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Pokémon World Myth Encyclopedia

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
This is a collection of one-shot entries on Legendary and Mythical Pokemon. This story will only update on commission. Details on my Tumblr.

As this thread replicates real world mythology and anthropology it would be difficult to provide a full list of content notices. Ritual suicide and sacrifice. as well as general body horror, are to be expected. I will not write about sexual assault and rape here. Not only is it traumatic to far too many people, but its importance in mythology is exaggerated already. Blame Ovid.

Well, on with the show!
 
Landorus

Persephone

Pokémon Trainer
Pronouns
her/hers
Landorus – Unova

Look! Look what the children of men have wrought upon the earth! The scars of sand and blood! Were they to perish for their folly it would be a fitting end. Yet, by my mercy, seeds shall grow in the sandy soil, watered by the blood of kings and heroes. You shall be given a new earth.

May this one be treated with more care.


-The Journey of Ohserase



Overview

Landorus was the primary fertility goddess in Unovan mythology and folklore. She was known as the Driver of Storms, Savior of Unova, Guardian of the Fields, and The Earth Incarnate. For centuries she was the most commonly worshipped goddess in the Unovan pantheon. Even today, long after the pantheon fell out of favor, she still retains a strong base of devoted worshippers.

Kingdom-era Unova was a strange mixture of indigenous peoples, Scandanavian colonists, and, later on, merchants and explorers sent from the Kingdom of Mali. Landorus was shaped from by this blend of different cultures earth god myths into a rather unique figure.

Appearance

Landorus is most often depicted as a humanoid figure with red, orange, or brown skin. A cloud or sandstorm usually obscures the legs. Before the Kingdom, the legs were usually depicted unobscured in art and idols. More often than not the legs ended in cat-like paws instead of proper feet. Sometimes the legs were coated in fur. The goddess usually has white hair. In more recent depictions landorus is almost always depicted with a scythe made of roots slung over the shoulder.

Before 500 A.D. landorus was usually depicted as male with white facial hair. This perception gradually began to shift until, by the time of the kingdom’s founding (1107 A.D.), landorus was almost exclusively known as a goddess. A brief resurgence in male depictions came after Africans arrived in the kingdom (c. 1350 A.D.) but this trend had died out by the seventeenth century.

Theria, The Panther, is usually depicted as a stout quadruped with reddish skin, a root-like tail, and a mane of white hair

In Unovan Mythology

Landorus was the eldest of the three storm gods. Her brothers, toranadus and thundurus, loved to play games. However, as weather gods their playfulness was extremely destructive. After one lacrosse match nearly destroyed the people under them, landorus became fed up. She began to chase her brothers across the sky so that they would never settle in one place for too long. She left fertile earth in her wake as an apology for her brothers’ behavior.

She is sometimes seen as a goddess of healing and medicine, in addition to fertility. In another myth a malevolent ghost poisoned the earth, air, and water of the world in order to punish the chieftain who ordered her execution. Landorus personally gathered and drank all the poison herself and became very sick. The phantom, horrified by the suffering of The Storm Driver, forfeited her own soul to heal the goddess. In another version of the story, Theria the Panther dies after ingesting the poison and is resurrected by The Starchild as Landorus, The Earth Incarnate and Driver of Storms.

The most famous work of literature devoted to Landorus is The Journey of Ohserase, codified into its most recognizable version in 1632 A.D. The story begins after The War of Kings, where two brothers split The Starchild in two and clashed until the entire Kingdom was a barren wasteland no longer worth fighting for.

Landorus appeared before a young child, Ohserase, and entrusted her with a task. She was to obtain a flask of blood from the kings and the surviving generals of both armies. The blood was to be mixed and one drop placed in every field in Unova. Only then could the region be restored.

Rather than assassinate the King of Ideals, Ohserase simply told him her story and showed him the ruined world outside his palace. The king became ashamed of what he had brought about and ordered his own execution by strangulation so no blood would be wasted. His generals and advisors followed suit.

The King of Truth refused to yield. In his rage he stabbed Ohserase for daring to suggest he should die. While his blade entered the girl’s body, she was unharmed. Instead, he keeled over from a stab wound that magically appeared in his chest. his blood was collected.

