The Unown Swarm was a plot arc involving a massive shroud of Unown that was released upon Johto, the subsequent effects that they had on the Rocket-Liberty War, and the efforts to reseal them.
Characters Involved Edit
Team Rocket Edit
- Quinn Cariu
- Ethan Worth
- "Mellow" Merror
Hojohsin League Edit
- Quincy Adams
Team Liberty Edit
- Cyan Vero
Team Energon Edit
- Michael Travis
Locations Involved Edit
- The Ruins of Alph
- Azalea Town
- Goldenrod City
- The entirety of Johto, off-screen
- Unown swarms released upon Johto
- Azelea Town severely damaged by Unown swarms
- Quincy Adams introduced
- Unown resealed
- Quinn Cariu imprisoned
The Initial Plan and Backlash Edit
As a result of continued activity from Team Liberty, Team Rocket Agent Quinn Cariu devised the idea to unleash the legendary Unown swarms from the Ruins of Alph, in order to use their power against the rebel group. After weeks of research, he traveled to Johto and navigated his way through the ruins, finally putting what he had learned to use in solving the Unowns' puzzles. As a result, he managed to remove the constraints that sealed the Unown, releasing them whilst simultaneously using their power to bind them to Team Rocket. The swarms quickly spread throughout Johto, blocking the sky and enshrouding virtually the entire region, where they would remain for several months.
Though the Unown proved to be an effective deterrent towards Team Liberty, their massive presence did not come without consequences. As a result of their reality-distorting nature, physics within Johto became randomly twisted and irregular, causing a widespread panic within the region. Though the Unown did not appear to actively target living beings unless provoked, their nature nonetheless caused many to view them as a threat.
The Counter Edit
These fears came to a head when the inhabitants of Azelea Town all mysteriously vanished, as discovered by Ethan Worth. While traveling to Azelea in hopes of recruiting his old friend, Bugsy, Ethan instead found an empty and abandoned town. Whilst investigating the town, and after entering the Azalea Gym, Ethan was attacked and knocked unconscious.
Upon awakening, Ethan was confronted by Quincy Adams and her Abomasnow. Quincy introduced herself, explaining her attack and her reason for coming to Azalea: To find a Team Rocket Agent who could help her reseal the Unown, as their power would prevent any non-Rocket entities from restraining them per Quinn's initial instructions. To this end, she threatened to kill Ethan herself if he did not accept, as had happened with the last few Rockets she had encountered. Driven by the knowledge that his mother had been one of the Unowns' casualties in Azalea, Ethan soon agreed to help her.
The pair traveled to the Ruins of Alph to accomplish their task, Ethan attempting small talk and Quincy refusing to participate. Upon their arrival, they discovered that the Unown had transformed the ruins into a large, crystalline palace. Undeterred, Quincy led Ethan inside. They found quick resistance from the swarm, with Ethan temporarily falling victim to their power and disappearing into the crystalline substance composing the tower, where he was faced with visions of the inhabitants of Azalea. It was only through the powers of Quincy's Beheeyem, Wizard, that he survived, pulling him out of the substance and allowing them to continue on.
At the top of the tower, the pair came face to face with the portal through which the Unown were emerging. The two attacked using the full force of their teams, holding off the swarm until Wizard could unleash a massive Synchronoise attack. The attack stunned the entire swarm, allowing Ethan to move forward and close the portal. The palace soon began to disintegrate, dropping Ethan and Quincy, though they were saved by a psychic cushion created by Wizard. The fall knocked Ethan unconscious, allowing Quincy to slip away, leaving a Deerling behind for Ethan.
After awakening, Ethan returned to Azalea and managed to locate Bugsy, who responded with anger towards Ethan due to his status as a Rocket Agent. Ethan was forced to engage in battle with the Gym Leader. During this, Bugsy explained Team Rocket's involvement in the Unowns' presence, as well as informing Ethan of how the Unown had attacked and "taken" the inhabitants of their home. Though shocked, Ethan nonetheless managed to defeat and calm Bugsy, healing his Pokémon and convincing him to at least seek safety with Team Rocket. Bugsy agreed, allowing Ethan to bring him back to Abyss.
Due to the damage that his actions had caused, Quinn Cariu was specifically targeted and captured by the Hojohsin League. He was subsequently imprisoned in Hoenn, and has not been seen since.
Minor Conflicts Edit
The Unowns' continued presence affected numerous groups and people around Johto in various ways.
While they were unsealed, numerous groups of Unown were encountered and battled by agents from both Team Rocket and Team Liberty during recruitment missions.
At some point, Team Rocket Researcher "Mellow" Merrow traveled to Johto specifically to study the effects and powers of the Unown, hoping to find a way to further use their abilities to Team Rocket's benefit in recruiting Legendary Pokémon and in combating Team Liberty. At the time of their resealing, he had not made any significant progress on this front, and eventually gave up on the task in lieu of focusing on other projects.
Shortly before the Unown were resealed by Ethan and Quincy, the broken rebellion group that would later become Team Energon led an expedition to Goldenrod City in order to test their power draining equipment on the Unown. The task force consisted of the majority of the group's leadership, including Michael Travis, as well as Cyan Vero. Over the course of this test, the machines proved successful at draining Pokémon energy, but visibly angered the Unown who were affected. The swarm attacked and eventually managed to drive off their aggressors--cluing in Cyan to the machines' negative aspects in the process.