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Written Story Kanto Teen Mon Secrets of Aetherai: Ori's Gift

Thread Description
A PMD Let's Go Eevee nuzlocke. Now taking AMA questions!

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
317
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
1. You may only recruit the first Pokemon you encounter on each route.

-1a. Once you reach Viridian Forest, only Pokemon with a size aura (larger or smaller than usual) may be recruited.

-1b. You may, but do not have to, ignore a qualifying encounter if you currently have a Pokemon of its species' evolutionary family. Dead Pokemon do not apply for this.

-1c. Shiny Pokemon may always be recruited regardless of all other rules; however, they are no less vulnerable to death than any other Pokemon.

2. Fainting is permanent. The fainted Pokemon is dead and can never be used again.

3. All of your partners are individuals. Nickname all team members.

4. Special clause Pokemon:

-4a. Gift Pokemon are recruitable.

-4b. Static encounters are recruitable if they are your first qualifying encounter in their area. (Snorlax and Electrode are large enough Pokemon that they count as qualifying encounters.)

-4c. Legendary Pokemon are NOT recruitable, and should really be avoided.

-4d. Trading teammates is allowed, but only within this dimension (i.e. no link trading, which is impossible anyway because my save file account doesn't have Nintendo Switch Online, but trading with NPCs is fine)

5. The Eeveetar grows in power with each wraith stronghold conquered. (Each gym badge unlocks a new tutor move for the partner Eevee.)

6. Training with other Pokemon is allowed; however:

-6a. All Pokemon 'recruited' purely for training must be dismissed from the team when the training has concluded, unless they are shiny.

-6b. Only Pokemon of unusual size may be approached for training.

-6c. If the party accidentally runs into a Pokemon of regular size, that Pokemon has attacked them, and they may train against it.

7. If all currently active party members are killed, the team can be rebuilt with members in reserve (i.e. from the box).

8. The party has no access to insider information on enemy teams' moves and strength levels. They can however learn species' movesets and evolution requirements. (i.e. don't cheese a gym battle by looking it up on the internet, that's cheating)

9. PROTECT THE EEVEETAR.

A pink wisp of smoke floated over Pawprint Town in the early morning sunrise. Most civilized Pokemon were either nocturnal or early morning risers, meaning that almost all the residents would be either getting up or settling down. No city in the Gatto region ever truly slept, no matter how small.

The Pokemon couldn't afford to sleep. Not with the wraiths.

The wisp briefly flew over the large stone amphitheater that marked the local HAPPI headquarters of the small village. Held in open air to accommodate the massive size of some of its members (such as Charizard or Onix), with smaller huts built around the amphitheater for each individual adventure team to reside in, the Helping Adventurous Pokemon Prosper Institute was the go-to organization in the whole of Aetherai for any and all Pokemon teams that wished to leave their villages and set off into the great unknown. It was also the only such organization officially authorized by the Four Heavenly Kings, although a few unlicensed adventurer groups existed despite the law's requirements. And this particular HAPPI branch was sure to always meet on schedule, come rain or shine, thanks to the weather-canceling abilities of the assistant secretary, who was a Golduck.

Of course, the wisp thought in amusement, the branch head of HAPPI in the region was an elderly Politoed with Drizzle, so that Golduck probably had the greatest job security in all of Gatto.

Not that anyone was really at work at HAPPI HQ at the moment. There were a couple of guard Arcanine and a Gatekeeper Pikachu, which under normal circumstances would have been overkill. Pawprint Town was a small town, where everybody knew each other, and there were no outright criminals stalking its streets. However, there were always the wraiths. Only rarely had they come to Pawprint Town itself, but when they did come, no matter where to, they always, always left death and destruction in their wake.

No Pokemon in Pawprint Town knew where the wraiths had come from. They had simply appeared, in ages long past, to wreak havoc on whatever they touched. While their shapes resembled Pokemon, their bodies were purely elemental, shaped of fire, water, stone, wind, or whatever element best fit their chosen shape. They were monsters that could not be reasoned with, existing solely to kill and destroy. And while a strong Pokemon with a type advantage could easily defeat a wraith -- two or three, even -- they often had the advantage of surprise and numbers when preying on innocent travelers.

It had been the Four Heavenly Kings that rose up to banish the wraiths. One hundred years ago, rallying armies of Pokemon to drive back the ethereal threat, they had successfully driven the wraiths back into their haunted strongholds and away from the cities of Gatto. It was the Four Heavenly Kings that had instituted HAPPI to keep watch over adventuresome Pokemon, and it was the Kings that had ordered vast stone walls built around all of Gatto's cities, fortifying them with guardians known as Gatekeepers to monitor the comings and goings of any creature that wished to enter or leave the city.

You foolish Pokemon, the wisp thought. Those who trade freedom for safety will find neither and deserve neither.

It had been a hundred years since the Four Heavenly Kings had taken (some say seized) control of the Gatto region. While the HAPPI heads and the Gatekeepers were always quick to defend the Kings, not all Pokemon fully trusted the ruling authorities. And should those Pokemon dare to voice their concerns, bad things would happen. Nobody knew how, or from where. But somehow trouble always managed to find the dissenters, no matter where they dared to hide.

This had not gone unnoticed. Some Pokemon still whispered about the unsettling 'coincidences.' But only behind closed doors, and only when they thought that nobody untrustworthy could listen.

But the wisp always heard them. The wisp heard everything.

No, the wisp thought to itself. This will not do at all...
There are eighteen currently recognized elemental types for Pokemon all over the world. Some are more common than others -- Mundanes and Aquatics are far more common than Spectrals and Draconics -- but all Pokemon possess at least one element within their being, known as their core elements. Wraiths likewise have elemental types, being formed from the energy of the type itself. Pokemon attacks also carry elemental power, and most Pokemon (or wraiths) of different elemental types can learn attacks of elements different than their core elements.

-- Mundanes are basically a 'neutral' type, providing immunity against Spectral energy but a weakness to Kinetic attacks. Mundane abilities are quite varied, ranging from physical strikes to sound-based moves to vicious beams of energy to even romantic attraction. Why on Aetherai did this awesome and versatile element get such a sucky name? I'm proud to be a Mundane, even if I'm not likely to be so forever. I'm in no hurry to evolve, though -- don't want to lose my fluffy floof. Mundanes come in all shapes and sizes, and many Aerials are also Mundanes. Mundane wraiths resemble dusty white mist.
-- Kinetics are similar to Mundanes, but far more aggressive in their attacks. Unfortunately, they bear a weakness to Aerial, Esper, and Fae attacks, and Kinetic attacks have zero effect on Spectrals. Kinetics tend to attack physically, although some have honed their energy into explosive bursts of aura such as Aura Sphere, Vacuum Wave, and Focus Blast. Focus Blast is infamous not just for its immense power, but for its vast difficulty to control, and there are very often accidents. Most Kinetics are bipedal with at least four limbs. Kinetic wraiths are pulsing, earth-brown energy creatures that will throw you back if you make contact with them.
-- Aerials, with few exceptions, are creatures of the sky. While weak to the Boulder, Lightning, and Frost elements, they are completely immune to most Earthen attacks. Aerial moves summon the power of the wind to strike the target, and the most powerful Aerials are able to bring forth hurricanes! There are rumors that some Gatekeeper Pikachu are specially trained to use Aerial attacks, but I think that's a load of Tauros crap invented to make us feel either more safe or less safe, depending on your political opinions. Aerial wraiths are creatures of whirling wind.
-- Venomous are common in Gatto, but much maligned due to the composition of their bodies being toxic to most species. (I don't see much of a problem with most Venomous -- after all, we're not supposed to eat them -- and even the prickly ones like the Nidoran family are nice Pokemon from what I've seen of them.) Contrary to popular belief, most Venomous will NOT make you sick if you stand downwind from them, although there are exceptions (Koffing and Weezing are notorious for producing toxic gases just by breathing out). Most Venomous attacks carry secondary effects that further harm the target, but these attacks have zero effect on Metallics because of their body composition. Venomous wraiths are formed of toxic fluid and must be avoided at all costs.
-- Earthens own a close affinity to the soil beneath our paws, and can summon mudslides, earthquakes, and pocket sand. As previously mentioned, Earthen attacks have no effect on Aerials, but Earthens themselves are immune to Lightning attacks. The most powerful Earthens can swallow you up into the ground with a wave of whatever appendage they possess, depending on species. Since many Gatekeepers are of the Lightning element, the Earthen wraiths, which resemble golems of sticky mud, are some of the most feared in all of Gatto.
-- Boulders, sometimes known as Stoneskins, have rocky bodies and can produce stones from almost anywhere. How this works, I'm not exactly sure, but they never seem to run out of ammunition. Most Boulder attacks are physical, because they like to hit you with rocks. Since the Pokemon that Boulder wraiths are based off of are Earthens as well as Boulders, all Boulder wraiths resemble monstrous statues built of rocks plastered together with mud. I've heard this looks almost comical until they start to move, at which point either you fire off a Flora or Aquatic attack, or you're dead.
-- Insectoids are one of the strangest elements because of their invariable (and unenviable) resemblance to giant bugs. While most Insectoids channel their energy into physical attacks or soundwaves, a few species, such as Vespiquen, use Insectoid energy to actually command the common insects that certain bird and plant Pokemon feed off of. Insectoid wraiths appear to be made of swarms of small stinging insects, although these insects thankfully crumble to dust once the wraiths are defeated. Of all the wraiths I don't want to meet, Insectoids are high on my list.
-- Spectrals are not well understood as a species group, as they are few and far between, and those that do exist are quite reclusive. Most known mythologies claim them to be either evil spirits or the souls of the departed. Reports claim that they are immune to Mundane and Kinetic attacks, and their most feared skill is injuring themselves with nails to drain the health from their foes. Spectral wraiths are made of spooky shadows that are cold to the touch, which means they basically look like normal Spectrals.
-- Metallics have bodies and hearts of steel and are the most defensive element in Aetherai. Immune to poisoning and other Venomous moves, their sole weaknesses are Kinetic, Earthen, and Flare attacks. They are also one of the only elements strong against the Fae, the other being Venomous. Metallics are almost unheard of in Gatto, the only known species being the Magnemite line and some subspecies of Diglett, although legends have been spoken of Onix and Scyther both taking on Metallic attributes upon some form of evolution. Metallic wraiths are similar to Boulder wraiths, but are made up of rough chunks of metal held together with mud or lightning.
-- Flares are said to be born of the flames of creation, and many carry some form of flame sac inside or outside their bodies. They can be dangerous to touch, and are stronger when the sun is high in the sky. Most of their attacks, unsurprisingly, involve setting things on fire. Flare wraiths are made of fire and absolutely should NOT be fought at close quarters.
-- Aquatics tend to live in or near the water, and can spit massive quantities of fluid at their enemies. As the planet has more water than land, Aquatics are easily the most populous element in the whole of Aetherai. Aquatic wraiths are made of water, yet somehow never collapse for lack of a container to hold them together. What sorcery is this?
-- Floras have two main varieties: Pokemon with plantlike bodies, and Pokemon with plants growing on their bodies. Despite the biological difference, both types bear the same element and have more or less the same attacks. Floras can attack with petals, seeds, vines, and leaves, but also possess incredible special attacks that can drain a foe's energy and restore the Flora's health. Flora wraiths often appear built from brambly bushes or tangles of vines, although some rumors hold that one was spotted made of flower petals. How terrifying.
-- Lightnings store electricity like Flares store fire, and can let them out with terrifying shocks. In recent years, a number of interesting devices have been invented, mostly metal, that are powered by Lightning energy. Lightning attacks tend to paralyze their targets, and Lightnings themselves cannot be paralyzed. Lightning wraiths are made of pulsing electricity, and it's highly advisable not to touch them.
-- Espers are easily confused with Fae, but while Fae draw their power from nature (some say the moon), Espers contain their power entirely within their minds. A talented Esper can move objects with a thought, induce confusion, read your mind -- all sorts of terrifying crap. Most Espers are highly intelligent, although Slowpoke seem to have the short end of the stick in that regard. Esper wraiths are made of pink psi energy, and touching them induces a strange tingling feeling that turns to numbness.
-- Frosts harness the power of ice, and are most at home in frigid climates -- they never freeze in the cold. They can chill the air around them with a breath and can fire streams of liquid that freeze instantly. The most powerful can even summon blizzards! Frost wraiths are made of snow and ice, although most of them are joined to another element as well, like Aquatic or Esper.
-- Draconics are extremely rare in Gatto, but are usually large, strong reptilian Pokemon with the ability to breathe fire. Most of the time. I've heard tall tales about birds, bats, insects, even Exeggutor that were blessed with the Draconic element, but I'm pretty sure there can't be any truth to that. Draconic attacks are powerful, but are at their strongest when used against other Draconics, and have no effect whatsoever on Fae. Draconic wraiths are formed of sparkling blue dragonfire, and the most powerful also contain the Aerial element.
-- Darklings are no longer present in Gatto, having mostly all been exiled by the Four Heavenly Kings eighty years ago. They still live in other regions, though, including the neighboring Jatto, which has refused to bow to the Kings for decades despite the Kings' promise of protection from the wraiths. A few Darklings have been allowed to settle in Gatto within the past thirty or so years -- my father was a Zoroark, a Darkling that uses illusions -- but they are widely viewed with suspicion and scorn. Most of their attacks are fueled by trickery or negative emotions, thus reinforcing their negative public image. There are no Darkling wraiths, and everyone thanks the Grand High Llama in the Sky for that.
-- Fae energy is a tremendous mystery to Aetherai, having only recently been classified. Some say that the first Fae came from Aetherai's moon, descended on a gigantic meteor that became Mt. Moonstone. Where exactly Fae energy is drawn from is a topic of hot debate amongst Gattonian scholars, and quite honestly I don't think they'll ever draw any sort of scientific conclusion, so we'll just say it's magic. Fae wraiths are all pink and misty and sparkly, which would be lovely to look at if they weren't trying to rip your throat out like any other wraith in existence.

