The Volcanic Island
Floating serenely in the middle of the ocean, Cortoza is a secluded land mass which was once a beautiful and highly populated tropical island. Two hundred years ago a powerful oceanic earthquake resulted in a chain reaction of death and destruction as Cortoza's active volcanic mountains erupted in a series of cataclysmic explosions that churned out a spectacular display of ash, rock, and molten lava, and finally ending with Mt Fumi's stupendous paroxysmal eruption. All of Cortoza's vegetation was destroyed, while humans and Pokémon not fast enough to flee perished in the resulting destruction as the western end of the island collapsed beneath the sea, generating a series of devastating pyroclastic flows and immense tsunamis that ravaged adjacent coastlines. The events of that day marked the last 24 hours on earth for over 50,000 people and 300,000 Pokémon, as the wave of destruction flowed across hundreds of coastal villages and towns. For the next hundred years nobody dared approach the island due to the constant seismic activity and mini eruptions, but for the past several decades all has been quiet. Pokémon have returned, and with very few people drawn to the volcanic island, wildlife has been given the chance to thrive. Although wary, people are also beginning to venture to Cortoza again, some of the more opportunistic seeing this land as their chance to strike it rich due to its fast-booming tourism industry. Most are curious though, as the island has shown amazing regenerative qualities, and many are eager to explore and to witness the miraculous regrowth for themselves. The tropical jungle is flourishing once more, Pokémon have returned, and as far as everyone is aware most of Cortoza's volcanoes have been laying dormant for almost one hundred years.
The IslandThe constant heat seeping up through Cortoza's volcanic soil has given the island a distinct tropical feel, a vast and winding rainforest taking up a large percentage of the land's mass and surrounding each of Cortoza's mountains. The rainforest is humid and full of life, but also very dangerous. The ground is unstable in certain areas making hiking through the forest dangerous even for the most experienced of guides. Several patches of arid, rocky land dot the island, where no vegetation will grow, and it's there that some of the strongest and most fearsome Pokémon roam.
Shale Beach: Shale Beach stretches around the outskirts of the island itself. Its sand is gritty and black, not at all the postcard picture you want to be sending home.
Ignatius River: Flowing from the base of Mt. Infernus and winding throughout the island before eventually flowing into the sea, the Ignatius River is a popular destination for travellers who wish to picnic by its banks, or take a dip after a long day of hiking. Many wild Pokémon can be found wandering around here, and most are rather friendly as they've become accustomed to seeing humans wandering along the shore.
Garland Basin: A large basin near Mt. Ceniza where many varieties of herbs grow. A large number of natural hot springs are found here, making it a popular tourist attraction. The effects of the herbs in the warm spring water can have various effects, some very soothing.
Lake Tyr: A freshwater lake situated roughly halfway between Mt. Pele and Mt. Fumi, Lake Tyr covers an area of about 2.4 square kilometres and is over 220 meters deep. The water is a beautiful, sapphire blue, and is always quite warm due to volcanic activity beneath the island. Many people are drawn here for the spectacular scenery, but also to take a refreshing dip after spending a long day trekking across the island. What most don't tend to realise is that Lake Tyr is sitting right on top of an active oceanic volcano.
Crystal Resort: A comfortable and modern resort built on the edge of Lake Tyr for the tourists who are now frequenting Cortoza.
Research Lab: A division of Volcanity Inc., this scientific team has set up equipment at several locations across the island in order to study the geological effects of past eruptions on the current environment, as well as to track any current seismic activity. Sometimes they can use some help, so if you offer your services you may be able to take on a job.
Mt. PeleFrom afar, this mountain appears to resemble a woman whom the Cortozans believe to be the Goddess of fire, lightning, dance, volcanoes, and violence. Pele was, and still is, both revered and feared by the native inhabitants of Cortoza as they firmly believe the only way to avoid utter destruction of their land is to pay homage to her. With Mt. Pele having been the first to erupt two hundred years ago, many believe their Goddess was unhappy with her subjects, and that she had exacted her punishment upon them for having ignored their faith in her. Those who survived the initial destruction two centuries ago were sure to pass on the story of Pele to their children so that her legend was sure to live on. Today, the descendants of Cortoza's survivors hold daily rituals and monthly festivals to keep their Goddess happy in the hope she'll never destroy their homes again.
