less interest to mandibuzz, although teens going through goth, emo, or punk phases still manage to pique the bird’s attention due to the similarities between the fashion and their own plumage. Dark clothing, long (or no) hair, and many accessories are good ways to gain a mandibuzz or vullaby’s trust.

Illness

Between their powerful guts and obsessive grooming, mandibuzz almost never get sick. That does not mean that humans and other birds cannot get sick from them. Mandibuzz that scavenge naturally or eat raw meat tend to have a variety of illness-causing bacteria on their faces and in their droppings. Their waste should be handled with care and kept away from other birds. Cuddling and direct contact should only be done after a mandibuzz has had its face washed with warm water. Soap can irritate their skin and should be avoided.

Evolution

Vullaby grow in a series of growth spurts. Each can increase their weight by two to ten percent. These are very normal in vullaby and do not necessarily signal the approach of evolution. After large growth spurts mandibuzz (and trainers) must find the vullaby a new set of protective bone plating to wear. Around their fifth birthday vullaby begin to properly evolve. They will reject new sets of armor and gain thicker plumage over their entire body. Over the course of four to six months vullaby’s neck will grow much, much longer and their wings become stronger.

In the wild evolution grants a mandibuzz almost all rights and privileges of a member of the pride. A few move to a different pride at this time to preserve genetic diversity. Once courtship is completed and a mate is selected (see Breeding), mandibuzz lose their head tuft and become full adults.

Battle

Mandibuzz are bulky birds. Unfortunately for them, skarmory and corviknight are bulkier and have more offensive power through sharp beaks and wings. Mandibuzz have barely any power at all and are only really able to injure foes through toxic. While they are durable for birds, possessing relatively dense skeletons and external armor, they are still mid-sized birds relying on bone armor. On the competitive circuits most offensive pokémon will wear them down before succumbing to poison damage. In addition to the metallic birds, dragons, mantine, and gliscor all perform the same role with either better bulk or more offensive power to compensate.

On the island challenge mandibuzz are less restricted. For the first few islands they will have enough power to hurt their foes and at the end of the challenge they will still be bulky enough to use a combination of roost, protect, substitute, and toxic poisoning to stall out many opponents. Offensive moves such as dark pulse or heat wave can help wear down opponents. Pokémon that take no damage from most poisons can cause mandibuzz serious trouble.

Vullaby are quite capable of pulling off a similar strategy. What they lack in mobility is made up for by greater protection. Due to the need to move their body and a heavy external shell, when the shell is removed or chipped away they can move somewhat quickly and strike with more power than would be expected from a young bird. Nasty plot can help make vullaby either powerful bulky special attackers or relative glass cannons. Unfortunately, by the later islands vullaby will be too weak to do much damage to opponents even after a boost.

Acquisition

Mandibuzz prides are typically found near braviary companies along the coasts of Alola. Conversely to braviary, mandibuzz are fiercely protective of their offspring but often willing to accompany trainers themselves. Wild vullaby can only be obtained by humans who have been well accepted by a pride through frequent visits and occasional gifts of meat and bones. Mandibuzz have some understanding of human culture and will occasionally gift a chick to the child of a human they are very close to as the kid embarks on their journey.

For the most part mated mandibuzz are content to remain where they are. Unmated mandibuzz can sometimes be impressed by gifts of bones and displays of power and friendship with other birds, especially birds of prey such as braviary, noctowl, and talonflame. Trainers with interesting clothing or accessories also get more attention than those with boring style choices. Mandibuzz also have a fascination with transgender trainers (especially those who very recently started hormone replacement therapy), intersex trainers, and female presenting trainers in a relationship with another female-presenting person.

Vullaby eggs can be purchased from some breeders and specialty stores but they are often rather expensive. Both stages may be acquired with a Class III license.

Breeding

Mandibuzz courtship takes place over the course of months or years as a prospective pair spend increasingly more time around each other and give several gifts. Mutual grooming is common. When the relationship is consummated both birds lose their head crests. Mandibuzz are ground nesting birds in most of their range but tend to build slightly elevated nests in Alola to deal with rattata. Their nests can be up to three meters across and are at minimum big enough to hold several chicks and both adults. The nests are often decorated with bones and interesting looking and smelling artifacts and branches.

A pair usually produces one litter whenever all chicks have evolved. There is no set breeding season. In some pair one partner will always lay the eggs and the others will always fertilize them. Others switch between litters.

In captivity mandibuzz generally form their strongest bond with their trainer. This often entirely precludes proper pairing and mating unless both birds were raised by humans from before their evolution and come to view them as parents rather than mates. Because of this complication and the difficulty of obtaining wild vullaby, mandibuzz breeding is best left to professionals.

Subspecies

Mandibuzz are found across almost all of North and South America and have been introduced to Galar and Alola. Both regions have had the northeastern mandibuzz introduced as they are the only subspecies that naturally partners with braviary. Most subspecies are similar in appearance and ecological role to the northeastern mandibuzz even if they bond with other raptors.

The most visually distinct subspecies is the Amazonian mandibuzz. These birds have white feathers over almost all of their body except for a black fringe at the edge of their wings. They are best known for their colorful necks and faces. Blue, purple, red, yellow, green, and orange are found in some pattern on almost all Amazonian mandibuzz. Rather than bones, these birds primarily display and attract mates through their natural coloration. Due to their relationship with harpyre, Amazonian mandibuzz have fire resistant feathers and a remarkable tolerance for smoke inhalation. Their blood is full of toxic chemicals from the smoke and makes them even more dangerous to eat than most subspecies. The subspecies is currently the only one assigned a poison- and flying-typing.
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Primeape (Mankey)

Overview

Despite being among the closest pokémon relatives to humans, primate pokémon are some of the hardest to train. This is because humans have similar anatomy but often radically different mindsets than most other primates. Simple human behaviors such as eye contact and smiling can convince primate pokémon that they are facing a challenger to their mates, food, or territory.

Primeape are the textbook example for these problems. Eye contact or bared teeth will instantly set them on the warpath against other primates, humans included. Even intrusion into their space or being near the pokémon’s typical feeding area can lead to fights. Because primape are strong enough to break steel in a few hits these are not fights the trainer can win.

Primeape are not recommended for beginners. Experienced pokémon trainers with an abundance of patience, a gentle presence, and at least one other pokémon strong enough to shut down challenges might be interested in training one.

Physiology

Both evolutionary stages are classified as pure fighting-types. The ruling is not controversial.

Mankey have very thick fur that hides the general shape of their body and makes them appear substantially larger than they are. The fur on their paws and at the tip of their tail tends to be slightly darker than that on the rest of their body. Mankey have long and powerful limbs. Both their hands and feet have long digits that can be moved independently of each other. Mankey’s long tails are prehensile. Like primeape, mankey have large and prominent ears and pink noses that extend out of their fur.

In most ways primeape resemble a larger mankey. There are even scientists who argue that they should be merged into a single evolutionary stage. However, primeape have two notable external differences. First, primeape have pads over their buttocks referred to as sex glands. These are typically filled with blood and appear to be red. When a females ovulate her pads swell to signal her willingness to mate. Second, primeape’s tails are proportionally much shorter than those of mankey.

Primeape are built to be flushed with adrenaline for long periods of time without serious damage. Their muscles repair themselves quickly, they have powerful hearts and lungs, and blood can be diverted from their brain towards their muscles without many consequences as a fight wears on. This allows primeape to continue fights or pursue intruders for far longer than any other primate pokémon species can. Primape’s brains are almost uniquely capable of operating with minimal blood flow for extended periods of time.

Contrary to popular depictions, primeape and mankey are usually quadrupedal unless climbing or trying to make themselves appear bigger to intimidate opponents.

Male primeape can grow up to 1.2 meters long from their nose to the end of their tail. They can weigh up to 25 kilograms. Females seldom reach fifteen kilograms. Both males and females typically live for about forty years in the wild or sixty in captivity.

Behavior

Primeape live in strictly patriarchal troops. One male holds absolute authority and sires almost all children. The other males and females are kept in line. Non-dominant males in the troop behave much like females and assist in the childrearing of the troop’s children (see Breeding).

Unsuccessful challengers to a troop’s dominant male end in the challenger’s death. Successful challengers leave the dominant male alive and do not kill his children to help maintain the loyalty of the new troop. Formerly dominant males also assist in defending the troop or in hunts. When a male primeape evolves they are kicked out. The newly evolved pokémon has a right of challenge, although failure ends in death. As such this option is seldom taken. Primeape who do not challenge their troop’s dominant male will head out to find a bachelor troop or, rarely, a human trainer, and train in hopes of future conquest.

Genetic diversity in troops is maintained by “raids.” These occur when all male primeape in a troop attack another troop at night and drag female mankey back to their camp. In a rare display of female social power these mankey have the right to visit their old troop so long as they return to their new one by sundown. Mankey approaching evolution will sometimes steal infants away for the day in mock raids. If the baby is killed or seriously injured during the course of the practice raid the offending male will be publicly executed by dismemberment.

Despite their aggressive reputation, primeape are almost entirely herbivorous. All troop members forage for grains, vegetables, and fruit during the day. While primape are omnivorous most of the flesh they consume is insects and small non-pokémon animals. These hunts appear to be more for sport than nutrition. In times of extreme scarcity the males may band together to hunt larger pokémon. Because food is abundant in Alola this has never been observed in the archipelago.

Unlike the other primates in Alola, ambipom, passimian, and oranguru, primeape do not make their homes in the trees. Instead they live on cliffs, either inland or by the coast, and use their long limbs and prehensile tails to climb up and down the rockworks. Because they do not eat eggs coastal birds usually leave them alone. Primeape are only preyed upon by the largest predators in Alola. Of those only salamence and metagross regularly attack a troop in their home.

Like most primates, primeape engage in social grooming to build bonds and maintain cleanliness.

Husbandry

The difficult process of bonding with a mankey or primeape is detailed in the Acquisition section. This section deals exclusively with caring for a pokémon that is already relatively docile.

In captivity mankey and primeape should be fed a mix of nuts, berries, tubers, vegetables, and grain. Fresh food is best but dried or canned food can work when on the trail for less than a week. Primate biscuits are relatively expensive but make for good treats. Peanut butter, honey, and commercially available cereals also make for good treats. Treats are best administered in puzzles, such as PVC pipe systems that must be manipulated in certain ways to get the treat out or by placing the treat in a frozen block of ice.

Both stages should be groomed at least once a day every day to keep them relatively docile. The pokémon will occasionally attempt to groom their trainer’s back and should be allowed to do so. Primeape are surprisingly fond of small cute pokémon and will frequently play with them. This also helps keep them calm. Mirrors and very durable toys can work as enrichment objects. Rubber and metal playsets can also work so long as the pokémon is monitored to keep them from trying to eat inedible components. Very friendly primeape and mankey can be played with using laser pointers. Curiously, wind chimes have a very strong calming effect on primape.

The biggest difficulty in caring for the line, and primeape in particular, is avoiding accidental displays of aggression. Primeape communicate friendly intentions through grunts and tongue clicking. These should be done often around primeape and mankey. Screams, barks, eyebrow raising, staring, eye contact, teeth baring, yawning while looking at the pokémon, and hitting the ground signal aggression. Because barking is an aggressive signal it is best to not raise primeape and particularly exciteable canines on the same team. More withdrawn canines such as ninetales (but not vulpix), umbreon, and manectric can work as partners. Pokémon with a penchant for staring, such as mime sr., are incompatible with primeape.

Primeape are relatively intelligent and considerate pokémon when in a healthy relationship with their trainer. They are easily housebroken and will sometimes attempt to help with housework. While they can be trusted to babysit children and young pokémon, other help should be politely declined as primeape have a tendency to accidentally break objects.

Illness

Sick primeape and mankey often show similar symptoms to sick humans. Mild respiratory illnesses are best treated through humidity and Vitamin C. Anything more severe should be handled by a veterinarian as sick primeape can be incredibly temperamental.

The alpine primeape’s population has been sharply reduced over the last thirty years by an infectious venereal disease. Any male primeape that becomes infected with the bacteria will at minimum become sterile and will typically die slowly and painfully over the course of the next month. The Japanese government has prohibited the exportation or capture of alpine primeape since 1995 and has culled or removed most lowland primeape in the area to prevent the illness from spreading. The quarantine procedures have been successful, if controversial, as of press time.

Evolution

Mankey typically evolve around their second birthday. Unlike most species frequent battle does not result in faster growth rates. The formal demarcation of evolution and the point where male primeape are kicked out of the troop and female primeape are eligible reproductive partners is the first swelling of the sex glands.

Battle

Primeape, and especially the Chinese primeape, are ferocious battlers with very strong attacks. Outside of China they are still relatively unpopular choices due to the difficulty in training them. Other fighting-types such as machamp and hariyama can hit even harder and tank more hits. Primeape’s agility is impressive, but hawlucha are stronger and faster than primeape and have the ability to take to the air. Furthermore, even well-trained primeape are known to ignore orders during the heat of battle.

Hawlucha are banned from most state-sanctioned tournaments in China. The ban, combined with the cultural significance of primeape (see Subspecies), has led to primeape being reasonably popular as a revenge killer and wallbreaker. Their ability to jump rather high in the air and strike birds with a thunder or ice energy-infused punch makes primeape relatively effective anti-air pokémon.

Any trainer who can command a primeape is unlikely to need it on the island challenge. In any case, primeape and mankey function best when they hit hard and fast and never give the opponent a moment to rest. More complicated strategies are generally inadvisable because primeape may ignore critical orders and doing anything other than attacking gives opponents a chance to exploit the pokémon’s relative frailty. Training should focus on power, jumping, and use of elemental moves.

Acquisition

Primeape are most commonly found on the coastal cliffs of Melemele and Poni. During the day they can be found in plains and forests near their home base. There are two approaches to capturing one. Recently evolved male primeape and male mankey close to evolution will sometimes challenge a nearby trainer to test their strength. If the trainer is successful, the pokémon will agree to come along with relatively little fuss. As male primeape are larger than females and this approach involves less resistance, it is the better path when possible. Unfortunately it requires relying on a primeape or mankey to make a given decision.

Proactive primeape hunting must target females. This approach, as well as the first, works better for male trainers. If a female primeape is found hunting alone she can be ambushed. After a few attacks land, capture can be attempted. This simulates a raid and makes the female more inclined to trust their trainer than they might otherwise be. However, if the trainer plans to frequently leave the primeape’s home range they will break the implicit promises that underpin raids in the wild. This will cause the female to become extremely rebellious for several months or even years.

Calming primeape down requires acting in a dominant role. Many trainers mistake dominance for cruelty, which it is not. Instead trainers should set clear boundaries and enforce them through mild punishments. A stronger pokémon than the primeape should be kept on hand for at least the first few weeks in order to quash challenges. Rewards and attempted bonding should be more common than punishments. Eventually the primeape will give in and start accepting treats and grooming. Many trainers are initially scared that this is only an act of deception but primeape seldom bother to hide their true intentions. Rejecting attempts at reconciliation will only drive the primeape further away.

Mankey can be captured with a Class IV license or adopted or purchased with a Class III. Primeape require a Class IV license to obtain.

Breeding

In the wild female primeape in heat will approach the dominant male and display her sex glands. Occasionally a formerly dominant male will elope with a female in secret. This is one of the few times that primeape engage in deceptive behavior.

Pregnancy typically lasts ten to twelve weeks at which point a single mankey will be born. All members of the troop collectively care for the children. Surprisingly even the males are very fond of infants and will let the baby crawl all over them. Zoo populations have been known to treat small pokémon that enter their enclosure as beloved pets. Trainer-owned primeape often help raise smaller or younger pokémon and are even competent at caring for human infants.

Captive breeding is not recommended outside of zoos. Males that lead a troop tend to behave very aggressively towards all humans, including formerly trusted trainers.

