Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Physical DescriptionMienfoo is a small, bipedial mustelid Pokémon, with fur that alternates between red (its arms, a stripe on its chest, the tip of its tail, and its legs) and yellow (everywhere else), plus two black spots above its eyes. While its body is slender and muscular, its baggy skin on its arms and abdomen make it look like it’s wearing a monk’s robes. Its eyes are red, and it has two whiskers on the sides of its face. Mienshao is similar in physiology to its pre-evolution; however, it is far taller, and its tail and limbs are longer. Its fur is a light lavender color, thought it’s also violet and yellow in certain spots. Its baggy skin is less pronounced, but it has a truly unusual feature on its wrists – two long “whips,” one on each forepaw, made of hairs fused together by keratin. These whips are used as weapons, and Mienshao strikes with them at incredible speeds during battle. An extremely rare type has blue and grey fur as a Mienfoo and white, pink, and purple fur as a Mienshao. Many Trainers hope to capture one of these specimens, but few actually do.
Notable BiologyFor mustelid Pokémon, this line, while having plenty of sharp teeth for eating meat, has a relatively weak bite, and they almost never bite as an attack unless truly desperate. However, this is because they have powerful muscles throughout the rest of their bodies, which they use for fighting techniques similar to those of human martial artists. They use a variety of punches and kicks for the most part (as well as hair-whips in the case of Mienshao); but they also have some skill with the mysterious force known as Aura, to the point where they can learn the legendary Aura Sphere attack. “Lesser” uses of Aura include launching pointed stones at the enemy and tripping them with spontaneously-growing vines (Though these attacks must be taught through Technical Machines). There are three apparent strains of this line, which analysis of the species has shown to be caused by differences in how individual members produce certain hormones. The first has a steely resolve, and ignores things that make most other Pokémon hesitate or panic. The second has a healing factor that allows them to recover quickly while taking rests between fights, and is particularly prized by Trainers. The third is extremely rare, but seems to show less restraint in battle than the others, allowing it to do more damage when the Pokémon itself takes some in return.
HabitatThis line is versatile in terms of the sorts of climates they can survive in, but they vastly prefer to live in areas with lots of rocks and/or trees. Both rocks and trees serve as useful perches to focus their Aura by meditating, as well as being useful as “punching bags” to hone their martial skills. At night, when they are done training, they hide away in burrows to sleep.
DietHalf the reason these Pokémon are devoted to their fighting skills is that they use them for hunting. They are almost entirely carnivorous (save for Berries on occasion), and they spend much of their time not training looking for prey. Mienfoo are usually predators of small mammal Pokémon, such as Patrat, though they also enjoy the taste of reptiles like Scraggy. However, they can also kill and eat creatures many times their size, and seem to enjoy the challenge; one Mienfoo was recorded as killing a Sawsbuck by breaking its neck with a well-placed Hi Jump Kick. Mienshao is similar; however, it includes larger prey far more often, and they even hunt and kill Pokémon as large and dangerous as Bouffalant and Zebstrika. Their hair-whips serve them well in this purpose – like human-made whips, they can leave bloody gashes in their prey, allowing the Mienshao to gradually weaken its quarry before delivering even harsher blows with punches and kicks. However, unusually for predatory Pokémon, they seem to have a sense of honor – unless food is extremely scarce they never go after mothers, young, or sick/injured individuals. How they can survive as well as they can like that is still being studied, but they do so regardless; they seem to regard their prey as worthy opponents as much as they do food, and they are even known to bow – a sign of respect in the packs of the line – when said prey puts up a formidable fight before going down.
