Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
- Riolu [#447]
- Lucario [#448]
Riolu and Lucario compose a line of digitigrade bipedal canids that are characterized by distinctive pelts with blue, yellow, and black markings, arms and legs that each terminate with three digits, the presence of vaguely metallic bony growths on regions of their bodies, a distinctively "check"-shaped tail, and a command of the paranormal phenomena known as "aura" that is rivaled only by a small number of extraordinarily rare and powerful species of Pokémon.
A typical Riolu measures around 70 centimeters in height and weighs just over 20 kilograms. A Riolu possess a pelt dominated by blue fur, with black regions covering its upper torso, its lower legs, a pair of fleshy appendages growing from the sides of its head, a "mask" around its eyes and extending along the upper region of its snout, and a band of cream-colored fur around its neck giving a resemblance to a collar. Riolu possess a pair of prominent, rounded metallic-looking growths that extend along the majority of outer portion their lower arms.
Average individuals from Riolu's second and presumed final stage stand roughly 50 centimeters taller and typically weigh approximately 35 kilograms more than their younger counterparts. A Lucario's body structure undergoes significant changes, with the emergence of a pair of folds of skin along its legs, giving an appearance akin to that of wearing a baggy pair of furry shorts. A similar structure occurs along the intersection of a Lucario's arms with its torso, giving the impression of protruding bands. Lucario possess large, sharp, and vaguely conical spikes similar in composition to the growths on its arms as a Riolu, which include a pair protruding from its wrists, and a single spike protruding from the center of its chest. Lucario also gain more prominent ears and a second pair of head appendages upon evolution, and unlike Riolu, have their appendages located along the back as opposed to the sides of their heads. Lucario's pelt also changes dramatically with evolution, with the majority of its torso dominated by cream-colored fur. A Lucario's lower legs, forearms and paws, shoulder "bands," head appendages, inner ears, a "mask" that wraps around to incorporate the majority of the back of its head, and a "belt" wrapping around its lower torso are covered in black fur, with remaining regions covered in blue fur similar in color to that of its prior form.
In rare circumstances, there have been documented cases of Riolu and Lucario with pelts with yellow and teal regions in place of their normal blue and cream regions, which have been historically sought after within some training circles.
One of the defining physical features of Riolu and Lucario is their skeletal structure. Like a number of other Pokémon classified as being "Steel-types," Riolu and Lucario possess bones with significant levels of metallic compounds incorporated into their structures, which give their bones a vaguely metallic appearance. This quality also makes Riolu and Lucario bones markedly stronger than those of most other Pokemon, which coupled with its already formidable strength and endurance, allows it to perform physical feats well beyond the capabilities of normal human beings. At the same time, this element of Riolu and Lucario's physiology appears to cause the creatures to experience significant discomfort when exposed to particularly high or low temperatures for extended periods of time, and makes the creatures, especially individuals that have matured into Lucario, vulnerable to overheating when subjected to extremely high temperatures.
Riolu and Lucario are also defined by a evolutionary process that is triggered by the accumulation of hormones, not wholly unlike the evolution of other Pokémon such as Pichu and some evolutions of Eevee. These hormonal levels appear to accumulate gradually over time, though appear to decline significantly under conditions of emotional duress and appear to accumulate at an accelerated rate under conditions with high levels of non-hostile socialization. Curiously, it appears that even with sufficiently high hormonal levels, Riolu appear incapable of evolving at night, a phenomena that remains enigmatic to researchers to this day.
Perhaps the most notable characteristic of Riolu and Lucario is their command over the phenomena that is commonly termed "aura," with Lucario appearing to exhibit a more extensive capability to manipulate aura than its younger counterpart. One of the most prominent avenues that Riolu and its brethren exercise aura in is in combat. Members of the Riolu line appear to be capable of utilizing aura to detect opponents that would normally be out of their line of sight. In addition, members of this line appear to be able to manipulate aura in order to create implements or appendages that behave as physical objects would, which is most vividly exhibited in these creatures' use of techniques such as Metal Claw and Bone Rush. In addition, Lucario, and in some rarer cases, Riolu, have been known to utilize aura in order to cast bursts of energy known as "Aura Spheres." It is believed that the command over aura that these creatures possess also enables them to exhibit some level of control over paranormal phenomena associated with other types of Pokémon, which is supported by the range of techniques that captive Riolu and Lucario have been successfully taught, which includes a number of techniques associated with Dark-type, Psychic-type, and Ghost-type Pokémon.
