Lualdi is an island region somewhere in the middle of the world. It is inhabited by Pokémon and humans alike, though its history of colonization means that wild Pokémon have had to adapt to human presence as opposed to the other way around. Being equatorial, much of the region is tropical with dense jungles, vibrant beaches, and little in the way of noticeably different seasons.
Lualdi is divided up into ten provinces: Primarrivo, Mediterra, Ienza, Boscuro, Selvaguen, Pioveri, Domorto, Voluzione, Camani, and Sistazzo. Each of these provinces is independently governed and has its own capital city; however, all provinces answer to the Lualdi Pokémon League, which unites them as a cohesive whole and keeps them working together for mutual benefit.
The northern half of Lualdi is at a higher elevation than the southern half, which is largely below sea level beyond the coasts. Unless one scales the cliffs on the border between Boscuro and Selvaguen, Lualdi's northern half is inaccessible by land -- prospective visitors must use air or sea transport otherwise.
Millions of years ago, Lualdi was covered in vast, colossal vegetation that dwarfed the equally giant Pokémon that lived there. Humans did not exist at all in this time, and Lualdi was ruled by vicious Pokémon that wreak havoc whenever they abruptly become unstuck in time and appear outside their home time. Due to the time portals throughout Lualdi, research has actually been conducted on the prehistoric era, albeit in small bursts when the rare opportunity of being escorted by powerful Pokémon trainers is presented to scientists.
This savage land is full of species of Pokémon that have long been extinct throughout the world, never mind Lualdi itself. On average, a given prehistoric species will be larger than its modern counterpart, even in species that have managed to survive in the interim time between eras. Geologists and other researchers suspect that in this period, Lualdi was attached to other regions before continental drift separated the island. However, attempting to venture past Lualdi's "borders" inevitably result in being returned to the modern day, preventing complete study of anything beyond Lualdi.
Although it might be hard to believe, tens of thousands of years ago, Lualdi was covered in snow and ice. Since the time portals opened, Ice-type and other Pokémon suited to cold climates have been seen in Lualdi's wilds for the first time in recorded history. No evidence has been found that humans ever lived in Lualdi during the Ice Age, and the hostile climate and weather of the Ice Age means that the abundance of species in Prehistory have all but disappeared. Only those capable of surviving in arctic winters and withstanding viciously bitter winds can hope to live a day in the Ice Age.
The scarcity of food and shelter mean that Pokémon in this age tend towards being fiercely protective of their resources, though perhaps ever slightly more docile than their prehistoric counterparts. Collaboration between different species is not an uncommon sight -- almost as if the Pokémon in the Ice Age are hoping to wait out the storm with as many survivors as possible. Rare pockets of green can occasionally be found throughout the region, often in cliffs sheltered from the wind.
The Medieval Period is the name given to the era where Lualdi's native humans prospered throughout nine kingdoms that encompassed the whole region. Hundreds of years later, these kingdoms would lay the foundations of Lualdi's modern-day provinces.
The nine kingdoms were called Midter, Iens, Baskur, Salganas, Mortand, Ceman, Rennerland, Voletion, and Tazas. Respectively, they correspond to the modern provinces of Primarrivo and Mediterra (Midter), Ienza (Iens), Boscuro (Baskur), Selvaguen (Salganas), Domorto (Mortand), Camani (Ceman), Pioveri (Rennerland), Voluzione (Voletion), and Sistazzo (Tazas). The kingdoms of Lualdi remained separate from one another, although certain kingdoms tended to ally or war with one another more than they would with others, and some small cultural migration happened as a result.
As technology was not advanced, initially, most Pokémon were seen as wild beasts that were dangerous and ought to be avoided as much as possible. Certain docile species of Pokémon were domesticated and used for a variety of working or livestock purposes, and rumors abounded of strange people who could command more powerful beasts, but it wasn't until centuries into the Medieval Period that the dream of controlling Lualdi's rampaging beasts became a reality.
According to legend, which is suspected to have been born more of revisionist history than anything else by modern historians, a queen in Voletion was brought to an underground cavern by a "mysterious stranger". This stranger introduced her to a mineral that was called "dominus," and dominus could be used to control even the strongest of Pokémon. Following this discovery, dominus became the primary determinant of wealth and power in medieval Lualdi; controlling an army of humans meant little in the face of controlling an enormous, fire-breathing dragon.