So why a PMD Let's Go Eevee storylocke? Short answer: because I couldn't do a PMD Let's Go Eevee animated series. (Seriously, I'd love to see my babies animated, but that would take sooooo much effort and probably get me slapped with multiple copyright violations because did I mention that this is a musical? Did I? Well, I'm mentioning it now.)

The long answer is that I was reading @Master Bryss's Bryssverse runs, and I wanted to do something along that vein with a shared nuzlocke universe. And I was reading @MouseWithADinosaurTail's excellent webcomic Finding Your Roots, which is a PMD-style Omega Ruby earthlocke, and I wanted to do something like that as well. (The term 'Earthen' for Ground-type Pokemon originated from Finding Your Roots, as does the concept of creating new names for the familiar Pokemon typings -- although in Roots, 'earthen' also means Rock and Steel types.)

And the reason it's Let's Go Eevee instead of literally any other Pokemon game is because my 3DS battery died and I had to order a replacement. So in the meantime, I dusted off my Switch, created a new account (didn't want to lose my Mew from my original savefile), and got to it.

Also, at the end of each chapter, there's going to be a "Rocket's Notebook" segment detailing more about the world of Aetherai from the main character's perspective. Originally this entry was going to be at the end of chapter one, but then chapters one and two got combined and chapter two's notebook entry was already pretty large, and the prologue was short enough that I figured it could use some padding to tide you guys over until Tuesday, so yayyy, wall of text time!

That pink smoke? It's going to be important. Count on it.
 
Last edited:

MouseWithADinosaurTail

Luck will travel, but that's why I've got feet
Artist
Writer
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
47
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
613
Location
Post Town
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Flying
Pokédex Entry
Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
Just wanna say, Pawprint Town is the CUTEST NAME FOR A TOWN EVER!

I'll be following along! I'm really excited for this run! I absolutely love main series nuzlockes told in PMD style, so you can bet your donkey I'm really excited for this! Now you, me, and @TerryTheTeryx are a trio! :D Welcome aboard!
 

TerryTheTeryx

Smol Dino Who Also Likes Birbs
Pokédex No.
358
Caught
Jul 3, 2019
Messages
163
Location
Pokémon Square
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
She/Her
Pokémon Type
Grass, Steel
Pokédex Entry
A bizarre Pokémon who dislikes many social activities. She may be lured out of her residential cave with peanut butter.
crashes in
I HAVE PING.

Oh man yeah, I love this introduction to the world! I'll be keeping an eye on it. Thank ye kindly, Mouse.
 

JavierE64

There´s even something under the mask?
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
169
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Grass, Water
I´m already engaged, and we haven´t even met the main characters.
This prologue is a nice way to introduce to the story and it´s lore.
 

Rubombee

the ace that stays up the sleeve
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
61
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
586
Location
somewhere in Kalos
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Doesn't even eat baguette, are you sure she's French
This is VERY NICE already and you got me to read something basically "just" listing all the types, wow. (Love all the little jokes & hints at other gens in that btw)

So yeah as Javier said, this is just the prologue but with all that worldbuilding from the Notebook, you've already got us hooked! I'm all full of questions about these Wraiths & what role they'll have in the story and also what does eeveetar means

So yeah, excited for this and watching this thread!
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
317
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #6
Just wanna say, Pawprint Town is the CUTEST NAME FOR A TOWN EVER!

I'll be following along! I'm really excited for this run! I absolutely love main series nuzlockes told in PMD style, so you can bet your donkey I'm really excited for this! Now you, me, and @TerryTheTeryx are a trio! :D Welcome aboard!
Aww, thanks! I was inspired by your very own Rustburrow, which is an excellent reworking of Rustboro. I wanted to have as many names as possible corellate with their in-game inspirations.

crashes in
I HAVE PING.

Oh man yeah, I love this introduction to the world! I'll be keeping an eye on it. Thank ye kindly, Mouse.
Nice to have you aboard! I'm glad you liked the introduction.

I´m already engaged, and we haven´t even met the main characters.
This prologue is a nice way to introduce to the story and it´s lore.
Thanks! I'm glad I was able to hook you. Believe me, there's plenty more where that came from.

This is VERY NICE already and you got me to read something basically "just" listing all the types, wow. (Love all the little jokes & hints at other gens in that btw)

So yeah as Javier said, this is just the prologue but with all that worldbuilding from the Notebook, you've already got us hooked! I'm all full of questions about these Wraiths & what role they'll have in the story and also what does eeveetar means

So yeah, excited for this and watching this thread!
Glad to hear you liked the Notebook! That was something of a last-minute addition, as I fell so much in love with the series world that I wanted to do writeups for each chapter purely for worldbuilding purposes. Also because Aetherai's type names are going to be used a lot, and while most of them are fairly self-explanatory, I wanted to make sure nobody was confused (it took me a bit of time to come up with the name Kinetic, for instance).

As for the Eeveetar, you'll find out...

Wraiths to the left of him. Wraiths to the right of him. Wraiths in front of him, and if he'd bothered to look up or back, most likely wraiths above him and behind him as well. The little Eevee was completely surrounded.

How unfortunate, he thought.

For the wraiths.

Three Geodude wraiths of mud and stone rushed him at once. The Eevee leapt to one side, opened his mouth, and shot forth a thick stream of water that demolished all three wraiths. Whirling around, he found himself face-to-face with a Starmie wraith, its watery form infused with pink Esper energy. The Eevee's fur sparked bright with lightning, and he let loose a mighty thunderbolt that exploded the wraith in a burst of gleaming droplets.

He turned to face his assailants -- or, as he liked to call them, his victims. They seemed to feel the same way about their odds of survival, clearly hesitant against facing this tiny, terrifying titan. A Magnemite wraith of steel fragments held together by electricity was bolder than the others and charged forward, summoning a Flash Cannon.

But the Eevee wouldn't have it. Cloaking himself in flames, he dashed forward straight into the wraith's path, directly striking its glowing electric eye. His fires engulfed the wraith instantly, melting the metal fragments and dispersing the electricity into a cloud of black smoke.

The Eevee jumped back, eyes stinging. He blinked as the wraiths around him stepped back in terror. He grinned at them, boasting, "Yeah, I know, I'm awesome that way. No need to thank me, adoring public."

You're not the one they're scared of.

The Eevee whirled around to face the voice behind him -- and gasped aloud. This was a wraith he couldn't recognize, a bright pink cloud of glowing smoke, with two large eyes that burned like blue fire...

"ROCKET!

And suddenly there was no cloud and there were no wraiths. There was just Rocket the Eevee, thirteen seasons old, abruptly jolted awake from his nest by a familiar Pidgey his own age sitting in his window, staring at him.

"I'm up!" Rocket said quickly, glancing at the floor around him. In his haste to get up, he'd scattered a good deal of the fresh straw that made up the nest he slept in. "And I wasn't asleep! I just needed my beauty rest!"

"If you closed your eyes every time you needed beauty rest," the Pidgey retorted, "you'd never see a thing."

"Hey!" Rocket yelled, offended. "You're just jealous you don't have thick glossy fur like I do, Jet!"

"You mean the fur that you can't even keep smoothed down most of the time?" Jet said in a bored tone. "Unlike you, I keep my feathers unruffled. Appearances matter, especially when we both still have our internship at HAPPI to deal with. Wouldn't want to give the impression of sloppy self-care, now, would we?"

Rocket's ears sprang up in alarm. He'd completely forgotten! "The internship! How soon until we need to be there?"

"About forty-five minutes," Jet said, pausing to preen his feathers. "I wouldn't bother to wake you up from whatever nonsense you dream about if there was no chance of you actually getting to headquarters on time."

"Thanks, Jet, you're a lifesaver," Rocket said, quickly dashing towards the stairs. "Need some breakfast? Mom's got Pewter Crunchies."

"I'll have to decline," Jet said. "I've already eaten." The Pidgey tactfully didn't mention what he'd eaten. For some odd reason, when non-insectivorous Pokemon heard a bird Pokemon mention how tasty his breakfast of grubs and mealworms had been, they tended to lose their appetites. And Jet knew that Rocket was a growing Eevee and needed his energy, especially given what lay ahead for him.

Not that Rocket or Jet had, at that moment, any idea at all of exactly what would come of their HAPPI internship, or the tremendous burdens that they both would bear through it.

But the pink wisp floating above them did.

---

There was no better way to start one's day, Rocket thought to himself, than pouring a bowl of Pewter Crunchies and Moomoo Milk and stuffing your face with it.

Rocket ate at a table, of course -- he wasn't some savage feral Pokemon -- but luxuries like spoons were for Pokemon with thumbs. The end result being that whenever Rocket enjoyed his breakfast a little too much (which was often), his mother, a doting Sylveon, would have to wash his fur clean before it started to drip on the floor.

Normally Rocket would have enjoyed this, but with Jet watching him from the window, it was totally embarrassing.

"Moooooom!" Rocket complained as the Sylveon licked droplets of milk from his fuzzy cheeks. "Not the face!"

"Well, somebody's got to make sure you look presentable during your first day of internship," his mother said firmly. "There! All nice and clean! Do you need help with your bag?"

