Posts tagged "Pokémon societies"

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Butterfree

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They get it from adult Scyther who have some to share, which in practice usually end up being the parents (at least at first). I remember you mentioned this in your final review of The Fall of a Leader on Serebii; it made me realize I really should have included something about it in the actual fic. xP



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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It almost definitely happens, but officially they can't, so if they did it they'd keep it to themselves.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Stormblade: It has been better, I suppose. They're all dueling to choose a new Leader now. Nightmare is still with the swarm, though she only really hangs out with me. I miss him a little, but I suppose I'm glad he escaped from what he had become.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Random Scyther: I think I heard about that happening many years ago, but I've never seen it.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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May to ivymeleon: Just the usual, flinching away a bit. Seriously, though, leave him alone. Hasn't he made it clear he doesn't want you touching him or hugging him or crawling all over him or whatever the hell you're doing?

Letaligon to ivymeleon: He thought I was worthless because I wasn't shiny. I will show him I'm better than him.

Mark to ivymeleon: Huh? I mean, she's beaten me before, and I'm not exactly a sore loser or anything. o_O

Razor to steele: The Scyther swarm doesn't have punishment. If you disgrace yourself, it's you who has to repent for it with suicide of guilt.

Mark to steele: Um, do you actually know any Pokémon-world bands? o_o



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Chaletwo: Pokémon aren't very creative creatures. We build up strength; we fight, we love, we socialize, we interact in all kinds of ways and observe the world around us, but we don't create. Creativity is a human thing.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Letaligon: You humans with your fancy ideas of "murder" and "justice". You are not me. You have no right to condemn me. There is nothing ignoble about a fair fight.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Mark to Kitsune: Well, I don't think Pokémon training is really my thing. It was something I wanted to do because everybody did it, but now that I've actually tried it… I just don't really like battling or catching Pokémon or traveling much.

Scyther to Kitsune: We don't hug. Generally we're not very keen on physical contact outside of mating and dueling.

Mrs. Grodski to Kitsune: There were many students like him, but of course, most of them left on their doomed Pokémon journeys, while he just remained behind and got even more obnoxious. He wasn't the worst, no, but he was the only one left, which made him especially grating.

Mutark to Kitsune: *jumps after and bats at*

Mrs. Grodski to Scyther: Hmph. What are you playing at, boy?



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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As far as they know, the Code exists everywhere. There might be other swarms that don't have it, but they wouldn't know that they exist or where they would be.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Scyther: One of them takes on the role of the father anyway. It can even be someone she's never mated with. The important thing is someone is formally there as the father for the sake of the ritual and officially has the duty to share his prey with the Descith until its First Prey.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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How do you pronounce "Mewtwo^2"? Mewtwotwo or mewtwo squared?
In my head it actually tends to become "Mewtwo'two", as in Mewtwo-beat-two. Don't ask why. You can pronounce it however you want, though; there isn't really an official pronunciation for it, hence why it's not in the pronunciation guide.

What happens if an egg hatchs and one or both of it's parents is/are dead? Who gives blood/holds the fresh prey?
The parent role is only pretty arbitrarily related to who actually donated the egg and sperm. The important thing is that two Scyther commit themselves to a basic sort of responsibility for the hatchling and will share their prey with it when necessary and so on. So if one parent dies, the remaining parent just finds somebody else willing to take on that bit of responsibility.

What happens if the leader is the father/mother?
Somebody else acts as the official father/mother, since the Leader has other responsibilities and isn't expected to be worrying about hatchlings.

Can a female be leader?
Yes; Leaders can be either sex.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Chaletwo: None of mine have refused. They were chosen to be the sorts of people who'd be up for it, after all. And I'm always sure to go and copy the body before any burial or cremation happens.

Sparky: What with the different worlds and different times and all, I doubt you'd know any of the ones I read. Though I'd love to share them if I could.

Stormblade: There are around twenty to forty individuals, generally.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Chaletwo: Well, of course I'm not hanging around in Mark's head forever. I'll trust the kids to not go blabbing to everyone what we were doing.

