Thousand Roads

A Pokémon fansite dedicated to the creative side of the Pokémon fandom, especially fanfiction.

rayquaza-mega

Negrek Admin

Website: Thousand Roads

Glad you like it! I try to keep things current... hoping to be able to add the new UBs this year, although it will depend on how fast their sprites get ripped.

rayquaza-mega

Negrek Admin

Website: Thousand Roads

At the moment there's no way to guarantee that your cubone will evolve into Alolan marowak. The major feature I'm looking to add this year is greater control over NaNoWriMon evolution, so if you try to make a cubone again in a couple weeks you should be able to specify that you want an Alolan marowak from the start.

gardevoir

Eowyn

Hey, trying to get a male Typhlosion nicknamed Buddy for my NaNo signature this year, but it's not working. My username is ~Éowyn~ and I'm guessing the code doesn't work with the accents and the ~ since last year it worked for me (I was LiaWolf01 back then I believe, or BadWolfGirl01, can't recall when I changed my name haha)... can you fix it?

scatterbug

~Éowyn~

Hey, trying to make a NaNoWriMon this year and it says it's having trouble connecting to the site? My username is ~Éowyn~, perhaps the accent doesn't register properly? shrugs I'd like a (male if possible) Typhlosion nicknamed Buddy. :)

arbok

Meow

It makes me so happy that you got the Sun and Moon pokemon :)

meganium

CryptoChimera

I'm trying to get an alolan marowak, what would I put in to make sure that I don't get the regular old marowak once cubone evolves? Or is it just random chance?

rayquaza-mega

Negrek Admin

Website: Thousand Roads

I drew a scene from chapter 32 as kind of a thank you for all the years you've been writing awesome fanfic. It didn't exactly come out the way I'd hoped (partly because I don't know what kind of billboard ads they would display in your pokémon universe, partly because I don't know how to illustrate a psychic aura), but I guess it gets the point across.

Oh wow, thank you so much! It's fantastic! And I think you did a great job with the banner ads, they definitely look like the sorts of advertisements I'd expect to see in a Kanto League match. You really captured Mewtwo's attitude, and I love the creepy Red lurking in the background.

Anyway, it's interesting to see Mewtwo actually playing along with the protagonist's lie at the beginning. He didn't seem to have much to gain from doing so, and I half-expected him to straight up laugh in Nathaniel's face.

One thing the protagonist didn't consider is that it might not be such a good thing that Mewtwo played along with it here... he has his own reasons for doing so, and they're not exactly benevolent.

Being as psychic as he is, I'd imagine that he'd even pick up on the part where the protagonist is collaborating with Team Rocket to get Nathaniel captured, and I don't imagine he'd be too happy with that given his history.

He's definitely aware of this, but for one reason or another he's not so against collaborating with Team Rocket when the payoff is winning his freedom. He doesn't mind Nate getting sold out, either; if anything, he thinks it's hilarious. He doesn't have any love for Nate, or humans in general really, so while he hates Team Rocket with a passion, he doesn't care if they screw people over so long as those people are human--or one particularly irritating human in particular!

The fight scene here reminded me a lot of the battle the protagonist had with Team Rocket all those chapters ago, when Nate was the one doing the whole double cross thing. Just so many pokémon everywhere, basically dogpiling the protagonist.

Absolutely. One of the most reliable ways to deal with it is to overwhelm it with sheer numbers, although we'll see people come up with different/more sophisticated ways of dealing with it in the future.

I'm really curious why the protagonist decided to save Nate after all. It was pretty ambivalent about giving Nathaniel up in the first place, but I wonder if the whole double cross was what made it decide to side against Team Rocket in the end. I suppose we'll all find out in the next chapter, and I really can't wait!

I don't think it really understands why it saved him itself, but for sure if Eskar had just taken him and left, without trying to go for the master ball of the protagonist itself, Nate would have been screwed. We'll definitely hear more about that next chapter, as well as what was up with the championship battle.

Thanks so much for the review, as well as the lovely fanart! Hope you enjoy what's coming next.

dragonair

Coatl

Hi, it's me from ff.net.

I drew a scene from chapter 32 as kind of a thank you for all the years you've been writing awesome fanfic. It didn't exactly come out the way I'd hoped (partly because I don't know what kind of billboard ads they would display in your pokémon universe, partly because I don't know how to illustrate a psychic aura), but I guess it gets the point across.

Since I'm not allowed to post links in the comments on ff.net, I figured I'd post it here instead:

https://i.imgur.com/Wmd6isH.jpg

Happy fifth anniversary, Salvage!

rayquaza-mega

Negrek Admin

Website: Thousand Roads

Chapter 32 Reply

After seeing the Serebii post saying chapter 32 would be out by the end of August, I bookmarked the last page of that thread and (probably from the middle of August onwards) refreshed it anywhere from 3-4 times a day. Not obsessive at all. At ALL.