"I can handle it!" Rocket snapped, not wanting to look completely dependent on his mother's convenient ribbon-like appendages to slip into his backpack.

His mother, however, clearly hadn't been asking because she wanted to know, and lifted the khaki knapsack onto her son's back with token resistance on Rocket's part. "There you go! My little cub, all grown up. If only your father could see you now..."

Rocket's father Atom had once been an explorer to far-off lands way beyond Gatto. He'd traveled from the relatively close Mowen region all the way to the distant and mysterious Mirren, only for his team to suddenly lose contact with HAPPI and, so far as anyone knew, disappear completely. Some suspected a natural disaster; others, foul play. And then there were the rumors that he hadn't really disappeared at all, but that for whatever reason, his team had cut all ties with HAPPI and the outside world and started a new life somewhere in parts unknown. He was, after all, a Zoroark, they whispered. They have a tendency to hide behind illusions.

Because of this, there were now strict rules that if any adventuring group was to embark on a journey for longer than a week, they needed to leave one of their members behind at the local HAPPI headquarters to represent the group for until the rest of the group returned. And another member needed to make contact with the nearest HAPPI base at least once a week to confirm the state of the adventuring party, as well as request any necessary supplies that the group had run low on.

These rules were called "Atom's laws," which Rocket found even more embarrassing than his mother licking his face.

---

When Rocket stepped out the door of his house, he was not surprised to see Jet standing outside waiting for him. He was surprised, however, to see two more of his friends waiting alongside the Pidgey, packed and ready for their own internships. Bella and Spike, a female Bellsprout and male Nidoran.

Bella had a small pack made of woven vines; her skinny body couldn't carry much, but it didn't need to. Between photosynthesis, drawing nutrients from the ground, and the plethora of wild bugs that flew pretty much everywhere, Bellsprout never really needed to pack a lunch. Spike, on the other hand, carried his supplies quite easily on his spiky back; the hardest part for the Nidoran was reaching back with his short stubby legs and trying to retrieve his own items without poking himself on his own spines. Without Bella standing nearby to help him, he'd probably never be able to use anything he'd packed -- nobody that wasn't a Venomous or Metallic ever wanted to reach into a Nidoran's backpack, for risk of the toxins within their spines. They didn't really get very many hugs.

"We're really doing this, aren't we?" Spike asked, somewhat nervous. "This whole internship thing."

"C'mon, it'll be fun," Bella said encouragingly. "This is our first shot at becoming explorers. Setting off into the great unknown for fame and glory. To conquer the wilderness because it's there."

Jet scoffed. "We're interns. We won't be conquering the wilderness, we'll be shredding papers and fetching coffee. Well, Bella will be fetching coffee, because she's the only one of us that's bipedal and can carry stuff."

Bella pulled a face. "Aw, Jet, you're no fun. Let us have our adventure!"

"Bella's right," Rocket said. "This is our first chance to work around real adventurers. We'll be soaking up all their experiences, their tales of derring-do, their quests throughout the whole of Aetherai. And someday, maybe someday soon, we'll be adventuring right alongside them."

Spike shivered. "You mean, out there, with the... wraiths?"

"By the time we head out into the wilderness," Rocket bragged, "we'll eat wraiths for breakfast."

"Hopefully without getting them all over your face," Jet deadpanned.

"This calls for a song," Bella said. "A marching song, to signify the beginning of our grand adventures together. Four brave friends, setting off into the great unknown for adventures untold!"

"The HAPPI headquarters are only fifteen minutes away," Jet said. "We don't need a song."

"Oh, I know that," Bella said with a wink. "But surely we want one? It'll be good practice for the road."

For reasons that no Pokemon fully understood, the wraiths despised music. Adventurers had long used that quirk against them, using marching songs while traveling in wraith-infested territory to repel the monsters. It didn't work inside the strongholds, where the wraiths lived, but was a decent enough repellent on the road.

"Sounds like a plan," Rocket said. "Might I start?"

Bella nodded.


Rocket's voice was unimpressive, having yet to change with adolescence. What he lacked in tenor he made up for in enthusiasm, though, and he sang boldly:

"Hold on for a second, if words can be weapons,
Then what I say can effect it, they're not just words on a record,
And I can choose to respect it, or choose to infect it,
But once it hits the water, it's too late to be selective..."


Rocket turned to Bella, who continued with her beautiful singing voice:

"'Cause one voice is enough to make sleeping giants wake up,
To make armies put their hands up and watch whole nations stand up,
It's one belief, one spark, one faith and one restart,
And we can reboot the whole chart before it all falls apart..."


Bella turned to Jet, who just turned away and scoffed. Spike, on the other hand, was getting into the music and joined in:

"So stand up, shout it out, and put 'em in the air if you like it loud,
We only got one shot, so let's make it count, it's a take down, nobody can stop us now,
Stand up, shout it out, sing it loud, so the world can't drown us out,
And before we depart, let's leave a mark 'cause light shines brighter in the dark..."


The three singers joined together in harmony:

"When we scream, our lips don't make a sound,
We march, with feet on solid ground,
We walk, where no one wants to go, on this untraveled road!"


It was an old traveling song, older even than the wraiths. Singing the song filled the cubs with excitement -- they were really doing this! They were setting off into the great unknown of work experience! Surely what happened at HAPPI would change their lives forever, in more ways than one.

They had no idea what that one first day would bring upon them.

Rocket the Eevee -- starter Pokemon -- Sassy, likes to thrash about

Jet the Pidgey -- Route 2 catch -- Serious, somewhat vain

Bella the Bellsprout -- Route 1 catch -- Brave, somewhat of a clown

Spike the male Nidoran -- Route 22 catch -- Bashful, somewhat of a clown
Eevees and their relatives are only the COOLEST, RADDEST, and most INCREDIBLE Pokemon to have ever lived. We can adapt to any sort of situation, becoming one of eight different types upon evolution, all of which are AWESOME. In fact, the only reason we haven't all taken over the world yet is because of our low female birth rate, which I think the Grand High Llama in the Sky only gave us because otherwise we would overrun the whole of Aetherai in AWESOMENESS.

First off, let's talk about the base form. Eevee belong to the highly-underappreciated, wildly versatile, and criminally mislabeled Mundane element. Pfft. There's nothing mundane about us! I mean, look at our floof. We are the epitome of floofness. Even Furfrou are envious of our fine brown coats that conceal our awesome internal power of BEING WHATEVER WE WANT TO BE WHEN WE GROW UP. (Although quite honestly, I haven't decided what evolution to choose yet. Preferably something like Flareon or Umbreon, where I get to keep my floofness.)

Now let's talk evolutions. An Eevee's evolution depends on several factors, including its environment, its mental state, and its natural temperament. Eevee in icy areas, for instance, usually evolve into Glaceon. Sometimes an evolution can be artificially induced with a certain stone -- Fire Stone for Flareon, for instance -- but most of the time, Eevee evolve into whatever they're meant to evolve into. Or so my mother says. It's complicated, and I don't really understand all the factors involved.

Vaporeon is an Aquatic element with the power to not only absorb Aquatic attacks, but melt itself into a puddle of water to avoid being hit. And then reshape itself back into its base form, which looks something like a four-legged fish. Sure, it's one of the more unusual evolutions of Eevee, but its skills are top-notch.

Jolteon is a Lightning element with sharp spiky fur and incredible speed. It can fire its quills at foes like an Insectoid's Pin Missile attack, but it prefers to use its Lightning to battle. Unfortunately, storing too much electricity at once, or letting too much out at once, tends to cause mood swings, or so my mother says. Her crazy uncle was a Jolteon, and he made family get-togethers extremely interesting, especially whenever they talked politics. Eventually they stopped inviting him out of fear of Gatekeeper interference. (He was exceedingly loud.)

Flareon... hoo boy. It's unfortunate, but most Eevee don't really consider Flareon to be a full evolution of the species. I mean, it looks basically like an Eevee, just redder and floofier. But this is what makes it so awesome! It's basically Eevee, but a Flare Eevee. It carries a flame sac, can roast its own food with its breath, and if it's paralyzed or poisoned, it grows STRONGER. Plus, its mane is magnificent and I will tolerate no denigration of its floof.

Espeon is an Esper that can foretell the future with its FUR. How cool is that? It also has a jewel set in its forehead similar in composition to that of Persian, and in eras long ago, superstitious Pokemon would touch the jewel in hopes of good luck. Unlike Eevee's other evolutions (except possibly Vaporeon), Espeon's tail is forked, which allows it to better sense wind patterns to predict the weather.

Umbreon is a Darkling, so we don't really see much of them in Gatto, but it's said they used to be Venomous before they became nocturnal. They still possess poisonous sweat, but what makes them really cool is that unlike most Darklings, they can actually produce light by lighting up the yellow rings on their pelts. I've heard of Darklings called Malamar from faraway regions that can also illuminate part of their bodies -- it's call biolumen-something-or-other. Anyway. It's cool.

Leafeon is a Flora that's a lot more like a plant than an animal. Its ears and tail are leaves, and it absorbs sunlight instead of eating. While Leafeon are generally pacifistic, the edges of their leafy ears and tails are sharper than those of holly leaves and can be used as formidable weapons in a pinch. As Leafeon age, their smell changes from fresh grass to fallen leaves, which honestly I'd find really depressing if it was me. So I don't think I'll ever be a Leafeon. Besides, I love to eat.

Glaceon is a Frost with the power to freeze the atmosphere around it. It has unusual blue headfur that resembles some sort of hat, and can freeze this fur into sharp icicles to make its physical attacks more effective. It can also pelt you with ice pellets if you make fun of its headfur, which I'd imagine happens pretty frequently.

Sylveon is a Fae with the most useful power of all, four prehensile ribbons that can be used as limbs for practically any purpose. Writing, doing chores, fetching something that's rolled under the furniture, you name it, a Sylveon can easily do it. My mother is a Sylveon, and it could easily be the greatest evolution of my species line... I'd probably want to be one, if only it wasn't so appallingly pink and cutesy. Ick. No offense, Mom, but I have a reputation to keep up.

Overall, if you weren't hatched an Eevee, you probably wish you were. Sorry I can't help you on that front, but at least we're always here to make Aetherai even more AWESOME. And we wouldn't have it any other way.

In Aetherai, as in the Redwall universe, age is marked by seasons, not years.

Pewter Crunchies are a thing here, even if this world's 'Pewter City' isn't actually Pewter City. And there are some minor non-Pokemon creatures living in this world on the bottom of the food chain -- the prologue alluded to Insectoids being able to command non-Pokemon invertebrates.

We'll learn more about feral Pokemon in upcoming chapters. Mowen and Mirren, on the other hand, will have to wait a while, as they're hints towards hopeful future runs. (Not all of which are based on official games.)

This whole bit of backstory for Rocket's father was meant to establish how the infamous HAPPI rule in Gates to Infinity (no, I'm not planning a dungeonlocke) came into being. And that other rule? It's going to be important.

One of my goals in this story is to depict how the world of Aetherai works with such a wide variety of sentient creatures populating it. For instance, I imagine that Bellsprout are very important in Weepinbell societies because of their ability to run and fetch things (I still haven't completely decided how Weepinbell even move around; bouncing? slithering?).

And here's our first song! "Untraveled Road" by Thousand Foot Krutch. I didn't put the whole song in because it would have just drug the chapter out longer than it needed to be.

Rocket may be channeling Dee's Captain Justice here. Except instead of bragging about the Psychic type, he's bragging about Eevees in general. I don't blame him, because Eevees are awesome.
 
