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The Arcane Realm: Land of Freedom and Magicks (FFAZ)

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Maskerade- Deciding to go for a good old 'Dine and Dash', you turn and sprint down the road, hoping to distance yourself from the scene of the crime. You've made a rookie's mistake however, everyone knows that if you're going to pull a Dine and Dash, everyone has to dash! Unfortunately Turtwig has opted to remain behind with Munchlax, hoping to find more delicious treats within the homestead. You race back, eyes locked on the Grass Starter as he relentlessly tries to scramble up through the window. Ball raised, you're about to recall him when Munchlax decides to give him a little boost. The recall fails as the Normal type pushes Turtwig up onto the windowsill. You quickly lose sight of the enterprising Pokemon, but it isn't long before someone else sets eyes on him. A scream followed by a bout of shouting. "Get outta here you darn varmint! Mace there's a critter in ere again!" The call for help stirs movement from the barn opposite the homestead, as a burly old man in overalls charges towards the home.

Turtwig comes skidding out the front door just before the man reaches it, the Grass type wheels towards you, fear in his eyes. It is soon obvious why, as an old woman in a polka-dot dress lurches out of the house, fiercely wielding a straw broom. "Ginger honey, what's goin on ere?" The man questions, still unable to put the pieces together.

"That darn Turtwig ate the pie I had coolin on the sill!" Ginger replies, brandishing her broom in Turtwig's direction. "Look's to me like it belongs to that kid." The pair now have eyes on you and clearly blame Turtwig for eating the pie. You could try and push the blame onto Munchlax and go on your way but it might be difficult to convince them since Turtwig was the one caught trespassing.
Ark winced. Not just because Munchlax caused him to miss Turtwig, not just because he’d failed spectacularly and gotten caught, but also, and primarily, because the old man now staring him down was called Mace.

Let’s hope it’s an actual name and not a moniker…

Chimchar had by then turned his back around and started whistling, the traitorous little devil, while Turtwig tiled his head innocently while still perched up on the sill, watching events unfold with half-hearted curiosity. What he really wanted to know was if a second pie existed after all. Munchlax, in turn, stared at his feet, like an elephant in a porcelain shop hoping to go unnoticed.

“I… I… you see…”

His father had always told him to “take it like a man” and never put the blame on someone else. However, like all fatherly sermons, that rule applied when Ark was actually to blame, which definitely wasn’t the case here. But deep down, he still felt wrong about just tossing Munchlax under the proverbial bus – it was in the bear’s nature to compulsively seek food, wasn’t it? It’d be like scolding a Dedenne every time it Nuzzled his Trainer…

…. Argh, fine, dammit!

“I’m so sorry! You see, I’m a homeless orphan, these Pokemon are my only company and we were starving!” he pleaded, laying it on thick. “Last we ate was half a loaf of bread on Tuesday, mister, and my Pokemon can barely walk from hunger” he concluded, emphatically stressing the last part, hoping any of them would get the message.

Chimchar fell to the side, pretending to faint, clearly overdoing it. Turtwig looked around wondering who of them had eaten that bread last Tuesday because he didn’t remember getting any bread. Munchlax’s stomach growled loudly, but it was clearly involuntary, if masterfully timed; it probably did that all the time.

Ark tried his best to look desperate, quickly throwing Munchlax a glare that screamed “you owe me for this”, but he was 100% certain it flew right over the bear’s head. The all was now on Mace and Ginger’s court…
 
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(XVII. Desert of Stars - A small, arid desert at the northern tip of the Land of Cups, the Desert of Stars is named for the various meteorites found within this region. While more a dry, mountainous desert than a sandy one, sandstorms are still a common occurance here. Though, despite these conditions, explorers and treasure hunters flock to this region for the meteorites found here, and the rare Pokemon attracted to them. Some have even stated they’ve had some otherworldly experiences here.)
Gible burbled happily and chewed on the end of Dracen's ponytail. Dracen smiled and sat down on a rock. "Mind walking for a bit, bud? I'm beat." Gible chirruped and wriggled out of the backpack, landing on his belly. He stood and stretched, before bending down again and eating a rock. Dracen laughed. "Hungry? Here, I think I've got..." He pulled his pack off and rummaged through it. "Ah, there it is." He tore open a package of Pokémon Food and tossed a handful to Gible, who immediately fell upon it. Dracen set down the Pokémon Food and grabbed a box of crackers. Chewing one thoughtfully, he said, "What kind of Pokémon do you think we'll meet here, bud? I think we'll see other Gible like you, and some big tough Gabites too. Maybe we'll meet a Garchomp, if we're lucky!" He smiled and looked up at the stony hill. "We've still got a long way to climb... But it will be worth it, won't it! We're going to get to the Desert of Stars, and train together and get stronger!" Dracen stood and stretched, popping another cracker into his mouth. "Are you excited, Gible?" Gible looked up from the package of Pokémon Food, having finished his serving and ransacked the package for more. "No, Gible! We have to ration that!" Dracen tugged the bag of food away from the Pokémon. He chuckled. "Well, we might have to go back to town sooner rather than later. Oh, but I can't get mad at you!" He kneeled down and stroked Gible's head. Gible squeaked happily and hopped onto Dracen's shoulder, hugging him tightly. "Awww," Dracen held the Pokémon close for a bit, then let him down. "Let's finish climbing, eh? Dad said the desert was just over this hill... " He zipped up his pack and swung it onto his back. "C'mon, Gible! Adventure awaits!"
 
