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Feature [6/7/2021] Behold, A Pale Horse! [localhoney]

Oh no, look who they gave the power to feature! Hello my fellow guys, gals, and nonbinary pals! It is I, Whozawhatcha, and I will be using my esteemed power to commit great crimes against humanity—not as great as many of the crimes you’ll read once you take a gander at my choice of featured fan run:

Walking into this run is walking into Sinnoh like you’ve never seen it before. Local’s brought us instantly into the corrupt underbelly of Sinnoh, feeding us with a wealth of crime including, but not limited to: bribery, extortion, blackmail, money laundering, arson, assault, and chiefly—our selling point—assassination.

Enter our hero—excuse me, our anti-hero of this run, Eddie Dorian. Eddie’s a broke wash-up who once had accolades for assassinating Giovanni (yes, that one) and like many people, just wants to make decent money to pay his rent in Sinleaf Town. (I’m so sorry, Twinleaf! Honest mistake.) When a mysterious benefactor hands him a fat wad of cash to begin dispatching the Coronet Twelve, Eddie’s pockets are so empty he doesn’t have a choice but to pick up the old job on someone else’s terms.

Yes, the entire premise of the run is assassinating gym leaders and the Elite Four. Sold yet? Give me a bit more, I’m just warming up.

Local’s a master craftsman of subtle, clever puns like Sinleaf Town, and the gritty, blunt prose carries the tone of this run well. Not only that, but Eddie has a voice unlike nearly any other protagonist on the forums. Gruff, apathetic, and sarcastic, Eddie’s not your typical snappy-mouthed teen protagonist, but a grown man with a chip on his shoulder, lack of patience, and a mouth as dirty as a sailor. He’s also armed with a fantastic way of dragging the hell out of everyone he meets:

Roark was one of Sinnoh’s C-list celebrities, right alongside the Poketch Clowns, and he spent most of his time finding good lighting and recording his monthly three minutes of mining to upload to his MewTube channel.

I should also mention that this nuzlocke blitzes like a Choice Scarfed, Speed Forme Deoxys. Do you want to breeze over the boring first steps of nuzlockes that you can predict? Things like getting the starter, catching pokemon, training on route one? Don’t y’all worry, local’s got your back. Eddie is kicked to the first gym battle and assassination by chapter two; you’ll never be want for plot or character beats because local’s gonna fastball special it to you. He has this amazing skill of yeeting you neck deep into the action without dragging through anything boring, and by that metric Behold, a Pale Horse! is very unique with its pacing.

The pokemon and the battling? Present, at first, but they rightfully take a backseat in a story like this that’s far more concerned with airing Eddie’s dirty laundry and the subtle show that is assassination. Eddie has been out of the game for a long time, but he’s a whiz at polishing his rifle—no joke!

My rifle hadn’t seen action since Giovanni, but it was glistening in the moonlight. I had been polishing and cleaning it nightly ever since receiving the initial request, but in the past two days, I spent more time cleaning my gun than anything else.

Eddie shoots his shot multiple times during this story, and every time he hits his mark, the stakes rise again. Between the police, a private investigator, and adversaries with old grudges, Eddie has enough enemies that they should all band together and wipe him off the face of the planet. Luckily, they all hate each other more than they hate him. He also has precious few allies: one being hapless, sweet Deion, and the other being his star-studded, powerful ex, Amira.

Deion pulled a matte black Pokeball complete with gold trim off of his belt, and held it up like it was the missing Eleventh Commandment of Arceus. A beam of white light blinded me and when my vision returned, a blue bipedal shark was gnawing on our rope.

“Ta-da! Deion Michaels’ star Pokemon, Eastwood the Gible! My ticket to the top of the Coronet Gauntlet.”

Fuck. Me. I’ve put up with Deion tearing through my place for the past few years. I even begrudgingly accepted him cosigning for the new condo, considering it’s the nicest place I’ve been allowed to live in! (Even though I have no clue how his rap sheet came up sparkling clean, but that's a conversation for a different day.) But having him ducking bullets while I try to take out Roark is a whole other dilemma.

Eddie’s interpersonal strife with both Deion and Amira are the driving forces of the run, Deion especially. Local isn’t afraid to slip into the ugly gray area to showcase the consequences of Eddie’s actions, the guilt, and continually pushing his back against the wall to pick between Bad Choice #1 and Bad Choice #2. Local never lets Eddie catch a break, and for good reason: not only is it because Eddie deserves it, but it also keeps the tension unnervingly high as Eddie struggles to navigate through all the enemies he’s made.

Did I mention the consequences of Eddie’s actions? Because not only do we get those, but local throws one more wrench at his readers: humanizing the targets.

Roark adores the attention, but is yet to receive it from the one man he wants it from. Byron Steele comes to be known as the Man of Steel, and that moniker goes beyond his tactics on the Coronet Gauntlet battlefield. At home, he is cold and unyielding. Roark spends his days in town, coming up with ways to impress his father. All unsuccessful.

“But Whoza!” I hear you screaming, “Sinnoh is chock full of mythology and lore! What about the legendaries? What about the supernatural?” Rest your twittering heads, my dears. I cannot tip my hand on local’s work, but rest assured, something is lurking.

In the center was a sarcophagus, made of marble, with the top hanging open so that the inside was visible. To one side, a massive, pure white crystal sat inset in the bottom, with a black star marked in the center of it. On the other side, an old tome covered in scorch marks. In the center, a bronze plaque that looked hundreds of years old.

Suffice to say, local’s Behold, a Pale Horse! is a screwball take on Sinnoh, packed so full of unique takes (and also Rocket admins) that it’ll certainly be a read unlike any other. Its fast-paced schemes, pun intended, rocket the plot forward and keep you scrambling for your seatbelt with all the one-two sucker punches to your heart. Man hits you like a truck when you’re not prepared, so don’t say I didn’t warn you!

Local also boasts the gold medal for Most Improved Written Run of 2020 and Best Supporting Character 2020 in Deion Michaels. (Oh? I didn’t talk that much about Deion? You’d best get to reading then. I couldn’t give away my favorite spoiler!) Local hits the ground running and never once stops to let you catch your breath. Behold, a Pale Horse! is rife with plot twists, gutter jokes, and suspense as subtle as a wailing electric guitar. It’s a fabulously easy read to tear through because of this, and be warned, beware—local’s only getting better, so jump on this now!

If you’ve stuck through reading my feature, accolades to you. (If you didn’t stick around, I understand. It’d be hard to resist pulling up a new tab to start reading BaPH halfway through this!) If there’s any run out there that you think deserves a Spotlight, hit up someone on the Feature Team and we’ll fix it up lickity split. And if you think we do a crummy job and you could write it better yourself, go for it! The Feature a Fan Run thread is right there for the taking, and I’m eager to see how everyone pitches the runs on the forums!

That’s all she wrote, folks! Peace out—!

**gunshot noise**

**Eddie flips off the camera**

“She did her job. I did mine. Jacob, let’s get out of here.”

**a Kadabra Teleports him away**
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