Subspecies

Buddhist monks brought lowland primeape to Alola in the early Nineteenth Century. These primeape are native to the central regions of Japan. Unlike the Alolan population they tend to live on the walls of canyons and in the rocky cliffs near glacial highlands.

Alpine primeape are native to the mountains of Sinnoh. They are well known for their fluffy white fur and fondness for bathing in hot springs. Far and away the calmest subspecies, alpine primeape routinely venture into small settlements on Mt. Tengan. They are a tourist attraction in Kannagi Town due to their fearlessness. Locals are very tolerant of the pokémon and they have historically protected each other from threats. The alpine primeape conservation program is formally based in Kannagi, although most of the employees work in the larger city of Tobari.

Chinese primeape are the largest and most famous subspecies due to their prominent role in Chinese folklore. Buddhist monks in particular have a long history of raising primeape. Managing to bond with creatures famous for their powerful rage was a sign of spiritual power. Conveniently, the primeape also made powerful allies in eras where Buddhism was disfavored.

Chinese primeape are classified as dual fighting- and fairy-types due to the variety of strange tricks they can wield, such as distorting the size of objects. Magic, while a nebulous concept in and of itself, is often associated with the Chinese primeape. They are said to have been the guardians of heaven and the peaks. Chinese primeape are one of the few pokémon known to practice agriculture and have selectively bred peaches for millennia.
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Delibird

Overview

Delibird are known as compassionate healers, guides, and messengers. A variety of arctic peoples used tame delibird to communicate between tribes separated by inhospitable tundras or frozen seas. Their playful demeanor and colorful appearance led to them being adopted as messengers of The Northern Saint by the Church of Life. Although the Church has phased out delibird’s use as sacred messengers following recent discoveries the birds remain a worldwide symbol of winter, gift giving, and holiday celebrations.

The species is undeniably playful but their gregarious nature and relatively low power make them a poor choice for trainers on the island challenge.

Physiology

Delibird are classified as dual ice- and flying-type pokémon.

A thick coat of short red feathers covers most of delibird’s body. A “beard” of fluffy white feathers extends below delibird’s face. Two crests of very long white feathers extend above the eyes like eyebrows. Delibird’s beak is covered in white and red stripes. While not as big as toucannon, the beak of an adult is big enough to store at least two wishiwashi. The size and shape of the Alolan delibird’s beak is not seen in other subspecies and is believed to come from interbreeding with toucannon. Delibird have yellow webbed feet.

While their wings are proportionally small, delibird can control their descent and maintain altitude to a degree. Flight is primarily used to get down from their nest to the water or to make a particularly powerful jump when scaling cliffs. Alternatively, delibird can get airborne for mid-distance low-altitude flights with a running start. Delibird are primarily aquatic and can dive up to one hundred meters.

Delibird are the only known bird with a prehensile tail. This is used to wrap up berries, fish, and interesting objects while exploring or returning to the nest. The tail of Alolan delibird is smaller than their arctic counterparts, but is still large enough to wrap up a wishiwashi or a few berries.

Adults are about one meter in height and typically weigh three kilograms. They have a life expectancy of six years in the wild or ten in captivity.

Behavior

Delibird are gregarious and live in carols of fifteen to fifty birds. However, they hunt alone. Most of delibird’s diet is made up of fish and invertebrates, including small water- and bug-type pokémon. They hunt by either flying just above the surface until they see prey or by diving and chasing prey underwater. Hunting takes up most of a delibird’s waking hours. The remainder is spent socializing with other birds and exploring their surroundings.

Even by bird standards delibird are curious. They are prone to making and playing games with other delibird and even other species, going onto land to try new berries, and using seashells and stones as toys. Their curiosity and gregarious nature leads them to approach humans and pokémon and exchange gifts or attempt to play. When pokémon, including prey species, are starving delibird will occasionally share some of their catch with them. This habit combined with the relatively low nutritional value of delibird leads to the birds having almost no regular predators.

In more desolate and remote environments delibird’s toys take on a more sinister note. The birds often scavenge the corpses of dead explorers for new trinkets to play with. Relatives of perished loved ones often go out into the area to at least trade some of the deceased possessions for shinier toys.

While Alolan delibird are not properly migratory, pairs and unpaired subadults sometimes move between carols on separate islands. Delibird can determine their location using Earth’s magnetic field and use this information to return to places they have been before.

Spending more than a few days away from cool water will lead to overheating.

Husbandry

Delibird captivity is best handled by well-resourced stationary individuals able to raise at least ten delibird at once. When held alone or in very small groups delibird grow stressed and begin to develop health problems. Climate control is also important to delibird and makes it very difficult to care for them while on the trails of Alola. Glacier balls help mitigate the problem but delibird dislike pokéballs and will not tolerate even cooling balls for more than an hour or two a day. When possible delibird should be kept in quarters that are sixty degrees or cooler. Cold baths in room temperature areas can also satisfy the bird.

If a trainer wants to raise a single delibird than it is recommended to keep other birds on the team. At least three hours a day should be spent either directly playing with the delibird or being present while other birds play with the pokémon. Enrichment objects should be purchased frequently enough that the pokémon never grows bored with all of their toys. The pokémon will almost always want to sleep in their trainer’s bed. Mirrors make for good enrichment items that also have a calming effect on delibird held as individuals. Ditto are the best teammates for alleviating social stress.

About 80% of delibird’s diet should be made up of fish. Most fish are eaten whole, but individual birds may prefer certain species cut down to smaller sizes. The remaining 20% should be made up of insect mixes, shrimp, crabs, or brine shrimp. Zooplankton mixes, while somewhat expensive, also work. Many large facilities keep zooplankton and crabs living in the diving pond for enrichment purposes. Berries make for good treats but should not be a routine part of the bird’s diet. Delibird should be offered a little bit more than they will eat. Only birds with a history of starvation will regularly overeat. Drinking water is unnecessary but occasionally used for either proper drinks or as a toy.

Climbing structures and water at least seven feet deep should be provided whenever possible. Most large pokémon centers have bunk beds and pools which can satisfy both needs. Delibird should be exposed to salt water at least once every two weeks to keep their salt glands functional. If this is not possible small amounts of salt should be added to their drinking water or baths.

Delibird can be housebroken, although the process usually takes several weeks. It is easier if another housebroken bird is already on the team. Toucannon tend to be bad influences on delibird and make housebreaking nearly impossible.

Captive delibird held in large carols are often used as messengers to deliver small packages and letters between cities and islands. In the winter they are often taken to malls. Their bright colors, curiosity, and relative comfort with humans make them popular with children. The best way to train a delibird to carry messages and small objects is for another delibird to teach them. This is not recommended for traveling trainers as the stress of separation can cause negative health impacts on the removed pokémon.

Illness

Delibird are frequent carriers of avian influenza. While the disease is relatively benign in delibird it can spread and do serious damage to other teammates. Vaccination is strongly encouraged. Bumblefoot is a more common problem than avian influenza in stationary carols. The disease manifests as sores on the bottom of delibird’s feet. While not contagious if one delibird in a carol has it most probably will develop it in time. The best remedy for bumblefoot is preventive management: slightly rough surfaces should replace very rough and very smooth ones. This better replicates their natural cliff homes.

Angel wing is the most common health problem among fledging delibird. Sometimes feathers come in before the wing has fully developed. The weight of the feathers can cause permanent damage to the delibird’s wing. Fledglings should be routinely inspected and slings should be provided as necessary.

Delibird generally do everything in their power to mask their injuries and keep acting as if nothing is wrong. By the time any symptoms, such as deviation in weight or weakness or pain in a given area, is visible to the trainer the problem is already serious and should be treated by a professional as soon as possible.

When a delibird living in a stationary carol develops a contagious disease or is about to be introduced to a carol or reintroduced after exposure to other birds, they must be quarantined. The quarantine process is unpleasant for delibird as they must be alone for some time. Taking multiple delibird on trips can at least allow them to be quarantined together. Otherwise mirrors or exposure to live or recorded delibird sounds can help calm the isolated bird. Toys, climbing structures, and a pool deep enough to swim in should be in the quarantine room.

Evolution

N/A

Battle

In conspecific and interspecies aggression, delibird tend to rely on puffing up their feathers and making noise. If neither side backs down delibird employ bites, pecks, or weak ice attacks. While delibird have elemental wells they are not particularly deep. While delibird are technically a pokémon many baseline animals can beat them in a fight. As such only delibird deliberately trained to battle have any skill at all. Needless to say that outside of scripted holiday specials no ranked trainer has ever been seen using a delibird.

On the island challenge delibird isn’t useless. They make for decent arena controllers between spikes and icy wind. While their flight isn’t good enough to make them untouchable it can be used to dodge telegraphed attacks and hit a little bit harder than they otherwise could. By the time the second island ends delibird will start to become less useful. Trainers raising a delibird should do so in spite of its power and not because of it.

Acquisition

Delibird can be found in in the cool waters around Mt. Lanakila and Kala’e Bay. Due to recent declines in the Ula’Ula population capture is restricted to Melemele. Delibird can sometimes be found out at sea but capture is prohibited more than one hundred meters from land. Birds that do not wish to be caught will sometimes make a dash to the ocean when a trainer confronts them.

Delibird can be captured or purchased with a Class III license.

The birds can be purchased from established carols on Melemele, Akala, and Ula’Ula. Adoption opportunities are rare as injured or abandoned delibird tend to be donated to privately owned carols.

Breeding

While once popular with the Church of Life, delibird have been quietly abandoned as an official symbol after research found that roughly half of delibird are accidentally gay. The only way to determine the sex of a delibird is through DNA testing or minor surgery. Apparently delibird cannot determine the sex of other birds. Several zoroark, primarina, and psychics have translated delibird as saying that this is not a problem as the information would be useless; delibird do not know their own sex until they either lay an egg or fertilize one.

Delibird mate for life. Couples find a small tunnel in a cave or in a cliff face and set up their nest there. In anticipation of the summer breeding season all delibird undergo a full molt and are temporarily flightless and featherless. It is illegal to capture or otherwise disturb them during this time. Delibird’s summer plumage is more vibrant than their winter coloration, which is somewhat ironic given their cultural associations. The linkage of delibird and winter is because Europeans outside of Scandanavia only saw delibird when they migrated south to avoid the bitter cold.

Fertile couples lay a single egg every season. Infertile couples stay together even after realizing their mistake but tend to help fertile couples in guarding their eggs and gathering food. The eggs are viciously guarded from all interlopers. This season is when delibird are most aggressive to outsiders. Capture is legal but discouraged in early May. Trainers should only enter Seaward Cave and the coastal caves of Lanakila during these weeks if they are prepared to be swarmed by angry birds. Eggs take forty days to hatch and forty days to fledge. Babies are typically abandoned by their parents thirty to sixty days after hatching.

Captive delibird breeding requires the provision of at least 1, and ideally 1.5, nest boxes per pairs. If at all possible an even number of delibird should be owned. Unpaired birds tend to become very aggressive up to the point of sabotaging other nests and destroying eggs. Incubation of eggs and hand raising of chicks is possible and the resulting pokémon tend to acclimate well to private carols, but not the wild. Delibird reared by their parents do adjust well to the wild and these chicks play a major role in restoring the Ula’ula population.

Subspecies

Delibird subspecies can be sorted into four groups.

The Alolan delibird is the only tropical subspecies. It is not presently understood when and how delibird arrived on the islands. They were already present when Japanese settlers arrived and, according to Alolan folklore, they were present when the Seafolk arrived as well. Temperate delibird do not migrate far enough to reach Alola and polar delibird would die from overheating well before reaching the mid-Pacific. To help cope with their warm environment delibird have relatively large wings and tails. They spend more time swimming than the non-polar subspecies as the waters they inhabit are typically cooler than the air.

Temperate delibird live year-round in the mid-latitudes of the North Atlantic. Typically a carol will be permanently based out of an area infused with ice-energy or directly cooled by other pokémon. While members will often swim away from the carol’s home to find food they typically return by sundown. Some temperate subspecies have barely functional salt glands due to swimming almost exclusively in glacial meltwater or underground rivers.

There are two subspecies of polar delibird, one in the Pacific and one in the Atlantic. The Atlantic population tends to spend the summer in Iceland, Greenland, and other northern islands. They migrate as far south as Africa during the winter but are rarely seen near the coast. Both polar delibird subspecies spend almost all of their lives alone at sea, only returning to land and their mates for a few months every summer. The Pacific delibird are less migratory with summer breeding occurring in Kamatchka and Alaska and winter migration bringing birds to Japan and Oregon. Some interbreeding with temperate subspecies has been reported.

The Himalayan delibird is perhaps the strangest subspecies, in no small part because they only live hundreds of kilometers inland and are barely aquatic. They are the largest subspecies and have the most developed wings. Himalyan delibird take shelter on the steep cliffs of crevasses. While they do sometimes break into frozen or temporarily thawed lakes to fish, these delibird primarily eat small non-pokémon mammals, eggs, and plants. The pokémon are considered sacred wardens of the mountains and capture or export is strictly prohibited. The few captive specimens were injured or otherwise unable to survive in the wild. They are held in the Kathmandu Zoo on loan from the Nepalese government.
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Hawlucha

Overview

For centuries Europeans were fascinated (and frequently defeated) by the hawlucha of the Aztec Triple Alliance and its successor states, including modern Anahuac. Despite the best efforts of American and European scientists no hawlucha ever survived for more than a month outside of Mesoamerica until 1987.

At the end of the Third Thanksgiving War the United States conditioned peace on the surrender of one thousand hawlucha and information on how to care for them. Emperor Necalli IV agreed. He was subsequently executed for treason by the captain of the eagle warriors. Twenty-two years of civil war followed.

North of the border captive care proved possible but the hawlucha never bred. In order to avoid another war the captain of the eagle warriors made a public trip to Washington where he gave more information on husbandry and breeding. The captain proceeded to execute himself for treason during a press conference on the White House lawn.

Alola is fortunate enough to host one of the hawlucha wards established and overseen by the United States military. While they can only be captured after the island challenge is completed they make invaluable partners for any trainers planning to challenge the Elite Four or otherwise go pro.

Physiology

Hawlucha are classified as dual fighting- and flying-types. While barely capable of proper flight, hawlucha are skilled at channeling flying elemental energy to perform moves such as sky attack. The secondary typing, while controversial, was recently reaffirmed by the Department of Agriculture.

Many bird pokémon are carnivorous or insectivorous. The rest mostly eat nuts, fruit, or nectar. Despite their reputation as fierce warriors, hawlucha are one of very few species that primarily eat leaves. Most hawlucha live in the forests and mountains of southern Anahuac. The species is uniquely adapted to their habitat and diet.

Hawlucha’s crop, a pouch near their esophagus, is much larger than other birds. The enlarged crop combined with resident bacteria allow hawlucha to digest leaves. As a side effect of the bacteria and rumination process hawlucha almost always smell like cow manure. Unfortunately, the size of the crop means that the wing muscles must be smaller. The species compensates for their somewhat awkward flight with powerful leg muscles and claws at the end of their wings. They move through dense forests by climbing up and jumping between trees, with the occasional glide used to avoid a predator or cross a river. Hawlucha’s movements as closer to passimian than trumbeak.

The birds’ coloration has long confused scientists. Their flesh tastes unpleasant but is not outright toxic. Bright colors—white on the stomach and legs, blood red on the back of the wings, light green on the head, orange on the crest—may help signal this. Other features do not fit this theory. Like several insect species hawlucha have false faces that make them look larger than they are. A pink circle resembling an open mouth is located beneath the beak and their actual, small eyes are surrounded by rings of feathers designed to look like much larger eyes. These may be useful for scaring off rivals in territorial fights.

