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February 3rd, 2013 (4:33 AM).
You are in the Pokémon: Azure in-character thread.
Were you looking for sign-ups and discussion? Head on over to the out-of-character thread!
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.
Setting the Scene
Erilyn, 1547 CE
The continent of Erilyn is made up of two nations - Kinroth, the larger, and Carendor. These two isles are separated by a massive aquatic strait, and vary in far more than just size.
Kinroth is the larger, more fertile, and objectively more beautiful counterpart to Carendor. It boasts harsh yet lush terrain, bountiful food and water, and a multitude of Pokémon species. The appearance of Kinrotheans varies greatly depending on the locality of their ancestors.
The far north of Kinroth is dominated by forests and hills, and is possibly the most fertile part of Erilyn - this makes it perfect for farming grain such as wheat and rice, as well as breeding Pokemon for the Citadel army. While hundreds of miles from the Citadel, it has a surprisingly large population. The only major locale is Plume City, but there are several other notable locations.
Western Kinroth is the setting for the Citadel's major war effort - the main line of defense against the Legion. The terrain is, for the most part, covered with flat plains, but Zephyr Mountain is certainly the discerning feature of this province.
Vast, flat, grassy plains dominate the majority of southern Kinroth's landscape. The Citadel is located in the center of these plains, with only a few other notable landmarks being present in the province.
The east of Kinroth is, for the most part, barren. A great desert known as the Expanse takes up much of its area, with only one settlement in the entire province.
The center of Kinroth is a region covered with sheer cliffs, jagged mountains and towering glaciers. Its two highest peaks, Oracle Mountain and Iceberg Peak, are among the tallest in the world.
Carendor is the sister-isle to Kinroth, but is a stark contrast to its twin's landscape. Where Kinroth has rolling plains, lush forests and frozen peaks, Carendor has dusty wastes, razor-sharp mountains and brutal-looking volcanoes. Despite this, Carendor is home to myriad Pokémon species, as well as a once-thriving indigenous culture, the Carendorians, now displaced by the Legion. Since 1297 CE, Carendor has also been home to the Three, and their followers, the Legion.
Central Carendor is a volcanic wasteland, a toxic environment which almost no organism can live in - apart from dozens of fire-type Pokémon species, which are able to thrive in a perfect habitat. The largest of Carendor's volcanoes is known as Behemoth Mountain.
The edge of Carendor is just like one huge, red desert. Only the toughest plant and Pokémon life can exist here, although the native Carendorians have been the nomadic people of this land for centuries, living off what little they could scavenge. The Legion has three known outposts at strategic locations throughout Carendor's outer landscape.
These six small tropical islands dot the northern waters of Carendor, and are far too inconsequential to be of any value to the Legion. The ocean surrounding them is especially deep, and many ships have sunken to the depths after crashing into one of the six isles. The islands are topped with dense jungle, heavily populated by some otherwise-rare Pokémon.
Erilyn :: EH - ruh - lin/ɛ'rɨlɨn
The main continent of Pokémon: Azure, encompassing Carendor, Kinroth and the Leviathan Isles.
Kinroth :: KIN - roth/kɪn'rɔːth
The larger isle of Erilyn and the most fertile. It is home to the Citadel and the Council.
Carendor :: KAH - ren - dor/kær'ɨndɒr
The smaller isle of Erilyn and the most barren. It is home to the Legion and the Three.
Factions and Races
Erilynians :: eh - ruh - LIN - ee - an/ɛrɨlɪn'iːɨn
"Erilynian" is a broad term for any person or Pokémon originating in either Kinroth or Carendor.
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.
a.n.: This section will be expanded upon as the roleplay progresses.
Standards of Quality
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.
It's all in the Music.