Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Surskit [#283]
- Masquerain [#284]
Notable BiologySurskit's most incredible trait, and the one that will almost instantly catch attention from Trainers, is its ability to move on the water's surface as any other Pokémon would do on ground. This is achieved thanks to the interaction between the tips of its legs and the very surface of water, as well as the way the legs are affixed to the body. Surskit's legs are made of a non-permeable skin that is uniform at microscale and can be bathed by an oil the legs secrete from glands near the bottom of the thorax. At the bottom of each leg, there is a set of microscopic structures of folded tissue that collect some of the oil and form a sort of "oil pillow" atop of which the leg itself stands while the Pokémon strides on water. This provides a double-layer mechanism (oil density plus surface tension) that grants Surskit mobility on top of even soft currents of water. By selectively applying pressure to the oil pillows or forcing its legs closer or further from each other, forming elastic arcs, Surskit can change its direction almost instantly while walking on water. The oil pillows provide enough contact surface that the Pokémon can, under certain circumstances, let the main body "press" against a wave crest in order to approach a nearby object of its interest. Because of all these abilities and even when not explicitly being swim-capable, Surskit is widely considered a swift swimmer that can gain enough speed and agility in ample bodies of water as to outmaneuver and move preemptively on most foes. Surskit's cap antenna helps the Pokémon measure the time of the day as well as the atmospheric pressure, two key factors in its ability to stride on water. It also secretes an oily substance that bathes the cap's hairs; this has an effect of making grabbing a Surskit from above more difficult, thus protecting it from direct aerial predation, and lessening the effects of direct sunlight on its skin. The oily secretion is essentially made of nutrients and gland secretions that Surskit is in need to dispose of quickly, and thus it can still attract a number of Pokémon that happen to like its taste. Heracross and Venonat/Venomoth seem to be more attracted to the syrup-like substance. Masquerain, just like its preevolution, is a strange Pokémon whose most interesting traits are related to its incredible mobility. Despite its small wings relative to the body size, it can move swiftly and consistently even when pushed by air currents. More importantly, Masquerain can literally hover in place and rotate its body in any of the three axes in calm enough winds. The mystery lies in the disposition and shape of the wings, which are deltoidal in shape, made of thick porous tissue and affixed to the lower part of the body just like Surskit's legs were. Small calypter structures surround the base of the wings and push some air out of the way, helping cancel the lateral currents from one wing that may affect the others and providing extra stability. Another particular characteristic that may seem to strongly clash with the above for the uninitiated in Bug Pokémon physiology is the large wing-like structures that emerge at the sides of Masquerain's thorax. Those structures that many people confuse with Masquerain's actual wings are actually a two-layered membrane that hangs from their long antennae. Made of keratin tissue with vacuoles that connect to the exterior and featuring captivating designs, these "fake wings" actually function as a device to regulate Masquerain's flight speed; their most important function, however, is that of supporting the offense and defense of the Pokémon with sophisticated and intimidating optical effects, plus their patterns that imitate the eyes of other species. This works thanks to the microscopic-level, 3D-boomerang-like design of the cells, allowing Masquerain to reflect and under some circumstances emit light in different angles, shades, and even intensities for different adaptation strategies, up to and including: captivation of other bugs by the highly-changing designs, distraction of a pursing foe due to the sudden change of the (apparent) colour and shape of its prey, intimidation of a foe by the apparent focus of the "alien" eyes, saturation of the sight of a nearby opponent by quickly shuffling the frequency of light reflected and emitted towards the opponent, and, of course, attraction of potential sexual partners by arranging displays of visual elaboration.
HabitatSurskit mostly inhabits water ponds in near-tropical areas. As they need a firm surface to both feed and rest, they are easier to find in thickets or nests of other Pokémon that are already close to water. Masquerain also inhabit near-tropical areas, but spread over a large area and move quickly, as they need to avoid both intense rain and intense sunlight. Due to their need to protect themselves from rain and cold in order to be capable of flight, Masquerain gather around man-made constructions like churches and boulevards when they sense rain is coming. For this very reason, it is also unwise to try and shoo them if they come to a building all of a sudden, since if they have chosen to do, so rain is close enough that they'd rather fight for their spots than try to find another one.
DietBoth Surskit and Masquerain feed off of small insects, flowers, and nutrients that are found floating in the water, and decaying fruit that has recently fell from trees. Surskit can also feed itself from the microorganisms that live in small ponds, and it is not uncommon in the city outskirts that after a long and rainy night, ponds born from street holes and gardening arrangements are boiling with competing Surskit that sometimes appear to have come from nowhere.
HazardsSurskit and Masquerain are particularly peaceful species — even considering Masquerain's overall appearance. They make their living by picking observation spots and recurringly reuniting to bait invaders away from their area. As with any Pokémon, though, they are far from innocent. A Masquerain may surreptitiously infiltrate another Pokémon's nest near water and tidy a hidden space for its eggs nearby, taking advantage of the relative protection surface-bound flowers and rocks offer to grant its offspring quick access to food once they develop. Both Surskit and Masquerain will bait a predator to a relatively cramped space where other individuals may be waiting, ready to strike on spots in the opponent's body they have studied already during their younger age. Most importantly, Masquerain are not strangers to attacking a Pokémon's recently hatched offspring to bait or distract larger prey. Surskit and Masquerain pose no immediate danger to a human Trainer or any person who spends most of their time close to their habitat; if anything, they will rather be more of an annoyance due to their relative sense of "entitlement" towards their landscape features, as well as a trained Masquerain's eagerness to pick its Trainer's head as a selected observation spot. Both member of the species are known to steal small, relatively flat objects like photographs, fruit peels, paper clips, and coins that they use to secure their waterbound strongholds as well as augment their overall surface. Because of how structurally important the diverse objects they collect become, they are more than reticent to give them back and will usually gather to defend them fiercely if any attempt to steal back is made. As a particular example of the above, after the release of the Regi Pokémon in Hoenn a couple of years ago, reports indicate that passing Trainers found the ponds near the golem's resting spot almost fully covered with leaves and peeled bark during the course of the autumn.
Courting and ChildrearingIn the works.
Social StructureIn the works.
TrainingBoth members of the line can be easily trained, although the relative uniqueness of their type traits makes it a surprise to novice trainers as to what attacks can a Surskit or Masquerain learn, or how they move to evade attacks. Surskit can be highly elusive on water, and because of their nature, they like to play fetching games (so long as you allow them to keep the prize when they need it). It can be sometimes frustrating to a Trainer swimming in a pool or a river who after coming back to the surface can not find their Surskit no matter how much they try. Here is a quick advice to locate your Surskit: he is always watching you; let yourself be submerged again and repeatedly tap the surface of the water with your fingers while underwater. After a while (support yourself on another, trusted Water Pokémon to provide extra oxygen if needed), you'll notice your Surskit drawing spiral-like curves as it closes to your position. As Masquerain can use their visual patterns for a diverse array of both battle and non-battle strategies (very appreciated in Contests), it is recommended for Trainers looking to specialize in Masquerain to acquire the standard-sanctioned Technical sets that teach and train a more fine-grained usage of the visual patterns. Trainers should also make an effort to get used to being close to their Pokémon, as while Big Masquerain Eyes Are Watching the Trainer will not want to feel scrutinized by their Pokémon.
Article contribution by Silent Reverence. See other entries HERE