After a second conflict where the remaining forces of the late King of Ideals rounded up and killed the generals and heroes of the Army of Truth, the blood was collected and mixed. With the remaining nobles and priests watching a single drop was placed on a field.

Nothing happened.

The crowd became increasingly discontent. They even contemplating killing Ohserase for her part in the death of two monarchs. Just as the debate reached a fever pitch, landorus appeared. She scolded the masses for turning against her own priestess. She took the cask in her hands and shattered it. Only sand fell out. She then told the assembled leaders that the blood of warriors and kings would do nothing for the land’s prosperity. Revival could only come from gentle love and hard work. Landorus personally restored the fields of Unova before vanishing. The story ends by stating that landorus still waits in an old stone temple, holding out hope that she will never again have to heal a dying world.

Landorus is often depicted as goddess of rebirth and rebuilding. When disasters strike, she follows and attempts to make things whole. The disaster myth has long been central to her worship and perception, although the most popular version has varied with time. Before contact with Scandanavia, the most common myth of Theria the Panther revolved around the cat chasing their siblings across the earth.

Post-contact the story of the poisoned earth became more common. Anthropologists believe that there was a series of pandemics in the New World following the arrival of the first Old World colonists (c. 850 A.D.) and the diseases they brough with them. By the time that more extensive colonization efforts began, the indigenous population had mostly rebounded to its pre-pandemic level. This story was probably an attempt to explain the plagues.

The Journey of Ohserase did not become popular until well after The War of Kings (c. 1200 A.D.). There are no contemporary accounts of either king dying in the fashion described in the story. Indeed. there is substantial evidence that neither survived the war. The story’s popularity largely came about as the European and African population in Unova began to outnumber the natives in the area and as Iberian, Kalosian, and Galarian colonists established footholds in other parts of North America.

Around the same time as The Journey of Ohserase was put to the printing press for the first time, there was a revival in War of Kings stories among the indigenous inhabitants. The colonists, and especially the Europeans, were implicitly compared to selfish men who had torn a god and the world apart rather than make peace. In the period of Galarian rule, a governor tried to ban the book. In turn it only became more and more popular until the ban was rescinded. The incident fueled resentment among the Five Nations of the region and helped precipitate The War of Unovan Independence.

Worship

Landorus was a common household god. Worship was near-universal, especially in rural areas.

Unusually for her significance, Landorus had no grand temples in Unova. The people of Miros Island claim that Landorus herself sometimes stopped by their humble shrine. This belief was widespread enough that at least some pilgrims went to the island as far back as The War of Kings.

The Mississippians did build grand mounds honoring their gods. All of these temples were seen as also honoring The Panther in her role as patron of mound-building. Recent excavations in Cahokia and the Ohio River Valley have found credible evidence that some Unovans took pilgrimages to these sites.

Most worship of Landorus was done in the home. Small figurines of either Theria the Panther or Landorus the Incarnate (or both) were common in Landorus-worshipping households. Small offerings of grain were presented to the figurine before being burned or buried in her honor. The idol was kept in a place of prominence near the entry of the home. When people entered the building they would acknowledge the goddess’s presence.

The harvest festival was devoted to landorus. She also received offerings in the planting festival, alongside the two rain gods. In times of crisis, Unovan kings made pilgrimages to The Earth’s Scar and The True King’s Castle to present offerings. Keeping with the goddess’s words, no blood was offered. Instead the king would prostrate himself in the sand and beg, sometimes for days on end, for The Storm Driver’s help.

Origins

Landorus is a synthesis of different North American and African myths.

Her most direct inspiration is Theria the Panther. A big cat god was common in North American mythologies, especially in what is now the eastern portions of the United States and Canada. This god, referred to as Theria by the Turtle Island Nations, was almost always a storm god. The secondary attributes varied. Her role as a fertility goddess in the Five Nations is uncommon. She was the goddess of the hunt to the Huron. The Mississippians saw her as the goddess of mound-building and, by extension, civilization itself.