The name's Edgar.
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(XVII. Desert of Stars - A small, arid desert at the northern tip of the Land of Cups, the Desert of Stars is named for the various meteorites found within this region. While more a dry, mountainous desert than a sandy one, sandstorms are still a common occurance here. Though, despite these conditions, explorers and treasure hunters flock to this region for the meteorites found here, and the rare Pokemon attracted to them. Some have even stated they’ve had some otherworldly experiences here.)
Gible burbled happily and chewed on the end of Dracen's ponytail. Dracen smiled and sat down on a rock. "Mind walking for a bit, bud? I'm beat." Gible chirruped and wriggled out of the backpack, landing on his belly. He stood and stretched, before bending down again and eating a rock. Dracen laughed. "Hungry? Here, I think I've got..." He pulled his pack off and rummaged through it. "Ah, there it is." He tore open a package of Pokémon Food and tossed a handful to Gible, who immediately fell upon it. Dracen set down the Pokémon Food and grabbed a box of crackers. Chewing one thoughtfully, he said, "What kind of Pokémon do you think we'll meet here, bud? I think we'll see other Gible like you, and some big tough Gabites too. Maybe we'll meet a Garchomp, if we're lucky!" He smiled and looked up at the stony hill. "We've still got a long way to climb... But it will be worth it, won't it! We're going to get to the Desert of Stars, and train together and get stronger!" Dracen stood and stretched, popping another cracker into his mouth. "Are you excited, Gible?" Gible looked up from the package of Pokémon Food, having finished his serving and ransacked the package for more. "No, Gible! We have to ration that!" Dracen tugged the bag of food away from the Pokémon. He chuckled. "Well, we might have to go back to town sooner rather than later. Oh, but I can't get mad at you!" He kneeled down and stroked Gible's head. Gible squeaked happily and hopped onto Dracen's shoulder, hugging him tightly. "Awww," Dracen held the Pokémon close for a bit, then let him down. "Let's finish climbing, eh? Dad said the desert was just over this hill... " He zipped up his pack and swung it onto his back. "C'mon, Gible! Adventure awaits!"
sixdragons_in_atrenchcoat - You and Gible chow down to get ready for your adventure. You recall your father telling you that the desert was just above the hill. As you walk up the hill, you reach the top. Standing before you is a huge rocky desert, and your view is obscured slightly by the sand swirling around, but you can see dark spots speckled in the desert. Maybe they were meteorites, maybe they were just normal old rocks. You proceed down the hill, and see the entrance to the desert. You want to enter, but you turn around and see a small town, which was near the desert. Gible is by your side the entire time, chewing on a small stone.
There were lights coming from the town, and multiple stalls, which seemed to be shops. Your attire didn't seem very ready for desert adventure, and it seems like in the town they sold such items. As you contemplated this, you see a man walk past you. The man turned around and spoke to you.
"Oh, sorry. I believe I bumped into you." he said as you took in his attire. He wore a white lab coat, with a baggy shirt underneath. He also wore white ankle-length trousers, and he wore black framed glasses, and one eye was cracked. A small Pokemon was on his shoulder, it was a Ralts.
"Here let me make it up to you." He said as he tossed a Passho Berry to Gible, which it chomped up happily.
"Are you going to the Desert of Stars too? You better get some nice desert clothes." He said, gesturing towards a bundle of clothes under his left arm, as he walked off into the desert.
You turn back towards the small town. It seems more inviting by the second.
What do you do?
 
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sixdragons_in_atrenchcoat - You and Gible chow down to get ready for your adventure. You recall your father telling you that the desert was just above the hill. As you walk up the hill, you reach the top. Standing before you is a huge rocky desert, and your view is obscured slightly by the sand swirling around, but you can see dark spots speckled in the desert. Maybe they were meteorites, maybe they were just normal old rocks. You proceed down the hill, and see the entrance to the desert. You want to enter, but you turn around and see a small town, which was near the desert. Gible is by your side the entire time, chewing on a small stone.
There were lights coming from the town, and multiple stalls, which seemed to be shops. Your attire didn't seem very ready for desert adventure, and it seems like in the town they sold such items. As you contemplated this, you see a man walk past you. The man turned around and spoke to you.
"Oh, sorry. I believe I bumped into you." he said as you took in his attire. He wore a white lab coat, with a baggy shirt underneath. He also wore white ankle-length trousers, and he wore black framed glasses, and one eye was cracked. A small Pokemon was on his shoulder, it was a Ralts.
"Here let me make it up to you." He said as he tossed a Passho Berry to Gible, which it chomped up happily.
"Are you going to the Desert of Stars too? You better get some nice desert clothes." He said, gesturing towards a bundle of clothes under his left arm, as he walked off into the desert.
You turn back towards the small town. It seems more inviting by the second.
What do you do?
"What an odd man." Dracen muttered to Gible as they walked into the small town. "I wonder if he's a professor?" Gible licked at the remnants of the Passho Berry, burbling. Dracen wiped the sand out of his hair and face and looked around at the buildings. "Hmm." He paused. "That one, then. It must be a shop of some kind." He pointed out a building to Gible, who was chasing down a tumbleweed. Dracen laughed. "Alright then, stay safe. I'll be back in just a mo'." He strolled over to the shop and opened the door, tapping his boots clear of dirt as he did. Gible watched the tumbleweed bounce away, growling. Too slow, this time. He turned and trotted across the dusty earth to the shop Dracen had entered, up the steps and through the door as well.
 
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DannyDrawsaLot,


First thing right at 9am sharp you heard a few knocks at your door.

"Rise and Shine buster, your tour starts today. Come meet us down in the lobby"
Amilia's voice sounded through the door and you heard her walk away from your door.

Better get going and meet them before they leave you, though you doubted they would leave without you.

Gathering your things and your gear you went down stairs to meet up with Thymest and Amilia.
Thymest was more relaxed around you it seemed and she carried herself with an air of purpose and excitement.

Today certainly was a exciting day, and after getting you and Thymest breakfast and your packed (surprisingly hefty but not impossible to carry ) bags she loaded you two up into a truck and drove to the desert.

What you were going to encounter here and see here was completely a mystery. Who knows. Perhaps you would travel this desert and see nothing or meet nothing.

Well... The meteorites counted as something but, you certainly hoped something exciting would happen.
Looking over at Thymest, you noted she kept shuffling and pulling cards from a deck you noticed she carried around. She would take a card, look at it, make some facial expression related to her thoughts and reshuffle the deck and pull out another card.

With these cards you could see artwork on them, but it wasn't pokemon related... Maybe they were Tarot cards of sorts? Or if they weren't perhaps she was substituting them for tarot cards because that was supposedly possible.

Will you speak to Thymest once again or will you do something else?

 
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TheKnightsFury: Totodile nods, ready to follow through with your plan. He has no idea what a Sawsbuck would smell like, but he imagines it smells like lunch. Which is why, after sniffing around the ground and the nearby tree trunks for a bit, he tilts his head, visibly puzzled before pointing to the distance. Clearly, he’s picked up a scent, but something tells you it’s not quite the odor he was expecting; still, one lead is better than none…

Bulbasaur, in turn, is stumped. She’s not even sure what “energy readings” mean, but it sounds like something a Psychic type should be able to do, not her. She would’ve shrugged if she had shoulders; this all sounds like nonsense to her, but at least she’s gotten a new move off of it, so she isn’t about to complain – she just doesn’t know how to help, either.

Cameron, seeing that Totodile seems to have gotten something, points excitedly at the little croc.

“Way to go dude! Can I call you Dundee? No?”

Shaking his head, Totodile marches ahead, leading the group deeper into the woods as he continues to track whatever faint scent has piqued his interest. For a while, nothing seems to happen – you certainly can’t smell anything – but then, you hear something.

“Barking?”

Cameron hears it too – a unison of barks and howls further up ahead leaves both of you, as well as Bulbasaur, feeling uneasy, but Totodile presses on, seemingly unfazed. Before long you reach a clearing, and sure enough, with their backs to you, two Mightyena prepare to surround an unconscious Pokemon. From where you stand it’s not completely clear, but it seems to be a small black creature they’re about to pounce on…

“Oh. Oh crap. Dude, let’s turn around, we don’t want none of that. I ain’t got any Pokemon on me, and yours are kinda… well… tiny.”

