a.n.: If the ensuing wall of text is too much for you to bear, skip ahead to the FAQ section. I don't expect everybody to read every iota of this 5,000-word-post (yes, I checked) - it's only there as a resource.
I've written dozens of roleplays over the almost-decade I've been a part of Pokécommunity, but most of them were mindless "sandbox"-style games with no real substance. Pokémon: Azure is more-or-less the culmination of elements included in my other stories that I found to be most interesting and in-depth, and has evolved into the most immersive world that I've ever created. I attempted another version of this story once before - Pokémon: Aether's Edge, but it failed due to the overload of information present as well as my own disinterest in its outcome. Azure is intended as a slightly watered-down but still content-rich version of Aether's Edge, with storyline elements that should be far easier to follow. Before you continue to the sign-ups and other information, I want to ask one thing of you - please don't sign up to this roleplay if you aren't willing to follow the lore, geography and history that I've spent many hours drafting, re-writing, editing and poring over.
I hope that this will be as much fun for you to participate in as it was for me to write it.
Erilyn is in turmoil. The two warring nations of Kinroth and Carendor have been clashing for a hundred and fifty years, resulting in the widespread strife of people and Pokémon alike. It wasn't always a land of conflict, though; since time immemorial, all the peoples of the continent were united under the Citadel. All life carried on peacefully, a utopia of harmony between all organisms. As with all things good, however, it simply could not last. Two hundred and fifty years ago, a splinter-group of three members of the Citadel Council decided that they wished to claim more than just Erilyn as their kingdom. They wanted to dominate the entire world, certain that every sentient being in existence should submit to their power.
The twisted members of the Citadel's immortal Council, named Zetan, Ikima and Ozyth, known collectively as the Three, attempted the assassination of the council's High Ruler, using their unnaturally powerful Pokémon. Zetan's lightning struck, Ikima's flames seared and Ozyth's water flooded in torrents, but the High Ruler, protected by the divine power of Arceus that was handed down through the Royal Family, would not be defeated. He banished the tainted Three from Kinroth, forcing them to live out the rest of their days on the highest volcanic peak of Carendor - Behemoth Mountain.
A multitude of Citadel rebels who shared the same ideals as the Three then followed the latter to Carendor, where they bided their time for a century. They dubbed themselves "the Legion", and according to spy intelligence, constructed vast encampments purposed for battle. They thrived in an otherwise arid wasteland. And then, like a flood, their army of man and Pokémon bred purely for battle stormed Kinroth, once again attempting to take the continent for themselves. And just as before, they were subdued by the High Ruler. This time, however, their defeat did not last. A seemingly infinite supply of Legion soldiers barrages Kinroth's defenses, an effort mostly in vain, due to the Aetherian Crystal - the vessel of Arceus' power. Wielded by the High Ruler, it possesses the power to augment the physical and ethereal strength of Kinroth's armies beyond that of natural limitations.
Now, an issue arises that may lead to the annihilation of Kinroth's people. The High Ruler, the beloved monarch of Kinroth for over three hundred years, has been killed, and the Aetherian Crystal shattered. Nobody understands why the all-powerful vessel of Arceus' strength failed its carrier. It should have protected the High Ruler from any possible harm. The assassin, when apprehended, refused to give any reason for his actions. Situated in a dungeon cell, he constantly twitches and mutters about "black flame". When pressed, he only becomes more unintelligible. The interrogators, however, managed to catch two words and no more - Oracle Temple. The investigation into his background yielded no connection to any part of the Legion; apparently, he had lived as a hermit in the foothills of Oracle Mountain for his whole life.
This event has spread utter discord throughout the Council. How could the Aetherian Crystal fail the High Ruler? How could such a powerful and ancient artifact even be destroyed? With it gone, the unnatural strength granted to the Citadel forces has ceased. The remaining four members of the Council have agreed not to disclose the death of the High Ruler to the public, as it would do nothing but spread panic. Soon enough, though, all in Erilyn will realize that the tide of battle has been turned.
This is where you come in. As an influential part of the Citadel's army, you have been selected as part of an elite task force; a last-ditch effort to find the reasoning behind the assassin's motives, and hopefully a solution to this catastrophe. You have seen the true horrors of war and experienced the glory of a battle won. Having just recieved word that the Council need to see you, you and your partner Pokémon are required to make your way to the Citadel Palace, where you will await further instruction. Your involvement in this war could influence its entire outcome.
