Morphs [Oak Catalog #]
Seviper is a 3-meter long serpentine Pokémon with mostly black scales and golden “scutes” on its head, back, and belly, the last of which are used to aid in locomotion. It has yellow scales covering its lower jaw, as well as purple markings on its head, upper body, and tail. Its eyes are red, as are its distinctive, saber-like fangs.
Its most notable bodily feature, however, is its scythe-like tail, which is comprised primarily of tough keratin with a bony support. The red blade has several grooves, which deliver venom generated in a gland at the base of the tail to the edge of the “blade.” This blade is used as its primary weapon, more so than even its fangs, which excrete a similar poison.
On rare occasions Seviper exhibit a color morph with green scutes, red markings, and blue eyes, tongue, and tail blade. These rare specimens are highly sought after by Trainers.
Seviper are well known for one particular behavior: their apparent, instinctual hatred of Zangoose. A Seviper will stiffen and grow more aggressive if they smell a Zangoose nearby, which changes to a frenzied rage if one is actually spotted. Even pictures of Zangoose will trigger the Seviper to attack the image. Seviper often show heavy battle scars, primarily caused by battles with Zangoose. The exact reason for this “blood feud” is debated, but it is generally agreed that it has to at least in part do with the fact that the two species both prey on one another.
It should be noted that captive-bred Seviper, especially when interbred with other Pokemon species, display less of an instinctual urge to attack Zangoose, and may even be coaxed into breeding with them.
Other than this, Seviper are known for being able to use a fairly wide range of abilities, from draining energy from their prey to spitting jets of flame or pulses of “dark energy” to causing small tremors. They primarily prefer using their tail blades, fangs, and general bulk to attack and defend themselves, however. Like many serpentine Pokémon, they can also use a paralyzing glare to incapacitate prey or predators.
Seviper venom is a potent neurotoxin that causes muscle spasms and blurred vision even in small doses, and may result in respiratory or cardiovascular failure if a victim has enough venom in their system. (see Hazards)
Two strains of Seviper are known to exist. The first, and by far the most common, is capable of regenerating skin and sloughing old skin at an accelerated rate when exposed to certain harmful stimuli, such as a burn, electrical stunning, or even sleep-inducing effects. The second, much rarer strain has a thicker tail blade and fangs, allowing them to bypass barriers created by opponents more easily.
In addition to smelling with their tongues, Seviper also have heat-sensitive pits on their faces for locating prey.
Seviper primarily live in grasslands, rocky areas, and forests, preferring to have access to rocks or other hard surfaces on which they can whet their tail blades. However, Zangoose have similar habitat preferences, and part of their “feud” may come from competition for territory and food.
Seviper prefer warm climates like those of Hoenn, but they can survive in places such as Sinnoh (and Unova, where they have been introduced) by hibernating through cold periods.
Seviper are opportunistic predators, using their venomous tail and fangs to take down prey and their unhinging jaws to swallow it whole. Prey resistant to venom is either repeatedly slashed with the tail or constricted. They primarily prey on small mammal, bird, and reptile Pokémon, but will occasionally take larger prey, including their Zangoose rivals. One Seviper was documented with an unusual taste for Absol.
Seviper are ambush predators by nature, preferring to remain coiled in a hidden spot like a clump of tall grass and wait for prey to pass by.
Unusually for a serpentine Pokémon, Seviper are also known to feed on fruit, typically in the form of Berries fed to them by Trainers.
Seviper are not recommended for beginning Trainers. Their fangs, tail, and tendency to view all smaller creatures as “food” mean that putting them around small children is an extremely risky move. If a Trainer is experienced enough to own a Seviper, tail sheaths are highly recommended to keep the Seviper from inadvertently poisoning someone. Antivenom must always be kept on hand even around sheathed Seviper. They should also be kept away from any smaller Pokémon until they are thoroughly acclimated to team life- or when a strong teammate is present to keep them in line.
Courting and Childrearing
Seviper are mostly solitary, so the default response when two of the opposite gender meet is to mate by coiling their bodies around each other. (Female Seviper tend to ignore each other; males engage in elaborate “combat dances” to compete for mates) Once that is done, the female lays several eggs and guards them until they hatch, at which point the offspring are on their own.
Seviper are primarily solitary with little to no social structure to speak of; however, they are occasionally known to gather in groups to attack Zangoose colonies. These raids are surprisingly organized, with different Seviper acting as leaders, drivers, ambushers, and infiltrators. However, at the raid's end, the Seviper all go their separate ways without much acknowledgement.
In Human Culture
Seviper is one of the most vilified Pokémon in literary and pop-cultural history, rivaling entities such as Hydregion in the number of negative portrayals compared to positive ones. They appear as video game bosses, as the pets of dark sorcerers, and as overall symbols of corruption and malice. As with other snake Pokémon, positive portrayals are almost unheard of, but especially in the case of Seviper. Motifs depicting the rivalry between Seviper and Zangoose are also common; due to the villainous status of Seviper, the Zangoose tends to default to the “heroic” position.
However, Seviper do have practical applications in human society. Captive-bred individuals are commonly used to provide antivenom in Antidodes, and research is being done on the medicinal properties of certain compounds in Seviper venom. They're also commonly used by those careful enough in handling them as pest control and as makeshift security systems.