Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Duskull [#355]
- Dusclops [#356]
- Dusknoir [#477]
Physical DescriptionThe creatures of the Duskull line are Pokémon with a long-standing association with the underworld in many cultures that are characterized by rounded, predominantly gray bodies that are noted to feel warm and cloth-like to the touch in a corporeal state, with bone-like or otherwise bone-shaped protrusions and singular red "eyes". The first stage, Duskull, is a round, floating Pokémon that is typically around 80 centimeters tall. Although these creatures are noted to have an average weight of 15 kilograms, it should be noted that this figure represents an observed upper bound on Duskull weight, an individual Duskull can weigh significantly less than this given figure depending upon how incorporeal of a state it assumes. Duskull possesses a “tail” that extends below its body, a “tuft” on the top of its “head,” two arms that fold back onto its back. and a bone-like faceplate that vaguely resembles a human skull. Its single red eye is suspended within its body, and it floats between the two “eye sockets” rapidly. A distinctive marking on its back resembles a pair of bones. The second stage, Dusclops, is on average a 160 centimeter tall bipedal Pokémon, with a dramatically larger observed average upper bound for individual weight at slightly over 30 kilograms. Dusclops' appearance changes dramatically with evolution, with banded markings up and down its entire body. Its white hands are detached from its body, much like those of Haunter. Two white streamers extend from its “shoulders,” trailing behind the Pokémon, with a very similar tuft on top of the head. Its legs are trunklike, and it has toothlike growths just above its mouth. Its red "eye" is now fixed and adopts a fleshy appearance, seemingly surrounded by a white sclera. The third stage, Dusknoir, adopts a form that is vaguely anthropodal from the waist up, with a tail similar to that of its first stage instead of legs. Its arms are well-developed now, with glove-like hands and three yellow bands along their length. Its “head” features a six-pronged collar surrounding a central cranium containing the eye, with a yellow band on what would be the forehead in a human, and a yellow antenna on top. The body has yellow ridges that form markings similar to a smiling face on the back and a frowning face on the front; the latter is hinged and can open like an actual jaw. Typical Dusknoir will "stand" roughly 220 centimeters tall and possess a weight of almost 110 kilograms when fully incorporeal. Carriers of aberrant phenotypes are occasionally noted among Duskull and its evolutions. Such individuals are typically possess regions that are blood-red instead of grey in the first two stages, with Duskull in this group noted to have slightly paler "bones" and Dusclops in this group noted to have a more vividly colored "eye." As Dusknoir, such individuals posses deep blue bodies with brighter yellow markings. Trainers are known to go to great lengths to secure one of these specimens, and they are believed amongst some channellers to have special paranormal properties.
Notable BiologyAs creatures, Duskull and its evolutions are noted to display heavy paranormal properties. As such, these creatures are presently better understood in terms of their abilities, with the actual nature of how their abilities operate by and large remaining an enigma. Like most other so-called "Ghost Pokémon," creatures from this line are known to be capable of switching between states of various corporeality and incorporeality at will, and are capable of phasing partly or entirely through thick walls in order to elude attackers or otherwise stalk prey. As with most other Ghost Pokémon, Duskull and its evolutions have no presently known upper bound for their lifespans, with a number of individuals possessing documented lifespans of hundreds of years, and unverified reports of individuals who may have been living for far longer. Although known for their incredible resilience and ability to weather attacks that would seriously injure other Pokémon without much harm, Duskull and its evolutions are by no means impervious, let alone immortal. Duskull and its brethren are very much mortal, and like other creatures, can be seriously wounded or die if subjected to a sufficiently powerful assault. Such events are generally uncommon, with the only things known to reliably kill these creatures consisting of exceptionally powerful umbrate-based attacks, and attacks on the power level of an entity such as a Legendary Pokémon. Curiously, a Duskull's body appears to rapidly degrade after death, and will disappate entirely without any detectable trace over the course of just a few hours. It is presently theorized that the latter two stages of this line have pseudo-omnisacs that allow them to use cold, heat, and electricity-infused punches, although attempts to verify this matter have proven fruitless so far, further compounded by the rapid degradation of these creatures' remains. They are also capable of using umbrate to deliver enhanced punches, attacking with speedy, shadowy tendrils, and even sending superheated balls of gas to burn the opponent. Interestingly, Duskull line members exhibit properties that have led some researchers to postulate that these creatures may incorporate miniature localized black holes as part of their bodies. These are capable of absorbing various kinds of matter into their bodies, with quantity varying by evolutionary stage (see Diet). When absorbing objects, Duskull and its evolutions generate a vacuum-like inward force that is powerful enough to disturb nearby objects, and among