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Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Physical DescriptionThis line of Pokémon starts as small, round mammals of uncertain classification; they evolve into something larger and more primatoid. For this reason, as well as some other physiological similarities, they are thought to be at least distantly related to the Electabuzz line, though research on the subject is still ongoing. Darumaka is a strange, egg-shaped, bipedal mammal, with stubby limbs that end in orange paws and can be retracted into its body. The fur over the rest of its body is red, save for an orange spot between the eyes, three yellow spots on its belly, and two curly golden tufts of hair that serve as eyebrows. Its eyes are (proportionally) large and round, and its small mouth exposes three blunt teeth. Darmanitan are far larger, and have much longer limbs with well-developed hands and feet, though their bodies are still very round. They walk on their knuckles, occasionally sitting back on their hind legs to manipulate objects. The spots on their bellies are now orange, and flame sacks behind the eyebrows constantly jet fire, making their eyebrows seem like they are always flaming. They have an orange “mask” around their eyes and nostrils, and their mouths are filled with sharp, serrated teeth. Some rarer types are pink in the Darumaka stage and maroon/magenta in the Darmanitan stage. Only a few trainers have managed to obtain one of these, but they are very often among their most prized Pokémon.
Notable BiologyThese Pokémon are known for their prowess in combat that relies on raw strength. Even Darumaka can lift things more than twice their size, and Darmanitan can both halt and cave in the front of a speeding truck with a well-timed punch. (A female was actually recorded as doing so to protect her young.) They often employ their Fire-type powers in tandem with their sheer strength – such as slamming the opponent with a fire-infused punch, or enveloping their entire bodies in their own flames for a powerful charge. Darmanitan can even cause stony avalanches and small earthquakes with the help of Technical Machines. There are two strains of the Darumaka line. The first produces large amounts of hormones that make them more aggressive in combat – causing Darumaka to attack with more power at the cost of precision, and leading Darmanitan to develop elemental sacs which produce attacks that do more immediate damage but fail to leave side effects on the opponent. The second, however, has only recently been discovered by Trainers in the Desert Resort of Unova, and is particularly unusual in that it allows Darmanitan to change its form. In the Darumaka stage of this strain, the hormonal balance is merely changed, leading it to ignore things that would normally startle such a small Pokémon. In the Darmanitan stage, however, the Pokémon undergoes a drastic transformation when its body takes a sufficient amount of strain or stress. It becomes almost completely immobile and immovable, almost seeming like a stone statue. Its fur and skin turn turquoise, except for its eyebrows, which become orange, though flame no longer jets out from behind them. Their arms and legs are folded close to their bodies, and their eyes become clouded and glassy. This change corresponds to drastic changes in the Darmanitan’s body, which greatly hardens the skin and muscle and directs increased bloodflow to vital organs – particularly the brain. This increased focus on its brain allows the Darmanitan to unlock latent psychic powers, powerful enough for it to be classed as a Psychic-type in this state – referred to as “Zen Mode” by Trainers. It mostly uses those in this mode if it needs to battle and feed, though for the former it can also breathe fire. A Darmanitan can remain this way for thousands of years, as if in suspended animation, and it can be changed back only by feeding it food high in carbohydrates (especially sugars) or by healing it at a Pokémon center or with Potions and similar products. As an extra quirk, Darumaka tuck in their limbs when sleeping; however, they have specialized balance organs that allow them to remain upright in this state, even if pushed.
HabitatThis line prefers hot habitats – volcanic regions, savannahs, even rainforests can be homes for these Pokémon. However, they seem to have a slight preference for deserts, and that’s where the largest populations of Darumaka and Darmanitan are found. They can live pretty much anywhere if they really need to, though. One population of Darmanitan – the famous “Zen Mode” Darmanitan – was once only found in the Desert Resort (see “Social Structure”); due to breeding by trainers they have since spread to other areas. However, on certain occasions (such as the summer solstice) they always attempt to return to their ancestral home; the true reason for this is unknown.
