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Wooloo Line

Morphs [Oak Catalogue #]

  • Wooloo [#831]
  • Dubwool [#832]

Morphology and Notable Bio

The Wooloo Line are a group of ovine Pokémon primarily native to the Galar region which are closely related to Mareep and its evolutions. The first morph, Wooloo, stands at 0.6 m and weighs 6 kilograms on average. Their bodies are almost completely covered in a thick, snow white wool that grows to give the creatures a roughly spherical appearance, save for the grey wool that hangs in front of their ears in a manner reminiscent of braided pigtails. The thickness of this wool often partially obscures the two small horns that grow from their foreheads. Their skin is dark brown in color, and they have yellow eyes with particularly large black irises, and white, horizontal pupils. Their pupil shape helps them keep a better lookout for predators, as it gives them a more panoramic field of vision compared to Pokémon with vertical pupils note , but this ability comes at the cost of a lesser depth perception compared to humans and more predatory Pokémon such as wild Boltund.

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Wooloo are best known for the thick wool that covers their bodies, which is useful for both insulation from the elements, and protection from predators. This wool is so springy and bouncy that a Wooloo can take a significant fall off a cliff and just walk away when they hit the bottom, completely unharmed due to the wool serving as a shock absorber. note  It also grows incredibly quickly, particularly in specimens bred for wool production, necessitating their shearing at least once every three months, lest they become unable to move from the weight of their wool.

While not to the level of their Mareep cousins, a Wooloo's wool can accumulate quite a bit of static cling, which with proper training can be weaponized to create strong electrical fields. The spherical body profile given by their wool combined with their very flexible spines also allows them to quickly roll away when in danger, as Wooloo have a general distaste for engaging in conflict if they can avoid it.

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The presumed final morph, Dubwool, stands at 1.3 m and weighs 43 kg on average. They have primarily white wool with black spots covering their bodies and a black tail, with a grey ring of wool framing their faces. Dubwool have four horns, two larger ones on top of their heads facing backwards, and two lower, smaller ones facing forwards. Their face is black, save for a white patch surrounding its mouth and nose, and extending to its forehead in three petal-like tips.

Like Wooloo, Dubwool are also known for their wool, though theirs is a much springier variety that can be woven into carpets that double as trampolines, and on the living Pokémon can be used to increase the height of their jumps. While incapable of rolling like their previous morph, Dubwool can move surprisingly quickly by prancing in ways similar to cervine Pokémon such as Stantler. [[Trainer's Note: For this reason, it's important to make sure a Dubwool is properly stimulated, as they can quite simply jump over an average-sized fence if they're bored enough.]]

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Despite stereotypes regarding ovine Pokémon being unintelligent and hive minded, Wooloo and Dubwool are generally quite intelligent. They are easily capable of recognizing others of their species, other Pokèmon, and humans by their faces, and can read their emotional states through facial expressions. In the case of Wooloo, they have been known to escape cattle grids simply by rolling over them, and Dubwool can do the same by rolling on their backs if they're too large to try bouncing over.

Two primary subtypes of Wooloo are known to exist. The first has a thick wool that easily protects them from physical attacks that involve making contact, but is also extremely flammable, giving them a disadvantage against fire-based attacks that don't involve direct contact. The second subtype has wool that isn't quite as thick, but allows them to roll away from danger more easily. These Wooloo evolve into Dubwool with a heightened "flight" response if startled. A third, rarer subtype exists with a particularly bouncy wool that makes them impervious to a range of spherical and explosive projectile attacks from other Pokémon.

Rarely, some Wooloo are born with black wool and white skin. They evolve into Dubwool with black wool with white spots, and a white face with a black patch. Both are highly prized by both collectors and the clothing industry for making unique colored wool.

Habitat

Like most ovine Pokémon, Wooloo and Dubwool prefer grassland as it has the best forage for them, and are a common sight in farmland as well. Within Galar proper, they are a common sight on Routes 1 and 4, as well as the grassier portions of the Wild Area. Due to the insulating properties of their wool, Wooloo aren't particularly bothered by cooler environments and are a common sight in the Crown Tundra far to the south of Postwick. It's for this reason that they're a popular farm Pokémon in Sinnoh as well.

If necessary, Wooloo and Dubwool have been known to forage in and around cliffsides for food and for their mineral intake, their wool and thick skulls protecting them from the dangers of a sudden fall.

Diet

The Wooloo Line is exclusively herbivorous and primarily diurnal, feeding from dawn until dusk and subsiding on grasses and some legumes, with a particular love for forbs. As they tend to graze close to the ground, they can easily render a grassland bare through overgrazing, so in the wild they often travel to different feeding spots within their "home range". In captivity, this moving around is facilitated by shepherds moving them to new pasture, often assisted by canine Pokémon to keep them together.

