Prince's story begins many years before his birth, with a little girl and her own Pokemon. As a child Alison had experienced a deep trauma, and it was through being given a Ralts that she managed to find the strength within herself to heal; the trauma had left her unable to speak, and with the Ralt's unflinching loyalty and constant care she began to show progress--with that first little bit of progress came a flood, and soon, through medication and hours of therapy, she was finally, truly healing. Faithful and loving, the psychic type remaind by her side, never judging her even when her mental illness was an inconvenience to them both. Many years later, when her son was diagnosed with Leukaemia, Alison and her Gardevoir hatched a plan... quite literally. Mating and giving birth to a son, Alexandria the Gardevoir gave to little Jamie a companion to help him through his chemotherapy and various other challenges posed by the cruel disease. He named the small Ralts Prince, and loved him dearly; they were completely inseparable. Even when the little boy had to go spend hours receiving chemotherapy, or had to go into surgery to get a bone marrow transplant, the Ralts would sneak into the room with his Teleport and visit, often falling asleep at his trainer's side. There were a couple of nurses who would find the two curled up together and would leave them alone, at least for a little while, because when the child had his best friend the boy tended to do much better with his treatments.
Several years passed and Jamie went into remission, so the two went on their own small journey with their mothers' blessings. They both knew they would never make it to the League, or even get all of the badges, but they still wanted to try and see how far they could get. It wasn't too long before they gathered more to the team, and Prince struggled a little bit with the sharing of Jamie's affections; he'd never had to before, and suddenly having to now was a shock. Especially when one considered Regal, the male Skitty Jamie had caught. The other Pokemon were at least friendly, and a good influence on his beloved boy; Regal was so selfish he wanted Jamie all to himself, and often would attack Prince for being their trainer's obvious favorite. Around Jamie himself Regal was the picture of affection and never did anything mean to Prince or the others, but as soon as he was gone Regal was all over him. Once he bit down on Prince's horn so hard that it caused the Ralts to panic and launch a Confusion that sent Regal flying. He played the victim and Prince was forced to endure the punishment; the Skitty would be the Pokemon Jamie kept out of the Pokeball instead of Prince, and it was a painful blow to Prince's emotional state.
He tried to get Jamie to understand what was going on, but the more Pokemon joined the team the more Prince was left out. The small Ralts was still a Ralts, even after all of their battles, and he was never as strong as the others. Especially once Regal evolved. The Delcatty was worse than he had ever been as a Skitty and all too soon Prince was left behind. The warmth and love his trainer used to fill him with was gone, leaving the Feelings Pokemon cold and depressed. Alison found Prince one day sitting at the window while everyone else was outside training with Jamie, and when she picked the small psychic up she was shocked at how lifeless he was; the Ralts barely reacted to her touch at all; he needed his Jamie, and no one else would fill that hole. Alison never wanted this for Prince, and knew how deeply the entire Ralts line took to rejection. It more often than not killed their kind when they felt no love, and at best it left them wishing something had killed them. They were Feeling Pokemon after all. Sorely disappointed in her son, borderline furious, Alison gave Prince to his mother and went to talk to her child.
Unfortunately, all that resulted from that talk was the boy agreeing to give up the Ralts to his mother until they found a new home for Prince. Though his mother did his best to shield her son from the yelling, Prince heard enough of the exchange to know that whatever he and Jamie had between them, it was gone now. All those years of closeness, all those hours of sleeping curled up into one another, waiting for the child to heal... nothing. Nothing had come of it. Alexandria held her son as he wept, and when Alison rejoined them, she took the two Pokemon into her arms, unable to put into words the grief she felt for the relationship that had fallen apart through no one's fault but her own son's. She tried to console the Ralts when his tears wound down, promising that he would never wind up in the streets, that he was loved very deeply by herself and Alexandria, that they would find someone who was more deserving of his company and if not, he would live here with them.
