@ Lusankya, Call of the Void
As a side note, personally, I love to play as the Brotherhood of Nod in C&C 3.
Anyway, I really like these kinds of verge-of-apocalypse RPs, the battles usually tend to be massive and epic in size and scale, the stakes are extremely high, the motives are there along with a lot of morale and bravado to fuel them, and so on. It’s more fun and exciting when wars are based on pure survival instead of political reasons.
The Ara'kaiz, however, seem drastically overpowered though, and the presence of Azkathon seems to reinforce that. Instead of Arceus serving Azkathon, I think it might be better to have them as equals, where they both have the same kind of caliber of power. They could also be rivals of creation, where Arceus and Azkathon have always been heated competition to create the better worlds. Seeing that Arceus is failing with the world of Pokémon (You don’t know how badly I wish they would just name the planet already, but we’ll go with Pokéarth for now), Azkathon sees it as the perfect opportunity to humiliate Arceus by sending in his legions of Ara’kaiz to essentially hijack the planet from Arceus’s grasp, claim it for himself, and laughingly stab Arceus’s pride (both can be immortal/extremely powerful, so even though they can’t kill each other, they can still affect each other’s creations and humiliate the other with their own accomplishments). However, with the rise of Empire, Azkathon realizes that wrestling Pokéarth from their grasp might actually be a challenging (and possibly entertaining) battle, but he’s confident enough to continue the campaign. You could also keep the Ara’kaiz as Scrin-like creatures, I think that works.
However, I would NOT have the Ara’kaiz incite so much fear and panic that Pokémon completely chicken out when facing them. Instead, because Pokémon were created by Arceus, they instinctively recognize Ara’kaiz as sworn enemies even though they have never met before, simply from the roots of the creator that made them. Maybe the weaker, unevolved Pokémon fear them (I see a Pichu running away with tears in its eyes), but the fully evolved ones face them out of anger and some anxiety due to their nature and are a rival creation. It would also make sense with the Azkathon cultists, as these cultists have rejected Arceus for his failure, and instead have turned toward his rival, hoping that Azkathon will take over Pokéarth and banish Arceus, forcing Arceus to start over from scratch with his creations. In the meantime, the cultists could also be expecting some kind of reward from Azkathon, such as ascension into a stronger race of beings (especially since humans are recognized as foreign entities by the Ara’kaiz).
In terms of the Empire and Morbane, Morbane’s wish for power to conquer the world is pretty vague, so in order to flesh out how the Empire rose up in strength, you need to go back to the source. What kind of power was Morbane given, how did he use it, and how does that power now shape the Empire to what it is today? What made the Empire strong enough to rise up and defeat all other factions that were in their way? Was it an ability to create drastically powerful technology, have extreme intellect, create elite super-soldiers, possible realty-bending powers, or something even beyond that? I think a lot of the Empire’s 20 year history really depends on what exactly Morbane was given by Jirachi, since it was because of that power that he was able to make the Empire of the Rising Sun what it is now.
The other issue is Arceus’s resistance faction. Right now, as you have it, the resistance has even a lesser chance of beating the Ara’kaiz, having really only a handful of legendaries left besides a fragmented and pretty much defeated fighting force. The Ara’kaiz have only just arrived and are totally fighting fit, while Morbane’s Empire of the Rising Sun has superior strength (whatever Jirachi gave them), and already has pretty much all of the conquered world’s assets. The resistance, however, has barely anything, and in that retrospect, any RPer deciding to join that side would have to be some kind of hardass to jump into an RP with that much of a disadvantage already.
In terms of the resistance, I know you want to keep the resistance bruised and battered which is fine considering the storyline’s setting, but they need some kind of hope, and as it stands, they have zilch when it comes to that. Right now, the Ara’kaiz have a strong initial power, and the Empire also has strong initial power, even though they’ve taken some damage. For the resistance, I think it would be a good idea to give them a subtle power that starts off small, and grows over time. They just need to survive long enough for said power to evolve/grow to the point where they have a chance at defeating both the Ara’kaiz and the Empire. Otherwise, they’re just the monkey in the middle for the entire RP.
WITH THE WAY IT IS NOW
It just seems hard to tell if Arceus and the Ara’kaiz are actually allies or not (I’m guessing they’re enemies, but its hard to draw the line considering Arceus summoned them). For one thing, the Ara’kaiz seem like they’re out to continue the cycle and end the world of Pokémon once again. If Arceus called in the beacon to summon the Ara’kaiz and knew about their role in the cycle, he essentially completely betrayed every one of his Pokémon followers and the entire resistance faction, not to mention risk destroying everything he’s ever created (which seems very counter intuitive). To me, in the original setting, it sounds like Arceus is expecting his resistance faction to accept being destroyed and continuing the cycle, and he’s deceitful and self-destructive knowing what the Ara’akiz are and what they’re capable of. Eh… not too crazy, it makes Arceus seem like he’s insane and has completely lost his marbles.