Sparky: Oh, we're wonderful. :3 There's so much more business for both of us and more people to meet - townsfolk we used to know years ago have returned, too.

We haven't done anything about the name yet - it's been such a short time, after all - but a change is probably in order.

Nightmare: For now, I'm staying. The new Leader will be determined in a series of duels as traditional when the Leader dies outside of a duel.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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So. Status report.

I am doing NaNo, no matter how little it might look like it when I'm at less than a third of what I'm supposed to have done so far. As I've been saying, it's a rewrite of Scyther's Story, and hopefully at least a revision of The Fall of a Leader is to follow as well, what with Scyther's Story being only 30,000 words (in the original version, anyway).

I've finished Part I. It's less changed than I might perhaps have liked, as I didn't really have enough opportunity to plan this ahead properly, but improved regardless, and of course the writing isn't quite as cringeworthy. The main change is in emphasis, since originally the purpose of Part I was very nebulous and mostly consisted of "make Descith as cute as possible". Now, instead of devising some new story elements to introduce the fic in a less utterly fillerish manner or cutting ahead and sacrificing my precious word count, I decided to tell more or less the same story except with more focus on Razor's parents and introducing the way Scyther think, which should hopefully feel slightly less pointless than the original opening. This is helped by the fact that as of The Fall of a Leader, Razor's parents actually have some semblance of characterization and an actual history to explore. I don't know if this makes it way too cheesy and soap opera-ish, but whatever.

Preview. Because why not. It's not a greatly changed scene, but hey.

It was a while before his mother returned, holding a dead Pidgeotto in her mouth.

At first, she wasn’t alarmed by the green shape in the tree; she remembered seeing a Metapod in it and assumed, without giving it a closer look, that that was it. She wondered briefly where her Descith had gone off to, but didn’t dwell on it; after all, no one attacked a Scyther swarm, and odds were he had simply wandered off to explore as he so liked to.

It wasn’t until she had already started to dig through the Pidgeotto’s plumage to get to its tender flesh that she heard the soft moans coming from the tree.

“Sciiiith…”

She looked up, her eyes narrowing; her gaze scanned the area quickly as she tried to pinpoint where the sound was coming from.

“Sciiith…”

She turned sharply towards the tree and finally recognized her son there, hugging the tree trunk as if holding on for dear life. His eyes were wide and scared.

“You little troublemaker,” she muttered. Her wings carried her up to the top of the tree with ease, where she picked him up by sliding her scythes under his arms and carried him back onto the ground.

He was shaking, and she wondered how long he’d been up there – potentially hours. She nudged the Pidgeotto towards him carefully, and after a moment he stepped closer, sniffed it and began to eat. Soon ravenous hunger outweighed his shock, and he finished every edible scrap on the bird before sighing contentedly and wandering off to go to sleep somewhere in the shade. She noticed, with mild amusement, that he decidedly avoided the tree.

She looked at the tattered remains of her prey, still hungry after the lengthy hunt, and vaguely considered heading out again, but she was too tired. She sighed, looking after her son as he plopped down in the shadow of a rock and closed his eyes.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Still not doing very well at actually catching up with NaNo, but it is getting written, slowly but surely.

I'm thinking about renaming Scyther's Story to 'Razor'. After all, Scyther's Story is just a pretty terrible name, it makes no sense if you haven't read the main fic (I can just picture some puzzled reader going "Shouldn't it be A Scyther's Story?"), and I'm bad enough at titles that I can't really think of anything other than my beloved "name of character" cop-out. Besides, the story is just "Razor's life", so it seems reasonably appropriate as a title.

I've rewritten Part II now and started Part III. I'm… reasonably satisfied with what I've done with Part II, story-wise; the main aching problem with the old one was that they were just being all chipper and making friends for no reason like in some horrible happy high school adventure, so instead, I now went and tried to portray a little better just how desperate and weird it is for Stormblade to start trying to talk to some year-old Descith about clouds (and hint at just how many of his peers he's alienated with it by now).

