A/N: Ever since finishing Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Darkness, this story has been formulating in my mind, and recently it's been screaming to be let out, despite the massive amounts of homework I have. Regardless, the voices prevailed, and here is the prologue of my fanfic, PMD: Realms of Iniquity. It loosely follows the PMD format; I'm going to try to be original with this.

I spent quite a lot of time editing, but if you find a mistake, please tell me. Reviews of any kind are greatly appreciated. Enjoy (f you can). ^^

Disclaimer: Grovyle, Lucario, Nidorino, Murkrow, and Honchkrow all belong to their respective creators. The game, Pokemon Mystery Dungeon, belongs to Nintendo, I think.

He was still awake. But even in his blank, semi-conscious state, he knew he was going to die. And yet, his senses still worked, to some extent – there was a lingering metallic scent in his nose, and something in his mouth tasted like copper. Then there were voices, too…

"That Grovyle was surprisingly tough," said one in a dreamy voice that seemed to make him want to sleep.

"Urrgh," the Grovyle moaned in protest, attempting to rouse his unresponsive limbs. He was promptly smacked in the face by a fiery fist, and any energy he had left was gone.

"And now we need to… him and we'll… … … the world-"

His head felt like it was on fire. His ears were ringing and his mind was quickly shutting down. 'I failed', echoed in his dying thoughts, until he thought no more.

Three days later...

Not too far away, a lone Lucario sat on a log, staring at the flow of a nearby river. "Where is he?" he mused, breaking his stare and looking around uncertainly, "It is already past 'late afternoon'… Has something happened?"

With a sigh, he looked back down at the water. After another few silent minutes, he looked up again: "The sun is setting," he told himself, observing the golden sun that would soon disappear behind the tall trees of Loran Forest, "I have waited far too long…"

The Lucario got up slowly, almost reluctantly. Strangely, although it was getting dark, he did not want to go home. What home, anyway? He lived by himself in a neglected wooden house, and all he ever did was stare at Mismagius Guild and wonder what it would be like to be in an exploration team.

For it was his dream to explore, and that dream kept him alive. It filled the void in his life. Unfortunately, Mismagius Guild, the most successful exploration base around, demanded that exploration teams have two or more members. Although crushed, he never gave up. Countless times he tried to prove himself and ask for a partner, but for whatever reason, it never seemed to work out - he never found the right partner, one that would befriend him and be skilled at what he was not.

For a long time this bothered him, until finally, he met Nidorino. Adventure and exploration also captivated him, and they agreed to be friends, and perhaps form an exploration team.

However, there was Lucario, hanging around a decaying log deep in Loran Forest, with Nidorino nowhere in sight. They were supposed to meet here, so what went wrong?

The Lucario was about to turn around and walk away when something caught his eye. In the dim sunlight, he could see dozens of Murkrow and the occasional Honchkrow flying in circles in the distance.

'What's going on over there, I wonder,' he thought. Curiosity took the better of him, and he started to make his way to the populous flock of dark birds. He plunged into the river and swam across, becoming quite cold in the process. "Why am I doing this?" he growled to himself, shivering as he climbed out of the water, "night is approaching, and I could easily get lost here…"

He was right. Soon after entering the densely vegetated forest, he lost orientation and could not figure out where he was going. A dead silence hung in the air, and twigs snapping or the leaves rustling often startled him. Finally, after what seemed like ages of walking blindfolded, the Lucario stepped out into a clearing.

With the last remaining sunlight acting as a spotlight, his attention was immediately drawn to the center of the field, where the remains of an old temple stood. "Wow!" he exclaimed, amazed by his discovery. He walked closer to the ruins, and realized that although the temple had long since lost its ceiling, some of the walls and columns were intact, obscuring the interior from view. Excitedly, the Lucario observed the walls and floor, and found that they were lined with various plants and had cracks in them that seemed to radiate a soothing, green glow from within.

However, a loud shriek grabbed his attention. He froze and looked up, and a feeling of dread overcame him. The Murkrow and Honchkrow were right above him, and that could only mean bad luck. He had heard countless fables and warnings that where there were Murkrow, something bad has happened - or will.

With a newly found sense of paranoia, he looked around warily and examined everything he could see for signs of danger. He walked cautiously into the temple, and gasped when he saw burns all over the walls. Running now, he kept going in a straight path. He almost tripped on a small crater in the ground, and noticed many cracks and dents in the walls, indicating that a fierce struggle had taken place.

"What happened here?" he breathed, stopping to scan the interior. Immediately, he felt nervous – there was a faint aura nearby. Cautiously, he made his way onward. An ominous hum seemed to echo through the halls, and the Lucario could almost hear his heart pounding. The sunlight gone, everything was dark, illuminated only by the uncanny green glow. That wasn't enough to see, so he powered up an Aura Sphere. The energy from his palm emitted a faded blue glow; enough for him to spot a motionless figure sprawled out on the floor. The Lucario froze, and then slowly aimed the Aura Sphere at it.

"I-It's a Pokémon," he blurted, and ran to it. "A Grovyle…," he exclaimed, "and it's badly injured!" True to his word, the Grovyle, much like the ruins' walls, was covered in burns, bruises, and scratches. The most serious wounds seemed to be a bite on its neck and a nasty third-degree burn on its shoulder. "I need to bring it back to Magnolia Village," the Lucario declared.

With that, he picked up the Grovyle and ran back home - all the while wondering who could have done this to him, and why.