The upbeat pilgrim who likes instilling hope and confidence.
Name: Altair Cifi Azure
Height: 65 in (1.65 m)
Weight: 139.0 lbs (63.04 kg)
Hair color: Brown
Eye color: Sky blue
Age: 7 (chronologically); 21 (physiologically)
DOB: 7 July (in-game year not given yet)
Hometown: Not known, but presumably somewhere near Fuchsia City, Kanto Region
Theme Song: The Value of Life :: Labyrinth V: The Porcelain Forest – Memories of the World Tree (orig. from Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City)
Physical Appearance: Altair has two main guises: his usual form, which is seen in the picture to the right; and his enchanting transformation (i.e. from Magica Agent), which he dubs Lunar Hope.
Looks to be in his mid-teens. Has blue eyes and brown hair, around which rests a headband. Wears arm bands and fingerless gloves (to conceal his birthmark, on the back of his left hand). Clothing repertoire is usually just a shirt with sleeves stopping just above the elbows, plus trousers that stop just below the knees. He wears a blue earring on his right ear that matches his birthmark, representing hope – Vega wears the left earring. He’s also always carrying around a blue lantern (whether in his hand or attached to his pack), and it’s something he views so dear that he never lets it out of his sight. He has named the lantern Blue-Blaze, after the color of the glowstone within that perpetually generates its light.
As Lunar Hope:
Cloak is black, with streaks of light running all along it; the default color of the streaks is white, but they have been known to range from blue to silver. His face is similarly covered by a mask, and his armour/costume is worn over his entire body, so none of his features can be seen. The lantern Blue-Blaze is missing entirely, as the transformation process is fueled by a special glowstone within it – when he manifests, the lantern is drawn into his body in the flash of light, thus causing his entire body to glow as a light source.
(Yes, I was reading about the Blue Lantern Corps at the time. I thought it was cool and a neat inspiration.)
Altair himself is a Construct, and thus does not age in a normal manner – hence the chronological vs physiological age comment above. It’s not known if he ages very slowly, or if he just doesn’t age at all. (His first and middle names together, Altair Cifi, are an anagram for ‘artificial’.)
(A Construct is an artificial being created by a spellcaster, effectively spoken into existence. Constructs aren’t necessarily human, though most are, and many tend to be devoted to their creators as thanks for the act of bringing them into the world. Unlike other artificial creatures, which may be partly or entirely robotic in nature, Constructs are entirely flesh and blood. They have an innate ability to empathically/emotionally sense their creator within a 1-mile radius, and vice versa. Other than that, there are no special bonuses or effects for them – while Altair is technically artificial, he is still a human.)
Altair likes to maintain a constant sense of hope and purpose, in the hopes that those around him will smile as he does. He’s never one to turn away from a lonely frown and does what he must to get that person to smile, as he believes happiness is contagious.
Despite having run away from Vega, he doesn’t try to hide himself – but he doesn’t actively seek her out either. He doesn’t know what Vega still thinks of him, but even if they do meet up again, he won’t be worried about the result, though he knows he may have to give something up. He likes having a power duality with Lunar Hope, seeing them as 2 sides to 1 coin; Altair’s powers as a Venus Adept are focused on the Earth, while Lunar Hope’s abilities as a Magica Agent revolve around the Moon. He tends to be rather alert at night, especially when the moon is clearly visible in the sky. If he must transform into (or out of) Lunar Hope, he prefers to do secretly with no observers whenever possible, much like a superhero with a secret identity would. (Lunar Hope is technically an alter ego of him, yes, but is also a split personality, rooted in the glowstone.)
Because of the duality, his personality as Lunar Hope is radically different from his usual self – because they are 2 different people. The glowstone Altair keeps in his lantern is an immensely powerful magical artifact called the Lunar Stone, which also fuels the transformation – the stone is somewhat sentient, and utilizes Altair’s body to manifest its power, though the relation is entirely symbiotic and the two are aware of each other’s existence. The symbiosis has caused some overlap between the two in terms of personality and goals (for example, Altair’s desire to spread hope to people in need has spread to his alter ego, who now considers that his primary mission).
