[[header:'''Tepig Line''']]

!! Morphs [Oak Catalog #]

* Tepig [#498]
* Pignite [#499]
* Emboar [#500]

!! Physical Description

The three Pokémon of the Tepig line are porcine creatures that share few constant physiological traits beyond a rough color scheme, red-tipped snouts, bodies coated in a layer of fire-resistant hairs, and a capability to expel or otherwise manipulate bursts of fire.

The intial stage of this line, Tepig is a quadrupedal creature that typically stands approximately 50 centimeters tall upright and weighs in at just under 10 kilograms. Some of Tepig's most immediately noticeable features include feet with toenails that are similarly colored to the surrounding hairs on its hide, a prominent snout, a curling tail tipped by an orb-like growth similar in coloration to the tip of its snout, and a pair of prominent, narrow and movable ears at the top of its head. All regions of a Tepig's body barring its snout and tail orb are covered in a layer of short and bristly hairs, these regions include a prominent patch of yellow hair in shape vaguely resembling a vertically-stretched pentagon located between its eyes stretching from its snout to its forehead, regions of black hairs covering the front and top of its head, its ears, its front feet, and a region encompassing its lower back and abdomen, its posterior, and the majority of its tail, with the rest of its body covered in regions of orange hairs.

Tepig's first evolution, Pignite, is a portly, vaguely egg-shaped bipedal creature that usually stands around a meter tall and typically weighs approximately 55 kilograms. Some of the most readily apparent physiological distinctions between Pignite and its younger form beyond its newfound bipedalism include the emergence of grayish nails on its digits, one on each foot and two on each hand, the development of two vertically-oriented vaguely swirl-shaped growths near Pignite's pectoral regions, a greater distance between its two ears on the top of its head, a shorter and less pronounced snout, the emergence of two exposed teeth along the sides of its lower jaw, and the growth of a thick puff of hairs over its tail orb. Pignite's overall color scheme shares the same palette as its younger counterpart, though exhibits patterns that differ significantly from those possessed by its younger counterpart. Pignite possess regions of yellow hairs around a pair of bands around their wrists, as well as covering their two swirls, black regions that include its ears, its hands and fists, the top of its head, a small "bridge" between its eyes, and a region appearing not wholly unlike a pair of black, bristly overalls, which incorporates the entirety of its lower torso, the majority of its back, and bands covering regions on both the front and back of its shoulders, a Pignite's tail is covered in similarly colored, though darker bristles to these black regions, with the remainder of its body covered in orange hairs.

The final form of the Tepig line, Emboar, is an imposing bipedal creature that typically measures approximately 160 centimeters in height and weighs 150 kilograms. Two of the most evident departures that Emboar's physiology exhibits from that of its younger brethren include a proportionately leaner build, the growth of a longer coat of hairs, a snout that is slightly more pronounced than the one that it possessed as a Pignite, the emergence of multiple digits on its limbs, two per foot, and three per hand, a straighter tail terminating in a brush-like array of bristles, ears that due to the growth of regions of hair on its head, appear to be fused with a pair of bushy "eyebrows," and a prominent "beard" of live flames that rings the front and sides of an Emboar's neck for the duration of its life. The regions on Emboar's body are primarily covered by regions of black hairs, which includes a broad band dominating its torso, its lower and middle arms, its "eyebrows" and ears, and its tail. Emboar's body also sports yellow hairs on three prominent horizontally-oriented yellow "swirls" that occur on the front and sides of the middle of its torso, as well as on bands separating the black regions of its arms from its orange shoulders and head, and a jagged pattern separating its black lower legs from its upper legs, Emboar also possess red hairs on two bands that that ring their wrists as well as a region encompassing its upper legs and lower torso.

