Clockwise from furthest right: Cyndaquil, Quilava, Typhlosion. Depiction by purplekecleon@DeviantArt.
Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Cyndaquil  Mustepida cinanoens
- Quilava  M. sagittaflamis
- Typhlosion  M. incandiotronus
Physical DescriptionCyndaquil and its evolutions form a three stage line of Pokemon consisting of tailless mustelids exhibiting facultative bipedalism, and are characterized by distinctive blue and yellow pelts punctuated with semi-exposed pyrogenic structures that feed vibrant live flames on their bodies. The initial form, Cyndaquil, bears the fewest mustelid-like features of its brethren, with a long snout, rounded head, and short, small body and legs. Cyndaquil possess blue fur along the entirety of their back, and along the top of their head and snout. Their yellow furred areas obscure this creature's small ears and extend over their eyes, which are small and insufficiently developed to distinguish color and fine details. For protective purposes, these eyes are always squinted to the point of seeming closed. Their pyrogenic vents are arranged in a circle of 4 dot-like clusters on their back, identifiable by the presence of short and bristle-like red hairs around their pores when dormant, with the Cyndaquil facing them outward when it curls up for self-defense. They have small front paws and larger back ones with singular toes, allowing them to occasionally stand on two legs. A typical specimen will stand around 50 centimeters tall when at rest on two legs, and weigh just shy of 8 kilograms. Quilava, the second stage, is typically 40 centimeters taller in a bipedal stance, over 10 kilograms heavier, and has a much slimmer, sleeker body, with fully opened eyes and distinctly identifiable ears. Its paws have three toes, but it retains the leg structure that allows it to occasionally stand on its hind limbs. Its bluish back fur now extends over its eyes on its head and shorter, more rounded muzzle. Quilava’s pyrogenic vents are split in clusters similar in appearance of those of Cyndaquil between its head and its posterior and are used for display as well as protection in this stage, two vertically aligned along its head, and three along its back near its posterior, with flames generated from the vents along its head generally burning dramatically cooler than those along its back, presumably due to their proximity to the mustelid's brain. Typhlosion is the final and largest stage of the line, and combines Quilava’s sleeker body with a thick, muscular build, a typical individual standing 170 centimeters upright and weighing just under 80 kilograms. Its eyes are once again surrounded by yellow fur instead of green, and it now has larger and more distinctive canines. As with prior stages Typloshion have muscular hindquarters that allow it to stand bipedal more often than either pre-evolution, with its forelimbs possessing paws with five digits as opposed to the three on its hind paws. Typhlosion also has thicker, coarser fur on their posteriors that give the false impression of a tail when standing upright. Like its younger brethren, its limbs are entirely covered in yellow fur. Their pyrogenic vents now ring the back of the neck, and are capable of producing massive fiery displays. Creatures from this line are noted to be capable of possessing fairly differentiated appearances, subtle phenotype variations have been documented across all strains of the line; most notable are the individuals with more greenish shades of blue-green fur, with said individuals being more common in certain areas of Johto, as well as carriers of phenotypes with more vibrant yellow fur that are documented in some regions with warmer climates. An exceedingly rare group of phenotypes have cinnamon-colored fur in their backs in the first two stages and magenta fur in the third; the third stage also exhibits more mustard-yellow “belly” fur in certain cases. Individuals with these phenotypes are considered “collector’s items” of sorts by many Trainers.