While Altair is more congenial and laid-back, Lunar Hope is rather formal and aggressive, and concerned with little other than his goals (which are the same as Altair’s, but he goes about them much differently). He has little patience for anything or anyone he deems evil (being openly irritated or even angry with them), and considers himself fighting on the side of justice. He speaks only when he feels it’s necessary, and his voice is a lot deeper than Altair’s, enough so that it’s moderately distorted and thus unrecognizable. Even his speech patterns are different; Lunar Hope adopts a slightly archaic style, both in word choices and sentence structure.
The party doesn’t appear to be entirely sure who Lunar Hope is (they don’t even know his name – though to be fair, until Mr Hotei wrote a letter addressed to him, he didn’t even have a name), though Jericho is suspicious of Altair (seemingly enough to have noticed the switch), while Surolam is completely oblivious. However, Altair and Lunar Hope have been seen together at the same time, so there is a bit more to their relationship than meets the eye.
As befitting his theme and abilities, all incidents that Lunar Hope appeared in happened at night.
Altair Azure (originally Altair Cifi Adara) is a Construct (artificial human) originally created by Vega Adara, a spellcaster who spoke him into existence several years before, as a fully-formed person. Despite the initial master-servant (or creator-creation) relationship, the two got along rather well and they were quite the duo – there were rough patches, sure, but their interactions were almost entirely positive during their time together. In fact, during the course of his ‘growing up’, he was gifted with a bullseye lantern set with a bright blue glowstone, plus a single earring with a blue lantern design on it. To this day, Altair still possesses both of these items (he wears the right earring; Vega wears the left one), considering the lantern (dubbed ‘Blue-Blaze’) to be his most prized possession, and treating it accordingly.
After a few years, the two had a falling out regarding a certain magical artifact called the Lunar Stone, a glowstone roughly half the size of a tennis ball with immense stored magical energy within, shining with the light of the moon. Vega had acquired it for the purpose of drawing on its power for herself, but Altair disagreed with her vehemently, saying that the stone, which was used as a magical artifact in a war against darkness, shouldn’t be treated as a tool for power, but rather as a marvel for admiration. Due to this disagreement, over time Vega began to mistreat him, oftentimes seeing fit to remind him who was the superior – while he knew this, and had always known this, it had never been launched at him with such animosity before.
Ultimately, this culminated in his fleeing from his creator as far away as possible – as, due to his nature, the two would be able to empathically sense each other within a 1-mile radius. As he fled, he took the glowstone originally within Blue-Blaze and swapped it with the Lunar Stone, to which it bore an uncanny resemblance. He hoped his disappearance would serve as a distraction from his essential theft of the Lunar Stone away from Vega, whom he feared would use it in undesirable ways.
During this time he sought to lie low, and feared retribution from Vega, so he sought asylum, seeking or finding whoever he could that would be willing to let him lie low for a while, perhaps until Vega forgot. Eventually his offer was accepted by a man and his wife who took him in, and for some time after he lived with them as a domestic servant.
Learning they were both seasoned warriors, Altair sought to follow in their footsteps and trained himself how to fight. He respected them both immensely, but in the process of his training, he found the man and his style of elemental combat to be more appealing, and before long, he adopt that as his forte as well; indeed, he so thoroughly idolized the couple that he adopted their last name (Azure) as a gesture of respect.
The man advised Altair that his constant optimism and talents should see more growth by journeying the land, but also suggested on how he could create for himself an identity separate from Vega; up until then, Altair had seen himself inseparably bound by his destiny as an artificial human, but was told specifically that “the circumstances of how we’re brought into this world mean very little – it’s the actions you take, and the relationships you forge, that determine what kind of person you are”. This struck him immensely, and he felt positively ecstatic for the first time since he lived and got along with Vega all that time ago. As he mulled these thoughts over, he was reminded of the Lunar Stone still in his possession, and – while powerful – could be used as an instrument for heroism, rather than as a weapon of terror. Utilizing the stone’s energies, in conjunction with the stone’s own will and sentience, he crafted for himself the persona and alter ego of Lunar Hope (then unnamed), as a way to both express his desire to aid others and to keep his identity hidden; the alter ego manifests to perform tasks under cover of darkness that Altair normally wouldn’t be able to do.
Altair wanted to find a place where he could explore a quiet out-of-the-way portion of the world, learning and seeing all of what nature had to offer. The man had the perfect idea: west of Johto there was a small quiet island by the name of Shikoku, which has deep cultural ties to its history, and those travelers who are especially daring like to take the 88-Temple Challenge, visiting each of the temples at least once, not only for a personal challenge, but he’d surely see all of what Shikoku had to offer along the way.