Likewise, their first encounter with Shadowdart isn't quite as forced and out of nowhere. I'm scrapping the whole females-are-darker-in-color thing; Scyther already has a gender difference that makes perfect sense and that was just a silly added complication and I have no idea what I was smoking when I put it in. Besides that everybody teasing Shadowdart because he looks like a girl is just horribly grade-school-esque and headdesk-worthy and doesn't fit in with the Scyther's otherwise quite sexism-free society. Scyther now officially don't give a damn about gender except when it comes to who they want to do the deed with.

So, uh. Another preview-scene. It references a new bit, where Stormblade briefly exchanges words with Razor at Shadowdart's acceptance ritual. Razor also makes a big deal of "sky Pokémon"; that's because the explanation of the clouds now includes a bit about how the sky is something analogous to the ground, with its own Pokémon that live in the sky (as opposed to ground Pokémon that can fly; according to the logic of the mythology, gravity is the force that pulls you to the plane where you belong, and hypothetically, a cloud "flying" towards the ground would "fall" upwards). Thus the assumption that "sky Pokémon" are a special class of Pokémon that can operate by different rules than "ground Pokémon".

“Why do you think it really rains?” said a sudden voice, and he whirled around to see a two-year-old Descith approaching him from the other side of the tree. It took him a moment to recognize him as the same one who had talked to him at the acceptance ritual the previous night.

“What?” he asked, a little annoyed that this weirdo was talking to him uninvited again.

“I mean, I know they talk about the clouds’ blood and stuff…” The older Descith stared up into the air. “But that seems weird to me.”

The younger looked uncomprehendingly at him. “Why?”

“Because,” the other said, pausing a moment, “because Pokémon have faces, and the clouds and the sun and the moon and the stars don’t. And they move so slowly, and they’re so weirdly shaped. And if the moon were really a Pokémon, he would know the sun is going to rise in the east and ambush her there.”

The younger Descith considered it. “They’re sky Pokémon,” he finally said. “That’s just what sky Pokémon are like.”

“But…” The older sat down near him, thinking. “But how do we know what the sky Pokémon are like? We can’t fly that high.”

The younger shrugged. “It’s what all the Scyther say, so it has to be true.”

“But how do they know?”

He shifted in irritation. “Why are you thinking about this? It doesn’t matter. You’re two. You shouldn’t be wasting your time thinking about stuff that doesn’t matter.”

The other was silent for a while. He looked out over the swarm, at the duels going on and some lucky Scyther sharing a Ponyta with two Descith. “I saw a flock of Pidgey fly through a cloud once,” he said at last. “It didn’t react or attack them. It was like it wasn’t even solid.”

“It’s a sky Pokémon,” the younger Descith repeated, annoyed. “Why do you care?”

The older one sighed, like he had had this conversation dozens of times before, and looked back over the swarm. As the younger was hoping he would give up and go away, he suddenly turned back towards him and said, “Hey, want a duel?”



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Frankly, I wasn't all that enthusiastic about the rewrite of Scyther's Story; it's been several years now since I read it, but I remembered it as being well written (especially later on). Yet seeing these random excerpts and your own criticisms, I'm actually excited to read the new version, this "Razor." Hopefully it or the next chapter will get finished through NaNo.
See? You guys will never just trust me when I tell you something needs to be rewritten. :P

Also yay for establishing in the background where Descith and adolescent Scyther get their meals from.
It's actually addressed explicitly several times in the new version, from formalizing the real role of parents into the acceptance ritual to it just repeatedly mentioning Razor getting food from his mother or father (and later, Stormblade). I think it's going to be quite abundantly clear how they get their food now.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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I'm actually cheating a little because I haven't finished this part yet; I'm only halfway done at the most. But eh; I have so much other stuff to do that I really don't know when any of this'll be finished, so I figured I might as well post an update in the same vein a the previous two to show something is going on.

So, part three. This part is home to one of the most noteworthy changes to Scyther society in the revision: Scyther no longer spend a full year as adolescents.