While capable of thriving on monoculture pasture in ways that caprine Pokémon such as Skiddo Line cannot, like most ungulate Pokémon, Wooloo still require access to mineral supplements in order to stay healthy, either in the form of trace mix, or from mineral licks they find in the wild by cliffsides and caves. While generally hardy, Wooloo do find certain plants including but not limited to cherries, yew, some oaks and acorns, members of the nightshade family such as tomatoes and potatoes, rhubarb, and rhododendrons toxic, and these flora should not be included in the diet of captive specimens.note 

Hazards

The Wooloo Line is typically non-aggressive and loath to engage in combat, making them a good Pokémon for a beginning Trainer, especially if they're very young. That said, like almost all Pokémon they can still be dangerous if provoked, rutting, or if protecting their young.

Wooloo prefer to simply roll away if met with a threat, and using growls in an attempt to intimidate them if cornered. If by a cliffside, they may even just jump off it in order to further increase distance between themselves and a predator. If this doesn't work, they'll curl up and activate an adrenal response that causes them to grow thicker, but easily sheddable wool, so that their assailant will only end up with a mouthful of wool if they try biting them, and attack with tackles, headbutts, and kicks with their hind legs that can easily cause bruises and break bones. Wooloo also have highly developed enough omnisacs that combined with their intelligence allows them to quickly replicate techniques used against them in battle, even ones that would involve the use of their horns, which are normally not used in battle.

Dubwool can do much the same as their previous form, but due to their increased strength their attacks are far more likely to have someone end up in the emergency room, if not the morgue. They can also use their bouncy wool to increase the height of their jumps in order to bring their full weight crashing down on a foe, a near-guaranteed emergency room visit if used on a human. Dubwool and older Wooloo are also capable of taking numerous blows from Pokémon who attack them, only to pay the damage back tenfold as their stamina wanes. As both Pokémon are often found in flocks, there is also a serious risk of getting trampled if the Pokémon get startled and start running in their perceived assailant's direction.

As mentioned above, the Wooloo Line's thick wool makes them particularly hard to defeat with physical attacks, necessitating the use of energy-based attacks if Repels or running away is not an option.

Courting and Childrearing

While older Wooloo are capable of mating if given the opportunity in captivity, mating is otherwise the sole province of Dubwool. Members of the Wooloo Line are capable of breeding year-round, but generally do so in the spring and summer. Male Dubwool will compete by comparing horn sizes, with the male with bigger horns getting the right to mate. Occasionally, if two Dubwool compete and their horns are too close in size for a clear winner to be established, a battle will ensue where both Pokémon headbutt each other until one runs off in order to determine a winner. Older Wooloo and Dubwool have been known to breed outside of their immediate line, especially with Mareep, and compared to other Pokémon this is actually a relatively common occurrence.

After mating, the female Wooloo or Dubwool will within the next several months or so either birth on average 1-2 Wooloo lambs as is the case for most wild Dubwool, or in the case of most Wooloo and the majority of captive morphs, lay Wooloo eggs. While more than one or two Wooloo being born at a time is rare, when it does happen the mother tends to be a Dubwool due to their larger body size allowing them to more easily accommodate multiple births.

Capable of standing and rolling soon after birth, these Wooloo lambs will stay by their mothers for several months before becoming effectively independent. They will either end up staying with their birth flock, or strike out on their own to join or form a new one, as is often the case with rams.

Social Structure

Wooloo and Dubwool are highly social Pokémon who live in large flocks led by a single herd leader, often a Dubwool ram, though Dubwool ewe leaders are not uncommon. If no Dubwool are present, this role will instead go to the oldest and/or strongest Wooloo, which like their evolutions is signified by having the largest pair of horns. Apart from the leader being the one who decides where the flock goes, the social structure is otherwise fairly flat in comparison to Mareep, with little to no social stratification past affiliative groups based on parentage or personal affinity. This "go with the flow" view towards being in a flock means that they're quite willing to accept other Pokémon within their midst provided they're not predatory.

In places where both Mareep and Wooloo can be found, including farms, mixed species flocks are not uncommon. While normally peaceful due to both Pokémon's relative docility, there can be occasional clashes when both species (Particularly Mareep) attempt to figure out where the other fits in their pecking order, as each sees the other as "similar but not quite the same thing" due to differences in smell and tail length, with the exact hierarchy tending to differ depending on which species has more representatives in a given flock. This tends to be especially the case when it comes to Ampharos and Dubwool rams, so in domestic flocks a female majority tends to be preferred.