Hawlucha can reach weights of 2.4 kilograms and heights of 70 centimeters. Little is known about their wild lifespan at this time. Anahuac’s records placed their captive lifespan around seven years but this was in an environment of frequent battle. Hawlucha not used in warfare may live longer. However, hawlucha outside of Anahuac often die well before seven years of age in captivity.

Behavior

Wild hawlucha spend about half their day foraging for the specific mix of leaves and flowers they feed upon. Another third is spent sleeping. The remaining few hours are spent exploring the area, socializing with younger hawlucha, or engaging in intraspecies or interspecies showfights. Although they live in the dense forests of inland Melemele, hawlucha often enter Route 3 to challenge braviary and rufflet to practice matches. In the interior forests territorial and mating conflicts are resolved by battle. Neither fights with braviary nor hawlucha tend to result in permanent injury. Hawlucha are known for their very precise movements and strikes that let them scar opponents with their claws yet do little more than superficial damage.

Beyond moving between trees hawlucha can also use their claws and jumps to navigate areas with many rocky outcroppings or even dense cityscapes. The Bittern Peak area of Route 3 is practically a playground to them.

Hawlucha are very vocal birds. They are likely to be heard—and smelled—well before they are seen. Along with their physical fights with rufflet and braviary, hawlucha sometimes engage in singing contests with trumbeak. At least one hawlucha has been observed interacting with a brionne choir. Another was sighted in Melemele Meadow mimicking oricorio dances.

After eating hawlucha are temporarily much heavier and have difficulty moving, much less flying. They will perch in the tree they just ate from and sleep for several hours before either looking for more food, returning to their nest, or seeking out opportunities to play.

Husbandry

The main problem with hawlucha care is their diet. The birds will only eat the leaves of a handful of plants native to a small portion of Mesoamerica. While there are a few farms and military installations that have started growing the plants the slow growth rate of the trees means that most leaves still have to be imported. Hawlucha eat about one quarter of their body weight every day. Their trainer need to have a steady supply of expensive and somewhat bulky plants.

Leaves make up 90% of a hawlucha’s diet. Another 9% is made up of flowers, which hawlucha are much less picky about. The last 1% should be fruit. Fruit preferences vary from individual to individual. Water should be offered at least once a day even if the bird does not always accept it.

Hawlucha need time to rest after meals. As a rule they hate pokéballs so this will need to happen outside of the ball. On the trail they are perfectly content to nap on their trainer’s shoulder for a few hours, although they are deceptively heavy birds and not all trainers can handle the dead weight. Having a bird that smells like manure perched inches away from your nose can also be unpleasant.

Beyond their diet hawlucha require much in the way of enrichment accommodations. The best partners for hawlucha are willing to spar and fight without risk of serious injury. Disciplined fighting-types such as the machop and makuhita lines make good partners as hawlucha learn to hit relatively hard and avoid hits in return and their opponent learns how to strike a very fast target. Song or dance focused pokémon can also make for good partners. Lilligant, oricorio, trumbeak, and primarina are good at providing this type of enrichment. Finally pokémon able to keep up with hawlucha in parkour chases can be useful partners. Passimian are a good choice but mankey can sometimes get too aggressive. Persian enjoy the game but hate having the scent around them, making them better occasional playmates than full-time partners. In general pokémon with keen senses of smell tend not to like hawlucha much. Snorlax is a notable exception and hawlucha sometimes enjoy using the bear’s stomach as a trampoline for acrobatics practice.

Hawlucha cannot be housebroken. They tend to defecate right before or after leaving their perch.

Illness

As carriers of avian influenza hawlucha will need to be routinely vaccinated. If their diet is not very close to the ideal hawlucha will at first become rather sluggish before eventually becoming extremely aggressive. Care should be taken to maintain the proper diet at all times.

Battle

The eagle warriors of Anahuac have a rather unique fighting style that incorporates hawlucha. The pokémon jump off the large shields carried by the humans and make a strategic swipe at an enemy to break their wrist or ankle. The bird will then either jump on to another opponent or back to their trainer’s shield to get another assisted launch. The eagle warrior will practically run through the battlefield behind the hawlucha to finish wounding and tagging the humans left behind. The rapid pace of combat does leave the warriors at a disadvantage against extremely bulky pokémon. These were uncommon companions in the early colonial era but the mass produced pokéball and broader international trade networks allowed the empire’s enemies to make sure they had an adequate supply.

Anahuac has suffered several military defeats since 1876 and declined in influence in large part because hawlucha became less effective on the battlefield.

In competitive tournaments hawlucha are still very effective. They strike hard enough to break bones and sever tendons in all but the bulkiest of pokémon. Hawlucha are also incredibly agile and in arenas that are not entirely flat they can make good use of vertical space. Even on a flat battlefield hitting a hawlucha with anything but an area of effect or homing attack can be difficult. While solid walls do break hawlucha’s momentum this is less important in sports than war. Eventually hawlucha’s hits add up. So long as they are not hit hawlucha may even find opportunities to use bulk up or swords dance. If hawlucha have a type advantage, as with bulky steel, rock, normal, and fighting-type opponents, the match will probably end in their favor.

Unfortunately hawlucha are saddled with two glaring weaknesses. The first is that hawlucha are rather frail. One or two good hits from a professional trainer’s pokémon can usually take them out. The second is that hawlucha rarely strike to kill in either wild showfights or on the field of battle. In Anahuac capturing an enemy soldier alive is seen as far more honorable than killing them. As a result when they start to gain an advantage hawlucha instinctively switch to trying to taunt and scare their opponent into surrender. This loss of momentum and momentary distraction can sometimes allow their opponent to get in a knockout blow.

Hawlucha excel in acrobatic and melee attacks. Supporting moves are generally not advised as hawlucha need to constantly be dodging or attacking and will seldom find a moment to pull them off. Protect is an exception as a way to block the rare hit that can’t be dodged. Boosting moves are also useful if hawlucha faces off with something weak or slow enough that there is no imminent danger of being knocked out.

Acquisition

Hawlucha can only be captured on Route 3 with a Class V license. Adoption and purchase also require a Class V license. They adjust well to capture so long as a proper battle was performed beforehand.

While international laws are seldom worth mentioning, trainers with a desire to travel should know that owning a hawlucha without proper authorization is considered treason in Anahuac. The only punishment for treason is death.

Breeding

Wild hawlucha live in mated pairs. They do not usually mate for life but most pairings last at least two breeding seasons. Wild hawlucha are known to engage in elaborate performative copulation to mark their territory. Proper mating with the intent to breed is much more restrained and takes place in November. Hawlucha eggs hatch after a six week incubation period. Children are abandoned shortly after fledging around six weeks of age.

Captive breeding of hawlucha is extremely difficult and requires a near-perfect replica of their natural habitat. The Imperial Palace and Tenochtitlan’s Temple of Xōchipilli contain large greenhouses devoted to hawlucha care. Before the modern era the greenhouses were large indoor chambers with proper temperatures and humidity maintained by resident fire- and water- type pokémon. These two facilities, along with a similar one in the Bronx Zoo, are the only places hawlucha have ever bred in captivity. Trainers interested in breeding their hawlucha should contact the Bronx Zoo.

Subspecies

N/A
 
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Pen

the cat is mightier than the pen
Staff
Agh, I love this! Love all the history/world-building getting slipped in here.

At the end of the Third Thanksgiving War the United States conditioned peace on the surrender of one thousand hawlucha and information on how to care for them. Emperor Necalli IV agreed. He was subsequently executed for treason by the captain of the eagle warriors. Twenty-two years of civil war followed.
Amazing. The sparse prose is so effective here.

Despite their reputation as fierce warriors, hawlucha are one of very few that primarily eat leaves.
Missing word? Few species, maybe?

Having a bird that smells like manure perched inches away from your nose can also be unpleasant.
😂
The dead-pan style is so fun.

In Anahuac capturing an enemy soldier alive is seen as far more honorable than killing them. As a result when they start to gain an advantage hawlucha instinctively switch to trying to taunt and scare their opponent into surrender.
Very interested in the cause and effect here. Would a hawlucha raised away from the Anahuic culture not do this? Or did Anahuic culture develop this cultural norm precisely because hawlucha instinctively do this?

While international laws are seldom worth mentioning, trainers with a desire to travel should know that owning a hawlucha without proper authorization is considered treason in Anahuac. The only punishment for treason is death.
Damn right it is.
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Oricorio

Overview

Whatever else can be said about them, oricorio are extremely versatile pokémon. Every individual is capable of taking four different forms with varying personalities, typings, and battle styles. While some oricorio have a preference for one form or another most do not. This gives trainers four separate tries at connecting with their pokémon. Forms can also be changed for important battles.

Oricorio’s drawbacks are in acquisition and logistics. They are rare outside of nature preserves with somewhat strict annual catch quotas. Nectar is somewhat expensive and rather heavy. Most trainers also cannot meaningfully contribute to their oricorio’s training and fighting style.

Even with the species’ drawbacks, dancers and trainers looking for a versatile pokémon would do well to to learn the laws and set aside time to capture an oricorio.

Physiology

The four forms, or styles, of oricorio all have different typings. All four have a partial flying-typing. Pom-pom style oricorio are also classified as electric-types, pa’u as psychic-types, baile as fire-types, and sensu as ghost types.

All four forms are relatively small bird pokémon with a typical songbird build. All have relatively strong legs and solid balance. Baile style oricorio are the only form that is more comfortable in the air than on the ground, although sensu style oricorio can fly in a pinch. Pom-pom and pa’u oricorio can only jump and control their fall with air current manipulation.

Pom-pom oricorio have a build closer to hawlucha than a typical bird pokémon. They have short wings with bulky puffs of feathers at the ends. Electrical charges build up in these feathers between attacks and pom-pom oricorio can unleash powerful shocks at the start of battles. Between hits pom-pom oricorio can pull off impressive acrobatic feats. This style’s skeleton still has the same composition as the others, which limits its ability to take hits or deal powerful blows.

Pa’u style oricorio are almost entirely dependent upon their dances. Only six flight feathers—three at the end of each wing—survive the transformation into this form. The rest of their body is coated in soft pink feathers as well as ornamental skirts and head tufts of white feathers. Pa’u style oricorio are masters at channeling ambient psychic energy into telepathic, empathic, and telekinetic attacks. On balance they are slow walkers and weak jumpers.

Baile style oricorio have the most conventional avian body shape. While they sometimes do take bipedal stances their dances are mostly performed in flight. The style’s fireproof feathers are mostly red with occasional fringes of black feathers. Small white spiral patterns rest on the bird’s cheeks. Baile oricorio produce fire with every flap of their wings. They can control and shape the flames with their dances.

Sensu oricorio have a similar build to baile oricorio with a slightly more bipedal stance. Their feathers’ colors can vary wildly between individuals but usually include some mix of purple, pink, and blue. The sensu style’s powers are more similar to pa’u than the other forms; rather than creating ghost energy they manipulate ambient fields. Specifically, sensu oricorio channel the spirits and ghost energy of the area around them into curses, semi-tangible minions, and weak elemental attacks. They rival human channelers in communicating with the spirits of the dead. Mediums seldom employ the birds, however, because they are remarkably cruel beneath their elegant façade.

All four styles subsist entirely on nectar. Their digestive system has many similarities to crobat as a result of their liquid diet. Oricorio spend most of their day feeding with almost all of the rest spent sleeping. Perhaps an hour or two a day is spent dancing for passing humans and local pokémon. They were traditionally believed to be oracles of the tapus. Their dances were often imitated by the priests of pre-annexation Alola until they were banned, first by an Alolan king in 1834 and again by the provisional government after a brief period of legality in the latter years of the Kingdom. While many of the traditional dances have been lost to time and suppression there are attempts to relearn them from surviving documents and the dances of modern oricorio.

All styles grow to weighs of approximately 0.5 kilograms although their heights vary. Oricorio can live for fifteen years in the wild and captivity.

Behavior

No style of oricorio had many predators before contact with Japan and China. Invasive species such as gumshoos and raticate have dramatically changed this situation. Pom-pom and pa’u oricorio are also unable to take to the skies to avoid terrestrial predators. Raticate in particular wiped out the pa’u style oricorio before the remaining portions of Akala Meadow were barricaded off and oricorio from other islands were introduced.

Pom-pom oricorio dealt with the most predators in the past, mostly in the form of the large birds and dragons that roost near Melemele Meadow. Pom-pom style’s electricity and near flightlessness help them survive by hiding in the tall flowers of the meadow and shocking anything that does come too close. New predators have forced them to roost in the sparse trees of the meadow and rely on their electricity to deter flying pokémon. On the ground they are still vulnerable to raticate and gumshoos attacks.

The style’s high metabolism leads to a need to consume even more nectar than the other styles. On balance they sleep somewhat less.

Pa’u oricorio benefited from the nature of Akala Meadow. Powerful and intelligent psychics often met in the meadow as it was a good central location between the xatu of the south, the oranguru of the north, and the slowking of the coast. Tapu Lele was also a frequent visitor. The pa’u flowers that dominate the meadow absorb psychic energy and slowly radiate it out. All of the ambient energy allowed pa’u oricorio to channel it into devastating mind control and telekinetic attacks when needed. While incineroar were not deterred, torracat were. Pa’u oricorio took to killing any torracat that came near the meadow until incineroar started to reign in their children.

Raticate do not have a non-dark juvenile form. Even if they did the desperate hunger of the average rattata would probably make oricorio’s power a rather poor deterrent. Because pa’u oricorio traditionally sleep on the ground at night and rattata can navigate through even thick flowerbeds the oricorio were easily killed

Before the introduction of invasive species the dominant predators on Ula’Ula were ninetales, incineroar, metagross, and flygon. Metagross have always been comparatively rare and flygon seldom leave the Haina Valley. For their part incineroar shied away from the extremely rainy western Ula’Ula. Ninetales and vulpix were the only predators that often slunk down into the meadow to feed. The flames of the baile oricorio have several unique properties to deter ninetales and survive in their environment. The mystic nature of their flames allow them to burn through rain and ninetails-induced snowstorms. The bird’s feathers are largely waterproof and they do not seem to mind rain or snow much at all.

Baile flowers are remarkably fire resistant and brush fires were uncommon in the meadow. Trees fared less well with the frequent flames from dancing oricorio and there are rather few in the area. This has come to be a problem for baile oricorio who cannot easily retreat to higher ground despite being able to fly. Conservationists have helped by adding metal perches designed to be unclimbable by rattata and yungoos and too sturdy to be knocked over by raticate and gumshoos. The remaining threats on Ula’Ula—the ghosts and honchkrow—have always been reluctant to attack any form of oricorio.

Sensu oricorio have relatively little direct power to protect them in a fight. Yet nothing, not even rattata, dares to attack them. What makes sensu oricorio nigh-unassailable is their cruelty and intelligence. When stressed they resort to two basic defenses—curses and apparitions. Curses tend to cause long-term physical and mental health problems for the victim that, if they do not result in death, can make the victim wish that they did. While many ghosts (and ninetales) can cast curses, those of sensu oricorio are among the most psychologically brutal. It is believed that the spirits of the dead communicate with oricorio to inform the bird of personal vulnerabilities to exploit. Alternatively, oricorio can simply summon dead loved ones or enemies of their target. Oricorio can control the apparition and make it say things designed to thoroughly break the victim. Their mere presence is a large part of the reason why few souls have dared to live in the eastern half of Poni Island.

Husbandry

The biggest drawback of oricorio is their diet. They only consume nectar from one of four plants, all rare. Outside of their meadows oricorio’s food alone can cost up to $300 a month for a relatively small bird. Liquid diets also mean that oricorio constantly need to urinate and are borderline impossible to housebreak. Even brief periods without food can cause serious health problems.