Pele's Ruins: The ruins of a thousand year old temple built in Pele's honour. Descendants of Cortoza's survivors steer clear of these ruins as they believe they have been cursed by Pele herself, and have instead built another temple in which to worship their Goddess. The Ruins have become a popular tourist attraction for visitors to the island however, a fact which makes the natives rather uneasy.
Pele's Temple: Built by the descendants of Cortoza's survivors as a place of worship for their beloved Goddess, this pure white marble temple is a work of art. Etchings, paintings, and sculptures depict the Cortozan Goddess in all of her flaming beauty, and those who enter the temple are expected to leave an offering in order to keep Pele happy.
Pele's Shrine: Half-way up the mountainside is another monument built in Pele's honour, this sacred shrine's centrepiece none other than a sacrificial altar surrounded by flaming torches. Chanting can be heard at night, drifting across the island, but it's the blood-curdling screams that can be heard emanating from here under the light of a full moon that keep tourists and trainers away when the sun begins to set.
Pele's Cavern: About two-thirds of the way up the mountainside is an enormous cavern dedicated to Pele. Molten lava pits dot the floor, the humidity so intense that only the hardiest of fire types can withstand the extreme temperatures. Trainers will need plenty of water if they wish to enter as no human can stand the heat for more than a few minutes at a time. Cortozans believe that winning a battle here will impress their Goddess who will bestow them with good fortune after proving they are worthy of her faith, and will often challenge strong trainers to a battle.
Fire Pit: Believed to be the home of Pele, the crater's magma-filled centre is well protected. Cortozan natives are afraid that tourists and trainers will not show their deity the respect she deserves and will stop at nothing to ensure nobody reaches Mt. Pele's summit.
Mt. FumiThe largest and most volatile of Cortoza's volcano's, Mt. Fumi tends to strike most who see it with feelings of awe and fear. Towering over the other mountains, Mt. Fumi is an impressive sight, but is also home to some of the most dangerous Pokémon who tend to dwell higher up on the mountainside in order to avoid the sudden influx of trainers who are frequenting the island. If you plan on taking a hike up this mountain, you'll want a powerful team by your side.
Terraki Village: One of many villages destroyed by the eruption two hundred years ago. Recently, the descendants of those who once dwelt here have returned to lay claim to their ancestral land.
Fumi's Walk: A long and winding trail that twists around the volcano. If you think you have the stamina to make your way to Mt. Fumi's summit you can certainly give it a try, but beware, the trail is unstable and the Pokémon along here do not like intruders.
Open Plain: A wide plateau near the mountaintop. Many travellers like to picnic here and challenge each other to a friendly battle. The views are amazing, but sometimes wild Pokémon who don't like people trespassing upon their territory are prone to emerge from the caverns dotting the mountainside to attack and scare people off. Be prepared for more than a little sightseeing if you venture this far up the mountain.
Mt Fumi Peak: The hottest of all places, deadly fire Pokémon breach the edges of the volcano making the heat almost as intense as the lava inside. If you manage to make it to the top, bring a lot of water - you'll need it.
Volcanic Crater: Inside of Mt. Fumi is the volcano's crater. It is hot, steamy and full of lava. While the volcano has been dormant for almost one hundred years the island is occasionally racked with powerful tremors, an indication of the fact that this thing is preparing for another mind-blowing explosion. It is rumoured that immediately after one of these tremors, some of the strongest fire and lava Pokémon appear.
- The Lava Pit: A battle arena suspended over the lava where Fire Pokémon battle each other in tournament-esque matches for a prize and the glory of being crowned the champion. Trainers with Fire Pokémon often find themselves here because of their Pokémon's lust for battle and eagerness to prove themselves against other fire types. Legend has it that the king of Fire Pokémon presents the prize and crowns each new champion personally...
Mt. CenizaAlways grey, Mt. Ceniza is constantly coated in a thin layer of ash. An active volcano, she doesn't appear to be on the verge of eruption - not any time soon, anyway - but her constant rumbling can be felt by those who travel near. This mountain has become a tourist attraction, particularly for those interested in collecting ash, though the tremors felt do tend to keep the more nervous travellers away.