Mareep in majority Wooloo flocks tend to take after their slightly more egalitarian social structure, while Wooloo in majority Mareep flocks tend to be lower ranked due to their lesser social aggression, increased likelihood to submit if threatened, and inability to make their tails glow. Those Wooloo that do manage to make it to a higher rank in a majority Mareep flock tend to be more aggressive than usual for their species. If both are roughly equal, then the flock takes on aspects of both Pokémon's social structures, being less egalitarian than a pure Wooloo flock, but less hierarchical than a pure Mareep flock. On the more comedic end, it's not uncommon for a Wooloo to try greeting a Mareep by nuzzling, only to get inadvertently shocked by their wool, or getting a particularly bad case of static cling.

While not very territorial, Wooloo do have a home range that they prefer to travel through, and tend to stay in one place unless given a reason to leave. When threatened by a predator and running away isn't an option, they tend to bunch up together for protection, with the older ones in front, and the youngest at the center of the pile. In mixed flocks with the Mareep Line, an Ampharos' tail glow makes a potent warning system, while the superior defensive abilities of Wooloo and Dubwool allow them to serve as the outer wall in a pinch, allowing their fellow ovine Pokémon to proceed to pelt the foe with lightning bolts with relative impunity. In lieu of a leader of their own kind, Wooloo belonging to a Trainer tend to look to them for guidance instead, seeing them as their flock leader.

This strong herding instinct is also how farmers use Yamper and Boltund, among other canine Pokèmon such as the Yamper Line, to herd them from place to place as necessary. In some cases, including for culls and in poorer slaughterhouses, a designated Wooloo or Dubwool will be used to lead the rest to the killing area by taking advantage of their flocking instinct, though the leader in question will be spared. It can also work against them when dealing with Beheeyem, as the Psychic-types are able to more easily pick out a target for spiriting away this way.

In Human Culture

Similarly to the Mareep and the Skiddo Lines, the Wooloo Line has been closely associated with humans for millennia, and is believed to be one of the first to be domesticated and trained, used primarily for their wool, meatnote , milk, horns, and skins. While Wooloo wool is primarily used for clothing, cloth, carpeting, and specialty goods similarly to Mareepnote , including woolen sneakers, Dubwool wool has a few other uses.

For instance, certain Galarian tribes would wear armor partially made from Wooloo and especially Dubwool wool, similar to a linothrorax, so that projectiles such as sling stones and arrows would bounce off or in the case of the latter get caught in the wool, and wrap it around their feet so that they could if necessary easily jump high in the air in order to reach higher places quickly while gathering food, or to ambush invading forces. Further refinements over the centuries created woolen Dubwool coats made from the wool of the third subtype that could even deflect musket balls fired at medium to long range, though it ultimately didn't fare as well against minié balls and modern pointed bullets. As a result, their usage slowly dropped as battlefields continue to modernize, though these woolen coats do serve as a basis for modern body armor meant for dealing with close range combat. To this day, Dubwool wool and synthetic fabrics based on it are also used for dropping cargo supplies from great heights if parachuting them down is not an option.

As Wooloo are willing to eat certain invasive plants in some areas such as kudzu over native plants, some conservationists use them alongside members of the Mareep and Skiddo Lines in order to clear areas of the invasive plants as quickly as possible. Conversely, if it's the other way around, feral populations can prove to be a great pest when it comes to protecting native plants.

One legend about the Wooloo Line from Galar is that towards the end of the year, Wooloo and Dubwool will all face east, bow three times, and are granted the ability to use human speech from dawn until dusk. Another legend from the area of Galar ranging from Ballonlea to Spikemuth is that of fairies raising Wooloo and occasionally stealing them from humans in order to replenish their own flocks.note  Some versions of a story from the area of the world south of Galar identify a caprine Pokémon from their mythology with golden fleece as a golden winged Dubwool, with numerous arguments about what the fleece's exact meaning is meant to be, but with a majority leaning towards that of authority and kingship.

In popular culture, Wooloo and Dubwool are seen as Pokémon that best exemplify an idyllic pastoral lifestyle, which causes them to be a popular motif amongst cottagecore blogs and similar such aesthetic movements. Despite the sayings in other parts of the world that a black Dubwool is a sign of bad luck, for most in Galar it happens to be the opposite. For trainers, among the most famous associated with Wooloo are Galar's Grass-type Trainer Milo and Hop, the younger brother of former Galar Champion Leon, whose Dubwool is believed to have been with him before he even started his Gym Challenge.


Written by rmctagg09

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