There is also little literature on oricorio husbandry. Much of the traditional knowledge has been lost. It was never common in any case as priests preferred to simply live near the meadows and observe the oricorio in their natural habitat. Only curious birds interested in living with humans were ever held in captivity. They were usually kept within a short distance of the meadows. Widespread husbandry is still very new and mostly limited to a handful of zoos hoping to bolster wild populations with a captive breeding program.

What the literature does reveal is that oricorio’s mindset changes when they shift forms. The same basic preferences and attachments will remain filtered through a different personality. As most specimens come to prefer whatever form they are currently in, their trainer can mostly pick what sort of pokémon they want and even try again to start a productive relationship.

In general pom-pom oricorio are the most energetic and outgoing. While generally very friendly they do not shy away from making their displeasure known, mostly through small shocks and songs that somehow sound expletive-laden.

Pa’u oricorio are rather withdrawn. They tend not to notice the world around them and focus on their own inner life. Nice to their friends and mostly apathetic to their enemies, the biggest risk of dealing with pa’u style oricorio is that of accidentally being hypnotized into wasting the day away. These are good partners for relatively inactive and laidback trainers. Constant activity or very energetic conversations annoy them.

Baile oricorio have been described as incredibly dramatic. They approach everything with utmost sincerity and grow perhaps exaggeratedly angry over small setbacks. When the occasion calls for it they want extravagant celebrations. Interpersonal conflicts, even generally positive ones, are prone to grand gestures and dramatic spats that require a lot of emotional investment. If someone they love is hurting, baile oricorio will do everything they can to provide comfort and avenge the harm.

Sensu oricorio are ethereally graceful. Their movements often seem to be too perfect to be natural. The style seldom displays emotion and prefers that all relationships be distant, formal, and abundantly polite. In very close relationships they may behave a little more informally but will always immediately stiffen up and demand formality when anyone else draws close. Above all, sensu oricorio hate surprises or anything that can catch them off guard and ruin the illusion of perfection. Violators can be mercilessly punished. Most sensu oricorio trainers are afraid of their pokémon, even if they love it. Only trainers who have developed an extremely deep relationship with the oricorio in another style and have no serious mental health issues should attempt to train them. Unfortunately, the trainers who are very comfortable with the subdued behavior sensu oricorio require tend to be depressed.

Talented dancers, and to a lesser extend singers, acrobats, actors, and storytellers, are the best trainers for oricorio. Teaching the pokémon a dance style it does not already know is the best way to hold the bird’s attention and gain its respect.

Illness

As with most birds, powerful hits can easily lead to broken bones. Trainers should be very careful when picking matchups and be quick to surrender the round.

Oricorio’s liquid diet can cause health consequences. Overhydration in particular can lead to kidney problems. Sensu oricorio tend to drink exactly what is needed. Pom-pom oricorio are very fond of their nectar and need to be well-rationed. Baile oricorio’s desire for nectar varies wildly with their mood. When focused they will need to be forcefully reminded to drink and when melodramatic they will need to be cut off. Pa’u oricorio often forget to drink altogether.

Evolution

Oricorio take the form of the nectar they consume the most. After one day to a few weeks on another nectar, depending upon the pokémon’s preference for different styles, flash evolution will occur. Oricorio is one of the only species that can flash evolve many time in its life and even evolve between forms as an adult.

Battle

No oricorio is widely used on competitive circuits. While there is some speculation that pa’u oricorio could be very effective when paired with a psychic terrain setter or used on a monotype team this has never been tested at high levels. Sensu oricorio could theoretically force some forfeits from opponents who don’t want to deal with their nightmare apparitions but this is a cheap strategy that requires spending large amounts of time around a sensu oricorio. There is serious discussion of preemptively banning the sensu style from the U.S. and Alolan Leagues to prevent a potentially uncompetitive strategy.

All styles tend to use the same basic strategies. They open by distracting the opponent through the subtle emotional manipulation of their core dances. As this continues they slowly start to work in calm mind while maintaining enough of the oracle dance in their style to keep the opponent distracted. When that is done the oricorio shifts to unleashing powerful revelation dances and hurricanes. Weak hits can be blocked by substitute or shrugged off with roost.

Every style has their own variation on this formula. Pom-pom oricorio tends to rely more on dodging attacks than distracting opponents. Pa’u style can use powerful attacks right off the bat in some instances but can quickly deplete the ambient energy on the battlefield. Baile style have some difficulty using calm mind at all. Sensu style must be taught to boost before attacking and use powerful elemental attacks rather than psychological torture. It is debatable if such cruel tactics are even effective in the long term. To start with they are a good way to gain the ire of other trainers and lose access to professional events. Opponents may also be frustrated and less willing to hold back, a bad position to be in when battling with a bird. Without boosting sensu oricorio also lose most damage races, even against distracted opponents.

Acquisition

The easiest styles to start training with are baile and pom-pom.

Baile oricorio are somewhat rare but still present in Ula’Ula Meadow. A few wander towards Castleton or onto Route 17. One small troupe has been seen around an abandoned baile flower garden in Po Town. Pom-pom oricorio live almost exclusively in Melemele Meadow with a few vagrants in other parts of Route 3 and northern Route 2.

The easiest way to bond with an oricorio is to simply play a song and dance in a style similar to that of the pokémon. One may take notice join in with their own. This may need to be repeated for a few days before the pokémon begins to follow when their new trainer leaves the meadow. At this point they may be captured without a battle. Skilled dancers are advised to try their hand at capturing baile oricorio. Unskilled dancers or singers with enough enthusiasm may be able to draw the attention of a pom-pom oricorio despite their lack of talent.

Pa’u oricorio can be captured through a similar method but they are very rare outside of Akala Meadow Preserve, a wildlife park with a full capture ban and strict visitation rules. Royale Avenue has begun to introduce a few and allow them to free roam. Various pokémon are employed to kill any pests that enter the area and threaten their birds. Employees of the Royal Arena and Pokémon Center are allowed to capture pa’u oricorio that agree to join them. Capture rights can also be earned as a reward for performing shows or winning battle royales.

Sensu oricorio are not recommended as a starting form. Their capture is legal (within the annual quotas set by the National Park Service) and they can be found throughout Poni National Park, even away from the central meadow. Strangely enough, setting up a tea party with an empty chair with a cup of nectar can attract sensu oricorio. If very proper manners are observed and an interesting story is told with proper respect and minimal emotion the oricorio might consent to capture. Alternatively, trainers with ties to at least one god can sometimes get sensu oricorio to seek them out. It is not necessary to capture these birds after tea parties and they handle polite rejections shockingly well.

There is a relatively small population of oricorio available for sale or capture. They are rather expensive and can sometimes struggle to adjust to a new trainer.

All oricorio styles can be captured, adopted, or purchased with a Class III license.

Breeding

Oricorio tend to live in troupes of two to ten mated pairs and their young children. Mated pairs spend most of their day together with their children and then the troupe reassembles around dusk to sleep in the same general space. Little is understood of oricorio mate selection, mating, and childrearing due to the very dense meadows they inhabit.

Oricorio were first bred in captivity twenty-six years ago. The only successful births so far occurred in large greenhouses with thick flowerbeds and little human disturbance. Most of these were baile style oricorio. Pa’u style oricorio were bred for the first time two years ago in San Diego. Sensu and pom-pom style oricorio have yet to breed in captivity.

Subspecies

There may have been other oricorio styles in the past whose flowers went extinct. Several skeletons of a potentially undiscovered style have been unearthed in Northeastern Ula’Ula and on the slopes of Mt. Hokulani. Carbon dating has determined the skeletons are twelve to three thousand years old. It is possible that minior, claydol, metagross, or decidueye in the area may have firsthand knowledge of this style.
 
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Pen

the cat is mightier than the pen
Staff
I love the lore around the sensu oricorio. Also really interesting to see how adaptive measures that protected the oricorio against native predators worked against them when it came to rebuffing invasive predators.

Some of these paragraphs were hard to parse. I think the main issue is lack of transitional phrases and commas. Many sentences came out of nowhere, and the connection to the previous point was difficult to understand.

No style of oricorio had relatively few predators before contact with Japan and China.
I think you wrote the opposite of what you meant here. You mean Oricorio of all varieties had relatively few predators before contact with Japan and China, right?

Pom-pom and pa’u oricorio are also unable to take to the skies to avoid domestic predators.
Use of domestic predators confused me here--I think you mean the rattata, but since those are invasive species, it feels weird to call them domestic.

While incineroar were not deterred, torracat were. Pa’u oricorio took to killing any torracat that came near the meadow until incineroar all but entirely stopped hunting them. Raticate do not have a non-dark juvenile form. Even if they did the desperation of the average rattata would probably make oricorio’s power a rather poor deterrent. Because pa’u oricorio traditionally sleep on the ground at night and rattata can navigate through even thick flowerbeds rather easily the oricorio were easily killed.
This was confusing. First of all, if torracat are deterred, why are there any coming to the meadows in the first place to be killed? What does 'the desperation of the average rattata' mean? The last sentence quoted is a bit incoherent.

Maybe "This psychic field was not enough to deter incineroar, who frequently hunted in the meadows. In response, the pa'u oricorio took to killing the torracat that often accompanied incineroar on these hunts. Lacking dark-typing, the torracat were vulnerable to such assaults. Raticate, the other key predator of the pa'u oricorio, do not have a vulnerable non-dark juvenile form. Even if they did, it is unlikely that the murder of its juvenile form would deter raticate, who are notoriously asocial."

The flames of the baile oricorio have several unique properties to deter ninetales and survive in their environment. Rain and water do little to hamper their fire. Ninetales ability to create temporary blizzards is also undercut by the mystical nature of baile oricorio’s flames. The bird’s feathers are largely waterproof and they do not seem to mind water much at all. Baile flowers are remarkably fire resistant and brush fires were uncommon in the meadow. Trees fared less well with the frequent flames from dancing oricorio and there are rather few in the meadow. This has come to be a problem for baile oricorio who cannot easily retreat to higher ground despite being able to fly. Conservationists have helped by adding metal perches designed to be unclimbable by rattata and yungoos and too sturdy to be knocked over by raticate and gumshoos. The remaining threats on Ula’Ula—the ghosts and honchkrow—have always been reluctant to attack any form of oricorio.
Again, in this paragraph, the sentences stab a bit out of nowhere and are hard to follow from one point to the next. I think you need a bit more wordiness and transitional phrases. I like the point about the ghosts and honchkrow not attacking them.

"The baile oricorio possess several unique properties to deter ninetales and survive in their environment. First, their flames are largely unhampered by rain and water. This means their flames can penetrate the temporary blizzards that ninetales often summon during hunts. Additionally, the bird’s feathers are largely waterproof. Rare among fire types, they do not seem to mind water much at all. The baile oricorio's environment is also well-suited for its lifestyle. Baile flowers are remarkably fire resistant, leaving the oricorio free to flame without starting brush fires. Trees, however, fared less well with the oricorio's frequent flames and as a consequence, there are rather few left in the meadow. This has come to be a problem for baile oricorio who cannot easily retreat to higher ground, despite being able to fly. Conservationists have stepped in to address this problem, adding metal perches designed to be unclimbable by rattata and yungoos and too sturdy to be knocked over by raticate and gumshoos. The remaining threats on Ula’Ula—the ghosts and honchkrow—have always been reluctant to attack any form of oricorio."


Sensu oricorio have relatively little direct power to protect them in a fight. Nothing, not even rattata, dares to attack them. Poni meadow is filled by translucent specters raised by the resident oricorio. These beings help gather nectar for sensu oricorio and keep an eye out for intruders. While sensu oricorio have always allowed humans and other intelligent beings to come to them for guidance they do not like to be surprised. What makes sensu oricorio nigh-unassailable is their cruelty and intelligence.
The presentation here confused me. I think the order of the sentences needs some revision.

Perhaps: "Sensu oricorio have relatively little direct power to protect them in a fight, but due to their cruelty, intelligence, and mystical abilities, nothing, not even rattata, dares to attack them." And then the rest.

While sensu oricorio have always allowed humans and other intelligent beings to come to them for guidance they do not like to be surprised.
You need a comma between 'guidance' and 'they.' A lot of commas were dropped in this--not going to point them all out because I assume you know comma rules, but I would recommend you read through for comma placement.

Unfortunately the trainers who are very comfortable with the subdued behavior sensu oricorio require tend to be depressed.
Hm, seems like we have a couple of good candidates in Broken Things.

Talented dancers, and to a lesser extend singers, acrobats, and storytellers, are the best trainers at gaining an oricorio’s respect. Teaching the pokémon a dance style it does not already know is the best way to hold the bird’s attention and gain its respect.
I really like this idea! (Maybe tweak so you don't end both sentences with 'respect.')

Strangely enough, setting up a tea party with an empty chair with a cup of nectar can attract sensu oricorio. If very proper manners are observed and an interesting story is told with proper respect and minimal emotion the oricorio might consent to capture.
Love love love this. Amazing mental image. I really want to read about an oricorio trainer now.
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
@Pen

Thankfully someone has already wrote a short story about an oricorio trainer! Potential oricorio trainer. Still counts.

Yeah, the prose is a mess. Acknowledged. I write quickly and sometimes words come out in a trainwreck. Sorry about that.

I often find myself wanting to write one shots after I write entries. Or at least drabbles about some of the stuff in there. Oricorio tea parties and the sensu oricorio generally fit that vibe. Not much chance of one showing up for more than a chapter or two in BT. Genesis would be scared to try, unless she's in a really self-destructive mood Cuicatl Ichtaca wouldn't want someone else constantly picking at her many emotional weaknesses, Kekoa doesn't really like the idea of capturing such a sacred birb. A shame, really. If you do want to write a drabble or whatever using my ideas absolutely feel free to do so. Free real estate.

Thank you for the review. Sorry for the chapter quality.

-Persephone
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Ribombee (Cutiefly)

Overview

Lucario are popular worldwide partially due to their associations with aura. Unfortunately the species’ Alolan population is confined to Poni National Park, riolu are very selective about their trainers, and riolu eggs are expensive. Mienshao, often seen as a poor man’s lucario, suffer from many of the same problems.

Most trainers don’t know that ribombee also use aura. While their aura is used mainly for utility rather than offense or defense, the beeflies are empaths and rather good at predicting and dodging attacks. Combined with their naturally high speed they can be good sweepers on the island challenge. The species also requires relatively little dedicated training and is easy to obtain. On balance, feeding ribombee can sometimes be difficult and, while they are very cute, they lack the “coolness” that makes lucario (and mienshao) popular.

Physiology

Ribombee and cutiefly are classified as dual bug- and fairy-type pokémon. Their secondary fairy-typing is heavily disputed as ribombee lack most of the classic fairy-type traits (tricksters, lunar affiliation) but can read auras, a traditionally fighting-type attribute. Ribombee’s natural affinity for moonblast have been used to justify the current typing. The matter is being reviewed by the Department of Agriculture and a type change to either pure bug or bug-fighting is considered likely.

Cutiefly are very small insect pokémon. They are not considered to be true bees due to their lack of hives, swarming, honey production, or stingers. Genetic tests suggest that they are actually related to—and possibly descended from—vikavolt. Cuteifly have fuzzy yellow hair on the front of their body, an exposed white exoskeleton at the back, and a short and firm proboscis. Their wings resemble those of vikavolt and rest over the pokémon’s back when at rest. The wings often have patterns on them that vary by region and family. These patterns include eyes, bright colors that blend in with their feathers, or dark green or blue shades that make the pokémon resemble a small vikavolt at a glance. Four long black legs rest beneath the cutiefly’s body.

Ribombee have a build more like butterfree’s than vikavolt’s. Two antennae, a short proboscis, and large compound eyes adorn their head. A brown “scarf” of hair rests on the neck and boosts ribombee’s aura reading powers. Two arms are attached just below the scarf and the other two are located at the end of the body. Special joints allow ribombee to use their wings to either flutter like a proper butterfly or fly like a vikavolt when they need to move quickly.

