Daniel was born to a sickly mother and a rather absent father in the wild. His mother did her best to care for her son, but there were many days that it was often the other way around. His father stayed out hunting most of the time, and he often glared at his mate and progeny when he dropped off food and anything else he thought they needed. Though Daniel never saw his father do anything to his mother, he could see the way she shrank from him, and he learned very quickly to keep quiet, stay out of sight, and obey any direct orders whenever his father was around. As Daniel grew older, Father would attempt teaching Daniel things that he would need to know, but he would often grow frustrated at Daniel's apparent lack of ability. He disregarded the fact that of course Daniel wouldn't know how to do things because Father didn't think he needed to continue to show his son how to do such basic things. If Daniel couldn't get after a few attempts, he wrote his son off as a lost cause on the matter and would never bring it back up. After several failures, he would then punish Daniel by attacking him, or sometimes ditch him far away from their home. There were several incidences where he was left alone at night, and he had to find his way back. There were no rewards from his father for navigating the dark, dangerous paths; only his mother even cared that he came back at all.
This uneasy balance was then tilted against Daniel when Mother had another egg, and her sickness became worse. She put her all into trying to make sure this egg was okay, and Father started to resent it. Daniel wasn't sure if it was because Mother started protecting the egg more viciously from Father, or if it was because her condition worsened with each day. When the egg finally hatched, she named the small, female Absol Hazel, and Father hated her. He spent even less time around the family, and Daniel had to take the few skills Father had tried to show him and take care of his family himself. Daniel adored his little sister as much as his mother, and she made his difficult life much brighter. He enjoyed telling her stories and watching her eyes sparkle with enthusiasm. He lived for the moments that the two of them could play, but it became clear that she had also inherited their mother's frailness. She couldn't play for too long, or she would be bedridden for weeks. When Father did visit, he would look at his sickly daughter and his stupid son and scorn them. Daniel would do anything to ensure Father left Hazel alone, and would often do anything to piss him off.
Eventually, it started turning to blows and clawing, and the first time Mother caught him doing it, she tried to stop him. The attempt cost her her life, and Daniel and Hazel were left alone with a parent that hated them. It looked like Father was going to finish them all, such was the crazed look in his eyes, but an Arcanine came seemingly out of nowhere and shielded them. Father was once the most powerful thing in Daniel's eyes, but for once, Father couldn't overpower an obstacle. The Arcanine batted the older Absol aside and simply shrugged off many of Father's attacks, and soon, Father realized he had no more say here and ran. The Arcanine introduced himself as Herbert, and he had an offer for the two orphans. His human would take them in, with no worries, but they had to be willing to follow him away from home. Daniel looked at his sister's scraggly fur and fear filled eyes at the knowledge that they were otherwise alone in this world, and he made his decision. He picked her up by the scruff of her neck and followed the large dog away. He wasn't sure if he could protect and care for Hazel like she needed, and the Arcanine looked so healthy and well fed. Things had already been so bad; certainly they couldn't get worse.
The human was everything they needed; well, everything Hazel needed, and that suited Daniel just fine. He was wary of the two legged creature, and it wasn't helped that they insisted on capturing him and his sister. Herbert explained it was a safety measure to ensure no one else could come up and snatch them away easily, but Daniel still didn't like being cooped up in a small dark place. He remained wary around the human, but his sister was getting care and "medicine." She was still sickly, but she was looking so much better than she ever did while they were in the wild. The Arcanine was a calming influence to them both, and he took upon himself the duty to teach Daniel what Father had given up. Despite Daniel's insistences that he wasn't good at hunting or fighting, Herbert wouldn't hear of it and would patiently teach the young Absol the basics. There were a few learned habits that Daniel had to break because he had learned improperly, but they were all met with gentle insistences that it was fine and how to fix it. Hazel watched many lessons, but her frailty meant that she wasn't able to participate most of the time.
Daniel didn't know what the human did most of the time, but they left him and Hazel to their own devices under Herbert's watch, so he didn't complain. Over time, however, his curiosity finally made him ask Herbert about the human, and Hazel was overflowing with questions that she had been waiting to ask. They found out that the human often went to ancient human settlements and looked for pieces of history, and how dangerous but fun the work was. Herbert often accompanied the human for excursions, and they were actually due for one within a year. Daniel was enraptured with Herbert's tales, and though he was still nervous about the human, he wanted to know if there was any chance he could go along too. Herbert wasn't sure what to tell the excited Absol, and there was the matter of Hazel. Hazel would definitely have to be left at home, and it would be the first time the siblings would have ever been separated. After some convincing and placations about how Hazel wanted Daniel see more things to tell her about, Herbert finally relented and agreed to try convincing his human to bring him along.