Cinder Village: A small village at the base of Mt. Ceniza built around a murky hot spring. Its inhabitants believe the ash filled water will cure any ailment for human and Pokémon alike.
Caliente Trail: A path leading up the mountain that is always covered in ash. Not many Pokémon find the living conditions on Mt. Ceniza to be very pleasant, but those who do seem to enjoy their surroundings. Some are more friendly than others, so don't be too quick to befriend wild Pokémon seen along here or you may be in for more than you'd bargained for.
Granite Tunnel: A maze-like tunnel leading up through the inner mountain. Steps have been carved into the rocks so that people can make their way to several different locations of the mountainside in order to bypass the falling ash. A preferable choice for those who prefer to stay clean, but it can get quite warm in here so be sure to bring along a good supply of water. Falling rubble can pose a problem, however, during Mt. Ceniza's stronger tremors so you'll need your wits about you at all times.
Rest House: An old man living on the mountain is the only person to have returned to Cortoza decades before any other human dared to venture back to the island. He's a little strange after having lived so long on his own, but is a very friendly fellow indeed. He enjoys the company of trainers, and will open his home to anyone in need of food and a place to sleep. He makes remarkable glass sculptures from the ash he collects, and if you do him a favour you may just find yourself leaving with a unique souvenir.
Ceniza Summit: Definitely not the safest place to roam. The light stream of ash emitting from its crater is very hot upon emerging from the depths of the volcano, though it cools rapidly upon coming into contact with the air. If you're unfortunate enough to be wandering about here during one of Ceniza's 'bursts' of activity, you're going to need to take cover, and fast! The land up here is fairly barren, the trees long since dead, though the odd patches of hardy plant life scattered across the summit are a pleasant sight to behold. Most of the Pokémon who reside up here dwell in caves and aren't too friendly when approached, so if you do plan on travelling here you'll need to have the ability the think quickly and decisively when dangerous situations arise.
Mt. InfernusThe second largest of Cortoza's mountains, Mt. Infernus is now extinct. Many Pokémon have made their homes within the vast network of tunnels and caverns deep within the mountain, and aren't all that accustomed to seeing people. It's become the primary breeding ground for many of the rarer Pokémon who tend to shy away from humans, and due to the protective nature of the parent Pokémon, quite a hazardous area to traverse.
Waterfall: A large waterfall cascading down the side of Mt. Infernus and into the Ignatius River before flowing out to sea. Many tourists and trainers love to bask in the sun by its banks which are much more pleasant to visit than the uninviting Shale Beach surrounding the island.
Scenic Walk: A long path comprised of slopes and stairs leading up and around the mountainside. With Mt. Infernus being an extinct volcano and Cortoza's second tallest mountain, most tourists feel more comfortable sightseeing from here. The views are spectacular, and there are several campsites manned my Cortozan natives who will provide food and shelter for weary travellers.
Totem Village: A tribal village situated upon a mesa on the mountainside which is surrounded by totem poles depicting various Cortozan Gods. The villagers are extremely friendly and always happy to engage in friendly battles with trainers looking to prove themselves upon any of the cleverly designed battle arenas created by the villagers.
Mountain Peak: A sanctuary for wild Pokémon who live amidst the lush trees found upon the mountaintop. Very few trainers have the stamina to make it all the way up here, so the Pokémon who dwell in the area have thrived in this environment. Many freshwater pools dot the landscape, but beware of the fast flowing river that leads to the edge of the waterfall cascading into the river below as no safety rails have been built to keep curious trainers and Pokémon away from the long drop over the mountainside.
The Rock Pool: Deep, deep, deep, within the bowels of Mt. Infernus there is rumoured to be a secluded water-filled chamber where extremely rare and ancient Pokémon dwell. Some even say that Pokémon have mutated over the centuries to create new breeds, never before seen in the land of Fizzy Bubbles. This has never been confirmed or denied, as those who have stumbled across this chamber have never been able to defeat the Pokémon they've encountered, let alone capture them. When told to bring proof of their existence, those who have tried to return to the chamber have never been able to find it again. Who knows? If you're lucky, you may just stumble across it...