“At the first temple they give you a stamp card, Altair. It’s arranged into 8 rows of 11 boxes each, and when you visit a particular temple for the first time, an attendant there will stamp off that box.”
“Eighty-eight temples in all, Mr Azure? That’s gotta take months or maybe even years, but at the same time, it sounds like a lot of fun to try out!”
“Indeed it is. I’ve never tried it out myself, but one day I’d like to try it out with Riddy. I’ve heard that every time you complete a row, you get a free sundae!”
“Nah, but it makes for a good pep talk, doesn’t it? Either way, you’d best start preparing for your journey. I’ll even pay for your boat fare if you don’t feel like walking all the way there. Cianwood City is technically on the easternmost point of Shikoku, so I recommend you start from there.”
Head held high and hope in his heart, Altair, now fully Altair Azure, waved goodbye to the two and began his trek, with only a few items still to his name: his blue lantern, his blue earring (yeah, the ones I mentioned right at the start), plus two more items: a walking stick and a purple ribbon-like scarf, the telltale signs of someone who was going to attempt Shikoku’s 88-Temple Challenge.
He departed from a ship near Fuchsia and headed west towards Cianwood, one of the easternmost and largest cities in Shikoku. Seeking for avenues for where to begin his journey, he was eventually led towards Cianwood Dyes, a large and profitable company with an even larger penchant for the color blue than Altair himself. Asked by Vona Mayte, a surveyor and high-ranking official of the company, to undertake a request involving traversing around the Shikoku region, Altair enthusiastically accepted, and is now eager to begin his life as a Pokémon Trainer, to see what sights he can see, what legends he can learn, but most of all, what friends he can make.
And the rest, as they say, is history…
Fellow Traveling Trainers:
This section contains Altair’s views on his teammates that he’s traveling through Shikoku with. It will most likely be updated on a fairly regular basis.
Henrietta: She just joined the party only recently and thus he doesn’t have much interaction with her yet, but their initial meeting did appear promising, so they have at least started off on the right foot. More to come later.
Jericho Swift: Altair sees Jericho as a trouble-making jokester, enough to only mildly get on the entourage’s nerves but enough to be kind-hearted and good-natured at times, despite his ‘sticky fingers’. The two appear to have hit it off quite quickly, always joking and jabbing at each other whenever there’s an opportunity. He tends to disapprove of how he treats the others in the party (especially Molly), though he wants to preserve the friendship with Jericho, given how the others will tend to shun or write him off without a second thought (not that they aren’t justified in doing so).
Jil Joti: Altair views Jil as a clever combination of shrewd and responsible, someone he’s glad he’s on the same side of. They haven’t spoken all that much yet, but Altair believes that Jil will always have a plan at the ready. He’s also inwardly intrigued due to Jil’s nature as a robot, though that’s largely because of Altair’s own history. Learning more about Jil’s own family has given him a lot of insight about how Jil’s mind works, as well as how she thinks about her family and what they think of themselves as well. Having talked with one of them, Aditya, personally, he feels like there’s a lot more to the group than he initially noticed.
Molly: Altair sees Molly as extremely purpose-driven; anything that doesn’t fit into her schemes or plans seems to him to be quickly disregarded. Because of that, he’s noticed she gets displeased when she is impeded or otherwise antagonized in that regard, as he’s noticed Jericho tends to do more often than not. Altair tends to have one eye out for Molly whenever he can, knowing that she reluctantly chose to tag along with the group despite having better things to do or aim towards (at least, from his assessment/perspective of her). She’s already been established as a shoot-first-ask-questions-later type, so he’s trying to choose his words carefully whenever the two end up talking, and try not to waste her time – but he tries to stick up for her whenever possible (sometimes in very shrewd ways), whether or not she’s present.
Surolam Arcel: Altair was initially very surprised at encountering Surolam, largely because she, like him, is an artefactor (someone who can communicate with inanimate objects). He and his lantern, Blue-Blaze, often have silent conversations with her and her bell (Little Pummerin) and cane (Donphan-tooth). Finding out she was blind has caused Altair to be very careful how he interacts with her, so he always looks out to make sure she’s safe and in someone’s company. He’s aware that she has some feelings for him, but never expected her to actually act on them; consequently, he’s slightly wary of her, but not enough to affect how they interact as friends. Her courting of Jil has given him some relief in that he feels they can safely stay as friends (essentially, he’s ‘off the hook’), and he maintains good rapport with both her and her object posse.