Much to Daniel's excitement, the human decided to take him and Herbert, and he would leave Hazel in the care of the servants of the house. The trip took them to a desert area, and the Absol was full of wonder. Even though the desert sun was harsh, and the sand got everywhere, this was something he had never expected to see. Unfortunately, Daniel's enthusiasm meant he overexerted himself within the first weak, and he had a bout of heat exhaustion. Afterwards, the human took the Absol with him into the ruins so that he would at least be out of the shade. Weeks passed in this fashion, and Daniel eventually took to exploring areas that the humans couldn't always reach. He didn't realize that he was being followed around the ruins, but he wouldn't actually meet the stalker until much later. When he was a little further away from the group one day, there was an earthquake, and he got trapped in the ruins alone. The darkness and the small area caused Daniel to panic, and he started seeing strange and horrific things. Thankfully, he was rescued after a few hours, but the Absol had been reduced to a nervous, quivering wreck. Fearing for Daniel's health, the human decided to send the Absol and Herbert back home early.
While on the way back, the two had been released for some fresh air, and Herbert finally got the Absol to talk about what happened. Daniel had been somewhat relieved to finally talk to someone about it, and Herbert gave him some advice on dealing with the trauma. This relief was turned into horror when he found Herbert dead the next day. The Arcanine had been brutally murdered in his sleep, and there was nothing to indicate how it happened. Fearing that people would blame him and that it was his fault, Daniel ran away. He wasn't sure what had done it, but he started wondering if it had anything to do with his visions while trapped. He tried to consult other Pokemon about it, but each one would end up dead after he spoke of it to them the first time. At his wit's end, he started to think that maybe there was something wrong with him, and he started to run away from any civilization. Pokemon were dying left and right around him, and humans were becoming suspicious. He just wanted to run all the way home to Hazel, but he feared bringing this curse upon her. It didn't help that he was completely lost, and he highly doubted the human would ever take him back. It was in a random meadow that he would meet Alexander the Zorombra who claimed that he knew what had happened to Daniel, and he blamed it all on a curse that the Absol must have acquired while wandering a forbidden ruin. The Zorombra knew a lot that Daniel wasn't sure how he knew, but he was so desperate for answers and company, he silenced his misgivings. In order to explain more fully, Alexander needed to bring Daniel to his home where Daniel would be safer.
Daniel believed him and the Zorombra escorted the Absol to his castle in the middle of nowhere. Alexander then told him about how Daniel was now cursed because of what he found in the temple, and that each time he spoke to someone about it, he'd signed their death warrant. Alexander was powerful enough to be able to at least hide Daniel from the curse, but in order to keep being able to do so... he needed Daniel to do something for him. He got his power from the pain of others, and if Daniel wanted his protection, he needed to supply the power. The Zorombra had plenty of prisoners. This led to the Zorombra showing the Absol how best to inflict pain without killing, and even gave the Absol a move that would never knock out a prisoner, but would continue to inflict massive pain. As time progressed, the Zorombra would hint that the cursed "Shadow" was getting closer, and that made the Absol fear for his life and do even more desperate things. There were some nights that he could hear wretched howling on the wind, and the Absol was completely unaware that the end of the world had happened outside the castle walls. As far as he knew, the howling was for him, not for everything that still lived.
His mind was on the edge of snapping when a little Meowth escaped from her holding cell, and he had to hunt her down. Alexander had "servants" that didn't care for the wellbeing of the prisoners, and they would often just kill anything that wasn't Alexander or Daniel. He pleaded with her to go back to the cells, but, of course, she wouldn't listen. She wanted to get out to safety and tell everyone what had happened here. Some part of the Absol knew that if she did get out, then he was doomed, and he panicked. One surprisingly quick slash, and her voice fell silent. There was blood on his claws, but when he looked at them, he was suddenly aware of what he had done. He had murdered a little girl to keep her quiet about how he had tortured so many others. He didn't realize that his body started glowing as he begged the small child for the forgiveness she could no longer grant. Almost as if the world itself was condemning him, the castle itself started to shake, and in blind terror, he bolted. There was no destination in mind beyond away, and he crashed his way almost to the castle's exit where he passed out.
