Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Murkrow [# 198] Corvustultus maligna
- Honchkrow [# 430] C. magnus
The Pokémon of the Murkrow line are corvid creatures that are characterized by prominent head plumage arranged in forms roughly resembling hats, an often strong attraction to shiny objects, intimately social flocking structures, and a capability to adapt to life in close proximity to human beings that is matched by only a handful of other Pokémon.
The initial form of this line, C. maligna
, more commonly known by its colloquial name, Murkrow, is a small avian Pokémon that stands roughly 50 centimeters tall at rest and weighs just over two kilograms, with females generally trending larger than males. One of Murkrow's most distinctive features is its plumage, which includes head feathers that form a series of three fused cones with a prominent rim running just above its eyes, with an appearance comparable to that of a Mismagius' "hat," which trend proportionally taller among males. Other features of a Murkrow's plumage include a ruffled "collar" of feathers at the base of its neck, and a broomlike arrangement of tail feathers sprouting from a red featherless region with a covering comparable in structure to Murkrow's cere above its prominent yellow "overbitten" beak. Murkrow's legs are covered in yellowish skin with feet consisting of three nailed digits and a heel spur. Murkrow typically possess blue-black plumage, though Murkrow with significantly darker plumage are known to compose significant minorities of some Murkrow populations, with one recorded population in the Sevii Islands consisting primarily of such individuals.
The second, and presumed final form of this line, C. magnus
, or Honchkrow, is a Pokémon of similar physiology that dramatically larger than its younger counterpart, with the typical individual standing 90 centimeters tall at rest and weighing almost 30 kilograms. One of the most dramatic changes to Honchkrow's appearance with evolution is its plumage. Although the bulk of a Honchkrow's plumage is composed of feathers that are similarly colored to those it possessed as a Murkrow, Honchkrow also possess regions covered by red plumage along the inner portion of their wings and tips of their tail "brooms" and white plumage along their breasts, the base of their tails, and two vaguely crescent-shaped markings along their eyes. A Honchkrow's "hat" also changes with evolution, with the formation of a pair of wide and closely spaced fused cones with a prominent brim at the base, along with a spike-like cluster of feathers at the back of its head, giving an appearance not wholly unlike a fedora decorated with a feather. Other changes to Honchkrow's appearance include a beak with more evenly upper and lower portions, while still retaining a mild "overbite," and the presence of legs similar in structure to those of its prior form covered in black skin.
On rare occasions, individuals from this line have been known to carry a mutant phenotype that dramatically diverges from those more commonly exhibited by Pokémon from this line, and are sought after in some training circles. These mutants possess regions of magenta plumage in place of regions of blackish plumage among their non-mutant counterparts, and possess beaks, and as Murkrow, legs, that are lighter yellow than those possessed by typical Murkrow and Honchkrow.
Some of the most distinctive facets of the biology of Pokémon from this line stem from their mental capabilities. Both Murkrow and Honchkrow are known to possess highly developed problem solving skills, with individuals having been recorded utilizing techniques and impromptu tools and in order to reach food and water, which have included the use of rocks to displace water in bottles, the practice of leaving food items such as nuts on roadways in order to be crushed by passing traffic for easier consumption, and the use of wire to retrieve small objects. Creatures from this line also appear to be capable of more readily learning human commands, and are known to have a capacity to be remarkably prolific speakers of human tongues. Trained Murkrow have been known to develop vocabularies of roughly 500 words in human speech, with the most prolific of their evolved counterparts known to have commands of vocabularies of over 2500 human words. A small number of Murkrow and Honchkrow that have been taught human speech also appear to be capable of readily composing short narratives told entirely in human words, though as of present, there does not appear to be a clear correlation between vocabulary size and the quality of the resulting narrative among such Pokémon.
Creatures from this line often exhibit attractive and hoarding behaviors towards bright, shiny objects, which manifests itself to varying extents among individuals from this line. These behaviors occasionally manifest themselves in interactions with other creatures, as murders of Murkrow are known to squabble both amongst themselves, and with groups of other Pokémon exhibiting similar tendencies such as Meowth over hoards of shiny baubles.
Like a number of other creatures, Murkrow appears to evolve into Honchkrow via exposure to a combination of chemical and radiation triggers. These same triggers are known to be carried by objects known as "Dusk Stones," which are often used as a means of accelerating evolution in captivity, and more rarely in wild settings. It should be noted that the most effective methods of accelerating this evolution are precipitated via complete absorption of a Dusk Stone, often through a powdered or balm medium, which leave the stone unable to be used to accelerate multiple evolutions.