Oh dear. D: Sorry it ended up being a week late after all that. At least 33 went up more or less on schedule!

The fight with Red reminded me a lot of my first time battling him in Mt. Silver. [...] It was eye-opening how much better he was than me, and I feel that exact same feeling in this chapter.

Awesome! I definitely wanted to evoke that feeling of Red being a real class above any ordinary trainer, sort of in a league of his own.

Although it’s very in-character for the protagonist to be so predictable in the way it uses its powers, I can't help but be disappointed.

Yeah, this was the primary reason the chapter took so long to get out: this was just never going to be a very interesting battle, and I kept rewriting it to try and make it less boring. The problem is that cheating really doesn't encourage the use of clever strategy. Creativity usually arises out of restrictions; when you have access to the most powerful attacks/abilities/whatever, it generally makes the most sense to just spam those, rather than trying for something fancy. The effects of serene grace, technician, iron fist, etc. are marginal when compared to the ability to completely ignore all your opponent's STAB super-effective attacks, so there's no reason to use them when e.g. water absorb is available. If it were free to from one ability to another, i.e. it took no time or effort to switch, then yeah, you could use iron fist and unleash a bunch of punches, then quick change into water absorb only when you expected a water-type counterattack, but the protagonist isn't able to do that; it's best to simply sit with the most generally useful ability and slug away. There were some more interesting strategies that I wrote in at various points, like one I was particularly fond of with ghost-type curse, but ultimately they ended up feeling too clunky, with too little pay-off compared to just defending against the opponents' attacks and slugging away. There are some more powerful options available, like wonder guard, but they tend to be obvious in one way or another (wonder guard gives you a little halo, which should have been described when the protagoist used it during the Rocket ambush a ways back). I do like the idea of galvanize + some normal-type moves against Charizard and Blastoise in particular, though! That's one I might have been able to use, but it didn't occur to me.

Anyway, all that to say that I don't think the nature of this battle lends itself to very interesting strategies, and so I ultimately tried to play up the creepiness of Red's team in order to add some interest to what admittedly is among the worst battles of the story. (Unfortunate that it had to be the final battle in the championship series!) That's my excuse, anyway!

The weird emotionless zombie nature of Red's pokémon also has me pretty curious. Given that the aura corruption is PURPLE, my guess is that Mewtwo has something to do with it.

Mewtwo does! Although he isn't what I was thinking of when I chose to make the aura purple.

Maybe Red gets some kind of psychic boost from having Mewtwo around all the time...

Yes! People who are exposed to psychic energy for long periods of time tend to become more sensitive to it over time, and may eventually gain some minor psychic abilties themselves. Flat aspect and funky purple auras aren't documented side effects, though.

I thought I remembered the protagonist turning into a pidgey in chapter 16, but looking back at it, I'm not actually sure what the protagonist does there. It mentions growing feathers and using the "illusion of a pidgey", but after it catches up with Mewtwo it also shrinks back down to its usual size. I'm not entirely sure why it would grow itself in the first place unless it was copying the shape of a particular flying pokémon.

It doesn't transform into a pidgey there, but instead uses the illusion ability to make itself look like one ("you wrap yourself in the illusion of a pidgey). At the time it was transformed into a member of Team Rocket, who was an adult, so when it eventually went back to its "usual" form it had to shrink. So it wasn't the case that it grew while it was getting ready to go after Mewtwo, only that it didn't bother to change its size at all, then later became smaller when it reverted to normal.

That's the only time the protagonist has used an illusion instead of just transforming into something, and it's confused multiple people, so I'm going to see if I can revise that scene to either remove the need for it or make it more clear what's going on.

I don't know how the protagonist isn't just a flat level 100 or level 0, though, since it's the only known member of its species.

It's because it's me as the author telling you its level. :P In-universe if you pointed a pokédex at it you'd get some kind of error message because it isn't a recognized species. The pokédex would still attempt to give a level estimate, but it would be based on the "average" amount of energy pokémon have at a given level, across all species. Because the protagonist has higher base stats than average, the estimate would overshoot its actual level a bit and probably be given as level 60-65 or so.

Either way, I'm looking forward to seeing how the protagonist handles the doublecross in the next chapter.

I hope it lives up to your expectations! As always, thanks for leaving such a thoughtful and detailed review! Sorry the battle was a bit disappointing, but I hope it at least wasn't too tedious to read.

rayquaza-mega

Negrek Admin

Website: Thousand Roads

Chapter 25 Reply

I don't have a account, but I've been following Salvage since 2012, immediately after the end of Clouded Sky (which left a big hole in my life), and long after I stopped being interested in the fandom in general.

