The sun scourged the land below, which felt great for Kenneth the Vulpix. He wagged six buff yellow tails, each as large as his body. His four sage green paws walked upon the ground with ease. He carried a pouch around his waist, tight against his golden-yellow fur and pale white belly and chest. His royal purple eyes glistened in the sunlight.
He stopped before a forest. “So, this is the mysterious Trevenant Forest.” He grinned wide. “Looks like an amazing place to explore!”
The Trevenant Forest was once known as the Torerra Woods five hundred years ago. History told that it held a beautiful village at the heart of the forest, filled with multiple types of Grass Pokémon. A shattered comet, however, showered over the lands, killing much of the Pokémon within. While the forest recovered a century, few entered the renamed Trevenant Forest, and the ones that returned refused to say anything they saw.
The forest’s shadows lay on the trees and ground, blacker than any shadow elsewhere. Vines crawled around the trees and branches as though choking them. No sound, not even the wind’s whispered, came from within. Any Pokémon who saw it would not believe that this forest still lived, instead believing a Zoroark’s illusion covered it.
Despite such an unnerving sight, Kenneth walked into the forest.
As soon as he lay a single paw in the forest’s boundary, the clear blue sky blackened with no stars shining above. Kenneth lifted his head, folding his right ear to the side. He took a step back, and the blue sky returned. He grinned and pulled out a notebook, flipping it open. He wrote in it with careful paw strokes.
Trevenant Forest blocked off the sky as soon as anyone stepped within it. For anyone else, it would be unnerving. For me, it looked amazing how quickly its effects took place. There is something in here. I know it.
“So far, so good.” Kenneth picked up the notebook with his mouth and placed it in the pouch again. “Now then, to see what you’re hiding.”
He stepped into the forest again, ignoring the blackening sky.
An hour, or maybe five, passed as Kenneth walked through the forest. Any sense of time became lost within its shadows, which he wrote down. The forest felt normal temperature-wise, yet the air tried to strangle him. He ignored it, even adding it to his notes. He walked onward until he reached his mark, a tree branch shaped like a K on a dead tree trunk.
He pulled out his notebook and wrote:
Found my mark for the third time, despite going straight. That proves my theory that the trees changed position. Whatever it is hiding, it won’t give it up so easily.
“Hmm.” Kenneth tapped against the notebook. “I guess this would unnerve any sensible Pokémon, but nothing too out there. At least, not yet. And there must be those who are loads more braver than I am. So, what is it here that makes them so horrified that they refused to talk about it?”
He glanced around, with darkness showing outlines of trees, and he paused. The choking sense tightened when he faced one direction. An idea formed in his head, and he grinned. He turned back to his notebook and wrote into it again.
The choking sensation grew when facing a specific direction. I will follow it as best as possible.
Kenneth stuffed the notebook into his bag before following the choking sensation. With every step he took, it tightened a bit like a collar a size too small. He wheezed through his mouth while forcing himself forward. He squinted his eyes, with tears flowing out from the pain. Despite that, he thrust himself forward.
“I. Am. Not giving up. This easily.”
The choking sensation released at once as though it snapped in half and fell off his neck. He almost stumbled onto the ground, but he remained standing. He wheezed in and out, catching his breath. He opened his eyes and turned ahead. He gasped in shock, widening them.
Ahead stood a village, but not wreckage as he expected. Instead, it remained bustling, full of Pokémon of many types but mostly Grass-types. Two-story buildings stood, with vines crawling up there but in joy instead of decay.
“Ah! A newcomer!” A Pokémon said beside Kenneth. It grabbed Kenneth by the head and pushed him forward. “It’s been two hundred twenty-three years since we last saw someone!”
Kenneth flinched, confused about how this Pokémon snuck up on him; it felt like the other materialized out of nowhere. He turned to the other Pokémon and almost spoke, but the words died in his throat. Instead, his eyes widened in shock.
There stood a Nuzleaf, with a single green leaf on its head and bulky, beige thighs with black moldy dots on them. Its thin brown arm rubbed against Kenneth’s head instead of the mitten-like hands, with thorns on the back of the hand and elbow. Its face turned to him, white with a shaky black outline as though a young Pokémon drew it on air. When it opened its mouth, it remained black with no reflection coming off it.
“And what’s this?” An Ivysaur appeared beside Kenneth out of nowhere. The plant on its back looked dead, brown instead of green and pink. Much like the Nuzleaf, the head was white with a shaky black outline. One of its vines reached into Kenneth’s pouch and pulled out his notebook, flipping it open. “Notes about our beautiful forest?”