As of present, there are three known submorphs of the Murkrow line, each trending towards slight biological and behavioral differences from each other. One of the most common submorphs appears to exhibit deep sleep patterns on a highly regimented basis, and appears to be for the most part incapable of exhibiting these patterns outside of a regular time of day, which keeps Murkrow and Honchkrow from this submorph largely immune from techniques that would otherwise abruptly trigger sleep. Another submorph appears to consist of individuals that generally possess keener eyesight than counterparts from other submorphs, and at the same time appear to trend markedly more aggressive than counterparts from other submorphs, and appear to more readily target vulnerable regions of opponents' bodies as well as to generally possess a more tenuous grasp of battle etiquette in captivity. The third and rarest submorph consists of individuals that appear to exhibit significantly different traits upon evolution. As Murkrow appear to have noticeably faster response to stimuli. As Honchkrow, such individuals appear to lose this quickened response to stimuli, but at the same time appear to exhibit markedly more aggressive behavior towards groups of assailants after individual assailants from the group have been subdued in combat.
Although their native environments are forested regions, Pokémon from the Murkrow line have long been known to live in the immediate vicinity of human settlements. Creatures from this line favor areas that possess high locations that are suitable for constructing nests out of the reach of potential predators, such as treetops or ledges on buildings, or in the case of the population in the Sevii Islands, in elevated crags within sea caves.
Murkrow enjoy a wide range, with stable populations outside of urban areas recorded in areas including regions along Routes 7, 16, and 18 in Kanto, in Sinnoh's Eterna Forest, and within a small region overlapping with Route 209 encompassing Sinnoh's Lost Tower, and in a region to the south of Unova's Route 14. As of present, no known stable populations of Honchkrow have been documented outside of Unova. Historically, Hoenn used to support a small number of Murkrow populations in tropical environment, though nowadays they are normally found flying far above the region.
Pokémon in the Murkrow line possess an omnivorous diet, with preferences for plant matter and meat shaped by the relative abundance of nearby food sources. Although Pokémon from this line are typically seen as scavengers, Murkrow and Honchkrow are known to engage in active hunting, as well as to feed upon carrion, and have been recorded feeding on a truly astonishing variety of small creatures, including insectoid quarry, small terrestrial creatures, fish, and the eggs and young of other avian Pokémon. Murkrow and its evolution are also recorded regularly consuming a wide variety of plant matter, including berries and seeds. Individuals living in near humans have been recorded consuming food scraps and other refuse that can be encountered, as well as feeding upon some plants grown as crops, which has led many agricultural circles to consider these creatures pests.
Although their depictions within human media often borders upon libel, Murkrow and Honchkrow are by no means creatures to be dealt with lightly. Both stages of this line utilize a variety of attacks that incorporate peckings, tackles, and slashes with talons. Although such attacks from Murkrow are not likely to cause serious harm, barring attacks by especially strong individuals, it should be noted that attacks of such a nature by fully evolved creatures from this line trend markedly stronger, and are known to cause serious or otherwise potentially life-threatening injuries without a significant amount of effort. Although uncommon, particularly strong individuals from both stages of the Murkrow line are also known to utilize techniques incorporating paranormal phenomena to assail opponents, including the technique known as "Dark Pulse," which appear to be capable of causing severe psychic trauma. Both members of this line are also known to attempt to deliberately attempt to lead opponents astray when threatened, which should be kept in mind if one finds oneself engaged in combat with a wild individual from this line in rugged or otherwise unfamiliar terrain.
It should be noted that within a wild context, assaults by Murkrow often involve entire murders, which even among a humble murder of 20 Murkrow, is capable of inflicting wounds serious enough to necessitate prompt hospitalization. Group assaults typically do not involve Honchkrow, which are typically content to order subordinate members of their murder to assail opponents, though group assaults that do involve attacks by Honchkrow appear to have a noticeably higher incidence of fatalities. Trainers are encouraged to avoid engaging individual Murkrow repeatedly in a small area if at all possible, as murders will more often than not come to the defense of a beleaguered member. Trainers that find themselves in hostile contact with a murder of Murkrow are encouraged to scatter food or light-reflective objects in order to appease or otherwise distract individual members of a murder, or failing that to use repels or attacks such as Whirlwind in order to buy time to escape.