The species subsists on a mix of honey and nectar. Ribombee use the honey to create waxy secretions that can bind together pollen and slightly change its inherent properties. This can cause the pollen to either be a disorienting, toxic weapon or a very nutritious food source for cutiefly. Ribombee often leave a mix of toxic and nutritious puffs lying around. Only cutiefly seem to be able to tell the difference.

Ribombee grow to lengths of 23 centimeters and weigh up to 270 grams. They live for roughly two years in the wild and captivity.

Behavior

Most pokémon can only exist because of other pokémon. Grass-types purifying the air and soil let forests grow fast enough to support herbivores. Predators rely mostly on large pokémon for their food rather than killing dozens of relatively small and energy-light baseline animals. Ribombee are almost entirely separate from the pokémon-based ecology of Alola. Most of their interactions are with baseline insects.

Ribombee steal their honey from ordinary bees by using light attacks to disorient swarms and smash hives open. Their main competitors in pollination are baseline insects and hummingbirds. Most pokémon in the area don’t interact with ribombee at all due to their toxic pollens, annoying binding fluids, skittishness, and high speed. Even the main pokémon pollinator in Alola—butterfree—is not a direct competitor. Rain washes away the pollen ribombee have accumulated and the species goes to great lengths to avoid it. Butterfree are most active during these storms and help keep large flowers pollinated during the rainy season.

Cutiefly and ribombee do not use their aura to attack other pokémon or better themselves in constant competition. Instead it is used to identify the plants likely to have the best nectar and to sense the movements of predators and weather patterns. When faced with a potential threat, both cutiefly and ribombee prefer to turn tail and use their high flight speeds and agility to run off into the forest and evade their pursuer.

Husbandry

Honey is cheap as far as pokémon food goes. Nectar, especially from ribombee and cutiefly’s preferred plants, is a fair bit more expensive. It is most commonly sold in bird specialty stores that stock it for oricorio. Relatively cheap butterfree nectar mixes can work in a pinch. Thankfully, ribombee can forage for their own nectar most of the time and seem to prefer doing so as it also lets them accumulate pollen. So long as there are flowers out and the weather is clear, ribombee can be trusted to eat on their own and use their abilities to find their trainer when finished. Cutiefly have weaker aura reading and a handful of predators so they should be supervised when foraging.

Ribombee and, to a lesser extent, cutiefly are clever and easily taught new tricks. Both are also affectionate and enjoy contact with their trainer and teammates. Most ribombee enjoy perching on their trainer’s head or shoulder when outside of their ball and in clear weather. Both stages prefer to be outside of their ball whenever it is not raining. Ribombee despise rain and pokéballs mimic their natural habit of hiding in tree stumps well enough. Net and nest balls are the best choices.

Many individual shops (as well as all Pokémon Center lobbies and a few small cities) ban ribombee from being out of their ball in public due to the sheer amount of pollen they carry on them.

Both stages are neither strictly diurnal nor nocturnal. Sleep schedules tend to be based around the rain and winds rather than the sun. Ribombee get upset if their preferred sleep schedule is disrupted. Thankfully, they will sleep in their pokéball with minimal fuss.

Illness

Ribombee are not built to last. A single hit from even many non-pokémon birds can kill it, their exoskeleton isn’t particularly durable, and their organs are prone to failure for no clear reason if they survive to the two year mark. While their lifespan is far longer than butterfree’s, there is relatively little research on how to heal them. Any serious hit from a fully evolved pokémon has the potential to kill ribombee in one shot. Cutiefly have to be careful around even fairly weak pokémon. Be very cautious about using them in battle. Ideally they should be limited to fighting grounded pokémon with no way of hitting back or for field control against another utility lead.

Evolution

Between six and eight weeks of age, cutiefly will form small cocoons for their evolution. Evolution itself only takes three to seven days. The cocoon should not be moved during this time period.

Battle

Despite their frailty, ribombee have carved out a niche in professional battling. They are extremely fast and hit decently hard. More importantly, they naturally form a sticky pollen binding substance. While the quantity is normally limited by their small size a very well trained ribombee with experience around another sticky web setter can learn to use elemental energy to coat the battlefield in webs. Their high speed and small size makes them tricky to hit as they set up field control. Alternatively they can spread status or boost midflight with quiver dance. Ribombee have extremely high mortality rates on the battlefield and are near deadweight outside of field control and the occasional revenge kill. Many trainers aren’t willing to give a team slot to a pokémon that will probably only fight in a few matches before dying of injury or old age.

Ribombee benefit from the relative frailty and inexperience of pokémon on the island challenge vis a vis the professional circuit. Many pokémon have no options at all for dealing with an aerial attacker. In the time it takes for the switch clock to run ribombee can either boost themselves up to terrifying speeds and fairly impressive power or coat the battlefield in webs and benefit future levitators or birds. Ribombee are still extremely frail pokémon and should use u-turn to switch out as soon as their role is fulfilled.

Cutiefly function best as weak but somewhat fast flying artillery. Ideally they should not fight at all as within a fairy short period of time they will evolve on their own.

Acquisition

Ribombee and cutiefly are most common in Alola’s meadows but can also be found in many savannahs on the islands. Proving battles are both unnecessary and dangerous, but some sort of a trapper may be necessary to keep ribombee from fleeing or at least constantly evading thrown pokéballs. Many trainers have reported success at luring in ribombee by placing a cup of a very rare or foreign flower’s nectar out and sitting still nearby for as long as it takes for a pokémon to take the bait. If the nectar is good enough and the process is repeated a few times a teammate can often be obtained without a battle. Be advised that the beeflies will expect similar nectar to be provided fairly often.

Cutiefly can be obtained with a Class I license. Ribombee can be obtained with a Class II. No shelters take them in and there are no dedicated breeders so purchase and adoption are near impossible.

Breeding

Ribombee mating occurs towards the end of the rainy season when a male ambushes a female in midair and overpowers her in an acrobatic contest. Mating is done while flying at full speed in seemingly random directions until both partners abruptly separate and dash away from each other. The female ribombee will then search for burrowing bug-type pokémon or non-pokémon insect nests. She uses her antennae and sensors on the tips of her feet to glean information about the nest. If it is satisfactory she will extend a thin tube from her rear and deposit her eggs into the nest. The offspring will hatch after a few days and begin to feed upon the adults, juveniles, and eggs of the host species.

The species has never been bred in captivity due to the somewhat odd nature of their mating and parasitism. In any case they are not in danger of extinction in Alola.

Subspecies

The Galarians introduced ribombee to the gardens of their home island as well as colonies around the world. There is some dispute as to whether these populations should count as subspecies or not.
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
This week’s entry of The Alola Pokedex was commissioned by Surskitty. Check out my Tumblr, VulturineQueen, for more information on getting your favorite pokémon into this encyclopedia.


Code:
Downloading from The Alola Pokédex Online Appendix . . .

Dragapult (Dreepy, Drakloak)

Overview

Fossil revival, especially of particularly old species, is still an evolving field. The first generation fossils are typically some mix of organic and inorganic, with possessed rocks making up as much of the final organism as tissue and blood. Recent resurrections and fossil pokémon after several generations of breeding with each other and organic pokémon gain more of their original typing and lose more and more of their rock-typing.

The original idea for blending phantoms, minerals, and organic tissue together to revive an ancient species came from dragapult, a species of Jurassic-era salamanders that managed to resurrect themselves into the modern era. Even after countless attempts at replication, the process by which this occurred is still not fully understood.

Dreepy husbandry has been attempted since the first sightings of dragapult occurred in Victorian-era Galar. Only in recent years, with the advent of powerful pokéballs and a better understanding of the species’ diet, has there been any real success. Trainers wishing to raise a dragapult should be well aware of the difficulties of meeting their dietary, territorial, and social requirements. If all these needs can be met, dragapult are one of the most formidable ghost-types in the world.

Physiology

Dreepy have prominent yellow eyes on top of their head. Flat green horns extend out both sides of the head, while a pair of red gills billows out beneath the horns. Dreepy’s mouth is capable of opening surprisingly wide to engulf large meals. Most of dreepy’s body is green, with lighter shades on the bottom and darker shades on top. Three green spikes protrude from the middle section of the tail. Two thin forearms extend out from the main body.

Drakloak are substantially larger than dreepy. The top of their head and horns is black with triangular red markings towards the back of the head. Two ridges extend above the eyes. Grooves in the ridges allow dreepy to anchor onto the drakloak’s head, even at high speeds. The bottom of drakloak’s body is cream colored. A triangular red marking adorns the chest. The forelimbs are more developed and split into three fingers at the end. Hindlegs emerge from the tail, although they are more akin to fins than proper limbs.

Dragapult have red markings on the front of their head and horns rather than the back. The singular, thin ridges on drakloak’s head evolve into complex triangular launching systems designed for storing dreepy and then firing them at supersonic speeds. More triangular markings develop on the chest, although the exact pattern and number of them depends on the individual. Four red claws extend from the forelimbs and the hindlimbs develop into proper legs and four-clawed feet. The tail makes up about half of the dragapult’s length.

All stages of the evolutionary line are composed of a strange mix of ecotoplasm and ordinary amphibian tissues. When preparing for physical strikes or eating physical food, the pokémon takes an almost entirely solid form. When moving at high speeds, taking anticipated hits, or seeking to blend into the surroundings, dragapult shift to an almost entirely ectoplasmic form that is nearly invisible and intangible in the physical world.

The line subsists primarily on physical foods such as wailord, jellyfish, and siphonophores. Some of their diet is made up of ectoplasm, often taken from dirfblim or jellicent in the wild.

Dragapult spend more time in water than the air, but they are indifferent to the salinity of the water. In fact, dragapult fair well in almost any liquid of similar density and viscosity.

In the wild, dragapult can live up to thirty years. Successful captive programs are relatively recent. Before their diet was better understood, it was rare for a dreepy to survive a full year in captivity. A full grown dragapult can be three meters long, including the tail. Weight is highly variable depending on the currently ectoplasm-matter balance of the organism, but the largest dragapult can weigh up to nine hundred pounds when fully solid.

Behavior

Dragapult live in silos consisting of a breeding pair of dragapult and multiple generations of offspring. A mature silo can contain up to two dragapult, five drakloak, and ten to fifteen dreepy. The dreepy stick close to the dragapult and drakloak at all times. During hunts and flights the dreepy ride on their parents’ and older siblings’ heads. Otherwise they roam around and explore the environment while the older pokémon keep watch. Dreepy are rather shy when separated from elders and find a tight hiding place or phase almost entirely into ectoplasm. When under a watchful eye dreepy will watch humans and other pokémon from a distance.

Drakloak keep vast ranges, often spanning hundreds or even thousands of miles from end to end. The silo that visits Alola has also been seen as far east as the Galapagos Islands and Gulf of California. Dragapult are primarily nocturnal. During the day they will rest underwater or in a sheltered, dark place on land. On cloudy and/or rainy days they may become active.

Dragapult hunt at night, when other ghosts are most active. Jellicent, wailord, and drifblim are the primary targets of dragapult hunts. Dragapult will hide invisible, either underwater or high in the sky, until they get a clear shot. Then dreepy will be fired at the target at supersonic speeds, usually causing a lethal rupture and deflation upon collision. As others in the area try to flee, drakloak will hem them in. Other dreepy will take their positions in their parent’s launchers and another volley will be fired. The first wave of dreepy will grab any remaining ectoplasm in their jaw and steadily make their way back to their parents. The attack ends when more prey has been killed than the silo can eat, the drakloak are injured and pushed back, or the dragapult run out of dreepy to fire. When the hunt is finished, the dreepy eat first. Dragapult go second. Drakloak eat last, although there is usually enough food for all silo members to eat with food left over.

Less dramatic hunts occur in the middle depths of the open ocean. All members of the silo will dive down and scoop up jellyfish in their mouth. Alternatively, multiple silo members may collaborate to pull apart and consume a siphonophore or man-o-war. Wailord hunts are now believed to be very rare; most of the line’s organic diet comes from gelatinous organisms.

Husbandry

There are two schools of thought around dragapult husbandry.

The first is raising a dreepy without a drakloak or dragapult to assist. This strategy requires obtaining a dreepy (see Acquisition) and then feeding, housing, and playing with it well enough to replicate a wild environment. The dreepy will require a dusk ball and/or many tight, dark, enclosed spaces to hide in. A pool of water should also be provided for the dreepy to hide and swim in.

Jellyfish are easy enough to obtain, but fresh ectoplasm is exceptionally difficult as most ghosts fade quickly after death. In practice, the dreepy will need other pokémon to wear down a ghost and then allow the dreepy to make the kill and use its own spectral energies to keep the body from fading. Please consult local regulations on using live, captive pokémon for consumption.

Other pokémon, especially ghosts and dragons, help dreepy deal with anxiety and loneliness that occurs when away from a silo. Cannons and catapults custom-built for dreepy are also good for enrichment, emotional regulation, and evolution (see Evolution). Dreepy are usually skittish around humans, but gradually increasing exposure can cause a dreepy to except a trainer as family. It is safe to touch dreepy, even for prolonged periods.

Some trainers have adopted entire silos with some success. A few of these silos are formed from captive-raised dreepy that form a mated pair. Others are simply adopted intact from the wild (see Acquisition). So long as all silo members are captured and chipped (a potentially arduous task for skittish dreepy), they can be allowed to roam and feed themselves over a large range. Unfortunately, free-range dragapult do not often return home at the times their trainer would like them to be there. Channelers and teams with pokémon translators may have more luck, but dragapult are an unfortunate mix of forgetful and spiteful and may decline to return on time even when aware of the deadline.

Illness

Most dragapult and drakloak illnesses stem from eating the ectoplasm of sick ghosts. The diseases tend to transfer directly to the predator and linger for a few days or weeks. With time and health food, a full recover is all but assured.

When under stress, such as isolation from conspecifics, dreepy often refuse to eat even if food is provided for them. Over time they will spend less and less time solid and visible. They will eventually fade away altogether. If a dreepy begins this cycle, it is best to immediately introduce a dreepy or drakloak for companionship. Having other ghosts or dragons can reduce stress, as can launching devices.

Evolution

Dreepy can take up to fifteen to twenty years to evolve in the wild and captivity. With regular success in hunts or launches from man-made catapults, this can be reduced to ten or even five years. Ongoing research suggests that diets that are about 70% ectoplasm can be tied to faster evolution into a drakloak, although dreepy can survive on a diet consisting primarily of gelatinous organisms. Evolution is marked by a fairly rapid expansion of the horns and head size followed by a more gradual expansion of the rest of the body.

Drakloak undergo a similar evolution process after a few solo hunts. The second evolution is comparatively fast and can occur less than two years after the first evolution. The absence of dragapult and presence of dreepy accelerates the evolution timeline as the drakloak evolves to better care for its younger siblings.

Battle

There is fierce debate in universities and league offices as to what constitutes a pokémon. Galar is famously lax in their definition and allows for an entire formation of falinks to battle as one pokémon. Alola is comparatively strict; the only pokémon allowed with multiple minds and physically detached bodies is exeggute, a fairly weak pokémon with a hive mind that evolves into a single contiguous organism. Even wishiwashi are not allowed to form true schools, despite being an iconic symbol of Alola.

The debate is relevant to dragapult as the species’ strongest attacks involve launching dreepy. There was an extended delay in putting dragapult in the Alola Pokédex because scholars, politicians, and league officials were concerned about allowing dreepy to accompany a dragapult into battle. This is contentious not because of dragapult itself, which has never been used in an official Alolan league match, but because allowing dreepy for attacks is dangerously close to allowing charjabug to power up a vikavolt’s lightning strikes. Dragapult was eventually admitted as a native Alolan species and allowed in league matches, but neither dragapult, drakloak, nor vikavolt can use their juvenile stages in official battles.