Voletion was the primary source of dominus and grew exponentially in wealth and power as a result; far to the south, the Midter Kingdom also found repositories of dominus, and they created a monopoly on the mineral for those unable to reach Voletion. Some kingdoms were quick to adopt dominus; others staunchly refused to have anything to do with it. Dominus was consolidated to the elite of Lualdi, and slowly, even the most dangerous of Pokémon eventually came to have completely domesticated descendants.
The Colonial Era is marked by the arrival of colonists from a far-off region whose name has been lost to time. They called the region Lualdi, a name meaning "Land of the Loyal" in their native tongue, and they quickly established settlements around modern-day's Port Zolfo. Soon, they were discovered by the Midterrians, who were intrigued by the colonists' more advanced steam technology. They soon saw an opportunity, and they made allies of the colonists, promising to grant them land, titles of nobility, and more in return for these steam-powered inventions. In time, trading boomed, and the colonists eventually got their hands on dominus.
The colonists evidently came from a land where Pokémon were not domesticated or subdued, and they found the notion of controlling Pokémon fascinating -- representing a great potential they never had in their homeland. Combining their technology with dominus, it is said that the very first prototype "Poké Ball" was born in this time, though it was solely used for capture and not for the storage of Pokémon. By use of a lure laced with dominus, which would then constrict the Pokémon to prevent them from leaving before the dominus could take effect, a weakened Pokémon could be won over to the side of a human trainer. With their newfound might, the colonists and the Midterrians took to the field of battle to conquer desirable portions of the neighboring Iens Kingdom. Border squabbles turned into all-out war, and Iens quickly surrendered to the unstoppable armies of Midter.
Initially, Midter was content with holding control over the southern parts of Lualdi. They even granted a huge swath of land specifically for the colonists, who named the land Primarrivo. However, the colonists disagreed that this should be where the story of Lualdi ended. After all, there was ample fertile land in the north. Historical records indicate that the people of Midter feared the "god-beasts" in the northern part of the island. Disputes turned to battles and in-fighting that ended with the colonists' victory. Now with control over the largest kingdom that Lualdi had ever seen, they took to the north, intending to travel through the jungles of Baskur to reach the rest of the region.
It is said that the Baskur Kingdom surrendered to the colonists immediately and sought an alliance. In return for safe passage through the tangled paths and undergrowth of Baskur, the colonists would leave them be. This alliance was agreed upon, and the colonists eventually reached the northern kingdoms. Beginning with Salganas, the colonists started to conquer the land. The opportunistic Baskurians, now seeing that the colonists' strength in the southern kingdoms was no fluke, sent armies to march on Rennerland and Mortand. Much like Baskur, Rennerland recognized the strength of the colonists and allied with them to fully conquer Salganas. Despite legends and myths stating that Salganas was protected by "god-beasts," no such creature defended Salganas, and the kingdom fell, as did Mortand; the wars on Mortand's soil were said to desecrate the once-fertile land, but legend states that the king cursed the land in his dying breath to be utterly barren so that it would be utterly useless to the conquerors.
The united armies of the colonists, Baskur, Rennerland, and their conquered territories took to the kingdoms of Ceman and Voletion. Voletion had the boon of its desert location; their enemies struggled to maintain a stable warfront in Voletion, and this only worsened when Ceman was found to be defended by the god-beasts the colonists had heard about in Salganas. Unable to fight a war on both sides, the colonists and their allies elected to focus on Ceman instead. Here, they came face-to-face with creatures that were truly as gods -- of them, the vengeful Arceus was the name they feared most of all.
The war in Ceman took an enormous toll on both sides; history believes that most Cemanian humans were utterly wiped out in the war, and most individuals today with Cemanian blood are descended from Cemanians that immigrated to Rennerland or Mortand before war broke out. Records state that the god Pokémon fought ruthlessly, but were eventually overwhelmed by sheer numbers and persistence. They were driven back to Mount Enettivo, where they were ultimately defeated.
The day that the Legendary Pokémon were conquered, August 15th in the year 1850, is called the Day of Invincibility and is celebrated as a holiday every year throughout Lualdi.