DietDarumaka are omnivorous with a slightly carnivorous slant. They eat berries or desert plants, depending on their habitat, but they also use their strength and fire powers to take down Grass and Bug Pokémon, such as Maractus or Dwebble. They usually can take down such Pokémon by themselves with raw force, but sometimes siblings work together to take down something particularly difficult. They like high-energy foods to keep the flame in their flame sacks burning better; this allows the Darumaka to remain more active. Darmanitan are highly carnivorous (with the exception of berries, as usual); they use their raw power to take down pretty much anything. They have been seen killing any prey that doesn’t have a type advantage against them. They consume all of their food – fur, bones, and even teeth. However, they very rarely attack humans for the purpose of eating them; they only do so when starving. Almost all unprovoked attacks are caused by females protecting their young.
HazardsDarumaka are mostly harmless, if a bit hyperactive and mischievous at times. However, sometimes they don’t know their own strength, and accidentally hurt humans, though this usually causes them to stop the behavior, and no fatalities have been reported. Darmanitan are actually far less aggressive towards humans than most highly predatory Pokémon; even wild ones tend to regard humans with immense wonder and (cautious) curiosity more than anything. However, there is one exception: mother Darmanitan raising offspring. Said mother Darmaitan are infamously paranoid, and regard nearly anything as a threat to their progeny unless it somehow proves to them otherwise. This protectiveness has led them to rend humans limb from limb and go on vicious, deadly rampages to reclaim a baby that has been caught by humans. Therefore, if attempting to capture a Darumaka, it is absolutely vital to check to see if there is a mother nearby. One’s life literally depends on it. Fortunately, captive Darmanitan tend to be far more trusting and friendly, especially when raised from the Darumaka stage.
Courting and ChildrearingDarumaka are relatively immature, and so rarely breed outside of captivity. Mature male Darmanitan attract females by wandering around their territories and letting out long, booming calls. The females are attracted not only by the sound of a potential mate, but to possible protection from roaming adolescent male Darmanitan, which are more aggressive towards them. Once the male is done mating, he leaves; he takes no part in caring for the young. Female Darmanitan give birth to one or two young or eggs at a time, and dote over them for several years before they become independent. She teaches them how to find food and make tools, and protects them from any danger, real or perceived. Interestingly, Daruamka are known to take care of their mothers in turn when the latter is in trouble – a town once reported an incident where a pair of Darumaka was stealing food for their mother, who had changed to Zen Mode to prevent the town bell tower from collapsing.
Social StructureDarmanitan are far more solitary than most primate Pokémon, and most of the time the largest groups consist of a female and her young. They roam wide territories (except adolescent Daruamka, which roam almost randomly) and when two males meet, the result is usually a fight. (Female relations tend to vary.) However, they are just as intelligent as other primate Pokémon, and even seem to share an almost cultural knowledge of how to use simple stone and wood “tools.” Different populations of Darumaka/Darmanitan use different tools, and knowledge of these tools is passed down from generation to generation. Zen Mode Darmanitan act differently from most, however. Even if several generations removed from the originals - the Zen Mode Darmanitan found at the ruins in the Desert Resort - and introduced to the wild far from the ruins, they find someplace humans think is important – or, at least, they think humans think is important – and dedicate themselves to guarding it. Females with young are also far less aggressive towards humans and human-owned Pokémon – suggesting some sort of domestication. Perhaps strangest of all, though, is the way they act around certain other Pokémon – they treat Sigilyph, Yamask, and Cofagrigus, especially those from the Desert Resort, with utmost respect, and when the Unova League Champion Alder showed his Volcarona to a group of these Darmanitan, they began hooting and hollering in crazed fits of almost religious fervor – even if they weren’t “original” Zen Mode Darmanitan.
In Human CultureDarumaka are highly valued and respected among humans for one reason in particular – their dung. Darumaka droppings are hard, very warm pellets that aren’t very messy; as a result, they were often collected by humans and placed in pockets to keep themselves warm in cold months. That, combined with their generally docile nature, led to Darumaka becoming popular as pets in regions where they lived. Temples in some regions make large amounts of wooden Darumaka dolls; at the beginning of winter, they burn the dolls in the hopes that they will lead to more real Darumaka being born soon. Darmanitan, despite being predators, (which leads to occasional roles as villains, such as a short story where one was revealed to be the crafty murderer of several people) are often depicted as more educated and scholarly in fiction than other primate Pokémon - to the point where a human librarian (in a series of satirical fantasy novels) that got turned into a Darmanitan decided to stay that way.
Written by Umbramatic; feel free to PM me on the forums if you have any suggestions. If I don't respond... consult the thread.