In rare circumstances, individuals from this line exhibit genetic mutations that give them an appearance that deviates significantly from that of their normal counterparts. As Tepig, these mutants possess pinker snouts and tail orbs, and have regions of brown, yellow, and tan corresponding to the black, orange, and yellow regions on the bodies of normal Tepig. As Pignite, the black regions on the bodies of mutants have the respective shades of the hairs on their tail and the rest of their bodies inverted, with violet regions in place of the yellow regions on normal Pignite, with other regions of their body covered in pale orange hairs. Emboar carrying this mutant phenotype share the same black-haired regions as their normal counterparts, but possess sky blue hairs on regions covered by yellow hairs among normal Emboar, and faint violet-blue regions in place of normally red regions. This phenotype apparently also affects the glands that produce the oils that fuel the fires produced by these creatures, as flames produced by carriers of this mutant phenotype are blue as opposed to the normal orange flames produced by members of this line without this phenotype, which is most readily evident from the blue fire "beards" of mutant Emboar.

!! Notable Biology

One of the most prominent features of the biology of Tepig and its evolutions is the complex biological structures that enable it to produce and manipulate live flames. Like a number of other "Fire-Type" Pokémon, the members of the Tepig line produce a flammable slurry as a side product of digesting food, which is concentrated within an internal organ, whose contents are set alight by constant weak charges from electrogenic cells that remain throughout the duration of an individual's life. Unlike most Pokémon that are capable of utilizing incendiary attacks, the members of the Tepig line possess electrogenic cells that are located relatively deep within their body, which due to the constant bleeding off of a flammable, oily slurry produced by these creatures' bodies, makes it one of a small number of Pokémon to possess live internal flames. The final stage of this line, Emboar, appears to possess a system of tubules that allow for small quantities of oils to be secreted through pores on different regions of its bodies. Two regions appear to possess these structures, Emboar's neck, which also contains electrogenic cells located along the edges of its pores, as well as the back of its hands, which lack the electrogenic cells needed to ignite the secreted oils. The efficacy of these creatures' electrogenic cells to ignite the oils produced by their bodies appears to be influenced both by hormonal levels as well as overall health, as ill and depressed Pokémon from this line have been noted to produce substantially weaker flames accompanied by large quantities of smoke, whereas irate or excited individuals produce intense flames with very little accompanying smoke. Unlike most Pokémon that utilize incendiary attacks, Tepig and its evolutions expel flames not from their mouths, but from their nasal passages.

Members of the Tepig line also exhibit what appear to be highly developed problem solving skills and logical capabilities. One of the behavioral quirks among Emboar is the practice of moving the back of their hands near their "beards" in combat, which causes accumulated oils to burst into flame and enables them to utilize potent "Fire Punch" attacks. Pokémon from this line have been recorded attempting to mislead potential rivals from food sources, in order to stem competition for sustenance. The members of the Tepig line also appear to interact with Pokémon outside of their immediate line more readily than most other Pokémon, and groups of these creatures have been documented forming and attempting to form structures with unrelated Pokémon exhibiting a wide range of behavioral patterns that appear to be analogous to defensive alliances. Members of this line appear to exhibit a greater degree of self-consciousness regarding their perception by other creatures, which can be most readily seen in the formation of such "alliances," where groups of creatures in this line have been documented avoiding counterparts in other groups that have fallen afoul of their allies.

Pokémon from this line are known to typically exhibit a "fight-or-flight" response that causes the structures associated with Tepig and its evolutions' fire-related techniques to produce stronger flames when wounded or otherwise fatigued. A small number of individuals from this line do not appear to be appreciably affected by this response. These individuals are known to trend physically bulkier than their more normal counterparts as Tepig and Pignite, and to have a tendency to be more aggressive than their more typical brethren as Emboar.

!! Habitat

As of present, the members of the Tepig line do not have a reliably cataloged stable population, though such populations are inferred to exist within the Unova region due to the plethora of sightings of wild creatures from this line reported on an annual basis. Based upon sighting patterns, it appears that Pokémon from this line appear to prefer woodland and grassland habitats. In recent years, there has been an increase of sightings of Tepig and its evolutions near human settlements, though it remains unclear whether this phenomenon stems from the encroachment of human activity upon these creatures' natural habitat, the formation of feral populations from lost or abandoned captive members of this line, or simply members of this line being attracted to human settlements by relatively easy-to-access food sources in garbage bins and gardens.

