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Pokemon today

Pokemon as anthros

As the years went on, Pokemon evolved into more then just another form. Over centuries, their bodies began to reflect the truly comprehensive and complicated minds they possessed. With human like bodies they developed a society, culture, and the means to run it. Technology developed and civilization was built. Ideas were shared and beliefs developed. And behind it all, a myth of beings from eons passed much as they are now.
In this setting Pokemon have various human shapes, even among the same species. These are generally referred to as Mon. This outward appearance is the only true aspect of the Mon, they're not born with abilities, and they must be learned. Mon are born with the potential to all the abilities their species can learn, but it is up to them to actually learn them. It cannot be forced upon them, and they can't simply wake up tomorrow and know a move they never had. Hours a day, days a week, and weeks a year must be dedicated to training to understand, produce, and master the moves. And with human-like bodies, these can be applied in many different and creative ways. Only limited by the user's imagination, and the limitations of the body and mind.

Evolution isn't the solution

Mon are not restricted to their own forms, they still have the option and ability to evolve into their other forms. There are many ways for Mon to transition, often a catalyst like event triggers the change. This can be anything from having the requirement of the next form met(like being in possession of an item, and wishing for the change), working towards the goal physicaly or mentally, or even being 'forced' into the form as a natural, instinctive action due to an imminent threat. This last form is incredibly rare, 1 in a billion, as the transition by choice has been so integrated into the minds of the Mon that it overrides their instincts.
However, this does not mean that the next step in evolution is stronger then the least. Every species has its strength, weaknesses, and unique characteristics. A Pikachu is much faster then a Raichu, but the Raichu has a stronger body able to deal stronger physical blows and withstand more punishment. Of course it is always up to the Mon if they want to evolve. But the choice is a tough one, for they can never go back on it. This makes the choice a very serious, and a very personal one.

What about humans?

Humans are not existent in this world, or rather, do not exist today. Buried deep in the myths and legends of the Mon are shapes, figures, and tales of beings similar to them, but without abilities, and with only one general appearance. What happened to them? Where did they go? Why is there no trace of them? These are questions left to philosophers.

Battling, arenas, and tournaments

Why battle?

Battling of course needs a goal. And in today's society, it's prestige, recognition, honor, trophies, and prizes. Of course, many battlers claim that the last two don't matter much, but glory and pride aren't things that can use to buy your next meal. The best of the best compete for grand prizes that they can live off of in luxury for many years. There are simply too many reasons to battle, and each can be unique or just another goal.

Battlers and Society

Of course battlers see the need to fight as more then just a goal. A way to better themselves, make themselves stronger, self defense. It can be anything. They are often revered by others for their skills, and challenged by those who think they can be better. But beneath all this, there is often resentment. Specifically, from those who are against it. Though battling has existed for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, some simply see battling as something that promotes violence, especially among the youth.
But the children have dreams and aspirations, and this is evident in the number of schools that promote battling as part of their curriculum. Children want to battle, and the things that come with it, and their parents want to instill them with what battlers, or even they, feel in combat.
Generally speaking, society accepts it as just another profession. Another spectator sport with it's players, teams, sponsors, and promoters.

Gyms

Gyms are one such way for 'morphs to prepare themselves for the leagues. There are many gyms in the world, some more prestigious and more official than others. Mostly gyms concentrate on a single type of combat, though some do branch out into others. The Purpose of gyms is often two fold
The first is that many Leagues draft battlers from different gyms. Gyms offer some 'morphs who can't make it through the academic pressure of schools to still have a shot of getting to the Leagues. Gyms have also been around as long if not longer than schools and are seen by many old school battlers as the superior means of getting into shape and being ready to battle. Schools make 'mon soft, or so they argue, and many good battlers refuse to go to the battle schools out of a sense of pride.
The other use of a gym is to help 'mon keep in shape. Many gyms offer various options for working out and keeping in shape. Beyond the classes they have there are several practice areas as well as exercise equipment. It's not uncommon for pro-battlers to have home gyms that they go back to in order to keep at the pinnacle of shape as well as to make themselves better. Often times battlers will also stop by local gyms to get in a quick work out before a battle as they tour with their League.

