– Plated Pokémon
– Plated Pokémon
– Grove Back Pokémon
One thing I’ve noticed was that most of the Grass starter entries focused primarily on the stegosaur design itself rather than tying it to any specific myth. So for mine, I decided to build upon an idea originally described by Pokémaniacal, specifically a giant dragon with plants growing on its body. Combining this with the stegosaur basis, I came up with the idea of the plates being used as a trellis (which has been used before with a fakemon on deviantART, but that one is based on an Edaphosaurus so it doesn’t quite count). The specific dragon I used as influence was Fafnir, that guy from Norse mythology who was slain by Sigurd and whatnot. Rhizomizer’s neck came out a little long for a stegosaur, but then again, we do have Miragia…
Stegophyte begin their lives as small, vulnerable creatures – the single bony plate on their backs offers little protection. Thus, they rely on camouflage to survive in their forest habitat, covering their bodies with moss and lichen. It is easy to mistake a hiding Stegophyte for a plant root covered in vegetation even with that large back plate, especially since it doesn’t take long for some of the seeds it has planted on itself to sprout, covering the otherwise conspicuous feature. Over time, the plants on its back take root on the Stegophyte itself, giving it a source of extra nutrition to go with their original function. Once it evolves, Dinoliage becomes large and strong enough that it can be a little more picky with the plants it grows on itself, preferring the tastiest or most interesting ones it can find. The plants on its back somehow wrap around its back plates as they grow, and by turning its plates to face the sunlight streaming through the forest canopy, it can warm up its body and give its plants the energy to keep growing. Dinoliage is very protective of its plant life, and it can and will put its powerful tail to use if it feels that its mobile garden is threatened.
Rhizomizer (I wanted to call him Dragomizer, but that name was taken by another fakemon on dA) were among the first Grass-types to be featured in folklore, often as a forest-dwelling horror that emerged along with the sun to terrorize the land. Though this portrayal was somewhat unfair, it was somewhat understandable at the time, for although these Pokémon are exclusively herbivorous, they are also aggressively territorial. These dragons are dedicated to protecting the diversity of forest life, so they see it as their mission to collect and preserve the rarest and most valuable plants they find, like a living seed bank for endangered flora. Of course, many of the plants that grow on their backs are highly sought after by collectors as well, and it does not help that anyone dumb enough to bother the Rhizomizer that’s protecting them will inevitably have to deal with tail spikes as long as a man’s arm, among other issues.
According to legend, the first Rhizomizer was not originally a Pokémon, but a transfigured prince. The king of the land had collected a treasure trove of exotic flora from distant lands, some of which were rumored to possess magical powers. When the king passed away, his jealous sons fought over their collection, and in his attempt to gain ground, the eldest transformed himself into a huge Dragon-type, who promptly hid all the plants between his scales and fled the kingdom, setting his lair deep within the dark forest nearby. This did not deter the hero of the myth who would later be convinced by the younger brother to obtain the vanishingly rare flower that grew upon the dragon’s head, and although it would be wiser to simply pack up and move elsewhere, conventional wisdom did not deter the hero from defeating the otherwise well-protected Dragon-type with a combination of a well-placed Dig and an Icicle Spear to the heart. It is said that the younger prince, who had also planned to steal the flower, tried to transform into another Rhizomizer, but was also slain before he could get that far.
Even in modern times, this famous myth has permeated the modern consciousness, portraying the Stegophyte line as savage, untameable abominations, and Rhizomizer were thus both persecuted and exploited to the point that they no longer existed in the wild. However, with the conservationist movements of the recent decades, a number of biologists took a second look and, upon realizing how subjective the original story was, decided to begin raising orphaned Stegophyte in captivity to see what would happen. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the myth of the killer Stegophyte was proven wrong when the little Grass-types proved to be as docile and affectionate as any other Pokémon, even in their adult forms. To this day, the captive breeding of the Plated Pokémon is considered a blessing by the public, scientists, and Pokémon trainers alike, for a properly raised Rhizomizer is not only an Arceus-send for forest conservation and the species itself, but an immensely powerful and invaluable ally in competitive battling as well.
The standard ability is Overgrow of course; I’ll let the community decide the Hidden ability but possible suggestions include Intimidate, Mold Breaker, Grass Pelt, Harvest, Multiscale, or Sap Sipper.
I love it when the internet draws things for me. Shout out to SkarmorySilver for making this pretty thing, and to the Latea Region, which you should check out if you haven’t already so you can get in on the ground floor. Some interesting-looking entries in the Grass-type starter category…