Erika Pax (previously called 'the Fearless') is one of Aether's blacksmiths. Originally from a Veethfölnir tribe called Thundundra, she came to Aether hoping to make a name for herself outside her home town - and she got that and more during her adventures. Her story is nowhere near done, as far as she's concerned, and now that she has a family, she has more than enough reason to protect those she loves.
Erika is all about debunking stereotypes. After all, she’s a female blacksmith from a Viking tribe – not a very actively-pursued career for a female in her clan! But Erika has always been spunky and courageous, very out-spoken and not afraid to chase her dreams wherever they may take her. She has a thick stubborn streak combined with a never-say-die outlook on life; she is also quite the perfectionist when it comes to her craft. While not the strongest battler in the world, she can hold herself in a fight and won’t back down from a challenge. Especially when it comes to her friends: once she’s on your side, she’s there for life, and she will be loyal till the end of her days. This same viewpoint applies to Aether as well, and Erika will gladly go on any adventure Alaric decrees if it will benefit the kingdom she now calls home.
History Before ArrivalEdit
In the far northern regions of the world, there is an ever-growing settlement of Vikings nestled amongst a snow-laden forest of evergreens. Named Thundundra, the Pokémon who live (and die) there survive off of the land and worship the god their tribe was named for, a blue-purple deity who rides a cloud into battle armed with lightning bolts. Erika grew up in this settlement as the eldest daughter of Olaf the Poisoned and Helga the Meek. It is said that when she hatched, her parents thought she was a boy, fully intending on naming her ‘Erik’… but they soon realized the truth and amended her name to the feminine.
Regardless of her childhood mishap, Erika adapted immediately to the harsh wildlife she was destined to grow up in. She also developed a keen interest in her father’s trade of blacksmithing, often following him to his workshop and asking/pestering him to teach her. The Nidoking at first merely humored her requests, showing her a few techniques without expecting her to be able to do them; when she soon showed her skill, he quickly realized she could become a great blacksmith and decided to take her as his apprentice. Olaf taught his Sentret daughter everything he knew, and she took every lesson in stride.
This went on until she turned 18 years old and evolved into a Furret. It was then that she decided that she wanted to leave the tribe and explore the rest of the world, maybe start her own shop somewhere else! Olaf gave his blessing, passing on his beloved Flamethrower move and his shield to protect her in her travels. She also gained the permission of the village chief, a Beartic named Ivan the Strong, who bestowed upon her the surname of ‘Fearless,’ in recognition of her bold decision to leave home. Thus, after saying her goodbyes to her parents and newly-born brother, Leif, Erika left the settlement for the coast where she caught passage on a trade ship and sailed south.
Her journey was long and arduous; it took close to a year for her ship to reach the main continent in its meandering path, and even then, she was nowhere near where she wanted to be. During the twelve months at sea, Erika learned a number of things at each port they stopped at, mainly that it wasn’t going to be easy for her to start her own business. Everywhere she went, there was already an established blacksmith, and no one needed another smith in their town. So she headed off throughout the land, wandering across civilizations to find a place that wanted her services. Finally, after two years of travel through plains, deserts, and forests, she eventually ended up at Aether, desperately seeking a fresh start. And thankfully, the kingdom was in need of a blacksmith…
History After ArrivalEdit
Soon after arriving at Aether (then an unnamed kingdom), Erika developed a bad fever as she was unused to the warmer weather in her new home. She eventually got over the sickness and met some of the citizens living alongside her, including Gale the then-Banette-now-Sandshrew and Agatha the Houndour who lived in her home for awhile. It was sometime after that that Pausanius, the king of Artiphron, came to the kingdom to tell them of the labyrinth mission; Erika volunteered to go into the labyrinth with Gale as her "maze buddy," both of them succeeding in getting the Crest of Wisdom. After that, it was business as usual... until the Festival of Aether happened.
A Riolu named Derrick washed up on shore just before the beginning of the festival, and Erika did the right thing in helping him wake up, thinking that would be the end of it. Unfortunately, this Riolu had a dark connection to her as a member of a rival tribe back home, and he attempted to steal from her in order to make his escape. Despite her attempts to erase him from her mind, including battling with Skipper the Marshtomp in the arena, it was not to be, and the two became uneasy friends after the festival ended. She eventually met Fuego the Chandelure and all of his friends, providing Derrick an opportunity to work for a home with Fuego as well as train on his Aura abilities, and time went on.
Then, things began to change for the two of them. Derrick's birthday came and went, and Erika managed to take him on a trip outside of town. Something changed in the Riolu that day, but Erika didn't know what until after she'd helped him build his own home. While picking flowers for a behest with him, Derrick was injured protecting her from a Fairy attack, and she came to realize that he loved her... and she him. It wasn't until the mission fighting against her own shadow that she and he expressed their feelings for another, and the Furret and recently-evolved-Lucario became a couple that couldn't be stopped: not even by a Mega Gawain!
Following the "Day that Everything Changed," Erika and Derrick settled into normalcy... but there was still the little issue of their warring tribes to deal with before they could truly be a happy pair. Ever the optimist, Erika fully believed they'd be able to convince their tribes to accept their relationship; unfortunately, Derrick did not share her faith, and she decided to prove her theory by sending a letter to her father explaining the situation. That letter came back to bite her in the butt, for the response came back with an invitation for both of them to come up for her twenty-second birthday celebration. Accompanying the deliverer of the message - a perky mute Pyroar named Runa - Erika and Derrick ventured to their homelands, neither of them on good standing with eachother... and the situation was made worse by a surprise attack by Tortrombdo. Erika was roped into leading an invasion against the Thundundra tribe on the condition that she would never see Derrick again if she didn't comply; unbeknownst to her, the invasion was a cover for an assassination attempt, but luckily Derrick was able to come to the rescue, fighting off his own father! He stood up to him, facing his fears... and William the Great, leader of Tortrombdo, accepted his son and gave him his name as well as a blessing on their relationship.