Even without dreepy, dragapult is a formidable opponent. Dragapult accelerate and decelerate well and have an incredible top speed. What few attacks they cannot dodge outright can be avoided by fading into other realms. Dragapult can also use their deep and broad energy wells to incapacitate opponents with thunder wave, toxic, or will-o-wisp, blow them away with hex or draco meteor, or use one of dragapult’s many coverage moves to turn a neutral matchup into a favorable one.

The most reliable counter-strategy to dragapult is to simply bait them into breaking the rules. The species is one of very few that can easily slip past even the most potent of defensive barriers. Ordinarily out-of-bounds violations are rare as all competitors are physically stopped. Dragapult reflexively phase through them rather than allowing themselves to be hit. Putting a pokémon, especially a ranged attacker, at the edge of an arena and baiting the opponent into attacking often leads to the dragapult slipping out-of-bounds after a physical attack and being disqualified.

More reliable counterplay to dragapult includes very bulky normal-types like blissey and porygon2, powerful ghost-types that can strike dragapult even when they are faded, homing attacks, and some fairy- and dark-type area of effect moves that can punish dragapult however they try to avoid it. Dragapult are also not built for close-quarters combat, with their claws as more of a last-ditch defense than anything. If a physically-inclined flier can get close, it can deal a fair bit of damage.

Dragapult and drakloak have never been used on the island challenge. It is probable that they function best as flying artillery that can dodge almost any attack and wear down the opponent over time. Dreepy is substantially weaker than either of its evolved forms and will struggle on its own, even in early trials.

Acquisition

A silo is most commonly sighted feeding on tentacruel as well as jellicent and other ghosts in the Route 14 area. They are only occasional visitors to Alola, arriving to feed and explore once every three to eight months and staying for a matter of days or weeks. All evolutionary stages are very good at staying hidden if they do not wish to be seen, effectively necessitating a Silph Scope for would-be capturers.

It will not be easy to capture a dreepy. Dragapult and drakloak are fiercely protective of the baby dragons and will pursue abductors for quite some distance. The only reliable way to shake them is to defeat every single member of the silo, capture one or all of them, and then, if a dragapult remains, flee a very long distance with the dreepy in its ball.

A captured silo can be bribed to regularly come back with offerings of food or direct communication through translators or channelers. An individual dreepy will probably become skittish, refuse to eat, and take any chance it finds to escape. It is more reliable to purchase one of the very expensive children of previously-captured dreepy. The primary markets for this are in Galar, although less well-documented specimens can be acquired in Morocco and Anahuac.

Dreepy, drakloak, and dragapult all require a Class IV license to obtain.

Breeding

Dragapult mating has never occurred in sight of humans. It may not occur in the physical world at all. What is known is that a female dragpault will occasionally release already-fertilized eggs into a body of water. The eggs float just below the surface, anchored in place by forces unknown. All members of the silo fiercely guard the eggs. Any interlopers that are not scared away by eerie noises or displays of aggression will be attacked and probably killed. As the eggs are plainly visible, at least one drakloak or dragapult will also remain visible near the eggs, often half-submerged in the water with their tail wrapped around them. Dragapult have never been seen laying eggs in Alola, but any trainers encountering a drakloak or dragapult behaving as such should leave the area immediately and contact the DNR.

Dragapult steadfastly refuse human help in raising their children. Even fairly loyal specimens will attempt to flee to some place secluded for at least one year after new children hatch, only returning to their trainer once the babies are sufficiently grown.

Subspecies

Early dragapult sightings (c. 1870) reported the pokémon as being mottled brown and unable to become fully transparent. Deceased individuals left behind a fossilized skeleton. Over the course of several generations the species has left its rock-typing behind and become more traditionally ghostly and draconic. The process has inspired many scientists interested in fossil reproduction. It is the basis for the current method of creating questionably organic rock-types first before using genetic engineering and selective intra- and interspecies breeding to remove the unnatural traits.

Dragapult themselves are believed to be related to the ancient amphibian Koolasuchus lata. Whether the species was a breed of self-resurrecting ghost-types, or whether dragapult are the result of a modern ghost type leeching a form, DNA, and memory from ancient bones, is a matter of ongoing scientific debate. Ectoplasm preserves extremely poorly and is very soft at the best of times, making it unlikely to fossilize. The remains of any bones suggests that K. lata was not, in fact, a ghost-type. However, if a modern ghost did latch onto K. lata’s bones, it raises the question of why this has not occurred with any other fossilized pokémon.

In any case, K. lata was an amphibian whose fossils have been found in Europe, Northwest Africa, and Baja California. The unusual distribution suggests that they were competent seafarers capable of crossing the Tethys Ocean. Alternatively, if fossils were to be found in other regions of North America, it would suggests that they were simply a coastal species that lived along the very edge of the Tethys Ocean, as the then-archipelago of Europe was not far removed from North America at the time.

It is believed that K. lata preyed on small dinosaurs and mid-sized fish, presumably using ambush tactics to take down prey. If they were to be fast, airborne ghost-types like their modern equivalents, K. lata may have had no trouble at all crossing the oceans of the Jurassic world and catching prey in much the same way as dragapult do now.
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Florges (Flabébé, Floette)

Overview

Around 1000 BCE, a superweapon was fired in Kalos. A long, bloody war came to an end with the annihilation of both sides. In the end no party won, save perhaps the desperate king who resurrected his beloved companion only to be rejected and abandoned. In time almost everything in Kalos, human and pokémon, lost their cultural memory of the war.

Florges never did. The species is still attempting to process it three millennia later. They keep vast gardens to honor the dead, revive the scorched earth, and try to bring some meaning to the world after warfare. While they are obsessed with peace, when they choose to fight they are very powerful pokémon.

While florges have human-comparable intelligence, the lower stages have maturity more comparable to toddlers and grade schoolers than adult humans. Raising a flabébé to adulthood is very much like raising a child. Florges do not need as much of a watchful eye. On balance they are haunted, fickle creatures who need heavy emotional support and a very understanding trainer. When they do find a solid partnership, florges are likely to form a deep bond with their trainer. Even centuries later they can be heard murmuring maternal lamentations for their lost human companions as they wander the wastelands human wars have wrought.

Physiology

The florges line are currently classified as pure fairy-type pokémon. This is heavily disputed, most prominently by scholars arguing that all plant pokémon ]should have a grass-typing. The general melancholy and possible channeling abilities of florges also support a potential ghost-typing. However, there is no definitive proof that florges can speak with the dead and, unlike most plant-based pokémon, florges are not primarily photosynthetic. Also unlike most grass-types, florges aren’t seriously bothered by fire and fear death by water more than anything.

Flabébé are small fey creatures with a short stem-like tail, a round torso, and a head that dwarfs the rest of their body. Ear-like petals sprout from the sides of their head and a crown of yellow flowers rests on top. The bottom portion of flabébé is green and the top is white. Flabébé instinctively attach themselves to a flower they like. The color appears to dictate the powers they control later on in life (see Behavior). Any flower flabébé bonds with will grow even after being plucked and never wilts. It was long thought that flabébé somehow absorbed the energy of their flower to feed. Recent research shows that this is not the case and the entire line feeds almost exclusively on ambient elemental energy and moonlight, with blood and sunlight being serviceable replacements in times of desperation.

Floette have much larger bodies than flabébé and retain their flower. Their green tail grows and develops fins at the end that lets the pokémon swim through the air like a marine mammal. The crown is replaced with small buds around the ears and large green antennae. What the ears, crown, or antennae are used for is still not well understood.

Florges have been described as a girl in a hyacinth. Their tail splits into two long petals that can be used to entirely cover the main body. The tail itself grows tall enough to allow very large florges to look their trainer in the eye. The flower fuses with the florges and becomes an elaborate wreath around the head. Despite being distantly related to other flower pokémon, florges have organ systems similar to some animals. They have a heart (that glows when exposed to air) but no lungs. A small brain rests behind their pearlescent eyes and nerve clusters throughout the body assist it. It is possible that florges offload some of their mental functions to their garden itself.

The largest florges can reach heights of 1.7 meters and weights of 20 kilograms. Their lifespan is unknown; there may still be florges alive who witnessed the Kalosian wars three millennia ago.

Behavior

Flabébé are carefree spirits that spend their days wandering their mother’s garden in pursuit of the best possible flower. They sometimes observe or even prank the pokémon or people in the garden, but they never do any serious harm. In turn no one dares harm a baby under her mother’s watchful eye. Strong gusts of wind can blow flabébé away: they are not yet skilled fliers and are almost always carrying a comparatively large sail with them. Their best course of action during storms is to cling to their mother.

Floette leave their mother behind and set off on their own. In Kalos they often retreat uphill to live free in the mountains for a few years, tending to small meadows and flowerbeds in groups as they practice their budding powers. Some end up in cities or the suburbs where they tend to parks, backyard gardens, and flower beds. Disrupting a flower bed can earn the pokémon’s wrath, either immediately or after they evolve. While not yet as somber as florges, floette have complex emotional lives and are prone to fits of anger when dealing with feelings they don’t understand.

Florges often stay in one place and care for an increasingly large garden. The florges’s presence strengthens the plants within and even heals pokémon and humans, physically and perhaps emotionally. In turn they gain more and more influence over their gardens. The exact powers gained depend on their personality and flower color. Manipulations of light and darkness are common. One florges was fond of communicating with humans through heaps of broken images scattered amongst the flowers. Others raise shadows in the twilight and apparently talk to them. Florges that have learned the human language have claimed these shadows are the spirits of the dead. One particularly powerful florges in Iberia has been known to cast a violet glow over their garden for about an hour every night. Many visitors report seeing or hearing long-dead loved ones. Whether this is a psychic illusion or a channeling of actual spirits is not yet clear.

As a general rule, purple and pink florges have spectral or psionic gifts, red and orange florges are low-grade biokinetics that actively change the beings in their garden, blue florges have minor weather altering abilities, yellow florges specialize in powders and debilitating effects, and green florges are particularly competent healers. Slight variations in shades and temperament can produce different effects.

White florges are the rarest by far. Rather than tending to gardens, they tend to wander the world wrapped in long brown cloaks and veils. While this does deprive them of a garden to channel their powers, white florges have extremely powerful lunar energy that let them release some of the strongest known moonblasts, heal themselves almost completely in an instant with moonlight, and even restore others or gradually warp an environment. They are also extremely intelligent; one Kalosian king declared a white florges that spent time in his court to be the wisest woman in all of Europe.

All florges are wracked by their knowledge of devastation. Some of this is firsthand and comes from being empathetic beings with long, long lifespans. The rest is either from passed-down stories or potentially a communal memory. They are naturally wary of conflict and distrustful of humans, although they often are sought out by the broken for their calming gardens and relation to the dead. Florges will often allow corpses to be buried in their garden so that the deceased can at least create something beautiful in death, whatever they accomplished in life. Newly evolved florges are fond of settling down in the aftermaths of bloody battles, natural disasters, nuclear fallout, or legendary attacks and making lilacs grow from the dead earth. The flower pokémon are obsessed with meaning and try to bring some significance from even the most pointless of tragedies.

White florges are somewhat more active healers and peacemakers. They tend to move between monasteries, courts, universities, and other centers of human influence to learn and teach what they can. White florges are particularly fearsome advocates for peace. This does not make them inherently peaceful. All florges become violent when their garden is threatened. White florges consider the world to be their garden. Warmongers or profiteers often wind up being killed by a moonblast. One florges in Galar became particularly fond of murdering every feudal lord involved in a war regardless of guilt to dissuade their successors from violence. Eventually the nobility banded together to kill the florges before burning down all florges gardens on the island and banning their importation. This event became known as The War With The Roses. While another white florges did avenge her sister, no new gardens have formed in Galar since.

Husbandry

All three evolutionary stages feed primarily on moonlight and ambient elemental energy. Current and recent trial sites have an abundance of Z-Energy to feed on. Z-Crystals can also serve as a battery of sorts. Florges and strong floette can safely bask at night. Flabébé will need a guardian on the trail; Pokémon Centers often have some sort of netting over their pools to protect weaker fish from birds, making these great basking spots in cities. Only sick specimens produce waste.

Like most intelligent pokémon, members of the florges line require extensive enrichment and bonding activities. The exact nature of care required depends on the evolutionary stage.

As mentioned above, flabébé are young and relatively carefree. They require near constant protection to make sure they don’t blow away in the wind, fall victim to predators, or accidentally hurt themselves. Visits to parks and flower beds or shops make good enrichment. While they might come to understand a few words, flabébé are unlikely to speak or develop a true understanding of the human language. Frequently talking to flabébé can teach them more words and help them understand the subtext of tone, inflection, and body language. Very lightweight toys such as origami birds can make for good enrichment, but flabébé will typically find ways to entertain themselves.

Floette are fairly comparable to older human children. If raised from a young age they will start to fully understand the human language and even be able to form rudimentary sentences of their own. Unlike flabébé’s rather physical curiosity, floette enjoy trips to museums and interesting landmarks and appreciate explanations as to how things work. “Why” is often their favorite word and trainers should be prepared to patiently explain mundane aspects of the world many times. On balance, floette trainers often wind up learning a great deal about many subjects in the process. Teaching floette to read can help abate their curiosity. Strangely enough, floette get along far more with carnivorous pokémon than herbivores. The flowers instinctively defend other plants and beautiful scenery and can come into conflict with grazers. Careful explanation of the other pokémon’s diet may be needed to ease tensions.

They are more likely to see teammates as competitors for their trainer’s time and affections than as potential teammates.

Florges are more than capable of taking care of themselves. The biggest hurdle for florges trainers is convincing them they should stay. Owning a large plot of land to form a garden on helps. This is not plausible for most in Alola given the high real estate prices. It is usually easier to convince the florges that their trainer and teammates are their metaphorical garden. This requires forming a genuinely familial relationship. Extensive time spent together, genuine consideration of the florges’ advice, and shared interests help. Compatible political ideology and attendance at anti-war or pro-environment rallies also encourage the florges to stay, although the laws about pokémon at protest events should be reviewed in advance. Finally, traumatized trainers – especially refugees and veterans – instinctively trigger maternal feelings. Florges get along well with blissey who are also attracted to similar humans.

White florges tend not to care about forming gardens. They are also easier to bond with and often already know the human language. Unlike most pokémon, white florges have memories and duties. As long-lived creatures, florges are often unwilling to attach themselves to a trainer who will die in mere decades. Conversely, sometimes they may agree to travel with a trainer who reminds them of an old companion. White florges often see themselves as bound by duties to their species, humanity, and the world. These plans may prove incompatible with their trainer’s goals.

Illness

Elemental withdrawal is the cause of most florges illnesses. Even serious physical wounds can be mended in time through hibernation and absorption of moonlight and energy. Withdrawal symptoms include wilting, wandering away from beloved places and people, extreme mood swings, and a refusal to use their powers. Florges that can speak will often lay out their problems. Thankfully almost all damage can be fixed with exposure to enough energy from evolutionary stones, Z- and mega-crystals, wishing stars, and particularly charged areas.

Drowning is the main cause of death in fully grown florges. They do require oxygen to breathe and are not particularly adept swimmers. While florges are usually smart enough to avoid this fate; they can still be caught off-guard by shipwrecks, flash floods, and assassins.

Evolution

Flabébé gradually evolve to floette. In the wild the demarcation line is the new floette leaving the garden they were born in. In captivity a floette is a flabébé that has grown heavier than its flower. Size is the main physical difference between the two.