But before they could act on any of that, something strange started happening to all of the Pokemon around town. They were getting sick, and violent, many of them attacking their trainers. By the time news of the Epidemic reached Hoenn it was too late for their town, many of the infected already tearing through houses and killing people. Regal was the first of Jamie's Pokemon to turn, and Prince and tried valiantly to help his family, but the Delcatty was more viscous than ever now that he was dead. He killed everyone in sight and turned his fangs on the boy, but Prince wasn't about to let that happen. He rushed to his trainer and used a Teleport to get them both away from the grisly scene. Grateful for his old friend's help, Jamie offered him a present, something to try to atone for his earlier abandonment of the Ralts. Pained by the offer, as it came with no apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing, Prince nonetheless accepted the gift, desperate for even a tiny chance at rebuilding this relationship. Jamie gave him a TM, teaching him the move Psyshock and replacing his Teleport. This sealed Jamie's fate; less than an hour later more infected were on them and despite his new power Prince was unable to save Jamie. The boy had turned to run, and a psychic blast blew his head apart. With Jamie dead and no one around to protect, the small fairy fled for his life.
He wandered alone, grief stricken and wondering what to do.
Wandering didn't last forever. It took many days, probably closer to months, but he did eventually find more survivors. And he was overjoyed to see them, but the joy quickly turned to horror when he beheld a Xatu torturing them, a bloodstained Xatu with dead eyes, a creature without mercy. It had not harmed him physically, but the Xatu quickly realized what he was up against where Prince was concerned and knew exactly what his weakness was, forcing into his mind every ounce of the young azurill's anguish. It left soon afterwards, but not before tearing off most of a Ninetails' tails and scoring most of the others another around of physical and mental wounds.
The anguish was too much for him to bear, both his own and what he could feel from the others. It threatened to choke him; it slowly strangled him, and yet the other Ralts who had just arrived did not wither at all. An angry manetric and a strange species he'd never heard of before left to go get healing supplies, leaving him alone with the negativity and the Ralts that could not be a Ralts because he was not shriveling.
A demand to know what he was left him receiving more than he'd ever bargained for.
The other Pokemon placed a hand to his head, linking their minds and revealing to him that the other was actually Azelf, the Legend of Lake Valor. Horrified by his rude treatment of the legendary, Prince apologized frantically, and was met with not only total forgiveness, but a warm reception. The legendary went on to care for him, keeping him close and giving someone he could anchor himself to when the group's mood grew low or chaotic. He wasn't there long before things descended into hell again; the arrival of a newcomer setting something off in the Ninetails. One of the other members of the group chased after him and had a meltdown at finding a body; his anguish alone might have killed Prince had Azelf not taken him away from the source. Unwilling to go too far, wanting to stay somewhat close to those who were suffering, Azelf held him close as he hovered nearby, trying to comfort the small Ralts and be there for the others at the same time. After several minutes, some of the anguish receded; in its place Prince could sense a sort of peace, a kind of relief, but it was the simultaneous despair, the sharpness of the resolve and the morbid way it tasted on his tongue that made him feel sick to his stomach. He had felt the emotions of the hopeless before, of the ones who had given up, accepted there was nothing more they could do, and he knew whatever would happen next would change everything, ensure the group never recovered from its upheaval. He was about to share this sentiment with Azelf when the Pidgey boy came flying over, screaming that the Ninetails and his companion were drowning, Azelf flew to the scene to find the Ninetails an undead, and ready to attack. The legend set Prince down and placed himself between the threat and the children present, but the manetric beat him to the attack. Though the undead strain had made the fox stronger, he was little match for the older, heavier, stronger canine, and he fell after a few minutes. The noise, however, attracted more undead; a large number of Starly. In large numbers even the weakest birds were terrifying threats, and with them being infected birds, there was the added fear of being poisoned by the disease on contact. With the flock attacking and doing so suddenly, everyone scattered; the manetric did not go far before trying to fight back. Despite Azelf's best efforts, he lost track of the Azurill child and the Pidgey child. Desperate to protect the Ralts in his arms, Prince in hysterics and the Vulpix child also missing, the Legend fled to protect the one child he could.