The thing is, Stalker was right when she told Shadowdart this was stupid. Why would any species of wild predators whose young spend three years unable to hunt and dependent on the older ones to feed them cheerfully add a fourth year on top of that? I mean, if it takes that long to teach them all that stuff (which is kind of silly in the first place), couldn't they at least just give the Code lessons while they're still Descith, with the bits they can't do then being taught in a hurry after they evolve? I was already facepalming at this by the time I wrote The Fall of a Leader, but because Scyther's Story had already established it and I didn't exactly have time to rewrite that then, I just handwaved it (um, the Leader needs to think up his lessons! And that takes ages for each one! Totally!) and hoped nobody noticed.

But now that I am rewriting it, I am addressing this. Descith still evolve in the spring, but now they have their First Prey in the early autumn. Why then, in particular? Well, because of another thing that was rather problematic with the old version, namely timing. We know Stormblade and Shadowdart meet Razor when Mark and company are walking through Ruxido, in early June, and at this point Shadowdart is not yet Leader. Furthermore, we know that Stormblade meets Nightmare at some point after the Ouen League that Mark participates in, since at that point she's just been released, and Shadowdart only dies after this. The League finals were on August 31st, but okay, Michael Willows was supposed to attempt to keep training for a bit; technically I can stretch that to sometime in the winter, though that seems unreasonably long.

Where it gets problematic is that Mark and company are supposed to cross paths with the swarm again in the fairly near future of TQftL, at which point Shadowdart is supposed to have been dead for at least some time. And right now, in the fic, it's early September, whereas Shadowdart, according to The Fall of a Leader as it stands, won't die until sometime in the middle of the winter. This is a problem because Mark and company are going to Ruxido very soon, to release Letaligon - wouldn't it be kind of silly to either stick around there for several months or leave and then randomly come back?

So what we want, now, is for parts five, six and seven of The Fall of a Leader to all take place sometime in the time period between early June (when Stormblade and Shadowdart meet Mark and company at the end of part four) and sometime in September (near-future second meeting). Part five already has Shadowdart defeating the Leader the day after the first meeting, at a quick skim (at most it's the day after that), so that's taken care of. Then the First Prey lessons start soon after that, and Stalker can't have had her First Prey when she dies, so the First Prey needs to be sometime late enough for it to make sense that the entirety of part six happened before that point. So early autumn it is.

This really doesn't change that much for the actual story, interestingly enough; it just means that Razor hasn't evolved by the time of Stormblade's First Prey and Shadowdart hasn't evolved by the time of Razor's, a couple of seasonal indicators change, and a few lines of dialogue in The Fall of a Leader get messed with.


Preview, as usual. Leader-POV! I really don't like how I originally wrote the Leader's lessons in Scyther's Story; there are just sentences all over the place that are ridiculous and it beats the reader over the head with "THE LEADER IS BAD, M'KAY?" and his personality kind of jumps all over the place and I never formed a coherent picture of how he viewed the Code like I did for Shadowdart in The Fall of a Leader. Most prominently, I never properly decided whether he actually had a coherent view of it to begin with or was just a bully using the Code as an excuse to oppress everyone (because HE'S BAD, M'KAY?).

So here's the first part of my attempt to fix that. The answer is: he does have a view of the Code, but it's quite different from Shadowdart's in the details and overlaps suspiciously with his need to keep everyone else down to retain his feeling of being in control. And, well, he's still pretty bad, but I hope the fact he's more coherently so makes him feel less mustache-twirlingly evil.

Out of all of the swarm’s many rituals and traditions, the Leader’s favorite – or at least the one he most enjoyed his own part in – was the traditional series of lectures that all young Scyther attended between their evolution in the spring and their First Prey in the early autumn. It was a delicate time for them: they were physically adults, with everything that came with it, and to boot it was the fertility season, but the swarm would not regard them as full adults with the right to mate and have proper duels until they had hunted and killed for the first time. And that would not happen until they had been formally instructed in the mores and traditions of Scyther society.