The Scandanavian gods were more human-shaped than those of most of the North American pantheons. The transition to Landorus as a human-shaped goddess probably stems from these influences. She also resembles a djinn common in stories of the desert nomads, such as those that frequented the trade cities of Mali. In one legend from the region, a djinn grew concerned over a massive war. In a bid to bring peace he challenged all the armies to battle him. They did so and were soundly defeated. After extensive coordination to design new weapons and strategies, the combined armies came back and overpowered the djinn. In the process their leadership had grown accustomed to dealing with common challenges together and the war was settled.

Landorus also draws inspirations from The Flayed One, a common figure in Mesoamerican pantheons. The Flayed One is the god of maize and fertility. He peeled off his own skin to help fertilize the earth. Landorus’ red or orange color may have been influenced by these stories. Mesoamerican idols dating centuries before the Kingdom’s founding have been discovered in Unova, showing that direction religious influences were possible.

Today

There is no proof that either Landorus or Theria exist.

Worship of The Guardian of the Fields remains common among the remaining members of The Five Nations. The Panther is still well-regarded among the moundbuilders, Huron, Cherokee and other nations of the eastern United States and southeastern Canada. Many white and black farmers still keep figurines of landorus in their homes for luck. Outside of these communities, belief in landorus and all polytheistic gods has declined in favor of The Church of Life and other monotheistic faiths.

The Oscar-nominated film The Storm Driver recently led to a revival of interest in landorus. The movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by climate change and nuclear fallout. A young woman seems to receive a prophetic vision while severely dehydrated. In it landorus tells her how to save Unova. The girl fails to get the leaders of post-apocalyptic Unova to come with her. She sets out to The True King’s Castle on her own to beg for more guidance. At the end of the film she dies alone in the radioactive sands near the castle. Then an old hermit with a cane made of roots emerges from the ruins and buries the body.
 

Pen

the cat is mightier than the pen
Not only is it traumatic to far too many people, but its importance in mythology is exaggerated already. Blame Ovid.
omg

Look! Look what the children of men have wrought upon the earth! The scars of sand and blood! Were they to perish for their folly it would be a fitting end. Yet, by my mercy, seeds shall grow in the sandy soil, watered by the blood of kings and heroes. You shall be given a new earth.

May this one be treated with more care.


-The Journey of Ohserase
YUS GOOD CONTENT. You nailed the epic tone with this excerpt.

After one lacrosse match nearly destroyed the people under them, landorus became fed up.
Lacrosse? That was so random and specific I sort of was taken out of the story. Why lacrosse?

In another myth a malevolent ghost poisoned the earth, air, and water of the world in order to punish the chieftain who ordered her execution. Landorus personally gathered and drank all the poison herself and became very sick. The phantom, horrified by the suffering of The Storm Driver, forfeited her own soul to heal the goddess. In another version of the story, Theria the Panther dies after ingesting the poison and is resurrected by The Starchild as Landorus, The Earth Incarnate and Driver of Storms.
Love this--both the alternate mythos and the way it was used to explain the shifting depiction of the god. Also really enjoy that touch of the concrete old myths insist on--Landorus gathering and drinking the poison herself.

where two brothers split The Starchild in two
The Starchild? 👀

Rather than assassinate the King of Ideals, Ohserase simply told him her story and showed him the ruined world outside his palace. The king became ashamed of what he had brought about and ordered his own execution by strangulation so no blood would be wasted. His generals and advisors followed suit.
Oooh, yes. Interesting that the King of Ideals comes off so much better in this, but culturally the Hero of Truth seems more emphasized?

. his blood was collected.
Typo, uncapitalized.

She took the cask in her hands and shattered it. Only sand fell out.
As I read this I wondered, what cask? The cask she collected the blood in? I think a reference to the cask in an earlier sentence would make this moment land better.

By the time that more extensive colonization efforts began, the indigenous population had mostly rebounded to its pre-pandemic level. This story was probably an attempt to explain the plagues.
Ah, not at all relevant to us.

Indeed. there is substantial evidence that neither survived the war.
Typo, period should be comma.

The colonists, and especially the Europeans, were implicitly compared to selfish men who had torn a god and the world apart rather than make peace. In the period of Galarian rule, a governor tried to ban the book. In turn it only became more and more popular until the ban was rescinded. The incident fueled resentment among the Five Nations of the region and helped precipitate The War of Unovan Independence.
Enjoying the way you've melded all of this history and mythos together.