Notable BiologyCyndaquil, Quilava, and Typhlosion have various methods of generating flames, both for defense and attacking prey, among other uses. The primary source is their pyrosacs, which are located internally, with vents for flammable fluids generated as a byproduct of digestion attached to igniter cells on parts of their body as well at the back of their throats. The expulsion of these materials from the throat and their ignition can produce high-temperature flame jets and fireballs at a steady rate, unlike many Pokemon, these creatures, especially later forms appear to have the ability to expel large quantities of fire from the vents on their bodies, which is perhaps best exemplified through the still poorly-understood technique sometimes referred to as 'Eruption'. It is theorized among some scientists that the igniter cells from creatures of this line may exhibit electrogenic properties, due to Typhlosion’s ability to use the attack known as "Thunderpunch." However, as that is one of the only electrical attacks they can learn, this veracity of this theory over that of the cells exhibiting more conventionally accepted chemical-based ignition remains unclear. This line, particularly Typhlosion, has a secondary, sometimes explosive method of flame generation: They can use friction in their fur to generate searing temperatures, which given appropriate conditions, can generate explosive bursts of flame. This method is generally reserved for defense and certain types of attacks among the later stages of this line. Flames produced by this species tend to have different temperature ranges and thus appearances depending on the current activity of their pyrosacs and to a lesser extent, upon what region they originate from. Those from the Hoenn and Sinnoh regions typically have a higher temperature range than ones from elsewhere, giving a whitish appearance to the center of their flame jets. Scientists are still unsure why this phenomena occurs. Natural dyes found in certain foods can also give the flames different tints, one of the most commonly documented being a violet tint. Creatures from this line also appear capable of manipulating localized air currents and dispel particulate matter in the air via convection currents so as to better refract sunlight. Creatures from this line are capable of using energy-based techniques that do not incorporate their pyrosacs, including the techniques "Solar Beam" and "Swift". The source of these abilities remains unclear to this day to researchers, although recent findings have suggested that they may be related to the limited paranormal phenomena some individuals are known to have command over, which includes the casting of powerful, though inaccurate bursts of energy similar in nature to those involved in the usage of "Aura Sphere" by Pokemon such as Lucario and Mienshao, limited psychic assaults, and the raking of opponents with claws imbued with energies typically manifested by Ghost-type Pokemon. Other notable attributes of creatures from this line include the presence of fire-retardant fur, with those of some select individuals appearing capable to absorb the effect of all flames but those of highly directed bursts such as those in the technique known as "Dragon Pulse". Individuals possess limited sight as Cyndaquil, which while improving and becoming increasingly capable of discerning detail and color with each evolution, remains weak for long-range vision. This deficiency in sight is compensated for by superb senses of smell and hearing, which allow for the detection of would-be assailants from beyond its effective range of vision. Furthermore, this line possesses increasingly robust physical traits, including thick hide that blunts the effects of techniques involving clawing or piercing. The final form is known to also have a durable skeletal system, with individuals known to be capable of shrugging off close-range shotgun blasts, including ones directed towards the head. There are two currently known "submorphs" of Cyndaquil and its evolutions. The most common submorph is noted for having pelts that are less effectively fire-retardant, and for exhibiting a survival response that stimulates the activity of the pyrosacs of fatigued or wounded individuals in combat, traits occasionally referred to as "Overheat". The other, considerably rarer submorph consists of individuals that lack this instinctive behavior, but at the same time possess more effectively fire-retardant pelts and have an alternate survival response that is triggered by the dissipation of comparatively unconcentrated bursts of heat over its body, which accomplishes a similar effect to that of the more common submorph's instinctive behavior. Independent of these phenomena, there are a number of other phenomena that appear to occur independnently and are occasionally presented as behaviors associated with potentially unrecognized submorphs, though any regularity in occurrence with these behaviors remains unclear. Such phenomena include an increased propensity amongst some individuals to engage in grouped assaults of stronger foes in what is sometimes referred to as "Experience Getter". Among Cyndaquil, some individuals are alleged to more rapidly and efficiently metabolize food, in a trait termed "Survivalist". Other individuals have been alleged to utilize their pyrogenic abilities differently, one such alleged group of individuals carrying the so-called "Fire Boost, which is capable of taxing their pyrosacs beyond even that of individuals of the "Overheat" submorph. Others are said to be capable of emitting ambient heat strong enough to be damaging to most organisms nearby in what is sometimes referred to as "Burning Aura".
