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Ian Kniel (Japanese: イャン Ian) is a pokémon trainer originally from the Hoenn region. Though he is usually found traveling to and from the various regions, he is often found in Sandgem Town (where he has a temporary residence) or the rest of the Sinnoh region. Ian's hometown is Verdanturf Town in Hoenn.
As a Pokémon trainer, Ian tends to avoid unnecessary battles and focus on those with long time rivals to compare their skills. He believes in forming bonds of friendship and compassion with pokémon and has successfully done so with many of his own. He is also an emerging Pokémon Breeder. He still is trying to learn what he can from those with much more experience than him, but is very determined. Ian's skills in Pokémon Contests and Pokémon Catching is very limited, this is caused by a natural inclination to keep berries for an emergency rather than using them for pokéblocks or poffins, and also a matter of luck. Despite these prevailing failures, Ian manages to remain optimistic towards both.
Verdanturf Town, Ian's pokémon journey began here, at 10, when he met Professor Birch on one of his research expeditions. Birch gave Ian an invitation to come by his lab one day to begin his adventure; however, due to controlling parents, Ian was unable to leave. He had to watch his friends begin their adventures without him, that is until he snuck away at 12. He reached Littleroot Town by using the newly completed Rusturf Tunnel and continuing south through Hoenn. When he arrived at Littleroot Town, Professor Birch was surprised Ian had showed up after all the years. Nonetheless he offered Ian one of the three Hoenn starters, Treecko, Torchic, or Mudkip. Ian chose Treecko, and his adventure trully began.
He ventured through Hoenn earning gym badges and capturing many new Pokémon along the way. Despite having started late compared to most other new trainers, he was able to learn quickly and apply many complex strategies in his battles that other trainers would never have thought have. This ability to adapt and analyze is what made Ian such a successful trainer; however, this ability would later betray him. After earning all eight Hoenn badges, Ian was ready to compete in the Elite Four Tournaments. In past battles Ian's pokémon had been able to overcome differences in strength thanks to his guidance, but now they were severely handicapped both in power and strategy. Getting past the Elite Four proved incredibly difficult thanks to these factors, and a natural type disadvantage to his party. (especially against Glacia)
Ian failed to surpass the Elite Four multiple times, and began to lose faith in his abilities as a trainer. This is when he began to see Pokémon Breeding as an option. Though while he researched breeding techniques, he also trained his pokémon regularly. Over the long period of time he was absent from competition his pokémon had become stronger, closer to him, and along with his new found understanding of pokémon from his breeding training, Ian was an exponentially better Trainer. On his first return to the Pokémon League, he swept through without hindrance.
After defeating the Elite Four of Hoenn, Ian immediately began looking for a new region to continue his adventure. Sinnoh was the first choice, and a new chapter was to begin. Ian arrived in Sinnoh by ship and naturally Canalave City was the first town of Sinnoh he saw. His adventures differed slightly from those in Hoenn due to the fact that he was already an accomplished Trainer. This time around it was about exploring a new land and discovering new species of Pokémon. On the way he met up with an old friend named Rashelle. She had left Hoenn to become a trainer in Sinnoh, and was a much better trainer then him. They vowed to be rivals, growing and challenging on another until they both were competing to be the best trainers in the world.
In these explorations he soon found Sandgem Town, a quaint little town that reminded him of his home in Hoenn. Here he met Professor Rowan, who requested his assistance in the completion of a Regional pokédex for Sinnoh. Upon accepting, Rowan also suggested to Ian that it may be easier if he "started fresh" and begun his new adventure with a new starter Pokémon. This way he could experience the real amazement of Sinnoh. Ian agreed with Rowan and put most of his Pokémon in storage except for those he shared a truly unique bond with. Of the new Pokémon to choose from, Ian picked Piplup. His journey through Sinnoh resembled his previous one through Hoenn greatly, only with a heavier importance to searching for new Pokémon as opposed to the battling.
Eventually Ian was faced with the Challenge of the Elite Four once again; however, this time around he had developed great strength and experience nobody could take away from him. The Elite Four posed little threat. Soon after the Pokédex was completed, and now Ian travels between the Regions, developing and trying to catch up to Rashelle.
Family and Friends
The only family Ian that has with a link to Pokémon is his Sister, Emma. She is a fairly new Trainer traveling in the Sinnoh region attempting to enter the Pokémon League. She has potential to become strong, but she is easily distracted and often puts off training for other things. Though she is becoming strong, she often seeks out Ian when she is in need of assistance.
Throughout his travels, Rashelle has easily become Ian's closest friend and rival. Providing for him a target, a goal to reach, has definitely helped him grow stronger. They have regular battles when they meet to see how close Ian is to contending against Rashelle. She is known to have captured many Legendary Pokémon and will often use these as a strong advantage. Despite their closeness, Rashelle does not travel with Ian. Along the way in Sinnoh, Ian met up with a Trainer named Kaytlyn. Kaytlyn was a very successful trainer, but despised the way she had grown as a person, and wished to restart her adventure. They travelled together as Kaytlyn contemplated her new beginning until she eventually decided to start fresh. As thanks for helping her through her decision, she gave up her pokémon to Ian in hopes that she would be able to meet them again when she was happy with herself. Ian currently has possession of Kaytlyn's old pokémon, but does not consider them his own.
- Espeon: borrowed from Rashelle when she needed temporary use of Sceptile.
- Infernape, Ponyta, and Venonat: Kaytlyn's pokémon that Ian is holding on to until Kaytlyn begins her adventure again.