A small village located on the coast of Kinroth, just north of Kel'dé Lake. As it is quite distanced from the war front, it has been populated by the elderly, persuaded by worried families to migrate away from battle. The peninsula it sits on is quite picturesque, dotted with ponds that are home to myriad species of Pokémon. While most would never dream of visiting such a place with an army banging on Kinroth's door, it is a breeding ground for all sorts of wisdom gathered by the old folk over many decades.
A body of fresh water located just south of Elder Town. It is said to have once been home to a courageous, resolute Pokémon - but it's just a myth.
The largest and most ancient of all Kinroth's forests. The center of the forest has such a thick canopy, some parts of the ground are never touched by sunlight. Many who have ventured into the deepest woods have never been seen again.
A large body of fresh water south-west of Venus Forest. It is said that its waters are the source of all willpower in the world. The Citadel's Venus encampment has taken a strategic position on the lake's eastern shore.
Citadel: Venus Warfront Encampment
One of the Citadel's three major military camps. Located just east of Lake Z'elf and surrounded on all sides by the Venus Forest, it is the perfect strategic location for surprise attacks on passing Legion forces. The Venus soldiers specialize in espionage, ambush and skirmishes. They generally use stealthy grass- and bug-type Pokémon such as Shiftry, Scyther and Ninjask, as well as Venusaur used for transport and carrying supplies.
A small mining town situated east of the Venus Forest and northwest of Iceberg Peak. The landscape here is dotted with quarries and mine shafts. The minerals and iron found here go to producing weapons and armor for Citadel forces.
A sheer rocky peak jutting out of the otherwise-flat landscape like a sore thumb. Sitting precariously on top of the mountain is a tall stone tower of unknown origin - which has so far proven inaccessible due to its location.
Citadel: Blast Warfront Encampment
Situated in a defensive location on the edge of a small bay, the Blast encampment specializes in intercepting Legion vessels on what would otherwise be a direct shot to the Citadel. Without the Blast Front, hundreds of Legion ships and Pokémon would reach southern Kinroth's shores without a single hindrance. Offensive operations are not their specialty; instead they rely on a far more defensive approach to battle, using heavily-armored water-type Pokémon such as Blastoise, Crawdaunt and Carracosta to ward off Legion attacks.
The only permanent settlement in eastern Kinroth. Shell City is largely populated by fishermen and their trawlers, but enormous shipyards are the starting point for the majority of Citadel vessels. Shell City is surrounded on three sides by seawater, but due to its abundance of boats, ships and transport Pokémon, residents are not in much danger of being cornered by the Legion.
A body of fresh water located between Zephyr Mountain and Oracle Mountain. It is said that its waters are the source of all awareness and knowledge in the world.
The Citadel Palace
This castle's countless turrets and spires seem to cut the sky, giving an overwhelming feeling of majesty and awe to any onlookers. It was home to the High Ruler until his death, but with him gone, the majority of the Palace is abandoned. The only parts that are used on an everyday basis are the Citadel's quarters and the Great Hall. On the far wall of the Great Hall, seven smaller thrones sit in a row, with one larger, raised-up throne located behind them. Since the banishing of the Three and the High Ruler's assassination, only four of these seats are ever used.
A body of fresh water located north of the Citadel. It is said that its waters are the source of all emotion in the world.
A strange geological formation roughly one mile south of the Citadel. The area around the Ruins is strangely barren, as if the conditions for life are all wrong. The Ironite Ruins consists of several enormous crystal-like metal growths jutting out of the ground at all angles, with the "crystals" becoming progressively larger and more abundant closer to the center of the Ruins.
A peaceful coastal city on the edge of a bay north of Lake Esp'r. It is a hub for merchants and traders by daylight, but in contrast, has a huge black market dedicated to the sale of rare Pokémon.
The remnants of an ancient civilization, lost thousands of years ago. Most of the ruins are completely covered with sand dunes, but a few crumbling obelisks and pyramids are still accessible.
A small village in the foothills of Iceberg Peak and Oracle Mountain. The multitude of Solrock and Lunatone present around the village is what gave the settlement its name. The Pokémon seem to be attracted to the village by several glittering meteorites dotted around the town in small craters.
A peaceful, snow-covered temple carved out of stone atop Oracle Mountain. Seven eternally-burning flames sit in braziers in the temple's interior, each one a different colour - red, gold, blue, purple, black, green and cyan. These sacred flames surround a shrine dedicated to Erilyn's creator and protector - Arceus.