The decades between the Colonial War and the later Great War are regarded as "antebellum" not for necessarily being an era of peace, but simply for coming before an even larger war that consumed all of Lualdi. The Voletion Kingdom, keenly aware that the "Lualdians" sought to secure all of the island, sent ambassadors to their northern neighbor, Tazas, in hopes of forging an alliance against the Lualdians. Their hope was that although Tazas was historically isolated and wanted nothing to do with the outside world, the Tazans would see that to protect their way of life, they would need to fight back. However, in 1900, the ambassadors returned, and they revealed that they had found absolutely nothing at all. There was nothing in Tazas -- not even ruins, and not even any evidence that anyone at all had ever lived there.
It was as though Tazas had never existed, and Voletion was left alone to face the Lualdians.
The Great WarEdit
War broke out in Lualdi when Voletion invaded Pioveri on Queen Inadieth Delaor's orders to strike the Lualdians first. Unpopular history suggests that this, in fact, never occurred, as it would make little sense for Voletion to lash out at a much larger force when they were aware of how easily they could be defeated. Regardless of the source, the Great War officially began on September 9th, 1909, and Lualdi mustered its armies to bring Voletion to its knees. Nine commanders were selected to lead their forces. These nine were masters of Pokémon without peer, and they were called the Lualdi Nine. Each specialized in different Pokémon types, making them a versatile force that would prove to be Voletion's undoing. All but one survived the end of the war; Isabella Valuchi was shot down above the skies of Voletion, and historians believe that her status as a martyr spelled the end for Voletion, for Lualdi had obtained an icon and figurehead to rally behind.
Queen Inadieth Delaor took to the battlefields herself for one final last stand outside the capital city's gates. She did not return from this battle, and Voletion officially surrendered the day after news of their queen's death reached them. April 9th, 1954, marked the day of Voletion's surrender, and the day is celebrated as a holiday called Lualdi Unification Day. Despite this being the day Voletion officially became part of Lualdi, fully integrating Voletion into the province now called Voluzione would take several decades.
In 1970, to better unify Lualdi and honor the fallen in the Great War, the Lualdi Pokémon League was formed. They created memorials dedicated to each member of the Lualdi Nine in every province save for Sistazzo. In each memorial, a member of the League would stand as a "proxy" for that member of the Lualdi Nine and use similar Pokémon that the Lualdi Nine champion themselves used. In time, cultural assimilation from other regions regarded these memorials as "Gyms" and the Lualdi Nine proxies as "Gym Leaders," so-named for similar practices in other regions beyond Lualdi. Years later, the historical significance of Lualdi's Gyms is mostly remembered in placards, tours, and books, although Lualdi Pokémon League traditions ensure that the Lualdi Nine's part in the Gyms is never truly forgotten.
The greatest Pokémon trainers in the Lualdi Pokémon League were eventually called the Elite Four -- again, adopting a term from other regions -- and the organization eventually found itself in an increasing state of power that transcended Lualdi's provinces. More non-trainers had to be brought in to keep the group running and ensure consistency across all regions. Now, the Lualdi Pokémon League is a government entity with a powerful public presence, and aspiring Pokémon trainers both in and out of Lualdi are encouraged to test their mettle against the Lualdi Pokémon League.
In the years immediately following the apocalypse, all of Lualdi was aflame and in ruin. Entire cities collapsed from the rain of judgment, and those that survived soon found that Lualdi was nigh-unrecognizable. Once-fertile lands were barren and devoid of life; ancient landmarks were nothing more than rubble; and mankind was no longer the undisputed king of Lualdi. Scarce resources compelled people to fight against one another, and wild Pokémon were a regular danger as well as they, too, sought to claim rare food, water, and shelter from the weak.
Certain areas of Lualdi eventually grew to be fertile again, especially around Mount Enettivo, said to be the location of where a monster long ago erupted and laid the world to ruin. In time, history was forgotten except by rare lorekeepers who could still read the unknown runes left behind by their ancestors, and Lualdi's current state became all these people had ever known. Pokémon were seen as uncontrollable beasts except for those weak enough that they still had to rely on humans for survival. Humanity was left to roam this barren land, eking out meager existences wherever they could.