All Daniel could remember when he woke up in the dark and dreary castle was his name and a feeling of doom. When he stood up, he found his body was strange, and he could barely stand. His paws were so small, and he didn't remember having such a long tail with a wicked scythe on it. He stumbled near the exit to the castle, hearing the rain pound against the glass windows and the rumbling thunder. Though the castle was foreboding, and gave him a feeling of doom, he couldn't think of a reason good enough to brave the horrid weather. As he continued to move around, it was as if his body remembered how everything worked together while walking, and he looked for anything that could tell him who he was, where he was, what had happened, or why he was there. All he could do was follow his scent into the castle, for he had nothing else to work with. That was when he ran into the first memory. It simply consisted of words, but it tickled his black hole of a memory. He still didn't remember anything, but he somehow knew the words were correct. His own voice told him how someone named Alexander had horribly wronged him, how he was planning on doing something evil, and that he should stop him by taking revenge and killing him. The memory ended with him in front of a mirror, and the sudden realization that Alexander was the reason why he felt so different. Daniel looked like a demon now, and he panicked at the sight of his own reflection. After huddling into the corner for the better part of five minutes, he eventually calmed himself enough to allow anger and vengeance take hold. He would stop Alexander; even if it killed him.
Daniel's descent through the castle was fraught with danger, darkness, and visions of madness, and as he progressed, he would receive visions of things that must have occurred in the castle. His own voice would echo far too much than he was comfortable with, and he began to suspect that he was going to find something horrible. He couldn't muse for long, however, for there was always something on his heels. Daniel came to remember what he had done with the repeat of a simple phrase in his ears. His own voice practically sang for him, "Paint the man, Cut the lines!" and he could remember how the way the Pokemon's blood had spilled. How much had been spilled. The memory almost broke Daniel again, but this also confirmed what Daniel had expected. Alexander had turned him into this monster, and he needed to stop him before he hurt others. The fact that Daniel also wanted revenge was another matter entirely, or that's what he told himself.
He had reached the darkest part of the castle when he ran into something he hadn't expected. All of the prisoners he had run into had already been killed by something, and the vague shapes that he could see moving in the darkness only tried hurting him. He almost passed the decrepit Delphox by, believing them dead, before they suddenly twitched and moaned at him. That had startled the Absin horribly, and he cowered in a dark corner before getting a better look. There was a living Pokemon chained against a wall and muzzled, and Daniel felt pity for the unfortunate creature. The Delphox was likely another one of Alexander's prisoners, but this one was being forced to suffer by living. They weakly moved their hand to the muzzle, but the chains prevented them from being able to remove it. He wanted to hear what the Delphox wanted to say, so Daniel gently cut the straps off. For once, having sharp claws was useful for something other than hurting others.
The Delphox introduced himself as Agrippa, and he proceeded to fill every minute with speech. Daniel felt overwhelmed at just how much the weak Delphox could talk, but Agrippa was the first friendly face he had seen in who knows how long. Agrippa explained that Alexander had trapped him in an attempt to lure his friend into the deathtrap of a castle, and how he had mostly been left in this room with little to no company. How Weyer was the only reason he hadn't lost his mind yet because they maintained telepathic communication for years, and that within the last few weeks, Weyer had suddenly gone silent after talking about Pokemon on the outside getting sick. In no uncertain terms, Agrippa explained that Daniel wasn't the first Pokemon that Alexander had brought to this castle, and that he enjoyed playing mind games with all of his "guests." This further fueled Daniel's rage, and he prepared himself to leave. He promised Agrippa that as soon as he finished his business with Alexander, he would come back. Then Agrippa begged him not to, and to please take him and leave. He tried asking the ones that came before, and the ones that listened never returned despite their promises. He promised that he knew how to make Alexander's illusions fail. In a last bid for pity, he muttered that he's terrified for Weyer, and he's not sure if he can take the silence anymore.
Daniel found himself at a crossroads. The desire for vengeance was strong, but the weak Delphox's pleas were sincere. He suddenly wasn't sure if he even could survive the encounter with Alexander, and if he didn't, then Agrippa would be alone again. He realized that he was hopelessly overpowered, and his noble venture would only end in his death. Agrippa pointed him towards the keys that would remove the chains and asked him one last time to let him out. First, Daniel's dangerous tail whipped by the Delphox and cut through the chains, and then the Absin brought the keys to the Delphox so that he could remove the manacles. It took a lot more effort than either of them expected for such a simple action, and Daniel knew that if Agrippa was going to get out, then he was going to have to carry him. After managing to get the Delphox on his back, Daniel made a break through the castle to find an exit. Agrippa kept Daniel's mind grounded in reality so the illusions would fail, and Daniel kept moving forward until he charged through the exit. Thankfully, the storm had stopped by this point, and there was nothing to hinder Daniel from continuing to run. They managed to find where Weyer had been hiding this whole time, but they soon realized why the Gardevoir had been forced to leave. The sick Pokemon he had been talking about were horribly violent, and the ones that didn't die in specific ways often came back. Though Daniel hated what he now knew about killing, it ended up being incredibly useful as he had to protect Agrippa from the undead. As the pair had survived, he had to be Agrippa's physical and occasionally mental support, and that prevented him from simply ending his life for his sins. He still had something good he could do.