Keeping with the goddess’s words, no blood was offered. Instead the king would prostrate himself in the sand and beg, sometimes for days on end, for The Storm Driver’s help.
Really like how the nature of Landorus informs what methods of worship are acceptable in her religion.

Before contact with Scandanavia, the most common myth of Theria the Panther revolved around the cat chasing their siblings across the earth.
Amazing mental image, adorable.

The movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by climate change and nuclear fallout. A young woman seems to receive a prophetic vision while severely dehydrated. In it landorus tells her how to save Unova. The girl fails to get the leaders of post-apocalyptic Unova to come with her. She sets out to The True King’s Castle on her own to beg for more guidance. At the end of the film she dies alone in the radioactive sands near the castle. Then an old hermit with a cane made of roots emerges from the ruins and buries the body.
Oooh, love this. I can practically imagine the NY Times style movie review for it.

On capitalization--since Landorus is a proper name, not a species name as you're using it here, I think it should be capitalized throughout.

This was excellent, Landorus is officially best Unovan deity. I love how you traced the development and portrayals of Landorus throughout time. The Epic of Ohserase is wonderful, wish I could read the whole thing.
 
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NebulaDreams

Pokémon Trainer
Partner
luxray
Look! Look what the children of men have wrought upon the earth! The scars of sand and blood! Were they to perish for their folly it would be a fitting end. Yet, by my mercy, seeds shall grow in the sandy soil, watered by the blood of kings and heroes. You shall be given a new earth.

May this one be treated with more care.


-The Journey of Ohserase
Of course, we get to see the actual myth summarised later, but from the sounds of this excerpt, The Journey of Ohserase would be great in your style if written in full. This kind of reminds me of the end of Princess Mononoke in a way.

Landorus is most often depicted as a humanoid figure with red, orange, or brown skin. A cloud or sandstorm usually obscures the legs. Before the Kingdom, the legs were usually depicted unobscured in art and idols. More often than not the legs ended in cat-like paws instead of proper feet. Sometimes the legs were coated in fur. The goddess usually has white hair. In more recent depictions landorus is almost always depicted with a scythe made of roots slung over the shoulder.
Even if we don't get to see the full myth though, this encyclopedia format serves as a great way to analyse the fake history of said myths and how that changes form over time. I envy your worldbuilding skills in terms of stuff like this, especially with how you play about with myths changing meaning and appearance over time with how different cultures depict them.

Landorus was the eldest of the three storm gods. Her brothers, toranadus and thundurus, loved to play games. However, as weather gods their playfulness was extremely destructive. After one lacrosse match nearly destroyed the people under them, landorus became fed up.
Must've been one hell of a lacrosse game. I wonder how such a thing would play out for them to almost destroy cities. God forbid they play Mario Kart Wii, the blue shells would be enough to cause planetary destruction.

In the period of Galarian rule, a governor tried to ban the book. In turn it only became more and more popular until the ban was rescinded.
Ah, the Streisand Effect is a wonderful thing.

The Oscar-nominated film The Storm Driver recently led to a revival of interest in landorus. The movie takes place in a post-apocalyptic world ravaged by climate change and nuclear fallout. A young woman seems to receive a prophetic vision while severely dehydrated. In it landorus tells her how to save Unova. The girl fails to get the leaders of post-apocalyptic Unova to come with her. She sets out to The True King’s Castle on her own to beg for more guidance. At the end of the film she dies alone in the radioactive sands near the castle. Then an old hermit with a cane made of roots emerges from the ruins and buries the body.
Oh my god, I can smell the Oscar Bait through the screen. Also makes me wonder what a Pokemon fic focusing on the film industry would look like, but that's wishful thinking on my part. I just find it funny that even in a fictional world like this, there's sentimental pap designed to jerk tears for awards season.

--

So in the vein of your Alola Dex entries, I don't have much critical to say, especially since this format works really well in your favour. I guess it's to your strength as a writer that you've presented such a tantalising image of the myth that I want to see the real thing now. I enjoyed all the bits of description about Landorus, their ties to the Pokedex entry, and how real cultures would respond to such a myth.