Bulbasaur throws Cameron a glare of disdain, but you wonder if she fundamentally disagrees with the photographer. Is this something you should get involved in? Clearly the Sawsbuck you’re after isn’t here, and two Mightyena working in tandem might be too much for you to overcome at this stage. So far, you remain unnoticed…

What will you do?

Xander felt like whacking Cameron up the side of the head. How dare he assume his Pokemon's strength! Sure Totodile and Bulbasaur weren't as big as those Mightyena, but they were well trained. Whatever the relentless Mightyena were attacking, it certainly wasn't the rare Sawsbuck they were hoping to find. It was much smaller and if they didn't act quick, it probably wouldn't be around for much longer. With the Mightyena facing away from them, they had the opportunity to attack the Mightyena without them knowing. Thankfully they had practised for such a situation, all they had to do was carry out the plan.

"Totodile, Bulbasaur, Ambush", Xander gave his orders quietly, they didn't want to blow their advantage. Totodile advanced with a Dragon Dance, increasing his attack and speed as he closed the gap. Bulbasaur extended her vines out to either side, grabbing onto a sturdy branch. She prepared to heave with all her might, sling shotting herself up into the air. Totodile prepared to attack the closest Mightyena with a Dragon Claw, knowing that Bulbasaur would attack the other from above with a Sludge Bomb.

Xander pushed Cameron off the path and into the trees. While Bulbasaur and Totodile distracted the Mightyena, they would try and get close enough to help the Pokemon the Mightyena were attacking. They needed to pull it out of the conflict and assess its injuries, Xander was confident he had something on hand to handle most situations, but hopefully things weren't too bad.
 
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ShadowDRGN- Twist's battle for redemption was underway and at the moment it was fair to say you possessed a slight lead. However, you couldn't doubt your opponents ability, especially considering the boosts the Crawdaunt had just acquired. With Twist currently in the water, you quickly order him to get back on dry land. The Buizel swims quickly back to sure, gathering speed as he closes in. He slams straight into the Corphish that had tossed him there, knocking it on its side, leaving it temporarily immobile. This gives the Buizel an opportunity to target the Crawdaunt once more, and he quickly growls at the crustacean, reducing the attack boost it had given itself. While Twist gets to work, Boss works himself up, the adrenaline rush giving himself an attack and special attack boost. He puts it to good use, tackling the Corphish that is blocking him from attacking the Crawdaunt. The Corphish hardens itself carapace moments before the impact, allowing it to much better handle the blow. It holds its own, intent on preventing Boss from getting close to the Crawdaunt.

Both Corphish go on the offensive. Claws glistening with a metallic sheen, they lash out viciously. Twist and Boss bob and weave, doing their best to avoid taking a direct hit. At this point the Crawdaunt seems happy to sit back and watch its minions do all the work. Growing tired of dodging, Boss fights back, lashing out with repetitive arm thrusts! He gets inside the Corphish's guard and begins to directly strike the Water type's face. It isn't long before the Corphish is overwhelmed by the combo of boosted hits and it slumps to the ground, unconscious. The numbers were now even. As Twist prepares to fight back, he ends up taking a Metal Claw to the chest. While he resists the attack, the Corphish seems to benefit, gaining an attack boost. Jumping into the air, Twist spins his tail, sending a shower of swift stars towards the Corphish and Crawdaunt. The pair are struck by the move, the Corphish shows signs of weakening but the Crawdaunt stands strong, shrugging off the blow like it is nothing. With one of Corphish down, Crawdaunt decides it is time to fight. It rushes Boss, catching the Pancham by surprise. A swift strike from its Razor sharp claw sends Boss flying, a truly powerful hit consider the Crawdaunt's Adaptability. Boss crashes to the ground, he is slow to rise, that blow clearly hurt. While you had managed to even out the numbers, the Crawdaunt was clearly a threat.



Maskerade- You decide to risk it all on a gambit, rather than telling the truth and hoping the couple would understand. You plead your case and Chimchar throws in some overdone theatrics, possibly blowing the lie altogether.

"Homeless are ye? Well that just won't do at all", Ginger's demeanour had changed almost instantly. She'd switched from a grumpy old hag to a worried mother in almost an instant. "If y'all are hungry then we will happily see you fed, maybe as a reward for helpin with our problem."

"hmmmmm", Mace pondered, "Ginger I thinks you might be on to somethin there. You see youngen, we're having a bit of a problem with our Cornn Berry crop. Some wild Pokemon keep cuttin done the crop, we've not seen nothin like it before. If you could fix our little problem, we could fill your bellies and give you a bitta grub for the road. What do y'all think?"

It was a generous offer. Not only were they willing to forget the little issue with the pie, they were willing to give you even more food! All you had to do was work out what was destroying the Cornn Berry crop and find a way to stop it from happening. Do that and you'd have enough food to feed your team for a week! Or maybe a day if that Munchlax was intent on hanging around. Speaking of the Munchlax, both it and Turtwig were drooling at the thought of more delicious food, even Chimchar looked at you with a hungry look in his eyes, his stomach grumbling softly.
 
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Missingno. Master - You give Trevenant a Lum Berry to handle its burn. Trevenant looked it over for a second, perhaps he was checking if it was moldy? He then gobbled it up, crumbs spilling about. The burn marks on Trevenant's bark gradually disappeared, and Trevenant was ready for battle again. Honchkrow tried to flap its wings, but it was stunned by a small electric shock. Honchkrow was paralyzed! Talonflame saw this, and therefore got even angrier. Trevenant looked at the fact that you and him were gaining a slight advantage, so this gave him more pride. It caused Rocks to Slide down on the pair of avians, which made them screech in pain, the attack doing heavy damage, due to the super-effectiveness and the previous attack boosts he had gotten from the Power-up Punches.

Morelull stayed in place, using Growth, its mushrooms flashing, as it gained attacking power. Its eyes got more determined, despite being a small Pokemon, it was very trusting of you and its own abilities. It used this repeatedly as you asked. Wes Screeched at the pair, which made their ears pop, causing them to drop their Defenses. Wes then shot off a Water Pulse, it striking Talonflame head on. Talonflame grew weaker by the second, but was still raring for a fight. And fight, Wes did. Wes jumped towards Talonflame, using both tails to slap Talonflame across the face, landing a Double Hit, and the Screech performed previously made this relatively low power move do a heavy amount of damage.

Talonflame Roosted quickly, before Flame Charging at Trevenant. It flew through the air in the clearing at top speed, its previous Flame Charges causing it to gain speed. Trevenant took the attack head on, using the chance to get off a third Power-Up Punch at Talonflame. Its paralysis causing it to lose speed, Honchkrow attacked last, but as they say, he who laughs last laughs best. It shot off a Dark Pulse at Wes, which struck him hard. It then screeched, and then gave Trevenant a Mean Look. Multiple Murkrow appeared, and they all helped Honchkrow Beat Up Trevenant, to which they retreated later. Trevenant felt weak, looked weak, and was losing health fast.