Last edited:

JavierE64

There´s even something under the mask?
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Oh my goodness; these group of friends, Rocket in particular, are really lovable to read.
I specially like their song.
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

Luck will travel, but that's why I've got feet
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Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
Oh my gooooodneeeeesss!!! What a wonderful atmosphere this story has so far! The kids are the CUTEST GROUP FO FRIENDS, and when they all started singing, I thought I was going to cry from the adorableness! I really like the idea of using singing to repel monsters! What wonderful cheer that could bring to a story! I also really like the pokemon's age being described in seasons rather than years. It's really clever and feels very animal-like. I tbh may need to steal that from you when I finally sit down to figure out how age works in my FYRverse??

Anyways, I'm thoroughly enjoying the spirit of this story so far! May I ask if you're taking constructive criticism? :3 I have a couple pointers on POV I'd like to share, but if you're just in this project to have fun and enjoy yourself, I don't wish to ruin your fun!
 

Trollkitten

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Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #9
May I ask if you're taking constructive criticism? :3 I have a couple pointers on POV I'd like to share, but if you're just in this project to have fun and enjoy yourself, I don't wish to ruin your fun!
Constructive criticism is fine. At some point I want to be a published fantasy writer, and I'd like to know how to improve my craft.

Other responses will come when the next chapter drops on Thursday. I just felt like this one needed my immediate attention.

Also, it should be noted that I stole the 'seasons' thing from the Redwall series, which was one of the inspirations for Secrets of Aetherai. I've been recently rereading the later books in the series, and they're still awesome. Definitely recommend to anyone who's a fan of fantasy and/or medieval battle stories.
 

Rubombee

the ace that stays up the sleeve
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Doesn't even eat baguette, are you sure she's French
Here we go!!

~~~~~

oh welp. rip. it was adream but at least it was a good one, right? :'D also was that mew(two)
👀👀👀 pink wisp!!
yeah who needs thumbs amirite
aww she's cleaning him like a cat!! :3
:( give nidoran all the hugs
xD jet roasting rocket about his breakfast
oooh, magic music!
Also interesting how you're "skipping" all the beginning catches!

oh right I keep forgetting Arceus is a llama xD
oh WOW vapreon can melt?? o_o
xD love that part about glaceon's headfur

Conclusion:
I am still hooked and really like how you justified the foe Pokémon with the wraiths :D
 

MouseWithADinosaurTail

Luck will travel, but that's why I've got feet
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Though she often appears sweet and polite, the smell of wrong opinions may cause this pokemon to latch bite.
Constructive criticism is fine. At some point I want to be a published fantasy writer, and I'd like to know how to improve my craft.
Alrighty!~
I find it difficult to tell what character's POV we're in at any given point throughout the chapter. The chapter starts out with the assumption that we're in Rocket's POV, but then it changes to Jet's POV, and then seems omniscient for a time before going back to Rocket's POV. This is what we call "head hopping." It's when the POV of a scene of literature changes without any sort of breakage in the scene and can serve to take your reader out of the moment or create confusion.

To explain further, I'll show you where the POV changes.

Wraiths to the left of him. Wraiths to the right of him. Wraiths in front of him, and if he'd bothered to look up or back, most likely wraiths above him and behind him as well. The little Eevee was completely surrounded.

How unfortunate, he thought.
We begin in Rocket's POV. We're seeing into his dream, which is in his head, along with being able to see his thoughts.

Rocket's ears sprang up in alarm. He'd completely forgotten! "The internship! How soon until we need to be there?"
At this point, we're still in Rocket's POV. "He'd completely forgotten!" is a thought specific to Rocket and could only have come from his head. That instance is actually what we call free indirect discourse- character thoughts being presented as narration.

"I'll have to decline," Jet said. "I've already eaten." The Pidgey tactfully didn't mention what he'd eaten. For some odd reason, when non-insectivorous Pokemon heard a bird Pokemon mention how tasty his breakfast of grubs and mealworms had been, they tended to lose their appetites. And Jet knew that Rocket was a growing Eevee and needed his energy, especially given what lay ahead for him.
However, still in the same scene, we've now jumped into Jet's POV. The statement of Jet tactfully not mentioning what he'd eaten and him stating that he knows Rocket is a growing eevee are explicitly thoughts that come from Jet. However, we're assumedly in Rocket's POV since that is where we started- how does Rocket know what Jet is thinking? Can he read minds? It isn't presented as Rocket knowing what Jet's thinking, but rather as explicitly thoughts from Jet's head. We've head-hopped here.

Now, the second scene stays in Rocket's POV the entire time. But the third scene hops again.

When Rocket stepped out the door of his house, he was not surprised to see Jet standing outside waiting for him. He was surprised, however, to see two more of his friends waiting alongside the Pidgey, packed and ready for their own internships.
We start in Rocket's POV, as these are explicitly his thoughts.

They had no idea what that one first day would bring upon them.
And then we seem to head-hop here. This narration seems like that of an omniscient narrator rather than Rocket specifically. It doesn't feel like Rocket guessing or assuming that they had no idea what their first day would bring them, but rather an omniscient narrator who knows for a fact that these kids are wandering into the unexpected. After all, Rocket can't tell the future, can he? You've changed from 3rd person limited to 3rd person omniscient here and broken out of Rocket's POV.

Now, I personally don't mind head hopping as much as a lot of other authors. But you say you want to be a published fantasy writer someday, and sadly this sort of writing is considered an error. ;u; The POV of a scene is established in its beginning, so when you break out of that POV, you're breaking the setup you've constructed for yourself in the scene. My suggestion to you would be to go with an omniscient narrator for the story; omniscient narration feels like it would fit the style of the story best, and it'll allow you to glance into more than one character's head throughout a scene along with tease future happenings (like the kids not knowing what their first day will bring). However, omniscient narration can be incredibly hard to pull off correctly, and tbh I don't even understand it and have given up trying. ;w; So it's up to you! But either way, I hope this was helpful. Best of luck!
 

Trollkitten

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Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
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  • #12
Thanks for the writing advice, @MouseWithADinosaurTail.

The thing about "head-hopping" is that while I am going for an omniscient narrator in this story, the very nature of Rocket's dream meant that I had to start the chapter exclusively from Rocket's POV, because when you're dreaming, everything comes from your POV. Since it's all in your head, there are no other characters in your dream, unless you're being visited by some outside psychic force (which I can neither confirm nor deny at this point, despite the fact that my very saying so is obviously going to make people think that's the case. But you never know. I could just be psyching you out.)
 

Trollkitten

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Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13
Oh my goodness; these group of friends, Rocket in particular, are really lovable to read.
I specially like their song.
Aww, thanks! There's more songs where that came from. This wasn't originally going to be a full-out songfic, but I kept finding good songs to use in the story, and it just sort of happened.

Oh my gooooodneeeeesss!!! What a wonderful atmosphere this story has so far! The kids are the CUTEST GROUP FO FRIENDS, and when they all started singing, I thought I was going to cry from the adorableness! I really like the idea of using singing to repel monsters! What wonderful cheer that could bring to a story! I also really like the pokemon's age being described in seasons rather than years. It's really clever and feels very animal-like. I tbh may need to steal that from you when I finally sit down to figure out how age works in my FYRverse??
Wait until you hear the song for the first Giovanni encounter. Or for taking on the Elite Four.

Here we go!!

~~~~~

oh welp. rip. it was adream but at least it was a good one, right? :'D also was that mew(two)
👀👀👀 pink wisp!!
yeah who needs thumbs amirite
aww she's cleaning him like a cat!! :3
:( give nidoran all the hugs
xD jet roasting rocket about his breakfast
oooh, magic music!
Also interesting how you're "skipping" all the beginning catches!

oh right I keep forgetting Arceus is a llama xD
oh WOW vapreon can melt?? o_o
xD love that part about glaceon's headfur

Conclusion:
I am still hooked and really like how you justified the foe Pokémon with the wraiths :D
I can neither confirm nor deny either Mew or Mewtwo's presence in this story. And yes, canonically Vaporeon can dissolve into water and reform itself. This was mentioned in its Pokedex entries and also shown in the Yellow chapter of the Pokemon Adventures manga.

Rocket's mother cleaning him like a cat is part of one of the aspects I seek to capture in my story -- that is, depicting the Pokemon as Pokemon, not as humans in fursuits. They have anthropomorphic traits, but they're not humans, they're their own creatures with their own biology, mentality, history, and culture.

Despite Jet's best efforts, the group of interns arrived just a tad bit late. When the four young Pokemon entered the HAPPI headquarters of Pawprint Town, the Oath of Loyalty had already been sworn, and Guildmaster Croak, the elderly Politoed, was already reading off the list of announcements.

Jet huffed. "He didn't even see us walk in. He's treating us like the small fry."

Spike actually looked relieved at this -- having to step forward and take the Oath of Loyalty in front of the entire group of adventurers was clearly not an event he had been looking forward to.

"First order of business," Guildmaster Croak announced, "is addressing the Donphan in the room."

"Yeah, what about me?" said a voice from the crowd.

Croak looked down his muzzle at the Donphan. "It's a common expression, Pierce. I mean no disrespect by it."

"None taken," said Pierce, who sat back down.

"Of course, the matter I wish to speak about is the new mission order that comes directly from the Four Heavenly Kings. There are reports that somewhere, spotted in Verdant Forest, there lies an unusual and unregistered cryptid: the Golden Metapod. The Kings have ordered that a group of adventurers cross past the Vanity Ruins and into Verdant Forest to find this Metapod and, if it exists, bring it back alive to HQ as proof."

The crowd's enthusiasm was less than palpable.

"A freakin' Metapod?" Pierce exclaimed out loud. "You're frekking joking! Why in Aetherai would the Four Heavenly Kings care so much about bothering some feral Metapod that lives in the middle of a Grand-High-Llama-forsaken forest?"

"Percy, watch the language," Guildmaster Croak said firmly. "There are cubs present. And show some respect for the Kings. If this mission wasn't important, they wouldn't have entrusted us with it."

"Still... a Metapod?" asked an Exeggcute. "They aren't even very powerful Pokemon. How would we know that this so-called 'Golden Metapod' hasn't already been attacked and eaten by wraiths?"

"That is the concern, yes," Croak answered. "If this golden Metapod represents an unusual offshoot of the Butterfree line, then the Kings have every reason to seek to protect it. Doesn't our own Oath of Loyalty pledge our protection to Gatto and all its creatures?"

"Some Oath of Loyalty," a Slowpoke yelled out, "given what the Kings did to all the Darklings that used to be in Gatto."

There were uncomfortable murmurs in the crowd. The mass exodus of all Darklings -- dark-type Pokemon -- from the Gatto region had occurred eighty years prior, and was still a widely disputed move on the Kings' part. At the time, the reigning Kings had claimed that the Darklings were part of a vast conspiracy to seize control of Gatto and rule as tyrants, an accusation that the Darklings had found laughable coming from the Kings. Even now, Gattonian Darklings mainly existed in hiding, with even Rocket's father living in disguise as a Ninetales for most of his life.

"That was eighty years ago," Croak said, "and that's beside the point. The matter at hand is, the current Kings require HAPPI to seek out this Golden Metapod and bring it back to civilization. Do I have any volunteers?"

More unhappy murmurs. Under normal circumstances, the adventure teams would have been more than happy to set out in search of some unknown subspecies. But the mention of the forced Darkling exodus had left a good deal of them suspicious of the Kings' true purpose in finding the Golden Metapod, and the rest of them felt that volunteering for this job would brand them as a traitor to species biodiversity in the eyes of their fellow Pokemon, which was never a good thing.

