Three Times the Isshu
Legends of Isshu
In a world of bonds and ties, Isshu stands alone. In the time of her birth she was cut adrift from the ropes of Regigigas and settled far across the ocean, kept away from her brothers by the raging seas. By these means the region was cut off from the influence of the other regions – the ancient rivalry of Kyogre and Groudon did not touch her, and the titanic clash between Space and Time did not extend its reach to her borders. The god Arceus looked upon this region in curiosity, and ordered that young Isshu remain where she had settled – for God was curious and wished to see how the lone region would grow.
And grow she did – Isshu grew into a region of clashing and uniting, of division and togetherness. For a time there was stagnation and corruption as with isolation comes the loss of change and diversity. It was during this time that two brothers were born. The older, clothed in white, believed that truth alone could stop the devastation. The younger, clad in black, believed that ideals were what truly mattered. Faced with their lands struggles though, the two brothers worked together to end the corruption and slow death of their homeland. Moved by their courage and the determination they displayed, a great Dragon appeared. The Dragon, whose name has been lost to the ancient past, was the spirit of Isshu and entrusted its power to the brothers. With the Dragon’s aid the two brothers, now heroes, were able to restore the land to its former beauty and serenity.
However, with no enemy to fight, the two quickly began to feud, and then to battle. The dragon, loyal to both was torn between loyalties. Unable to reconcile its loyalty, it split into two beings – Reshiram the dragon of Truth and Zekrom the dragon of Ideals. The brothers raged war against in each other; blind to the fact their meaningless quarrel was destroying the region they loved. When their region had been brought to the brink, when brother stood to kill brother, and dragon to fight dragon – then they realized their folly. The dragons, born from the friend whose power had given them the power to restore the region, were equal in every way. Realizing that both truth and ideals were necessary for peace, they set aside their differences again, and brought the nation back together. However history repeats itself and arrogance is the folly of the young. The sons of the two heroes thought themselves wiser, more determined than their fathers. Claiming the might of Zekrom and Reshiram respectively, they clashed and their lightning and fire split the land into three pieces, connected by a single strip of land. At the highest point of their battle, when it seemed Isshu would be truly gone…both dragons disappeared. The two sons searched for them, but the dragons would not be found.
Isshu, split and battered, became a land of diversity once more and the story of the dragons became a legend. Soon, humans began to clash again, over land, over wealth – over anything and everything they could desire of each other. In their war the forests of center Isshu were lit on fire, and the Pokémon became trapped. The humans fled their battle, abandoning the creatures to die. This injustice was not to be however, and instead a trio of Pokémon stepped forward. Terrakion used his might to create an escape, Virizion her speed to deflect and combat the flames, and Cobalion his bravery to lead the frightened Pokémon to safety. The fire raged, and the once great forest was burned to cinders. When the trio saw the destruction the war had wrought, the devastation even their mighty powers had been unable to stop, they felt rage burn in their hearts.
Amongst those who had been trapped in the blaze was a young child, orphaned by the war and unlike any Pokemon the trio had seen before - Keldeo, a fighter much like themselves. The three protectors took him in as one of their own, training and guiding him. At the sight of the once-mighty forest the young warrior felt his anger burn bright and his fury would sink deeply within him, a wound that refused to heal. The forest was blackened, destroyed. The lives of those who had lived within it could never be revived. The peace and joy it had once represented was shattered. Keldeo, looking upon the blackened ruins of his home, knowing that even when the forest regrew and the land healed, the lives that had been lost would be forever gone and the homes destroyed never the same. Rage, dark and bright, grew in his heart, a wound that refused to be purged.
The humans had learned nothing from their mistake however and continued their war. Enraged, the quartet used their might to end the war and peace slowly returned. The four Pokémon however could not find it within themselves to forgive the humans for their arrogance and careless cruelty. They fled the human lands until the time came that a human could earn their respect once more.
Their last known act was to transform the barren and empty land where the forest once stood. Terrakion gouged the earth surrounding it deeply forming a circle of earth broken only by the strip of land that connected the three pieces of Isshu. Keldeo filled this circle of earth with water, fresh and strong from a part of the ocean so deep no human and few Pokémon had ever ventured. Virizion surrounded the area with rich, deep forests and entangled paths. At the center of this water, Cobalion raised an island filled with rich ore and minerals for the soil. In this island, and only this island, could berries grow naturally. Pokémon came to this place, and the quartet established it as a peaceful place, guarded by powerful wards so that no human could trespass upon its purity. Eventually it was discovered that humans could enter spiritually, and the place became known as the Entralink – where the flesh and the spirit became one.
Going their separate ways, the four Pokémon also sank into myth. Virizion dashed off for the grass and the trees; to a place she could enjoy nature and peace. Terrakion rumbled through the earth and caves, searching for battle and excitement, and eventually a place to call home. Cobalion settled deep into the mountains where the ores of the world’s crust appeared in abundance, living peacefully with the Pokemon around him, waiting for a human who could restore his faith. Keldeo simply disappeared with the morning dew, never to be seen again.
The disappearance of the four heroic Pokémon led to much confusion and despair, as the people cast blame on each for the wars, never acknowledging that each of them had been equally at fault.
The war of dragons had yet more consequences though. Those humans who believed that truth was the most important crafted the magnificent Black City, where the people look to the truth for guidance, and move forward to the future. Those who believed that ideals were most important settled in a forest that grew into a beautiful village known as White Forest. Each place held a special connection to the Isshu region and to Pokémon, and as such those born within them were granted a special ability. The people of White Forest found themselves gifted with the ability to speak to Pokémon allowing them to understand and connect to them. The people of Black City found that they could learn things about Pokémon that no other could. Through the slightest of observations they could provide scores of information on a Pokémon, read their body language, and know the truth of them in ways that even the people of White Forest could not.
The beings that crafted Isshu fell to mere stories and myths, their cause forgotten. Pokémon and humans live their lives together, but the world is harsh. Trainers battle to the death and many Pokémon are killed and crippled for their games. There are those who, disgusted by this cruelty, seek to forever divide Pokémon and human.
Once again the Isshu region nears chaos, for the Dragons will soon rise. Who will they follow this time? Will Isshu come crashing to its end or will those of strong will fight for peace?