These were the Woods of Fortune. At first, it seemed luck was on your side, catching yourself a Morelull and finding a fricking Shiny Trevenant. However, the pendulum seems to have swung the other direction. Will you continue the battle, or find a way out?
For a moment, it seemed as though the battle was starting to go their way. Trevenant had recovered from the burn, Honchkrow was paralyzed, and the birds had taken a powerful Rock Slide. But Talonflame was able to Roost, and start making a comeback. Honchkrow couldn't move very fast, but was able to get a lot done, summoning its Murkrow underlings to pummel Trevenant in a Beat Up attack!

"Oh, the hell it didn't!" exclaimed Gavin. "Alright, that tears it- time to get dangerous!" He jumped down off his silvery Shiny ride. "Phenac, attack those birds!" he commanded.

"ME TA," droned Phenac flatly, with a glance at Gavin.

"Oh, fuck the type disadvantage- you don't see Morelull sweatin' it, do you?" Gavin retorted. "Besides, I ain't asking you to take 'em on yourself, I'm asking you to get in on this with the rest of us! Now, then! Phenac, get in the air with Magnet Rise, slow down Talonflame with your Scary Face, and let loose a Rock Slide upon them both! Wes, while Talonflame's distracted by Phenac, blast that bird with Zap Cannon, then bombard it with Water Pulse! Morelull, it's time! Use Mega Drain on Honchkrow, again and again!" Then, he turned to Trevenant, digging yet another berry out of his Berry Bag- this one was
the third out of a set of five Sitrus Berries- and handing it over to the Shiny. "Here," he murmured, keeping a wary eye on Talonflame and Honchkrow all the while, lest they mistakenly think they could get away with anything sneaky. "And don't even worry- they ain't gonna have the upper hand for long if I got anything to say about it."

The Woods of Fortune. Luck could be on one's side in one moment, and then against them the very next. Gavin was certainly no stranger to the consequences of luck, both in his favor and against him. But then, that was the very nature of a Shiny hunter, wasn't it- to beat the odds. With his free hand, Gavin toyed with the Shiny Charm hung around his neck, as he so often tended to do when trying to turn bad luck around. As the mere presence of so many of his sparkly allies could attest to, he was no stranger to beating the odds, and if he had anything to say about it, this time would be no exception.
 
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Maskerade- You decide to risk it all on a gambit, rather than telling the truth and hoping the couple would understand. You plead your case and Chimchar throws in some overdone theatrics, possibly blowing the lie altogether.

"Homeless are ye? Well that just won't do at all", Ginger's demeanour had changed almost instantly. She'd switched from a grumpy old hag to a worried mother in almost an instant. "If y'all are hungry then we will happily see you fed, maybe as a reward for helpin with our problem."

"hmmmmm", Mace pondered, "Ginger I thinks you might be on to somethin there. You see youngen, we're having a bit of a problem with our Cornn Berry crop. Some wild Pokemon keep cuttin done the crop, we've not seen nothin like it before. If you could fix our little problem, we could fill your bellies and give you a bitta grub for the road. What do y'all think?"

It was a generous offer. Not only were they willing to forget the little issue with the pie, they were willing to give you even more food! All you had to do was work out what was destroying the Cornn Berry crop and find a way to stop it from happening. Do that and you'd have enough food to feed your team for a week! Or maybe a day if that Munchlax was intent on hanging around. Speaking of the Munchlax, both it and Turtwig were drooling at the thought of more delicious food, even Chimchar looked at you with a hungry look in his eyes, his stomach grumbling softly.
[/color]
Ark smiled on the inside. A small part of him felt bad about lying to the couple, but the rest of him was actually pretty proud that the lie stuck. Even if a certain someone’s theatrics could have messed up the whole thing.

There was, however, a counter-offer. What kind of people bargain with a homeless kid instead of just giving him a free pass? Neither Mace nor Ginger seemed exactly malnourished, so why were they waiting for a 10-year-old “orphan” to show up and solve their problems?

Eh, I’m overthinking this. Even if they’re not exactly decent, we did steal their food. Besides, I left home to come on an adventure, to become the strongest in the world! Dell wouldn’t pass up this opportunity, so neither will I.

Sensing his Trainer’s decision, Chimchar couldn’t hold back a smile. Finally, some excitement! He’d been honing his skills just for this chance, his punches were faster and stronger than any Saitama or Star Platinum!

“Thank you for the opportunity, Miss” Ark said as his gaze shifted from Ginger to Munchlax. “We would all be delighted to help.”
The bear tilted his head, looking somewhat confused, but Ark was certain Munchlax understood what he meant perfectly this time. Turtwig did, too, and merrily jumped off the balcony to join his Trainer – this could be fun, their first proper mission! Life was really all about the simple stuff for the Grass turtle.

Ark adjusted his backpack, pretending it was almost too heavy for him from the overwhelming hunger – might as well milk it for all it was worth – and finally prepared to get down to business.

“What can you tell me about these wild Pokemon, and where can I find them? I expect I can drive them away… however I want to?”
Chimchar wasn’t the only one itching for a fight, after all.
 
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TheKnightsFury: “H-hey what the hell man?!”

Cameron almost trips as you drag him behind the foliage to watch the ensuing confrontation from a safe location. He is clearly incredulous that you choose anything other than just walking away.

“Those things can eat your Pokemon in two bites! Are you out of your mind?!”

Neither Totodile nor Bulbasaur seem to agree with Cameron’s assessment – the two prepare to strike preemptively, hoping it’ll give them the edge against their larger foes. A swirling blue aura of dragon energy bursts from below Totodile and envelops him with what sounds like a roar, while Bulbasaur prepares to catapult herself over the pair of hyenas using her Vine Whip as elastic bands.
And then, just like that, it begins.

Totodile lunges at the closer of the two enemies and strikes its hind leg with a powerful, energy-infused claw that sends the Mightyena tumbling to the ground with a sharp cry. Its companion looks to the side, alarmed, but before it can react, a violet orb explodes violently against the back of its neck, covering it in vile, acidic sludge, causing its legs to give in from the impact.

However, the pair is nimble, and before long the two wild dogs are back on their feet and growling ominously at your partners. In fact, the Mightyena struck by Totodile growls so intensely it becomes a damaging Snarl, such is the force of the sound being emitted. Totodile and Bulbasaur both feel the effects of the soundwave, and the lingering headache reduces their ability to concentrate on ranged attacks. At the same time, dark energy surrounds the other Mightyena’s fangs – you can tell that the second either of your partners moves in for another melee hit, they’ll be met with a swift, merciless Crunch.