In practice, the lectures were his chance to verbally beat potential rebels into submission, to force them to stay within well-defined boundaries where they wouldn’t do anything unexpected. Unruly children could be transformed into obedient, rule-abiding swarm members during these few months of adolescence, and over the course of his long reign as Leader, he had gotten quite good at it.

“The Code,” he began his first lesson that year, with six wide-eyed adolescents looking up at him as he sat on the Leader’s rock, “is the ancient body of rules, morals and rituals passed down among the Scyther since the beginning of time. At the center of it lies the Moral Code, the five most fundamental laws of our society.

“Breaking the Code is a heinous offense; breaking the Moral Code is to forfeit your right to consider yourself a Scyther. The only way to redemption if you have broken it is to slit your own throat – what we call a suicide of guilt. It is the ultimate realization of the wrong you have done and the ultimate proof that you have overcome your fear of death – fear of death being the greatest sin the Moral Code describes. If, having broken the Moral Code, you fail to commit suicide of guilt,” – here he glared over the group for additional emphasis – “you are disgusting worms, unworthy of the Scyther name, and will be cast away from the swarm forever to die alone in shame.”

They looked at him in stunned silence, and he regarded their intimidated expressions with satisfaction. The more silent they were, the more scared, the better. The only way to conquer one fear was to replace it with other, greater fears, and the only way to effectively prohibit an act was to make them dread the consequences. Fear was the greatest teacher of all.

He only had a couple of months to make them fear him more than they feared death itself, and he would make them count.
Most importantly, there is a new emphasis on fear here that was only very vaguely present before. The Leader is someone who would very much think of fear as a tool, because he has never had anything to fear: he's unusually strong from birth, gets into a position of power at a young age and has retained it with relative ease ever since. He's familiar with a distant sort of fear - fear of the idea of losing his position, which he has employed various means to secure himself against - but not really as that crippling, immediate thing. He then views fear as a quick method of manipulation, an easy shortcut to keeping others in line - and, more importantly, genuinely believes it's simply the best way to teach them. So now, instead of appealing to reputation - something rather arbitrary that the Scyther are never subsequently shown to really care about - he just appeals to the adolescents' fear of isolation and rejection to make them obey the Code.

This also fits better with the effects his lessons turn out to have on Shadowdart, because of course piling on a fear of failure is just going to make a previously nervous, insecure individual like him have a breakdown when what he's attempting proves unexpectedly difficult. And the Leader would never properly get that because real, immediate fear and insecurity are so alien to him. Until Shadowdart starts challenging him, of course.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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Do all Scyther swarm share their belief in the Code, or is it only the Ruxido swarm?
The Code predates this particular swarm. As far as they know it's all of them, though it could be possible that somewhere there exist swarms that don't have it.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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The Scyther don't have any inherent prejudices against left scythes as opposed to right scythes. But Shadowdart's left scythe in particular was the one the Leader had been repeatedly cutting into, leaving it jagged, unsharpened and otherwise not a 'proper' scythe (which was how Shadowdart won the duel - the Leader had his right scythe pinned in place but forgot to worry about the left in an offensive context). When Stormblade speculates on if the fact Shadowdart chose to kill himself with his mutilated scythe meant anything, he's more thinking maybe it was a sign that Shadowdart realized how much like the old Leader he had become and therefore deliberately subjected himself to the same unusual fate.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

Butterfree

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I just realized that you said that Shadowdart was a darker green than other scyther in Fall of a Leader, or maybe Scyther's story, and when I looked at serebii to see if/where I could get a scyther in black, I noticed shiny scyther are dark green, so is Shadowdart a shiny scyther?
No - shinies also have orange/red joints, which Shadowdart doesn't. It's just that there are slight individual color variations, and Shadowdart happens to be on the darker side of the scale (Stormblade, meanwhile, is lighter than average). It's a very small difference and you'd probably not really notice it if you aren't a Scyther - shinies are much more significantly different.

There's also a weird thing I put into Scyther's Story for some silly reason about how females are darker than males, but I'm planning to remove that detail when I revise Scyther's Story and The Fall of a Leader because it was really extraneous and kind of stupid.



Currently editing: Chapter 75

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