- With Azelf:
The Legend's grief over the loss of their friends and the crushing failure he felt was like drowning in darkness to the tiny Ralts. They both spent many days weeping, holding onto one another as if that would change anything that had happened. Azelf could only afford a few days of mourning before he had to return to the search of his siblings, taking Prince along with him. Frightened, desperate to keep this one relationship, the only thing he had right now and might ever have, Prince followed the blue pixie without question. They would travel long distances without seeing anyone, meet a survivor or two, and occasionally do some trading with the survivor before parting ways, as he survivors tended to be heading back towards the general area of Hearthome, a city neither Pokemon wanted to lay eyes on again. Every evening, Azelf would make a small fire and roast berries with his companion, the wide eyed psychic listening as the pixie told stories of his past; of the antics his lakes' residents got up to, of the various humans he'd watched picnic on his shores. He told tales of his siblings, of their silly fights and bizarre habits and undying love for one another. Of Uxie's insufferable habit of lecturing and Mesprit's affinity for hugging the breath out of you. He wove a story of an exploding lake, of being captured and contained in a tube, of unending agony enveloping him as something reached inside him, directly into the source of his power, and started to tear it out, as if it were pulling his brain matter through his forehead. How a child came and rescued them, set them free; how he and his siblings in return helped the child stop the destruction of the world.
After one of Azel'f stories Prince would usually follow with one of his own. At first he had hesitated--his own life was so very dull most of the time, and when it had not been dull it had been full of pain that, to a legendary, much be little more than petulant whining. After all, he had never wanted for food, water, shelter, or other basic needs. Still, the pixie had encouraged him and so out of respect he listened, sharing with Azelf tales of his own family, of the bond he'd shared with Jamie. Of all the betrayal and grief; of being replaced and forgotten. Most of the time he was able to say these things by settling into a numb state, and always he was surprised at his companion's comfort, the way he'd wrap his arms around the small psychic and hold him close. Even when he was able to hold the mask no longer and would break into tears, Azelf never berated him for making too much noise or for being weak; he always met Prince's pain with support and kindness.
If anyone deserved to be a god, it was this Pokemon, Prince decided.
He'd soon change his mind.
Over time,as their time together stretched into weeks and then months, he began to tell stories that hadn't had happy endings. He recounted the desperate, failed attempt to save his home from being overrun, the terror of watching everyone turn one by one into undead monsters hungering for his flesh, seeing the once beautiful waters of Lake Valor run red and black with blood and disease. He shared horrors he'd witnessed at Pallet Town, the murder of Latios and the storm from hell the thing that had killed him had conjured up. How he failed no matter what he did, that despite being a god he was powerless to stop the loss of everything he loved, of anything that mattered.
He told Prince of the little girl he'd met and loved so deeply, how he hoped to find what became of her. Prince took a long time before managing to remind Azelf that she may have died by now, many years having passed; the sorrow the Legend let off was painful, but the pixie quelled his sadness and smiled, albeit shakily, claiming that even if she were dead, he just wanted closure.
Prince hoped that the woman had died before the Epidemic. That Uxie and Mesprit were safe. He would have given anything for his gentle friend, the god who somehow saw worth in him, to attain some peace.
Being a god was not a blessing, he was realizing. It was a curse.
The Legend did his best to dull the ache in himself for Prince's own sake, and Prince in turn did his best to struggle on even when the emotions around him threatened to kill him with their negativity. Azelf did his best to get both of them a break when he could; there were days where they spent time weaving flower crowns together, or watching the stars. Always on high alert in case of attack, but even so, each minute spent together was enjoyed. They slept curled into one another in the hollows of trees, in caves, in burrowed nests. Day by day, their bond grew and they kept each others' spirits up. Azelf never allowed his young friend to go hungry, always ensuring that Prince had enough to eat and drink; when they slept at night it was Prince who was wrapped up in the blanket they'd salvaged and Azelf would add to that by curling around him. Every bruise or cut was carefully treated, and any fights that broke out Azelf handled with ease, doing his best to keep Prince out of the way of any violence.