“H-hey!” Kenneth said. He wiggled toward the Ivysaur, but the Nuzleaf kept him close. “That’s mine!”
“And it’s full of lies.” The Ivysaur breathed into the notebook. It browned and decayed to the point that it fell into pieces. The Ivysaur tossed what remained away. “Come on, look at the sky!” Kenneth turned above, which remained black despite the clearing. “Look at how blue it is!”
“Sounds like the last Pokémon we dealt with.” The Nuzleaf said. It shook its head. “That Scraggy was deplorable.”
“You tell it! Nehehehe.” The Ivysaur laughed. “Still, our lovely shiny Vulpix, you came at the right time! The time of our festival!”
“Um, what?” Kenneth asked.
The two Pokémon pushed Kenneth to the main road, where multiple Pokémon, most of them Grass-types, danced or celebrated on the street. Each one had some decay, like a Lucario with rusty spikes or a Torterra carrying a dead tree. They also held sketchy heads, each one childish in design. Kenneth felt his heart slam against his chest, begging him to run. Instead, he let the others push him forward.
The Pokémon turned to him, stopping their celebration as well. Kenneth could not help but feel even more unnerved by that. They made a path for the three, with the Nuzleaf and the Ivysaur thanking them. They let Kenneth go before the course.
“At the heart of it, you’ll find our sacred fire,” the Nuzleaf said.
“It helps kept our village survive when the comet struck,” the Ivysaur said.
“Give yourself to the fire. Join it and us.”
“Yes. Not even Flash Fire could save you.”
“Or, you could always run away, as all the others did.”
“Like the others did,” all of the villager Pokémon said. They spoke with a monotone voice.
“If you do, don’t worry. We won’t follow.”
“But don’t speak about us again. We don’t like the rest of the world to know we’re still alive.”
“Nehehehe. Are you ready?”
Kenneth stood in front of the makeshift path. He sweated all over his body. Part of him wanted to run as fast as possible. After all, he realized the truth of the village, that it had become an undead land. Still, he felt a deeper truth lay within this fire they mentioned. So, he swallowed and stepped forward.
As soon as he stepped within, the Pokémon crowded behind him as though preventing his escape. He ignored that and continued walking forward. He kept his gaze ahead, frozen like an ice sculpture. He forced one paw step forward, going deeper into the village. Whispers came from all around him.
“He-he’s actually doing it.”
“Za! But he will run. I just know it!”
“He’s going farther than any other before.”
“Will he be the one?”
Kenneth ignored the whispering, instead focusing forward.
Ahead stood wooden decking, where a Meowscarada stood. Its fur held various shades of brown, with mushrooms growing on each shoulder. The cape had brown vines, which crawled down and covered the decking. The ‘ears’ on the mask-like face had moldy black along with the eyes, with no other color remaining.
Kenneth the Vulpix climbed up the stairs and approached the Meowscarada.
“Welcome!” The Meowscarada’s voice felt cold, like the dead of winter. “We have been waiting five hundred years for someone to join our festival! Ah, but you are probably confused, aren’t you?”
Kenneth wanted to say, ‘You think?!’ Instead, he answered, “Yes.”
“Ah, you are.” The Meowscarada bent down and rubbed Kenneth’s ears. Kenneth resisted the urge to run away. It continued, “You see, we celebrated our yearly festival when the comet fragment struck, killing us all. However, its shard, which glistened like fire, brought us to life one by one. I was the last to return.
“We cannot leave or pass on, instead remaining here frozen in time. The reason for it is because the shard bound our life to it. It seeks a host, a living one we cannot provide. Thus, we remained undead ever since.”
“O-oh.” Kenneth nodded. “That-that sounds horrible.”
“It’s such a curse, one that we wish ended.”
“We wished ended,” the surrounding Pokémon said.
“Our only hope for freedom from this curse is to provide our sacred fire, the shard, a host. We wish it to be you.”
“Me?” Kenneth swallowed. “Why?”
“Because you did something no one ever did,” the Meowscarada answered. “Coming here without fleeing.”
“Wh-what will happen to me?” Kenneth asked. The urge to run increased a lot.
“We don’t know. But we don’t believe it’s anything horrible.” The Meowscarada smiled with lips closed. Kenneth felt it lied to him, that it did know what would happen. “So, will you approach the sacred fire?”