"Anybody?" Croak asked, looking over the less than enthusiastic crowd. "Do I have any volunteers? Come on now. Don't all start at once."

There are some days when destiny whispers, and some when it roars. There are some when it gently nudges the fated hero into action, and there are some when it all but whacks the hero on the head and screams, "Aren't you paying attention?"

In this case, it didn't take much.

"I volunteer!" Rocket shouted, raising his paw.

The muted mutterings of the crowd were instantly stunned into silence.

A cub?

Volunteering?

On a dangerous mission?

Past the Vanity Ruins?

Guildmaster Croak stared down at the scruffy-looking Eevee. "Excuse me, but do you realize just what kind of a mission this is?"

"Yeah, I notice," Rocket shot back. "It's the kind of mission you don't have any volunteers for. So I'm volunteering."

"Don't you realize what the Vanity Ruins are?" Croak answered. "They're filled chock to the brim with dangerous Earthen wraiths! And you think some cub like yourself can just waltz past them into Verdant Forest?"

"The Kings insist that somebody has to do this, right?"

Croak nodded.

"And nobody else is volunteering, right?"

Croak nodded again, less happily.

"Well, then I'm volunteering. Gotta be better than fetching coffee and charcoal sticks for all the cowards in this dump."

The murmurings returned, this time with an offended tone. Guildmaster Croak glared at Rocket. "And I suppose you have your team formed? We can't send you out there alone with all those wraiths about."

"Sure he has a team!" Bella piped up, raising her leaf. "And it's us!"

Jet and Spike stared at Bella as if she'd grown another blossom. "What?"

"Yeah, it's us," Rocket said excitedly before either Jet or Spike could contradict. "We're the Paw Patrol, and we're going to find that Golden Metapod and head straight back to HQ in two shakes of a Meowth's tail!"

"Count on us!" Bella seconded.

Guildmaster Croak had no idea what to do. On the one paw, sending a group of four untested cubs out past the most dangerous wraith stronghold in the whole of Gatto was clearly child endangerment. On the other paw, he couldn't tell the Four Heavenly Kings that there were no volunteers at all for such an important mission. And on the third paw (assuming the paws belonged to a Graveler or Machamp), if he told the Kings that the only volunteers had been a group of children... and if he'd sent them anyway and they all got destroyed by wraiths...

"Does ANYONE ELSE want to volunteer?" he said loudly, hoping that the better natures of the adventuring teams would kick in and that someone, anyone, would rather take the mission than have a group of kids do it. "Anyone at all?"

Nobody. Actually, half of the group wanted to see how the Guildmaster would handle this, and the other half were too amused to speak a word. Even Jet and Spike were silent, mainly in the hope that Rocket's evidently suicidal tendencies would be overruled by at least one of the adults in the room.

How the Guildmaster handled it was to throw his webbed flippers up into the air in defeat. "All right, 'Paw Patrol,'" he muttered. "You've got the job. But only once you've spoken to your parents and have them sign some liability release forms."

Rocket leapt into the air in joy. "YES!" he announced to everyone around. "I'm gonna be an adventurer! I'm gonna be an ADVENTURER!"

Jet and Spike turned to each other in alarm. Jet's eyes were full of shock. Spike looked about to bury himself under his own backpack.

And somewhere overhead, a pink wisp of smoke observed everything.

---

The rest of the day's internship went pretty much the way the cubs had expected it. Sorting mail, shredding papers for recycling, fetching coffee and charcoal sticks for older adventurers. About the only thing that hadn't been expected was that every time a member of the Paw Patrol walked in on an adventurer, that adventurer would invariably give them a certain look. Perhaps a look of surprise, or pity, or even admiration.

What had happened in the amphitheater had not gone unnoticed. Ears had been turned, and feathers had been ruffled. Everybody had a word for the Paw Patrol. Sometimes advice, sometimes encouragement, sometimes warning, and sometimes a brief, derogatory comment on the state of HAPPI these days if a bunch of cubs could get accepted on a mission just like that.

Still, Rocket thought, nobody else had volunteered. Even now, nobody else was volunteering. Which meant that the job belonged fully and exclusively to the newly christened Paw Patrol.

Perhaps he should have asked himself why nobody else had volunteered.

---

Of course, when Rocket went back home in the evening and told his mother the news, her reaction was less than positive.

"Out on a mission the first day?" she asked in alarm. "To Verdant Forest? Past the Vanity Ruins? Don't they have any idea how dangerous that is?"

"Well, I'd say they do," Rocket answered. "They wouldn't have given us liability release forms if they didn't. Can you just sign here, please?"

Rocket's mother had no idea what to do. On the one hand, of course she wanted to support her son in all his chosen endeavors. On the other hand... "I already lost your father on an explorer's mission," she admitted. "I don't want to lose you too."

"You won't lose me! It's just a few days. Two days' walk to Verdant Forest, a few days to find this Metapod, and two days' walk back. Shouldn't take us more than a week."

"And that's another thing," his mother insisted. "Have you ever considered which team member will stay behind? If no one has ever found this Golden Metapod before, you can't possibly expect to find it in only three days."

"We'll be fine!" Rocket answered. "And obviously someone's found it before. Otherwise, HAPPI never would have heard of it."

His mother pursed her lips. This was a conversation she'd known she'd have eventually the moment Rocket applied for any sort of work at HAPPI. She had not expected it to happen on the first day.

"Okay," she said carefully. "I'll be the stay-behind."

Rocket flinched. "WHAT?"

"Obviously you need somebody on the team to offer the wisdom of seasons," she said. "But I'm certainly no adventurer. Anyway, I'm sure you don't need a dottering old woman following you around through Verdant Forest and licking the milk off your face."

"Mo-o-o-o-m," Rocket laughed. "You're not THAT old."

"And at any rate, you all know how much wraiths hate music. And you certainly play your music loud enough that I sincerely doubt any of them will so much as blink at you."

This was true. The civilized Pokemon of Aetherai had developed a complex system of using frism discs to record and play back music. Rocket never went anywhere without his AiPod, a device named for its earbuds' rather comical resemblance to an Ambipom's tails. With the right peripherals and turned up to maximum volume, an AiPod was a greatly powerful wraith deterrent.

"Just, please, don't turn your AiPod on unless you think wraiths are in the area," his mother asked. "There's still feral Pokemon to think about, and they might jump out at you and attack if you disturb their prey."

"I know, Mom, I know," Rocket said. "There shouldn't be that many ferals living near the Vanity Ruins anyway. And the Verdant Forest Pokemon aren't very powerful. The worst we could encounter is a feral Beedrill nest, and those are easy enough to avoid."

"I know," his mother said, taking a stick of charcoal in one of her ribbons to sign the release form. "Honestly, if it weren't for that, I might not... but it's only a short mission, after a Metapod of all creatures. Even if it gets hostile, you can certainly defend yourself against a single Metapod."

"Oh, I'll roll over and die before I lose to some Metapod," Rocket said cheekily. "So you'll come with me tomorrow to register on my team, correct? That's perfect! In just a few days, we'll all be ready to set off to Verdant Forest!"

His mother smiled to herself. Silently, she was quite certain that Guildmaster Croak, or the Gatekeepers, or some other authority would never let a group of children go out past the Vanity Ruins that cut off Pawprint Town from so much of the world.

Perhaps she should have taken into account that Bella's, Jet's, and Spike's parents would surely all believe the same thing.

---

Bella's parents had believed that their daughter was exaggerating when she bragged about the scope and importance of the mission. Truth be told, they had been only half listening when they signed the release forms, believing that Guildmaster Croak would have never put a mere sprout on an assignment with any real danger of harm.

Jet's parents, on the other paw, were fully aware of the danger and of the scope of the mission. They signed the form regardless, because Jet was a mature and capable fledgling for his age, and from what his parents knew of the other cubs that would be accompanying him on this mission, they figured the odds of disaster would be much less with Jet on the team than without. And once they told Jet this opinion, the Pidgey realized that all things being equal, he couldn't just leave his friends to go off past Vanity Ruins without him.

Spike's parents, quite honestly, were so overjoyed that their shy little cub was finally moving up in the world that they never even considered the danger. (Not that Spike hadn't. But he had never even considered that his parents would sign such a form, and once he'd presented it to them and they all started gushing about what a big boy he was now, he had been far too flattered to say anything to the contrary.)

So, for a multitude of reasons, it just so happened that all four founding members of the Paw Patrol were granted permission to set off beyond Pawprint Town in search of the Golden Metapod. Rocket's mother would stay behind to supervise the construction of an official team hut for the Paw Patrol, made somewhat easier with her helping ribbons.

Under normal circumstances, any team about to leave on a mission would have to take HAPPI's Oath of Loyalty before setting out, especially a team newly formed. For whatever reason, Guildmaster Croak chose to forgo this formality. "They're only tadpoles," he said to Rocket's mother. "It's far too early for them to be making oaths. They'll better understand when they get a bit older."

But the pink wisp of smoke floating above the Guildmaster understood things very differently.
Rocket's Notebook: Writing in the Gatto Region

In eras long passed by, Pokemon communicated via a glyph system known as 'footprint runes,' which involved pressing one's paws into soft clay in various patterns. Given the wildly varying shapes of different species' paws, this could be difficult to read, and certain species were singled out over others as scribes to record for Pokemon with more unusual paw shapes.

We don't do that anymore.

Nowadays, most writing is done with charcoal sticks on bark paper. The charcoal is produced by Flares, who wrap each stick in bark paper so it can be held without coming off on one's paws. Bark for the bark paper is usually harvested by Floras, who know how much bark to strip from trees without seriously harming the trees. Since paper is a limited resource, used bark paper is shredded and recycled into fresh paper for reuse.

When the occasion calls for it, Pokemon can also paint with various colored pigments using shed-fur brushes, similarly to how Smeargle paint in the neighboring Jatto region. However, charcoal is cheaper and more convenient for everyday use.

The script used in writing is loosely based off the language of footprint runes, but written in strokes rather than prints, as it's far more convenient that way.

---

Rocket's Notebook: HAPPI's Oath of Loyalty

I'll be honest -- I don't even remember the words to half of the Oath. But the Oath is taken by every serious adventurer and contains these promises:

-- To pledge our protection to Gatto and all its creatures
-- To pledge our undying loyalty to the Four Heavenly Kings
-- To pledge to never leave a team member behind, even in the face of wraiths
-- To pledge to never give up on a mission, no matter how difficult

Honestly, I suspect that the last part was added after my father went MIA. It's very embarrassing.

HAPPI, of course, is the organization featured in Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. I wish I could take credit for that acronym, but sadly I cannot.

I only just recently realized the disrepancy between using seasons to mark Pokemon age and using years to mark the dates of important events. Let's just say that 'eighty years' is easier to say than 'three hundred and twenty seasons'. It's similar to our use of decades and centuries. (And hey, now we know why there aren't any Dark-types in the Kanto region. Darn those Kings.)

I decided on the name Paw Patrol on a whim. It's a CG children's cartoon about a bunch of service dogs in various vocations -- a police dog, a firefighter dog, things like that. Since Rocket is conceivably canine-ish (let's not get into that debate), I figured the name fit him pretty well. (Even if he and possibly Spike are the only current members with actual paws.)

Like HAPPI, frisms also come from Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. I know it's typically regarded as the weakest entry in the PMD series, but it was my first PMD game, and it holds a special place in my heart for that. So of course you can expect references. Frisms themselves are ice crystals (probably made of Never-Melt-Ice) that can capture and play back sounds. Similar to time flowers in the Lucario movie, only for sound. Since music plays a large role in this story, I wanted to come up with a way Pokemon could record and play back songs that fits in with their universe and level of technology. (Also, AiPod is a great name and I'm glad I can take credit for something clever in this story.)