As befits his theme, all of Altair’s Pokémon are caught in Moon Balls, though due to Lunar Hope’s existence, his team is cut into two distinct halves.
Altair’s team have nicknames thematically based on hope, either words describing it or characters exemplifying it, and are all male.
Lunar Hope’s team have nicknames thematically based on the moon, usually some aspect or prominent feature thereof, and are all female.
Owned by Altair:
Hajime (Weavile): A Weavile with bright blue feathers lining his head and shoulders, instead of the usual dark red (not shown as such in the picture), and can wreathe his strikes in blue flame. He has small bits of Houndoom and Emboar in his heritage, as part of the breeding program of Belisama, a Tohoku Gym Leader. His appearance belies his wisdom, and though somewhat inexperienced, he has more years under his belt than most other Pokémon the party has seen. He tries to be a role model to the younger Pokémon, always looking out for them, though he has a tendency to address them as ‘kid’ rather than directly by name. He is the first Pokémon owned by Altair, hence his given name of Hajime (‘beginning’), also the name of a symbol of hope, Hajime Hinata.
Makoto (Floatzel): A Floatzel with bright golden-white fur, with steam emanating from his neck and certain of his pores (not shown as such in the picture). Possesses some Ninetales in his heritage, allowing him to read auras of living creatures and magical properties of objects, due to his two tails. Originally met in the Safari Zone, he trailed Altair all the way back to Cianwood, curious about Altair’s abilities, thinking the pilgrim rather strange in some way, but he gets along with Hajime fairly well. Despite looking rather impressive, he’s still a child at heart (though extremely eager), which has sometimes earned him the mild frustration of Hajime. He is named after the Ultimate Hope, Makoto Naegi.
Wish (Ariados): An Ariados with special markings that move on command, wears two pairs of shades (one on its face and one on its back – not shown as such in the picture), and has Beedrill-like wings sprouting from its back (also not shown as such). Met on the trek to Playhouse City, he was introduced to the party by Schleimann, who stayed behind while the raiding party went off – though Wish was rather intimidated by Schleimann’s accounts of the team (he comes off as scary when he doesn’t try to be). Despite his fearsome appearance and his dart-based combat, he is a very gentle soul and loves to care for plants. His name is relatively simple and has no extra meaning, but when asked, he’ll say “Bond. Wish Bond.”, a nod to James Bond, because of his shades (though it also doubles as a slight reference to Yūsei Fudō).
(He has a male Pyroxy too, but I haven’t gotten around to really smoothing out the details on him yet. I might end up giving it away.)
Owned by Lunar Hope:
Lustre (Argalis): An ancient Argalis who fought in a war against darkness 1000 years prior, and nearly fell in battle but was sealed into the Moon to rest before she would die. After Mr Hotei delivered a letter to ‘Lunar Hope’ (at the time, the masked hero was nameless, and so decided to adopt that as his moniker), which contained a small golden windchime, Hope climbed to the highest point in the village of Wyldglen, in full sight of the moon, and rung the chime to break the insect’s seal. She is initially naive due to knowing little of the new world in which she finds herself, but is purpose-driven just as Hope is, and shares his goal of bringing the light of hope (as conveyed by the Moon) to any dark place where despair has taken hold. According to Hope, “a light as bright as the moon, one that splits the darkness in twain – Such a light possesses a formidable lustre, that no other source may hope to emulate”, hence his companion’s new name, Lustre. As Lunar Hope is a Magica Agent, she is his Magical Companion.
Schleimann (Dwebble): A Dwebble encountered quite by chance while resting on a quiet corner of Cianwood’s beach. His shell is a gleaming magnificent white, which glows brightly in the sunlight. Having spent most of his life just lounging around on the beach, he has joined up with Altair’s team with the goal of becoming a monument (whatever that means), or even a living legend. He is named after the Schleimann Tank, a powerful mobile weapon utilized by the Flute Warrior, the bringer of hope for the Slime world. He was given to Temple Keeper Ma’aike during the party’s stay on Shell Island, as part of Schleimann’s dream of becoming a monument – with an island where all the denizens wore shells, he stood out more than all the others.