The Meowscarada swung its arm toward a building. Like a fire, red, orange, and yellow light shone through its window. It held an unnatural beauty, as though it did not belong in this world. Kenneth stared at it with wonder before he swallowed.
Fear crept throughout his body. He wanted to run with the full knowledge of the truth of this horrible forest and worst village. Instead, he turned to the Meowscarada and the rest of the Pokémon, with all their eyes on him. From their undead eyes, he knew at last what he should do.
He steeled himself and stepped toward that building. “I will, for you all.”
He stepped down the decking and approached the building with the fiery windows. With every step he took, the Pokémon dissolved into dust. The buildings, which once remained whole, crumbled into nothing. Kenneth entered the building just as it dissolved into nothing. Instead, he became surrounded by a heavy mist.
“Huh?” Kenneth twisted around. “Did-did I break the curse? But-but I—”
“There never was a curse.”
Kenneth blinked and turned ahead. The Meowscarada stood before him, the fur shades of green instead of decayed brown. Mushrooms no longer lay on its shoulders. The ‘mask’ and its lazy pink eyes returned to normal. It grinned, showing its white teeth.
“Wh-what are you talking about?” Kenneth took a step back. “This-this is even creepier than before.”
“Ah, don’t worry. The worse of it ended. That was just one elaborate show.” The Meowscarada bent down and rubbed Kenneth’s ears. “Now, here is the real truth.”
“Yes. Nehehehe.” The Meowscarada turned around, where a floating large gem lay. It glowed in a fiery color. “When it struck, it killed every Pokémon; that part is true. But it didn’t bring any one of us to life. Well, except for me and, even then, only as a spirit. You see, it held a great power akin to a shard of Arceus himself.”
“Yes! You see, it spoke to me, wanting a proper host to wield its power. But it could not be any Pokémon. It wanted a brave and selfless one, one who would sacrifice for others. So, I played this elaborate illusion, scaring any Pokémon who came into this forest. The goal is to increase the horror the deeper you get, with the last one being on that festival decking. Only two others reached that spot, and all turned away when they got the barest hint that they’ll be taking a place or even joining the undead. All, except for you.”
“And my mission has ended. Take upon this power and use it well.”
The Meowscarada faded into nothing, leaving Kenneth alone in the mist.
The mist lifted, with shining sunlight shone down upon him. It showed the actual state of the forest, with much of it still destroyed by the strike. Only the outer part of it still held tree life. The ground had shades of brown and gray, while the sky became blue instead of black.
Kenneth turned to the gem, which floated toward him. It lay on the ground, still glowing. Kenneth felt his courage return to him again, filling him with warmth. He smiled, wagging his six tails again.
“I passed the test, then.”
Kenneth reached up to the gem and touched it.
At once, tendrils in the color of fire reached out and attached to Kenneth. He felt its power flow into him, filling him up. His body glowed golden, as much as his fur. The ground shook beneath him as though it could not hold him for much longer.
Seconds later, he grew in size. He did not notice until he felt the pouch tighten around his waist and snap off. He grinned wider and wagged some more. He towered over the gem, with it giving him more of its power. He splayed his tails all around, and his fur became much smoother.
“Ah, yes! That felt good!”
Kenneth kept growing in size, with much of his body dominating the former Trevenant Forest. His royal purple eyes glowed as though from some power. He flicked his paw, and a chain appeared out of nowhere, attaching itself to the gem. It reached up and wrapped around his neck like a necklace.
With every step he took, he doubled in size. Despite that, he left no destructive tracks behind him. He did not want needless destruction, so he left none behind. There may be time for that, but not while he absorbed more of its power.
His tails glowed like it caught on fire despite him not evolving. He chuckled at his growing size, seeing more Pokémon towns and villages. He leaned his head up and barked at the blue sky.
At that point, news traveled quickly regarding a giant shiny Vulpix and how it still grew. Despite that, the smaller Pokémon remained as they were, as though they felt no malice from this Vulpix. Even when the giant stepped on the village whole, they still did not run. The Vulpix lifted its paw, revealing the village and its Pokémon left unharmed.
“Behold, for I am Kenneth!” Kenneth said. “I went to the Trevenant Forest and braved its horror and trials! As a result, I’m blessed with great power!”
Despite reaching hundreds of thousands of feet tall, Kenneth heard the Pokémon scream his name. On his back, there glowed Arceus’s cross-like wheel, which spread out and solidified. Kenneth blushed but wagged his tails in joy. Clouds rubbed against his legs as he kept growing.