Never underestimate the ability of adults to assume that something is Somebody Else's Problem.

And hey, the pink smoke is back! That's not at all ominous. Nope, not ominous at all!

Footprint runes are yet another concept originating from the PMD games, but I figured that by this point in Aetherai's cultural development, they would have thought of something a bit more readable than those.
 

Rubombee

the ace that stays up the sleeve
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
61
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
586
Location
somewhere in Kalos
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Doesn't even eat baguette, are you sure she's French
here we go, i'm reading!

~~~~~

oooh more lore! that oath of loyalty sounds interesting
XD poor donphan, how any times they must've heard that
ouch ye throwing all the dark types out sounds like a very bad idea
rip golden metapod no ones wants to meet them
oh yeah of course rocket does x)
"It's the kind of mission you don't have any volunteers for" i love this line so much
whoops maybe don't insult people huuuh
omg that third paw part is great as well
oh yes of course we wouldn't want to forget our pink smoky thingy friend
"Perhaps he should have asked himself why nobody else had volunteered." welp now that isn't ominous at all for sure
that reasoning for the aipod pun though,
how many more ominous sentences before something bad happens oh no
oh there we have our pink cloud again!

nice that how they can write :d

Conclusion:
something bad is definitely gonna happen D:
 

RubyClaw

Challenge Seeker and Nuzlocke Completionist
🌱Featurer
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
22
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
229
Location
Kanto Route 1, 1% encounter rate (Israel)
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
Well, I'm not usually one to follow written runs, but heck lately I've found more than run that made me change my ways, and this one is definitely one of them!

5. The Eeveetar grows in power with each wraith stronghold conquered. (Each gym badge unlocks a new tutor move for the partner Eevee.)
I love this solution to the problem of partner eevee being so OP, quite elegant and flavorful.

For reasons that no Pokemon fully understood, the wraiths despised music. Adventurers had long used that quirk against them, using marching songs while traveling in wraith-infested territory to repel the monsters. It didn't work inside the strongholds, where the wraiths lived, but was a decent enough repellent on the road.
Very cute idea.

There were uncomfortable murmurs in the crowd. The mass exodus of all Darklings -- dark-type Pokemon -- from the Gatto region had occurred eighty years prior, and was still a widely disputed move on the Kings' part. At the time, the reigning Kings had claimed that the Darklings were part of a vast conspiracy to seize control of Gatto and rule as tyrants, an accusation that the Darklings had found laughable coming from the Kings. Even now, Gattonian Darklings mainly existed in hiding, with even Rocket's father living in disguise as a Ninetales for most of his life.
Wow, that is some dark stuff for a world full of cheerful pokemon, I'm interesting in learning more about this time in their history and the part the kings had in this.

What an interesting world and setting, and so fitting for our miraculous Eevee hero and his affiliation with all the elements. Great descriptions, I can almost imagine the Wraiths and their elemental energy flowing in the form of a pokemon. The lore of your world is really felt, and one can imagine that so much more is happening outside of our little story, which is some great world-building.

Sorry if I missed that but just to make sure - are you playing this run as you go or have you finished the gameplay part?

Either way, good luck with this run and with Rocket's Adventures!
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
317
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #16
here we go, i'm reading!

~~~~~

oooh more lore! that oath of loyalty sounds interesting
XD poor donphan, how any times they must've heard that
ouch ye throwing all the dark types out sounds like a very bad idea
rip golden metapod no ones wants to meet them
oh yeah of course rocket does x)
"It's the kind of mission you don't have any volunteers for" i love this line so much
whoops maybe don't insult people huuuh
omg that third paw part is great as well
oh yes of course we wouldn't want to forget our pink smoky thingy friend
"Perhaps he should have asked himself why nobody else had volunteered." welp now that isn't ominous at all for sure
that reasoning for the aipod pun though,
how many more ominous sentences before something bad happens oh no
oh there we have our pink cloud again!

nice that how they can write :d

Conclusion:
something bad is definitely gonna happen D:
This is a nuzlocke. Bad things tend to happen in nuzlockes.

Well, I'm not usually one to follow written runs, but heck lately I've found more than run that made me change my ways, and this one is definitely one of them!

I love this solution to the problem of partner eevee being so OP, quite elegant and flavorful.

Very cute idea.

Wow, that is some dark stuff for a world full of cheerful pokemon, I'm interesting in learning more about this time in their history and the part the kings had in this.

What an interesting world and setting, and so fitting for our miraculous Eevee hero and his affiliation with all the elements. Great descriptions, I can almost imagine the Wraiths and their elemental energy flowing in the form of a pokemon. The lore of your world is really felt, and one can imagine that so much more is happening outside of our little story, which is some great world-building.

Sorry if I missed that but just to make sure - are you playing this run as you go or have you finished the gameplay part?

Either way, good luck with this run and with Rocket's Adventures!
I started writing this run when I was halfway through the gameplay. I beat the game last Saturday.

As for what happened in the past, I am working on a lorelocke of FireRed that takes place one hundred years (four hundred seasons) before Ori's Gift. I probably won't start writing it until I'm finished with Ori's Gift, but you can expect some references to that run in Ori's Gift.

Every city and town in Gatto had at least one Gatekeeper stationed outside each of its gates, which were surrounded by stone walls and required electricity to open and close. The Gatekeepers' jobs were to monitor all travel to and from the cities and keep out wraiths and feral Pokemon. They took their jobs extremely seriously and often had zero sense of humor.

So when Pawprint Town's Gatekeeper Pikachu saw a group of four cubs heading straight towards the northern entrance to the city wearing the pink scarves (sewn by Rocket's mother) that marked them as an adventure team, he immediately stepped in front of the gate to block them.

"Oh, hi," Rocket said, intimidated not at all. "We're the Paw Patrol. An explorer team. We're headed to Verdant Forest by order of the Four Heavenly Kings."

"Surrrrre you are," said the Gatekeeper, clearly not convinced. "And I'm Xerneas. A few fancy scarves aren't going to get you past these gates, no sirree."

"How about a written edict from Guildmaster Croak himself?" Bella asked, pulling out a piece of paper from Spike's backpack. "It's our authorization."

The Pikachu picked it up, examined it, then laughed and crumpled it up into a small ball, throwing it over his shoulder. "I don't know what team you stole this from, but it doesn't matter. A group of cubs on a mission past Vanity Ruins of all places? Guildmaster Croak would never approve of that, much less the Four Heavenly Kings."

Jet bristled. "Damaging official HAPPI documents is a felonious offense. Now get out of that doorway before I start flying my friends over the gate myself."

"Oh, it's on," the Pikachu said, cheek pouches sparking with electricity. "You cubs think you can fight a Gatekeeper? I've won more battles than the four of you have had hot dinners. You're going down."

"Whoa whoa whoa," Jet said, spreading his wings wide. "Who said anything about fighting? You're just going to stand aside and let us pass, real peaceable-like."

"Says who?" the Gatekeeper asked angrily.

"Well, the way I see it, you've got three options," Jet said. "You can fight us and win, which means congratulations, you've beaten up four cubs, impeded official HAPPI business, gone against the Kings' orders, and will probably lose your job, your reputation, your good standing in the community, and your self-respect. Or you could fight us and lose, in which you'll have just been beaten up by a bunch of cubs and you'll lose all those things anyway. Or," Jet said with special emphasis, "you can give us back our papers, let us go about our business, and not wind up the central target of an official investigation. What say you?"

The Pikachu opened his mouth, stalled a few moments, then realized he had absolutely no retort worth saying. Grimacing, he stepped to one side and shot a bolt of electricity into the control system to open the gate, surreptitiously nudging the crumpled-up HAPPI document back towards Bella.

"Wow," Rocket whispered to Jet once the group was through the gate and safely out of earshot. "You're good."

"You just have to know how to handle these Lawful Stupid types," Jet whispered back. "My dad is an official at Pawprint Town's city hall. He knows how these guys work."

"So we're not going to report him?" Bella asked nervously. "He did damage official documents."

"Well, the way I see it, the next Pokemon to see those documents are going to ask questions. Which, of course, we'll be legally bound to answer honestly. There's a difference between ratting out an official out of spite and just following orders. And with these guys, it's all about just following orders."

"Ah," Bella said conspiratorially, grinning wickedly. (It was somewhat unnerving, given her waxy Bellsprout lips.) "Does it count as Lawful Evil if the guy we're hosing did it to himself?"

"I don't think any jury would convict us for telling the truth," Jet said.

"Does that make you a stool Pidgey?" Spike asked, and then had to dodge Jet swinging his backpack at him.

---

Immediately north of Pawprint Town was a clear, grassy field surrounded by woodlands. There had been a road, once, before the coming of the wraiths, leading to what was now the Vanity Ruins. That, however, was four hundred seasons ago. At present time, the road was long overgrown with tall grass and even trees in some places. No Pokemon in their right mind would have ever considered repaving the road to Vanity Ruins, because that would only make it easier for the wraiths to head south.

Not that anyone expected them not to. After all, everything had gone south since the wraiths had arrived; the wraiths themselves might as well also do so, to keep up the trend. Sure, there was a massive concrete wall staffed with Gatekeepers around the Vanity Ruins, but the wraiths in the ruins were Earthen, and nobody held any delusions that they couldn't just tunnel under and head for Pawprint Town anyway. For some reason, however, they hadn't. And nobody was very keen to head in there and ask them why.

The four young Pokemon heading straight across the grassy meadow stared in awe at the vast fields of greenery before them. With the exception of Jet, who could fly, none of them had ever had more than brief glimpses of the world outside of Pawprint Town. And even Jet had never seen a field quite this large.

"Wow," Bella said, impressed. "That's a lot of greenery. It just all grows like this? With no Pokemon to care for it?"

"Welcome to the wild, Bella," Jet said with an air of authority. "The grass grows on its own. The feral Pokemon hunt their prey among the grass, and what the Pokemon don't eat decomposes into soil and feeds the plant life. It's nature's order."

"Feral Pokemon?" Spike asked, shuddering. "Please tell me they're docile..."

"Oh, don't worry. It's just Pidgey, Rattata, Bellsprout, and a few Oddish," Jet answered. "None of them are cannibals. They're mostly shy and skittish, given how close we are to the ruins full of wraiths."

There was a stunned silence as everybody realized what Jet had just said.

"Wr-r-raiths?" Spike asked nervously. "You mean... those elemental kill-everything wraiths?"

"Oh, hush up, you big spiky baby," Jet scolded. "We'll be traveling past the Vanity Ruins, not through them. There's a wide path to the west that curls right around them. We'll be fine."

"Still..." Spike murmured, "maybe we should turn on some marching music. You know... just in case. Rocket?"

Rocket nodded. "Unless Jet thinks the locals are going to get aggressive about it."

"They shouldn't. If the ferals living around here were aggressive, we'd have heard of it from the Guildmaster before leaving. Just don't play it too loudly, all right?"

Too late. Rocket had pulled out his AiPod from his backpack and was now blaring the loudest song he could imagine:


"Everything is awesome!" Rocket sang out.
"Everything is cool when you're part of a team,
Everything is awesome,
When you're living out a dream!"


Jet buried his head under his wing. Bella, however, eagerly joined in the song:

"Everything is better when we stick together,
Side by side, you and I are gonna win forever,
Let's party forever..."


Spike's voice piped up as well:

"We're the same, I'm like you, you're like me,
We are working in harmony..."