Riolu and Lucario appear to also utilize this phenomenon for applications beyond combat, and display empathic properties not wholly unlike those exhibited by Pokémon such as the members of the Ralts line. Riolu appear to be capable of both detecting the emotions of other nearby creatures, as well as disseminating its own emotions with other creatures, which it appears to use as a means of long-range communication when amongst other members of its line. Lucario have been known to exhibit a command over aura that vastly exceeds the capabilities of its younger brethren, with accounts of individuals performing feats such as communicating with individual creatures almost a kilometer away, sharing coherent memories with trainers, and in some cases exhibiting what appears to be an incredibly extensive understanding of human speech and a capacity to quickly develop understandings of multiple human languages.
It should be noted that as with any creature, a Riolu's or a Lucario's command over its natural capabilities appears to vary significantly per individual, with some individuals exhibiting phenomenal capabilities with aura, while others appear to struggle to perform even very basic techniques. In addition, contrary to urban legend, the strength of the aura-related techniques utilized by a member of this line does not appear to become noticeably stronger when increasingly physically exhausted (which appears to be a gross oversimplification of some battle techniques that involve the use of Petaya berries), though there does appear to be a connection between a Riolu or Lucario's well-being and its capability to utilize aura, as severely wounded or ill individuals have been known to have their aura-related capabilities dramatically weakened.
The Riolu line appears to have three distinct submorphs, which appear to be differentiated by different psychological emphases along with subtle physiological differences. One of the most common submorphs appears to have a greater emphasis of the "flight" component of these creatures' natural "fight-or-flight" response, which allows for individuals to more readily retreat when startled. Individuals from this submorph also appear to generally have more developed leg muscles than counterparts from outside their submorph. A second, also common submorph, consists of individuals that appear to be highly resistant to being startled and appear to generally be capable of learning Aura-related techniques.at a quicker pace than counterparts from outside of their submorph. The third, and rarest submorph also possesses the most divergent behavior of the three. Unlike individuals from the two more common submorphs, individuals from this third submorph exhibit two distinct behaviors at the different stages of their lives. As Riolu, individuals from this submorph appear to possess a markedly faster response to stimuli than their more common counterparts. Upon evolution, this quickened response time appears to become negligible and a behavior that some observers believe to be an extension of Lucario's natural "fight or flight" response becomes more pronounced, which causes individuals to become markedly more aggressive when attacked with some techniques associated with "Dark-Type" Pokémon. Although study is still ongoing, this behavior does not appear to be elicited by attacks of other natures, leading some researchers to conclude that the attacks known to trigger this response affect the Auras of Lucario from this submorph.
Due to extensive and systematic overhunting for many decades, Riolu and Lucario's habitat are known for the most part via historical record. Riolu and Lucario were noted to have dwelt in forested meadows, as well as habitats more typically associated with related fighting types such as caverns and mountainous regions. As of present, Riolu and Lucario possess an extremely limited and scattered range, with the only known populations stable enough to support continued hunting consisting of an entrenched population in Unova's Challenger's Cave, a artificially maintained population at a site on the outskirts of Unova's Floccesy Town, a population within Kalos' Route 22 and a population introduced to Johto's Safari Zone. Occasional sightings of wild Riolu and Lucario beyond this range have been noted, with a significant number of sightings recorded in Sinnoh, which historically boasted a number of Riolu and Lucario populations.
