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Entry 2 – Dartrix

Name (Unovan): Dartrix – “dart” and “strix” (Greek word for owl)

Name (Kantonese): Fukuthrow – “fukurō” (owl) and “throw”

Dex Number: 002

Classification: Avian, Blade Quill Pokemon

Species: Spirityto accuratus – “accurate ghost owl”

Primary Type: Grass. With evolution, Dartrix becomes more sensitive to its environment and other living things around it, enabling it to sense things it cannot see even with its superb eyesight. It still utilizes photosynthesis to provide it with energy and projectile leaves in conjunction with arrow-quills, but to an even greater degree than Rowlet, so much so that it can now heal its own wounds with Synthesis.

Secondary Type: Flying. Dartrix exercises even greater speed, accuracy, and skill with its arrow-quills than its previous form, Rowlet, does. Its ranged attacks are thusly able to be sent in curving arcs to hit foes behind obstacles. Both Pokemon are able to manipulate wind currents in such a way that allows them to use Leafage effectively.

Overall Description: When Rowlet evolves, its form becomes less round and more like a typical avian Pokemon, although still less streamlined than most. The tawny feathers encompassing Dartrix’s head and upper body darken to a deep, rich brown, not unlike the bark of the trees that make up its forest home. Contrasting with the pure white its wing and leg feathers have become, this gives the impression that it is wearing a hood or cowl. Dartrix’s wings and legs have lengthened, allowing it to both fly and walk more easily. The most notable aspect of its transformation is the new set of leaf-like feathers sprouting from its head to match its “bowtie”, making it seem as though it has hair.

Dartrix boasts two long, sleek feathers atop its head, once thought to serve a similar function to the horn-like tufts of Noctowl. This magnificent hairdo does not have a known purpose, however, but seems to be incredibly important to Dartrix. It does not allow any outsider to so much as touch it, provided they are not another Dartrix. Pairs of these Pokemon often come together in the wild only to groom each other’s tufts, as it is very difficult for a Dartrix to reach them with its own beak or talons. When domesticated, Dartrix will, often with some degree of reluctance, go to their Trainer for help maintaining their appearance.

Its brown plumage now serves the purpose of camouflage. Remaining hidden is more important for Dartrix than it is for Rowlet, since it is much larger and cannot conceal itself as well as it could in the past. Practicing stealth in this way is good for Dartrix to improve on its arrow-quill skills, too. It is able to throw them with more accuracy and precision than it could as a Rowlet, to the point where it hardly ever misses its mark. This makes the arrow-quills a more effective tool at disabling its prey, when in the past they were primarily used only for defense.

Interestingly, Dartrix’s eyes – while once wide and inquisitive as a Rowlet – have been shut. This is not an unavoidable physical change that comes upon evolution, but it is Dartrix’s choice to leave them closed. By restricting its own sense of sight, Dartrix allows itself to practice honing its other senses. Such a practice is absolutely vital for this Pokemon, as this opens the proverbial door to the spirit world it must become attuned to if it wishes to evolve into Decidueye. Eventually, Dartrix becomes so sensitive to the environment around it that it is able to detect living things without needing its eyes or its ears, sensing them through the mysterious energy making up their own life force.

Personality: The personality of a Dartrix could not differ more from that of its first form. While before it was curious and cheerful, giving much of its attention to everything around it, Dartrix is now primarily focused on nothing but itself. Instead of sleeping through most of the day, it spends long hours both day and night preening its wings, tail, and head tufts. This narcissist is also obsessed with cleanliness, and occupies itself with removing unwanted filth from its nest and even the surrounding territory when it doesn’t have its beak buried in its feathers. Thankfully, it can afford to waste time due to evolution making its body more efficient for flying, cutting down on the amount of calories it has to replenish each night.

Even more so than making itself look good, Dartrix likes to show off as well. The term “dandy” was specifically used by Professor Kukui’s Rotom Dex when describing this Pokemon, and I have to agree with some amusement that it’s very accurate. Dartrix displays its meticulously-cleaned feathers to anyone that looks at it for half a second, often giving off an air of terrific smugness and superiority. It soaks up praise like a sponge, too. In fact, it reacts to anything less than a direct compliment with a scoff and a dismissive flick of its “hair”, like it can’t understand why its would-be admirer is walking past without a word.