Jet groaned inwardly. Well, the rest of his friends were all idiots, so he might as well be one too. And it certainly didn't look like any feral Pokemon were about to jump out at them.

"Everything is awesome!
Everything is cool when you're part of a team,
Everything is awesome,
When you're living out a dream!"


"Woooo!" Rocket sang out. "Three, two, one, go!

"Have you heard the news? Everyone's talkin',
Life is good 'cause everything's awesome,
Got our job, it's a new opportunity,
Mission time for our awesome community!
I feel more awesome than a cool Bellossom,
Dip my body in chocolate frostin',
Seasons later, wash off the frostin',
Smellin' like a blossom, everything is awesome,
Stepped in mud, got new brown do's,
It's awesome to win and it's awesome to lose..."


Jet turned and stared at Rocket. "Are you making all that up off the top of your head?"

Rocket grinned. "Maybe!"

"Everything is better when we stick together," Bella and Spike sang.
"Side by side, you and I are gonna win forever,
Let's party forever,
We're the same, I'm like you, you're like me,
We are working in harmony...

"Everything is awesome!
Everything is cool when you're part of a team,
Everything is awesome,
When you're living out a dream!"


A few wild Rattata stuck their heads out of the grass nervously. Jet wondered, with much trepidation, if they were considering attack.

Rocket figured they were admiring his singing. So he broke into another rap solo.

"Blue skies, bouncy springs,
We just named two awesome things,
A Squirtle's eyes, a piece of string,
You know what's awesome? EVERYTHING!
Growlithe's fleas, allergies,
Mowenian antiquities,
Brand new pants, a very old vest,
Awesome items are the best!
Trees... pogs... clogs... they're awesome!
Rocks... clocks... and socks... they're awesome!
Figs... and jigs... and twigs... that's awesome!
Everything you see or think or say is awesome!"


And they all sang together:

"Everything is awesome!
Everything is cool when you're part of a team,
Everything is awesome,
When you're living out a dream!"


The feral Rattata quickly scurried away, clearly wanting no part in this strange parade. Jet supposed he should feel relieved at this. But quite honestly, he was much more embarrassed.

Still, it was better to be utterly humiliated in front of strangers than to be eaten alive by wraiths.

He glanced up to the skies, then blinked. Was there some pink wisp of Esper energy floating above him? But when he looked again, the wisp was gone.

Could it have been a wraith?

Nonsense, he thought to himself. Wraiths despised music. Everybody knew that.

But if it was a wraith, he thought, had it been... dancing?

---

Once the cubs were out of sight, the Gatekeeper Pikachu opened up a panel in the wall surrounding the town gate. Placing his paw on the inside of the panel, he focused his electric energy into a series of coded pulses.

THIS MESSAGE OFF RECORD. STOP. FOUR CUBS EN ROUTE TO VANITY RUINS, UNDER ORDERS FROM GUILDMASTER CROAK. STOP. POTENTIAL CHILD ENDANGERMENT. STOP. PREVENT FROM APPROACHING RUINS AT ALL COSTS. STOP.

A radio antenna extending from the wall shone brightly, transmitting the Gatekeeper's message to its intended recipients in the north, at an outpost near the Vanity Ruins. If anyone -- even a cub -- dared to enter even one of the wraith strongholds, there was going to be trouble with the Kings, the Pikachu was sure of it.

In time, those poor foolish cubs would thank him for trying to stop them, he thought grimly.

If they survived that long.
Pikachu are Lightning elements commonly employed by the Four Heavenly Kings as Gatekeepers, due to their ability to store and expel electricity for a variety of purposes. While one would easily imagine that this would give Earthens an advantage against the Gatekeepers, the Pikachu selected for the job are often taught special Aquatic moves specifically to counter Earthens. There are claims that certain Pikachu are also able to learn Aerial attacks specifically to counter the Flora element, but I'm pretty sure this is just a rumor. Flying Pikachu? Seriously?

Pikachu begin life as Pichu, which are smaller and less adept at discharging electricity than their evolved form. It's uncertain what precisely causes a Pichu to mature into a Pikachu, but it's generally believed that Pichu in a happier emotional state will evolve faster. Needless to say, it's not easy for Pichu to evolve in this day and age with all these wraiths about, especially considering that Pichu can't even use Lightning attacks without hurting themselves.

When exposed to a Thunder Stone, Pikachu are able to evolve into Raichu, a larger and more powerful form capable of even stronger Lightning attacks. However, as this is not a natural evolution, most Raichu become aggressive if they have stored up too much electricity. Because of this, and the rarity of Thunder Stones, Raichu are not commonly seen in Gatto, even among the Gatekeepers.

On rare occasions, a Raichu will evolve to be both Lightning and Esper element, gaining the ability to float on its own tail. These Raichu are referred to as "hodad Raichu," in reference to their mimicking surfers. It's believed that Pikachu are more likely to evolve into hodad Raichu in areas with strong sunlight, close to the ocean. Why this is is completely unknown, and given the rarity of Thunder Stones, studies on these effects are few and far between. The Gatekeepers are eager to employ hodad Raichu because of their abilities, but since few hodad Raichu (or any kind of Raichu) exist to begin with, I doubt they've seen very much success.

The Gatekeepers originated from Twitch Plays Pokemon's "Anniversary Red" run, in which we played a hack of Pokemon Red where all 151 Pokemon were available to obtain and our goal was to complete the Pokedex. Except that we immediately ran into a roadblock on Route One when our Charmander was unable to defeat myriad wild Pikachu that kept kicking us into the sand. (I did a 'screencap comic' about the Gatekeepers in that run a long while back, but it never got anywhere because I tried too hard to be edgy and mysterious and I introduced way too many plot points.)

In-game, this was the first rival battle. Except the first rival battle was boring, so I replaced it with Jet managing to talk circles around the Gatekeeper (in truth, at this point I hadn't even caught him yet).

And now, at last, I've remembered to use seasons instead of years to mark the passage of time. Although the Pokemon of Aetherai use both, depending on how long ago things were. For instance, it's easier to say 'eighty years' than 'three hundred and twenty seasons.' Kind of like how we use centuries, or how Abraham Lincoln referenced "Four score and seven years ago" instead of just saying "Eighty-seven years ago," although that last example may have just been used because it sounds more impressive.

These poor sheltered kids really don't know what the outside world is like, do they? I had a bit of a sheltered childhood myself. The Internet opened my eyes to a lot of things, some of which I would have greatly preferred my eyes stayed shut to.

Are there actually cannibal Pokemon in Aetherai? We'll find out...

I changed some of the lyrics in Everything Is Awesome to match the setting. A few changes are obvious. Some are not. Probably the least obvious is changing "frogs" to "pogs." While there probably are frogs in Aetherai because small non-Pokemon animals exist in this world (carnivores have to eat something), I felt it was somewhat jarring to have them mentioned in the song. So, pogs. (Does anyone else remember pogs?)

Since "Alolan" Raichu can be traded for in Kanto, and I haven't decided on a name for Aetherai's equivalent of Alola, "Alolan" Raichu are referred to as "hodad" Raichu. This is a reference to its Pokedex entry. "Hodad," incidentally, means someone who pretends to be a surfer but isn't.
 

Rubombee

the ace that stays up the sleeve
Artist
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
61
Caught
Jun 15, 2019
Messages
586
Location
somewhere in Kalos
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
she/her
Pokémon Type
Water, Ghost
Pokédex Entry
Doesn't even eat baguette, are you sure she's French
here i come

~~~~~

oh geez rip gatekeeper pikachu when they discover this isn't a joke
oh wow now that was a comeback, jet!
xD oh my, you keep getting me, i love that "gone south" pun so much!
aww yeah i love this music!!! :D
and i love how you made rocket do the rap breaks, with the bits of original lyrics!
XD oh my even pink wisp was dancing, amazing

oooh pika lore :0 interesting reasoning with non-natural evos!
ah, and the gatekeeper origin story x)
:0 great idea to make the first battle something without fighting though!!

Conclusion:
wholesome chapter (almost)!! :D
 

RubyClaw

Challenge Seeker and Nuzlocke Completionist
🌱Featurer
Screenshotter
Team Omega
Pokédex No.
22
Caught
Jun 9, 2019
Messages
229
Location
Kanto Route 1, 1% encounter rate (Israel)
Nature
Calm
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Fire, Psychic
As for what happened in the past, I am working on a lorelocke of FireRed that takes place one hundred years (four hundred seasons) before Ori's Gift. I probably won't start writing it until I'm finished with Ori's Gift, but you can expect some references to that run in Ori's Gift.
Well now you made me curious! Can't wait to find out what happened there (and with the lorelocke rules involved I'm even more eager to know).

"Well, the way I see it, the next Pokemon to see those documents are going to ask questions. Which, of course, we'll be legally bound to answer honestly. There's a difference between ratting out an official out of spite and just following orders. And with these guys, it's all about just following orders."
Oh wow, that IS evil.

Man this world is so weird and unique when you think of it, sort of distopia disguised as a utopia. On the one paw everything is in order, balanced, even full of harmony. On the other paw outside the walls pokemon, much like those inside, are feral. Not to speak of the wraiths which seem like a catastrophe waiting to happen, barely held on check, and no one gives enough thought about a future solution. A very interesting setting.

I'm just loving all the extra lore bits you share.
 

JavierE64

There´s even something under the mask?
Writer
Team Alpha
Pokédex No.
310
Caught
Jul 1, 2019
Messages
169
Location
Perú
Nature
Modest
Pronouns
He/Him
Pokémon Type
Grass, Water
Jet really got that Pikachu with his Tail between his legs, and the song is just a treat to listen.
 

Trollkitten

Kitten of Lore
Writer
Team Delta
Pokédex No.
208
Caught
Jun 30, 2019
Messages
317
Location
Gatto Region
Nature
Quirky
Pronouns
She/her, Aetherai Lorekeeper
Pokémon Type
Fairy, Clever
Pokédex Entry
Autistic writer who starts more things than she finishes. Also a major Twitch Plays Pokemon lorewriter. Rather be a happy shill than an angry critic.
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #20
NOTE: Starting next week, Ori's Gift will update on Mondays and Thursdays instead of Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tagging @MouseWithADinosaurTail so she can update the PMD runs document with this information.

here i come

~~~~~

oh geez rip gatekeeper pikachu when they discover this isn't a joke
oh wow now that was a comeback, jet!
xD oh my, you keep getting me, i love that "gone south" pun so much!
aww yeah i love this music!!! :D
and i love how you made rocket do the rap breaks, with the bits of original lyrics!
XD oh my even pink wisp was dancing, amazing

oooh pika lore :0 interesting reasoning with non-natural evos!
ah, and the gatekeeper origin story x)
:0 great idea to make the first battle something without fighting though!!

Conclusion:
wholesome chapter (almost)!! :D
Thanks! I enjoyed writing a completely different take on the original rival battle, because as I've mentioned before, two Pokemon tackling each other isn't exactly riveting drama.

Well now you made me curious! Can't wait to find out what happened there (and with the lorelocke rules involved I'm even more eager to know).


Oh wow, that IS evil.

Man this world is so weird and unique when you think of it, sort of distopia disguised as a utopia. On the one paw everything is in order, balanced, even full of harmony. On the other paw outside the walls pokemon, much like those inside, are feral. Not to speak of the wraiths which seem like a catastrophe waiting to happen, barely held on check, and no one gives enough thought about a future solution. A very interesting setting.

I'm just loving all the extra lore bits you share.
I know I've gotten a fan interested in the world when they start using my metaphors!