Riolu and Lucario have an omnivorous diet, with a carnivorous slant that grows more pronounced in the latter stage of members of this line. Hunting is typically the domain of Lucario, though Riolu nearing evolution have been known to join hunting parties, and a typical hunting party consists of 4-6 individuals. Targeted prey vary by region, though Pokémon in the Humanshape egg group are not known to be targeted, with rare exceptions in exceedingly lean times. Hunting parties of Lucario appear to have a bias towards Rock and Steel-Type prey, which is presumably due to the relative ease with which creatures in this line can subdue such quarry, as well as the unique nutritional needs that Riolu and Lucario's skeletal structure demands. Riolu and Lucario also have a markedly greater tolerance for foods with substances that would make most other canid Pokémon severely ill, though letting a Riolu or Lucario consume large quantities of said foods, often containing substances such as caffeine, theobromine, or theophylline, is not advisable.
As with most other Pokémon, pestering or threatening creatures from this line, especially without the protection of Pokémon of one's own, is an exceedingly foolhardy course of action at best, and an exercise for trainers with a death wish in a worst-case scenario. Both Riolu and Lucario employ a range of physically-based melee attacks incorporating punches and kicks, and are capable of exerting force well beyond what their meager frames would suggest. Physically-oriented attacks by Riolu are capable of causing deep bruising, and will easily break minor bones, and potentially cause hairline fractures in major bones. Physically-oriented attacks by Lucario are by far more serious, which are easily capable of breaking major bones and causing severe internal bleeding, and in severe cases can inflict injuries that require immediate hospitalization, if not outright mortal wounds. It is important to note that depending upon an individual Riolu or Lucario's mastery of aura techniques, aura-based assaults can be every bit as dangerous as their physical counterparts, if not more so. Although an implement or appendage generated via aura may appear to be nothing but translucent blue light, it will behave very much as if it were a physical object. Of special note are Aura Spheres, which unlike many other techniques used by members of this line incorporating aura, appears to have effects that are more in line with psychic assaults (which incidentally, are occasionally utilized by captive Lucario that have been taught the technique dubbed "Psychic"). Researchers are still presently at a loss to describe how Aura Sphere affects its victims, though this can perhaps be best approximated by suggestions in folklore that Aura Spheres represent a direct assault on an entity's "life energy."
Beyond combat-related hazards, poor or abusive training of a Riolu or Lucario is very much a liability, which when coupled with these creatures' relative popularity among trainers and level of involvement required to train one in a healthy manner, has led to a large number of Pokémon from this line being undertrained in captivity. Both creatures in this line, though especially Lucario, have been noted to harbor grudges to affronts to their dignity, which depending upon the severity of the offense and individual temperament, may result in anything from one's Riolu or Lucario becoming more uncooperative and hostile to launching an outright attack. As such, it is generally not recommended to trade captive Lucario or attempt to capture wild Lucario, as such individuals are difficult for even veteran trainers to control.
In addition, members of this line that are not properly socialized with human beings other than their trainer have been known to become overly-protective of their trainers, especially as Lucario, which has led to more than one aspiring trainer getting his or her license revoked. Individuals without a proper grasp of their own strength or physiology also are another potential source of danger, which has resulted in numerous incidents of trainers being hospitalized by overly rough play by members of this line, as well as well-intentioned attempts by poorly-trained Lucario to emulate human practices of hugging as a sign of affection.
Reproduction among members of the Riolu line is biologically restricted to Lucario, as Riolu are not sexually mature. Courtship among Lucario appears to occur between members of two different social units, not wholly unlike behaviors observed by members of the Cubone line, and Lucario appear to be extremely reluctant to seek mates from their own social units. Courtship is typically initiated by males (though in regions with populations with matriarchal social structures, inversions of this practice have been recorded), who attempt to woo potential mates by gifts of food and assorted trinkets, followed by displays of strength and proficiency with aura via ritualized battles with the female. Upon the female's selection of a suitor, both the male and female seek the blessing of the respective heads of their social units for their union, upon which, the female (or male in matriarchal structures) will join her (or his) mate's social unit. Curiously, the practice of "arranged" courtship appears to be markedly less common among Lucario than among other Pokémon with similar courtship patterns, with examples of this behavior virtually unheard of outside of the population in Unova's Challenger's Cave.
Lucario typically mate in secluded areas not far from the rest of the members of their social unit, and seldom bear more than one offspring per mating cycle. Unlike most Pokémon, it appears that a significant majority of unions among Lucario last for the duration of their members' lifespans, with the occasional dissolved union resulting in the female (or male) once again entertaining offers of courtship from other individuals outside of the social units that she (or he) had previously associated with.