My only personal gripe is that for the most part, it doesn't read like a Pokemon fic, in that enough of it stands on its own that the names could be swapped out and not much would be changed. It doesn't feel like a specific commentary on the worldbuilding elements of Pokemon since the references to regions are mostly inconsequential. Aside from the mythological trio, no Pokemon or specific events from the canon lore are mentioned.

Still, it's not a problem with the story, just not what I was expecting. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am interested to see more of what's in store for the World Myth Encyclopedia.
 

kintsugi

golden scars
Pronouns
she/her/hers
Partner
silvally-grass
my thoughts on this are best summed up as "this was really fucking cool so I spent the better part of a day making fanart" but apparently that's not a legal review, so here are some lame words for a cool story i guess

Look! Look what the children of men have wrought upon the earth! The scars of sand and blood! Were they to perish for their folly it would be a fitting end. Yet, by my mercy, seeds shall grow in the sandy soil, watered by the blood of kings and heroes. You shall be given a new earth.

May this one be treated with more care.
really badass invocation here. excellent way to start

Before 500 A.D. landorus was usually depicted as male with white facial hair. This perception gradually began to shift until, by the time of the kingdom’s founding (1107 A.D.), landorus was almost exclusively known as a goddess.
I think the use of "before" here implies a very concrete before/after exactly 500 A.D., while in the next sentence earlier history is treated as a lot more nebulous/gradual shifts.

After one lacrosse match nearly destroyed the people under them, landorus became fed up. She began to chase her brothers across the sky so that they would never settle in one place for too long. She left fertile earth in her wake as an apology for her brothers’ behavior.
Not fully familiar with the mythology of lacrosse -- is this a reference? Seems like such a strange game for gods to play.

In another version of the story, Theria the Panther dies after ingesting the poison and is resurrected by The Starchild as Landorus, The Earth Incarnate and Driver of Storms.
badass god names are badass
You flip capitalizing l/Landorus across the story and I wasn't sure if there was a particular reason for it.

The king became ashamed of what he had brought about and ordered his own execution by strangulation so no blood would be wasted.
such a cool, myth-esque detail

magically appeared in his chest. his blood was collected.
dropped a capital here

After a second conflict where the remaining forces of the late King of Ideals rounded up and killed the generals and heroes of the Army of Truth, the blood was collected and mixed.
I guess it seems strange that they won here given that most of the court is gone and there's no natural successor? It's a myth so like, lol, doesn't really matter, but I did think it was weird.

She then told the assembled leaders that the blood of warriors and kings would do nothing for the land’s prosperity. Revival could only come from gentle love and hard work.
tbh I did not expect this moral from one of your stories but I like it

Indeed. there is substantial evidence
period instead of comma I think

The colonists, and especially the Europeans, were implicitly compared to selfish men who had torn a god and the world apart rather than make peace. In the period of Galarian rule, a governor tried to ban the book. In turn it only became more and more popular until the ban was rescinded. The incident fueled resentment among the Five Nations of the region and helped precipitate The War of Unovan Independence.
also very fun detail

Small offerings of grain were presented to the figurine before being burned or buried in her honor.
I love that "burned or buried" is the option here -- clever non-traditional way to worship an earth god

After extensive coordination to design new weapons and strategies, the combined armies came back and overpowered the djinn. In the process their leadership had grown accustomed to dealing with common challenges together and the war was settled.
funny way to spell "everyone ran rocky helmet skarmory for five years"

Landorus also draws inspirations from The Flayed One, a common figure in Mesoamerican pantheons. The Flayed One is the god of maize and fertility. He peeled off his own skin to help fertilize the earth.
another excellent concept

A young woman seems to receive a prophetic vision while severely dehydrated. In it landorus tells her how to save Unova. The girl fails to get the leaders of post-apocalyptic Unova to come with her. She sets out to The True King’s Castle on her own to beg for more guidance. At the end of the film she dies alone in the radioactive sands near the castle. Then an old hermit with a cane made of roots emerges from the ruins and buries the body.
I chuckle at how laconically you retell this.

I love the idea for adex but with myths, I love that this tangentially has lots of good Unova lore, I love the way you describe the different depictions, etc. Really fun stuff. Look at my critical review ye mortals and despair.
 
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