It was so mindblowing to get a review with this for an opener. Thinking about how long I've been doing this fanfic thing is already weird enough, but the thought that there are people who've been reading my stuff nearly as long as I've been writing it really takes things to another level.

While I was sad to see the end of Clouded Sky, I would have lost a thousand Clouded Skies if it meant more Salvages. I love love LOVE this story. I love the oblivious, nearly sociopathic child with its identity issues and overwhelming combo platter of abilities. I love grumpy, foul-mouthed Nathaniel and all of his pokémon, and I especially love how they get along with each other. I love Mewtwo and how scary and misanthropic (in the most literal definition of the word) he can be. I love the mystery and the action and the little details that you put in that make everything just come together (like what it's like to have superhuman healing abilities and have to deal with massive blood loss at the same time, or what it's like to be able to just change the physical structure of your brain to become less empathetic).

Thanks, I'm glad you like those things so much! I have so much fun working with all those elements in the story, so it's fantastic that they're enjoyable for you as a reader, too. And it means a lot that you like this story even better than Clouded Sky. I HOPE I've improved a bit as a writer since I began that one, and so it's nice to think that I managed to turn out a better story this time around.

I really don't know, but I wish more people would read this story and comment about it so I could sift through the comments and read something that someone else thought of that I also thought of at the same time and be all "HEY! I noticed that too! That was cool!" with the strange afterglow of human kinship that comes with having the exact same opinion as a complete stranger whom you've never talked to or met.

Haha, I wish I knew, too! Although I think to some extent this is a story that was never destined to become popular: it's really weird, both in terms of presentation and subject matter, so I think it does have a pretty niche audience. Though of course I'd always love more reviews, I've actually been pleasantly surprised with the reception the story's gotten. And I love reading other people's reviews for the same reason you do, it's so cool seeing how other people react, what stands out to them, and where their opinions are the same and where they're wildly, wildly different. I actually follow the reviews for some fanfics where I haven't read the fanfic itself. :P

Anyway, I have your profile bookmarked and I pop by a few times a week to see if this is updated, and when it does, I smile like an idiot and check the hell out of life for the next hour or two of my morning/afternoon/evening so I can sit there and eat the whole thing in one sitting. I even re-read the whole story from time to time, when I anticipate an update coming soon.

This is so awesome??? It always floors me that there are people who are willing to read through this godawful long story more than once. I apologize for the long waits, it must be super frustrating to have to keep checking back when you can't use the subscription feature.

Don't lose hope because you don't see us anonymous lurkers leaving comments on your story. You can be assured that we're here and eating up every word.

Thanks, I'm super glad you popped up and decided to leave some comments! I've really enjoyed reading them, and you've really made me think about some of the decisions I've made along the way. It means a lot to me that you've been following my fanfics for so long and leave such wonderful feedback.

And no worries. I'm as slow as ever about posting, but unless I get run over by a bus or something I guarantee you'll get to see the end of this story eventually.

rayquaza-mega

Negrek Admin

Website: Thousand Roads

Chapter 26 Reply

After checking out every single post in that Serebii thread, I gotta say I really enjoyed the story of how Nate met his Mightyena. She is adorable, and I wish she was my friend. I loved all the little worldbuilding details, too. Team Rocket seems oddly plausible as an organization in this universe, and I finally understand why Nate might have joined them and why he might be in trouble with them as well.

Thank you! I'm particularly fond of the Nate and Poochyena extra myself; I wrote it a long time before it got posted, and it was something I really looked forward to being able to publish once I got to the right place. It's been a while since I've done any kind of extra, but I'm hoping to get some more out in the near future; they're fun to do, and I think it's nice to be able to give people some more background info that doesn't really fit anywhere within the frame of the story itself. I'm glad that you liked reading over the Serebii thread in general, too... it's always nice to be able to see the reviews other people give to stories I'm following, just because they so often catch things I didn't, or have interesting theories, or just remind me of some of my favorite bits. One of the disadvantages of posting across multiple sites (and FFN not being set up for public replies, grr!) is that it's easy for readers to miss out on that kind of thing, which I think is part of the fun!

My favourite thing, though, was the little extra where Nate tried to get the child to turn into what it was like when it was human. I really wish that had been in the mew backstory chapter [...] In any case, I would have liked to have a little more of Nate and the child's more lighthearted interactions to bookend the grimness of its origins. The contrast would have been nice, and "absurdly dark plot development mixed with the hilariously oblivious child's perspective" is something that I just find incredibly charming about this story.

Interesting! I do like that little exchange, and I'm planning to remove one of the flashback scenes when I revise this chapter, so that will free up a little space for something extra. (Your comments about a chapter "feeling" long versus "being" long are duly noted, though!) It's true that the chapter's unusually grim overall, so a little more humor wouldn't go amiss.