Typically he only appeared in his true form when they were alone, but occasionally if a stranger should manage to anger him sufficiently enough he'd purposely cast off his disguise so they would think carefully about the next time they tried to rob travellers or pick on someone smaller than themselves. He refused to kill anyone unless he had no choice, unless he feared for his life or anothers', and sometimes he was unsuccessful in preventing Prince from witnessing the grisly display of raw power, of tearing apart an undead or an aggressive infected or living with his psychic abilities. The undead were growing in numbers, and their emotions would overwhelm him when they were nearby, flooding his senses with unspeakable agony, horror, loneliness, rage, and that never ending hunger. There were nights where he'd wake up crying, the emotions snaking into his head and waking him from his sleep; Azelf would quickly whisk them away before the undead could invesitgate the sound, and spend the night comforting the Ralts. The boy did his best to put on a brave face for the legend, but every time he witnessed another death he felt a little more of himself die inside; every nightmare brought more despair, and every negative feeling crawling from someone else's brain and into his felt like another chip at his sanity. It was all a reminder that, as much as he and Azelf tried to pretend otherwise, the world was not going to get better.
And for the two friends it would, in fact, get a lot worse.
This undead was massive, the enormous Tyranitar tearing the forest up in its attempt to kill the fleeing pixie and the Ralts he held to his chest. Azelf was at a type disadvantage, they both knew this; there was no way he could kill this thing before it would kill him or Prince. Escape was the only option and it was an option that was quickly shrinking and Prince could feel bile rising in his throat as he began to realize they might not survive this one. The mad dinosaur had been chasing them for days and refused to give up; Azelf was weakening, growing exhausted from the near nonstop chase.
A dark pulse slammed into the pixie from behind and they went flying. Prince recalled colliding with a tree; the world went blurry and hazy. He felt arms scooping him up; the world cleared enough for him to realize Azelf was laying him in the hollow of a tree and stuffing the thing with leaves. He opened his mouth to ask what was going on but the Legend pulled him into a tight hug, whispered an apology and a promise to find him again, and then pushed him back.
The momentum sent him falling onto his back and it took some wiggling before he could sit up and crawl back towards the opening. From there he watched in horror as the pixie flew right at the monster and, grabbing it by the horn, teleported, taking it with him. Head hurting, body exhausted, overwhelmed with emotion, the Ralts passed out.
Losing Azelf broke him. When he woke up and found himself alone yet again, his entire world grew cold and numb. It felt so surreal, like a dream; at this point he was wondering if he'd ever met any of the people on that crazy journey at all, or if it had all been a phantom of his mind.
He didn't want to believe it had been a dream. Not after he'd made a friend. Not after Azelf's kindness, the closeness they'd shared.
Was the Legend dead? Alive? Had he abandoned him too, or had he been unable to find Prince again?
What a stupid question; he hadn't been abandoned. That old phobia did not apply to Azelf. But the Legend could be dead...
But he could also be looking for him; he should wait there, where he was. Where Azelf left him.
He remained where he was for several days, but the Legend never returned. Broken hearted yet again, he left. The next several months were an endless blur of walking, searching for food and water, struggling to hide and survive. Many nights there were close calls--many nights became etched in his memory with the horrors he witnessed or nearly died to as the undead prowled the earth under the cover of darkness. The sleep deprivation began, starting with nightmares and invading emotions stealing his sleep, then his own inability to rest as insomnia took hold. It would take an eternity before he found even a little peace, but at last he found it.
The Ruins of Alph at first looked so peaceful. It had little buildings. Shelter. Shelter after so many days trudging through the rain and mud. He'd sobbed at the sight of the buildings, staggering inside one to escape the storm. For a single blissful night he'd slept free from pain, from fear or nightmares, from insanity. One night that he never knew he should cherish, because it would be the last time he'd enjoy such a sleep.