HabitatAs of present, no reliably cataloged stable populations of Cyndaquil and its evolutions are known to exist. Despite this, sightings are plentiful, especially in the Johto region, and there are plenty of documented cases of isolated groups of these creatures living in the wild. Members of the Cyndaquil line are among a number of Pokemon known to be "generalists" with regard to habitat distributions, individuals have been documented living in regions with boreal, temperate, arid and semi-arid, as well as subtropical climates. Within these climate zones, environmental settings also fluctuate wildly, including forest, plains, wasteland, and mountainous environments. In general populations of these creatures are typically far removed from areas of extensive human habitation due to territorial demands, though outliers to this trend are noted to exist, including in a number of parts of the Johto region. Members of this line typically dwell in earthen burrows known as setts that are generally located in close proximity to a tree or other substitute landmark used for scratching and marking territory. Territories of creatures from this line typically range between 0.6 and 3 square kilometers in area. These territories typically are typically controlled by groups of 4-5 individuals that have evolved beyond the Cyndaquil stage, along with any progeny. In territories controlled by Typhlosion, populations trend lower, and it is not unknown for a solitary Typhlosion to be the sole individual of its line to have developed beyond its initial form in some cases. When ground suitable for borrowing is not available, natural caves, overhangs, and parts of abandoned or (and in the case of individuals less wary of humans) occupied human structures are often utilized as substitutes. In regions with higher annualized rainfall, creatures from this line will often create mats of compressed vegetation at their chosen sett surrogate so as to enable individuals to avoid flooding during seasonal rains. In some forest and plains settings, these Pokemon are known to periodically clear out the former clearing out undergrowth or otherwise shrub growth via seasonal controlled burns. Although they sometimes spiral beyond the control of their creators, these burns are generally advantageous for these creatures, serving as a means marking territorial boundaries and flushing out prey, as well as making their territories more navigable for future hunting and the readier detection of potential predators and assailants. This navigability is known to result in some forests adopting a 'park-like' appearance, which often reflects in the accounts of people groups that dwell nearby. In regions with harsh winters, individuals are known to undergo seasonal hibernation. Individuals typically will seal off their setts with dead plant matter, emerging only with the onset of spring and the departure of the humid snow. Hibernatory behaviors are also known to be exhibited among individuals in more temperate climates, though are often highly interrupted, and in some cases skipped entirely, though accounts of winter 'lethargy' are still documented in such cases. Individuals living in regions with particularly damp wet seasons curiously also exhibit behavior analogous to hibernation. individuals in such circumstances will seek out, or if necessary, create a space that is sheltered from the rains and spend the bulk of the wet season at rest. As with the hibernatory behaviors of some Cyndaquil line members in more temperate locations, this subtropical "hibernation" is typically highly interrupted, if in part due to the practical reason of shelters in such regions trending less permanent than the setts of counterparts in less damp regions, an individual typically needing to seek multiple replacement shelters during the course of a wet season.
DietIn wild settings, creatures from this line possess an omnivorous diet with a heavily carnivorous slant, foods typically well-roasted to kill bacteria and potential parasites. Prey organisms vary, growing more and more diverse with each successive evolution. A Cyndaquil will typically subsist almost entirely upon more insectoid prey. By the time of its final evolution, it will also be feeding on avian, mammalian, and some reptilian prey. These creatures supplement their sustenance via quarry with a mix of eggs, berries, seeds, and roots. Individuals of more thoroughly captive backgrounds such as Cyndaquil of "starter" stock will often have a markedly less pronounced preference for a carnivorous mode of sustenance, and have dutifully disposed of many a young trainer's table scraps without much protest regarding their contents. Hunting practices trend progressively more solitary with each evolution, with the first stage, Cyndaquil, only hunting independently of the assistance of its more mature brethren after it has been fully weaned and is approaching evolution. Creatures from this line are known to be capable of attacking and subduing prey physically larger than themselves. The largest disparities between prey and individual size occur among the hunting behaviors of Quilava, and the largest absolute size of prey occur among kills by Typhlosion. These individuals are also known to engage in surplus killing, a phenomena that is most commonly documented among Quilava, which in some regions has caused these creatures to be regarded as pests for their damaging effects upon livestock populations.