Due to the immense rarity of Lucario in natural settings, it is not uncommon for wild Lucario to both court and accept offers of courtship from Pokémon outside of their immediate line, though courtship with Pokémon outside of the Humanshape egg group appears to be rare outside of captivity.
Like other mammalian Pokémon, Lucario possess a peculiar form of ovoviviparity in which their eggs are capable of successfully hatching both within and outside a female individual's body, though it should be noted that it is exceedingly rare for Riolu eggs to hatch externally outside of captivity outside of the event of multiple offspring. Newly hatched/born Riolu are blind and are dependent upon their parents and any relations for protection and sustenance for the first weeks of their lives. Gender ratios vary significantly per population and via method in which a Riolu egg hatches, though almost all present and historical populations of Riolu and Lucario have been observed to possess gender ratios skewed towards males. This phenomenon is particularly pronounced in captivity, where the average gender ratio among newly hatched Riolu averages 7 males for every female.
Wild Riolu and Lucario appear to organize themselves into structures that appear to share characteristics with both pack structures among other Pokémon, as well as clan structures amongst human societies, which typically average between 10-15 individuals (with the largest such structure on record containing over 60 individuals). Wild Riolu and Lucario organize themselves into extended familial units, with units typically led by an "Alpha" male Lucario (though it should be noted that historically, populations in Sinnoh were matriarchal in structure). These units appear to possess a remarkably intimate structure, with both father and mother raising their offspring for 18-24 months with the support of the fellow Lucario of a given social unit. During this period, a Riolu will be taught Aura techniques by its father, though it appears that this role is typically assumed by mothers in more matriarchal groups. After this initial period, said offspring are gradually weaned off their parents' support and into becoming independent members of their familial unit afterward up until their evolution. Despite the presence of a formal head, these familial units seem to lack the degree of rigidity and degree of hierarchical organization of more typical pack structures among Pokémon, with authority organized first by generation, then by respective strength among members within a common generation. Clans of Riolu and Lucario are generally very cohesive, though it appears that these groupings periodically split into new clan structures along lines of immediate relation following the passing of all of the clan members within a familial head's generation, which generally are on good terms with each other. Riolu and Lucario clans also often align themselves with other units into blocs via exchanging members via ties through courtship, not unlike the practice of marital alliances in some human societies.
Riolu and Lucario have what appear to be socially-instilled systems of honor, which are disseminated from parents to their offspring. These codes of honor cover a wide variety of behavior, ranging from conduct in combat, courtship, respecting the territory of other groups of Riolu and Lucario, and interactions with unrelated Pokémon. These honor systems vary by region and among familial units, though individuals that deviate excessively from the accepted systems of honor have been recorded as being shunned by their peers, a practice which appears to carry over on a larger scale for familial units whose code of honor diverges too radically from those of nearby groups of Riolu and Lucario.
In Human Society
Riolu are known to have generally playful temperaments, while their older counterparts are known to typically possess a more serious but loyal temperament. These qualities have long made Riolu and Lucario a fixture of human tradition, with numerous folk tales extolling the exploits or loyalty of a trainer's Riolu or Lucario. This long-standing position in folklore has led to Riolu and Lucario, as well as phenomena associated with the two becoming deeply entrenched in media. Among the most prominent manifestations of this influence on media are a number of franchises revolving around human users of aura, including a massive science-fiction franchise as well as myriad cartoon series, a popular comic-book superhero with a fighting style modeled after that exhibited by members of this line, and the presence of creatures in this line in a truly staggering range of media. These creatures also appear to have influenced fashion trends to an extent, as hair clips with patterns modeled after those present on the ears of creatures from this line were immensely popular for a time. Sadly, Riolu and Lucario also carry the dubious distinction of being the poster children for the adverse effects of media publicity upon Pokémon, as wild populations of these creatures have been decimated by overhunting and poaching, which ironically, has lead to further media exposure of these creatures due to the plight of their wild populations.
Written by Tracer Bullet and The Librarian