Florges evolve via flash evolution. A floette with enough wisdom, power, and courage, will seek out a place to grow a garden. The flowers will gradually gain elemental charges great enough to cause the floette’s evolution. Alternatively, white floette evolve upon absorbing enough moonlight in their lifetime. In captivity evolution can be triggered by frequent battle and a moon, dawn, leaf, or shiny stone.

Battle

Florges, even outside of their gardens, are very powerful combatants. Moonblasts are their strongest offensive attacks, but some are also capable of using psionic moves or grass-elemental attacks. More importantly they are very durable and can quickly recover from most hits while continuing to bombard the opponent. They also have a variety of tricks, including fear spores that can cause severe panic attacks.

The difficulty of training florges and their general aversion to violence makes them niche picks on the European and global circuits. When used they make for effective dragon checks and they can shut down many special attackers by shrugging off damage and retaliating in kind. Their odd hybrid plant-animal minds also make them difficult for alakazam to target.

White florges are the strongest in almost every way. They are extremely uncommon in professional circuits as they tend to be averse to fighting for the sake of fighting. A handful of European collectors have started to deliberately raise white flabébé in controlled environments to produce relatively compliant white florges. Results have been mixed and more than one such project was destroyed after a free florges found out about it.

Florges function mostly as special tanks on the island challenge. Moonblasts and other attacks can wound opponents while the florges heals herself. Anything that gets too close can be shown fear in a handful of dust and promptly hit with a point-blank attack for their trouble.

Floette and flabébé are much harder to battle with as neither are particularly fast, durable, or strong. They mostly rely upon powder attacks to stun an opponent before slowly whittling them down. Ideally flabébé should not be battled with at all and floette should only be used against relatively weak opponents. Anything with wind manipulation can literally blow the pokémon away and should be avoided.

Acquisition

Florges were deliberately released by environmental activists in the 1970s to help preserve the island’s meadows. Their descendants still live on the archipelago. However, the government has bounties on white flabébé and floette and the importation of both is prohibited to prevent terrorism.

Flabébé can be found in the areas around large flower meadows. Their capture is prohibited on Akala but allowed on the other three tapu islands. Be forewarned that florges can grow defensive over flabébé capture in their garden and will seek out a battle against the trainer themselves followed by a long appraisal. Floette are easier to obtain as they are more widely distributed and not actively monitored by florges. In any case, flabébé can be purchased from some specialist plant breeders. Florges capture is prohibited to help preserve the meadows.

Flabébé can be obtained with a Class III license; floette require a Class II. Unusually, florges cannot be grandfathered in with the license they were obtained with in a lower stage. A Stage IV license is required to possess them.

Breeding

Florges are capable of asexual reproduction. Alternatively, they can cross-pollinate with another florges. All florges are hermaphrodites. Virtually all accept a female or female-adjacent gender identity. Very few male-identifying florges have been recorded.

After self- or cross-pollination the florges lowers herself into her tail leaves and seals herself in. Seven to ten days later she will emerge with several crystalline seeds lining her body. She will carefully place these just beneath the surface. Two to four weeks later the new flabébé will emerge. The mother florges will watch her children closely for the first year of their life before slowly granting them more autonomy.

Breeding florges in captivity can be difficult. To start with, taking seeds or flabébé away from a mother florges without her consent is almost guaranteed to lead to the combat death of the florges herself, as well as anyone she can take with her along the way. Gaining consent requires convincing the mother that her children can be cared for by humans and giving them up would be good for the new flabébé or the world as a whole. There are a surprising number of breeders who have managed this with the prospects of new gardens or potentially influential human children being introduced to the florges’ ideology.

Subspecies


While most flabébé end up taking a flower of the same color as their parents, if only because an abundance of such flowers typically live in the garden, they can adopt another one. As such florges do not have subspecies, even though there are multiple categories of individuals with combat and personality differences.
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Lilligant (Petilil)

Overview

Most pokémon, and especially most popular pokémon, are essentially just animals with slightly odd biology and the ability to harness elemental powers. Many of the exceptions lack any carbon-based biology. Then there are pokémon that are essentially plants with odd biology and elemental energy wells. Lilligant is a fairly typical example with a very storied history. In the modern day they are mostly associated with celebrities, art collectors, and the top grass-type breeders. While maintaining the flower does require fairly expensive and time-consuming interventions, it is not necessary for the pokémon’s health to do so. If the flower need not be blooming than lilligant are somewhat easier to care for, although their need for very good soil does make them more difficult than many other grass-types.

Biology

Both stages of the evolutionary line are classified as pure grass-types. The ruling is not controversial.

Petilil have shallow light green roots, a large bulb, and two to five dark green leaves on their head. One side of the bulb is white and contains eye spots that can detect light and movement. Petilil’s leaves are very bitter but have traditionally been used as a form of medicine in Central Asia. Studies on their efficacy have had mixed results, but most show that boiling the leaves and drinking the liquid does slightly counteract or postpone old age health problems. Their skin is mildly toxic and can cause rashes if handled without gloves. Petilil can move by pulling themselves out of the ground and shuffling to a new location. This is energy intensive, slow, and seldom done.

Lilligant’s roots remain about the same size as those of a petilil. Their lower bulb is larger and a white stalk with two arm-like leaves and a smaller white bulb with eye spots develop over it. A mixture of light and dark green leaves flow from the top bulb. Some captive lilligant have a vibrant red flower blooming year round. Most develop it seasonally. As a consequence of their larger size and small root structures lilligant are almost entirely incapable of moving.

Even among grass-types the line is notable for their need for high-quality soils. This is an accidentally cultivated trait as the wild lilligant of Central Asia thrive in rugged montane lands and semideserts. Instead selective breeding for larger bulbs and more vibrant colors (as well as smaller roots to keep the precious flowers from running away) made for ever more demanding nutritional requirements. Now the only places they can naturally live long-term in the wild have either very good soil or an abundance of grass-elemental energy. Additionally some cold weather (more than ninety days below 10 degrees C / 50 degrees F) is usually required for survival. This initially confined Alolan lilligant to the mountains, although in recent decades several have successfully migrated down to the lowlands.

Lilligant can grow up to 110 centimeters in height and weigh up to 8 kilograms. They can survive up to nine years in the wild or seven in captivity.

Behavior

Petilil and lilligant appear to do rather little. Once they have found a moist location with good soils and occasional sunlight they will dig themselves in and stay put. If their location is about to flood or burn down they will attempt to move. This disguises the constant battle for survival among plants where pheromones are transmitted, the environment is monitored, and defense mechanisms are prepared and deployed with no apparent external changes. Petilil are mildly venomous and generally foul-tasting and most large animals and pokémon leave them alone. Funguses and parasites are not so kind. Biologically expensive toxins can be prepared in advance to fend off invaders but are generally not maintained. But when one petilil or lilligant falls sick, it transmits information on the threat to all others in the gallery and within a week the entire group is resistant.

Lilligant can be somewhat more proactive about larger threats that decide that the plants are acceptable food. Despite being slow lilligant can still unleash dangerous spores or lash out with solar beam or magical leaf attacks. In Alola there is seldom a need for this as their forests and meadows are overseen by oranguru and florges, respectively.

Husbandry

Many trainers find it difficult to bond with plant pokémon, especially one as non-expressive as lilligant or petilil. It is possible to communicate. Over time the pokémon can learn to recognize their caretaker’s voice. Basic word association needed for battle and commands can also be established by saying the word for whatever the pokémon is doing as it does it. Lilligant can communicate back through slight changes in posture or scent. On the bright side, the plants need relatively little emotional investment and are not physically affectionate. Very busy trainers often appreciate this.

The line are perfectly content to travel in pokéballs. When stationary they should be allowed to dig into soil. Petilil trainers and lilligant trainers unconcerned with flower quality can leave the plant outside or in a shallow pot of ordinary soil. In order to maintain flower quality very specific soil blends at ideal temperatures and moistures are required, as well as occasional exposure to very specific scents. Under no circumstances should the lilligant be allowed to mate (see Breeding). Trainers particularly concerned with flower maintenance should consult the specialist literature.

It is safe to harvest petilil leaves for consumption at a rate of one leaf per ten days.

Illness

Lilligant flowers are prone to wither away or even rot. While visually unpleasant this is a natural part of their life cycle and is not a cause for concern. If any other area of a lilligant’s body starts to rot that is a sign of a late-stage parasitic or bacterial infection that must be treated as soon as possible. The same goes for white molds coating any part of the body or abrupt changes in color. Wilting of non-flower parts is usually a sign of dehydration. The lilligant should be moved to a wetter area or have their soil dampened, but not waterlogged.

Lilligant Fracturing Disease once defined the species in culture. The viral infection caused changes in pigmentation that led to beautiful patterns of red, blue, green, and yellow to appear on a lilligant or petilil’s body. The disease inspired a great deal of artwork and was deliberately spread. Unfortunately the infection dramatically reduced fertility and lifespan and led to the demise of nearly all European and Middle Eastern lilligant within a few generations. Of the domesticated lilligant subspecies, only the Unovan population survived. Reintroduction efforts have subsequently introduced the species back to much of its former range, although parts of Europe have become too polluted to successfully support a wild population.

Evolution

Petilil begin to evolve in their second autumn of life. After a brief scouting period to find the best place to begin the process, as well as a lilligant or florges to watch over them, the pokémon partially buries itself and grows dormant. First the bulb begins to expand and the eyespots are subsumed under the new layers. Then a stalk and second bulb begin to bloom. Finally the leaves on the lilligant’s head begin to develop. The entire process takes three to four weeks. At the end the new lilligant awakens and resumes its normal pattern of inactivity.

Botanists in Iberia have successfully evolved petilil at seven months of age through the use of a greenhouse that simulated an accelerated seasonal cycle. This is impractical for most trainer’s to replicate and no facility for doing so currently exists in Alola.

Battling

Lilligant suffer heavily from their lack of mobility. They also are not bulky enough to serve as immobile special tanks, although their solar beams and magical leaves are rather powerful. Pokémon such as venusaur, tropius, and tangrowth largely fill lilligant’s potential niche. Quiver dance is an effective setup move but when lilligant starts with terrible mobility it functionally only boosts the plant’s attack power and special bulk. Finally, lilligant has very little ability to manipulate non-grass elements and can be shut down by any bulky resists.

Island challengers wishing to use lilligant should prioritize power training at first. Once solar beam and magical leaf are mastered defensive tactics can be learned. Ideally lilligant should be sent in against a special attacker it can overpower at range. Anything that tries to get close can be put to sleep. Unfortunately sleep powder does tend to set in after lilligant has taken critical amounts of damage. Lilligant can overpower many early opponents, and petill are durable enough to hold up on the first island, but eventually they will stop being able to pull their weight.

Acquisition

Petilil tend to live in places with large amounts of grass-type energy or great soil. On Alola this amounts to the interior and northern forests of Akala and the oricorio meadows. Petilil can be identified through their leaves with the help of a guidebook. Proving battles are unnecessary to gain compliance but useful for whittling down the pokémon’s health to allow for capture. Newly captured petilil tend to be apathetic towards their trainer and are unlikely to run away unless neglected.

Lilligant capture is currently prohibited. Florges are quite fond of lilligant and react poorly to attempts to remove them. They are far less defensive of petilil.

Petilil can be adopted, purchased, or captured with a Class II license. Lilligant may be purchased or adopted with a Class III license.

Breeding

Lilligant begin to bloom in the late winter. When two lilligant find each other they will press their flowers together to exchange gametes before going back to their own ranges. All lilligant are hermaphrodites and have both male and female reproductive organs. Two to five days later they will bury seeds into the ground. Petilil will emerge shortly after the Vernal Equinox.

Maintaining a lilligant’s flower requires keeping the pokémon constantly in anticipation of mating. The scent of other lilligant flowers must be a constant presence but no actual exposure to another lilligant can occur. Sometimes the process requires keeping the lilligant in a cool, damp greenhouse for most of the year.

Trainers who intend to actually let their lilligant breed generally have an easy time doing so. Lilligant pairs do not raise their children together. For the most part the new parents take a very hands-off approach to child-rearing in general. Once the seeds are buried in a greenhouse or garden the parent will be quite willing to let its trainer take responsibility for the petilil.

Subspecies

Alolan lilligant with their relatively high tolerance for hot temperatures may be a subspecies of their own. If so then they are a branch from the domestic lilligant.

Wild lilligant are native to high-altitude meadows in Central Asia. Compared to their domestic counterparts they are smaller, less colorful, and have much thicker and rougher epidermis. Their roots are comparatively larger, allowing wild lilligant to live in fairly poor soils and move with far more ease than any domestic variant.
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partner
silvally-grass
I mostly skimmed Dex and didn't study it as intensively, and most of my thoughts can be summed up as "this was really good", general praise for vigor of research, some new things I learned about seals, etc. I think for the memes I can't leave the Florges chapter alone though, lol.

Around 1000 BCE, a superweapon was fired in Kalos. A long, bloody war came to an end with the annihilation of both sides. In the end no party won, save perhaps the desperate king who resurrected his beloved companion only to be rejected and abandoned. In time almost everything in Kalos, human and pokémon, lost their cultural memory of the war.
As a concept it's such a deeply compelling one, and such a strange direction to take a pokemon that I really didn't have any strong opinions on prior to reading this. They're so sad! So melancholy! Such good references!

And also, it helped hammer through to me a theme I sort of found in the background of a lot of your work: what happens to people who can't forget the pasts that broke them? Evidently they become hyacinth girls, and also protagonists.

In time almost everything in Kalos, human and pokémon, lost their cultural memory of the war.
I think "everyone" here might fit better? Humans being included as things in this was kind of interesting to me.

This is heavily disputed, most prominently by scholars arguing that all plant pokémon ]should have a grass-typing.
* sad sudowoodo sounds *
extra bracket slipped in here btw

Florges have been described as a girl in a hyacinth.
I wish I'd read this blind and then had my eyebrows shoot off of my head when I got to this line and realized the joke lol.

The largest florges can reach heights of 1.7 meters and weights of 20 kilograms. Their lifespan is unknown; there may still be florges alive who witnessed the Kalosian wars three millennia ago.
This was interesting to me! Since florges are said to have intelligence similar to that of an adult human, are there ever attempts to ask florges about their age/memories? Maybe that's seen as rude? Maybe you can tell based on their garden style which time periods they've been from? Is there an oldest known florges, and they've quadroned off her garden as a protected area?

One florges was fond of communicating with humans through heaps of broken images scattered amongst the flowers. Others raise shadows in the twilight and apparently talk to them.
lol

One particularly powerful florges in Iberia has been known to cast a violet glow over their garden for about an hour every night.
dead

Newly evolved florges are fond of settling down in the aftermaths of bloody battles, natural disasters, nuclear fallout, or legendary attacks and making lilacs grow from the dead earth. The flower pokémon are obsessed with meaning and try to bring some significance from even the most pointless of tragedies.
I'm in this paragraph and I don't like it.

Eventually the nobility banded together to kill the florges before burning down all florges gardens on the island and banning their importation. This event became known as The War With The Roses. While another white florges did avenge her sister, no new gardens have formed in Galar since.
This was such a wonderfully on-brand concept and phrasing in general. It's like the emu wars but also a pun. I love it.

On balance, floette trainers often wind up learning a great deal about many subjects in the process.
Yeah I bet they end up having to read tons of articles about calendars of ancient peoples, or mating habits of pikas, or vantablack.

Teaching floette to read can help abate their curiosity. Strangely enough, floette get along far more with carnivorous pokémon than herbivores. The flowers instinctively defend other plants and beautiful scenery and can come into conflict with grazers. Careful explanation of the other pokémon’s diet may be needed to ease tensions.
I really loved this image, too. In general ADex feels alive and like a world that's lived in, including the mundane parts, but this chapter in particular felt like even more of that.

Their odd hybrid plant-animal minds also make them difficult for alakazam to target.
Is this a specific reference? I wasn't sure why alakazam was called out in particular here.