And while I'm on the subject of that chapter, it reminded me a lot of Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn, particularly the bits about Mew's perspective and her life in the jungle. It's my favourite chapter to date, and I really appreciate the work you put into the contradictory task of making her sensory information both alien and understandable at the same time. I eat that stuff like candy.

Wow, that's some high praise! Thanks so much! I'll admit that the backstory chapter is my favorite thus far, too. It was a very difficult one to write, so I'm glad it turned out well. And I'm glad you enjoyed how I handled Mew's POV... it definitely is difficult to make psychic perception seem alien but also comprehensible to the reader. I certainly don't always get the balance right, but I'm glad that it worked well for you in that chapter!

The details about how the child got through Leonard's shielding were also really cool. I love reading about how people work around restrictions and safeguards, because it makes the world feel real. It's like stuff has been made by actual people with actual technology that has actual rules, and isn't so much just a bunch of cool things that are slapped together because why the hell not.

Awesome! I've had to think a lot about the kinds of technology that would develop to kind of curb/contain pokémon abilities in this story, and I'm glad you enjoy some of the stuff I've come up with.

I want more information about that Deepwilds thing.

I do hope to do an extra that will talk about the deepwilds more, but basically territory in most pokémon-world regions is split into three categories: human-controlled land, routes (both pokémon and humans have jurisdiction here), and pokémon-controlled land. Pokémon-controlled areas are commonly referred to the "deepwilds." While it's perfectly legal to catch whatever you want in a city (human-controlled) or on a route (joint jurisdiction), it generally isn't in the deepwilds. That's where you'll find many all- or predominantly-pokémon socieities, and that's typically where pokémon go if they don't want to interact with humans. Of course, a lot of the pokémon out there are quite powerful, so certain unscrupulous people do go looking out there for things to catch...

rayquaza-mega

Negrek Admin

Website: Thousand Roads

Chapter 27 Reply

What happened to Leonard Kerrigan?!

Haha, well, you know that now! Hopefully the wait wasn't too bad.

The cradily with storm drain and the role play ability swap was definitely my favourite part of this chapter. After the lovely, evocative description of what it's like to be a cradily, the child immediately follows it up with a comment about how weird it is to just freaking pretend to be a cradily in the middle of a battle. Love, love, LOVE it.

Thank you! I think that overall this is probably the best battle in the story--it's definitely my favorite, and the part with the cradily is my favorite part of that. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

One thing I appreciate about the battles you write is how cleverly they incorporate strategy from the actual games.

Glad you like it! I have a lot of fun putting together the battles, and I do try to make them a little more clever than simply trading attacks until one of the pokémon falls down. It's cool that you go look things up on Bulbapedia and so on--I never thought anybody would do so much work for one of my battles, heh.

Also, even though Jason Muskowitz had maybe two or three lines that aren't direct orders to his pokemon, he comes across as oddly endearing. I like it.

People seem to like Jason! It's always fun when a super minor character gets some fans.

Anyway, rambling aside, it's a solid chapter with some really interesting battles, but after the last one, it feels like a weird hiccup in pacing. It seemed like the story was gearing up to really knuckle down into the plot, but suddenly there's another battle for the championship.

Yeah, like I think I said elsewhere, the high density of battles do cause pacing issues in the tourney arc. It's tricky because I don't want to skip all of them, because what happens during them is important, and it would seem kind of pointless to have a tournament arc without showing any of the actual battles. Ultimately I think there just isn't enough marriage between the battles themselves and the larger questions of the plot... it's something I've thought a lot about how to fix, but haven't come up with a good solution for yet.

rayquaza-mega

Negrek Admin

Website: Thousand Roads

Chapter 28 Reply

But man, I laughed pretty hard at Nate's comment about how the child is keeping Leonard Kerrigan, and even harder about how the child is basically all: "YES, THAT'S RIGHT. YOU SHOULD BE AFRAID OF MY THREAT TO TIE YOU UP IN MY SHACK NAKED, COVERED IN MY STICKY WHITE GOO."

Not as hard as I laughed at this line here, I bet! Way to make it sound even more horrifying. XD

It's nice to see the child display actual empathy for once. Children are notoriously bad at that sort of thing, but I was starting to wonder if the child is actually a sociopath.

Well, being what it is, the protagonist does actually have low empathy relative to normal humans. Whether or not you would go so far as to call it a sociopath, I don't know, but it's definitely not normal in that regard.

rayquaza-mega

Negrek Admin

Website: Thousand Roads

Awesome! I'm planning to update the UI and add a couple new features this year, so hopefully it'll be an even more convenient process this year. Definitely need to knuckle down on that stuff, though, how is it nearly October already...

croconaw

Rin

I'm so excited to hatch a new nanowrimon this year! Just waiting for the nano website to roll over to start

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