Harper Region is temporarily a private site! Registration is temporarily disabled due to big site updates and due to both admins' life schedules -- moving and degree completion and internships. :) If you need to set up a new account or really, really, really want to register, email Rosalie at email@example.com with "Harper" in the subject line !
With the cooling season of Autumn, Ice-types are starting to re-emerge from their hibernation as Ghost-, Normal-, and Flying-types swarm in the largest numbers they will all year. In comparison, wild Fire- and Bug-type populations are falling in number. The migration of Flying-types to the south in search of warmer weather has also started, as Istin City starts to re-freeze and Autumn marks the beginning of Cypwater Point's rainy season. Handlers and Rogues alike should be wary: Ghost-type powers are boosted during this season, at the cost of being more prone to their triggers.
Here you will find stored a number of folk tales written by Chikanory and originally given by her character, Ged. They add a lot of color to the region's culture and may serve as inspiration for some of you!
“Once upon a time, in a small village, far into the desert, a child was born,” Ged began. “The child was a girl, and disdained by her father, ignored, forgotten, forced to do chores like a servant, even serving her father and her younger brother like a common slave. But she was strong, and watched, and learned from the warriors around her. One summer, the rains came. The hail came. The lightning came. It was a storm of legends, and it threatened to flood the entire village. No one knew what to do, so the people fell to their knees and prayed for quick departure into their next life. All but one, Bititi, the little forgotten daughter. She traveled to the end of the valley, where she called upon the spirits of the earth with more fervor and power than any of the warriors for generations. The earth spirits responded and dug a trench, a riverbed, containing the flood and sparing the villagers. Of course, channeling those powers took its toll, and the girl warrior turned to stone herself, becoming a single mountain spearing into the sky.”
“Let me tell you a story of the people who live in the sky,” he began, hand sweeping out to motion at the glittering stars peeking through the leafless branches above, “Many years ago, in an age nearly forgotten by time, when humanity was still young and fought to gain a foothold on this world, there lived a great kingdom in the sky that still exists to this day. The kingdom was ruled by goodly, generous king who had eight daughters, each more beautiful and kind than the last. The people of the kingdom loved their king and his daughters, and the king and his daughters loved their people. It was a time of peace, prosperity, and joy for everyone. One day the youngest of the daughters, the fairest and most pure, was playing in the meadow next to the Star Road.” Here Ged pointed to the faint, shimmering band that arced across the clear night sky. His eyes looked off into those stars, just as distant as the story he told. He seemed to have forgotten about his audience entirely. His voice rose and fell with the easy cadence of the simple story.
“The princess loved that meadow. She danced and played there with the other young star children, and the heavens sang with her joy and grace. On that particular day, a passing lord, a vassal of her father’s, caught sight of her and fell in love instantly, charmed by her beauty. He approached her with words of praise and devotion on his lips, but she was too caught up in her play and too innocent to the ways of the world to understand what he offered. She laughed at his proposal and continued her play with her dear friends. This angered the lord; it angered him beyond belief. How dare this girl spurn his advances? How dare she mock him so? So the lord struck her with a mighty blow, so mighty it tore her from the sky’s grasp completely and sent her plummeting to earth. The earth heard her screams and caught the princess in a gentle grasp of clouds before settling her on the soft, mossy ground, hiding her from sight and further pain.
“The king searched desperately for his lost daughter, but no one thought to look down on earth where the princess slumbered away the trauma of her ordeal wrapped in the gentle and protective grasp of earth. Eventually the lord, overcome by guilt at his hasty actions, came to the king and told him what had happened. The king was angry, but he was gracious, and did not strike the lord in return. He ordered the lord to search for the princess and find her, no matter what, a task the lord gladly took upon himself to complete, even if it meant his death. The repentant lord travelled all over the heavens, having many adventures and performing many deeds, searching for the princess he had lost among the clouds. Eventually his quest led him to earth, where he found the beautiful princess making friends among the Pokemon of earth, who had gladly welcomed the princess as a friend. At first, the princess shrank away from the lord, remembering his anger and rage from before, but the lord cajoled her with soft, humble words that begged for her forgiveness. He told her that her father had sent the lord to find her, and that all the lord wished for was her forgiveness.
