Title: The Saga of Kings, Book I: Hero by Vile Slanders Author: Vile Slanders Rating: M Genre: Angst/Sci-Fi Status: Abandoned (author's note on June 6, 2018) Summary: I am not the King. That is a Ranger's Beret on my head, not a crown. So you want to know what happened after the Championships? You want to know my role in the disaster that unfurled when the Brink opened? You want to know if I stepped into the Brink, and how I'm still alive if I did? Well, I'll tell you. But Zane Bastard is starting from the relevant beginning. This is my story... Link: https://www.fanfiction.net/s/11463818/1/The-Saga-of-Kings-Book-I-Hero The poke-verse is pretty elaborate in terms of worldbuilding. Scratching barely the surface of most of the ideas it introduces across 20-ish years and about a dozen different games, you have a lot to work with. And yet, 99% of stories involve: 1. Smart!Ash/Aura!Ash/Wronged!Ash/Legend!Ash/WhoTheFuckCares!Ash 2. Weirdshippingname (blech.) 3. Talking pokemon 4. Turning into a pokemon And he always gets the best goddamn Mons. Ugh. That's why stories like Lamora's A Game of Champions stand out. They're different. They make you feel like you're in a pensieve watching Red as he watches Misty's Starmie shoot water bullets at his Bulbasaur. You can see the light flashing between the display mirrors and the static crackling as Pikachu uses its discharges to confund Onix's magnetic orientation. That is why this story is so goddamn good. Our protagonist is a foulmouthed, crippled, pokemon ranger named Zane Bastard. This is a gritty, realistic-noir story of what life would be like if pokemon were more beast than cuddly smiley face. Imagine an actual pack of Houndoom slowly stalking your camp at night, blending into the shadows. Team Rocket actually organizing a Weezing squad to neutralize a revolt....only to let the electrode army roll in and blow up the protesters. The worldbuilding is downright fantastic. The main antagonist of this story, a ghost type trainer, is described as the main who brought down the entire Kalosian government with an army of specters who are tethered to his lifeblood. The description of his battle against Brock is mindblowing in terms of how the environment is described, how the pokemon's natural abilities are interplayed into the story. There is an elaborate description of how someone becomes a gym-leader (For every Elite Four member you beat, you earn a 'flame' to your league-finalist trainer medal. Elite 4 members are quad-flames (4 successful E4 wins, no wins against the Champion, who himself would be a Penta-Flame, etc). And how Championship battles are different from 4-6 badges, from 1-3 badges etc. One such scene describes how Rock pokemon are formed, what the constituent materials are, and how this is useful for someone battling a rock type opponent, in a chapter very reminiscent of Lamora's Red vs Starmie. I love the attention to minor details, such as this - the plural form of pokemon ending in s/x is made by adding -ia to the end - Onixia/Gyaradosia, to describe the species. For example, where Lamora describes Starmie's regenerative ability ("AION...Re-Rack!") by describing the leech seeds literally being torn out like little maggots, there is a description of a fight between a Jellicent and a Kabutops that is top-top class writing. Better than a Game of Champions, that was. There's a harsh level of army-realism to the story that doesn't try to hide anything back - diplomacy, politics, and yes, some sex. Minor cons: Lots of edgelord swearing - but it's done not for the sake of being edgy, but because the protagonist is a messed up, fucked up ranger who has lost a lot and doesn't care about anything. The intro has weird dots and a quote every time which may not be everyone's cup of tea. Easiest 5/5 I've ever given. Spoiler: I dont know how to add the tag, here is a snippet that describes swift swim + swords dance the coolest way possible. Spoiler Even a reclusive Ranger like myself recognised that ancient bipedal figure, that scuffed trilobita carapace, and that massive pair of finely honed sickles. Lithe, The Harvest Dancer. Brock's star Kabutops. -The mon that had single handedly shredded through Bruno's entire Elite Four Championship team last season to earn Brock his second Flame. In comparison to most of Brock's Championship mon, Lithe wasn't particularly large. He was even shorter than Brock. -But those man-sized sickles and and those sleek razored plates were married to a graceful analogue. The Harvest Dancer. The Riverborn Reaper. Lithe, the Primordial Danseur. And Typhon had provided Lithe with his crucial theatrical environment. A reservoir of fluid. Brock's Kabutops breached the surface of the miasma with his silent plunge. Lithe took off in a circular descent, orbiting around Typhon in the Distortion lake at a speed of roughly forty-three knots. That Kabutops was fucking fast. Typhon released another moan, and Distortion flames formed at the red tips of his oral feathers. Brock roared a command, and Lithe put down another eruption of speed, juking in his revolution in order to evade the seeking flames of Typhon. The flames congregated in a cluster, moving on intercept with Lithe's orbit. That Kabutops dodged every single one of them like it was child's play. Lithe was displaying the agility and grace that had earned him his status as a legend. Brock was pulling out all of the stops. He wanted his Pit back. Typhon conjured up another volley of flames, but Brock was finished with the defensive tactics. The evasion antics had provided enough time for Lithe to procure the information that he needed. Brock and Lithe were preparing for an assault. While dodging every incoming flame, Lithe's sickles had been vibrating at micro oscillations, using the miasma as a sonic medium for calibration. Lithe was trying to gauge the physical parameters of Typhon's resonant frequency, all for augmenting the slicing capabilities of the Kabutop's cleaving edge. Now that the fine tuning was adequately calculated, Lithe's pulsating sickles could rend Typhon's physiology at the molecular level.