In a more domestic setting, it should be noted that Murkrow and Honchkrow will often exhibit hoarding or otherwise possessive tendencies towards shiny objects that they encounter lying about, including spare change, jewelry, and optical discs, a tendency which can lead to awkward misunderstandings with other persons and attacks by more aggressive individuals if not properly checked by training. As with other Pokémon, insufficient or improper socialization of a captive Murkrow or Honchkrow will often lead to overprotective behaviors by such Pokémon.
Both stages of the Murkrow line are capable of reproducing, with reproduction among the first stage of this line more commonly recorded in the wild by virtue of its comparative abundance. Courtship among both stages of the Murkrow line appears to be initiated by females, and appears to incorporate a number of independent behaviors. Some of the most commonly observed phenomena in courting rituals among different populations of Murkrow include the display of flight competence via aerial acrobatics, displaying accumulated baubles by incorporating a portion of a hoard into a nest built for a potential mate, and displays of head plumage among males. As with any other Pokémon, courtship rituals among Murkrow and its evolution have been known to periodically devolve into open conflict in more heated contexts. After the selection of a mate, a male and female Pokémon from this line will mate in their nest, laying a typical clutch of 1-5 eggs, with average clutch sizes varying by morph. Pokémon from this line typically remain together for at least 3-4 mating cycles before seeking different mates, with a notable proportion of unions among these Pokémon lasting for the duration of their members' lives. Creatures from this line are known to be capable of reproducing with Pokémon from other lines, though this behavior is seldom recorded in a wild context.
Murkrow and Honchkrow exhibit cooperative monogamous breeding behavior, with chicks being cared for by a familial unit consisting of two parents and siblings from prior mating cycles. After becoming fully fledged, a Murkrow typically remains within such a familial unit for 4-5 years before leaving to find a mate of its own, either within its own murder, or less commonly, from another murder of Murkrow.
Both Murkrow and Honchkrow live in murders of 20-35 individuals, often composed of members of 2-4 internal familial units, which occasionally maintain a presence in other murders, with vastly larger murders occasionally recorded, including a murder of over 100 individuals along Route 209 in Sinnoh. Murders are typically led by Honchkrow or particularly strong Murkrow, with leadership generally trending towards female heads. Within a murder, hierarchy is typically devolved along familial lines, and is further devolved within families. Unlike a number of other avian Pokémon with flocking mechanisms, familial ties within murders are generally fairly intimate, with an exchange of individuals between two murders on good terms often serving to form closer ties between the two, whereas individuals hailing from a murder that are on poor terms with each other, often due to disputes over territory, food, or collections of baubles, often face internal harassment or ostracization from their peers. Murkrow and Honchkrow occasionally form groups with Pokémon from entirely unrelated lines, a phenomena which is most notable in the population along Route 209, where members of the Misdreavus line have been observed interacting intimately with local Murkrow populations, with a small number of murders having been documented being lead by local Mismagius in place of the typical Murkrow or Honchkrow.
In Human Society
Despite the relative ease with which Pokémon from this line can be trained, Murkrow and Honchkrow have both historically been reviled in human folklore and tradition as devious, if dim-witted, tricksters and harbingers of bad omens. The Murkrow
, in which the titular pokemon intrudes on an unsuspecting widower, is one of the most famous and chilling poems written in the English language. Creatures from this line in relatively recent historical eras have become intimately associated with greed and the criminal underworld, a perception which has continued to be reinforced in modern eras by the apparent favor shown towards these creatures by modern criminals. This unflattering portrayal continues to manifest itself in modern media, with Pokémon from this line typically being depicted unfavorably, ranging from the use of creatures from this line as weak enemies in role playing games and a cult platforming title
, to having murders of these creatures employed as weaponized summons in the third installment of a critically praised first-person action game
, to employing their stereotype as harebrained buffoons in a series of commercials for window cleaning fluid. Subversions to this tendency exist, including the use of a Murkrow as a major character's familiar in a long-running tabletop gaming webcomic
, the depiction of a witch's Murkrow familiar in a story revolving around a glassblower's children as being capable of only seeing good in the world following the loss of one of its eyes from staring down an enchanted well, the use of a murder of Murkrow as a source of support towards a Phanpy with exceptionally large ears in an animated film
, and the depiction of a murder of Murkrow as assistants to the prince of a magical kingdom of feline Pokémon
. In a popular web serial
, a major character selects a Murkrow they accidentally stabbed to be used as a recurring motif, later merging their future self from an offshoot timeline with it.