If Dartrix could speak, its catchphrase would probably be along the lines of “Bitch, I’m fabulous.”

As if its new preoccupation with itself wasn’t enough for Dartrix Trainers to put up with, going through what is essentially Pokemon puberty has also done quite a number on Dartrix’s mind. As a Rowlet, it was diligent and able to complete tasks with no problems at all. Dartrix, on the other hand, often has trouble thinking straight and will forget what it was doing whenever a more startling problem rears its head, usually having to do with a new imperfection in its appearance. This Pokemon is so – and I despise this term – bird-brained that it will even abandon a battle in order to remove uncleanliness from its plumage, completely forgetting any present hostiles until it unceremoniously finds itself being rushed to a Pokemon Center.

When Dartrix isn’t performing feather maintenance, cleaning its nest, or forgetting about doing either of those things, it will practice its camouflage and arrow-quill techniques. Fortunately, these times are when Dartrix miraculously becomes able to focus. Whether this is about preparing for its eventual evolution, improving its survival skills, or a new way to stoke its own ego, scientists are currently unable to say.

Habitat: Dartrix and its relatives are rare in the wild, inhabiting only the thick forests around Mahalo Trail in the center of Melemele Island. Dartrix’s territory is much wider than Rowlet’s, and in fact often overshadows the territories of several Rowlet. It doesn’t mind the presence of its younger family as Rowlet tend to stick to a single tree, and never one in which they know Dartrix is roosting. Dartrix always displays from its favorite tree, flashing its green plumage and letting out shrill hoots to warn away others of its species. It doesn’t like to fight, preferring to compare head tufts with competitors instead, but brawls do occasionally break out over territory rights.

Still a cavity nester, part of Dartrix’s duties in cleaning its nest is making the initial cavity wider. Pikipek and Trumbeak do not leave large enough holes to comfortably fit Dartrix, and so it often falls to the Grass-and-Flying-type to dig out a more accommodating living space. This is where Dartrix will spend most of its life, sleeping and preening the long hours away every day and night. It even brings its meals back to its roost to eat in peace, which is something it did not do as a Rowlet (perhaps because of its legs becoming longer and stronger upon evolving).

Diet: Being less frugivorous than Rowlet, Dartrix takes in much larger amounts of meat and tries to go hunting at least once a night. Alolan Rattata are still its preference when it comes to prey, and with its vastly improved arrow-quill and stealth abilities, hunting them is easier than ever. It easily carries their bodies to its nest, a task favoring its strong legs and larger wingspan. Since it is more efficient as a hunter, Dartrix sometimes hunts excess prey and stores them in its roosting tree, usually in a smaller cavity farther up the trunk where ground Pokemon are unlikely to reach. It is more likely to do this if it has been raised in a Pikipek colony (see corresponding Pikipek and Toucannon chapters for greater detail on the nesting habits of this family).

Relationship with Humans: In a complete reversal of what its attitude toward humans was as a Rowlet, Dartrix’s newfound fascination with itself means that it can no longer care less about them. This sudden scorn, through an interesting case of irony, is reflected back upon it by humankind. While it isn’t exactly one of the top ten most reviled Pokemon in Alola, Dartrix certainly comes close due to the sheer selfishness it presents to others. Imagine, if you will, growing up in a society where humans and Pokemon are culturally intertwined, living a lifestyle dedicated to all of nature. While the vast majority of wildlife is willing to bond with you or at least tolerate you, the Dartrix are sitting by reflective ponds and not giving a damn about anything but themselves. You’d probably have a low opinion of this Pokemon, too.