particularly powerful individuals, appears to be capable of refracting light. These creatures are also capable of regurgitating absorbed matter (in the form of ash and gases) in a “White Hole” state, which is often known as "ashing". Ashing appears to typically be triggered by states of extreme emotional stress, in a manner not wholly unlike an Octillery’s ink defense. “You call that an ink defense? WHOOPWHOOPWHOOPWHOOP!” A number of other abilities have been documented amongst these creatures. One of the most peculiar is the apparent ability for creatures of the Duskull line to "possess" both organic beings and other Ghost-types, with the latter being easier for the Pokémon as well as less dangerous for the host if the possessing entity is inexperienced. Both group possessions and chain possessions (Duskull line members possessing each other in turn, then an organic host) have been recorded. A less paranormal ability documented among Duskull is its ability to suspend its body far off of the ground at will, making most earth-based attacks ineffectual. Dusclops and Dusknoir lack this skill, but have instead been documented emanating an aura that physically exhausts the foe faster and makes them more reluctant to attack that has been described as "psychologically oppressive." Dusclops appear to evolve by ingesting strange materials known as Reaper Cloths. Curiously, Dusclops evolution appears to occur more reliably in settings with high amounts of background electromagnetic radiation. Analysis of these objects has yielded few answers, but they appear often in places where Duskull line members are known to lurk, and appear in some instances to be shed by Dusknoir.
HabitatThe Duskull line can, theoretically live anywhere, though its members appear to be most strongly attracted to places that give off strong fear and death “auras.” As such, sites with high incidences of death such as particularly treacherous stretches of roads, burial sites, former battlefields, or simply more mundane regions such as locations with high mortality rates among local creatures, may find themselves host to such creatures. In settings around human habitation, Duskull and its evolutions have a tendency to be sighted around graveyards, hospitals, butcher shops, abandoned houses, and other such places. In some regions, members of this line have been known to congregate around movie theaters when a particularly frightening movie is being aired, to feast on the accumulated emotions of fear from the moviegoers, a phenomenon which is occasionally observed in and around the vicinity of Lilycove City in Hoenn. They are most frequently sighted in various locations in Hoenn and Sinnoh, particularly places like the necropolises in Mt. Pyre and near the north of Route 209. Other sites that these creatures can be reliably encountered in these regions include Routes 121 and 123 in Hoenn, with occasional sightings recorded on Routes 204 and 224 in Sinnoh. These creatures are also known to dwell in the vicinity of Hoenn's Sky Pillar and Sinnoh's Sendoff Spring, their ties to these places remains unclear. Duskull and its evolutions are primarily nocturnal, and rarely feed or otherwise engage in extensive activity during the day under wild settings.
DietDuskull opportunistically feed on both “death aura” and fear, feeding both on ambient auras of these sensations, as well pursuing victims to milk as much of the latter as possible. Creatures from this line are known to be particularly aggressive about their feedings at times, and are occasionally seen harassing and pursuing creatures that are nearing death, sometimes for entire nights, or systemically stalking victims to feed on their fear over prolonged periods of time, in a phenomenon that some anthropologists have suggested may be the origins of notions of "boogeymen" in some cultures. Like their evolutions, they have some black-hole like qualities, but not developed enough to absorb much more than the odd berry or table scrap. Dusclops, on the other hand, are far more indiscriminate eaters with pronounced black-hole like qualities. Dusclops are commonly seen consuming "foods" that other Pokémon feed on, and while typically passive in their feeding behaviors, have been known to hunt and consume prey. Theoretically, a Dusclops could eat virtually anything, with experiments involving Dusclops that were searching for an upper bound for absorbable object size finding that their subjects could absorb objects larger than small cars, albeit slowly. Thankfully, these creatures primarily feed on food items given to them by Trainers, as well as the “death aura” the entire line craves. If the Dusknoir stage is reached, these Pokémon feed primarily on “death aura”, but in a pinch they can feed on the same "foods" as their less evolved forms. Curiously, most Dusknoir appear to be indifferent, if not leery of consuming "fear auras", and some individuals exhibit marked distaste or disgust when made to feed off of them. Some researchers have suggested that these "fear auras" may be an intermediate food source for younger and generally weaker forms, much in the same fashion in which a human's diet will alter dramatically with age. While theoretically immune to death by starvation, being deprived of food will still affect these Pokémon negatively. Members of this line will exhibit disoriented and aggressive behavior and impaired phasing abilities if sufficiently deprived of food. It should be noted that physical foodstuffs are insufficient for fully nourishing these Pokémon, even in the Dusclops stage, with fear and death auras being necessary for their well-being, a matter which should be accommodated for by any would-be trainers of these creatures.