What will you do?!
 
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The Land of Cups

Named for the small valleys and tall hills and mountains native to the region, forming almost natural cups, this is an almost verdant and fertile land. Despite the desert in the very north and the mountains nestled in, a large variety of life can be found here. The Land of Cups is the jewel of the Arcane Realm, and without it, the realm would be a lot more desolate. Luckily, there a preservation efforts to make the this jewel doesn’t lose its shine.

XVIII. Lake of the Moon - The largest lake in the Land of Cups, this place is rich in aquatic life and is a very popular place for fishers. It’s said that this lake wanes and waxes with the phases of the moon, and that the lake acts strangely the closer it is to a full moon and a new moon. Some say during a New Moon, an ancient temple can be seen floating in the lake, but it is hard to verify if it exists there and the lake is too deep to safely explore. During a full moon, the aquatic life becomes incredibly hostile, and the legendary “King of the Lake” has been said to awaken and surface during this time.
Jake and his trusty partner, Buizel, sailed along in a boat over the Lake of the Moon, just after the whole of the full moon could be seen in the sky. Gazing at the Finneon and Goldeen swimming in the water, Jake had felt calm and relaxed ever since he traveled to this place. It was different from his home in Pastoria City, Sinnoh, in that there was only wildlife to be seen, and maybe a couple of fishermen, but he knew that Buizel would enjoy it.

But Jake hadn't come here for nothing. He had come for the thrill of adventure, and he had certainly been intrigued by the lore surrounding this mysterious lake. Jake knew it was risky, straying this far into the wild without another human companion, but it would only be a matter of time before the "King of the Lake" would surface and prove itself, or the lake would be silent, proving the King of the Lake as fake. He wanted to face it himself, but first, he had to start the action.

Jake sat up. "Alright, Buizel, enough dawdling. What do you say? Let's cast a line for fun, see what we get!"

"Bui, Bui!" The orange Sea Weasel Pokémon yipped. He dutifully rummaged in the waterproof duffel bag the two had brought along for the adventure, and pulled out the Good Rod Jake had packed, complete with a Tynamo lure and a Whirlipede-styled reel. Buizel held it out to his Trainer.

"Ah, yes! Thanks, Buizel," said Jake. He wound up the Good Rod and cast it, a four-meter-long line, over the sides of the boat, the Sharpened Luvdisc. He had found it and its owner offering group fishing trips at the port dock and seized the chance to ride in a proper vessel above the water. He had found the name appealing, too. The pink sailboat's name itself was an oxymoron, playing on the contrast between a sweet Luvdisc that represented love, and the ready-for-battle look that a sharpened object tended to bring.

Now all the two had to do was wait for a bite.
 
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Maskerade- You accept the offer of employment. You didn't really have anything better to do and the couple were offering to reward you for your services. With 'all' of you helping, it probably wouldn't even take that long either. You proceed to question Mace, if you were going to solve his problem for him, you needed details! Munchlax almost considers slinking away, but a stern look from Chimchar keeps him around, he wasn't getting out of this that easily.

"Hold your Mudsdales youngin, I'll get to fillin ya in. Follow me will ya?" Mace turns and walks towards the nearest paddock. You follow since it was likely the only way you'd get any information. Turtwig trots along beside you, while Chimchar brings up the rear, making sure to stay behind Munchlax in case the little bear decides to make a run for it. Mace swings open a gate and waits for you to catch up. "Head straight on through here and y'all see what I've been talkin bout. Half the crop cut down by some Bug by my reckonin. Not even eaten the berries, just leaving em squished in the dirt. Don't knows where they be comin from, that's your job, just don't trash any more of ma crop!" Mace leaves you there, heading back into the barn to continue his work.

You and your Pokemon weave through the crop, after a while the tall stems of the Cornn berries give way to an open clearing, although not intentionally. Broken stalks litter the clearing, the ground is almost purple from all of the Cornn berries that have been carelessly burst. No wonder Mace was concerned, this was a lot of wasted profit! You pick up one of the broken stems to inspect it. While the stem itself was broken and twisted, the base seems to have been cleanly cut. Such a clean cut would normally be attributed to a tool, but Mace had sworn this was the work of Pokemon. How would you proceed from here?



Zorchic- Having travelled a long way, you now find yourself in a strange yet beautiful place. All the locals you had encountered so far had been incredibly generous, a welcoming surprise. It was from them that you'd heard of the tale of the 'King of the Lake', although you weren't exactly sure if you believed it or not. You were determined to find the truth however, whether it be myth or reality, you had to know! A rookie trainer seeking to take down a King, what could go wrong? Looking to instigate some action, you prepare to cast out your line. The lure hits the eerily still water with a plop, quickly disappearing below. Now you just have to sit back and wait....

It isn't long before you see some action, but it isn't exactly the type you'd been looking for. A young teen, likely around the same age as you, comes racing in on the back of a Mantine. The kid sports pure blonde hair, hanging down almost to his shoulders. As the Pokemon comes to a stop, the boy whips the sunglasses off his face and glares up at you. "Another tourist with a death wish?!" He snickers to himself, before continuing his rant. "Do they really need to put up big signs saying 'DO NOT FISH ON THE FULL MOON' before you tourists learn your lesson? Why don't you just head on back to your hotel, leave the King to us capable trainers who know what they are doing." This kid had come out of nowhere and completely mocked your plans, would you head his rude yet fair warning or bite back? You look down at Buizel, the Water type has his paws balled up into fists, he doesn't appear too pleased with how the other kid had treated you.
 
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Zorchic- Having travelled a long way, you now find yourself in a strange yet beautiful place. All the locals you had encountered so far had been incredibly generous, a welcoming surprise. It was from them that you'd heard of the tale of the 'King of the Lake', although you weren't exactly sure if you believed it or not. You were determined to find the truth however, whether it be myth or reality, you had to know! A rookie trainer seeking to take down a King, what could go wrong? Looking to instigate some action, you prepare to cast out your line. The lure hits the eerily still water with a plop, quickly disappearing below. Now you just have to sit back and wait....

It isn't long before you see some action, but it isn't exactly the type you'd been looking for. A young teen, likely around the same age as you, comes racing in on the back of a Mantine. The kid sports pure blonde hair, hanging down almost to his shoulders. As the Pokemon comes to a stop, the boy whips the sunglasses off his face and glares up at you. "Another tourist with a death wish?!" He snickers to himself, before continuing his rant. "Do they really need to put up big signs saying 'DO NOT FISH ON THE FULL MOON' before you tourists learn your lesson? Why don't you just head on back to your hotel, leave the King to us capable trainers who know what they are doing." This kid had come out of nowhere and completely mocked your plans, would you heed his rude yet fair warning or bite back? You look down at Buizel, the Water type has his paws balled up into fists, he doesn't appear too pleased with how the other kid had treated you.
Jake and Buizel waited quietly for something to appear on the line, but no sooner had the ripples just disappeared when a blond-haired boy riding on a Mantine's back came to ruin the fun. The intruder, as Jake thought of him, scoffed at how an inexperienced trainer was attempting to take on the King of the Lake, of all things!