“The gracious princess gladly forgave the lord and the pair eagerly called out for the king of the stars. ‘My king, I found her!’ the lord exclaimed. ‘Father, I am found!’ giggled the princess. The king parted the night sky with his power and gazed down on them with happy eyes that quickly turned sad. ‘Why are you sad?’ the princess asked, ‘aren’t you happy to see me father?’ ‘I am so very thankful you are alright,’ the king replied, though his ancient eyes stayed heavy with grief, ‘but you see, you have left the sky, my daughter, and once a star has left the sky it can never return.’ The lord fell to his knees and wept, not for himself, who had also left the sky and could also never return home, but for the grave injustice he had dealt to the innocent princess. No one was more surprised as he when he felt the princess’ hands on his face, pulling him to his feet and wiping away his tears with the utmost kindness. ‘Why do you smile?’ the lord asked, ‘You will never go home because of me.’ ‘You did not know,’ the princess said simply, ‘the earth has treated me with such kindness and love that I will gladly call her my new home if she will take me.’ The earth, the wind, the water, the very trees sang with joy over the news that the princess would stay.
“‘Then I will stay with you forever, princess,’ the lord pledged his eternal love and service and the princess giggled and clasped his hands to her breast in acceptance. The lord had proved his devotion by following her to the very ends of the universe and left his own home and station, just for her. ‘I am happy!’ the princess exclaimed, and she smiled, oh how she smiled, even as tears streamed down her face. It was the lord’s turn to wipe away her tears and ask her what was wrong. ‘Nothing is wrong,’ the princess said, ‘I only wish my friends were here with me to see how beautiful it is down here. I will miss them!’ The lord clutched his weeping princess close and turned his eyes to the sky where the king still watched. The king used some of his magnificent power and took some of the princess’ friends from the sky and sent them to earth. All were willing, of course, for they missed their dear friend who used to dance with them in the meadow next to the Star Road. Those stars became Pokemon thanks to the powers of a gracious earth, who did not want to see her new friend sad. Those Pokemon, Cleffa, Clefairy, and Clefable, continue to bring peace and joy to everyone around them, including the star people who look down from the sky at those Pokemon and remember their sweet, innocent princess and the lord who lost everything in his quest for her love.”
Yukimenoko (Froslass inspired)
Once it had calmed down a bit, Ged smirked and continued. “Let’s give a toast to good booze and good company. A little drink to defrost, a toast to thank whatever spirits are out there that we survived that blasted cold and can now warm our manly bits with some excellent drink and even more excellent company.” Ged gave a lewd smirk to more cheers.
“Now, we can all give a toast in thanks that no Yukimenoko came knocking on our door.” Ged grinned at the general confusion around the room. Some seemed to know what he was referring to, but most did not. “Haven’t heard of one? I guess you don’t have to worry about them out on the sea, but us land-lubbers know better than to open our door to a pleading knock in the middle of a blizzard.”
“It all started long ago, in a land far to the north, where winters were long and incredibly cold.” The crowd recognized the easy cant of a storyteller settling into his pace and sat back to listen. Conversation didn’t die entirely, but the tavern was almost quiet as Ged told the tale. “There lived a man, a woodcutter, and his wife and their five children. The wife was happy enough, but the man had another lover, a wealthy maid who lived across the square from the family. She stood to inherit a large sum of money when her sickly father died. The winter threatened to rob her father’s final breath with every new storm, so time was running short for the woodcutter and his lover. Their course of action was obvious. They needed to get rid of his family so they could be rich together. But the man didn’t want to kill his children; he used to love his wife when she was young and beautiful. He couldn’t do it, so his lover took the matter into her own hand. She travelled to the woodcutter’s house while the mother was at the market and the father out in the woods. The children welcomed her, recognizing her as a friend and neighbor, and treated her well, and she returned the favor by telling them about a secret cave some distance from the village. She said a treasure lay there, waiting to be discovered. She had not gathered it herself because she was weak, and frail, and could not begin to carry it all, but they could, they could by working together. The children believed every word, eager to see their family’s money troubles solved forever. Then their parents would no longer fight, and the stress would no longer cause their mother’s hair to grey so early in her life. The children packed up their things and struck out into the woods in search of the treasure, spurred onward with the innocent folly of youth while their father’s treacherous lover returned to her house across the square to wait for the first part of her plan to reach fruition.
“The mother returned before the father, and found it unusual that her children were not home waiting for her. The chores lay uncompleted, the firewood unstacked, and the clouds overhead hang heavy with snow. She waited, hopeful her children would return, hopeful her husband would return and know what to do, but when the snow began falling she couldn’t wait any longer. She began looking, accompanied by her faithful Snorunt. It was the Snorunt who discovered sign of the children’s venture into the forests. The mother panicked. Her children, alone, lost in the woods, and the snow fell ever faster from the grey sky. She ran into the forest, desperate for any sign, and was swallowed by the snow.