Erika's bliss didn't last long, though. By the time the Sazanami mission rolled around, she was feeling down, not confident in her abilities as a Veethfölnir. So despite being in the midst of working on a play being produced in Aether, Erika took on the mission by herself. She faced the sea dragon with aplomb, bravely battling the elements and reaching the Moon Cave altar just in time, successfully restoring her self-esteem. She would need it too, as the Trial of Willpower in the heart of Voluntas tested everything she was made of; thankfully, she had Derrick, and they bonded themselves in marriage, becoming husband and wife a few months later.
Being married didn't stop their thirst for adventure: even with two children hatched, Erika continued to run missions with her hubby, first stopping the Gailamirian invasion, then traveling to Khetmaat for the Trial of Emotion. After some time relaxing at a festival, she went to her homeland to take part in an invasion - and with peace restored, she was able to fully focus on helping her new home. First she helped rescue hostages to free her nation's soldiers; then, she helped a spirit move on to the afterlife in a cursed forest; and then she escorted the father of the new queen of Aether to his daughter's wedding, saving him from an assassination plot in the process. Not even the long mission in Sazanami helping to stop a war and reseal a water titan could slow her down - and even though she briefly lost her confidence in Naklin, she regained it in Kalka, and she is sure that this is only the beginning of more missions to come.
Missions and EventsEdit
Mission 1: Wisdom to Thrive
Erika teams up with Gale to take on the labyrinth in Artiphron. They are beaten up quite a bit, but eventually, both succeed in getting the medal for completing the Trial of Emotion, taking the first step to fulfilling Aether's destiny in the prophecy.
Event 2: The Summer Festival
Erika takes part in the festival celebrating her new home's naming ceremony, going to the special markets, fighting a friendly match in the arena, and attending the end-of-the-night party. During this time, she meets Derrick for the first time.
Mission 2: Hauntings of the Past
Erika teams up with Fuego for the first half of the mission, tracking down the ghosts that have been haunting the kingdom. Derrick evolves during the fight in the cemetery, and he lends a hand in the second half, watching from afar as Erika manages to get the Celestial Stone to the top of the mountain, bringing the Fairy-typing back to Aether.
Mission 3: The Brewing of an Ominous Storm
After a string of behests, Erika feels a little unconfident - so she decides to go to Sazanami alone, stopping the storm by reviving their patron god.
Mission 4: Against All Odds
Erika goes with Derrick and new friend Runa to Voluntas to participate in the Trial of Willpower. Together, they get the Crest of Willpower... and Erika gets a fiancee.
Mission 5: The Mad King
On the eve of their wedding, Erika and Derrick go to Gailamir to stop Hilderic from making good on his threat to invade Aether. They distract the guards while Prince Tullius attacks the 'Mad King' Hilderic, making sure he gets away after the deed is done.
Mission 6: Stuck in a Glass Case of Emotion
Erika heads to Khetmaat with Derrick, going into the Trial of Emotion and, after beating the illusion world she's submitted to, gets the Crest of Emotion.
Event 6: Summer's Solstice Festival
After passing the Trial of Emotion, Erika and the family decide to relax by enjoying the activities at the summer solstice festival, including a trip to the rodeo.
Mission 7: Yes We Khan
Erika and Derrick go to the Emperor's Palace in Gāng Tiě to rescue the Chanyuan hostages, as requested by a Chanyuan leader. Sneaking into the palace, the married couple manages to save the hostages and return safely.
Mission 8: Uprooting the Dark's Hold & Going Batty
Erika travels into the forest surrounding Aether with Ako (and Snó) in order to banish a cursed soul inhabiting a tree, to secure passage for their king to travel to an informant's castle.
Mission 9: Snakes in the Grass
With the two 'mons training her children in tow, Erika escorts the Ard Rí Ness Mac Conchobar to his daughter's wedding in Aether, halting an assassination attempt against him in the process.
Mission 10: Tidings of War
A murder mystery at the ball celebrating King Alaric's and Queen Tara's wedding takes a dark turn, leading Erika and her family on a long mission to Sazanami to stop a war. Though they succeed, they uncover many secrets about Sazanami's past, revealing traitors and long lost heirs all at once, and even manage to summon an ancient titan from below the sea! Erika and family assist in resealing the creature, thus restoring peace to the nation.
Event 10: Festival of Lights
Returning home, Erika and family relax during the Festival of Lights, participating in a town-wide snowball fight, operating a stall in the marketplace, and helping a fellow Aetherian experience joy in the wintertime.
Mission 11: Breaking the Ice
With a new era upon them, Erika travels to the snowy reaches of Naklin to help the International Guild secure peace in the region. First she assists in the building of a Gāng Tiě colony; then, she reveals the identity of the "spirit" who was terrorizing the colony. However, she lost some of her confidence during the mission...
Mission 12: Monkey Business
Which resulted in Val accompanying Erika to Kalka for the next mission, hoping to help her mother regain her self-esteem. Luckily, it worked, and Erika was able to create some traps to capture the monkeys running loose in the jungle, securing a temporary truce between the jungle and plains tribes.