Jake glared at the boy who'd challenged his actions. "Oh, you think you're so great, huh? Well, sure, then. I'll leave this task to you, you 'capable trainer'. I'll sit back and relax while you deal with the King. Let's see how good you think you are!" He yanked his line out of the water, accidentally-on-purpose almost hitting the Mantine rider. Jake had figured it wouldn't be wise to inflate his ego and challenge this kid who'd claimed he was capable of taking on the King, to a battle.

Jake wound up his rod and locked it, then tossed it to Buizel, who caught it. The young trainer sat back in his lounge chair. "Go on, Lake Police," he said sarcastically to the blonde trainer riding the Mantine. "I dare you to find the King of the Lake and fight him in front of me."

"Buizel," Buizel added angrily, holding the Good Rod in his two paws. His tail swished as if preparing for a Sonic Boom attack. (OOC: I don't plan for Buizel to attack or battle. I'm just adding this simile here for effect.)

As if reading the boy's mind, Jake sat up and yelled, "And no, sucker! I'm not a coward! Wise, more like. If you thought I'd be foolish enough to challenge you to a battle, you're so crazy wrong it would crash the Wisdom-o-meter. The question is, is your ego too big for your britches?" He stopped a moment to catch his breath.

And no, Jake wouldn't leave. It was simply too soon for that.
 
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TheKnightsFury: “H-hey what the hell man?!”

Cameron almost trips as you drag him behind the foliage to watch the ensuing confrontation from a safe location. He is clearly incredulous that you choose anything other than just walking away.

“Those things can eat your Pokemon in two bites! Are you out of your mind?!”

Neither Totodile nor Bulbasaur seem to agree with Cameron’s assessment – the two prepare to strike preemptively, hoping it’ll give them the edge against their larger foes. A swirling blue aura of dragon energy bursts from below Totodile and envelops him with what sounds like a roar, while Bulbasaur prepares to catapult herself over the pair of hyenas using her Vine Whip as elastic bands.
And then, just like that, it begins.

Totodile lunges at the closer of the two enemies and strikes its hind leg with a powerful, energy-infused claw that sends the Mightyena tumbling to the ground with a sharp cry. Its companion looks to the side, alarmed, but before it can react, a violet orb explodes violently against the back of its neck, covering it in vile, acidic sludge, causing its legs to give in from the impact.

However, the pair is nimble, and before long the two wild dogs are back on their feet and growling ominously at your partners. In fact, the Mightyena struck by Totodile growls so intensely it becomes a damaging Snarl, such is the force of the sound being emitted. Totodile and Bulbasaur both feel the effects of the soundwave, and the lingering headache reduces their ability to concentrate on ranged attacks. At the same time, dark energy surrounds the other Mightyena’s fangs – you can tell that the second either of your partners moves in for another melee hit, they’ll be met with a swift, merciless Crunch.

What will you do?!

Despite Cameron's doubts, Bulbasaur and Totodile were holding there own, at least for now. The pair were out sized, but that didn't mean they were outmatched. They'd landed their planned combo, but now the Mightyena had their full attention on the pair. While Bulbasaur and Totodile had received a special attack drop from the Snarl, and now faced the prospect of a Crunch if they got too close. Xander didn't want to risk blowing his cover in the bushes, so instead of giving orders, he decided to trust in his Pokemon.

Bulbasaur quickly thought things through. If they went into melee range, that one Mightyena would come at them with a devastating crunch. Although, if they could interrupt it, then maybe they could overcome the Dark type. She took aim and fired a Seed Bomb, aiming for the Mightyena preparing the Crunch. She would then follow up with a Leech Seed, hoping to both restrict and drain her opponent. Meanwhile, Totodile was preparing to engage the other Mightyena with an Aqua Jet, which he'd follow with a Ice Fang, on the Mightyena's tail, hoping to keep out of reach from its jaws.

Xander watched with pride as his Pokemon took the battle into their own hands. He looked carefully for the Pokemon that the Mightyena had been attacking. Where was it? What was it? "Cameron can you spot that Pokemon the Mightyena were attacking?" Surely a photographer had good eyes, even a relatively average one like Cameron. They needed to get that Pokemon out of the way of the battle, it was likely already hurt enough without getting caught up in the battle.
 
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Meetan- Eager to make it back to the warehouse in time but equally desperate to get Eridian healed up, you ask the old craftswoman whether she knows of a local healer or anywhere you could get the Bagon back to full strength. After accepting the Heavy Ball from you, the old woman smiles and points behind you. "Head straight back that way and you'll find the local Pokemon Center, its equipped with the latest technology, they should be able to heal your Bagon in no time flat!"

It turns out that getting Eridian healed might not be that time consuming after all! You say your goodbyes and rush towards the building that you were directed to. On the outside it looked like every other building in this old hamlet, apart from the sign hanging by the door which was painted with the signature mark of a Pokemon Center. As you fling the door open, a Chingling perched above the door chimes. You'd hoped this would be a quick in and out, but what you're met with is a tremendous line. A line at least 10 trainers deep stood between you and the front counter. It seems the lack of healing facilities in these parts meant that this Pokemon Center saw plenty of action. Each trainer would likely take a couple of minutes to heal their Pokemon, if all went well, you'd probably be waiting for half an hour. Whether you had that much time to spare was a decision only you could make. Risk missing your opportunity to suss out the scum at the warehouse, or chance facing them with Eridian in really bad shape.....
Alice went towards the Pokemon Centre as quickly as she could once the woman was given thanks, hope in her heart and urgency in her brisk steps. That hope quickly diminished when she saw the state of things inside, and she knew that there was no way that they could wait out getting Bagon treated. Alice cursed her bad luck, but this didn't have to be the end of things. She didn't have items to patch wounds, but one of her Pokemon did have the ability for it. "Millie," She asked of her Miltank, releasing her off to the side with the worn out, sooty dragon. "We need to be quick, but let Eridian drink some of your milk to make him feel better. He had a rough battle to help us out, but we don't have time to wait out that queue and I can't afford to go on this next mission without him."

She hoped it wouldn't take too long. Alice didn't need Eridian to be good as new, she just needed him to be better off and hope that some resting time would do the trick, given that she didn't plan to throw him out into this raid unless it was an emergency. Once Millie did the best that she could do, Alice would put them both away and release Axel the Abra in their stead. His psychic prowess was always valued in these situations. Rather than speak out loud, not wanting to risk being overheard by nosy citizens or anyone who might have bad intentions, Alice merely gave her pink companion a meaningful stare and conveyed her thoughts for him to read. He was more than used to such methods by now.