“Now we return to the woodcutter, come home from a long day storing firewood for the town’s use during the blizzard. Imagine his surprise, his fear, when he came home to see that no one was there waiting with a kind word and a warm fireplace. No one, that is, other than his lover. She caught him just outside his house door and told him in a low voice how she saw his wife take his children and Pokemon on a wagon out of town early that morning. She told him how sorry she was that his wife had left, how his wife had stolen his children from him, how he had been betrayed by his bitter wife, how sorry she was that she had not stopped the wife, how unfortunate it was that the blizzard forestalled any chance of following them. She poisoned his heart and mind against his family, and he returned with her to her home. The pair were married that spring, just after her father’s burial, and they lived happily for a number of years. Then another hard winter blew in, bringing with it ice and snow of levels unheard of since the winter when the woodcutter’s wife left him.
“That winter, the maiden was home waiting for her new husband’s return from work, her two darling children slumbering in their cribs, when she heard a knock on the door. She answered, and saw a woman standing there in a simple robe that did nothing to shield her against the snow that fell thick and white. ‘What do you want? Who is it?’ the maiden asked. ‘Please,’ the figure said in a woman, ‘My children…’ the words brought with them an incredibly cold gust of wind that numbed the maiden’s hands and feet immediately. ‘Come inside,’ the maiden urged, ‘Come inside where it is warm and tell me what is the matter.’ The woman in the snow came inside and brought the cold with her, the door slamming shut behind her.
“The woodcutter returned home a sort time later and was surprised to see that his house was dark and still. He called out for his wife, but there was no reply, and the door gave way easily under his touch. He entered and found the house freezing cold, even colder than the snow and biting wind of the blizzard outside. He searched the house and found that every fire was stoked to its highest, yet it was still blisteringly cold. He called out again for his wife, for his children, and this time, a voice replied, ‘My love!’ He hurried towards the voice and saw a woman cloaked in a white robe sitting in front of the fire. He approached and embraced it, crying, ‘my wife, my love! You scared me. Why is it so cold? Where are the children?’ He kissed her forehead, and his lips numbed instantly at the intense cold. The woman in his hands turned her face towards him and he saw yellow eyes and a face that was not his wife’s, but one that harkened back to another cold winter and another beloved family. ‘Where are my children?’ the woman echoed in a familiar voice. She clasped the woodcutter to her breast with a grip even his strong muscles could not break and kissed him, and he knew no more for a long time.
“The woodcutter awoke. He was cold, so, so cold, colder than he had ever felt before. He opened his eyes and saw that he lay on the floor of a cave carved from ice, and the woman from before stood just a short distance away. His lips were frozen and cracked and bled as he asked, ‘Please, what are you doing? Where is my wife? Where are my children? Who are you?’ The woman turned towards him and pet his numb, frozen limbs with kind hands that only made him colder. ‘My love, don’t you remember? I am your wife. I have fixed everything, darling, I’m beautiful again, don’t you see?’ And indeed the man realized that this was the wife he thought had stolen his children and abandoned him. She was beautiful, perfect in every way. She opened that perfect mouth set in a perfectly pale and white face and said, ‘Now we can be together forever. Isn’t it wonderful?’ She motioned to the ice cave around them. The man looked around, and to his horror, he saw his wife, the one who married him when he thought his children and first love gone forever, frozen into the wall of the cave, an icy statue still and preserved forever. He looked around again and saw his children, his two children he’d loved even more than the maiden who had claimed his heart, his children frozen into the walls of the cave as well, two children barely more than babes frozen stiff and solid and dead. He looked back at his first love, his first wife, pale and beautiful and perfect. He looked at her again and saw the white robe, felt the awful cold emanating from her skin, saw the yellow eyes. He looked down. His feet were encased in ice that slowly crept up his body towards his chest and hands. He couldn’t move. He was too cold.
“The woman, his first love, the apparition of the woman he’d loved more than life itself, kissed him on the lips and froze his face, but the woodcutter was not dead yet. He could still watch and listen as she said, ‘Darling, stay here, wait for me, I will return once I have found our children. Then we can be happy together forever.’ She walked towards the ice cave entrance. No, she did not walk, the woodcutter realized as ice slowly moved to encase his neck, then his chin. She did not walk, she floated, for she had no feet. The ghostly vengeful shade of his wife exited the cave and sealed it behind her as the ice overtook the poor woodcutter’s entire head and turned him into ice to rest in the ice along with the specter’s other victims.
“The first wife, the scorned woman, the frantic mother, continues to search for her lost children. Children tricked because of their innocence, children doomed to wander through the woods, lost in a blizzard until they froze to death. A mother searching for them even as the snow and cold stole her life before she could find her children’s frozen forms buried under the snow. And so the mother’s spirit continues to search and knock on friendly doors in the middle of a winter storm, begging for someone to find her children, help her find her children. She steals children from their beds if invited inside, steals them and sometimes their parents, trying to replace her own lost offspring and taking revenge for her husband’s infidelity. Ware the knock of a white robed woman on a winter’s night, ware the cold breath of a mother searching for her children, ware the Yukimenoko.”