HazardsAlthough their common depiction as generally malevolent spirits in popular culture is undoubtedly oversimplified, and obfuscates the ability for these creatures to form deep and intimate bonds with their trainers, it should go without saying that Duskull and its evolutions are by no means creatures to be taken lightly. Like all Ghost Pokémon, the Duskull line is capable of powerful umbrate-based attacks, notably in melee form. While these creatures are capable of assuming incorporeal states, in a physical assault, a hapless victim on the receiving end will find their physical presence to be anything but incorporeal. Injuries from such attacks are generally consistent with those of less paranormal physical assaults, and depending on the strength of the assailant and the technique used, may range from minor to moderate bruising, to potentially massive internal bleeding and fragmented major bones. It should be noted that ranged umbrate-based attacks, while less physically damaging, also pose significant hazards to an imprudent trainer's well being, with effects akin to that of a psychic assault. Creatures from this line have also been documented using burning, freezing, and electrocuting attacks under some circumstances, which pose hazards similar to those utilized by more mundane users of such attacks. It is recommended not to startle any member of this line, out of risk of being seriously injured by one of these attacks out of a panicked lashing out. Furthermore, serious burns can also arise from being in the vicinity of one of these Pokémon during an “ashing” fear response. If a Duskull line member begins to show signs of said fear response, it is highly recommended to immediately retreat to a safe distance away from the creature. Like most other creatures, Duskull and its evolutions often have a limited tolerance for irony, and may find being startled as creatures that feed on fear to be an affront to their dignity. Like most other Ghost Pokémon, Duskull and its evolutions are generally not recommended for particularly young trainers, or for trainers that are in regular contact with young children. Improperly trained members of this line may wind up deliberately startling children they are exposed to in order to feed on their fear, which coupled with the often aggressive feeding patterns of creatures from this line, may lead to a well-meaning Pokémon in this line inadvertently engaging in behavior analogous to bullying. Even with a properly trained member of this line, a Duskull line member will pose inadvertant hazards to young children. It should be noted that the eye in all stages of this line appears to be closer to a ball of flame than a fleshy organ. Attempts to poke the eye all members display will likely result in serious burns. In addition, the possession abilities of this line can also be dangerous, since exiting the host body improperly (usually done by inexperienced members of this line) can cause serious harm to the former host. Side effects of botched possession vary widely, but have been known to range from simple disorientation to lapsing into prolonged comatose states or that of sudden brain death in extreme cases. As such, encouraging one's Duskull line member to possess other entities is highly discouraged, for those seeking to let themselves act as mediums, it is kindly suggested to look into alternate methods of courting suicide that are less likely to leave a husk of your body to linger on for some time afterwards.
Courting and ChildrearingAll stages of the Duskull line are known to be capable of mating, though courtship appears to be uncommon outside of the later two stages in the wild. Courtship appears to be mutually initiated, with often revolving around the exchange of gifts, typically consisting of objects with heavy "death auras" such as weapons or remains. Other practices recorded include displays of prowess with paranormal phenomena. These opening overtures are usually followed by a complex “courtship dance,” which appears to incorporate heavy activity involving phasing through obstacles, and through each other. It is unknown exactly how these creatures mate, as they undergo the process of "obscura" much as other Pokemon when they mate, which involves disappearing for prolonged periods of time before retuning with an egg or two. During this state, all sign of the mating pair is lost barring the presence of strong electromagnetic radiation at the original site of vanishing. After this process ends, the two will part ways, though it appears that mating pairs of Dusclops and Dusknoir generally persist for several mating cycles before dissolution, and some appear to persist indefinitely. Mating with members of other evolutionary lines in the wild is infrequent, but not unheard of. When it does happen, it is usually with other Ghost-types, though mating with Pokémon such as Muk, Gastrodon, and Eelektross occasionally occurs, but seldom more than once. Creatures from this group that do not normally undergo the process of "obscura" appear to often be rather disturbed by the process, and are usually loath to repeat the experience.