"Axel, go through my mind and find the warehouse we were at this morning with Eridian and the old man. I want you to teleport us near there, and if you can, try to get a sense for the area and what's going on inside. How many people and Pokemon, and how dangerous it is." Alice explained silently, "I'm pretty sure they're poachers or up to something else really bad, and we can't let them get away with it. So we need to figure it out, and if it is some awful operation, put a stop to it. Can you do that for me?"
 
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Zorchic- You weren't about to be goaded into a fight. This kid was full of talk, if he was going to challenge the King, then you'd happily watch on. At least then you'd find out whether the King of the Lake was real and have a chance to prepare for what you'd be facing. This kid was all ego, he likely wouldn't have the guts to challenge the King anyways.

"Figured you for the watching kind, happy to sit back and watch others do what you can't." The boy smirks, eager to keep playing this game of jabs. "A few of us are having another run at the King tonight, if you want to 'watch', meet us under that big tree over there when the moon as at its peak." The teen points to a large tree by the lakeside that clearly towers above the others around it. "As I said before, it's not safe to have boats on the water on the night of the full moon, so I'd avoid the water once the sun goes down, if you know what's good for you...."

The boy turns his Mantine around, the Water type kicks up a wave of water that washes over the side of the boat, soaking you. He heads off towards the lake's edge, likely to prepare for tonight. The sun was already starting to set, the captain would likely be heading in shortly if what the boy had said was true. Would you try to cast again or had your plans change after the exchange?


Meetan- With no time to waste waiting in line, you go to a fallback plan. You release Millie the Miltank from her ball, hoping her Milk Drink would help revitalise Eridian after his battle. You turn to give the two a little privacy, the Bagon a little uncertain about getting his MooMoo Milk straight from the source.... After a minute you turn around to see Eridian a lot more energised, he likely wasn't completely healed but he was much better off than he was before! With the task complete, you withdraw both the Bagon and Miltank into their balls, their task was done, now it was Axel's turn. You release the Abra from his ball and quickly communicate with him telepathically. He grasps the urgency of the situation and in a flash your surroundings change.

You now find yourself in the alley across from the warehouse. You give Axel a few moments to try and scan the warehouse psychically, but the Abra comes out with nothing. He then teleports you inside and you quickly realise why he couldn't pick up anything, the warehouse was empty. Muddy tire tracks lead out of the warehouse and there was no sign of the produce that you'd helped drop off earlier. You have a look around to see if you can find any clues. Out the back you find a number of large cages, were they for holding Pokemon? There were definite signs that something had been held in there recently. Axel draws your attention to the office, where a large map of the Arcane Realm lays spread across the desk. You sit in the chair for a moment as you inspect the map. There was a clear path marked out, it seemed to be the route they were taking. It was heading from here, all the way to the Desert of Stars, deep in the Arcane Realm. If they were up to no good like you thought, they surely had big plans for when they got there. It would be a long way to travel, but who else could stop them?
 
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Zorchic- You weren't about to be goaded into a fight. This kid was full of talk, if he was going to challenge the King, then you'd happily watch on. At least then you'd find out whether the King of the Lake was real and have a chance to prepare for what you'd be facing. This kid was all ego, he likely wouldn't have the guts to challenge the King anyways.

"Figured you for the watching kind, happy to sit back and watch others do what you can't." The boy smirks, eager to keep playing this game of jabs. "A few of us are having another run at the King tonight, if you want to 'watch', meet us under that big tree over there when the moon as at its peak." The teen points to a large tree by the lakeside that clearly towers above the others around it. "As I said before, it's not safe to have boats on the water on the night of the full moon, so I'd avoid the water once the sun goes down, if you know what's good for you...."

The boy turns his Mantine around, the Water type kicks up a wave of water that washes over the side of the boat, soaking you. He heads off towards the lake's edge, likely to prepare for tonight. The sun was already starting to set, the captain would likely be heading in shortly if what the boy had said was true. Would you try to cast again or had your plans change after the exchange?
The boy simply smirked at Jake’s raving reply, and explained that he and some others were gonna go on land and try to see the King. He then left, soaking Jake and Buizel with water from his Mantine’s skidding.

Jake fumed, but at least he had swimwear under his clothes. He looked at Buizel and the fishing rod, then glanced back at the water. Just then, Jake made a decision.

“Starly, come out! I need your help!” Jake reached inside for his Starling Pokémon’s Pokéball and tossed it into the air. The special blue Starly popped out, and the Pokéball landed back in the trainer’s hand.

“Alright, Starly,” Jake said. “I need you to fly high and follow that Mantine boy to his meeting place. Hover a bit and report to me what he’s gonna do. Take care not to be seen!”

The young bird Pokémon nodded eagerly. “Star, Starly!” he cawed in agreement. Got it! Let’s go!

Jake chuckled at Starly’s excitement. “Okay! Go, Starly!” He pointed in the direction of the teen who’d talked to Jake.
The Starling Pokémon took off and flapped his wings, lifting high into the sky. Jake knew that his Pokémon was already doing nicely in the “spying” regard.

Meanwhile, Jake turned to Buizel and nodded, motioning for the Good Rod. Buizel gave it to him, wondering what his trainer was planning. Jake readied the rod and cast it out as before.

“Hostile or not, I’m itching for a battle with a wild Pokémon,” Jake explained. “Buizel, be prepared to attack!”

The Sea Weasel Pokémon nodded, beginning to understand. “Buizel!”

Once again, the trainer and Pokémon waited for some action on the line.
 
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Meetan- With no time to waste waiting in line, you go to a fallback plan. You release Millie the Miltank from her ball, hoping her Milk Drink would help revitalise Eridian after his battle. You turn to give the two a little privacy, the Bagon a little uncertain about getting his MooMoo Milk straight from the source.... After a minute you turn around to see Eridian a lot more energised, he likely wasn't completely healed but he was much better off than he was before! With the task complete, you withdraw both the Bagon and Miltank into their balls, their task was done, now it was Axel's turn. You release the Abra from his ball and quickly communicate with him telepathically. He grasps the urgency of the situation and in a flash your surroundings change.