Anything that gets too close can be shown fear in a handful of dust and promptly hit with a point-blank attack for their trouble.
Haha, I think the references in general were very subtle but this one stuck out a bit.

Florges are capable of asexual reproduction. Alternatively, they can cross-pollinate with another florges. All florges are hermaphrodites. Virtually all accept a female or female-adjacent gender identity. Very few male-identifying florges have been recorded.
I'm surprised you didn't work Tiresias into this one actually!

Lovely entry i'm very biased and I liked all the work that went into it! <3
 

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Whimsicott (Cottonee)

Overview

Whimsicott have been tied to many of the greatest triumphs and tragedies of the modern era. The first factories were made to process their fluff. The cottonee industry led to the mass produced pokéball, but also serious human and pokémon rights abuses. The fluff trade both stimulated global trade networks and led to coups, civil wars, and revolutions in Egypt, India, and the United States.

In recent years whimsicott have experienced a surge in popularity among casual and professional trainers. Their fluff and antics make them desirable for trainers interested in knitting and fine with harmless pranks. Whimsicott can also make for great pillows and are usually willing to play the part. On the professional circuits whimsicott have come to form the backbone of the quickstall teams.

Physiology

Cottonee and whimsicott are classified as dual grass- and fairy-type pokémon. Both have been disputed disputed. For most of European history scientists classified whimsicott as animals that resembled plants. As animals they could not have a grass-typing. Recent research and genetic sequencing has confirmed that whimsicott are, in fact, plants with several animal characteristics. The line’s fairy-typing is justified by a weakness to iron and an affinity for pranks. There are purists who argue that fairy-typing, if it exists, requires some connection to the moon. The Department of Agriculture has not shown an interest in reopening its review of whimsicott’s typing.

Cottonee are small plants with white outer membranes and a mass of white fibers growing out around the core body. A narrow fluffless band runs around their midsection and reveals their red eye spots. Two green flaps with photosynthetic capabilities extend from either side of their body. Cottonee get almost all of their food from photosynthesis and most of their water through their skin or by absorbing it from the ground or puddles through small prehensile roots beneath their fur. These roots can also be used to expel the fluff from their body and allow for movement. The leaves can also be moved to simulate flight. Even with these adaptations cottonee are still far slower than the average human.

Unlike cottonee, whimsicott have an apparently mammalian body. Instead of skin whimsicott have a thin layer of bark. They have functional mouths and a crude digestive system that lets them supplement photosynthesis with bugs, shrubs, and flowers. The nervous system of whimsicott is poorly understood. There are a few clusters of what appear to be nerves but nothing sophisticated enough to explain the species’ intelligence. The subject is of much interest in the fields of biology and computer science.

Whimsicott have a lot more fluff than their preevolution. They also are significantly more mobile, with limbs outside of their fluff allowing them to move freely without discarding most of their mass. Whimsicott’s roots are also much longer than cottonee’s, allowing for more versatile movements of the fluff. These tendrils also make whimsicott fluff relatively hard to harvest without the pokémon’s active participation. Machines struggle to keep up with the quickly moving tendrils and manual harvesters often struggle to remove one pokémon’s fluff without getting a hand full of thorns for their trouble.

It isn’t entirely clear why whimsicott evolved fluff in the first place. It makes them vulnerable to being blown away by wind or bogged down by rain on top of being a very noticeable target. The leading theory is that it lets cottonee (and, more rarely, whimsicott) band together to form a large fluffy mass that can weigh up to several tons. The sheer size of cottonee clouds scares off many would-be predators. These clouds have also been known to bury small towns they roll into. When whimsicott form clouds it appears to be for the sole purpose of burying towns or causing similar mischief. If one is caught alone during strong winds it can travel long distances, carrying its genetic material with it and allowing for genetic mixing between populations or the introduction of cottonee to new lands.

Whimsicott can grow up to 28 centimeters tall and weigh up to 1.5 kilograms, both measurements excluding fluff.

Behavior

Cottonee tend to live in factories of fifty to over one thousand individuals. On calm days the cottonee will disperse and spread their leaves in the sunlight. The species prefers to live at the edge of forests where the factory can anchor themselves near flat, sunny land. When the winds pick up or predators approach all members of the factory will bunch together, link roots, and form a giant cloud.

Whimsicott tend to be far more active and independent than their preevolutions. They also harbor a particular animus towards humanity, possibly a grudge formed in the last few centuries of large-scale cottonee agriculture. Whimsicott are known to break into homes. While not literally capable of going “anywhere the wind may flow” as one poet put it, whimsicott can still fit into any space their emolga-sized body can and then drag their fluff behind through clever use of control tendrils. Once inside a dwelling the pokémon are prone to scattering fluff everywhere, breaking and hiding objects, harassing any weak pokémon or non-pokémon pets, clogging drains and turning the faucets on, and various other pranks. Tobacco products are almost always stolen.

Serious crimes have been reported but never confirmed. One alleged murder became sensationalized before a group of teenage sleuths and their talking boltund revealed that a cottonee magnate had faked his own death and scattered fluff around the scene in order to justify the recapture of wild cottonee and escape his debts. He maintains to this day that he would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren’t for meddling kids.

In the wild whimsicott are known to pull pranks and steal food from other species. They are seldom retaliated against because they keep pranks relatively minor and are known to help out other species. When a young pokémon is sick or injured whimsicott often bring food to them and harass any predators that approach. Sometimes whimsicott donate fluff to be used as bedding. In fact whimsicott willingly donated fluff to humans to make clothing until just a few centuries ago. In some parts of the world they still do.

Husbandry

In the pre-industrial era cottonee farms tended to just be fields with good soil, irrigation trenches, and large poles erected in them at suitable distances. Cottonee would flock to the area on their own accord and rarely leave. Post-industrial facilities tended to keep cottonee chained to each other and the poles to prevent any escape. At harvest time the field was often flooded to limit the cottonee’s ability or desire to resist fluff removal, a task itself made easier with damp fluff. Removal was often brutal for workers and pokémon alike as the plants would sometimes lash out with their thorny roots. Most farm owners authorized root removal before harvesting or even the wholesale slaughter of the crop. The corpses would then be used to fertilize the earth before another factory of cottonee was brought in.

The introduction of the pokéball led to the phasing out of chain-based farming in favor of pokéball-based containment methods. This was done more for practical reasons than ethical ones. Until the late 19th Century it was widely believed that plant-based pokémon were incapable of feeling pain.

Nowadays many operations harvest fluff with either machines or steel-type pokémon with relatively dexterous appendages. Some still persist in the developing world that rely on cheap labor and lax laws for harvesting. In addition to their thorns, cottonee are capable of secreting a substance into their fluff that causes hives to break out on any exposed skin. These reactions can continue for weeks after the substance is washed off and even leave permanent discoloration or scarring.

Trainers not operating at an industrial level can treat cottonee much like any grass-type. They requires several hours a day of photosynthesis time and frequent access to either standing bodies of water or moist soils. Placing a cottonee directly in deep water might kill and will certainly irritate the pokémon. At night cottonee prefer to either be inside their pokéball or allowed to cling to something. Many trainers have reported their cottonee cuddling with available stuffed animals or pillows.

Fluff harvesting and contact is generally safe so long as the pokémon is not momentarily irritated or chronically stressed. Dangerous secretions are only released during battle or when assessing a potential threat. Cottonee are usually tolerant of being petted or hugged and whimsicott often initiate such contact. Harvesting fluff is somewhat risky and should only be done after consulting a specialist guide. Ideally a professional botanist or veterinarian will supervise the trainer the first few times. While harvesting is not necessary it is a good source of knitting materials. The so-called “ethical fluff” industry is also willing to pay for fluff harvested by traveling trainers.

Whimsicott typically loathe pokéballs of all sorts. Even luxury and solar balls are often rejected. While they are willing to tolerate pokéballs for a short period of time if a clear purpose is given or while injured, it is recommended that trainers use the ball very sparingly. Unlike virtually all plant pokémon whimsicott require a lot of enrichment. Puzzles, mazes, strange objects, and similarly intelligent playmates are all good options. If a whimsicott gets bored it will create their own entertainment, often at its trainer’s expense. Trainers looking for a cute and cuddly pet that does not require as much attention may want to look into emolga, dedenne, togedemaru, or komala instead.

Unlike cottonee, whimsicott require food beyond sunlight, water, and the occasional dip in good soils. Insect mixes, shoots, leaves, and flowers are all acceptable food sources. At first all four should be provided in abundance. Over time the whimsicott will settle on a steady diet and only their typical daily needs can be provided. Nuts and fruit can be sparingly used as treats.

Illness

Cottonee that live in areas with highly metallic soils often struggle to thrive and produce very thin fluff with clumps missing. This is easily rectified by moving them to an area with less metal in the soil. Iron content is usually inversely proportional to pH. Soil acidity is highly variable across Alola. Garden supply stores often sell soils with a high pH. Counterintuitively, cottonee can benefit from sharing a team with a steel-type so long as the partner actively consumes minerals in the soil. Alolan dugtrio is a great teammate because it tills the soil and removes excess iron.

Cottonee and whimsicott are very illness prone for plant pokémon. Many of these illnesses take the form of either a thin layer of mold or fungus spreading across the pokémon’s surface or discoloration, foul odors, and eventually rot in the core body. Both are usually carried by small parasites. Unfortunately centuries of selective breeding have greatly reduced the potency of cottonee’s repellant chemicals against parasites. The introduction of Aztec cottonee to most of the world and breeding for tamer and less colorful cottonee has also led to a dearth of genetic diversity that can leave populations highly vulnerable to viruses. At the first sign of trouble the pokémon should be taken to a veterinarian. Potentially sick individuals should be separated from conspecifics immediately.

Evolution

Modern cottonee seldom evolve. In the past enough sunlight, nutrients, and time would almost inevitably trigger an evolution. Industrial era owners did not appreciate whimsicott’s pranks and propensity for fleeing the farm. As such newly evolved whimsicott were almost always put down, often in brutal ways to “set an example.” The psychological effect was largely futile as evolution was far more akin to human puberty’s onset than a conscious choice. Now evolution requires luck and supplemental leaf and sun stones, as well as plenty of battle experience and sunlight. Trainers are recommended to keep their cottonee in photosynthesis rooms at night while staying in Pokémon Centers.

Whimsicott are flash evolvers. Due to cottonee’s ordinarily low activity levels and the uncertainties induced by selective breeding it is difficult to predict how close one is to evolving.

Battle

Hard stall is defined by the use of incredibly bulky pokémon that can repeatedly take hits, heal themselves or shrug off the damage, and then do a little damage back. Over long brutal battles of attrition the hard stall team may eventually prevail. At the opposite end of the strategy spectrum is hyper offense. These teams revolve around creating opportunities for fast sweepers to set up and either badly weaken their best check on the opposing team or take out multiple opponents. At some point one sweeper will finally set up with no good checks remaining and claim victory. Hyper offense pokémon are typically unable to take many hits and rely upon solid matchups, baton pass, or defensive screens to set up.

Quickstall is a strange fusion of the two. Battles are won by attrition but the pokémon cannot take many hits. Whimsicott is a great example of this playstyle. On the competitive circuits whimsicott do best when they come in on something that cannot seriously hurt them. Leech seed is used to put the opponent on a timer and start restoring the whimsicott’s health. Then the whimsicott relies on its natural speed to dodge attacks and throw up obstacles to keep their own health pristine. When possible attacks such as toxic, magical leaf, or moonblast can be used to accelerate the process. A well-trained whimsicott can nonetheless stay untouched and unharmed for over an hour in the right circumstances.

The strategy has a handful of hard counters. Most grass-types or plant-based pokémon can ignore leech seed entirely and aren’t seriously harmed by whimsicott’s grass attacks and plant-derived poisons. Whimsicott struggle to do damage to these opponents and without leech seed recovery will exhaust themselves sooner rather than later. Magic guard users and other pokémon capable of negating passive damage also hurt whimsicott and are quite capable of countering a quickstall team on their own. Finally pokémon that are faster than whimsicott can prevent successful setup. Particularly powerful heat wave and hurricane users are dangerous opponents capable of burning through or blowing away enough fluff to strike at the pokémon underneath it.

Thankfully the island challenge is short on extremely fast or powerful pokémon. Even totems without a type advantage can struggle to outpace a well-trained whimsicott. Leech seed is the most essential move to master. Then barriers such as substitute, cotton guard, and protect should be worked on. The rest of a whimsicott’s training at the casual level should be devoted to agility and evasion drills where the pokémon must dodge weak attacks from teammates. Some guides recommend teaching hurricane to whimsicott to bypass grass-types. However if a whimsicott is fighting other grass-types it will probably lose regardless of what weak attacks it knows.

Cottonee are not suited to quickstall. With leech seed and a grass- or fairy-type attack they can make passable walls or bulky pivots in low level competitions. Attempting to dodge anything is an exercise in futility. Like gyarados, golisopod, and milotic a prospective whimsicott trainer must suffer through a great deal of losing battles before finally getting a powerful ally.

Acquisition

Permanent whimsicott capture is prohibited to help bolster the wild population of naturally evolving cottonee. These whimsicott are not expected to stay on the archipelago where they are invasive. Instead wild-caught whimsicott can be handed over to the DNR for export to their native range in the mainland. The DNR is willing to pay bounties of $500 for naturally occurring whimsicott.

Cottonee are most common in the areas around the tapu meadows. The edges of forests are also good places to find them. Through drifting clouds cottonee have established themselves on all four tapu islands and several of the minor ones. While not as overabundant as raticate or gumshoos, it is not particularly hard to find cottonee. While some may be initially resistant to capture most quickly adjust to captivity so long as adequate sunbathing opportunities are provided.

Cottonee can be captured, adopted, or purchased with a Class II license. Whimsicott can be adopted or purchased with a Class III license.

Breeding

Unlike almost all pokémon, the final stage of the cottonee line is incapable of reproduction. Instead cottonee reproduce and then become sterile upon evolution. In the early Spring cottonee release huge clouds of spores. Some of these spores collide and bond with another. The pair then summons latent grass energy to form a seed. Once the cottonee drift on all local whimsicott come together to bury and look after the seeds. The new cottonee stay in place for roughly two months before becoming large and fluffy enough to venture out on their own. Some of the whimsicott will watch after them for another month before the new factory is finally left alone.

Captive breeding of cottonee is virtually impossible outside of large factories. Even with the sheer number of spores produced bonding can still be relatively unlikely. In any case the need to stay put for long periods of time is not helpful for many traveling trainers.

Subspecies

The Indian cottonee are rather arboreal. In fact they are symbiotic with a tree species that lives on the subcontinent. The tree produces no leaves but makes many branches that grow out horizontally. Cottonee burrow into these branches and use them for protection from windstorms. In return the cottonee give some of their extra glucose to the tree so that it may survive. This subspecies was rendered nearly extinct in the 18th and 19th centuries. The new large-scale farmers began clearing the trees and exterminating the cottonee to make room for new farms of Mesoamerican (and later domesticated) cottonee. While the population has begun to recover in recent decades less than 50,000 individuals remain.

Wild Mesoamerican cottonee are also nearly extinct. This subspecies is very similar to their domesticated counterpart, albeit with a smaller size, thicker and thornier tendrils, and more toxic fluff. The whimsicott of Mesoamerica had an established relationship with the local peoples, giving fluff in exchange for shelter. The Aztec Triple Alliance was the hub of a continent-wide trade in fluff and local artisans had become skilled at making it safe to touch. Many of these methods and customs were lost in the race to replace conventional harvesting with large-scale agriculture to keep up with production in other parts of the world. As in India wild populations were eliminated wholesale. Today the subspecies is limited to national parks and other protected areas in Anahuac, Texas, and Orre.
 
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