The second-highest mountain in Kinroth, second to Oracle Mountain and only slightly taller than Zephyr Mountain. Iceberg Peak is covered in a sheet of glassy ice, and is dotted with dozens of cave openings. There is a myth that an ancient "weapon" resides in a temple at the center of the cave system.
Home to the Three since 1297 CE, Behemoth Fortress is a symbol of domination and power. Not much is known about it, as very few Citadel spies have ever returned from missions to Behemoth Mountain.
The most battle-ready of the Legion outposts, and the closest one to the Citadel. It sits on a broad peninsula, seemingly "poking" into Kinroth. It is believed that the majority of Legion attacks on Kinroth stem from this outpost.
The largest and most permanent Legion outpost, but also the hardest one to gather information on - due to its location. Tyrant Outpost sits on the northern shore of Carendor Oasis, but other than that, is completely surrounded by a flat, cracked lake bed as far as the eye can see. This makes it impossible for Citadel spies to keep watch on, except at a great distance. The Outpost seems to be the main Legion settlement, perhaps housing up to 80% of their forces.
The only large body of fresh water on all of Carendor. It was once a lush paradise in the middle of a wasteland, but the Legion, obviously needing to get water from somewhere or other, has surrounded it with massive pumping factories and distilleries, which then distribute barrels of water to the Legion Outposts.
Kinroth :: KIN - roth/kɪn'rɔːth
The larger isle of Erilyn and the most fertile. It is home to the Citadel and the Council.
Lake Ux'é :: OOK - say/ʊk'seɪ
Lake Z'elf :: uh - ZELF/əzɛlf'
Carendor :: KAH - ren - dor/kær'ɨndɒr
The smaller isle of Erilyn and the most barren. It is home to the Legion and the Three.
Kinrotheans :: kin - ROTH - ee - an/kɪnrɔːth'iːɨn
Kinrotheans have a broad range of appearances, mainly depending on the locality of their ancestors. The majority of Kinrotheans are divided into two main factions: The Citadel and the Legion.
:: The Citadel
The Citadel is the major faction based in Kinroth, focused on driving the Legion away from Kinroth. The majority of Citadel forces are based in Kinroth's west, closer to Carendor and stationed in large military encampments. The Citadel is supposed to be led by the High Ruler, but with him gone, all of his responsibilities have been transferred to the Council.
:: The Legion
After the Three were banished by the High Ruler to Behemoth Mountain, a multitude of their followers made the transition to Carendor. Here they bided their time for a hundred years before mounting a seemingly-endless, full-scale attack on Kinroth. The Legion is not to be confused with Carendorians, who are the native people of Carendor.
Carendorians :: kah - ren - DOR - ee - an/kærɛndɒr'iːɨn
The native nomadic people of Carendor, they are easy to discern from Kinrotheans due to their tanned skin and pale, flowing clothes. They had lived off the land for thousands of years, constantly moving around in order to spread about their use of the land's resources, but the invasion of the Legion changed all of this. The Carendorians were displaced from their homeland and forced to either merge with the Legion or risk starvation.
Ikima :: uh - KEY - muh/ɨkiː'mə
One of the Councilors banished by the High Ruler two hundred and fifty years ago, and now one of the Legion's three leaders. Ikima is considered to be the second-most-dangerous member of the Three, after both Ozyth. He was partnered with a Flareon, but it is unknown if this is still the case.
Ozyth :: OH - zeth/oʊ'zəθ
One of the Councilors banished by the High Ruler two hundred and fifty years ago, and now one of the Legion's three leaders. Ozyth is considered to be the greatest threat out of the Three. He was partnered with a Vaporeon, but it is unknown if this is still the case.
a.n.: This section will be expanded upon as the roleplay progresses.
Here it is; the inevitable section. I'd expect that all of you would follow these rules no matter what roleplay you were joining, but all the same, here they are.
1 :: Follow all existing PokéCommunity rules. This includes the roleplaying section rules, which can be found here.
2 :: Respect the lore. Time and effort goes into constructing roleplays. While I realize this type of rule can be a killjoy in some cases, ultimately it contributes to keeping the story coherent and of one mythos.
3 :: You're no superhero. There are far too many sign-ups submitted to roleplays that denote a "dark, edgy and misunderstood" character with some sort of ultra-massive-fart-huge power. While it's fun to play the all-powerful character, equality needs to be maintained, or everything becomes a godmodfest.