You now find yourself in the alley across from the warehouse. You give Axel a few moments to try and scan the warehouse psychically, but the Abra comes out with nothing. He then teleports you inside and you quickly realise why he couldn't pick up anything, the warehouse was empty. Muddy tire tracks lead out of the warehouse and there was no sign of the produce that you'd helped drop off earlier. You have a look around to see if you can find any clues. Out the back you find a number of large cages, were they for holding Pokemon? There were definite signs that something had been held in there recently. Axel draws your attention to the office, where a large map of the Arcane Realm lays spread across the desk. You sit in the chair for a moment as you inspect the map. There was a clear path marked out, it seemed to be the route they were taking. It was heading from here, all the way to the Desert of Stars, deep in the Arcane Realm. If they were up to no good like you thought, they surely had big plans for when they got there. It would be a long way to travel, but who else could stop them?
Alice might have been the one to make the order, but she wouldn't act like exacting it didn't make her nervous. They could have warped right into a patrol, but thankfully that wasn't the case. Her gratitude didn't last. Once Axel came up empty, and teleported them inside, she realised that she had missed the criminals after all. "Oh, for fuck's sake...!" She cursed angrily, her Pokemon silent, but seeming to radiate waves of sympathy from his mind. He was long past flinching at the idol's cursing tantrums, after all. They'd raided a gangster church and killed people, they had a lunatic Honedge for an ally - the sleepy psychic might as well have been part steel or darkness by now. "Fucking... Shit. We must have spooked them and they fucking ran!"

Her tirade continued as she began to search for some clues to their route, venting all the while, until Axel could prompt Alice into the nearby office. It didn't entirely fix her mood, but it certainly provided the young woman with some hope, for the route of the runaways were laid out in a map. Now, she wasn't the best with those things, but it wasn't too complex and with access to internet maps to compare to, Alice could figure it all out. All she could pray for now was that they didn't deviate from their plan. "I just wish we knew how long it'd probably take... I bet we can ask someone, though." The pseudo-detective remarked, and her Abra wordlessly concurred. They didn't have time to waste, however. They needed to get on the road.

"Axel, get us out of here. Back to the Pokemon Centre." They'd grab some supplies, make sure everyone was in top shape, and find someone to take them out onto the Fool's Path towards the Desert of Stars. Even if they only made it some of the way, they could figure out the rest. Nothing would stop the adventurers from completing their mission - nothing ever did, after all. Right?
 
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Missingno. Master - A Sitrus Berry? Thank you child. Trevenant said, snatching it and gobbling it up, licking its lips while doing so. It wiped its mouth, then caused another Rock Slide, then rushing forward to give Talonflame a few Power-Up Punches to the head. Talonflame screeched in pain, giving Trevenant a Brave Bird strike, and then it began to Flame Charge at Wes. The Honchkrow at the side shot off a Hurricane, which shook the trees in the clearing, doing damage to everyone. It then blew a cold, chilling Icy Wind, and followed it by charging up a Sky Attack.

Phenac performed a Magnet Rise, following it with an unnerving look, then lastly, rocks circled around it, before directing them at both avian Pokemon. They seemed to not be keeping up much longer, even Honchkrow looked tired. Wes shot off a ball of electric energy at Talonflame, who swiftly dodged it, but couldn't escape the following Water Pulse. Its wings were scratched, feathers ruffled, mind troubled, body tired, and anger rising. It picked up speed against Wes, striking it and sending Wes flying, as it hit its back on a tree.

Morelull stood in place, draining energy from Honchkrow, who was just sitting there, charging up energy. Suddenly, it shot into the sky. A huge light blue bird figure shot at Phenac, smacking it down and thrusting you off. You fall to the floor, and Phenac crashes into the left side of the clearing. An entire tree tumbles to the ground, breaking in half.

Both sides looked very damaged and tired. What do you do?


sixdragons_in_atrenchcoat - "I am a professor!" The man yelled behind you, flicking a card towards you. It read, "Prof. Reinbacker." You enter a shop, which was for desert items. There were many things on display. Desert goggles, canteens, water skins, backpacks, and other related objects are all in your line of sight as you look around in the shop. You see shiny stones, lined up at the bottom of the display cases, which Gible proceeded to gnaw on.

You sit at a table, then a lady sat there with you. She was in her late twenties, and was wearing a ranger outfit, complete with an orange vest and boots. She had a Steenee sitting beside her, which was releasing a Sweet Scent into the air. Gible sniffed the air, smiling, which made the Steenee giggle.

"Are you going to the Desert of the Stars too? What's your name? Age? Where did ya come from? Is that Gible your starter Pokemon? Who'll be your desert guide? My name is Christine, by the way." She said.

Steenee seemed to already be in an engaging conversation with Gible, who was also engaged in it. The Steenee had light purple head leaves, and yellow skin. It sparkled in the light, it was clearly a shiny. Christine fumbled through her bag, bringing out a Sitrus Berry and offering it to Gible, who chomped it up happily.

Christine noticed you staring at her Steenee. "Ah, she's a Shiny. I got her from a lucky egg hatch." Christine enlightened.
 
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Raves: The stakes are high, but as your Pokemon slowly but surely gain an advantage over their opponent, you start to get the impression that maybe they're beginning to enjoy the battle. Or, so it seems for Nuhuko at least, who is proving its superiority over its opposite. The longer things go on, the clearer your mind becomes, and you're set on a plan: take out the Solrock while you've got the chance, and make sure that twisted Banette doesn't get another shot at dragging your starter to an early, unmarked grave.

Strategy is something you're good at after all your near-death experiences, even in a pinch, and this shows through as the rocky sun is smacked into the ground and then yeeted into the air with a successful, but neutral usage of Earth Power. What comes up must come down, however, and with Ramses unable to levitate the Pokemon slams down into the sand like an incoming meteor. Dust flies up from where it lands, and for a few moments, your visibility is absolutely ruined. You feel the dirt burn and sting in your eyes, nose and mouth – the latter of which is now grimly dry from the sand that's invaded it. Absolutely disgusting, but on the upside, even Ramses' hardy form had to have felt that. If it got back up, it surely wouldn't be long.

And thank goodness that your orders otherwise started out defensive. Glasspine's protect flew up at the perfect time to endure Menefer's furious flurry of cuts, and although you couldn't see more than some glints , you can hear the wannabe-Pharoah roaring in frustration. Dirt is hardly an obstacle to the likes of a Sandslash, either, and as such Glasspine wastes no time in bulldozing the Honedge to the ground before unleashing a magnitude upon it. The ground shakes, and although it could be far worse, you still drop your keester to the earth, and Menefer's weak to the blast. All it does is serve to make the ghost even angrier, though, and it retaliates, following up its lash out with a slam from its iron head.

The dust began to clear, and you could see that while Glass was dazed from the brunt, it seemed to be fine. Nuhuko, too, was maintaining its position over Ramses, who was now having a Stomping Tantrum on the Lunatone. The defensive shield had helped against the magnitude brought upon it by Nothung's ally, and confident that the destiny bond would have worn off, the Monferno had unleashed attacks upon the malicious puppet. Ammie took them both, her gleeful grin momentarily turned upside down as she felt the damage. She was back to normal after, but Nothung swore that her eyes were flaring with vengeance, and her actions matched that for sure. Ammie screeched disarmingly, and before she could be muted, she disappeared... That couldn't be good. That couldn't be good at all.

You're winning, or so it seems, but for how long. What do you do?
 
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