And yeah, it's an interesting world, all right. I basically started worldbuilding around the wraiths, and it snowballed from there. This may be the fastest I've ever built a cohesive fantasy world, since if I remember right I started playing my nuzlocke in July.

Jet really got that Pikachu with his Tail between his legs, and the song is just a treat to listen.
With Jet, I wanted a character who was good at solving problems in ways other than fighting. Looks like I succeeded!

Morning turned to afternoon, afternoon to evening, and still the road went on. Perhaps it was the young age of the adventurers affecting their pace, or their frequent rest stops, or a poor sense of direction. Whatever the reason, by the time the summer sun sank into the west (and in any world, the summer sun is always the most generous and merciless with its light), the Paw Patrol were still nowhere in sight of the Gatekeeper camp that marked the entrance to the path that led around the Vanity Ruins.

So when Jet swooped down from the heavens to declare that the Gatekeepers' camp was at least two more hours away by his own estimation, the Paw Patrol was less than enthusiastic.

"Two more hours?" Rocket whined. "My paws are killing me!"

"I think I wore most of the bark off my poor roots," Bella complained.

"And if I never see another patch of grass in my life," Spike added, "it will be too soon!"

Jet sighed. Somehow he'd had the feeling this was going to happen. "Well, at this point we have two options," he said. "Walk two more hours, or skip bunking at the outpost and set up camp here for the night."

"All in favor of camping here, raise an appendage," Rocket announced.

An Eevee paw, a Nidoran claw, and a Bellsprout leaf all rose up in the air.

"Motion carried," Rocket said. "We're staying here. Bella, get the tent off of Spike's back. Jet, fly around and start looking for a good place to pitch it."

"Wait, what?" Jet squawked. Clearly this had not been a part of his plan. "But there's feral Pokemon all around us, and -- and possibly wraiths! It'll be safer at the outpost!"

"Yeah, well, I'm not walking two more hours just to run into some other uppity Pikachu this late at night," Rocket countered. "You told us our options, and we voted on them. Fair's fair."

"But I... but I..." Jet flustered.

"Besides, it's already past our nest-times, and we promised our parents we'd be good."

Jet opened his beak very wide to retort, then realized he couldn't. Rocket had him there.

Lawful stupid indeed!

---

Gattonian tents were designed to fold up easily for transport and unfold to their full size at the pull of a tab. This was due to the incredible variety of Pokemon strengths, body shapes, and number and shape of appendages. Bella certainly would have never been able to pitch any other kind of tent with her waxy leaves, or Spike with his sharp claws. There were only two downsides to a Gattonian tent: if its framework broke, it would refuse to open or outright collapse, and if it accidentally unfolded prematurely... well, it wouldn't be fatal, but it would make an embarrassing story.

Bella, however, pitched the tent without incident, and the Paw Patrol gathered soft grasses to serve as their nests for the night (except for Bella, who gathered soil). Jet built the fire, not-so-privately considering himself the only member of the team capable of doing so without getting burned, and the group roasted Razz Berries over the open flames. Even Bella, who disliked fire, eagerly snapped up the bugs that danced around the flames.

"Do you really think we can handle this mission in less than a week?" Spike asked once they'd all had some food in their bellies and the fire had died down to low embers.

"At the rate we're currently going? Probably not," Rocket admitted.

"Do you think we should have set up a go-between, as per HAPPI rules?" Spike asked.

Jet clucked in disapproval. "There's already a go-between, and that's me. You just weren't paying attention. I'm serving as contact. Which means that if we can't be there and back again within the next six days, you three idiots are going to have to press on at some point without me."

"And you're SURE this is a good idea?" Spike asked Rocket.

Rocket stared at the embers, not really so sure himself. At the time he'd volunteered, he'd felt ready for anything. But now, a day's march away from everything he'd ever known, realizing that he was going to have to lead his friends past the most dangerous wraith stronghold in the entire Gatto region...

What had he been thinking, really?

"Quite honestly, I'm surprised the only one who's tried to stop us was that Gatekeeper jerk," Jet said. "Does anyone else find it suspicious that a group of adults are completely willing to send a small group of fledglings on a mission they refuse to go on themselves?"

"Well, it came from the Four Heavenly Kings," Bella said. "They wouldn't have sent the mission if it hadn't been important."

"Then why wouldn't anyone else take the mission?" Jet countered. "Something's not right here. I don't know if it's fear, or negligence, or some form of corruption. But by all adult logic, us kids shouldn't be here. Yet here we are. Guildmaster Croak may be old, but he isn't an idiot. Neither are our parents. So the question is: WHY?"

"Maybe it's destiny," Bella said simply.

"Destiny?" Jet scoffed. "You mean like the Grand High Llama in the Sky? If there was such a creature, would He have allowed the wraiths to exist? Would He expect a group of cubs to just walk past their most dangerous stronghold to look for a Pokemon that might not even exist? Would He have allowed the Great Darkling Exodus, or Rocket's dad's disappearance?"

There was a stunned silence as Jet's three friends stared at him as if expecting a bolt of thunder to strike down from the starry sky and incinerate the Pidgey.

"I don't know why we of all Pokemon were chosen on this mission," Bella said simply. "But I believe everything happens for a reason."

"Yeah," Jet scoffed, "and sometimes that reason is that neither you nor your fluffy boyfriend knows how to shut the hell up."

"JET!" Rocket and Bella shouted at the same time, both blushing.

"What? I call it as I see it. You two were regular jack-Blitzle back there, volunteering for a mission that not even the grown adults wanted to touch with a ten-foot pole. Quite frankly, I think the only reason Guildmaster Croak put us on this mission was so he could say he sent SOMEONE on it!"

"Still, it is kind of unusual," Spike mused. "Why would the Guildmaster make such a decision?"

There was an uncomfortable silence.

"Maybe he's wraithtouched," Bella said softly. "That does things to your head."

"You can only get wraithtouched through contact with wraiths," Spike pointed out. "And the Gatekeepers won't let a single wraith through to Pawprint Town. They're that good at their jobs."

"What about the Soulseeker?" Jet asked nervously.

Stone silence.

"The Soulseeker doesn't exist," Rocket said firmly. "It's a myth created to scare cubs into obeying their parents and not staying out too long after dark."

"That's what I thought, too," Jet said somberly. "But this morning, while you lot were singing that obnoxious pop song, I could've sworn I saw some pink mist dancing on the wind."

"Well, it couldn't have been the Soulseeker, then," Rocket said, "because wraiths can't stand music. As simple as that. Besides, there's no Soulseeker to begin with."

"I don't know," Spike said, trembling. "They say the Soulseeker can pass through walls unseen and touch any Pokemon it pleases. Stirring strange thoughts into their heads... leading them to believe delusions... and eventually its victims go mad with wraithtouch."

"Doesn't exist," Rocket firmly asserted. "I'm not sure even the wraithtouch itself exists. Could be something the Gatekeepers made up to try to scare us into staying within the walls of our cities."

This time it was Rocket's turn to be the subject of stares.

"Don't say that," Jet said softly. "Bad things happen to Pokemon who say things like that."

"Do you think Rocket is wraithtouched?" Spike said timidly, shrinking in fear.

"Don't be ridiculous, Spike," Bella said reassuringly. "He's as sane as you and me."

"That doesn't take much," Jet answered.

Bella threw a roasted Razz Berry in Jet's face. Jet ducked, and the berry hit Rocket instead. Rocket threw a berry back at Bella, who deflected it towards Spike by accident, and it stuck on his head spines, dripping juice into his eyes.

Before long, berries were flying everywhere, despite Jet's squawking at his teammates not to waste food. When the Paw Patrol finally did get to nest, they were very red and sticky, and the straw stuck to them like tree sap.

Not a particularly dignified end to their first day of adventuring.

---

Jet awoke at sunrise, as he always did, and in typical Pidgey fashion, he greeted the dawn with birdsong. It was a long-held tradition of his kind, and much more melodious than that ridiculous pop music Rocket had insisted on playing earlier. It also had the effect of waking up the rest of the Paw Patrol, some of whom threw their bags at him to try to shut him up.

"I had a scary dream last night," Spike said. "Remember what Jet said about that pink mist? Well, I dreamed it came up to me, and it was definitely an Esper wraith. Some sort of weird Abra with a long tail and two big glowing eyes like blue coals of fire."

Jet flinched. "You too? I dreamed exactly the same thing."

"So did I," Bella said.

"I dreamed of a creature like that the night before we started our internship," Rocket confided, "and last night as well. Its body was like some sort of glowing pink smoke, and in the dream last night, it said something to me, in a feminine tone of voice. Wish I could remember what..."

"Well, I certainly remember," Bella said firmly. "It said to me, 'Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy prowls about like a roaring Pyroar, seeking whom it may devour.'"

The other team members stared at her.

"It said the same thing to me," Spike said softly.

"And me," Jet echoed.

"It's all coming back," Rocket said. "It said that to me, too. But why? And how?"

"Do you th-think it's--" Spike glanced around anxiously. "--wr-wraithtouch?"

Jet huffed. "Don't you know how wraiths work? No self-respecting wraith would WANT its prey to be self-controlled and alert. No, this is Something Else. Probably an Esper, but perhaps even a Spectral."

Little Spike did not take this news very well at all. "Ghosts!" he shrieked, diving underneath his bedding straw.

"Oh, get out from under there, you big baby. If whatever it was wanted to hurt us, it would have done so. Whatever presence this is, it's friendly." Jet pursed his beak. "Although I have to wonder why a friendly presence would take on a form so much like a wraith."

"So let's think about this a bit," Bella said. "What do we know? One, someone or something is trying to warn us about an enemy. Two, this someone or something looks like a wraith, but doesn't act like one. Three, this someone or something wants us to be alert because there's some enemy that wants to eat us."

"Well, we didn't need some mysterious dream wraith to tell us of the danger," Rocket said, twitching his ear. "We're going past the Vanity Ruins. That alone is pretty dangerous."

"But they didn't say enemies," Jet brought up. "They said enemy, singular. The wraiths are plural. There's something else waiting ahead of us, and we need to be on the alert."

"Well, it would be nice to know just what that enemy is," Rocket complained. "Stupid purposely vague dream spirits."
Most Pokemon sleep in nests made of dry grass, which are changed every few weeks to avoid the smell. Flora and Flare elements sleep in nests of soil instead of grass -- Floras derive nutrients from soil as they sleep, and Flares cannot safely sleep in dry grass without risking setting them on fire.

During the winter months, some Pokemon sleep under blankets to keep themselves warm. Blankets are typically crafted from plant fibers or fur collected during the shedding seasons. Fur blankets are considered a luxury, as it takes several seasons (or several Pokemon in one season) to make a single blanket. Mareep-wool blankets are highly coveted because of their Lightning element retaining a heat charge, although certain elemental types such as Aquatic find Mareep wool to be dangerous. Coverings are also made out of shed reptile or amphibian skin, although these are usually kept by the skins' original owners because most Pokemon consider them uncomfortable, repulsive, or unsanitary.

In days of old, certain Pokemon societies created a different type of covering by skinning corpses, usually of their enemies but sometimes of those who died natural deaths. Needless to say, we DON'T do that anymore, although it's claimed that some feral Pokemon societies still partake in this barbaric practice. Yech.

Ease of access is important with Pokemon technology, because for every Machamp, there's a Voltorb. (Which makes me wonder how Voltorb came into existence in a world without Poke Balls. Heck, why are Pokemon still called Pokemon in a world without Poke Balls, if they're not 'pocket monsters'? That's a question that I don't know if we'll ever get an answer to.)

And, hey, it's our friend the freaky pink mist creature! Who's probably friendly! Hopefully!
 

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