HazardsDue to their sense of honor and history of working with humans (see” In Human Culture”), this line almost never attacks them, and they are often even playful and affectionate around people. That, combined with the fact that their sense of honor extends to a trainer’s Pokémon, even if they would normally prey on them, mean that this line is one of the safest Pokémon evolutionary lines to keep. However, this does not mean there are no hazards whatsoever. These Pokémon retain an inexhaustible urge to hone their skills, and if not provided with sufficient toys, training equipment, or other objects they can beat up on, they grow bored and anxious. As a result, they start using household objects for training – unfortunately, most such objects can’t withstand their assaults. This should be easily corrected, however – just calmly make it clear to the Pokémon that doing such things is wrong, and they’ll usually stop. More problematic is when these Pokémon accidentally injure humans when training. (This is especially an issue with Mienshao, due to its larger size and hair-whips.) No humans have been killed from this happening, but the incidents often leave large bruises or even gashes. However, as much as it hurts the humans physically, it hurts these Pokémon even more psychologically – they grow ashamed, depressed, and unusually lethargic, and are reluctant to do anything. The best thing to do is to comfort and maybe even pamper the Pokémon – as well as making sure the victim still acts friendly towards it. On a more minor note, they have scent glands that excrete a pungent odor; these are used for marking territory, which may include a human's belongings. However, it is easily washed off, and it's nowhere near as noxious as the weaponized scent glands of their distant relatives Stunky and Skuntank.
Courting and ChildrearingAside from hunting, the main use of this line’s fighting skills is to fight off rivals and impress mates. Mienfoo rarely mate in the wild; Mienshao, on the other hand, have elaborate mating rituals. During the mating season, Mienshao from different packs gather together to fight for mates. First, the males and females fight in sparring matches over each other; then, when different males and females are choosing one another, they fight to see if their partners are worth mating with. If so, they mate, and then return to their respective packs. Female Mienshao give birth to up six blind, helpless baby Mienfoo, either by hatching them from eggs or birthing them live. The mother stays in her burrow for the first few months to suckle her young; she relies on the Mienfoo and male Mienshao in the pack to bring her food. Eventually, the babies start to grow fur, open their eyes and ears, and sprout teeth, and the mother occasionally accompanies them out of the burrow to explore. Eventually, the babies start learning to hunt food on their own; finally, they become independent, and their mother stops taking care of them. At this point they either officially join their pack or go off to find a new one.
Social StructureThese Pokémon live in groups called packs, though observers have noted that they feel more like certain human monasteries at times. Packs are made up of a mixture of Mienfoo and Mienshao, who spend most of their day either meditating or practicing their moves on inanimate objects. At different times of the day, different members of the pack go off to hunt. Usually, they hunt alone, but when they manage to take down large prey, they let off a loud cry that alerts their fellows, who help haul the carcass back to the rest of the pack. While they’re pretty high on the food chain, Mienfoo and Mienshao have their own predators; individuals of both stages take turns being scouts for such creatures. When they spot one, they either team up to scare it off – or, if it’s just too powerful, make a hasty retreat into their personal burrows. One variation in their social structure that is of great interest to biologists occurs in the Dragonspiral Tower north of Icirrus City. There, they share a symbiotic relationship with the large, unusually social colony of Druddigon. The two species appear to communicate using a form of telepathy (most likely Aura-based on the Mienfoo/Mienshao side). The members of this line share prey with the Druddigon elders, as well as keeping them warm using Aura and assisting the entire Druddigon colony in hunting and colony defense during winter. In return, the younger Druddigon serve as sparring partners, and protect the Mienfoo/Mienshao from predators and excessive capture by humans. (For more info on the unique ecology of Dragonspiral Tower, see the Druddigon entry.)
In Human CultureThis line has a long history of both helping and inspiring humans. In terms of helping, they have long been used for flushing out and scaring off pest Pokémon – they would be unleashed in the burrows or nests of such Pokémon to wreak havoc and drive them out. They were also used to guard food supplies from those pest Pokemon who would steal them. The inspiration bit came mostly in influencing many human martial arts and even whip-fighting styles. Their influence is so great that they even show up frequently in martial arts movies as Pokémon sidekicks. Recently, however, an animated martial arts movie showed an elderly Mienshao as a reluctant mentor to a clumsy, gluttonous Spinda.
By Umbramatic; feel free to PM me on the forums if you have any suggestions. If I don't respond... consult the thread.