HazardsAlthough these creatures enjoy an often warm perception in contemporary human cultures and depictions in folklore and media, as with any other Pokemon, Cyndaquil and its brethren pose significant dangers to the unwary or otherwise incompetent trainer. Cyndaquil and its evolutions all make use of incendiary techniques involving bursts of flame expelled from their throats or the pyrogenic vents on their bodies, which are capable of inflicting second and third degree burns and become increasingly potent with each subsequent evolution. These include potent techniques such as Flamethrower, Lava Plume, and Eruption. Futhermore, Cyndaquil and its evolutions possess alternate means of attacking via incendiary techniques, and can effectively accumulate fire on regions of their bodies that are incorporated in tackling or clawing attacks. This is perhaps best seen in the 'Flame Charge' and 'Fire Spin' techniques (the former should also be kept in mind for its apparent effects on relaxing muscles used for locomotion, which can cause a user to become increasingly fleetfooted). In addition, there are unconfirmed reports of the final stage of this line being able to dramatically lower localized moisture levels through the projection of ambient heat, to the point of causing even creatures commonly referred to as "Water-Type" Pokemon to exhibit greater susceptibility to its incendiary techniques. Creatures from this line also are known to use a range of more mundane tackling techniques, many of which incorporate slashes or jabs from claws coupled with the full momentum of the individual's body. One particular technique most commonly used by individuals who have attained the final stage of this line involves curling into a ball and building up momentum with which to ram assailants, which when coupled with Typhlosion's 80 kilogram average weight, is more than capable of inflicting multiple fractures and potentially massive internal bleeding. Startled individuals are also known to generate large quantities of smoke with which to confuse assailants and buy time to flee or regroup, which have been known to cause injuries related to smoke inhalation. More paranormal attacks exhibited by these creatures, typically in captivity, also vary in their effects. Techniques such as "Focus Blast" and "Extrasensory" will afflict unlucky victims with effects consistent with those of psychic assaults from other creatures. Other techniques such as "Solar Beam" and "Swift" will leave burns of severity varying with the technique used and individual form and strength. Although typically never seen outside the realm of desperation attacks, clawings and bitings present another threat to the well-being of an imprudent trainer. Depending upon the strength of the individual, such attacks can potentially leave wounds deep enough to require sutures to close. A number of less existential hazards also exist for trainers in close proximity to Cyndaquil and its evolutions. The most obvious of these stem from the often live flames that accompany such a creature's presence. As a general rule, one should never place any bodily appendages (or valued belongings, for that matter) near the vents of a creature from this line, even when they are dormant. Although these Pokemon are capable of exercising control over their vents and suppressing their bodily flames (unlike Pokemon such as Charmander and its evolutions), the act of doing so requires conscious effort, and can easily be undone by surprising, irritating, or for that matter, merely rousing these Pokemon from slumber. Intentionally startling a creature from this line in close quarters is also inadvisable, as the instinctive defense mechanism among these creatures is to ball or otherwise curl up away from a potential assailant and emit smoke or strong flames from their bodily vents. At best, this defense mechanism will cause smoke damage and leave one smelling like a fireplace; at worst, it may cause injuries from smoke inhalation or necessitate a trip to a burn ward. As with a number of other "Fire-Types", leaving these creatures unsupervised in insufficiently fireproofed settings is a potential recipe for calamity, and leads to at least a handful of house fires in the Johto region every year. Other, less incendiary risks include that posed by individuals with a poor grasp of their own strength, which when coupled with an often common affinity for rough play in the Quilava and Typhlosion stages, results in many a hospitalization of a trainer by an undertrained creature from this line. Although by far a dramatically less injurous hazard, it should be noted that individuals of this line often enjoy discovering and stashing away food or other items of interest that they come across◊, a phenomenon not fully unlike that associated with Zigzagoon and Linoone. Although endearing as a habit among Cyndaquil, it should be noted that Quilava and Typhlosion are capable of making off with much larger items, which if not properly trained can lead to potential embarrassments for Quilava and Typhlosion trainers accompanied by their Pokemon in shops.