4 :: Sign-ups belong in the OoC thread. Do not post sign-ups in the IC thread.
5 :: Posts should be of a reasonable length. Don't be put off by this massive post - but try and keep them to a 300-word minimum; 1,000 words is recommended (and really isn't that huge; it's about 1.5 pages on Microsoft Word with a size 12 font.
6 :: Yes, death is a theme, but not the core. People and Pokémon are going to die - it's a roleplay about a war, after all. Just don't be graphic about it - they can "crumple to the ground, lifeless", but not "explode into a million bits and now there's guts everywhere oh god help"
The part you've all been waiting for - the sign-up sheet! I've left out the "Appearance" criterion that's usually present in all application forms, because I want you to write it into your first post. Nothing like "charlie brown has purple hair and rainbow eyes also he's walking along a track"; more like "As Mr. Charles Brownson strolled through the countryside, he smoothed out his elegant purple afro and stared into the distance with his fabulous, multi-coloured eyes." Show, don't tell!
Name: If you don't understand this, I suggest you find another hobby.
Gender: Gee whizz, Bill! What do ya' think this could mean?
Alignment: Citadel/Legion*/Other (clarify)
Nationality: Kanto, Johto, Hoenn, Sinnoh, Unova, Kinroth, Carendor**
If not from Carendor/Kinroth, why did you immigrate?:
History: Examples: childhood, lifestyle, war involvement, enlistment, partner Pokémon, etc. - A couple of good paragraphs here.
Personality: FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND PARAGRAPHS NO EXCEPTIONS EVER
Partner Pokémon + Nickname (if applicable): Only one; more will be available to you as you progress. Yes, ANY SPECIES (excluding legendaries).
Current hometown: One of the Kinrothean towns/cities.
*If you select Legion as your faction, write as though your character is a spy - the Council would have no reason for summoning somebody they knew was allied with the Legion.
**Remember that no matter which region your character is from, the technology and general culture is at the same level. They didn't come from super-advanced Kanto on the Fast Ship to sightsee in medieval Erilyn.
There are bound to be a load of questions, so I'll answer the most obvious ones right here.
Why? :: Why not?
How many characters are allowed? :: The roleplay will commence with 4 characters, and sign-ups will close at 6.
Am I meant to read all of that? :: It's a massive post, I know. The short answer: No. I would, however, like you to at least familiarize yourself with the prologue and the location information that actually has anything to do with the story. There'll soon be a map, also.
Okay, so what do I do? :: Fill in the sign-up sheet!
Where's the freedom? :: You'll notice I've kept most locations and terrain descriptions pretty vague. I'm happy for you guys to come up with other (minor) factions, locations, organizations, etc. as long as it coincides with the existing lore.
Are you nuts? How long did this take you? :: Probably. And a while.
Where is this roleplay going? What's the intended direction of the plot? :: ~Places~.
"a.n."? :: Author's note.
"CE"? :: Common Era. The year 0 CE is the year Arceus gave the Aetherian Crystal to the first High Ruler, leading to the peoples of Kinroth being united and the formation of the Council. So basically, this roleplay takes place 1547 years after the Citadel was founded. BCE = Before Common Era.
How many Pokémon do I get? :: For the first chapter or two, just one. This Pokémon will be your "partner", the one you established an emotional bond with at an early age. Almost every person in Erilyn has a partner Pokémon.
What's the culture of Erilyn like? :: South, west and north Kinroth = generic medieval Britain. East Kinroth = Egyptian/Graeco-Roman. Carendor = pseudo-Persian. Leviathan Isles = Greek.
All Pokémon regions are based on real-world locations. What's Erilyn based off? :: Ibiza <3
You sound bossy! :: I'm sorry! I'm proud of the work I've done here, and for some reason that equals formality. Find me at any other time at any place on the forums and I promise I'm not so serious
Your pictures are all pixel-y, Mang! :: Lies! It's an oil painting effect D:<
- The Pokémon Company and Game Freak, for being the basis upon which this universe is allowed to exist.
- Ian Irvine's The Well of Echoes quartet of novels, for providing inspiration in all forms.
- Various photographers and Google for providing photographs showcasing nature.
- Cirrus' roleplay Litany: An Anthem of Worlds for inspiring the CSS layout of this thread.
- The Presets' and Swedish House Mafia's respective albums Apocalypso and Until Now for helping me get through this enormous post. I strongly recommend them - really, they're great records.