!! Diet

Members of this line possess a firmly omnivorous diet, and will happily consume a wide range of plant matter and meats, which are typically roasted by fire attacks prior to consumption. Among wild populations, Tepig and its evolutions typically feed via a combination of scavenging and foraging, which typically results in a diet composed primarily of plant matter supplemented by carrion and creatures that are near death. In some circumstances, the older stages of this line have been recorded engaging in less passive predatory behaviors and actively pursuing prey. Among wild Pignite, such hunts are typically carried out by a party of 3-4 Pignite, wild Emboar recorded actively hunting appear to typically hunt alone, though instances of Emboar participating in group hunts have been noted.

!! Hazards

Although the reputation that Tepig and its elder counterparts possess is undoubtedly rife with hyperbole and at times borders upon libel, one must remember that as with an overwhelming majority of Pokémon, trifling with these creatures, especially wild members that have been less socialized with human beings than their captive counterparts, is an exercise for the foolhardy. All three members of this line employ a range of melee attacks. Although physical attacks by Tepig are unlikely to exceed "Tackle" attack capable of moderate bruising and knocking oneself off of one's feet, the same cannot be said for its bulkier evolutions. Pignite and Emboar both routinely utilize techniques involving attacks with their arms, which include powerful open-palm slaps and punches. Depending upon the strength of the individual, these attacks' effects range from severe bruising, the breaking of major bones, internal bleeding, to gashes from the sharp nails on a Pignite or Emboar's hands. One particularly potent technique utilized by members of this line is a tactic that involves curling into a ball and rolling into an opponent at high speed, a tactic that when coupled with the significant bulk of the latter stages of the Tepig line, is capable of severely wounding a trainer unfortunate enough to be caught in such an attack's path. It should also be noted that all stages of the Tepig line are also capable of utilizing incendiary attacks, which are capable of inflicting second and third-degree burns over large portions of the body, it should also be noted that a number of techniques utilized by Pignite and Emboar combine incendiary attacks along with physical assaults, which in addition to inflicting severe burns, are capable of inflicting the same injuries that these creatures' purely physically-oriented attacks do. Pignite and Emboar have also been recorded spewing clouds of smoke at assailants in an attempt to either weaken them or to buy time to flee, which is capable of causing injuries related to smoke inhalation.

As with most other Pokémon, a poorly trained member of this line may wind up inadvertently causing its owner great harm. Tepig often have a fondness for setting small objects ablaze, which while relatively safe in its native environment, has led to many a house fire being caused by a Tepig not trained sufficiently to distinguish environments where it can safely indulge its playful tendencies with fire. In addition, all stages of the Tepig line appear to have a propensity to engage in rough play, which has led to numerous trainers being hospitalized by well-meaning attempts by Pignite and Emboar to roughhouse with their owners or owners' relations. A safety hazard unique to Emboar is the presence of its constantly-fueled fire "beard," and proper caution should be exercised when attempting to allow Emboar to rest outside of the confines of its Poké Ball.

!! Courting

Although all three lines are fertile, courtship among Tepig is effectively unheard of in wild populations. In wild populations, courtship is limited to individuals that have attained the Pignite or Emboar forms. Courtship is typically initiated by males, who compete for the affections of female Pignite and Emboar via a combination of gifts and ritualized displays of strength. Although the process of suitor selection is typically resolved peacefully, an uncommon, but well documented phenomena in Pignite and Emboar courtship is that of battles among particularly competitive suitors. Unlike many other Pokémon with similar courtship behaviors, battles amongst Pignite and Emboar suitors appear to lack a significant degree of restraint, with such battles often resulting in severe injuries or deaths amongst the individuals involved. After a suitor is chosen, the male and female will mate shortly afterward in a secluded location, with the male beginning a semi-aloof lifestyle bonded to his mate, which typically lasts for the duration of time that his mate bears and cares for her young, typically 1-4 offspring. A number of unions between male and female Pignite and Emboar appear to last for multiple mating cycles, with a small minority of such unions lasting for the duration of their members' lives. Occasionally, Emboar have been recorded both courting and being courted by Pokémon outside of their immediate line, though this practice is markedly more common in captivity.