CourtingAll stages of the Cyndaquil line can theoretically rear young at some point in their lifespans. In wild settings, this behavior is almost exclusively seen among Quilava and Typhlosion. In wild contexts, creatures from this line usually engage in courtship in late spring through the end of summer. Females signal their readiness to breed via the production of musk with a scent that is noted to smell strongly of ash, which prompts competition from male suitors for her attention. Suitor selection is typically resolved via a combination of bright and vivid displays of (literal) firepower, as well as ritualized battle for the female's attention. Although the selection of mates generally ends without incident, it should be noted that among individuals with particularly strong rivalries between each other, or in circumstances where competition for mates is especially fierce, these ritualized battles have been known to devolve into brutal brawls that are known to leave contestants maimed or dead in their aftermath. After selecting a mate, the male and female will retreat to a secluded place in the territory of the male's group, and begin to circle each other. The female will then dart off, bidding the male to pursue her, who will nip at the nape of her neck. Although concerning to trainers unfamiliar with such behaviors, it should be noted that the practice is generally non-threatening due to the nature of these creatures' hides and pelts for helping to dissipate the force of the nips, with some researchers comparing the practice to that of a human "hickey". After a few cycles of this behavior, the male and female will finally mate with each other before parting ways. In some, but not all cases, the female will become incorporated into the population that resides within the territory the male dwells in. It should be noted that even in wild contexts, male creatures from this line apparently form life-long unions their mates. Such unions are typically made with 1-3 females, depending upon the strength of the individual and population volatility. Males will pay regular visits to the female's offspring during weaning. These creatures are sometimes documented mating with Pokemon outside of their immediate line, though the practice is by far more common in captivity.
Social StructureCyndaquil eggs are known to share a property along with the eggs of most other mammalian Pokemon that facilitates both oviparous and ovoviviparous methods of birth, the former method more commonly exhibited amongst individuals from earlier stages or in the event of multiple offspring. Strangely, reproduction in captivity amongst these creatures is almost always conducted via oviparous means, even amongst Typhlosion, and exhibits dramatic expansion of a slight bias towards male offspring in wild settings. One recent survey among captive breeders found that over 85% of eggs laid by creatures from this line under their care went on to hatch into male offspring. It presently remains unclear whether this disparity in gender distributions is due to the method of birth, or to other commonalities amongst the typical settings in which captive breeding is typically conducted. Cyndaquil, as with many other mammalian Pokemon, are born blind at birth and do not attain functional vision until their second week of life. Wild creatures from this line are generally weaned over the course of roughly a year by their mothers, and will receive instruction from both parents (the male's contribution being more limited in cases where a breeding pair resides in separate territories) with regard to exercising their pyrogenic abilities and hunting. After the year is elapsed, the mother will cease to provide further care, and any offspring will either be left to care for themselves. In some circumstances, Cyndaquil will alternately travel under the care of their fathers after weaning (typically in the cases where individual mortality trends high, or in cases of offspring with attenuated or disrupted weaning periods) until shortly before evolution. There appear to be two primary modes of social organization amongst wild members of this line. The first of these is a semi-asocial organization of solitary individuals along with any offspring in a territory, which is most frequently documented amongst Typhlosion in particularly sparsely populated areas. The second, and more common form of organization is that of loose, generally non-hierarchical groups of 4-5 indivividuals and their offspring, typically organized around groups of mates and kin. In uncommon cases, significantly larger groups are documented under this means of organization. One outlier group is known to have consisted of roughly 20 adults and their progeny. In both modes of organization, we see examples of a good deal of internal organization, with regular cleanings of pelts and the periodic discarding of bedding. Furthermore, individuals will demarcate fixed paths with which to traverse their territories, as well as areas to be used as designated latrines, behaviors that are also known to exist among some other particularly social Pokemon. Creatures from this line are also known to interact readily with some species of Pokemon outside of an immediate prey/predator framework in wild contexts. Quilava and especially Typhlosion have both been known to assist packs of Houndour and Growlithe line members with hunting large quarry in return for a portion of the kill, and often maintain territories in close conjunction with each other. More intimate relationships are also known to exist, with creatures from this line having been recorded sharing setts with creatures from the Vulpix and Sentret lines, particularly in regions with regular hibernatory cycles. That said, relations with such Pokemon are known to dissolve spectacularly, and occasionally result in sett-mates being driven out by irate members of this line.