The next day he found that there was a way underground from the small structure he'd taken shelter in. Hopeful that he'd find a saferoom, maybe more survivors, he made a decision he would forever regret, and ventured down.
It was a labyrinth. Some of the tunnels were hallways, clearly intentionally made; others were more like caves, created by the earth itself, by Pokemon. The hallways were few; if he'd stuck to just those he may have been fine. No, instead he chanced a journey into the tunnels, thinking that perhaps a survivor or more had forged them for the purpose of creating a hideout. For days he wandered in the dark, rapidly losing hope in that theory, soon unable to find his way back; he survived on mushrooms and berry bushes that had grown in spots where the tunnel ceiling had caved in, allowing light inside. His hallucinations worsened and he considered finding the nearest method of suicide and taking it, only reconsidering for Azelf's sake. The days stretched into a couple weeks, and only then did he finally find an exit, weeping with joy at the light of the moon.
He was lucky that he didn't die of hypothermia that night.
When he woke the next morning it was cold, with frost coating the ground in a glittery, crunchy shield. He was about to return to sleep when he realized he sensed emotions nearby... not ones of despair, or hunger, or rage, either. Normal emotions, the kind felt by normal people.
Were there living survivors nearby?
Frightened of what he might find, but desperate enough to try anyway, he stepped out into the frost to see.
-his greatest joy is helping others and trying to bring out their own happiness, though in this age is has proven more difficult
- appreciates art, nature, and beauty
He has a strong affinity for aesthetics. Flowers, paintings, trees, rocks, sunsets, sunrises, architecture, statues, pretty people... Prince loves it all. And unless in mortal danger or under some kind of duress he will stop to admire whatever or whoever has caught his eye.
-Prince tends to be pretty good at nailing down people's thoughts since he can directly feel their emotions. However, this doesn't mean he can't be baffled. People who are extremely hateful for no apparent reason confuse him, and he will usually try to explain their hatred as some sort of trauma that is masquerading or manifesting as hate towards what reminds them of said trauma; this doesn't mean he excuses any hateful words or actions, however
-Prince constantly remembers and stores information inside his head; the purpose is usually to help others, or try to bring some happiness into their lives. However, this also means he remembers every cruel word or action against him.
- desperate for affection, horribly lonely
Prince easily attaches to others. Very
easily. He isn't super social, but he lacks close relationships or any
relationships, which he needs to stay mentally healthy. He seeks affection and warmth, eager for love, so desperate for someone to care that he would tolerate abuse as long as the relationship established beforehand was positive
-does not like impersonal analysis; uncomfortable with the idea of making decisions based strictly on logic. Prince thinks with his heart first and then his head, and the two are often in conflict
- Subjective rather than objective
he makes decisions based on subjective beliefs, rather than against objective rules or laws. And sometimes even against objective facts, which can be dangerous
-his whole being is warm; he loves easily and with everything in him, and it takes no effort to put himself in others' shoes because he can feel their emotions thanks to his species' empathic ability. He is both verbal and physical in his love, and will often accompany words with touches, like pats; the touching doesn't occur with strangers, however
- easily frightened, paranoid, very mentally ill (PTSD and depression)
-he's suffered very deeply and as a result his mind is very shattered; being abandoned, losing Jamie permanently, losing his home, seeing others die, the things Xatu showed him, what he witnessed Xatu do to the others, feeling their emotions as they broke, finding a friend only to lose him, being chased endlessly across countries, being lost in dark caves for days with no light, food, or water... all these things and more have contributed to his meltdown. He suffers flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, anxiety attacks, panic attacks. It does not take much to frighten him, and it's not uncommon for him to suffer panic attacks. Due to lack of sleep he also suffers auditory and visual hallucinations, and his depression frequently leads to him planning suicide
-literally give him a few minutes of your time and he'll hang on your every word
-give him a few more minutes and some kind gestures and he'll follow you anywhere
-his loyalty to Azelf and his love for the Legend is pretty much what's kept him going and why he can't bring himself to actually end his life