Stray is an ongoing hybrid fanfiction/role-playing story created by Shadowwolf based on the successful Pokémon franchise. The plot follows a wandering feral Absol named Orion as he searches for and plans to kill an evil Pokémon known as Shadow Alakazam. The story relays between various characters (each narrated by different authors), all of which journey through a dark setting either for power, vengeance, independence or self-discovery.
The majority of the events occur amidst an eight-year war for dominance between the Shadow Pokémon, the Blackclaw Dragoons and the Peacekeepers. The setting is easily darker and more mature than seen or read in common Pokémon media, including elements such as vulgar language, graphic violence and death, depressing scenes and dark philosophies. Each small part of the story contributes to establishing the effects of the war, the true nature behind the warring factions, the psychology of each of the main characters and what ultimately brought the Shadow Pokémon to existence.
The story has been published at its home site, DeviantArt.com, Fanfiction.net and Writing.com. It has received mostly positive responses from fans and is slowly gathering a supporting fanbase. It has yet to be complete.
Stray takes place in an alternative post-apocalyptic universe of the official canons where the majority of humans have supposedly been extinguished and creatures called Pokémon rule the featured landmasses of Hevaulkin (northern continent) and Serapis (southern continent). Much of the story centers on Hevaulkin and its various smaller locations, most notably the village at Emerald Valley. Due to the effects of Shadow Energy to the climate, the weather in various locations tend to be sporadic. Many settlements of the Pokémon derive heavily from rediscovered human technology and findings, though there still remain natural areas in which "feral" societies take cover in.
Stray uses a writing system similar to common written role-playing games. Each author creates and writes with a single main character (occasionally from other side characters as well) and posts a part to the story. Each part tends to span a large portion of a character's storyline and may cover a whole scene or be divided into multiple scenes each ending with a cliffhanger. The story parts strictly cluster around a similar time period of the day and continue on in a progressive manner.
In addition to the writings, music can also be added to befit a certain event in the story (sometimes in a manner done by songfics).
Orion the Absol: An adolescent male Absol whose goal is to assassinate Shadow Alakazam in hopes of ending the war. Originally a nomad due to being presumably chased out of the areas he has traveled to, he maintains a negative view of the world around him and towards most other individuals in general. He is commonly brooding over various situations and topics resulting in philosophical monologues influenced by the pessimistic views of Lord Darkrai. Orion is a capable fighter who prefers using his blade in battle. He is prone to having mysterious nightmares that reveal painful memories of his lost childhood home. Role by author Shadowwolf.
Atlas the Abra: A male child Abra "chosen" by Dialga, according to his tribe leader, to bring the war to an end and follower to the deity Giratina. Though holding a rebellious view on his status, he is an appreciator of nature and its wonders. He travels with Master Kadabra in order to be forged into a powerful psi warrior; his favorite tactics consist of using Teleport and close-range attacks emulated from fighting-type Pokémon. Role by author Luiaard.
Yukie the Eevee: A female child Eevee "born of ice" who seeks to evolve to Glaceon. She tends to reject any sort of contact from other individuals and refuses to maintain friendships. Rather than relying on strength in battle, she works on strategizing and escaping. Like many of the main characters, she holds a tragic past of her old home. Role by author Akina.
Dragonair: An unnamed adolescent male Dragonair who was once a recruit of the Blackclaw Dragoons before he deserted the empire. He is short-tempered and has a tendency to swear frequently. He relies on speed during battle. His goal is to outdo any Pokémon in existence to become the strongest in the world. Role by author rhazerat.
Daisy the Pidgey: A naive and curious "shiny" child female Pidgey who was once a resident in a land of humans. She was separated from her family after having been captured by a group of villainous humans but escaped to a distant land she never knew existed. Having been paired with the wandering Dragonair, she seeks a purpose in the new land. She relies on her flying abilities, speed and escape tactics in battle. Role by author CheckeredZebra.
Steelix: An aged veteran in the art of combat who is pursued by his old nemesis Shadow Red Rampardos. He was previously the leader of a vigilante rescue group known as the Rock and Rollers until he was defeated. Having been instructed to act again by the surreal figure Holy Gallade, he now seeks to destroy Rampardos and his band of traitors while attempting to reassemble the isolated Rock and Rollers. In battle, he relies on his sturdy body to attack and defend. Role by author diesel_of_steel.
Cyndaquil: A male Cyndaquil who was trapped in a block of ice in the past and has found himself a long time into the future. While adjusting himself to the new world, he seeks revenge on an enemy known as Ditto. He is commonly sarcastic and somewhat of a pessimist. In battle, he relies on fire-based attacks and tricky maneuvers. Role by author Blackmagebrad.
Duskull: A telepathic, schizophrenic male Duskull who destroyed his own village in cold blood. He willingly becomes a Shadow Pokémon to further increment his powers. In battle, he behaves unpredictably and uses unorthodox energy attacks. Role by author psycho_mantis.
Goldfire the Electrike: A young male Electrike who is inconfident in his abilities when comparing himself to his older brother Rekkurai. After having lost Rekkurai to a Shadow Pokémon, Fire was taken in by a Mightyena clan to be raised in their ways and become a stronger fighter. He develops his physical strength and electrical abilities for battle. Role by author Goldfire.
Shadow Alakazam: A mysterious figure who is notorious for his exceptionally destructive abilities and killing streaks. It is unclear to what his motives are but some believe he is the true mastermind controlling the Shadow Pokémon.
Shadow Gengar: A sadistic ghost Pokémon who possibly possesses strong telepathic abilities. He seems to be wandering about, doing as he pleases, and loves nothing more than attacking his enemies psychologically. He once stated he is immortal.
Stray has received minor criticism in small plot holes and earlier dialogue but gained mostly positive fan reviews due to the unique and dynamic portrayals of the characters, character interactions, descriptive settings, later battle sequences, improving dialogue and the bold dark setting of the story.
- The name of the story is based on the opening theme of the anime Wolf's Rain. The word itself has also been emphasized a few times in the story, often referring to Orion.
- The story derives from and references to various works of literature or media. Examples include various mythologies, the works of Howard Phillips Lovecraft, works of Edgar Allan Poe, Dragonball Z, Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts, Assassin's Creed, Metal Gear Solid, etc.
- Stray website - http://pkmnstray.com/
- Stray forums - http://pkmnstray.com/forums
- Stray chatroom - http://pkmnstray.com/?p=chat
- Fanfiction account - http://www.fanfiction.net/~neoshadowwolf
- DeviantArt account - http://orion-the-absol.deviantart.com/