In Human SocietyHuman folklore historically has generally portrayed Cyndaquil and its evolutions in favorable lights. Cyndaquil are typically portrayed as timorous, but amiable creatures, meaning no intentional harm to any that would come across them. Their final forms are generally portrayed as strong, passionate, and stoutly gruff creatures, ready to meet any antagonism with a faceful of fire and ash, though peaceably living alongside those who bear it and its allies no harm. Interestingly, Quilava seems to have a fairly ambivalent portrayal in folklore, and are often presented as wily and unpredictable, not hesitant in the least to make off with one's belongings if it should take a fancy to them. In a historical context, creatures from this line have generally seen disuse in favor of the use of creatures from the Growlithe and Houndoom lines, though have seen employment in alike circumstances. Like the two, Cyndaquil and its evolutions are occasionally documented as serving as aids to glassblowers and blacksmithers, producing the heat necessary for such tradesmen to ply their craft. Creatures from this line were also used in more pragmatic applications, with some caretakers utilizing them as living hearths in cold months for warmth. The pelts of these creatures also saw occasional employment in the creation of fire-retardant articles of clothing. The practice has long since become extinct due to a combination of synthetic and easier to procure materials for making such clothing, as well as changes in general attitudes and perceptions of these creatures following their entrance into mass circulation as starters. Cyndaquil represents the very first creature to have undergone selective breeding and later distribution for the purposes of becoming a "starter" in Johto, with currently-distributed individuals representing the 12th such generation of "starter" Cyndaquil. The original intent of the program was to breed Pokemon suitable for use in law enforcement branches with a still-versatile intermediate form that was easier to care for than that of the final of the Growlithe and Houndour. Over the course of the program, it was found that through a combination of psychological conditioning and breeding these creatures could yield individuals that were exceedingly easy for inexperienced trainers to care for, if with the obvious qualifying hazards that accompany any creature with live flames on its body. Afterwards, a pilot program involving distribution of individuals from these programs to trainers amongst the general public was conducted, and the rest was history. The procedures utilized later forming the underpinnings of the programs that produced the first starter Totodile and Chikorita in Johto. As with most other Pokemon that have undergone conditioning and distribution as "starters", depictions of these creatures in contemporary popular culture generally focus upon individuals that live in captive contexts. Portrayals of these creatures have continued to trend closely after that of historical folklore, with depictions of Quilava having trended increasingly and less ambiguously favorable due to the proliferation of characters of similar temperaments and physique. These creatures make frequent appearances in literature targeted towards children, including as boisterous allies of murine Pokemon dwelling in the remains of an abbey in a long-running series of books, and have been the subject of a memetic continuously-looped short internet clip featuring Typhlosion performing calisthenics.
Original Article by Locoman. 11/2012 Revision by Tracer Bullet & Umbramatic. Special thanks to Silent Reverence for binomes and pointers with TCG abilities/moves and purplekecleon for rights for image usage of 'Typhlosion Line'.