Kenneth wondered if he would stop growing but hoped it would not stop.
He grew large enough that the sky turned black with stars shining all around, and he saw the planet’s round curves. The lands beneath him became too small to stand on, so he stepped off. Space bent where he lay his paw next, holding him up. He chuckled some more, feeling unstoppable.
“Oh, this is nice!”
In time, the planet and its moon became small, with them no more than a berry to him. So he relaxed in space, floating around while growing. He wiggled his tails in glee.
“This. Is. Amazing!”
Planets and stars bumped against him. He chuckled more, which echoed through space. He danced through clusters of stars like snowflakes. The galaxy’s spiral became viewable to his naked eye, with him surrounded by countless more. He grinned wide, snickering.
When he finally stopped growing, he held the universe between its paws. It looked much like a marble to him.
“Awww. I was looking forward to growing some more.” Kenneth peered into the universe. “Though maybe that is just enough.”
“And that’s how you became a god?” Duncan the Grovyle asked.
Kenneth nodded, though he blushed brightly. He lay there at about fifty feet tall. His lady Vulpix, Cyra, rubbed the Arceus’s cross-like wheel on his back. She giggled and hopped onto Kenneth’s muzzle.
“I must say, you look awesome!” Cyra licked between his eyes.
“Though not as impressive as you were yesterday,” Duncan said. He shrugged. “I mean, you could’ve crushed this universe like a berry.”
“Kekehehe. True. But it wouldn’t feel right.” Kenneth rubbed the back of his head. “Besides, why crush it when you could earn every Pokémon’s love?”
“Oh, jeez. I knew it. You became power mad.” Duncan said. His tone held a heavy amount of sarcasm. “It’s time we overthrow you now and destroy that power so no one takes your place.”
“H-hey!” Kenneth blushed brighter. “I-I’m not going to force anyone to—”
“Gehehe. Sorry. I couldn’t resist.” Duncan smirked at Kenneth.
“Besides, he loves me too much to do something like that. Right, Kenny?” Cyra asked.
“Yeah.” Kenneth nodded. “At least it’s me and not someone much more selfish who got this power, eh?”
“True.” Duncan picked up a branch and chewed on it. “So, what’s your plan, oh great Vulpix god? World peace? Unlimited resources? Give everyone a nice meal for the rest of their lives?”
“Eh, I’m not sure.” Kenneth glanced around. “I do like to help others, but I don’t want them to become lazy. If I do, it’ll be in a way where they can help themselves.”
“Oh, Kenny. That sounds like a great idea.” Cyra rubbed her side between Kenneth’s eyes. “And maybe make me your goddess as well.”
“As your adviser, I recommend not making your girlfriend your goddess.” Duncan smirked. “She’ll play with planets like a yarn ball.”
“No, I won’t!” Cyra puffed her cheeks out.
“I-I don’t think I can share this power anyways.” Kenneth lifted the gem on his necklace. “All of its power is in me. So, unless there is another shard like it, I’ll be the only Vulpix god out there.”
“I’m sure you can find some more and make me your goddess, right Kenny?” Cyra smirked at Kenneth. “Otherwise, I’ll get distraught.”
“Don’t worry. I’m just teasing you.” Cyra laughed and patted Kenneth’s muzzle. “As long as I’m at your side, I’m happy.”
Duncan chuckled. “Even as a god, you fluster like a wimp around us.”
“H-hey!” Kenneth folded his ears back. He sighed and turned to the sun. “I guess the way to find out is to move forward, one step at a time.”
Kenneth, the shiny Vulpix, is an explorer of various places. So when he heard about the horrible Trevenant Forest and how a shattered comet destroyed a village five hundred years ago, he decided to explore it and discover what had happened to the town. However, he found a series of illusions and lies with nothing certain. Will he get through it?
Hey there. It's something that I wrote real quickly for Vulpix Day. It is nothing I planned out to the point that this is the rough draft. Yes, I wrote it on the fly. But I did have some wild ideas on this Pokémon world's backstory. The concept that Arceus, along with the Creation Trio, has been 'shattered' long ago, with most Pokémon ignorant about it. All they saw was a series of great disasters that rocked the world, but life continued. But then, shards of their powers are being found.
Will I continue to develop this universe? I hope so, but we shall see.
The image from the thumbnail is from Pokémon Home.