Battle Leagues

LOCAL LEAGUES

There are literally hundreds of local leagues scattered throughout the various regions, from casual clubs for "weekend warriors" to nonprofit organizations that stage charity events to dedicated amateur promotions that have been the first stop for national champions (or the last stop for burnouts who can't hack it in the big time anymore). Generally these leagues rarely if ever leave their home city, and play to small crowds ranging from a few dozen to maybe a thousand, depending on the size of the venue and the prestige of the league itself.

Some of the most notable and popular local leagues:

Viridian Amateur Battle League (Viridian City, Kanto) One of the largest and most respected of all the "hometown" leagues, and one of the few to have its own permanent venue. Numerous graduates of the PCA have started their professional battling careers here. It's not uncommon to see talent scouts and managers from larger promotions filling the front rows on any given day, looking for the next hot prospect.

Sky Masters Alliance (Blackthorn City, Johto) Possibly the largest draw to this isolated mountain city for those who aren't seeking a quiet getaway. The combination of high altitudes and stable climate have made this league a favorite for Dragon and Flying-types, who make up roughly 80% of the league's roster. There are rumors that a Pikachu that knows how to Fly battles here on rare occasions.

Ever Grande Battling Society (Ever Grande City, Hoenn) Notable for being the league of choice for Hoenn's social elite, who gather at private clubs and banquet halls in the city on weekends to show off to their fellow high society peers. CEO's, local politicians and other assorted VIP's are among the usual participants. Audience sizes are generally not that large, as getting in to this league's events is by invitation only.

Jubilife Battle Live (Jubilife City, Sinnoh) Holding weekly events in Jubilife TV's Studio 7, this local league and its participants enjoy the benefit of television exposure (even if it is at 11 PM on Saturdays). Major increases in production values and financial backing from Jubilife TV have brought this league up from mere novelty status to being a seriously considered starting point for battlers in the Sinnoh region.

REGIONAL

The equivalent of Triple-A baseball or college football, regional leagues are a notable step up from the locals but still not as glamorous or highly publicized as the higher leagues. Nonetheless they are considered an important part of professional battling, as the fiercely competitive environment provides a more accurate gauge of a battler's true skill than the local circuits. For every one regional battler who's moved up to the big leagues, there are 10 hometown heroes who found they just didn't have what it takes to advance any further. While small regions like Orre or Fiore only have one regional league, others may have up to four operating at any given time, each with its own distinct battling style and format.

Every year, the Inter-Regional League Conference is held in a randomly chosen city to showcase the best each region has to offer. Dozens of each region's top battlers compete in several different classes and types of events over the course of a month, and winning the top spot in one's class is considered an almost guaranteed entry into a national league.

Currently active regional leagues include:

Kanto: Indigo Plateau League, Victory Road League, Cerulean Championship Conference
Johto: Silver Battle Federation, Regional Battle League of Johto, R.A.G.E. Battling
Hoenn: New Battle Frontier, NBF Anarchy!, NBF Unchained, NBF ZERO-ONE
Sinnoh: Sinnoh All-Pro League, Coronet Promotions LLC, Valor League Unlimited
Orre: Mt. Battle Power Tournament
Fiore: KISARA
Almia: Batonnage/Union Regional Confederation

NATIONAL

The top tier of professional battling, national leagues are among the toughest and most prestigious organizations, the place where a fighter with the right combination of battle skills and charisma can become a celebrity overnight. Those who make it this far can look forward to offers of lucrative multi-year contracts and hefty sponsorship deals, but also the increased burdens of traveling almost non-stop and being constantly in the public eye, not to mention battling in front of massive crowds with some of the most skilled and powerful 'mon to ever step into an arena. Only those with the most physical, mental and spiritual strength will manage to make a long-term career at this level.

The most popular of the national leagues:

Felix Blackclaw's Iron League: Arguably the most well-known of the national leagues, and usually the first one that comes to mind when the topic of professional battling comes up. While high level battling skills are a must to succeed here, good on-camera skills are a definite plus as well.