!! Social Structure

As with the eggs of other mammalian Pokémon, Tepig eggs are capable of surviving birth by both ovoviviparous and oviparous methods, with the former method most commonly documented among the young of wild Pignite and Emboar, and the latter most commonly documented among Tepig and captive Pokémon from this line. Gender ratios among Tepig appear to typically skew towards having more males than females, a phenomenon that is curiously more pronounced in captivity, where the average documented gender ratio is 7 males for every female.

1-3 days prior to the birth/hatching of her young, a female Pignite or Emboar will construct a large, mound-like nest. Where she and her young remain secluded from other creatures for the first week of her offspring's lives. Afterward, a female member of the Tepig line will return along with her young into her native sounder of fellow Pignite and/or Emboar. Tepig are typically cared for by their mother and her fellow members of her sounder for the first 10-14 months of their lives, and are left to fend for themselves afterward.

There appear to be a number of social units among wild Pokémon in the Tepig line. Females typically organize themselves into sounders of 3-4 Pignite and/or Emboar along with any young, and typically do not interact with male members of the Tepig line beyond current mates, prospective suitors, and the periodic visit by independent offspring. Male and female members of this line organize themselves into groups of 6-7 individuals as Tepig, which progressively shrink in size and segregate by gender with evolution. Male Pignite typically live in groups of 3-4 individuals, while a majority of male Emboar appear to lead solitary existences, with groups of male Emboar an uncommon occurrence in wild populations.

!! In Human Society

Historically, Tepig and its evolutions have generally been held in low regard in human societies exposed to these creatures, despite its current status as a starter Pokémon officially endorsed by the Unova League. The initial stage, Tepig has long been domesticated en masse for food, and as a means of disposing refuse by human societies in close proximity to Tepig populations, due in no small part to their physiology and the relative ease of maintaining and raising these creatures. Tepig and its evolutions occasionally see other agriculture-related applications, one of the most prominent being the use of creatures from this line to ferret out [=TinyMushrooms=] and [=BigMushrooms=] in forests to be harvested. Unlike a number of other Pokémon raised as livestock, there does not appear to be as much of a rise in qualms amongst the general public about the consumption of Tepig meat. This lack of public empathy appears to be closely tied to the perception of members of this line as a whole as being dirty and dim-witted creatures, with the latter forms having to bear the further ignominy of being perceived as aggressive brutes, a depiction which has long been present in human folklore. Some religions [[{{UsefulNotes/Judaism}} prohibit the consumption of their meat]] [[{{UsefulNotes/Islam}} due to their perceived uncleanliness]].

This perception continues to exert a heavy influence upon contemporary media, and has led to the final form of this stage being utilized either directly or as an inspirational basis for a number of antagonistic characters. Among them include the [[AnimalFarm Tyrannical leaders of a farm taken over by pokemon by force]] (Though there were also positively portrayed characters of the same species), the use of antagonistic creatures modeled after Emboar in a number of fantasy tabletop games and works, the use of an Emboar as the true form of a recurring antagonist in [[Franchise/TheLegendOfZelda an action adventure video game franchise]], the use of "'Boar cops" in [[VideoGame/DukeNukem a first-person combat franchise infamous for its erratic development cycles]], the use of a greedy, self-centered Emboar as a recurring minor antagonist in [[VideoGame/StarFox a rail shooter franchise revolving around more hominid Pokémon]], and the use of an army of soldiers in uniforms modeled after Emboar in [[VideoGame/MOTHER3 the third installment of a cult role-playing franchise]]. Despite this, Tepig and its evolutions occasionally receive more sympathetic portrayals in human folklore and media. Some of these depictions include the presence of an Emboar [[JourneyToTheWest in a popular set of folk tales surrounding the adventures of a staff-wielding Infernape]], who becomes an progressively more sympathetic, albeit flawed, character throughout the duration of the narrative, the presence of a number of sympathetic characters explicitly modeled upon creatures from this line in a collection of folk tales based upon a [[RomanceOfTheThreeKingdoms series of military conflicts in the distant past]], and the use of an Emboar as the "uncle" to the protagonist of [[VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil a cult action-adventure series.]]

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[-Editmastered by @/TracerBullet, -]