Dál Méid: The Sun-Drenched Archipelago
Greetings - welcome to Dál Méid! I see you have traveled light; are you planning on staying long? If so, you are free to stay at the Sunny Side Inn, where our eponymous cafe serves delicious meals to hungry patrons whether they stay at the inn or not… Why do I care? Because I’m the owner of the inn, silly!
My name is Felicia Cloudwing, pleased to meet you~ In addition to owning the premiere bed and breakfast in Dál Méid, I’m also the town historian and all-around know-it-all, so I’d be happy to show you around. Do keep up, though; I’m a fast flyer.
So, yes, you’re in Dál Méid. It is quite the sprawling city, tossed across a series of islands on the northern coast of Aether. There are approximately fourteen islands encompassing Dál Méid, not including the plateau where the town center is located (and incidentally where you are now). See all those green-brown things in the water below? Those are all the islands, of varying sizes and vegetation: some have dense forests, others are barren rock; many are large, the rest are small. But no matter what their description, every island is a part of Dál Méid, and those that live on those islands are proud citizens of our lovely town.
Dál Méid was discovered by four pilgrims thousands of years ago. A Xatu, Arcanine, Haxorus, and Ludicolo were traveling through Aether, on their way to a holy site where they could pray for their homeland’s salvation. You see, their homeland was being threatened by barbarians and these four had been chosen as the smartest, fastest, and strongest members of the community, sent as representatives to a far-away shrine to offer prayers and sacrifices. Along the way, they decided to rest on the plateau - at this very spot - until the night suddenly broke into light and a shaft of wind shot down towards them. The howling tempest turned into a serpentine creature that told them that they were too late, that their friends and family were being attacked by the barbarians - but they still had a chance to save most of the ‘mons, only if they pledged to serve the serpent and his familiars who, in exchange, would protect them forever more. The four pilgrims agreed, and off went the serpent, transforming into a tornado that eliminated the barbarians and swept the surviving members of their homeland back to the plateau. Thus, the city of Dál Méid - meaning ‘sun after storm’ in our natural tongue - was born.
Now, about that serpent: it is the protector of our home, shielding us from natural disasters. When the pilgrims made their deal with the creature, it informed them that should they ever forget to worship it, or defile the land in some way, it would unleash its deadly tornado upon them, just as it had done to the barbarians. But it is not so jealous that it cares not for its people - it sent us two denizens from its dimension to provide for us, one green, one red. The green one prances across the land in the early mornings of spring and summer, spreading dew that gives us bountiful harvests every year. The red one lights a fire in our bellies when enemies approach, giving us strength in battle. By offering weekly sacrifices to this trio, we honor the promise the noble serpent made, and we have been doing this for centuries… Oh, but don’t panic: we don’t sacrifice ‘mons! We offer fruit, nuts, clothes, goods - no blood-spilling or any of that nonsense. We are more civilized than you take us for.
So, yes, we do sacrifices at the various pedestals set up throughout town (although the one in the Cathedral to the Serpent is the most used). But we are not so stuffy as you would imagine. Food, fun, and parties are another part of our lives, at any and all times of the year. Across the islands, we encourage pleasant experiences for all, and families of all sizes work together to grow food, create wares, and generally live in peace. Education is also a large part of our society: knowledge is power, and those that learn quickly will climb the ladder of society to earning better jobs. While most of our people work in the fields, we have many that own thriving businesses (like myself). In short, we all do our part to make Dál Méid the best place to live.
I’m sure you’ve noticed that all of our last names are… different from what you’re used to. That’s due to the last name: we take two words and put them together in a compound word. The first half has to do with nature and is the “surname” that is shared by all members of the same family. The second half has to do with the individual - that’s why children’s last names are different from their parents. Names will even change when marriages take place. Take my family, for instance: my father, George Cloudsteel, married my mother, Abigail Airbeak, who then had to change her surname to Cloudbeak, and they eventually had me, Felicia Cloudwing. Should I marry, my last name would turn into something else, like, oh, say, Runewing… wouldn’t that be nice...
-Ahem- Anyway, we have many types of ‘mons that live in Dál Méid. The primary ones, however, are Flying, Water, Dragon, Grass, Psychic, and Fire types. Where they live are based upon their typings; for example, Flying and Water types tend to live on the outlying islands farther from the mainland. Fire types are firmly on the mainland, as far from the ocean as they can be (unless they’re crazy like that Fire family), but generally everyone can live wherever they wish. All of the islands are inhabited - some more than others - and those unable to swim or fly back to the mainland can take a ferry run by Water types.
Money does not rule our lives, by any means; however, we do rely heavily on trade with other cities. Our marketplace is constantly thriving with vendors selling anything from clothing and food to weapons and other doo-dads, and they will often travel to nearby kingdoms to try their hand at selling to foreigners. We also keep a healthy economy with ourselves, offering decent prices at restaurants, inns, and transportation fees. Those ferries that ‘mons can take? Well, the Water types have to be paid somehow.