Social StructureDuskull line members are normally fairly solitary creatures. However, they are generally not particularly territorial, and will gladly congregate in fairly large groups for mating and in places where food is plentiful. Newly hatched Duskull generally receive little parental care beyond a month or so of loose supervision and tutoring of basic techniques such as phasing by their mothers, their physical resilience and lack of natural predators serves to ensure that most Duskull will live for vastly longer than the typical Pokémon raised with a similar lack of parental care. It should be noted that loose grouping patterns are occasionally documented amongst these creatures, which appears to coincide with incidences of "chain possession". It should be noted that Duskull that serve as host to other Duskull appear to display elevated strength and offensive abilities. As of present, the most complex chain possession on record is known to have incorporated roughly 200 Duskull in the remains of an abandoned steeple. Interestingly, these Pokémon appear to be capable of abruptly appearing in areas en masse, exhibiting behaviors that appear to be consistent with those exhibited by migratory creatures. Initial attempts to track these movements have suggested that these seemingly migratory behaviors may be interdimensional in nature, as a group of creatures from this line tracked from Hoenn Route 121 was once documented to have abruptly surfaced and remained deep within the confines of Wellspring Cave for almost a year, a location that is said in myth to be a portal to a realm of the dead. This phenomenon is still being studied, however, and the exact destinations of these migrations is unknown.
In Human CultureIn most cultures that have had extensive contact with Duskull and its brethren, these creatures are widely feared and often loathed as malevolent spirits due to an association with death and the reaping of souls. They are the inspiration from countless death spirit and psychopomp characters, and images of this line are plentiful on various holidays across the globe. In a handful of cultures, these Pokémon see a more positive role in local folklore as guardians of soon-to-be departed spirits on their journey to the afterlife. Historically in human cultures, Duskull's applications have generally been of an offensive nature. In general society, they were sometimes utilized as guardians over shrines and grave sites, and in less common circumstances as protectors of businesses and dwellings in communities with strong ghost-training traditions. In military applications, such creatures often saw use alongside other Ghost Pokémon for purposes of infiltrating enemy fortifications, and were favored in some circles for their often demoralizing effect upon enemies. In a handful of communities, more practical applications of this line’s feeding habits were developed, namely the use of Duskull and Dusclops to absorb the fears of locals about to undertake stressful or dangerous tasks. In such communities, these practices often have continued into the present day, which occasionally manifests in these creatures' use in hospitals and Pokémon centers to absorb patient anxiety. Duskull and its brethren see numerous direct and indirect depictions in popular culture, ranging from serious, including as antagonistic psychopomps and forces of death, one particularly common practice is to use a Duskull's faceplate as a sinister motif, which forms the basis for the mask of a knife killer in a now moribund series of slasher films as well as repeatedly in the promotional materials of a film series revolving around persons surviving tragic accidents via premonitions being steadily killed off in gruesome accidents. They also appear as enemies and as a boss in a maritime version of a well loved videogame series. More lighthearted depictions of Duskull line members and motifs associated with them also appear in media, including as gag characters in sitcoms. One example from a work marketed directly towards children is a Dusknoir who is forced to be “best friends” with two human children. Duskull's influence on fashion can be seen in the abundance of clothing articles that depict Duskull's faceplate and red eye, a motif that itself is fairly represented in popular culture with characters associated with juvenile delinquency, some example appearances include on the shirts of a local hoodlum and schoolyard bully in a long-running sitcom and of a bratty, destructive neighbor child in an animated film revolving around toys that become animate in their owner's absence, as well as on the beanie of a partner character in a role playing game set in an alternate Celadon shopping district published by the owners of the Last Legend, Empire Souls, and Dragonite Quest franchises.
Written by Umbramatic and Tracer Bullet.