Steelstar League: Known for being a league of no compromises, where one has to be extremely disciplined to even think of getting near the top. The league's owner, Diane Steelstar, has a reputation for being completely unforgiving to those who can't meet the rigorous demands she sets forth.

Metal Claw League: (description pending.)

Lunar Wing League: A relatively new national league that has attracted a lot of attention for its unusual goal. The board of directors has declared that whoever can hold all seven of the league's division championships at one time will be given its ultimate prize: ownership of the league itself.

The "big daddy" of all the national leagues is the Grand Champions Tournament. Much like the IRLC, this two week event brings together only the best of the best. Since there is a substantial entrance fee just to participate, typically the list of competitors is made up of national league champions whose respective organizations fronted the money to enter them, as well as independent battlers who are successful enough to pay out of their own pockets. The event is divided into single, tag and team tournaments, with their respective championship titles being the crown jewel of any battler's career. The Undisputed Grand Champion title in particular is the ultimate achievement of professional battling, and any 'mon who earns this title can truly be considered the absolute greatest fighter out there today.

INDEPENDENT

Although the majority of professional battlers are league based, there are some who don't associate themselves with a single organization. "Indies" often find themselves bouncing around between whatever local and regional leagues they can afford to travel to, and sometimes filling in spots part-time with any national league that happens to be in town. On occasion, the more highly skilled battlers have been known to go touring with a national promotion for an extended period of time, sometimes up to an entire year. Although the term independent is most commonly associated with individual battlers, there are also a small number of independent teams that make the rounds as well.

The decision to battle independently can be made for any number of reasons. Some want to test their skills against a broader range of opponents than can be provided in a single league. Others want to make a name for themselves on their own merits, rather than based on which league they're associated with. There are also former big-timers who are too old or broken down to sign on with a league, but still can't bring themselves to give up the lifestyle. And still others who are simply journey'mon looking for their next paycheck.

Whatever their reasons, independent battlers may tend to get overlooked due to their lack of league affiliation but that doesn't mean they are any less skilled. In fact, the Undisputed Grand Champion title has gone to an independent fighter three times in the last 10 years.

Behind the scenes

Gambling

Gambling it usually frowned upon, at least officially. The professional circuit has banned gambling on the circuit due to claims of fraud on behalf of the battlers in the form of throwing a match. However, the government has no power to regulate unofficial establishments. Though aware of their existence, the government seems to have taken an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ approach to the problem. As long as the gambling doesn’t directly interfere with the pro-circuit, they are willing to ignore it.
Official gambling houses are allowed to place bets on any other battling circuit. This goes for anything from city tournaments, to inter-school events. And it’s in these circuits that the crooked fighters profit the most. Without regulation or monitoring outside of the age requirement to gamble, none of the officials who watch the gambling trade pay attention the fights themselves, even when something seems fishy. This leaves great opportunity for those who seek it.

Drugs

  • Rawr KanDz
Performance enhancing drug used by battlers in order to temporarily increase the strength of their abilities, body, and mind. Long term use of the drug however has been reported to cause addiction and bring on medical conditions such as chronic migraines, severe arthritis, infections, sores, low blood clotting, and others. Despite these risks, the drug is widespread in the battling tournaments, especially among the younger battlers.
  • Helite Pill U.P. (By Ultimate Pharmaceuticals)
A medical drug that functions much like a band aid from the inside of the body. Helite Pills U.P. give a surge of energy into the body's metabolism which causes it to function at a much higher rate. Wounds clot, scab, and heal over within hours. They were quickly banned from public use, however. The abuse of the drug by many battlers is what discovered the problem. A serious injury like a broken bone or a brushed organ, like a brain concussion, would not heal correctly and might indeed cause more damage.
  • Pelite Pill U.P. (By Ultimate Pharmaceuticals)
Another medical drug that was developed by a government program during one of the previous wars. Designed to recharge a Mon's internal energy supply in order to allow them to function for a greater duration on the battlefield. It wasn't until several years after the war that the drug's side effects were seen. Many Mon became unable to use some of their most potent abilities, or suffered the harsher side effect of only being able to use a fraction of their abilities before depleting their energy supplies.

Special thanks to KDRaccoon, Rakeesh and Carlito for their information and work.


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