We love to eat in Dál Méid, and our food is second to none. Several of the islands are dedicated to growing fruit, vegetables, nuts, and more; Grass types tend to be the main harvesters, and they sell the food at the markets. We grow at all times of the year, but spring and autumn are the best times to eat in Dál Méid… Mhmm, I can taste that Pumpkin-Payapa Soup now, yum~
Funnily enough, out on the islands, there isn’t much in the way of “true architecture”; most of the time, there’s just wooden huts and tents. But the mainland is a different story. We have a very “tropical” sense of construction, with thatched roofs of palm branches, thick wooden beams to keep the wind at bay, and colorful paints of red, blue, and yellow. There are four primary structures to know about in Dál Méid: 1) the marketplace of stalls galore, 2) the Mayor’s office, a yellow building with a glass sunroof, 3) the Sunny Side Inn and Cafe, connected at the hip and owned by yours truly, and 4) the Cathedral of the Serpent, a massive temple built of stone and green moss. Everyone’s houses are built in-between these buildings, creating a homey atmosphere where everyone has a neighbor.
- does a twirl* Don’t you just love my flower-printed dress? It was made by a very sweet Whimsicott, out of her own head fluff! … yes, in hindsight, it’s a little strange (not to mention itchy), but truly, Dál Méidians just adore clothing created in their hometown. We have pastures of Mareep raised just for their wool, and many of our ‘mons are quite creative with a needle, able to sew just about anything. They’re always light, breathable, and vivid - so if you’re looking for black clothing, you’ve come to the wrong town.
We celebrate the holidays like anyone else - we just also do weekly sacrifices to the Serpent and his familiars as well. There’s nothing strange about that, is there? I will say this, though: we do enjoy decorating for the holidays. Especially Christmas; we keep decorations for that most festive of occasions for months afterward, making this place a popular destination for winter getaways.
-Christopher Leafstomp, Shiny Tropius, Mayor = Ability: Solar Power; Moves: Leaf Storm, Synthesis, Sweet Scent, Razor Wind, Roost, and Sunny Day
This Tropius has been our mayor for quite some time - at least as long as I can remember! He’s easily flustered, usually panicking about one thing or another until his secretary, a patient Octillery named Jill Inkjet, calms him down. Catch him on a good day, however, and he’s a jovial fellow. Always ready to regale with a story, Christopher loves to stay in the good graces of the higher-ups of society. Does this make him a kiss-you-know-what? I’ll leave that up to you.
-Harriet Wavecrest, Golduck, Water Patrol = Ability: Cloud Nine; Moves: Aqua Jet, Zen Headbutt, Low Sweep, and Double Team
Harriet is an ornery gal. I suppose she’s under a lot of stress, ordering around all the ferries and organizing their schedules along with her duties as look-out for enemies coming by sea, but really, that’s no excuse to be angry all the time. Still, we put up with her, primarily for her fighting prowess; she’s one of our best warriors, even on land, and in water she is deadly to our foes. So there’s that.
-Archibald Runefeather, Sigilyph, Air Patrol = Ability: Wonder Skin; Moves: Miracle Eye, Air Cutter, Flash Cannon, and Psychic
While Harriet is mean, Archibald is sweet, and kind, and funny, and… what? N-No, I’m not blushing, I’m just… okay, okay, I’ll admit it, I have a crush on the guy. But can you blame me? His feathers are so vibrant - he takes such good care of them - and the way he stays up all night long, keeping a weather eye on the horizon, keeping watch for enemies coming by land, it’s just breath-taking… if only he could notice me.
-Philippe Florahorn, Sawsbuck, Owner of The Sunny Side Cafe = Ability: Chlorophyll; Moves: Horn Leech, Megahorn, Swagger, Swords Dance, and Double Kick
Anyway, enough about that: my business partner, Philippe Florahorn, is an interesting ‘mon. A Sawsbuck of valiant grace and hospitality, he never fails to make his patrons feel at home, visiting their tables and inquiring about their service. Of course, I know more about him than most, and I know that behind that smile is a wounded heart. His wife left quite a hole in his soul, and now that his son has left for another town, Philippe is more downtrodden than usual. But he’ll bounce back fast; he always does.
-Felicia Cloudwing, Altaria, Owner of The Sunny Side Inn (speaker) = Ability: Natural Cure; Moves: Steel Wing, Dragon Claw, Cotton Guard, and Sing
Oh, right, me. Well, there’s not much to say about me: you already know that I own the inn. But if I had to admit one thing, it’d be this: I’m a sucker for sweets. When Philippe makes those danishes early in the morning… oh gosh, I’m salivating just thinking about it!
Ah, yes, those enemies I’ve spoken of: they still exist. Descendents of those that were destroyed by the serpent’s tornado, they blame us for their ancestors’ demise (conveniently forgetting that they were at fault in the first place). Composed of primarily Ice, Fairy, Dark, Ground, and Rock types, they challenge us for our land every once in awhile, but we never fail to drive them back… that being said, we haven’t seen them in a while. Are they preparing a new counterstrike, more deadly than before? Their leader, a Carbink of deceptive brutality, is a sneaky fellow, so I suppose I wouldn’t be surprised if they tried something… even so, we’ll be ready as always.
And that concludes my tour! My offer to stay at the Sunny Side Inn still stands, so I hope to see you there~