So with the arrival of the Ara’kaiz, would they and the resistance be working together, even though the resistance unknowingly is driving itself toward its own doom by helping the Ara’kaiz? But if they’re enemies… why did Arceus summon them? It doesn’t make too much sense, sorry.
Meanwhile, in your background story, you mentioned:
Originally Posted by Lusankya
Battered and beleaguered, the remaining Legends and the Pokemon that have united to defend themselves against humanity's onslaught gather on the slopes of Mt. Coronet. Many have lost hope; the ones that still dare to dream turn their eyes towards the heavens, searching for a sign from their god, Arceus, a hope of salvation to turn the tides of this war. Yet as the armies of the Rising Sun approach, it seems that no hope remains. Surrounded, the Legends and their followers prepare to make their last stand.
Originally Posted by Lusankya
The Empire would probably control the Kanto-Johto complex, and everywhere else is left up to the resistance groups.
So how did they go from having almost nothing to having almost everything?
HOW I THINK IT SHOULD BE
Arceus and Azkathon as separate, rival creation “gods.”
– Instead of Arceus calling upon Azkathon for help, Azkathon sees Arceus and his followers in trouble, and decides to take advantage of the situation by taking his own Ara’kaiz forces to essentially steal the world from Arceus’s hands, and put his own creation rival in exile.
This way, you have a perfectly good reason for the resistance and the Ara’kaiz to instinctively hate each other, for them to go to war, and for them to also fight the Empire. The resistance wants to put the Empire out of power (and payback, depending on those in the resistance faction), while the Ara’kaiz want to wrestle the world out of Arceus’s hands, and destroy the Empire as collateral. The cultists are the supporters of Azkathon and the Ara’kaiz, and are promised some kind of higher-power ascension if Azkathon wins the war. It would make sense due to humans being a foreign entity.
Faction power and standings:
The Ara’kaiz + Cultists
– Have the army of Scrin-like creatures, while the cultists are granted some small fraction of power that mirrors what the Ara’kaiz has to a minor degree. They mainly have human weapons, but they’re already showing signs of turning into the Ara’kaiz, both physically and socially (we’ll say roughly 10%-20% like them). Think of Wikus in District 9. All of them have the life-draining power, meant to be held for Azkathon, but can be used for themselves in emergency, life-threatening situations. As for the Pokémon of the cultists, they too, are slowly becoming more like the Ara’kaiz themselves.
– Sinnoh, and possibly a few other smaller regions like Fiore, Almia, and so on. Most of their force has not landed yet.
– Void/oblivion alien-like weaponry, as well as their natural powers of draining life-force. On par with what the Empire has.
– Human cultists, bearing some slight resemblance to the Ara’kaiz, such as an transfigured arm, appendages growing from their back, or something like that. They also have a minor form of their ability.
– Consists of the surviving legendaries, Pokémon loyal to Arceus and against the Empire, as well as humans that faithfully follow Arceus despite how bad the situation looks. Currently, their numbers are low, they are scattered and divided, and are barely surviving. However, only they have the legendaries, as no legendary currently willingly follows either the Ara’kaiz or the Empire.
– Scattered around the globe, mostly hiding in Orre, Hoenn, and so on.
– Limited modern day salvaged technology. Very limited in effectiveness against both the Ara’kaiz and the Empire.
– You’re going to think I’m nuts, but let them control the surviving legendaries. Considering the nature of the RP, Arceus’s Resistance should be nailed when it comes to personnel, resources, weaponry, and so on if the Empire has already trashed them into near-extermination. However, if you let RPers command the surviving legendaries, they’ll have way more of a role when it comes to trying to swing things around in favor for Arceus’s Resistance and will need to be resourceful when it comes to using their powers. Any legend not taken by an RPer could be considered dead (unless the number of resistance sign ups is low). I’m thinking have at least 10 surviving legendaries. The humans and Pokémon can be NPCS.
Morbane’s Empire of the Rising Sun:
– Consists of humans and Pokémon empowered by whatever source of power Morbane received from Jirachi. Now, they command much of the world, but the arrival of the Ara’kaiz challenges them. Their numbers are strong, and they’re ready to take the Ara’kaiz head-on.
Johto/Kanto, Hoenn, Orange Islands, Unova, and most of the richer parts of the world.
– Strong modern day technology (AKA Future Weapons material), plus anything that benefitted from Morbane’s wish.
Whew, I wrote a lot there. Tell me what you think.