Raising your own Dartrix is a chore and a half. I’ve read many an account where a Trainer is forced to give up on their Starter and release it, whether because of a bad fight or because of simple heartbreak – in both cases, not being able to comprehend why their devoted Rowlet suddenly found other priorities. While a domesticated Dartrix does still listen to its Trainer, the abrupt one-eighty its psyche undertakes is incredibly jarring. For this reason, even though the Rowlet family is thought of as the easiest of the traditional Alolan Starters to raise, getting it through its Dartrix stage is a steep, uphill battle.

Battle Prowess: While its stats have obviously grown upon evolution, Dartrix nevertheless has the same strengths and weaknesses as before, being somewhat slow and averagely good at both offense and defense. It has access to the same moves it did in its previous form, but also learns more powerful moves like Ominous Wind, Pluck, and Fury Attack. In addition to this, Dartrix has a few other tricks on the support side of things, including self-healing through Synthesis and improved tracking and accuracy in Foresight. And, of course, its arrow-quill techniques can be performed faster and more precisely.

Leafage is a move that not many Pokemon are able to learn. Unlike Razor Leaf, it requires the skilled manipulation of both wind currents and leaves (or leaf-like projectiles, in the case of the arrow-quills utilized by Dartrix and its relatives). By using this move, Dartrix is able to barrage its opponents with sharp projectiles, or alternatively, use the swirling pattern of its arrow-quills as a shroud to hide its movements and distract its foes.

Affection: Good luck getting your Dartrix to give anyone save itself a whit of attention, but while it is much more self-absorbed than it was as a Rowlet, it still makes time for its loved ones. Dartrix displays affection in the same ways as Rowlet, by going out of its way to be close to its Trainer and performing sweet gestures such as sharing its food. Now that preening is its favorite activity, Dartrix will try to do the same thing for its Trainer as a show of companionship. Speaking of which, helping Dartrix keep up its image by grooming it daily is probably the best way to touch its heart and let it know that, despite all the frustration it undoubtedly causes you, you still care.

Middle-stage Pokemon in a three-stage evolutionary line are often described as being in an awkward transition phase akin to human puberty, and Dartrix is certainly no exception. After evolving from Rowlet, it is now mature enough to understand romantic love and develop such feelings for its Trainer. In stark contrast to the innocent and totally confident way Rowlet displays its own affections, Dartrix is perhaps one of the most bumbling and haphazard Pokemon in the world when it comes to the being it’s crushing on. If it has an interest in its Trainer, it is barely able to stand being in the same room as them. It will trip over its own tongue while speaking, become unfocused while flying, and crash into things. These incidents more often than not cause it to fly into a panic – making even more of a fool of itself in the process. We’ve all been where Dartrix has been, so if you find yours exhibiting such behavior, take pity on it and talk things out as gently as possible to prevent flustering it further.

In the wild, Dartrix do attempt to pair off and mate. Males increase their display rates at the top of their roosting trees, while females leave their own territories to curiously investigate. However, at this stage in a Dartrix’s life, breeding is often unsuccessful – they are too scatterbrained to give proper care to eggs and newborn chicks. Not to mention that, oftentimes, the pair-bond won’t even last to the nesting stage, as the male and female will leave out of disgust of their partner’s preoccupation with itself and its plumage.

Special Warnings: Do not muss its feathers. EVER.

Professor Kukui’s Words: “For those who picked Rowlet expecting an easy Pokemon to care for, its evolution into Dartrix is like a Wake-Up Slap to the face! Extreme care and patience is required to raise Dartrix, and Frustration is a guarantee when it abandons a battle to care for its feathers. You’ll need to stay strong and weather out the Leaf Storm that comes with owning this handful of a Pokemon.”
The Legendverse Guide to the Pokemon of Alola

Entry 2 - Dartrix

Dartrix’s “Relationship with Humans” section was a total pain in the ass to write. I get the feeling that’ll be the norm with middle-stage Pokemon. And non-Starter/Legendary Pokemon in general…

Dartrix: “Tarrrrix! Trrooo, trrooo, tarrrrix!"
Card-shark Featured By Owner Mar 9, 2018
AH Dartrix, you were a little brat. I love the Rowlett family but you are right with it being a pain. Than most parents would say that about there kids, so yeah. The Little Kid Owl is now a Teenager.
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